Monday, July 18, 2011

Make it Stop

I included a photo a couple entries back of the cover of Justin Timberlake's single "Cry Me a River."  Maren made the hilarious observation in the comments that his backup singers in this particular song sound just like seagulls.  I hadn't heard the song in years, so of course I had to look it up on YouTube to check it out.  She's right!

Unfortunately, instead of just clicking on a lyrics video, I put on the actual music video, which I'd never watched.  I was barely paying attention to it, but maybe two-thirds of the way through I happened to look over, and what did I see?   A sultry dame undressing herself in front of JT while he held up a video camera to film both of them.  Close tab.

I didn't see what happened after, and I don't want to.  If Wikipedia is to be believed, there is some kissing and that's the end of it, but it's a lustful scene regardless.  Sadly, there's tons more repugnant garbage available in recent music videos, which feature everything from a woman making out with her own doppelgänger (Pink's "Sober") to a chick wielding whipped cream guns attached to her breasts (Katy Perry's "California Gurls").  And I only know this from accidentally stumbling upon Vh1 every now and then before we canceled cable; I can't even imagine the depths of available filth.  As Trista pointed out recently via Twitter, most music videos are "basically soft porn."

Is it any wonder that I'm devoted to Rebecca Black?  For Heaven's sake, at least I can watch "Friday" (*cough* hundreds of times *cough*) without feeling like I need to take a shower. 

On other fronts, we've been availing ourselves of streaming Netflix this past month, and just a couple days ago we decided to try out a new-to-us drama, Damages.  I liked it right away: the concept was interesting, the pilot presenting plenty of "story questions" to capture my interest as a viewer, and I enjoyed the acting, especially Glenn Close's.  The first episode featured an, I don't know, 20-second sex scene between one of the main characters and her just-proposed fiancĂ©.  No thank you, but it was fairly quiet, so at least I could look away and enjoy the music.  Well, last night, we watched the second episode: partway through, I was assaulted by a scene wherein a different character has loud, angry sex with a prostitute while shooting coke.

Please.  STOP.

I've long since given up watching music videos with any regularity, but I enjoy television dramas, and this is the kind of thing that just makes me sick.  Yes, the character was about to do something absolutely terrible, and this scene demonstrated the horrific pit of evil he created for himself in order to make himself able do it.  But you can't tell me there isn't another way to get that point across. 

It's hard for me to get a scene like that out of my head (and trust me, as soon as I realized what was happening, I shut my eyes as tightly as I could).  It's difficult to move past it, and it's not because I enjoy thinking about it -- actually, it's downright terrifying.  It's enough to make me want to stop watching the show entirely, because who knows when I'm going to be subjected to something similar again.

And really, it's not just the extreme sex scenes that bother me.  They all do.  I don't want to see that stuff.  I'm not a prude, but I'm trying to be pure, and I'm tired of having my mind polluted left and right.  I don't want to see (or hear -- gosh, I'm starting to think that's even worse) people acting out sexual encounters, ever, even if a particular encounter would be morally acceptable within the show's universe (and let's face it: they usually aren't).

So please, powers-that-be in the media, here is my plea: make it stop.  Make it stop, so I can enjoy an intelligently-crafted drama (or comedy) without feeling like I need to visit a confessional immediately afterwards.  Make it stop, so I can purge my memory of all this disgusting soft porn.  Make it stop, so my only memories of sexual encounters can be within the context of my own marriage.  Thanks.

P.S. Yeah, I know it's not gonna stop.  Sex sells.  I just wish someone were brave enough to make some good entertainment that didn't include sex scenes.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

P.P.S. Don't miss this brilliant post by Heather King on writing good sex scenes.


  1. I think the suggestion of sex sells a lot more than sex does-- they have to drag out the scenes now because it's losing its mystery and its subsequent hold on the audience.

    I like the post by Heather too, thanks for sharing!

  2. Amen to this post! It seems that every show, even those on NBC/CBS/ABC have become so risque and downright vulgar at times. We do watch rather trashy shows (thanks to Netflix), but I always make Aaron fast-forward or I'll shut my eyes until the unnecessary sex scene is done (am I the only one that finds sex scenes totally awkward to watch...why would someone want to watch that?!)

    I like How I Met Your Mother, I've found this to be rather least I can't recall a blatant sex scene, only mentions of it.

  3. So I tried to leave a comment earlier, but it didn't let me. Anyhoo.

    I totally agree with this.It is absolutely redic what you can see on tv now.. especially on ABC Family... ugh. It is so terrible that our culture has come to this. And you and Trista are right, music videos and tv shows have just turned into soft porn.

    Wonderful post!

  4. Another reason I'm glad we don't watch TV.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the link you posted. :)