Shock Value, or entertainment value?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    I'm a big fan of Sopranos. That having been said, I have to say, after reading through this last weekend's NY Times, I've been wondering about what the heck is going on with primetime network TV.
    I mention this because I wonder if the major networks "get it"
    When CBS "bragged" to NY Times that they would be the first major network to use the "F" word in primetime broadcast, and was hunting for scripts that did so in "The right way" I began to wonder about what the heck is going on.
    The thing that some seem to be missing is that the Sopranos would be good, even without the language. It's true, it helps add a more realistic tinge to the program, but it's not the staple; and hunting for scripts just so you can slip the "F" word in now and again just doesn't seem very appropriate for network broadcast.
    I get it, as the Times pointed out; networks are feeling the heat from cable programming that is eating up their market, and that's one thing. But the major networks have other problems much more serious then "not mentioning the "F" word" and trying to figure out "we're going to swear like hasn't been done on broadcast TV before" (NBC in reference to two "cutting edge" programs)..
    I don't know what the right approach is, but if the major nets think this is the way to win back viewership, and all they turn out is a few foul mouthed, still poorly scripted with no general continuity series, they may find themselves surprised.
  2. Peter McDonald

    Peter McDonald Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 24, 2001
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    I agree. While curse words can help add realism to a show, if the show sucks in the first place, it's still going to suck. I think the networks need to be looking for good quality tv shows (writers, producers, actors) instead of good ways to slip curse words into shows. While I am not against curse words on tv, I believe it is silly and moronic idea to expect to win viewers back with curse words.
  3. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

    Jan 14, 2000
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    I think to say that cursing is not a fundamental part of The Sopranos is not true. It is part of it, and if you take out the swearing, you cut the show at the knees. That edge-along with not having to deal with commercials-makes the TV show feel like hour long movies.
    Network can't compete unless they drop commercials-something they can't do-start allowing cursing-including Carlin's forbidden words-start letting nudity, and start showing graphic violence.
    But while they are at it, also add interesting characters-something they prove they won't do-and intriguing storylines. Add a flair of artistry, and snappy writing, and you've got HBO's lineup. The networks should be scared.
    I think if CBS slips in the 'F' word, it's like, who cares? Big deal. It's once again, like the PC Police suing the show, someone not understanding the appeal, or brilliance, of The Sopranos.
  4. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

    Jul 24, 2000
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    The networks just don't seem to get it. A crappy show is a crappy show, even if a character says "fuck".
    Growing up in Sweden, there seemed to be swearing and nudity on TV constantly (not a lot of violence though), and it didn't make or break a show.
    Sure, not being restricted when it comes to the language can make a show more realistic, but looking at what the networks put out, it doesn't exactly seem like realism is something they find to be a high priority anyway.
    They just don't get it.

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