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January 24, 2006

Comments

a.g.

Alexandra,

Is that show about girls and kids behaving badly i.e. just poor behavior, or sexually behaving 'badly'? I don't want to watch the show but I do want to know if this is another instance of children being sexualized or not. Thanks to anyone who happens to know.

Liz Neville

Alexandra-- isn't Oxygen the network that Oprah Winfrey put her money and publicity into? If so, do you know if she's still a backer? Thanks--

Mary B.

Thanks for watching this Alexandra so I don't have to. When I saw the promos for these shows I fell out of my chair. I can't figure out who would want to watch any of this. I wish my cable company would bring back the Women's Entertainment channel instead. BTW - Oprah's website states that she is co-founder of Oxygen Media. I found no statements about her no longer being involved with this venture.

Reid Madsen

What is amazing to me is that in order to get the four, or five, channels that air the shows I like I have to also accept into my home a few hundred channels that have no redeeming value.
I'm presently hooked up with Comcast, and part of their standard offerings is a handful of porn channels. Using the parental controls, I can block the titles, but I cannot block the channel itself from appearing on the screens with its annoying "Adult Programming" tease.
What we really need is a menu approach to cable TV where you pick the channel lineup that comes into your home. Only then will these channels that serve up filth lose the funding that keeps them going...
And finally, keep up the good work ladies.

Jeannine Kellogg

Alexandra, Thanks for posting this. Along this line, I'm so weary of the television world lamenting about the declining value of advertising minutes on TV. They have done it to themselves. Their customers, the advertisers, don't purchase ad time on shows people don't consume. Enough about their lament that ad dollars are being spread out everywhere over all sorts of media forms--I think it has more to do with the fact, they they believe the only way to get lucrative advertising business is to appeal to vulgarly inclined 18 year male doofs. The fact of the matter, most people (with the disposable income the advertisers are targeting) have just given up and turned the TV off.

Thank you Reid for mentioning the choice approach to cable TV. Bravo! Being able to pick and choose your channels is actually a really hot item in Congress right now, with a million cable TV lobbyists reigning down with all sorts of excuses to keep their porn alive and well. I like Reid's suggestion--cable choice would allow us to avoid garbage being dumped in our living room via our TV set. There are lobbyists supporting Reid's position from parentstv.org -- here is some information they have provided on that subject.

http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/cable/main.asp

Thanks again, Alexandra!

Kevin

In all fairness to Sue Johanson, she was a public health nurse for years, and has been talking about sex, birth control, and STD's in Canada since the 1970's. She is a member of the Order of Canada (the highest civilian honour in this country), and is loved & respected here not just for her frankness, but for her compassion and common sense as well.

(I realize you may not have known any of this, but it's not entirely fair to lump her in with a bunch of programs that sound designed to pander to the lowest common denominator.)

Julia

I am likewise fairly turned off by "Campus Ladies"-- but might it not be a good thing to have in existence an SNL-skit-like series whose main characters are women? Especially in the world of comedy, women have gotten less than top-billing for the mainstream audience.

And since there is a vast selection of pornographic material on cable for men, I think it's progress that there's an acknowledgement in the creation of "Bliss" that the same types of porn are NOT appealing to women (though "Bliss" itself is not porn and not likely to run for long).

You've also not mentioned the sit-coms that Oxygen airs (even if they are not its own creation): "Grace Under Fire" and "Ellen" seem particularly woman-positive and not im-modest.

I would, however, like to submit for your review the content of Tyra Banks' show. Now there's one you can pound soundly into the ground.

The Oxygen network may not be the answer, but it's asking all the right questions.

L.B.

If the ladies of Modestly Yours were to create a television network targeted to women, what would the programming be? Would it ignore the existence of sex and naughty behavior? What would the focus be?

I imagine the nightmare of this site's critics, a 24-hour channel featuring stern lectures and headscarf-tying lessons.... ;-)

I rarely watch anything on Oxygen, but it seems to me that their original programming targets educated, middle-class, middle-aged women and the advertising revenue that comes with them. Its continuing existence shows that this model is successful.

Molly

Thanks for the post - a few quick responses:

"The fact of the matter, most people (with the disposable income the advertisers are targeting) have just given up and turned the TV off"
- yup - thats me!

"What is amazing to me is that in order to get the four, or five, channels that air the shows I like I have to also accept into my home a few hundred channels that have no redeeming value."
- thats why I have not got for pay TV!

"Its continuing existence shows that this model is successful."
- by what measure? Money - yes; viewers - yes; numbers - yes. Social moral, social fabric, guidance, modelling, instilling values, having boundaries - no no no no no no.

Society is like children: to raise children good parenting ivolves modelling of behaviour, boundaries and limit setting. These acts will shape the type of behavoiurs we want in our children and instill in them the values we want them to have. Children without this are usually the children that develop delinquent behaviour. Through lack of boundaries, limit setting on behavoiur and good modelling - society is the same. A society without this is one that looses its social order. We need to ponder the question - What does this mean for us? What are we teaching people in society?

The boundaries of our mass media are eroding, and the modelling that society receives about human behavour is unrelenting, unhealthy, and in fact dangerous due to its ramifications. And we are day by day becoming desensitized to the content.

Jeannine Kellogg

L.B.,

People opposed to a modest position do like to take things to extreme. We aren't advocting throwing out difficult subjects of war, violence, crime, infidelities, and other struggles of human existence on TV. But a great writer or film artist can convey murder without showing its every gory detail. A great writer or film artist can convey the pain of rape without having to film the activity itself. A great writer can convey the abuse of a child without having that child punched in the face repeatedly on the screen. A great writer can convey intimacy without having to film it like a porn producer. In fact, I think dealing with the harsh realities of life can be far more powerful without showing the details. In the movie "Life is Beautiful" when the father gets killed, we hear the bullets. We don't see his blood squirting everywhere. That scene was tremendously powerful for that very reason. In the theatre I was in, there were many people crying. But had that scene been directed by CSI, those writers would have the blood squirting everywhere, splattering on the walls, and then later have the dead body being dissected.

As for humor, it's very clear a writer who reverts to foul humor just lacks creativity. Tension between the sexes provides great moments of hilarity, no doubt. But today's prime time television producers think if you bombard the audience with explicity statements of sexuality and vulgarity, you deserve a laugh. Not quite. They deserve to be laughed at because of their abysmal writing skills.

With that said, it doesn't take too much imagination to envision improved television.

Erin P

I have to say, I saw a billboard for "Campus Ladies" driving along the well-travelled Westside Highway going out of NYC and it had a HUGE paper mache bra (like 50 feet high) hanging off of it...

I don't have the Oxygen network, but it all doesn't seem very ladylike to me.

John Mutka

Lay off Sue. She provides valuable information without being judgemental. I consider her show educational, a valuable tool.

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