Monday, February 21, 2005

"Women and Seamen Don't Mix"

Kids, don't try this at home!

Tonight, for the first time I can think of (outside of Marge’s tongue-in-cheek Treehouse of Horror warnings), The Simpsons opened with a(n oddly specific) parental advisory warning:


For as many hot-button topics and adult issues as the series has satirized over the years (even taking some pretty biting potshots at organized religion), apparently same sex marriage is the only one controversial enough to merit such caution. Heaven forbid some child accidentally views a half-hour of (fairly tame) animated satire of an issue that’s been all over the news for the past year. I appreciate that The Simpsons draws a very wide audience, including many young children, but I believe Malcolm in the Middle skews even younger and yet there wasn’t even so much as a “Kids, don’t try this at home” in front of the Malcolm episode that aired just before “There’s Something About Marrying,” which featured teenagers recklessly street luging. If you trust kids enough to watch a TV show and not run out and street luge into traffic, shouldn’t you trust them to watch a cartoon show and not run out to marry a member of the same sex?

The funny thing is that I was just thinking how far we’d come when FOX didn’t have to put a parental advisory notice on The O.C.’s Sapphic kiss – even though it featured and directly appealed to teenagers. It wasn’t so long ago that Roseanne, Ellen and even Mischa Barton’s previous girl-on-girl experience, Once and Again, had to warn (or tease) viewers about their same sex smooches. I guess gay kisses are one thing… but discussions of gay monogamy are just too lascivious for prime time.


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