I guess it’s because I spent so many years as a family entertainer that I’m sensitive to the use of curse words in entertainment. I studied comedians that didn’t need it and only used it when it was most effective. I still find myself, now as a writer, not being able to type the letters without substituting at least one with a symbol.
Evolution of the Curse Words
Television, on the other hand, seems to get more and more tolerant. And I don’t mean cable. Pay cable TV seems to have been created so that you could get away with more. I mean why write something with the wit of Aaron Sorkin if you can just show a boob or two. But it seems as if network television is nearing the border.
In the days of Rob and Laura Petrie sleeping in same beds you could never say ass. But when they showed someone’s ass on Hill Street Blues, even if it wasn’t a nice one, things became more tolerant. And they haven’t stopped. Watch a show like 2 Broke Girls and count the sexual innuendos. I can just imagine the writer’s room filled with boys who never grew up delighting in getting away with their nasty little thoughts and language. They’re living the dream-it’s the equivalent of getting a peak at Playboy every boy went through before the internet.
And so the curse words have gotten worse, the B-word is thrown around like a flask everybody takes a hit off of. When i was a kid we got to sing the song “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce for a school recital and our pre-pubescent little minds were thrilled by saying the word “damn” in front of our parents. When people say it on TV, where’s the mystery if you say it in front of your parents now.
How long before the digital is removed.
The curent trend in the last season of television is to use the F-word and digitally obscure the person’s face as they say it. So how is that different then just bleeping it? Because one day soon they’ll drop the digital like they dropped the towel on Dennis Franz’s butt and people will just start saying it. The censors will just let it go.
The comedians that I admired called it lazy to use curse words repeatedly, it was an easy laugh. I think they’re right. Come on Hollywood, you can think of something else.