Monday, November 02, 2009

10 Sexual Controversies That Changed TV

"With everything from the new Melrose Place to trashy Twilight knockoffs, the new Fall TV season promises steamy viewing. Hemlines may rise and morals may fall, but TV writers would do well to remember that presenting sex on network TV has always been a tricky business. Though we’ve come a long way since Ricky Ricardo knocked up Lucy, only to discover that the network censors wouldn’t let him say the word “pregnant,” it’s amazing how sensitive the suits still are to sex. Here are ten TV shows in which the sex lives of their characters dramatically changed the entire series, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse."
Melrose Place (1992-1999) and the case of the kissless groom

Phil Nugent writes:
As the campy neon circus of ’90s prime-time soaps, Melrose Place was meant to be scandalous, but it hit a wall when it tried to slip the merest suggestion of gay male love past the network. The show had a resident good-looking gay guy — Matt Fielding, played by Doug Savant [pictured above] — who, in contrast to the juicy goings-on by the hormonally deranged straight people all around him, seemed almost pathologically stable. When Matt was permitted to enjoy an on-screen kiss with a man, the network edited it out of the program before allowing the episode to be broadcast, though they had no problem with having him gay-bashed on camera, twice. (Matt was eventually killed in an off-screen car crash after Savant quit the show, claiming terminal boredom.) In contrast to lesbian kisses, even the ’90s outbreak of gay-marriage ceremonies still couldn’t bring two men together; witness the kiss-less same-sex weddings of Roseanne and Northern Exposure. READ MORE