Firstly, allow me to explain that I’m not hypersensitive about content in movies in general. I will watch everything from It’s A Wonderful Life to the Saw films. I don’t take a puritanical view with my personal viewing.
Secondly, this community has proven to be a welcoming one and not vitriolic like so many others so I don’t expect an onslaught of negative responses, just good discussion.
I was excited to watch Experiment 222 with my kids, who range from 6 - 14. I’ve been watching the show since I was 11 (I’m 42 at the time of this post) and I’ve seen the series slip slightly into “blue” territory at different times (IMHO somewhat more after Corbett joined the cast) so the show was never a purely PG experience (looking at you Hobgoblins!)
That being said, I was surprised that Dr. Mordred contained a few “godd–n” and at least a few “son of a b—h”. If I recall correctly, one of the earlier experiments this season also was heavier on the language.
Don’t misunderstand; I very much enjoyed this episode. But it feels to me that the show has started becoming a little more bold in the content within the films.
Am I alone in feeling this way?
I watch the new episodes with my kids, aged 6-10, and it also seemed to me that Dr Mordred (movie, not the riffs) had a bit more salty language than most other offerings over the years. Is some of that because general TV language standards have changed? I’m old enough (41) to remember when I first started even hearing a few mild swears on broadcast TV, and now it’s super common.
Also worth acknowledging that by being a streaming service now as opposed to a network show, it does also allow a bit more risk as “Standards and Practices” err Network Suits… Are no longer a concern for the writers room.
for context, I’m 51.
Acceptable language on broadcast television has certainly evolved over the years, but I remember ‘damn’ and ‘hell’ were common enough even in the 1980s on shows like Simon & Simon or Magnum PI. The use of those words in common use, really doesn’t ping on my radar.
F-bombs, and s*** certainly still do. Son of a b*tch is a bit trickier. I remember it in shows like Stargate, but that was cable so they might have had more leeway even into the late 90s and early 2000s.
I’ve had similar conversations with my Brit friends. Some of them were shocked that Ron Weasley said ‘bloody hell’ in the first Harry Potter movie. It wasn’t the ‘hell’ that upset them, it was the ‘bloody’ part. I never even realised the Brits considered that such a “bad” word to use.
If I were watching with kids, yeah, I’d be more careful with the language. I’m actually surprised that I didn’t notice because those are words that I generally will consciously hear even though I only watch by myself.
Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn
But seriously, things change - you might even be able to say a few of Carlin’s 7 dirty words on primetime TV these days. I’m not hearing anything that bad out of them, anything that would bother me if I were watching with a kid.
I don’t think it’s gotten worse, and dear Lord please don’t sanitize the show more than you have, I think they’ve found a good balance. Better than what we had by season 10, where they got frequently blue (I was actually kind of uncomfortable watching Diabolik with the kids in the room (when it first aired), with all the sex jokes)
But the fight that occurred to allow that line to stay was epic. And there was a change made to the Movie Production Code just a few months before the film’s release that allowed damn and hell if the word was considered vital to the rest of the line.
Trivia: the word ‘damn’ actually appears twice in the film. Once for the most memorable line of the film, and early in the film at the party at Twelve Oaks, one of the men shouts “damn Yankees”.
It was my mother’s favorite film, whenever it would come to the theater (because that’s what they did back then) she and her friends and sister would go see it. And she talked about that word and the controversy, and I’d be thinking, as a kid in the late 1960s, really, there was an uproar about “damn”? So yeah, different eras, different upsets (nowadays, it’s the content of the film that causes concern, rather than the language)
One of mine as well. Actually got to see it in a theater a few years ago during one of the Fathom Events screenings. Very cool to finally see it on a big screen.
That’s cool, that would be a good one to see on the big screen. I watched it again during the lockdown and still enjoyed it (for whatever reason, it was films from the 30s and 40s that were making me the happiest during that time)
Yeah, I know, we’re drifting off topic here, forgive me
There are F-bombs in the unMSTed version - they did some careful cutting (also a bit of nudity)
I remember reading that when MASH was first aired, they were only allowed so many ‘hells’ and ‘damns’ and if they wanted to use something stronger, they had to trade some in. Times change. Language has gotten coarser (which personally I celebrate, but YMMV)
I was just thinking that though SOB was rare on MASH I remember it being there a couple of times in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s.
“Son of a b****” was used in the '70s on MASH and “G*dd**n” was used on All in the Family. Not often, but they were said. I don’t have an opinion on whether they should be used in MST3K, but they were used on network TV 50 years ago.
I seem to remember 80s movies that are sort of generally considered “kid” movies to have a lot of strong language. Like as a total Disney renaissance kid, who only watched animated kids movies til the age of like ten or twelve, the first time I watched Goonies I was shocked at the suggestive jokes and the frequent swearing. In a movie that I understood to be a “kid’s” movie. there are other examples but you get my point. When I hear a couple more “g-d*mn”s and SOBs in an MST episode my first reaction is a bit of pearl clutching and “We’re becoming desensitized!” But if that’s true then it’s been going on for really the last 40-50 years so…
It’s not an issue for me. Most of the jokes are references people over the age of 30 will get, so for me it’s always been an adult-oriented show.
But Alterniversal is calling it a family show, and while I personally wouldn’t have a problem with a 6-year-old hearing those particular epithets, I can see why other parents would.
That’s very curious; “bloody hell” is generally considered to be one of the mildest “bad” words in my experience (the polar opposite of “the fudging fudger’s fudged”).
I recently revisited my Nazareth albums, and I find it odd, the things we give power to, and the way we wriggle around that or contradict our rules of usage.
Heir/Hair of The Dog had to be called that because they weren’t allowed to title the song or the album “Son of B”, and yet… you were allowed to hear the words Son of B. The song played all the time on the radio. In 1974 I probably arched my brow, not because I was offended but the thought that “we can sing it, but we can’t say it or print it on covers?” amused me.
About a year or so later SNL had an argument with censors over whether Gilda Radner’s character could call Jane Curtin that name. It came down to whether it was being used as a verb or a noun, which is amusingly absurd as well (because we knew which way she meant it). The games people play to get around something.
I was reading that it’s considered “borderline profanity”, so there you go. It’s right on the line.