Thursday, November 19, 2009

Slut-Shaming Pop Culture Moment: A 90201 Halloween

The other day I caught a rerun of an old Halloween episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. I remembered the basic premise - Kelly wears a sexy costume to the big Halloween house party and is almost raped by a creepy guy, but her friends save the day - but I had forgotten just how slut-shamey this episode was. I'm only going to talk about the Kelly storyline, but if you want to really take a walk down cheesy memory lane, the full episode is available on YouTube.

First, there's the scene where the whole gang goes to the costume shop to pick out outfits for the party. Kelly and Donna were supposed to do a group costume with their dates, but the guys blow them off at the last minute, so they need something new. Kelly tries to pressure Donna into a sexy costume, but Donna's not into it so Kelly tries it on herself, and this exchange with Brenda follows:

Brenda: Kelly...don't you think it's a bit much?

Kelly: Brenda, I don't have a date for tonight. If I am going to this party stag, I want to make a splash. [When was the last time you heard someone say they were "going stag"?]

Brenda: Well, you're more likely to start a fire in that thing.

Kelly: Brenda, come on. It's Halloween. It's the one night of the year when we get to dress up and act a little crazy.

Kelly ends up rejecting that first costume for not being Halloweenish enough, but don't worry, she shows up at the party in something even sexier. The reaction when she enters the party is so over the top, it's hilarious. Everyone stares and points and gasps, including her friends. (If you can't watch the video with sound or just don't want to torture yourself that much, just skip ahead to about the 1:30 mark to see Kelly's grand entrance.)

Okay, so is it the most age-appropriate costume I've ever seen on someone who's supposed to be in high school? No, of course not. If a parent or teacher or other adult had flipped out over it, I would have gotten it, but the way her friends and other people her own age at the party reacted, you'd think she had walked in wearing a g-string and pasties.

I also thought it was funny that from the waist up, Donna's costume is plenty revealing too, but since her ridiculous mermaid outfit is being played for laughs (and she's acting awkward and uncomfortable instead of "slutty"), it's apparently not a big deal to anyone.

If you didn't watch the whole thing, Kelly's entrance immediately earns her another lecture from Brenda. The highlights include: "Did your mom see you like this?", "Do you want guys staring at you like that all night long?", and "I'm warning you, you're looking for trouble." Kelly calls Brenda a "goody-goody", says that she thinks she looks great, she just wants to meet guys, and she can wear whatever she wants. She ends by saying that she knows how to take care of herself, which we all know on shows like this is foreshadowing for 'this character is about to be thrown into a situation where she can't take care of herself'.

In case we haven't gotten the message yet, along comes Steve with his opinion:

Steve: Wow. Kelly, you look...

Kelly: Don't I?

Steve: What is this supposed to be? Some kind of gownless evening strap? [Oh Steve, you're so witty.]

Kelly: It's a witch's costume.

Steve: Yeah, well I thought those witches wore those big things, like a cloak.

Kelly: I'm sorry if you have a problem with it.

Steve: I have no problem with it, it just leaves nothing up to the imagination.

Kelly: Steve, with you and me it's all imagination.

Kelly finally gets a break for about five seconds when Brenda overhears her blowing off a sleazy guy and tells her "I guess you do know what you're doing". (Remember that foreshadowing thing? Guess they wanted to make sure we didn't miss it.) Then they review all of the cute guy options at the party and Kelly settles on Cowboy Guy, soon to become Creepy Cowboy Guy. She's determined to get to know him. They do some cringeworthy flirting that I can't bring myself to transcribe and like, OMG, he's totally a college guy! She calls him an obnoxious frat boy and he calls her feisty, so you know it's not love. He wants to throw her over his saddle and ride off into the sunset, but she doesn't "ride on the first date". (Yes, this is the actual dialogue.) They continue to banter; I continue to cringe.

They dance. He can't believe she's into David Letterman because she doesn't "seem like the type". (I have no idea what this means.) She likes to stay up late. He asks if they've met in another life and she says yes, they were ancient Egyptians. (Yes, this is the actual dialogue.) They decide to get something to eat and have a pointless debate about whether she should eat a chicken wing or a quesadilla. (Apparently his insistence on the quesadilla is supposed to be a red flag that he's a potential rapist.) Someone bumps into her and she says, "I wish there was someplace we could go that wasn't so crowded", because it's more than halfway through the episode so they have to get the storyline moving somehow.

Of course he takes her up to a bedroom, and then immediately shuts down her small talk about the house by sitting on the bed and saying that he's not into architecture and wants to know about her history instead. (Smooth.) She starts off with where she was born and raised, as if that's what he's getting at. And that's the problem with this whole thing - in about ten minutes they've taken Kelly from street smart to totally naive just to make the story work. She saw right through the first sleazy guy's attempt to hit on her, and suddenly she's clueless about what Creepy Cowboy's intentions are? I don't really buy it.

So he immediately goes into supercreepy mode, advancing on her while asking if she has a boyfriend or if she's looking for one, and blocking the door when she tries to get him to go back to the party.
Kelly: Look, I don't want to be up here anymore, I want to go back to the party.

Creepy Cowboy: Well I don't think you do.

Kelly: How do you know what I want?

Creepy Cowboy: By your actions. I mean, if you didn't want to be up here, why'd you come?

Kelly: I wanted to be up here, and now I don't, okay?

Creepy Cowboy: I thought we were gonna play make-believe.

Kelly: This isn't the kind of make-believe that I had in mind.

Creepy Cowboy: I'm looking and what you're wearing, and I'm thinking this is exactly the kind of make-believe you have in mind.

Kelly: The answer is no, okay?

But of course it's not okay. Because even though she hasn't so much as kissed this guy and says no to him right away, she was wearing a slutty costume so clearly she was asking for it. For a second he pretends to back off and apologizes, says he respects her, and asks her to forgive him...and then he pins her down on the bed and won't let her up. Have we gotten the message yet, audience? Luckily Brenda and Donna show up and interrupt, and Creepy Cowboy explains that he was "kidding". Yeah, attempted rape is hilarious.

Brenda summons Dylan and Steve, and the Cowboy digs a little deeper by saying, "Hey, we were both into it, and then suddenly she started lying. You guys know what I mean, right?" Steve's response to this is, "How dare you lay a hand on her, I love that girl!" Oh, okay Steve, so would it be cool with you if he just went back to the party and found a girl that you don't love to force himself on?

The guys kick Creepy Cowboy out of the party, and he tries to take one more shot at defending himself. "Guys, you got this all wrong. I mean, when a girl dresses like a slut..." Steve shuts him up by punching him, and I'm okay with that. And now it's back to the bedroom to put the slut-shaming cherry on top of this cautionary tale.
Kelly: I'm such an idiot. I thought I was being all sexy dressing like this, you know? Look where it got me.

Brenda: Kelly, I tried to tell you that the dress was a little too much.

Wow. Really, Brenda? Your best friend is trying to deal with the fact that she was just almost raped, and you can't save the "I told you so" for later?

She does redeem herself a little bit after that horrible start:

Kelly: It wasn't the dress though, it was me, and what I did.

Brenda: Kelly, you said no. He should have listened, period.

Kelly: I should have listened to you. You tried to warn me, you tried to tell me what I was walking into. [Again we see that without Kelly magical sudden onset of cluelessness, this storyline wouldn't have worked.]

Brenda: Kelly, you said no.

Kelly: I said no too late. Might as well have been saying yes, you know? [Um, no actually, I don't know. And it wasn't "too late".] I was trying to act all cool and everything, talking sexy. I was leading him on.

Donna: Well then he should go take a cold shower, or whatever they do. [Oh Donna, we love you. And since Donna's character was actually portrayed as kinda clueless and less experienced with guys, I think a storyline like this centered on her would have been more believable.]

Dylan asks if he can say something, and since he's Dylan McKay and everyone loves him, of course it's okay: "I know the last thing you need right now is another guy telling you what to do or what to think...You're blaming yourself for leading that guy on, but I want you to know, as a guy, it doesn't matter how much of a magnet a girl turns on. A guy always has a choice, of not making her do something she doesn't want to do." At this point Brenda looks over at him, kinda like 'crap, maybe that's what I should have said instead of my weird mixed message about how it wasn't her fault cause she said no but she still shouldn't have worn that slutty dress'. So now she's firmly on board Team No Means No.
Kelly: I didn't make that choice very easy, now did I?

Dylan: Yeah, you did. You said now.

Brenda. And after that, what happened isn't your fault. [That should have been your opener, Brenda.]
I'm not sure how to feel about the end of this conversation.

Kelly: The weird part is that before we came up here he seemed like such a nice guy, you know?

Brenda: Kelly, it doesn't matter if he's cute, or smart, or Prince Charming.

Donna: He was a rapist!

Kelly: Donna, I don't think...

Donna: What the hell else can you call it? Kelly, what would have happened if we hadn't come in here?

I get that they want to make it clear that the Creepy Cowboy wasn't just being creepy, or pushy, or aggressive, or whatever, he was committing a sexual assault. But it's kinda weird that the conversation ends on that note, with Kelly looking more freaked out than ever, instead of on the 'it wasn't your fault' note. It almost seems to bring it back around to 'look what you got yourself into with your slutty behavior, young lady'.

So what's the lesson? That the Creepy Cowboy was a jerk and a rapist...but you wouldn't attract jerky rapists if you didn't wear slutty costumes? Overall, the episode is a mixed bag, because there are good messages mixed in with the bad ones. I think the problem is how many people might watch it and end up summarizing it the way a blogger at did:
Things got really scary, though, for Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), when she was nearly raped by a guy dressed as a cowboy due to her provocative, bewitching costume. Luckily, her friends Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) and Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) came into the room and called for help.
No. Kelly was nearly raped due to the fact that a sleazy douchebag chose to try to rape her. She was the victim and she wasn't to blame for what happened. And that's a message that we need to hear a lot more often, on TV and in real life.

Have you noticed a slut-shaming pop culture moment recently? Let us know!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stupid Sexist Swiffer

We've all seen those annoying Swiffer commercials in which a mop or broom or duster just can't get over being replaced by a Swiffer product...

So here's a mini-guest blog from my 9-year-old daughter. (The title was her idea.) She really doesn't like those commercials...
Dear Swiffer,

I think your commercials are totally sexist. There is no good reason why in all your commercials there is a girl cleaning the house with Swiffer. Why are there only women doing the cleaning? It makes just as much sense that a man would be doing the cleaning of the house. Yes, some women do housecleaning, but some women don't. And it's not the only thing that women can do.

In your next commercial I think you should have a man doing the cleaning. The mop or broom can sing the song "Come Back To Me" by Vanessa Hudgens. (I'm not saying that you should actually do that song, because they might not be able to get permission to use it.) It would just be nice to see the genders reversed and have a girl mop singing to a guy using a Swiffer.

It's also pretty creepy that the joke of the commercials is that your mop or broom are following you around. They're kind of stalking you. Why would anybody want that? Imagine if it was your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend doing that? Would you want that to happen? I dont think so. It's not funny, it's scary. It happens to real people and it's not good to make a joke about something serious that happens to real people, just so you can sell a stupid Swiffer.
Her very first guest blog about sexism in the media... I'm so proud!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fame Lite

Recently I was dragged by two 9-year-olds to see the new Fame movie.

I feel a little funny calling it "Fame" because it's really just a watered down "reinvention" that is merely trying to capitalize off of the popularity of the 1980 original. It's more like "Fame Lite". They would have been better off calling it "Musical High School" or something like that (although, that probably would have been criticized as trying to capitalize off of the popularity of the High School Musical franchise, which yeah they sort of are doing too). If they had just promoted it as "High School Musical: New York Style" it might have actually worked but as Fame it just falls flat.

Director Kevin Tancharoen explained why he didn't try to do a straight remake:
"Coco, Leroy, Bruno, Ralph, you cannot cast them again. [...] If you recast them, you will already have people who hate it, and I know there will be haters no matter what. You can, however, take the original idea and core message and integrity and play it to 2009."
The problem was that he didn't maintain the original message or integrity either. It's not that they didn't try to take inspiration from the original, because it seems that they did... The problem is that that inspiration didn't turn into anything really worth watching. For example, instead of the famous scene where Coco (Irene Cara) cries as she takes off her top for a sleazy fake casting director with a camera, the PG version gives us Jenny (Kay Panabaker) "running lines" with an actor who it turns out just wants to make out with her. After all of the juicy R-rated movie content (abortion, drug use, homosexuality) was stripped away, all that's really left is some PG singing and dancing.

Apparently I'm not the only person who feels this way. Sir Alan Parker, the director of the original 1980 Fame, described the remake as "dreadful". In fact, he compared the whole project to being mugged:
"It's a bit like being mugged. Such are the realities of Hollywood manners and American copyright law. [...] I feel very much that Fame is mine. I spent months with the kids at the school then spent a year making the movie. You do the work and make it as good as it can be, and you try to protect it. Then, because the copyright is owned by the studio, as with almost all American feature films, they can do a remake like this. It's extremely galling. There is no other area of the arts where you can do that."
Kevin Tancharoen, the remake's director, claimed in a recent interview that he had Parker's blessings and seal of approval, but Parker says this is untrue. "I have never had a single phone call from anyone - the studio, the producers - about this remake. No-one spoke to me about it. To say so is absolute nonsense." Parker is considering legal action over the use of the original Fame logo (the studio doesn't own the rights to that).

The critics have also been... well, critical. Here are some excerpts from a few of our favorite disses.

Lee Black, MSNBC:

Kevin Tancharoen knows what dancers do but keeps the movie as bright and scrubbed as a recent Disney Channel TV movie about some kids in an all-singing, all-dancing high school. [...]F-words: R-rated 1980 version = 39, PG-rated 2009 remake = 0. Whether you think that’s an improvement or not depends on your need to hear the way teenagers actually speak vs. your desires for an illusory “We’re All In This Together” cuddle-fest.
David Foucher, EDGE United States:
Alas, there’s nothing subversive or remotely steamy about "Fame" in 2009. The precursor had the audacity to tackle shocking issues in 1980: abortion, drug abuse, religion, and nudity. Here, an apparent attempt to latch onto the "High School Musical" demographic has crippled the film’s traction, leaving it largely without a significant thematic purpose in favor of a general admonishment that desire without hard work won’t get you fame. Duh. [...]

Either way, the movie is a soulless, inconsequential, vapid, hideously boring waste of time. That’s a shame, given the courageous nature of its predecessor and the culture of instant fame-making we live with thanks to reality television today. This should have been a creatively fulfilling remake; instead, "Fame" just leaves you creatively famished.

Fame gives us all four years of lessons learned, careers begun and hopes dashed, and that's just too much to cover with too many characters for this to gel. Quick sketches of characters, quicker sketches of their homelife, don't add to a complete portrait.

And if you're going to censor this material in imitation of The Disney Channel's greatest hit, you'd better fill in the holes with fun. Fame forgets that.

I could totally see this cast of teachers starring in a new TV version of Fame. But if you're just trying to reprise High School Musical, I don't think I'd bother watching it.

Jeffrey M. Anderson, Cinematical:
The new remake of Fame will appeal to pre-teens who hope to go to performing arts schools, but who -- implausibly -- have never seen any other movies, or plays, or dance performances or music recitals. Moreover, they must not yet possess the ability to tell good performance from bad, nor truly inspired plot twists from hackneyed ones. Parents, on the other hand, will find that the movie sucks their will to live. [...]

Tancharoen also tries to capture a "gritty" New York City feel, and his attempt is a failure; one shot of Times Square only reminds us that it has become a "walking mall," and a million miles away from the world of the original Fame. Despite all the collective experience of the teachers, not one of the students ever shows a moment of truth or real personality; it's all pre-programmed, test-marketed product for teens to consume, even if they don't know why. As for myself, as a lifelong lover of film and an admirer or artistic personality, I found this one of the year's most abysmally awful, depressing movie experiences.
Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter:
Let's be clear. The original movie, despite its iconic stature, was no classic. The script was riddled with cliches and overheated melodramatic confrontations. Nevertheless, the energy of the young performers propelled it. While this new version retains the basic structure of following several kids over four years at New York's High School of Performing Arts, it's been diluted in almost every imaginable way. [...]

Tancharoen doesn't weave the stories together gracefully, and the musical sequences are edited in the chop-chop MTV style that does no favors to the performers. Marguerite Derricks' choreography is lively, though very few dance routines are played out at any length. The new "Fame" is like a series of snippets and teasers for a movie still waiting to be made.
Peter Paras, E Online (UK):

Review in a Hurry: The '80s sensation is reborn for the High School Musical generation. But sadly, this one's all fame, no journey. [...]

At 90 minutes, cramming in four years of hopes and dreams at the fabled New York City High School of Performing Arts feels like one long music video, rather than a movie.

Kherington Payne of So You Think You Can Dance

If you loved the original Fame, don't go see this movie. You will be sorely disappointed. If you're into watching teenagers sing and dance and be overly emotive (or you happen to be between the ages of 8 and 16), then you might enjoy "Fame Lite". It's actually not a terrible movie - some of those kids are pretty damn talented - but it pales in comparison to the real Fame.

So my advice is: if you do go see this movie, pretend that it's not a remake and just try to enjoy it for what it is... instead of what it isn't.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jennifer's Body

We were very excited to go see the much hyped movie Jennifer's Body because we think Diablo Cody is pretty damn cool and believe it or not, we dig Megan Fox. We weren't sure what to expect from Jennifer's Body because we had heard a lot of mixed commentary on the film before it came out.

There was, of course, the required Diablo Cody hype over the film. Will it live up to Juno? Will it be funny or sexy or stupid or... feminist? Bitch magazine wrote an interesting feminist or anti-feminist pro/con list. They raise some interesting points: the film is written and directed by women (Cody and Karyn Kusama, respectively) and features two strong female lead characters, played by Fox and Amanda Seyfried. And some have argued that perhaps the story of a sexy woman using supernatural powers to destroy young men may have some overtones of female empowerment. Maybe.
On the other hand, it portrays the two leads as stereotypes - Needy, the nerdy blonde and Jennifer, the sexy brunette - as best friends turned rivals (ala Betty and Veronica) - and has a (gasp!) faux-lesbian kiss, so clearly some people were against Jennifer's Body from the start. We were certainly interested in finding out what this movie was really all about.

Oh and before we start the actual review, we just wanted to share the fact that we were actually carded to get into this movie. Yes. Someone questioned whether we were over 18. Really. This has nothing to do with the film itself, but it definitely helped make our movie-going experience even better. Even if they were just humoring us, it still felt good. Our movie-going experience was further enhanced by the fact that instead of the typical popcorn, we were munching on leftover bacon from our drunken brunch. Because bacon is delicious.

Okay, back to the movie... It was gory and funny and sexy at the same time; always a great combination. It wasn't exactly the next great feminist horror movie that some people were hoping for, but you know what, neither Cody nor Kusama ever suggested that they were trying to create the next great feminist horror movie. I think they were just trying to make a funny, fun, clever, kick ass movie and in that respect, they have succeeded.

Yes, Cody has been quoted as saying that she and Kusama, "wanted to subvert the classic horror model of women being terrorized" but that doesn't mean that the film has to meet some impossible feminist standard. From a recent interview with The Frisky:’s a problem that is holding back feminism and you see it on the blogs. We all hold each other up to an incredibly high standard in a way that men do not. Let’s say a woman directs a movie that’s not very good—everybody piles up on her. It’s, like, “No! You’re representing us! It has to be perfect!” And that’s not how it works! Women should be allowed to make bad movies. Good movies. Porno movies. Terrible made-for-TV movies. Women just need to be out there directing as many movies as men do. We don’t all have to be the model woman—what we need is to be more visible. We really, really are tough on each other."
Of course, that's not to say that there aren't some intentional feminist elements added to the film...
So, I’m curious, when you’re writing roles for women, do you purposely try to write a feminist message?
My feminist hat is permanently welded to my head—I definitely can’t take it off! It’s so important for me to write things from the female perspective and in service of women and in the right roles for women. That’s usually what I’m thinking going into it. Obviously, the story goes first. But then my next priority is how am I going to sneak my subversive feminist message into this?
Do you always think the female perspective is the feminist perspective, though?
No, not always. But I think representation is obviously the first step to equality, so if women aren’t being represented in a diverse way in movies, they’re going to remain marginalized.
Some have criticized the movie for being anti-feminist, claiming that Fox's character is objectified and damned basically for being a slut. While I definitely don't think this was Cody's intended message, the fact that Fox's character is referred to as an "impure sacrifice" and cursed to demonhood simply because she wasn't a virgin could feel a little bit slut-shamey on the surface. Although, in reality, she would have died had she actually been a virgin (instead of being able to live on, albeit as a demon). So if anything, the film can be looked at as slut-empowering! Jennifer isn't just sexy, she's sexy... with super powers!

And without stepping further into "objectification" mode, we do have to admit that Megan Fox really is super sexy. Even while eating some dead guy, covered in blood, she still looks kinda hot. You gotta respect that. It's really the true test... if you can still look hot while drinking someone's blood, then you are super hot. (Another good example of this phenomenon is Alexander Skarsgaard as Eric from True Blood.)

One main part of the film that we didn't like was the really annoying fact that the dumbasses from Low Shoulder had a book on witchcraft mixed in with the books about Satanism and the occult in their van. Witches don't worship Satan! They don't even believe in Satan, let alone worship or make sacrifices to him. Witches/Wiccans and Satanists aren't remotely the same thing. I know that this movie isn't exactly supposed to be 100% factual, but can we please get past this offensive misconception already!?

One thing they did get right was the sometimes awesome, sometimes totally messed up dynamic of being a high school girl. "Hell is a teenaged girl." Amidst all the blood and gore and folklore, it's the real life stuff that is spot on. Needy and Jennifer, despite seeming so different, are BFFs since childhood. However it soon becomes clear that Jennifer walks all over Needy, while Needy turns a blind eye to Jennifer's actions for way too long before finally standing up to her. It takes actual bloody violence for Needy to recognize that maybe Jennifer's sort of a bitch.
Needy: You're a terrible best friend. You stole my toys when we were little. You poured lemonade on my bed.
Jennifer: And now I'm eating your boyfriend. At least I'm consistent.
So many critics have referred to this movie as a revenge story and it is, but they're wrong on who the revenge is on. This is not a story of a girl punishing the jerky guys who treated her bad. The guys she goes after are not bad guys. (She'd be better off going after the devil-worshiping indie band that tried to kill her in the first place.) No, this is Mean Girls with a demonic twist. In the same way that people were thrilled to see Queen Bee Regina George get taken down a notch or two, there is a sick satisfaction in seeing Needy take on the evil Jennifer. And that's "actually evil. Not high school evil." We're not really into those stereotypes about female jealousy or rivalry, but the fact is that many of us did know - and were quite possibly terrorized by - a girl like Jennifer.

Since it seems like everyone on Earth has weighed in on the film at this point, we thought we'd round up a few of our favorite quotes from reviews and blog posts:
The fact of the matter is, this film is so radically and refreshingly both funny and scary from a female perspective, the boys simply don’t know what to do with it. Exploring the bloody aftermath of a demonic possession that befalls a small town cheerleader, this film delivers the kind of snarky, brutal, bored, awesome teen banter that made Heathers a cult classic. And while the violence is adequately gorey, the real terror in the plot lies in its metaphorical exploration of obsessive friendship between girls, and how volatile, aggressive, and explosive these bonds can become when children mature into women with more adult urges. In Megan Fox’s Jennifer, women of all ages get the cathartic experience of seeing our own high school’s queen bee challenged by a brainy everygirl who (poignantly portrayed by Amanda Seyfried) actually has a fighting chance of stopping her reign of terror. And topped off with fearless, visually audacious directing by Girlfight’s Karyn Kusama, this singular story, written, directed, starring, and clearly made for women every step of the way, not only is destined to have a class dedicated to it one day at Smith College, but is also downright entertaining enough to be the main attraction at many sleepovers to come. []

It’s a campy, women centric look at the atrocities of being a teenage girl...on the whole the film is not particularly scary. But as a fan of Cody’s work I love how she takes expectations and messes with them. I also love the pop culture laden language and while Cody has talked about the feminism as being subversive, I found it to be very present and overt. [Women and Hollywood]

The press on Diablo Cody, Karyn Kusama and especially Megan Fox has been pretty negative even from some feminists. I’m not saying feminists all need to march to the same drummer, and I know Fox flaunts her looks and has created a persona that can be a big turn off to feminists, but they need to be appreciated by feminists because they are all outspoken women in Hollywood and that rankles feathers. [Women and Hollywood]

In sum, this movie has some refreshing, feministy elements to it…and some annoying parts, too, like the implication that Jennifer needs to literally “feed” off guys in order to stay beautiful, glowing, and healthy. But fuck if I’m going to let feminists tear Diablo Cody to shreds over something like this movie. I find this to be a particularly irritating case of unproductive feminist navelgazing. Horror films are supposed to be built on fantasy–sexual fantasy, murderous fantasy, and everything in between. They’re often silly and usually throwaway* when evaluated in the context of a serious screenwriter’s career. I have to agree with Cody when she says that “we don’t all have to be the model woman–what we need is to be more visible.” And I’m not implying that women should get off easy–just that they shouldn’t be written off after 31 years on earth and a meager two screenplays. Maybe Cody just wanted to have some campy, squeal-inducing fun. I’d argue that she succeeded, without exploiting young women or killing them off in rapid succession. Considering the sizeable chick carnage of other recent teen girl horror movies, that’s actually pretty radical. [Feministe]

And why don’t [some reviewers] understand the film? Because it’s one of the very few honest-to-goodness feminist films out there — and more so then being feminist, it’s one of the few films that views things from a female lens. Boys are there, and make up the majority of the victims in this body horror film, but they’re not a concern. For once we have a story with female main characters who aren’t obsessing about, fighting over, or bitching about boys every five minutes. Jennifer’s Body is about women and how they relate to each other, the horror moments are there for style and allegory, but at its heart the movie is about two girls whose own toxic friendship is eating them both alive. [I Went There]

As a horror movie, Jennifer's Body doesn't fully deliver. But as a comic allegory of what it's like to be an adolescent girl who comes into sexual and social power that she doesn't know what the heck to do with, it is a minor classic...As the movie progresses, Jennifer emerges as the Jessica Rabbit of horror - she's not bad, she's just drawn that way. []
I could not recommend this film for anyone from a Biblical perspective and am struggling to find any true value emerging from any sound critical analyses. Had I not been writing a review on the film, I would have walked after about the first couple of scenes. From its tightly framed graphic scenes to its porn-bred innuendo throughout, the mind reels trying to comprehend how this film can be justified as entertainment which is not subversive to the Christian ethic. Even getting into the movie is an uncomfortable situation. “I’d like to see Jennifer’s Body.” Or how about, “Two for Jennifer’s Body, please.” It’s awkward, at best. [] [Okay, just kidding about this one.] [But you should totally read the whole "review", it's a laugh riot.] [For someone who claims to be so offended and disgusted by the sexual elements of the film, she sure does take a lot of time to describe all of them in great detail.] [I'll stop with the bracket thing now.]
Overall, we enjoyed Jennifer's Body. It was funny, gory, sexy, clever, and thoroughly entertaining. It might not be as Oscar-worthy as Juno, but not every film has to be. This movie was fun and we would definitely recommend it (not as feminists, not as women, but just as people who like movies). Don't decide not to see it because you've heard that it's not feminist enough, or too feminist, or whatever. If you want to see what all of the fuss is about, or you want to show your support for a "mainstream" movie written and directed by women, or you just think it looks cool, go see it. At the end of the day, it's just a horror movie.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Do the One Million Moms Think Saturday Night Live is for Kids?

The One Million Moms are inexplicably scraping the bottom of the barrel with their action alert this week. With all of the new TV shows coming on the air in the last week, somehow all the Moms could come up with to get outraged over was the fact that new Saturday Night Live cast member Jenny Slate accidentally said "fuck" during one of her sketches.

Here's the action alert:

'Saturday Night Live' slips up again

"Saturday Night Live" newbie, Jenny Slate, dropped the F-bomb on air during a sketch which slipped by censors and was heard by East Coast viewers of the show.

Slate was playing a foulmouthed motorcycle-driving woman when she dropped the curse word.

Slate's infamous line, "You frickin' just threw an ashtray full of butts at my head. You know what, you stood up for yourself and I f***in' love you for that" will either gain her fame, get her fired or both.

The actress did puff out her checks after she add libbed the swear word to express she realized she had messed up.

This is not the first time censors have not caught and bleeped out the F-word on "SNL." Norm MacDonald, received a verbal warning for saying the f-word on-air, and Charles Rocket was fired after saying the same four letter word in 1981.

NBC has declined to make any comments at this time so it is unknown if any disciplinary action was taken against Slate or not. Will Slate's first show on "SNL" be her last?


Send NBC an email letter insisting that NBC, "SNL," their censors, and Jenny Slate issue an apology immediately to viewers. Her slip-up was corrected by censors and changed to "freakin" before the West Coast viewers were exposed to this vulgar language, but the damage was already done on the East Coast.

Also, request that disciplinary action be taken against Slate and that censors be on their toes in the future.

Really, Moms? This is the best you can do? You're traumatized because someone on a late-night comedy show accidentally said the word fuck once?

First of all, Saturday Night Live is a show for adults that is on after midnight. It's not remotely in any way even slightly for kids, or marketed to kids. So why are the Moms even complaining about this in the first place? The OMM website says that their "goal is to stop the exploitation of our children, especially by the entertainment media", but this incident had nothing to do with children at all, so why the action alert?

Also, I have to wonder what kind of disciplinary action the Moms think would be appropriate for a grown woman who accidentally said an "adult" word on a show for adults. A fine? Ten Hail Marys? A time out in the corner? Unfortunately for the Moms, they're not going to get their wish on this one - SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels has said that he understands that this was just an unintentional slip on Jenny Slate's part, she's not going to be fired, and it's possible that NBC won't even be fined by the FCC since the slip happened after prime time. In other words, this is being treated like the non-issue that it is, despite the best efforts of people like the OMM who have too much time on their hands.

I think the One Million Moms really need to step up their game next time, because this was just a weak effort. If they're not back to freaking out over homosexuality or teen sex on TV by next week, I'm going to be seriously disappointed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

That's Gay: Coming Out

It's been way too long since we posted one of Infomania's hilarious That's Gay segments. Since we've been watching even more TV than usual lately, we got an extra kick out of the latest installment on how TV shows handle 'coming out' moments...partly because we watched almost all of these classic moments when they first aired. Enjoy!

The Vampire Diaries: True Blood Lite?

Okay so we tried to watch Vampire Diaries... (still nursing that True Blood dependency). We've watched a few episodes so far and while it's not the worst show in the world, it is pretty cheesy.

At first it struck us as a little bit of a Twilight rip-off, but then we found out that the books that it's based on were written several years before the Twilight books, so who knows, maybe Twilight ripped them off? We'd like to pretend that that's true. (Although the truth is the fact that they've turned these books into a TV show now, of all times, is probably in an attempt at winning some of the Twilight audience. Yep, those sexy teenager vampires are hot right now!)

The Vampire Diaries is pretty tame compared to True Blood. It's basically "True Blood Lite" or "True Blood Teen". And okay, maybe it's not fair for us to compare it to True Blood - it's on a totally different network, based on a totally different story from a totally different set of books, and has a totally different target audience. But we can't help it. We miss True Blood and therefore we're unable to watch any vampire show without comparing it.

So instead of giving the show an actual review (which would end up being totally biased and True Blood-centric anyway) we've decided to just prepare a comparative guide... to see how The Vampire Diaries measures up against True Blood, Twilight and one of our old favorites Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Obviously there are some minor spoilers in here, but if it means that much to you, then you shouldn't be reading reviews anyway... you should just be watching it already.

If Vampire Diaries was True Blood, there would have been a lot more sex and bloodshed (probably in combination) by now. So far there's only been one bloody sex scene and it was non-consensual (the biting, not the sex) and she doesn't remember it the next day anyway. Although it is on the CW at 8:00 - and is marketing primarily to teens and young adults - so we probably can't expect any of the soft core porn that HBO provides.

If Vampire Diaries was Twilight, there would never be any sex, ever.

If Vampire Diaries was True Blood, they wouldn't buy the whole "animal attack" excuse that everyone's been giving for the unexplained, gruesome killings. They would at least investigate the deaths as possible homicides (if not death-by-supernatural-causes). Even a drunken Andy Bellefleur wasn't as inept as the Mystic Falls police department apparently seems to be.

If Vampire Diaries was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, vampires wouldn't want to go back to high school even if they were trying to date teenage girls. Angel never wished he could go back to high school to freshen up on his algebra... he just saw Buffy in the p.m., like a good vampire boyfriend should.

If Vampire Diaries was True Blood, Stefan would've warned Elena to stay the hell away from his homicidal brother Damon. Even if he didn't want to admit to her that his brother is a vampire, he could've still done more to protect her, like Bill has always tried to keep Eric and Sookie apart.

If Vampires Diaries was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Elena wouldn't need Stefan to protect her in the first place... She'd have totally kicked Damon's ass by now. (Either that or she would've slept with him - or maybe both.)

If Vampire Diaries was True Blood, we wouldn't keep expecting someone to burst into a song about the mall the entire time.

If Vampire Diaries was True Blood, Bonnie wouldn't suddenly start having psychic powers just because her grandmother told her she was a witch. Sookie had her powers of telepathy since she was a child. She's now first realizing that she may not be human... but she always knew she was "different". Sam also discovered that he was a shapeshifter early in life. Their powers didn't just come out of nowhere.

If Vampire Diaries was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bonnie would also be a lesbian.

If Vampire Diaries was True Blood, Stefan and Damon would be dead already from going out in the daylight. (In fact, they would be sick just from staying awake during the daytime, even if they stayed inside.)

If Vampire Diaries was Twilight, the sunlight would make the vampires... sparkle.
We're not completely sure how we feel about the show yet... but apparently the network is feeling pretty good. Its premiere on September 10 scored 4.8 million viewers, making it the CW's most watched new series ever. The CW recently ordered nine more scripts (in addition to the 13 episodes already picked up). It might never be as amazing as True Blood but it's definitely helping us pass the time...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

An Ugly Death for the Beautiful Life

So it's an ugly death for The Beautiful Life . The new CW show was cancelled already after only two episodes. Poor Corbin Bleu got naked for nothing. We knew that show was doomed to failure sorry but we're a little surprised that they cancelled it so quickly. We never even got to write our "this show will probably be cancelled" review. So instead, here is our postmortem review.

The first tip that it was going to fail... they tried to artifically force a nickname for the show instead of letting it happen naturally. (The show's official title was actually The Beautiful Life: TBL. Sorry, but no.) You have to let that happen organically. Even if you are going to force it, you don't name the show the nickname... unless of course, the show is 90210.

The next tip off? The cast. Very beautiful, relatively talented, but something just didn't work. I'd imagine that the bulk of the audience of this show are teens who have aged out of Disney and are looking for something with the familiar faces but a little more "grown up". So the network probably thought they had the perfect combination of new faces and familiar favorites, but something was just... off. It wasn't believable and the chemistry just wasn't there.

Viewers of a certain age just weren't ready to see Corbin Bleu as anyone but Chad Danforth from the High School Musical trilogy. It sucks for him, but it's true. The fact that his character on TBL was a former child model who just couldn't break into the modeling scene as an adult... was appropriate... but let's face it, he's no model. And while Sara Paxton is pretty good at playing the sweet ingenue (Aquamarine and Return to Halloweentown) her actual fans surely love her more as the bitch (Sleepover and Sydney White). And yes, I've seen all of those movies so I know what I'm talking about (fuck you, don't judge me.)

While Mischa Barton of The O.C. is no stranger to playing a "troubled" character - on and off screen - I don't buy her as a bitchy model with a secret baby. The rest of the cast members were also caricatures... It seemed as though they were putting together a formulaic list while writing the script: Bitchy but beautiful female model? Check. Bitchy but beautiful male model? Check. Straight-off-the-farm clueless newbie? Check. Druggie bad boy? Check. Domineering agency head? Check. Famous fashion name-dropping and cameos? Check.

And lastly, the truth is that there are a ton of fashion/modeling shows we've already seen. At least three are on the air right now as I type this: America's Next Top Model and Lifetime sister shows Project Runway and Models of the Runway. Does America really want to see actors and actresses pretend to be models when they can watch the real thing? (Or really, why would the CW want to pay actors and actresses to pretend to be models, when they can get the real thing for practically free?) And if viewers just want to see beautiful teenagers in expensive designer clothes, they can watch Gossip Girl.

The show was apparently so bad that the CW dumped it before even finding a suitable show to run in its place. Word is that they will temporarily fill the slot with re-runs of Melrose Place and perhaps run the dramedy Life UneXpected as a mid-season replacement (you know, when Melrose Place is also ultimately cancelled). The network is also in talks about picking up two reality program - a show following New York socialite Tinsley Mortimer and another about flight attendants, called Fly Girls (not to be confused with the PBS doc of the same name about Women Airforce Service Pilots, although that would be interesting.)

Before we go, we thought we'd give you all a little something to remember the show by... so here's a nakie Corbin Bleu one more time...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We already know how the One Million Moms feel about cougars. So of course, we were surprised that they hadn't (yet?) taken any action against the new ABC show Cougar Town... especially since they already bashed its lead-in show Modern Family without having even seen it.

Cougar Town follows the story of a recently divorced single mother as she "explores the honest truths about dating and aging in a beauty and youth obsessed culture" and stars Courteney Cox.

Even more surprising than the fact that we haven't received any OMM action alerts yet... is that ABC is being a little bit anti-cougar themselves! (Or, you know, anti-real-cougar.) Apparently the dating website tried to run a commercial during the show, but ABC said they didn't feel it was "appropriate". The website's founder Claudia Openkelder released a statement:
It appears the executives at ABC seem a little too insecure to allow the notion of real world cougars to exist anywhere other than in the realm of fiction. [via]
Frankly, I'm surprised that ABC is being so hypocritical. They obviously realize that cougars are totally in right now (as far as TV/movie trends go, they're right up there with widowers and gigolos) or they wouldn't be airing Cougar Town in the first place.

So what was so inappropriate about the commercial?

I don't know. Maybe the fact that it portrays an older woman as an object of lust for younger men makes some people uncomfortable...? But if that's the case, then why are they watching Cougar Town? And the show itself is way way way more sexually explicit than the commercial is... so what's the problem?

Executive Producer Kevin Biegel has described the show on the ABC website:

I’ve always been surrounded by very, very strong women—my mother, my sister, my wife—and I always wanted to write something that would both honor them and take advantage of their stories. [...] I love that our show is about a women [sic] confidentially and honestly discussing aging, dating and life, and if I can promise you anything it’s that we won’t pull any punches and gloss over some of the uglier, harsher truths.
Hm. So ABC isn't going to pull any punches or gloss over the truth on their TV show, but they will do it about the fact that real life cougars do exist outside of their television fantasy land?

You'd think that ABC would be trying to cater to the strong, confident cougar demographic as much as possible. (The fact is that women over 40 is a huge demographic - one that has enormous spending power.) They're probably going to be a big percentage of the audience of Cougar Town, so you'd think ABC would want to air commercials designed with them in mind. At the least, it would be nice to see some ads geared toward older women that weren't for anti-aging products or home cleaning supplies.

Unless of course, cougars are actually the butt of Biegel's joke. Does he - and the rest of the ABC bigwigs - think that cougars are "good TV" but not worth taking seriously as TV viewers?

As a cougar-in-training or "Cougar Pup" (don't ever call me a "Puma" or I'll scratch your eyes out), I've found that a lot of cougar humor can toe the line of funny and offensive. The concept of sexy older women dating (or just seducing) younger men has been around for ages in movies and television shows... from Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate to Samantha from Sex and the City.

As with the whole MILF movement (the cougar's previous incarnation that gained popularity with Stifler's mom in American Pie) movies and TV shows often bounce back and forth between adoration and ridicule over the concept of an older woman daring to still be sexy... and sexual.

I also recently watched the pilot episode of the new CBS show Accidentally On Purpose (and that's exactly how I watched it, accidentally... on purpose). It has a very different storyline but a similar sentiment: an "older" (she's 37) woman, played by Jenna Elfman, finds herself pregnant after a one night stand with a younger guy... and then hijinks ensue! My favorite part of the episode came when the saucy sidekick (Ashley Jensen) responds to use of the word "cougar" with "I prefer the term lynx or ocelot." Maybe can advertise on CBS instead.

It's time that we put to rest the stupid, sexist double standard that makes it acceptable for older men (or manthers) to date younger women while still shaming the older women who date younger men (or cubs). That's basically the message in Cougar Town so it's pretty stupid for ABC to refuse to back that up with their advertisers as well.

Edited: Some people have contacted us to let us know that the commercial did run(we watched it online so we missed it). However, after some further investigation we learned that it only ran in some areas. The site's founder Claudia explained:

ABC corporate DID reject airing the commercial but some locally owned ABC stations didn't agree with the corporate positioning and decided to run it.
Hope that clears everything up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The One Million Moms Against A Modern Family

Remember a few days ago when I said that it seems like the One Million Moms are just phoning it in with their action alerts lately? Well, I spoke too soon. This week, the Moms are targeting the new ABC comedy Modern Family, which premieres tonight. It doesn't seem like they actually bothered to watch the premiere before condemning the show, but thanks to an advanced screening offer from Television Without Pity, I was able to watch it earlier today so that I'd know just how wrong the Moms are this time.

Let's break down their barely-there action alert:

Let ABC know you will not be watching 'Modern Family'

ABC's new comedy "Modern Family" series premiere is Wednesday, September 23rd at 9:00/8:00 central. ABC claims "Modern Family" will be their # 1 show, but most Christians would disagree.
It's nice of the One Million Moms to appoint themselves as the spokeswomen for "most Christians", and I also enjoy the implication that every TV show on the air has to have the Conservative Christian Stamp of Approval. But I don't quite understand how they're going to "disagree" with ABC's claim that Modern Family is going to be a #1 show. If ABC was saying this was their "best" new show, it would make more sense, but "#1 show" claims usually refer to popularity. (Although I'm sure ABC would also say that the show was great and hilarious and all that stuff.) How are the Moms able to magically "disagree" with the ratings for a show that hasn't premiered yet?
ABC has labeled this program as "One Big, Straight, Gay, Multi-cultural, Traditional, Funniest New Comedy of the fall." ABC wants you to laugh with ALL of America by watching what they call "America's funniest family."

Parents are outraged! The three households, which they call one "unique" family include:

• A homosexual couple.
• These two men adopt a daughter from another country and cultural background.
• A somewhat traditional couple with three children.
• This husband/father is attracted to his sister-in-law.
• She is from a different nationality which they poke fun of and recently married into this family to a man much older than her, and she already has a teenage son.

Wow, gay and multi-cultural? No wonder the Moms are outraged. Of course they have a problem with the fact that the gay couple adopted a baby, but apparently it's also a problem that the baby is "from another country and cultural background". It's also a problem that the father of one of the gay men is married to a younger woman who is also "from a different nationality". (Her "teenage son" is actually only 11, not that it really matters - his age is mentioned in the premiere that the Moms didn't bother to watch.) Yes, this white family has now been adulterated not just with homosexuality but also with not one but two different "cultural backgrounds". What a nightmare. I wish that this action alert had provided some more details as to why a "multi-cultural" family is so terribly offensive and outrageous, because without those details I'm forced to conclude that the One Million Moms are a bunch of ignorant bigots, and I just hate to do that.

The program is confusing to adults, and will be for the children in the show and those who may see it. ABC took every non-traditional issue and rolled it into this one family they call "modern."
Is it really so confusing? Lot of people have big, crazy, complicated families. Oh, wait, I get it - "confusing" is code for 'I'm afraid my kids might see this show and get the insane notion in their heads that there are lots of different types of families out there and that's actually okay'. Also, they act as if there's a value judgment attached to a word like "modern", which isn't necessarily the case. Whether the Moms like it or not, there are lots of "unique" families out there in the world today.


Let ABC know you and your family will not be watching the series premiere of "Modern Family" and any episodes following.

Send ABC an email stating you are outraged by this new program and are highly offended by the homosexual content and the inappropriate age difference of spouses.
We knew that the Moms would object to the gay content in the show as they always do, and they even threw in some bonus racism to spice up this particular action alert. But yes, in case you missed it earlier, they are actually now even deciding for the rest of us what constitutes an "appropriate" age difference for married couples. Where would we all be without their guidance?

As I said, I watched the premiere of Modern Family, and I thought it was okay - not really my thing, but kinda cute and relatively harmless. There are lots of stereotypical TV characters and plots going on: there's the 'spicy Latina', who says stuff like "you live down here, but I live up here!" when her husband tells her she should try to be less "emotional"; the guy who thinks he's the "cool dad" but really isn't; the drama queen gay guy; the mom who used to be slutty and wants to make sure her daughters don't follow in her footsteps; and the grumpy father with an Archie Bunker streak who just (maybe, possibly) has a heart in there somewhere.

I could understand it if some people were bothered by the depictions of some of the characters on this show (although I'd probably give them the benefit of the doubt for a few more episodes rather than judging too much on one half-hour episode), but as usual what offends me is the list of things that the One Million Moms have deemed "outrageous" or "inappropriate". The OMM's claim that the only normal families are the ones that are white, heterosexual, and Christian - and oh by the way, no inappropriate age differences or cultural backgrounds please! - is way more offensive than any goofy sitcom could ever be.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Million Moms Target Glee

Apparently the One Million Moms have squeezed all that they can out of their protest of Secret Life of the American Teenager, so they went looking for a new teen show to be horribly offended by, and they found Glee.

I have to admit that at this point we basically use OMM as a reverse recommendations system. If they're offended by something, we'll probably like it. So when I found out that they were describing Glee as "extremely inappropriate...obscene...vulgar...far from a family-friendly program", I immediately went to Hulu and watched the first two episodes. The show is really cute and fun and I've added it to my DVR. Thanks Moms!

Here's the action alert. The alert is based only on the second episode of the show - we received it the day before the third episode aired, and it's clear that they didn't watch the pilot, which is pretty harmless.

'GLEE' is not another 'High School Musical'

There is singing and dancing in FOX's new television program "GLEE," but this is no "High School Musical." It is far from a family-friendly program. "GLEE" is another show targeting children and teens.

From Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Nip/Tuck," comes "GLEE," a new series which follows an optimistic teacher attempting to save their high school's Glee Club. "GLEE" is not as graphic as "Nip/Tuck," but just as offensive.

The music chosen for this show is extremely inappropriate especially for school activities. The choreographed routines are obscene and contain vulgar dancing which they perform for the student body.

The writers mock Christianity when the principal tries to discipline the Glee Club by having them select their music from a list of songs with either "Jesus" or "balloons" in the title which they translate as punishment.

Similar to most teen shows today all the students can talk about is s*x. Male students discuss grinding, erupting, and how girl's skirts are so short they can almost see their ovaries.

Students show disrespect to their teacher and guidance counselor by telling them to "get a room."

This is only a few of the high points or should we say low points of one episode.

Let's review some of the high points or should we say low points of this action alert.

~Glee isn't High School Musical - Often the One Million Moms complain about "inappropriate" shows being on stations that are supposedly family-friendly. This is a big part of their issue with Secret Life, which is on ABC Family. But Glee is on Fox, not ABC Family or Disney. So while they may be targeting teens with Glee, I don't think it's accurate to say that they're targeting young children or claiming to be a more family-friendly show than they are. The show is rated TV-PG - that means "Parental Guidance Suggested", ladies - and I checked the most recent episode and the rating specifically indicates "some suggestive dialogue" and "some sexual situations" in addition to the TV-PG. So again, the show isn't pretending to be something that it's not, and parents are getting an honest assessment of the show up front to help them decide whether to let their kids watch it. So what's the problem?

~Glee is just as offensive as Nip/Tuck - Seriously? I'm not even going to bother with that one, because anyone who's ever watched even one episode of Nip/Tuck knows how ridiculous that comparison is.

~The writers mock Christianity - It seems like a real stretch to say that the scene where the principal gives out the list of approved songs for the Glee Club is "mocking Christianity" just because there's a silly joke involving Jesus. The point is that the songs aren't exactly rocking Glee Club material, not that Christian music is horrible or that Christianity is stupid. Personally, I like to think that Jesus has a sense of humor and, as Kathy Griffin says, bigger fish to fry.

~S*x strikes again - The alert mentions all of the "offensive" sex talk and the sexy dance routine in the episode, but I'm shocked that they didn't single out Rachel's speech to the 'celibacy club' about how it's stupid to encourage abstinence-only in teens because it's doesn't work, so they should be talking about contraception instead. (I imagine the cheerleader who reacts to this by saying "don't you dare mention the C-word!" as a future Million Mom in training.) When Rachel ends by saying "girls want sex just as much as guys do", I imagine heads exploding in the OMM viewing room. And I can't wait to hear their thoughts on the Acafellas' performance of "I Wanna Sex You Up" at the PTA meeting in the third episode.

~Students show disrespect to their teacher and guidance counselor by telling them to "get a room." - Only ONE student says this, and she's one of the obnoxious cheerleaders. In the scene it's presented as the bitchy girl making a rude and bitchy comment to her teacher, not as if it's a normal thing that any of the students might say.

This is such a thin list of "offenses". I think the Moms are really grasping at straws this time. And it's not like there's a shortage of shows that OMM could protest if they wanted to. Haven't they ever seen Gossip Girl? (Actually, our guess is that they just have the entire CW network on a black list and consider it a lost cause.)

It's also funny how they don't even really bother to flesh out some of these action alerts with a lot of details anymore. They say that "the music chosen for this show is extremely inappropriate" but don't bother to specify which songs they were offended by. (What, they got no love for Journey?) Then at the end they say "this is only a few of the high points or should we say low points of one episode". Well, if that's the case, why don't they list some more? (Don't tell me that gag reflex joke went over your heads, Moms.) It's like they're at the point now where they feel like they can say 'trust us, this is horribly offensive, you should protest it' without really justifying it.

I also have to say that I'm surprised they didn't really say anything about all of the gay content in the show - Rachel having two dads, the glee club having a gay member, etc. Maybe they wanted to save something for the next action alert, and if so you know that we'll be there to pick their arguments apart. In the meantime, check out the pilot episode of this inappropriate and offensive show that we love:

Glee: The Complete First Season is not  High School Musical (Encore Edition) or Nip/Tuck: The Complete Second Season