So who watched the Teen Choice Awards or, in a less subtle rephrasing, who will admit it? I did, and part of it is because I’m a fan of pop culture. And Glee. But that’s not it entirely. In all honesty, the teens caught me two years ago when I was weak and impressionable with that whole Twilight Saga thing. But it was strictly that. If this was the era when our youth was all over, say, wizards, or witches, or magic, or spacemen, or anything but that inexplicably appealing vampire tale, I wouldn’t pay attention. I was going to say that next year when the teens move onto something else I’ll not care one whit, but you know what? Next year there will still be a Twilight phenomenon, same with the year after that, even though Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson will also be a) consulting plastic surgeons, b) embarking on a calcium regimen and c) investigating Hollywood “mid-life” roles. So I watched. The appeal of Justin Bieber’s white pants suit coupled with his 16-year old Canadian faux gangsta thuggery remains a mystery, but that’s just me. Speaking of teens and what they want vs. what their parents want, here’s some controversy we can court: there are lots of brand new shows headed our way this fall. One of the most buzzed about newcomers stars William Shatner (himself no stranger to fandom and teen-choosing about forty years ago). Point is, his new program is now in some scalding H2O. The show’s called “!@@$^&* My Dad Says” and it was based on a Twitter blog /book by the same name. However, a very influential group called The Parents Television Council sent letters to more than 300 advertisers who are regularly visible on prime time TV and asked them not to advertise until they change the name of the show. This will continue to be, I am certain, a dicey topic indeed. (Why someone didn’t point out that the title might simply be a little dumb & confusing is beyond me). A quick check to the headlines says that while a lot of parents are indeed upset by the term (or what’s being substituted for the term) there are now a surprising amount of parents who just don’t seem as bent out of shape about it. What do YOU think? Having grown up in a family where bad language was not tolerated, I still wince reflexively when I hear it on TV now. Similarly, I’ve worked in radio where you don’t cuss because if you do, your radio station gets fined, which frequently means you get fired. So I’m not crazy about the bad language in a public forum. I’m all for free speech, but (as we witnessed at the Teen Choice Awards) if kids are anything it’s impressionable – they find role-models like heat-seeking missiles and if those role models are swearing, obviously the tots will too. What I do wish, however, is that these same groups who get all sanctimonious about verbiage would maybe get a little more sanctimonious about the violence on TV which, I guess is all anybody wants to watch. I predict that this hubbub will generate lots of viewership for the show right off the bat, and then, given the preview I saw, it’ll begin to seem like a one-trick-pony with a few funny one-liners and then it’ll wither and die on the vine pronto and parents will forget they complained and they’ll go back to letting their children watch shows with respectable titles where grisly murders and dismemberment are the norm. But again, that’s just me.
The Vice President’s wife, Jill Biden, has appeared in an episode of Army Wives. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these actors who became politicians is your favorite:
1) Arnold Schwarzenegger
2) Clint Eastwood
3) Fred Grandy
4) Fred Thompson