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Sunday, 6 March 2005

X Rated: The TV They Tried To Ban, Channel 4

The top 5 things that should actually have been banned
1 – Garry Bushell. Granted he wasn’t actually one of the clips being discussed, but we’re referring to his contribution to this show that should have been banned. His assertion that “like most heterosexual blokes, I’m quite repulsed by gay sex” about Queer As Folk might be true for “most heterosexual blokes” who live in a cave and fly into an uncontrollable, destructive rage the moment they feel the symptoms of an emotion; but most other “heterosexual blokes” can applaud the necessity of such scenes in innovative drama. Also crippled his own argument with his take on the perplexing trait of “most heterosexual blokes” to lasciviously fawn over lesbian sex like that in Touching The Velvet.
2 – Caprice saying “cunt” on This Morning. Perhaps she can swear on every other show in television and get herself banned from them, too.
3 – Channel 4’s Red Triangle season of obscure yet pornographic films that was less a prohibitive warning as an alluring invite like a queen bee flying from the nest pursued by millions of drones all set solely on ejaculating.
4 – The Hopefuls on the Word who abased themselves with such activities as snogging grannies. The logical extension today can be observed in contestants on Celebrity Big Brother.
5 – Shaun Ryder’s foul mouthed antics on TFI Friday. Ryder was obviously invited on simply to create an atmosphere of risk in a pseudo-rebellious show that was in reality more sterile than the Moon. Plus, when Ryder swore the second time during a performance of a Sex Pistols song, it wasn’t mentioned that the song (Pretty Vacant) was Johnny Rotten’s sneaky schoolboy exercise in “secret” swearing (“We’re vaaaaay-cunt”).

The top 5 items they should never have dreamed of banning.

1 – The BrassEye paedophilia special. Even today its critics cannot fathom that it was about the hysterical media treatment of paedophiles. And the clip of how the plan to exile paedophile Sidney Cook in isolationist orbit around the earth was ruined when an eight-year old boy was “accidentally” put on the vessel with him was still very funny. 2 – The Singing Detective, which was the peak of Dennis Potter’s illustrious career and was boosted by the inclusion of a graphic sex scene in an overgrown field between a woman and her lover while her son watched from a tree.
3 – The sex scenes in Queer As Folk that unfortunately seem to this day to still define the show, when really they were integral character-building elements in an excellent drama about the gay community in Manchester.
4 – Derren Brown’s hoax séance, which some of the complainers still cannot accept was just a complex ruse that illuminated how easy it was for a skilled illusionist like Derren to trick people into believing something.
5 – The Sex Pistols on Bill Grundy’s show that catapulted them to national notoriety. Imagine if it hadn’t happened and the country had been left with an injurious diet of Yes and Genesis, where we’d be now. Phil Collins is enjoying his seventh term of office as a benevolent dictator; children must sing hymns of adoration to Rick Wakeman before each morning assembly to the tune of an indulgent keyboard solo; and everyone is required to worship at statues of Cliff Richard which adorn town squares all over Britain. The Pistols weren’t great (Lydon’s best work was in PiL) but their legacy is.

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