Monday, May 9, 2011

That's Entertainment!

I just got finished watching eighty five year old, actor, Dick Van Dyke promoting his new book, and reminiscing about the Dick Van Dyke Show. One of the interesting issues he brought up was how carefully they were censored during filming. They were not allowed to say the word pregnant, they had to sleep in separate beds, and they even had an issue with Mary Tyler Moore wearing Capri pants. All I could think of is how far have we strayed from those ideals. Humor and a interesting dialog, has been traded for sex and exhibitionism. It's no longer the quality of the story line, but how outrageous you can be that draws the attention of the viewers. Basically, talent has taken a back seat to exploitation.

I watched a movie in the theater, the other day, for the first time in decades, I loved the story line, but I couldn't help think of how the movie has two totally unnecessary sexually suggestive scenes that added absolutely nothing to the plot. Just because you have license to, does not require that you do, do! It's like adding spice to your cooking, there is a point where you've detracted from the flavor of the dish itself. Pouring chili powder and cayenne pepper all over pudding may make it spicy, but the dessert doesn't call for that.

If you going to produce a love story, so be it. That's the time and place for romance and sex. I swear they'd put a sex scene in a documentary just to prove they could get away with it.It seems like there is a constant nudge to see just how far society will allow Hollywood to go. Hollywood should self censor themselves, let's get back to entertainment that features talent, and a story line that grabs your attention because of it's quality, not because of how risque it can be.

Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Griffith, Julie Andrews, etc all made careers based on entertaining the viewing audience. They played a part, made you believe they were living it, and never compromised their talent. The understood drama. Theater reflects life, so I'm told, today's product suggests we've lost our morality, and compromised talent for sensationalism. While the examples I've used above are old school, it reveals how far back we have to go to find our morality. The steady decline of our culture is reflected in our entertainment. If we self censor and demand a better product inputted to our society, will the output not reflect it? Where society's problems different when the above actors entertained us?

God Bless!
Capt. Bill


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