Skip to comments.Toxic Beverly Hills
Posted on 09/06/2008 5:27:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
For months, the CW network has been pushing its reworking of the old teen soap "Beverly Hills 90210." When it finally debuted, Entertainment Weekly magazine joked: "'90210' is the Sarah Palin of TV shows -- it's new, it's pretty, few people have seen it in advance ... and its main purpose is to remind you of a trusty old product while adding some new vigor and soap opera to the cultural discourse."
Put aside that nasty insult aimed at the new star on the political scene. It's the "new vigor" phrase that's salient. The lame, recycled "90210" opened with -- an oral sex scene.
Mark your clocks: That's five minutes into the family hour, at 8:05 p.m. Eastern time. That's 7:05 p.m. Central, when teens have just finished supper. The strategy to lure teens with adult sexual matter continues. Those teens -- it is a show for teens -- were introduced to the refurbished show's brand-new teenager characters by having a girl walk up to a car in the school parking lot on the first day of school, and find her love interest in his car with a sort of panicked, yet winded reaction. Then up came another girl's head from his lap.
Obviously, this show is high on over-the-top shock and low on authenticity if it thinks that in broad daylight, at school bus-unloading time, teenage boys are having sex in the driver's seat of their cars. But all that matters is the shock.
CW executives might argue that the audience approves of this show. Publicists crowed that the "90210" debut set "network records," but this is like saying someone achieved their personal-best 100-yard-dash time of three minutes. It brought in 4.9 million viewers. But the cable network TNT easily topped that with their new legal drama "Raising the Bar," which opened with 7.7 million viewers. It's also unclear if the show's ratings will remain at the debut's level now that the curious viewer caught a sleazy sample.
As for the show's stars, they're already showing time-honored Hollywood hypocrisy. Jennie Garth, one of the original "Beverly Hills 90210" stars who signed up for the sequel, suggested parents should watch the show first before letting "your young kids" watch it. When asked if she would let her young ones watch, Garth exclaimed "Hell, no!"
The CW executives failed to screen the show's debut for TV critics, probably because they knew it was going to be mocked as sub-standard. More importantly, they refused to screen the show for CW affiliates, this despite promises they've made to regulators in Washington that program managers out in the community could have some say in their programming. How many affiliates would have flat-out refused to run this trash? They also refused to screen it for advertisers, but they caved halfway and eventually showed it to advertising agencies.
Kristin Dos Santos of E! Online was astounded at the sex plot and confirmed the suspicion that top brass pressed to add smut. She told "CNN Headline News," "I was shocked when I saw that because I had read the entire script, and that was not in the original script." She said CW hadn't finished filming yet. "So clearly, someone, a higher up at the CW, whoever it may have been, decided at the last minute that they needed to inject some sex into the show to make it more like 'Gossip Girl,' to create a bigger buzz."
CW knows no bounds in creating "bigger buzz," and will stop at nothing to get children to watch its smut. They marketed this '90210' debut with the shocking sex plot by using BusRadio -- a service that broadcasts audio exclusively into school buses populated with children as young as 6. The BusRadio website aggressively boosted the debut, complete with video clips touting the show: "Get ready for the two-hour event everyone will be talking about."
One critic of the relatively new bus service struck the obvious note: "BusRadio sells itself to school districts as an age-appropriate alternative to FM radio, but once again they've demonstrated that they don't know or don't care what age-appropriate means."
The show is also being promoted on such child-centric merchandise as backpacks, school supplies, cosmetics, T-shirts and sweatshirts. The CW network continues to enjoy marketing sexualized programming to children. It's surprising there's no word yet on whether CW will introduce its own line of promotional condoms or other sexual products.
The flailing, failing CW network is in dire straits. Their overall ratings stink. Their CW-affiliated stations are beginning to drop the "CW" out of their station logos -- and that now includes even Chicago powerhouse WGN, their signature affiliate. This sleaze-selling strategy will result only in the latest in a line of CW flops and fiascoes.
In the meantime, now, thanks to CW, parents have to worry about poison on school buses.
I’ll be surprised if this lasts more than a season.
My son tells me that the boys carry porn games in their hand held game devices.
I attended BHHS in the late 70s, and actually....
Never heard of them until now. I’ve been blessed.
Television has become more base with every passing season. Offended, yes. Surprised, no.
But what I am shocked about is the part of the story that describes the BusRadio. When did this happen? Do any of you Freepers have children that ride a bus with BusRadio? Were you given a say in deciding whether your school district uses this? BusRadio has a captive audience. Video and audio messages tend to “sink in” more effectively than a lecturing teacher.
Why do some adults believe that children need to be entertained every second of the day?
The legacy of bubba xlinton continues.
PTC representatives have testified before Congress and have gone to the Annual Shareholders' meetings of giant corporate advertisers and read out the filthy scripts of offensive tv broadcasts in primetime, causing uproar and action. They have helped shut down many an offensive show, but the struggle is ongoing and requires support from citizens who care about the issues. Check out the PTC web site.
The author of the above article, Brent Bozell, was the PTC's president for many years, remains a PTC columnist, and is also the brother-in-law of the late William F. Buckley Jr.
Something can be done! Ping to post #10...
It’s even easier than that. Just turn the useless babble box OFF.
Yes, that astonished me, too. Talk about a captive audience!
My kids are homeschooled, except for the one in college.
Actually, my hip 20-something black female coworker was laughing at the show-- because the token black character in the cast was "adopted."
That's only a solution for you. Taking a few moments per year to join an organization and be counted helps the entire country.
Thanks for the info on this. I’ve joined and will inform a Christian co-worker of this as well.
We also homeschool two boys. This is just another great reason!
I'm so glad! I hope you find it worthwhile, as I have all these years since it started.
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