The entertainment blues


Netflix, Belgium - 01 Apr 2019

Dear Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, and all other streaming video services,

I like watching your streaming TV service on occasion, but something has to change. You’ve been on the cutting edge of TV production for several years now. You’ve taken what started off as a three-network entertainment landscape to the next level by offering original content of your own. That’s pretty impressive, but I have an issue with that original content.

You see, I’m not a fan of using profanity in entertainment just because. I certainly don’t see a need for the salacious content that’s common in your original productions, either. If prurient content is what I want, there are other resources to explore.

Netflix, you’re the most guilty of this. Perhaps that’s because of the deluge of original programs you’ve released in recent years. Most notably, for me, is the recent addition of “Designated Survivor.” I watched the first two seasons of this show on ABC and now that it’s yours, you’ve taken its occasional mild profanity up a notch by lacing it with strong profanity. True to life in Washington, D.C.? Perhaps, but since when does a viewer look to entertainment for true-to-life content? (The observer effect of physics disqualifies “reality” TV from the mix.)

Hulu, you’re not blameless here. I started watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” and was surprised at the graphic nature of its sex scenes. Just because there was no nudity doesn’t make it appropriate or necessary. I’ll never know what’s beyond the first sex scene in the first episode because I refuse to indulge in “entertainment” that’s intended to do nothing more than stimulate. Yes, that one scene—all however many seconds of it—was enough to lose this viewer, in spite of the solid story line of the show.

CBS All Access, I’ve only watched a couple of your originals and found unnecessary profanity in both. I don’t object to profanity as much as I do sexual content, but when it’s done in abundance, it’s hard not to notice. No other “Star Trek” show or movie I’ve seen has contained as much profanity as “Star Trek: Discovery.” Same goes for “The Twilight Zone.” Why is there a need for so much profanity?

I realize ratings and advertising revenue are the driving forces behind your content. However, continuing down the path you’re headed is alienating a sizable portion of your prospective audience—a segment that’s seeking entertainment the entire family can enjoy without creating uncomfortable and inappropriate viewing situations.

All I’m asking is that you find a way to determine how much of your audience objects to the profanity, nudity, and graphic sex, then produce a matching proportion of original content that will appeal to that audience. Simple. On paper, at least.

Thank you for your time.

A concerned viewer

3 thoughts on “The entertainment blues

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