No, boys, don’t get too exited. Even though my collection of action man dressed in skirts keep growing beautifully on my windowsill, this time I m actually discussing the electrical box.
Yes, well, I know the devise is in this century probably the *opium of the masses* (or whatever you say in English), but, as some of you know, I have a lot (a lot) of time in my hands lately, to make story short, 3 major surgical procedures in my hips in the last 18 months have left me in a kind of limbo which doesn’t allow me to use my body a lot, and as the medication is damaging the use of my brain (yes, a bit more) I’ ve been investigating a variety of programs on cable television.
Now, having grown up with Brazilian TV, although my role models came from cat woman, Ms Peel and man from uncle (with hilarious doubling in Spanish or Portuguese), I m used to the almighty Gods of Brazooka TV, the all powerful TV Globo, who uses their soaps and mini series to teach most of the population things they don’t have access to, from history stuff, like what happened in the turn of the century when slavery was abolished and the Italians came to help us out, to what cloning is, passing through surrogated mothers or how mother and daughter in love with the same guy dealt with leukemia saving the family in the process, any issues, serious or funny, bordering ridiculous or just whatever is going on in the world, you name it, we Brazilians had a tele production of it.
But why I m talking about it, you ask?
Watching TV for endless hours with a critical eye brought me to a question…..what are the tele bosses trying to tell the audience about BDSM?
Let’s take a look, for example, at the different approach the Americans seem to have to this….Since march I paid particular attention to crime series. You can watch Homicide, life in the street, Law and Order, Special Victim Unit, CSI, yes, I know, how can a nation produce so many programs about the same bloody (literally) thing, but there are many more. And all of them have something in common, once in a while, like just dropping it, they ll show you how the main suspect has his or her house searched and...Oh, surprise, cuffs, whips, paddles; even books on the subject come to life.
In some of these programs couples have their children taken away by social services, there was even a case in which they make the wife describe how her hubby disciplines their daughters with a paddle, guy suspected of killing one of them, case never sorted…..and here is where I find the obscure thing, cases are either not sorted, or, even if the guy (or woman) is cleared of murder, they have most definitely given a heavy message to the audience illiterate on the subject… No wonder other parents look at us a bit weirdy when we go pick our kids at school…….
On the other hand we have the light, almost confessional way which British TV takes the subject….., and I m not talking about Granada’s Men and Motors incursion on the fetish scene, I wont talk about it because I happened to be in the very first shooting they did with our almost Oscar nominated Captain Zip, (I was, of course, undercover) and suffering the woman presenter live was enough for me not to endure the process through the box, but if you have never seen Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps, you are certainly missing on something.
I have to admit I don’t watch British soaps, as my life is dangerously flirting with misery at the moment, don’t think I could go through Eastenders without putting the little sanity I have left at risk, but I haven’t yet seen this kind of approach in British TV.
So, is it an American thing?
Probably not….remember the case of a well known Master fired from work because of his ties with the scene, and I m certainly in no hurry to find out what the social services in this country think about parents who play….
But I had a nice surprise a couple of weeks ago. A program called Judging Amy, main character a young single mother who is a judge, her mother the lady in charge of the Department of Children and family. So this social worker lady goes into an elevator in a building that could be the Hilton, finding to her surprise a bunch of ppl in costumes, naughty school girl, nurse and pimp, said pimp happens to be one of the foster parents they deal with…..
C&F proceeds then to investigate, my surprise being to them showing you how one of the social workers, a late twenties guy shows his excitement to find out exactly where this *Sexual Role Playing between consenting adults* convention was being held, and not to bust the attendees but to his own personal enjoyment.
Then adults are interviewed, then, (but of course) children are interviewed in something hilarious like have the foster parents ever made them wear costumes? Have they ever seen them in costumes? Are there any costumes lying around the house? To what the kids ask: are there any costumes missing from the department? Is there a problem with costumes? Social worker replying, still confused, that no, there seem to be NO problem, kiddies go back to foster parents and live happily ever after.
There was another episode of this same thing in which a married man and his lover are cornered to explain some photographs in which the lady appears after what seems to be a terrible beating, the lady giving the whole explanation about BDSM , safe words et all….
Do we think BDSM is now being a bit better understood? Or is it the trend which makes the TV bosses soften up on the subject? I don’t know. But, to be honest, I m quiet happy to see that series and soapy type programs on TV are starting to show a different and more real approach to the whole thing….up until recently, if you were an outsider trying to find out what BDSM is through the documetal kinda program, you were bound to get the wrong idea.