Skip to comments.Children Sink into Adult Swim
Posted on 08/19/2011 4:09:43 AM PDT by Kaslin
A man wearing a Santa hat sits on a roof. He's talking to his ex-girlfriend on a cell phone, trying with feigned cheer to wish her a Merry Christmas. He asks if she's with her new boyfriend. Yes, she replies, and she's with her whole family, opening presents. He says, "That's great, because I have a present for you," and he saws off his own head so it falls down the chimney into the fireplace.
This isn't a horror movie. It's a cartoon, filmed in stop-motion animation, like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It runs on the Cartoon Network, which is owned by Time Warner. And it's aimed at children.
This horrific little severed-head sketch was part of a show called "Robot Chicken," which has aired for years on this network. Nobody watches that, you say. Think again: "Robot Chicken" has turned up on a list of the Top 25 shows watched by children aged 12 to 17.
Some might say all this "fun" is clearly designed for young adults, not children. It's after dark, when the Cartoon Network turns -- from Jekyll to Hyde -- into the Adult Swim Channel. But that's not at midnight. Since December, it's been moved into prime time at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central. Even before that, Nielsen reported in 2008 that the top U.S. networks for teenagers were Fox, Nickelodeon, Disney ... and Adult Swim.
Speaking of Christmas, that show also has a cartoon of a man tied up for a stoning, with Jesus saying, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." As men beginning dropping their rocks, Jesus then whacks the tied-up man in the head with a rock and yells "Blammo!" Mocking Jesus is an ongoing theme; In another skit called "Jesus and the Argonauts," when all his men leave, Jesus complains "Oh, Dad damn it!"
In a new survey of the top 20 animated cable shows, the Parents Television Council gave an A grade to Disney and Nickelodeon for its top cartoons. But the Cartoon Network and its "Adult Swim" bloc earned an F for excessive sex, violence, profanity, and drug use.
In watching just 123 programs in a four-week study period, the PTC documented one thousand four hundred and eighty-seven examples of offensive material ... on cartoons. On average, young viewers were exposed to this junk once every two minutes and 19 seconds.
Let's go through the numbers. There were 680 sexual references or depictions. Some were typically sleazy, and some went way beyond. In one episode of "American Dad," eponymous character Stan breaks in on a child molester named Randy, who's trying to seduce his son, Steve, along with other boys. Stan pulls a gun on him, but Randy stands his ground.
"Look, I'm a sex offender. I love offensive sex," he proclaims. "I offend people with the sex I have. That's who I am, and it's who I'll always be."
Stan finds that inspiring. "My God, boys! We can all take a page from Randy the Molester's book. He's comfortable with who he is! And I should be as well!"
These cartoons were loaded with 565 incidents of explicit language -- much of it bleeped out of necessity, even by today's bohemian standards. For example, in one "American Dad" show, the teen character Barry screams into the school public-address system that "You [bleeps] are going to do what I say or I will put my [bleeped G.D.] foot so far up your [bleeped A-word] you will rue the day that you crawled out of your mother's [bleep]."
In another "Dad" episode, Francine, the sitcom's mother character, hates George Clooney so much that when her husband calls Clooney a "future Senator from California," she explodes. "Oh, I will chop his [bleeped F-bomb] head in two." It's a violence-and-profanity two-fer.
There were 242 references to drug use. Here again was Adult Swim, replaying a "King of the Hill" show where a friend tricks young Bobby into making crystal meth for a science project at school. She later tricks him into making more drugs at home and sells the meth to a trucker. It's another uplifting plot line for children, don't you think?
If you think this isn't aiming "adult" material squarely at children, check out how this network often rates its sleazy programming: TV-PG, or acceptable for children under 14 with parental guidance "suggested."
Idiot box for idiots. Even the commercials are “idoitized”.
I hope this guy never finds out about South Park on Comedy Central...
Doesn’t matter. Parents don’t “parent” anymore. They “free range.” Children now call the shots, particularly in middle class, white, suburban, divorced homes.
They don’t have a bedtime; do what they want, when they want, where they want. Are consulted on what house to buy, where to eat out, what vacations to go on, etc. etc.
My 77 year old strict, old world parents are totally shocked at how three year old Junior makes all the food shopping decisions at the grocery store.
I might have taken his point more seriously if he hadn’t gone on to trash “King of the Hill,” which is probably the most consistently conservative sitcom of the past 20 years.
Perhaps it is a sign of my age but I have cut TV viewing down to just a few hours in the evening. With access to hundreds of channels I can go days without finding anything worth watching. Fortunately I have other sources of entertainment.
Hollywood has an agenda. They could not care less what conservative think, in fact I would go as far as saying if we objected to something, then they will have considered their efforts a success.
The generation or two before us probably thought the same thing. But honestly, I just don’t see how this old world is going to continue much longer.
Mr. Bozell might be shocked to learn about time-shifting Tivos. Time of broadcast no longer equates to time of viewing. Does 'prime time' even mean much these days, especially on cable?
Ditch the cable and we don’t have these problems.
This is useful. The only time our children have cable tv available is when we go on vacation, and we’ll be at the beach next month. I’ll have my husband consult the property owner about parental controls on the televisions, or failing that, have him disconnect the cable at the house junction.
Concur, the real issue is the parenting—not the media. Adult Swim is clearly labeled “Adult” and (I believe) its on after 10PM. If parents let their kids watch it just because its animated, then its their fault—not the fault of the show’s producers. The fact is that once a kid has access to the Internet, its game over. They can look at just about anything, including unlimited amounts of porn. Given what’s out there, trashing Adult Swim is a little disingenuous.
I agree. It’s for adults. Put Parental Controls on the box.
It sounds a lot like South Park, frankly.
Living, as I do, in a cable-less insulated bubble, I’m pleased that Mr. Bozell is offering this information. I just emailed my husband to have him find out what we can do about the cable-tv in the beach house.
I don’t want to spend my vacation going from room to room all night turning televisions off and clobbering people. I don’t want televisions on even if they were watching religious programming - that’s why we have only one, and it’s in a cabinet with a padlock.
Same stream of thought that took a very conservative and patriotic bugs and road runner/coyote and drove em out. Convinced it was to allow a liberal workover before reintroducing bleh
Well, if people keep cancelling their satellite and cable service due to the economy, this may not be a problem any more. It’s up for consideration at our house.
But still... it is about parenting. My kids aren’t allowed to watch it.
It is indeed about parenting
The bit about “Randy the Molester” above is obviously satirizing a liberal attitude, and could even be construed as “conservative”. That, however, does not make it suitable for children....and usually what is not suitable for children is not healthy for adults either.
The same is true for South Park. Just because something is clever, well written, and pokes fun at liberal ideas does not make it redeeming and wholesome content, if at the same time it is wallowing in crude scatological humor and foul language. I can clean the stuff off of my shoes when I step in it, but once it gets into my brain via my eyes and ears...it stays.
Adult Swim is at least clearly labeled. It’s the shows on channels like Teen Nick and Disney that feature the next hyped up over-sexualized thirteen year old making out in the middle school hallways that you have to look out for.
You miss the whole point, my friend. I like King of the Hill too, although there is occasionally some stuff on it that I think is trashy. But he was saying that it is not appropriate for children.
No one should watch television, especially not children.
The crazy thing is, a lot of networks will no longer show Bugs Bunny, and those that do often edit certain sections out...because Bugs is considered to be too violent! It’s insane.
“I hope this guy never finds out about South Park on Comedy Central...”
Or “Family Guy”, everywhere, on broadcast TV, at all hours.
Family Guy is probably the filthiest, most subversive, truly awful show that has ever been shown on American broadcast TV.
And yet there is even a Stewie (the evil baby) balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which fact boggles my mind.
Look I’m not going to lie, I like the show (sort of), it’s hysterical (often), it makes fun of liberals (sometimes), but it’s just, just, just....horrendous, that’s the only word for it.
The only explanation I can come up with is that things move sofast! on the show that much of it goes right over people’s heads.
Although how you miss the “Prom night dumpster baby” song and dance routine, with a Busby Berkley style line of poor discarded newborns swinging their umbilical cords, that I just don’t know.
My favorite was the Barbershop Quartet telling the patient that he has full-blown AIDS.
I love Hank Hill. I would love to have him as my neighbor!!!
I’m with you. I got rid of my television 7 years ago and don’t miss it at all. It’s all dreck. When I go to a friend’s house and they let me flip through the channels, I flip a few times and then hand back the control and just turn my chair so the back is to the tv (because most people seem to need it on even when company is there.)
“My favorite was the Barbershop Quartet telling the patient that he has full-blown AIDS.”
Although I don’t think I ever saw that one, I feel like I can picture it in my head right now! “Yooooou have AAAAAAAIDS!”
Hubby and I always joke about the one where it’s the end of the world, or something, and the family ends up in some isolated place that is actually safe, but they leave because Randy Newman is there and he incessantly sings EVERY SINGLE THING that is happening.
My kid was older when this show came on, if I had little kids I wouldn’t let them watch it, obviously. And I think it is wrong the times it is on.
I remember years ago some local NY channel showed “Midnight Cowboy” at 6 pm on a Saturday afternoon. I ran to change the channel and as my brother in law pointed out: it’s not called “Dinnertime Cowboy”.
You have aids
Yes you have aids
I hate to tell you boy that you have aids
You've got the aids
You may have caught it when you stuck that filthy needle in here
Or maybe all that unprotected sex you adhere
It isn't clear
But what we're searching for is you have aids
Yes you have aids
Not H.I.V. but full blown aids...
Be sure that you see
That this is not H.I.V.
But really full blown aids...
Not H.I.V. but really
Full blown aids
I'm sorry I wish it was something less serious.......
FULL BLOWN AIDS..
You've got the aiiiiiiiiii----iiiids..