During the week I’ve watched the increasing opposition to the BBC screening Jerry Springer the Opera on BBC2 last night. In a way the protests made me want to watch it even more – what is all the fuss about. People who had seen the show on stage generally reported that they enjoyed it; although the swearing was mentioned, the blasphamy was never covered. Of the 2 areas, it seemed that the comments about Christianity were causing the most offence. However, this is the first time I’d heard these types of comments even though the show has been on stage for a while – so why is putting it on TV any different. There is still on off button – you don’t have to watch.
We don’t have free speech enshrined in any constitution as the US does; in fact, as a nation, we have practised censorship for many years. One of the weirder aspects of the Lord Chamberlain’s job! The BBC are as guilty of doing such things in the past, eg Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Relax in the ’80’s. But times change, standards change and the BBC, as the public service, has to change with it.
Was I offended by the show? Not really. Most of the swearing was used as you would here in normal speach patterns and to quite good dramatic effect, just a few lines were too much for me personally (of course, having the subtitles on makes it more obvious!). Did the comments on Christianity upset me. No – but I’m a lapsed Catholic, not someone who would get upset. I got bored in the first half. I don’t watch these types of shows on TV, so a parody of them missed the mark with me a little. The second half I found had some really interesting commentary about forgiveness and morality, especially the ending lesson – look after yourself and others. This is as valid for the pople who are desparate to get on these shock shows as it is for all who are watching. Look after others and yourself. Very good philosophy.
And the post title..great line from the song about having a Jerry Springer moment. That, and wanting smacks form Moma, are definitely going to stick in the head.