Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's just sex.

Once in a while, I like to watch FOX's "Lie to Me," the semi-detective show following Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth), the psychologist who can spot a lie a mile away by reading supposedly universal body cues--eye twitches, lip curls, hand jerks, etc. The series airs just when Ana is nursing down for the night, and it's brain candy at the end of a long day.

Except when it's brain crap.

Last night's "Black and White," the season finale, began with the usual murder and Cal stumbling about in his increasingly eccentric way (as the show has progressed, as it were, Roth has just played the man "curioser and curioser," perhaps to hold viewer attention?).

Anyway, he sidles into his own home, which he shares with his teenage daughter, Emily, to hears giggles and see boots and clothing strewn about. His usual reaction ensues: He calls out her name, growls and smirks at her boyfriend as the young laddie throws his shirt back on, tells him to get out, and casts a knowing glance at the shocked Emily. It's happened before. Then he orders the boyfriend into the car. Emily wails, "Daaa-aaad! It's just sex."

Come on, Dad! Tell her.

Instead, he leers at her one more time, acts like this is a shock, and orders her to accompany him in the car.

And that was it. Oh, my soul, the lost opportunity! Listen FOX: Here's the moment when Cal could have done something really strange. Something to really draw those viewers in!

Emily: (wide eyes) Daaaa-aaad! It's just sex."

Dr. Lightman: (leering, he swings back toward Emily and earnestly searches said wide eyes) "Just sex? Just sex? Listen, cupcake (or other endearing term), there's no such thing as just sex. Is it just sex when you end up with four STD's before you graduate high school? Is it just sex when you find out you're pregnant and Dick here's not going to support the baby and so you have an abortion and spend the rest of your life grieving for your lost baby and wondering if it was a boy or a girl? Is it just sex when you have to tell your fiance in ten years that you slept with every other guy in your calculus class? No way, cupcake. This isn't any game. And, if my lie-detecting eyeballs tell me anything, I can see this young man has no intention sticking to just sticking you in bed. So, I'm going to take him out back, thrash him, and then make sure you don't spend your next study hall naked with some random guy."

But no. The tough guy, Cal Lightman, didn't say any of that. He couldn't. Because, as his own behavior has shown, it's just sex to him, too. I guess it's okay, since he's over 18?

Or something like that. Now, FOX, surprise me next time. Give me a show I'd watch again with a character with real spine.

That's enough of that.


Gina said...

Did you happen to see anything about this study?: www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2010/09/07/netherlands_teen_sex. And I promise I'm not posting it to be asinine--I've gotten into a few good conversations about it. The actual study is better than Broadsheet's summary and commentary.

Erika said...

Hmm. I read the study and the Salon commentary. I guess I have a few issues with the idea that more accepting attitudes about extra/pre-marital sex would somehow make life better for teens (and, by extension, adults who were once teens) by making sex less secret.

This was also, I might add on the side, a large part of the mentality behind legalizing abortions in the US. "Safe, legal, and rare," baby.

First, I want to see what the abortion rate is in Europe. Fewer teen pregnancies may simply mean the kids are all aborted.

Secondly, although the sex may be physically safer for teens in Europe, I would wager it's neither emotionally nor spiritually safer. Europe is, after all, also the site of a sort of death of the nuclear family and is experiencing population shrinkage. Also, the teen suicide rates for these European countries is almost double that of the US's. Then there's the whole existential angst which people try to measure in various ways.

Spiritually, of course, the Netherlands' attitude is purely post-Christian pagan. If the number one value in human life is to enjoy the moment and stay away from STD's, then of course this seems like a great system. I just happen to believe that we're called to something higher and that there's a better way to treat sex altogether.

Any other thoughts?

The Little House That Grew said...

Ok...the tv just went out to the curb...we don't have cable so that sort of stuff is left for the paying customers. Now it has infiltrated over the air networks. Are we not tired of it? Even the football games are filled with ads that are gross.