Monday, 3 January 2011

Let's Discuss ... editing movies for TV.

Pussy. Shit. Tit. All rude words of varying degrees of rudeness, all words sung by John Travolta in the song "Greased Lightin'" from the (s)hit musical "Grease". I've got no problem with this, I love swearing. Effing love it. I've not even got a problem with the fact that these words were sung at just after 4pm on a Bank Holiday Monday. Hell, I wish more programmes had swearing in them at that time. The problem I've got is the inconsistency of broadcasters who make cuts to movies or TV shows. I'm watching an episode of Friends right now on E4, the same channel that showed Danny Zucko swearing up a shit storm earlier this afternoon, and they've just cut out a joke. I know they've cut out a joke because the audience was mid raucous laughter after an edit that stopped the flow of the programme like a dam. I've probably seen this exact episode at least 10 times and can pretty much guarantee that Phoebe doesn't say "Cunt". 

Sometimes, it's not even swearing, it's acts of violence. Like yesterday, ITV1 showed "The Incredible Hulk", a film where the main character turns into a big frigging green giant who smashes anything in his path to bits whenever he gets angry. So, Hulk kicks Tim Roth square in the chest and he hits a tree with a bone crunching thud, which I know happens because I've seen the film before. Except that's not what happened yesterday on ITV1. The Hulk went to kick Tim Roth and then Tim Roth fells to the floor, covered in blood, forty feet away. I know what happened but my girlfriend didn't have a clue. I guess it probably wouldn't have been as bad if it was done during a musical number. 

I'm no prude and I've never complained to OFCOM before but next time "Grease" is on I'm going to. I'm going to because I want people to see a picture of me in a right wing tabloid next to the headline "Freak Is The Word: Mary Whitehouse wannabe complains about lyrics in classic musical". Then I'm going to point out that everyone seems to have forgotten they kicked up a fuss when James Naughtie said "Jeremy Cunt". But I guess if he sung it, it would have probably been okay.


  1. The cuts in the films are often not as obvious as that. More often than not they'll cut to an ad break just before a sequence where someone swears, or throws some abomination into a tree, then they'll cut back and the film will be 5 minutes further on than it should be.
    This Grease thing has always confused me. It was on earlier in the year (I think on channel 4 and around lunch time) and still had the swearing. Yet time and time again I see American shows come over here where they blank out the word " God" in "God damn" never understood it...My theory on it was that they were taking a "don't mess with the classics" approach, or they were told they werent allowed to edit it out, but then why would they show it before the watershed? And why does no one complain to OFCOM about it when hundreds of people complain about programs swearing at 8pm.

    As for the Tim Roth being thrown into a tree being cut, that makes zero sense. In X-Men Mystique effectively walks around naked the whole movie (yeah you don't see any nips but still) and no one bats an eyelid..If I wanna see Tim Roth get thrown into a tree I should be able to. Often I think when I see a film is on TV "Ill just chuck the DVD on" because then you're getting the whole film, no ad breaks, no cuts, how it was meant to be seen..

  2. Let's just hope that they never decide to show In Bruges on TV...