Filth Takes a Holiday?

The New York Times reports that producers of less-than-successful Broadway musicals are reducing the obscenity and profanity content of these shows in order to attract wider audiences, including more families and school groups. (So not all fourth graders talk like South Park?) Devoted as the Times is to pushing a transgressive vision at its readers, as William McGowan documents in Gray Lady Down, it must have cost them something to print this news, and yet they did. Or maybe the disappointment was offset by being able to report that The Book of Mormon continues to be successful.

Also, in a slightly different vein, Sarah Jessica Parker tells Vogue that Sex and the City was made in different circumstances from those of today: “It was such a different time in the city, culturally, socially, economically . . . the kind of liberty that Carrie Bradshaw had. You couldn’t start off with a story like that today.” Perhaps what she means is that now that she has two sweet little girls of her own, also a focus in the Vogue article, she doesn’t like to think of them grown up and sitting around coffee shops with girlfriends discussing the taste of semen. Especially since one of the actresses once told Diane Sawyer that the four women who starred in the series didn’t talk in real life the way they do in the show. That’s just for the audience. Right. Meanwhile, the series, with its outlandish view of female life, became part of the syllabus for at least a couple of college courses, one at MIT no less, which examined “the show’s unorthodox treatment of issues such as marriage, dating, sex, gender roles, and career and family balance.”

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