Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saving Grace

I decided to take the night off and watch what I'd TIVO'd over the past week. A brand new series, Saving Grace,(TNT Network) was first on the list. I've always been a fan of Holly Hunter's grit and spunk that she brings to her characters. This was no exception. Grace is a hard drinkin', hard lovin', hard livin' cop who, deep down, has a heart that yearns to be still and pure. She's soured on life and is fairly certain that redemption doesn't lurk in her living room. All that changes with an angel who's reminiscent to John Travolta’s archangel character in Michael.

It’s a good show, and I was willing to become a fan of this summer replacement except for the fact that Holly and the TNT network felt it perfectly okay to include vivid sex scenes and graphic language on a public access television station. What’s going on here? Is television so eager to shock and titillate that they’re willing to forgo what’s sitting directly in front of them – like great writing? This show has real promise, in my opinion, so why do they need to sell out for the cheap stuff? The mantra that sex sells gives way to a downward spiral to quality and cheapens everything we see and touch. If “the people” want this, fine. But put it where it belongs; on subscription TV like HBO and Cinemax.

As a writer, I prescribe to the ideal of creating scenes that elude to situations rather than shock. It’s a sad day when the merits of a book or movie are judged on whether we saw a couple getting it on and the grittiness of the language. It’s a natural predilection to want to push the envelope – to see what we can get away with. From all appearances, it would seem that we can get away with a great deal. But has anyone stopped long enough to ask whether we should? Is Saving Grace a better, stronger series because we get to see Holly Hunter in the buff banging it up with some guy against a wall? I still have an imagination and am very happy to put it to use.

It takes talent, and, apparently, guts these days to produce something that doesn’t go for pure shock value. Executive producer, Holly Hunter, and TNT took the easy and predictable way out, and seized a piece of our humanity along with it.


R1X said...

I guess they make a choice over what it is they want their tone to be. 24 manages without swearing and sex, as does Lost... but then they're trying to pull in the teenagers as well. Perhaps Saving Grace wants to be adult only...

I tuned in for Dirt's first episode and was put off by the truly horrible characters... it wasn't made any better by the sexual content - boring!

There's nothing to care about when people are sh*gging.

SeaSpray said...


I wholeheartedly agree with you! Eloquently said!

Also, 24 has violence and yet it is not as extreme as we see in the lesser quality shows.

I do think it takes talent to capture an audience with good writing and acting without needing the sex lure or shock value.

I think sometimes our imaginations can finish the romantic scenes(think old movies crashing on the shore) better than what they portray.

Lynn after I read your stuff - I again question why I am writing a public blog. Gosh your good! :)