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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Mrs. Patridge Promotes Drug Abuse and Intergernational Sex?

Posted by on December 31 at 9:43 AM

So Shirley Jones, AKA Mrs. Partridge, is in a new movie! You can read all about it in an AP story headlined “Mrs. Partridge in Sex Romp in New Movieā€¯.

What’s this — the matriarch of the Partridge family in bed with a 24-year-old stud? It happens in “Grandma’s Boy,” a boisterous comedy produced by Adam Sandler’s company. “It’s a different role for me,” laughs Jones, the star of “Oklahoma!,” “Carousel,” “Music Man” and other squeaky-clean movies… The fun starts, she related, when three housemates — played by herself, Shirley Knight and Doris Roberts — find a jar left in the kitchen by a previous tenant. The contents look like tea, so they heat up a brew. What they’re actually sipping is hashish. That’s when things get wild with a group of fun-loving young men.

Sounds like fun—and the commercials I’ve seen for it are pretty entertaining. And I love hash and fun-loving young men. But I can’t help but wonder what a certain TV mom who appeared in a series of newspaper ads decrying Hollywood’s love affair with sex and drugs would have to say about Shirley Jones appearing in a film that glamorized drug use and intergenerational sex.

The ads were taken out by a conservative group known as the Parents Television Council, and they complained about the “filth, vulgarity, sex and violenceā€¯ promoted by Hollywood, which “is undermining the morals of children, encouraging them to have premarital sex, encouraging lack of respect for authority and crime, and shaping our country down to the lowest standards of decency.ā€¯ The Parents Television Council still exists and claims to be “reaching millions of potential supporters with the message that we are here to help families take back the airwaves and stop Hollywood’s corrupting influence,ā€¯ and pitching fits about Desperate Housewives and Paris Hilton eating a burger in a Carl’s Jr. commercial. (The PTC’s Wikipedia listing walks you through the groups founding and their involvement in the Janet Jackson’s Boob War.)

So who was that TV mom who appeared on the PTC ads? Why it was Shirley Jones, Mrs. Partridge. She not only appeared in the ads, she was the PTC’s co-chair at the time. (Steve Allen was the other co-chair.) You could argue that there’s nothing hypocritical about Jones portraying a character who uses drugs and bangs 24 year-olds in “Grandma’s Boy”—it’s a movie, not a television program. (And not, praise God, a documentary.) Since “Grandma’s Boy” is rated R—”for drug use and language throughout, strong crude and sexual humor, and nudityā€¯—kids under 17 can’t get in to see it. But like all R-rated movies, “Grandma’s Boy” is going to wind up on cable—first, HBO or Showtime, then on basic cable—where it will, without a doubt, be seen by children who will, without a doubt, demand sex from their grandparents immediately after the credits roll.

And that’s why the Parents Television Council is calling on the Feds to regulate cable—to protect impressionable children from the kind of smut that their former co-chair is starring in:

Over-the-air broadcast networks have to abide by decency standards. There is, however, no such jurisdiction over cable television, which is far more offensive. Cable companies enjoy a virtual monopoly forcing consumers not just to take offensive programs, but to pay for them. This is unconscionable.
The PTC kicked-off its campaign to call attention to grossly indecent content on basic cable at a national press conference on Capitol Hill. Less than a month later, lawmakers in both the House and Senate are echoing our sentiments by calling for a crack-down on cable indecency and urging the cable industry to give consumers better options.

I have nothing against Jones appearing in a movie about a hash-using, young-stud-banging grandma—the woman has to make a living. (And it’s not as if this is her first intergenerational sex romp: She played Drew Carey’s much, much older girlfriend for a couple of years on “The Drew Carey Show.”) But it seems to me that someone—like, say, the AP reporter who interviewed Jones in her home—should ask about the contradiction between her past work with the PTC and her current willingness to appear in a movie like “Grandma’s Boy.”

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Would they ever make such a movie with the roles reversed? 'Grandpa's Girl'? I seriously doubt it. Double standard.

Not all of her movies have been 'squeaky clean', have they? Shirley Jones played a prostitute way back in 'Elmer Gantry' and won an Oscar for it. She always did seem a bit more slutty than other TV moms.

Yeah, I always got the vibe that Rubin Kincade was banging her.

But making tea? out of hash? They need Danny Bonaduce to show them how to hot-knife the shit.

So far the legal justification for the FCC's regulation of acceptable speech has been that broadcasts going out over publicly owned airwaves must conform to community standards because the signal comes into your home whether you ask for it or not. Whereas you have to request cable, which means you have the choice of not watching if you find it objectionable. So far I think similar reasoning has been also used to protect a lot of internet content. Which is why you are able to have a site like this one where writers can swear and talk about horse sex etc without having to have an age-check to screen out young readers.

Would you support a system whereby content providers like cable companies would be forced to offer customers the option of not taking channels with adult content? That would at least be consistent with the "don't like it, don't watch it" model, which seems more likely to preserve free speech (like the kind that allows you to post your dirty, dirty column on the internet) and avoid creating some enforcement body tasked with ensuring that every word, image and sound transmitted over airwaves, wires or fiber optic cables anywhere in the U.S.A. maintains a level of decency appropriate for five-year-olds.

Oh, and Impossible Prince? They do have a "Grandpa's Girl" movie. It's every movie Sean Connery/Harrison Ford/Woody Allen has made for the last decade or so.

Sorry, don't know much about movies with Sean Connery/Harrison Ford/Woody Allen..I avoid at all costs. How about a 'Grandpa's Boy' movie? I think the movie screen would explode if they showed that.

How about Bea Arthur and Hillary Duff in
"Granny's Girl?"

Susan Dey! Susan Dey! Susan Dey! Put her in one of these movies.

They don't have to make a film fantasy version of "Grandpa's Girl"ā€”that's real life. Donald Trump, Larry King, Michael Douglasā€”older men with women who are young enough to be their daughters or granddaughters is our day-to-day reality, not some hilarious role-reversal that lends itself to comic treatment.

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