Tattoos, Woods, rabbits and unrealized promises

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A TV host getting tattooed on live TV, one of the lovers of the world’s most famous golfer, rabbits being slaughtered on Survivor, popular series that don’t materialize.

And where are the children of refugees and the young men?

Just a small selection of recent comments from viewers.

A number of viewers had comments when Tilde De Paula allowed herself to be tattooed on Nyhetsmorgon Söndag [News Morning Sunday] yesterday.

“How can a TV host be allowed to get a tattoo on live TV?” wondered Margareta, for example, while others feared that this would cause young people to emulate her.

This is of course the most common comment when it comes to morality and ethics for a TV show: it might influence the children.

Other viewers reacted to other issues:

“Watched a news story on Christmas day about ‘refugee children’ who were smuggled into Sweden in a container. I think the anchors managed to get ‘children’ or ‘refugee children’ into each broadcast about 7-8 times. What’s going to happen to these refugee children? Sure, Sweden will follow the Convention on the Rights of the Child when it comes to processing their asylum cases. Then there’s a trailer where someone states that ‘the children’ were five young men who must be between the ages of 17 and 35 years. Sure, you see what you want to see and if you claim that they’re children well then that’s how it is and you can draw your own conclusion,” thinks Gunilla.

Many viewers responded to TV4’s coverage of the Tiger Woods affair and don’t think TV4 should be a gossip channel, in the words of one viewer:

“How can you guys sink so low as to start airing shows about people being unfaithful? Tonight you’re airing a show with an interview about Tiger Woods’s alleged lover.

This is tabloid media fare and does not have any value for society. You are contributing to demoralizing society by airing this program.

Isn’t it enough that Elin and Tiger and their children have their own hellish situation to resolve without your making
the people of Sweden revel in their misery? I really thought that would steer clear of rubbish and bullshit. Low, TV4, low. Shape up!”

Tiger Woods’s unfaithfulness has been covered by all the Swedish news media. Is this a new trend?

Ten years ago this story would only have been covered by the evening papers and the tabloids.

Why is this?

The Swedish connection? The idealized sports idol?

Or have the Swedish media, perhaps in the middle of a press crisis and financial crisis, been becoming more and more alike?

Quite a few viewers were also morally enraged when the Survivor gang caught two rabbits for dinner. Lots of people contacted the station and once again the focus was on the children, should this kind of thing be shown on a family program:

“Hi!
I often think people are being ridiculous when they get all worked up about trivial matters and send you unnecessary, stupid questions and comments, but now I feel like I just have to write to you. I’m sure you’re getting a lot of criticism about tonight’s episode of Survivor, and here’s one more. I think it’s TERRIBLE that the rabbits being slaughtered and their screams were included. Sure, there was a warning about tough-to-watch scenes, but that doesn’t matter. It would have been enough to show the rabbits beforehand.”

All of the protests will of course be taken seriously and of course the criticism will reach producers, programming executives, schedulers, and program directors.

But — is Survivor a children’s show? And isn’t the issue of survival one of the most important ingredients in the show Survivor?

And of course parents get to decide what their children are going to watch.

When it comes to series there are lots of favorites and a lot of viewers ask when one or another series will be on again.

The protests have almost died down over the fact that Emmerdale Farm is on hiatus until March, but a few people are asking about Heartbeat and it is doubtful that there will be another season of that.

Another common question is when Lost and 24 will return—yes, they’re coming, but the most common questions lately have been about Flash Forward, which was supposed to return now in January.

Unfortunately there is going to be a delay. The American production company has decided to halt production until March.

And then of course we have yet another blast from the past. I received this e-mail from one of the receptionists who, in addition to regular work, also does a great job helping me respond to a fair amount of e-mail:

“Hi, Janne!
I promised to pass on to you an opinion from a woman I spoke to today. It was about an episode of the Bold and the Beautiful. Since it is a very short episode, she and many other people in addition to her thought there was a lot of advertising. She understood that nothing can be done about the advertising but suggested that we ought to show several episodes in a row instead of one every day. Maybe instead just show episodes two days a week, since then it won’t feel like the ads are taking away as much ‘programming time.’”

And finally I can’t help but quote this one:

“Hi and thanks for YOUR wonderful efforts on behalf of us viewers and listeners: NO AMOUNT OF PRAISE IS TOO MUCH! I am a 76-year-old who watches the Saturday and Sunday morning shows as often as I can, Lasse and Tilde are both great,  wonderful hosts, but we are headed for lighter times, but let’s HOLD OFF ON ALL THE SPRING-LIKE FEELINGS; winter has just started!
Thanks for hearing me out. Most gratefully and sincerely yours, LARS”

On the other hand lately I’ve been in e-mail contact with a viewer who first claimed that I’d come up with the title of guest professor to put on airs, then backpedaled a little bit but still thinks I’m an incompetent, conceited fusspot and feels sorry for the viewers and students who are forced to deal with me.

That’s just the way of it!

Happy New Year!

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