Posted by: thezedword | October 12, 2008

TV here is bleep and blur free, mostly

Back in the States, there’s a “safe harbor” time on television. Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., shows can be a little dirtier, nastier and less safe for children. It’s how NYPD Blue could show butts on ABC and why nothing on FX starts before 10. I think the safe harbour time starts around 9:30 here in New Zealand. I’m unsure of the reason why, though it could be because kids traditionally go to bed earlier here, or because, like Britain, people are a little more acceptable of nudity and foul language. On a side note, things start on the half-hour here because prime time starts at 7:30.

Our first weekend in our flat, we caught a dating show with five guys and one British girl. They don’t know they’re competing against each other; they think they’re the only guy vying for the girl’s interests. On their different dates they go through tests. They get drunk with the girl’s parents so she can see how the men cope with family under pressure, she sends them home at night without kisses to see how they react, and, in my favorite test, pretends to get mugged to gauge how capable the men are at protecting her.

Maybe not a passing response, but the funniest by far, was when a German suitor, probably a little drunk, chased after the mugger, screaming, “HEY! HEY! YOU MAMAJAMMA! GET BACK HERE!” (Except he didn’t say mamajamma, but a word that starts in “mother” and rhymes with Tucker. I realize it’s a bit ironic to censor myself in a post about the lack of censorship, but my Mom reads this stuff! This is also the reason no pictures accompany this post.) He followed the guy in hot pursuit, screaming and then threw a beer bottle at the make-believe mugger. He nailed him in the back, the actor dropped the purse, and on an interview admitted he was terrified of the German.

All of this went bleep free, from the “mamajamma” to the drunken retorts with her parents. And that was on basic TV, a broadcast we got over rabbit ears. Girls Next Door — or Girls of the Playboy Mansion, as it’s called here — shows on two networks. On C4, repeats air fully censored as they would in the States. During the day on E!, it also runs the same way as it does back home. After 9:30, however, it’s all boobs, all the time on E!.

Along with Girls of the Playboy Mansion, Sunset Tan runs in the raw, unedited form. It only really means something for Girls and Sunset Tan, as opposed to the channel’s other shows, because on those two people curse and get naked as often as they breath. E! even seems to have a nudity hour. At 11 p.m., they show Naked and Funny, which is basically Candid Camera-meets-naked women. At 11:30, a special edition of Wild On airs called Naked Wild On. Unfortunately, it is not hosted by Brooke Burke anymore and it’s really just Girls Gone Wild.

While most of the European programming is like this, not everything imported from the States is so liberal. Discovery Channel leaves their shows entirely as they run back home. When they almost kill themselves on Deadliest Catch, the foul-mouthed fisherman are still suitable for church and Mike Rowe’s dirty mouth on Dirty Jobs is still cleaned up thanks to network censors. When the Jon Stewart lets an F-bomb or two fly on The Daily Show, it’s also bleeped, though I think it’s funnier that way for some reason.



  1. “Mamajamma”, lol! It would’ve been funny if he actually said that!

    When you leave New Zealand, you should try Brazil! We have cable too! (E!, FX and everything) I like watching Sony and Warner, mostly sitcoms like Friends, Two and a Half Men, Scrubs. And sometimes some FX late at nigth…

    (It is funnier with the bleeps.)

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