The end of FX’s Sons Of Anarchy is nearly upon us. Everyone is handling their grief in their own way. Conan O’Brien, for instances, hosted a wake/celebration with cast and creator Kurt Sutter of the long-running biker drama on his TBS late-night show last week. The Parents Television Council today coped with the impending demise of its poster child for a la carte cable by bestowing on the show’s most recent episode its Most Sexually Explicit Content PTC Has Ever Documented On Basic Cable status.
In case you missed it, the episode opened with approximately 2 1/2 minutes of sex among several couples – not all at once, instead opting for the shockingly conventional two at a time.
Entertainment Weekly explained the opening sequence best, telling its gentle readers that “what has been affectionately dubbed ‘the f—ktage’ at FX”was not gratuitous, rather illustrated “everyone essentially trying to f— away the pain of Bobby’s death” — each in his or her own away. Their pain management ranged from Jimmy Smits “completely naked” and “humping a bored Katey Sagal from behind” to “whatever it was [guest star] Marilyn Manson was doing,” as described by one of show’s many fan-recappers.
And, though defenders are quick to note the episode lacked full-frontal nudity and ran with a TVMA-LSV content rating, PTC still claimed it was explicit content “of the type previously available only on a la carte premium networks or pay-per-view.”
“Families should not be forced to underwrite pornography,” the org complained. “Cable Choice is a solution whose time has come, and there could hardly be a better example of it than this. We call on Congress, the FCC and the Federal Courts to give cable consumers real choice when it comes to deciding which networks they actually want to purchase.”
PTC insists that FX has, for years, “been pursuing a path to be as explicit as HBO, yet still be included in the forced-bundle of advertiser-supported networks that every cable or satellite subscriber must purchase through their monthly bill.”
The group said today: “If FX wants to be like HBO and air this kind of explicit content, then they should become a premium network. But they won’t, because the cartel-like leverage they currently enjoy is too lucrative. And if history is our guide, we should expect a host of other basic cable networks to air similar – or even more explicit – content in the name of ‘staying competitive.’”
PTC did not seem to have an issue with Jax having torn out Cartwright’s eye with his bare hands in the episode, leaving it dangling from the socket, and then chopping off four of his fingers in case Cartwright had missed his point. If it did, PTC did not mention it in today’s news release. PTC also did not note the episode high fatality rate — or the fact that the ultra-violent episode had ended on a wholly unexpected and sensitive note in which wild-eyed Tig (Kim Coates) professed his love to transgender prostitute Venus Van Dam (Walton Goggins).