Plonking down on a friend’s sofa, I braced myself for some trashy screen therapy courtesy of Now TV. The last thing I expected was the star of the show: the censors.
In one soapy moment – in a show called Mistresses, or something like that – two women are talking about their sex lives.
“He didn’t give me just one [silence] but three [silence].”
Sorry, what are you on about? He gave you three oranges? He gave you three orangutans?
What is wrong with Star World? Why has the female orgasm been reduced to a dirty word – given the same silent treatment as f**k and s**t and other four-letter terms that hang out with asterisks?
And it’s not just the words, the pictures also have the censors working overtime. In another show, the pixelation button went into overdrive to conceal a woman’s décolletage as she leaned over to remove ... a tray from an oven (yes, censorship is alive and kicking on those filthy cooking shows). The madness continued into the night, when a programme that sets out to discover the next big fashion model – you know the one I mean – showed one woman with a huge chunk of her chest pixelated for fear the viewer might glimpse a nipple through her shirt. It seems those pixel fairies like to stay up late – just like adults (hear that Star World? ADULTS).
So blood, gore and violence are OK (and don’t get me wrong, I love a good ol’ battle scene) but heaven forbid we might see a bit of cleavage or hear a reference to sexual pleasure.
According to Wikipedia, Star World is “a 24-hour Asian English language cable and satellite television channel owned by STAR TV and Fox Networks Group” that “mostly syndicates popular shows from the United States, the United Kingdom and sometimes Australia to appeal to English-speaking locals as well as the expatriate population of South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia”.
Appeal? I don’t think so.
What the channel does manage to do, however, is turn dramas and reality shows into comedies – which, I suppose, is quite an achievement in itself.
Thank the lords for downloads and Netflix, so that us adults can enjoy our favourite shows without losing the plot – in more ways than one.