Have you kept up with the seemingly ever-changing TV rating codes? Long ago it was simple enough. An X rating meant it was nasty stuff for a variety of reasons. An R rating meant it was racy, but not in a NASCAR sort of way. Everything else was pretty tame.
We are more sophisticated now. The ever-helpful TV industry provides parental guidelines as a public service. Now we have Y, designated for all children; Y7, designated for children 7 and above; G, general audiences of all ages; PG, parental guidance suggested; 14, parents strongly cautioned; and MA, which means unsuitable for children under 17.
Under 17? Yeah, right. As if they don’t know what’s going on.
There are also extremely helpful subratings. There is V for violence; S for sexual situations or activity; L for coarse language; D for suggestive dialogue; and FV for fantasy violence.
I remember the first time I tuned in a program and noticed the new ratings. I think it was an early episode of Nip/Tuck. Before the show starts, you get this black and white warning with a voice over saying, “The following program contains stuff that will damn near offend most anyone. Parental guidance is advised, which means, you aging Baby Boomers will probably need your Millennial kids to watch this with you to explain what’s going on.”
Later, this was added: “The following program is rated MS-LSV. It is intended for mature audiences only.”
The first time I heard that one, I thought to myself, “Heck, I’m a Boomer, and I even know what ‘mature audiences only’ means.” That would be me.
But MS-LSV? Let’s see: Does AARP offer a guidebook on this? I think not. But since I am a highly educated and erudite college professor, I figured the MS meant “Me, see this?!? The L must be for Levitra, and V of course is for Viagra. That’s probably because the S doubtless means sex. Got it. Start the show.