Drinking on TV??

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Drinking on TV??

Postby Watson on August 5th, 2016, 7:49 pm 

Did some TV rule regarding alcohol change recently? Seems all the late show hosts are offering the guests cocktails and shooters, and Colbert is having a beer in the monologue and drinks with the guests. They even make a point of telling the audience it is gin in the coffee cup. Even daytime shows have the hosts sampling the cocktails on air. What happened? I'm only noticing because it is suddenly so prevalent, in such unnecessary context. Did they all just turn 18/21?
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Serpent on August 5th, 2016, 8:23 pm 

I suspect an old rule has been struck down. On fiction shows, people are depicted as drinking all the time. All the time; no two businessmen or spouses can have a serious conversation without pouring scotches all around first. Some clever lawyer must have asked "So why not on talk shows?" And the Network Executives answered, "Okay, as long as it's after the children are in bed." Whereupon the lawyers retorted: "They're already doing it in reruns at 7 and 8 pm, and nobody's been hurt, so what's the difference?" to which the NE's replied, with a collective shrug, "He's got us there, fellers. Yeah, whatever."

It's not bothering me particularly - I'm usually having a beer right along with my favourite shows. But you're right that it's unnecessary and not always appropriate.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Watson on August 5th, 2016, 11:22 pm 

It doesn't bother me either way. It is just curious they all seem to be going so far out of their way to make such a point of it.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Serpent on August 6th, 2016, 12:21 am 

They think it's fun. Like dogs let off a leash. The liquid in the cups is probably tea, since they don't want to look stupid on tv, and Chris Hitchens is gone (So it's okay to call him Chris. Apparently, he didn't like that.)
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby d30 on August 14th, 2016, 10:53 pm 

Is this not hypocrisy? Smoking has long validly been greatly curtailed if not virtually banned from TV. Until the latter years of his long "Tonight" show career, e.g., Johnny Carson smoked regularly on the show. Finally, second-hand smoke was discovered circa 1990, and I presume it was that, smoke's secondary effect on others present, that ended it.

The point is that, besides its acute damage to the drinker's health, drinking causes all manner of (second-hand) harm to others. More than once I've seen official statistics showing that alcohol is involved in 50 percent of traffic casualties, crime, fires, domestic violence, and more. Alcohol is a gigantic contributor to national health care costs - surely involved in many other illnesses and deaths besides cirrhosis.

As surely claimed of cigarettes by those seeking to ban it, drinking on TV is inescapably de facto promotion of it. Should it not also be banned from TV?
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Serpent on August 14th, 2016, 11:53 pm 

Seems the liquor lobby won a round.

Actually, I find it odd that nobody smokes on tv anymore, especially in productions that are supposed to take place in the 1930's or 60's, when I recall people smoking in offices, movie theaters, hospitals, restaurants - everywhere, except in my school. These days, the only thing anyone on tv smokes is a cigar. I guess cigars haven't been banned because nobody takes them seriously. Banning the depictions of alcohol use in fictional programs would be even more unrealistic. Especially when many of the stories include the use of illegal drugs. Alcohol is still legal, tobacco is still semi-legal, and people still indulge in both. Why pretend it's not so? We're watching fictional characters rape, torture, shoot, beat and blow up other people, none of which are productive social activities or recommended to youngsters. More people die of overeating than alcohol, but they haven't banned all those bacon ads.

But real people, using their real names, on interview or news-magazine shows ought to set a good example.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby JMP1958 on August 15th, 2016, 1:02 pm 

Serpent » August 14th, 2016, 8:53 pm wrote:Seems the liquor lobby won a round.

Actually, I find it odd that nobody smokes on tv anymore, especially in productions that are supposed to take place in the 1930's or 60's, when I recall people smoking in offices, movie theaters, hospitals, restaurants - everywhere, except in my school. These days, the only thing anyone on tv smokes is a cigar. I guess cigars haven't been banned because nobody takes them seriously. Banning the depictions of alcohol use in fictional programs would be even more unrealistic. Especially when many of the stories include the use of illegal drugs. Alcohol is still legal, tobacco is still semi-legal, and people still indulge in both. Why pretend it's not so? We're watching fictional characters rape, torture, shoot, beat and blow up other people, none of which are productive social activities or recommended to youngsters. More people die of overeating than alcohol, but they haven't banned all those bacon ads.

But real people, using their real names, on interview or news-magazine shows ought to set a good example.


I don't think that the FCC has any ban on depicting smoking on TV. However, I'm sure that there are workplace rules about smoking on most if not all TV sets. The thing about drinking is that you can simulate it by drinking colored water, etc. but with smoking, you have to be smoking something. That means exposing the the actors and crew to the health risks.

Smoking on TV was so much more prevalent on TV in the 50's and 60's. Mainly because tobacco companies were huge advertisers, and they pushed to show people enjoying tobacco on the shows they sponsored.( one of the only shows to buck this was Star Trek, and they had to resist a lot of pressure from the studio.)

Hell, they even had commercials using the Flintstones:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAExoSozc2c

A lot of what is or is not allowed is determined by the networks own Dept of Standards and Practices and not by FCC rules. For instance, the network that aired "I Dream of Genie" decided on its own that it was inappropriate for Barbara Eden to expose her belly button.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Braininvat on August 15th, 2016, 1:24 pm 

The thing about drinking is that you can simulate it by drinking colored water, etc. but with smoking, you have to be smoking something. That means exposing the the actors and crew to the health risks.


This is a commonly held belief, but is no longer the case in the entertainment industry. A friend of mine is an actor, and has told me about the fake cigarettes that are now required in all productions. The "smoke" you see consists entirely of water vapor - it's somewhat like holding your nose in front of a room vaporizer, so if you have the flu it may even be somewhat therapeutic. Most studios have been using this technology for several decades.

I find that the stale cigarette smoke odor in a room is pretty unpleasant, if you don't smoke, so I'm glad that the nasty habit has been abandoned in the 24th century. At least on starships. Who knows what those scruffy dilithium crystal miners are doing, when they step outside for a minute...
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Serpent on August 15th, 2016, 4:10 pm 

Who knows what those scruffy dilithium crystal miners are doing, when they step outside for a minute...

They slot a VR chip into their space helmet and visit Reisa II for virtual quickie.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Braininvat on August 15th, 2016, 6:10 pm 

Haha. Makes sense, since Harry Mudd's women lost their sexiness when the Venus drugs wore off.

Lest I totally derail the topic, let me add how relieved I was to learn David Strathairn used those faux-cigarets when he played Edward R. Murrow. That was some serious chain smoking. And completely essential to that biographical portrait.

What's really hardcore in recent acting performances is Christian Bales' s rapid weight losses and gains for The Machinist and Batman Returns. Robert DeNiro had to gorge himself for Raging Bull, but small potatoes compared to Bales' yoyo-ing.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Serpent on August 15th, 2016, 8:19 pm 

It seems as hard to be an actor as an athlete.
Let's hope the writers who must do the late night talk-show circuit in order to publicize a book don't get hooked on scotch.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby d30 on August 16th, 2016, 4:13 pm 

JMP1958 » August 15th, 2016, 9:02 am wrote:The thing about drinking is that you can simulate it by drinking colored water, etc. but with smoking, you have to be smoking something.


Hi, JMP1958 and welcome to this fine Web site / forum. (pretty new myself)

Even if it's fake alcohol on TV dramas, etc., it's still alcohol that is being de facto promoted, including to kids (and alcohol figures to be as much a "gateway drug" as the booze-biased are always selectively demonizing "pot" for).

That means exposing the the actors and crew to the health risks.


Depicting alcohol use on TV exposes all to massive health risks, not just actors and crew at a studio, by promoting use by more and more people. The statistics already cited show that universal second-hand harm and tragedy: alcohol is involved in 50% of falls, auto "accidents," fires, domestic violence, etc.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Serpent on August 16th, 2016, 5:07 pm 

d30 » August 16th, 2016, 3:13 pm wrote:
Even if it's fake alcohol on TV dramas, etc., it's still alcohol that is being de facto promoted, including to kids (and alcohol figures to be as much a "gateway drug" as the booze-biased are always selectively demonizing "pot" for).

I'm pretty sure they're not promoting it on kiddie-time, but only after 9 pm, and most of the talk shows are on way past teenagers' bedtime. More places are legalizing pot all the time, which means it won't be selectively demonized anymore, once the marijuana industry is allowed to advertise. Anyway, do you think they wouldn't know about alcohol if they didn't see it on tv?

Depicting alcohol use on TV exposes all to massive health risks, not just actors and crew at a studio, by promoting use by more and more people. The statistics already cited show that universal second-hand harm and tragedy: alcohol is involved in 50% of falls, auto "accidents," fires, domestic violence, etc.

Then, the first thing you need to ban is advertising, reality shows and fictional depictions involving fatty foods, sugary foods, beef, peanuts and soft drinks? More people get sick and die of what they eat than what they drink.
What about robbery, domestic violence, street-fighting, shooting, stabbing, kidnapping, arson, reckless driving and throwing people out of windows?
Ban the news to stop the spread of copy-cat mass murders.
(Actually, that's an idea I've advocated before.)
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby doogles on August 16th, 2016, 6:01 pm 

I'm having a small problem in finding where to start on this topic, so many mixed thoughts are running through my head. Virtually everything that's been said so far in this post about the 'evils of alcohol' is correct. Yet we've tried PROHIBITION and it was a failure for many reasons.

I was a teetotaller until I was 22. Some of the most miserable days in my life were during those late teens and early 20s at functions where I was the only sober person amongst my drunk mates. Once I saw the light and began to imbibe, my only regret was that I did not begin to do so years earlier - although having said that, the jury is still out as to whether early moderate drinking damages the brain.

At 85, I still imbibe between zero and 8 standard drinks daily. In 1975 I gave up totally for 3 weeks. I did not NOT feel any fitter or healthier. In fact I was largely miserable. I missed those moments of alcoholic stupidity. Even my wife says that I'm a total bore when I'm sober for days on end.

Now I know I've left myself wide open for you all to comment here about how this explains the stupidity of my posts etc.

But one of the facts of my life, which I enjoy very much, is that many of the funnier real life events I've heard about or experienced, have been associated with drunks. It's sad about the other side of alcohol use, but then, as Ned Kelly said just before he took his last big step, was "Such is Life".

Every culture has problems of one kind or another. I'd be surprised if hunter/gatherer communities did not have their own similar problems.

As an alternative to cultures that tolerate alcohol use, can I ask you to picture in your mind a huge culture that we already have on this planet that BANS alcohol. This culture takes life so seriously that its members take insult at any sleight on their integrity and at the moment, are responsible for more mass killings than any other culture.

Also bear in mind that Hitler was a teetotaller, and the leader of Britain was a brandy addict.

I think it helps if we all make a fool of ourselves once in a while, and of course, alcohol helps this.

I'm not advocating open-slather, but rather sensible use, based on the principle of avoiding ABUSE of alcohol. I define abuse of a substance, any substance, as being present when a person uses that substance to the extent that it causes harm to either that person or to society in any way as a result of that degree of use.

The words 'éducation' and 'social example' slot in here.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Natural ChemE on August 16th, 2016, 7:45 pm 

Watson,

Shifting viewer demographics may be involved.

For example, these quick numbers suggest that some TV viewership is up on average, but it's due to older folks; younger folks are watching much less each year:
    Image.
So, I dunno exactly what's behind drinking on TV, but my first guess when it comes to broad cultural changes on TV shows would be a response to shifting viewer demographics.

Also, age was just a quick example, but I'd guess there're more trends, e.g. probably one in socioeconomic status. TV's are now pretty cheap and accessible, but more affluent folks are likely switching to more internet-based entertainment sources. Probably more trends at play, too; America's racial makeup, political beliefs, etc., all shift over time.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Braininvat on August 16th, 2016, 8:06 pm 

Doog, if you knock back up to "8 standard drinks" daily, then the intelligence and insight in your posts is all the more phenomenal. Wow. 8 drinks, any day, would put me on the floor, and make me pretty sick, which illustrates that alcohol impacts people differently. Though I enjoy a local red ale now and then, I've generally not found alcohol to be my friend or confer valuable intervals of stupidity and foolishness. (Yes, I've achieved them without alcohol....it's a special gift!)

As with all social drugs, it is very difficult to separate out the purely physical effects of alcohol on health. For example, are moderate drinkers healthier because of the social rituals and expectations that go with imbibing, or is that brew a genuine health beverage? The science is tricky.

Prohibitions always prove futile. Partly owing to the basic human fact that a mature and free mind recognizes that one of life's great joys is being able to take risks and try things that are bad for you. Unless we all become Amish or Shaker, I.e. join a totalitarian cult, there will always be vice and rites of passage. And experimentation. It's often good to have a sober friend nearby to monitor some experiments, so perhaps your teetotaling years, Doogles, were of some use?
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Natural ChemE on August 16th, 2016, 8:18 pm 

doogles » August 16th, 2016, 5:01 pm wrote:At 85, I still imbibe between zero and 8 standard drinks daily.
Braininvat » August 16th, 2016, 7:06 pm wrote:Doog, if you knock back up to "8 standard drinks" daily, then the intelligence and insight in your posts is all the more phenomenal. Wow. 8 drinks, any day, would put me on the floor, and make me pretty sick, which illustrates that alcohol impacts people differently.

Seriously! Gotta say that this surprised me.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby Serpent on August 16th, 2016, 8:42 pm 

The key phrase there was "between 0 and 8". This would describe my drinking habits, as well.
Zero tends to happen when I either forgot to go to town before a long weekend, or after I got a little too close to the 8 on a long wakeful night. Normal would 2 or 3 beers. (Only because it's the only drink I can enjoy anymore; in former lean times, it might have been home-made parsnip wine; in flush times, Lacrima Christi or Jamieson; in ignorant youth, port or rum punch.)
Old age suck enough with a few crutches; without, life might be quite unpleasant.
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Re: Drinking on TV??

Postby doogles on August 17th, 2016, 4:10 am 

I have to admit that I have never had to be put to be bed by anyone because of over-imbibing. I’ve never reached the stage of not knowing what I’m doing. I’ve always been able to drive home from parties in the early hours of the morning on country roads in the days before alcohol limits were placed on driving.

Up till about the 1960s, all cars had an emblem on the top of the bonnet, centre front. If, when driving, you lined this up with one eye at the junction of the gravel verge on the road and the bitumen, you stayed on the correct side of the road and got home safely.

That’s also what I had to do one night in 1956 when I was in the middle of our football premiership dinner.

After the grand final which our small country town team won as Premiers and Champions (we’d kicked over 3 times the score of opponents during the season), I’d had to rush straight off to a cow having difficulty calving about 20 miles away. So I missed the celebrations on the day and relished the opportunity to partake of the official Premiership Dinner in our local Hall. At about 9.30 PM I was in a pleasant alcoholic state when I was told that the owner of the general store next door had received a message that Hector Perrett had a cow down with grass tetany (We didn’t have answering machines, beepers, or mobile phones back in those ‘olden days’).

Now grass tetany is a metabolic disease of dairy cows in which death can occur in 20 minutes to hours; they can’t wait till the only local country vet sobers up. I arrived there okay, but as I leaned forward to listen to the cow’s heart with my outreached stethoscope, my unsteady momentum carried me forward to the point where I did a somersault roll over the cow and finished on my back the other side.

So for a while the farmer not only had his cow down and unable to get up, but he had the vet down on his back beside her as well.

As usual, I managed to recover my feet and treat the cow without any problems and the only damage was my personal pride. Having said that, I have to add that in the 1950s, nobody ever lost ‘Brownie’ points for being inebriated - so long as they got the job done. Nowadays I probably would have been ‘dis-membered’ from professional organisations.

Times change and we all have to change with them.

My wife and I now alternate roles as driver or party participant when we have to drive to functions. If I’m the driver, I religiously count my drinks (usually 2 standards). If I’m being chauffeured, I just don’t religiously count, but I do realise that I may or may not have a fifth. If the company is good, I may drink practically stay almost sober.

As I said in my last post, we now have to drink responsibly – without abuse of alcohol.

The only time I reach 8 is if I’m at home, not having to drive or to address any important issues.
Naturally, if I see people apparently imbibing alcohol on TV shows, it doesn’t worry me. We all have to be PERSONALLY responsible about where, when and how we use alcohol.

Again, slot in ‘Education’ and ‘Social Example’ here.
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