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Do you remember Gossip Girl's brilliant advertising campaign of a few years ago, which featured racy photos of its beautiful young cast and scare quotes from outraged organizations that made it seem like the most subversive, glamorous, parent-angering orgy you could ever see on network television? They were great; unlike MTV's adaptation of Skins (and, I'll admit, this is probably because GG was never as racy as Skins), the show realized that what's a negative to a group of professional finger-waggers like the Parents Television Council is probably a positive to teens. (Their styles may change decade to decade, but they always want to piss off their parents.)
So the PTC is stuck in a bit of paradox, but it's one they don't get or don't care about, because they've gone on the offensive again: the target this time is MTV's new twenty-something drama I Just Want My Pants Back.
Here's what PTC president Tim Winter had to say:
Once again MTV is taking HBO-style content and marketing it to a Nickelodeon-age audience... The network programming executive is on the record saying 12-year-olds are in his crosshairs. And the TV-14 content rating is intentionally misleading for parents and for advertisers. The Parents Television Council will not sit silently and allow this affront to go unchallenged.
In case you're wondering, Winter is misleadingly referring to the fact that the entire demographic range of all MTV's programming is twelve to thirty-four, but facts put in context are less fun. Anyway, Winter has come up with the best plan ever to scare advertisers away from this small-screen Caligula:
All of MTV’s advertisers, including Dr. Pepper, T-Mobile and Toyota, will be asked if foursomes and a woman who tells her sexual partner to ‘stick a finger in my a**’ are an accurate reflection of their hard-earned corporate brands.
Yes. Excellent plan, Winter; definitely not kind of hilariously uptight and dirty at the same time, like some repressed housewife from a raunchy '80s comedy. In case you're curious — which you probably are now, because, hey, foursomes and ass play — I Just Want My Pants Back airs Thursdays at 11 p.m. (Why would your twelve-year-old be watching MTV at that time anyway?) It's actually not that bad, in a trying-very-hard sort of way. And now, thank to the PTC, all of you can check it out!