One of the enjoyable things about having a forced day off from work is that you can sleep a little later than usual and then wake yourself up at your own pace. I choose to do this by spinning around the television dial to see what shows are on. I donâ€™t plant myself in front of the television all day watching game shows such as â€œSale of the Centuryâ€ or â€œWheel of Fortuneâ€ but I do catch a sitcom or two as I do a few of the mundane chores.
This morning I clicked the remote and ended up on â€œGolden Girlsâ€ on Hallmark Channel. Hallmark Channel bought the syndication rights last year sometime when Lifetime dropped (or forgot to renew) their rights to broadcast the show and in the process the made a really big deal about it. Hallmark Channel tends to broadcast very safe, family friendly programming, so I was a little surprised when they decided to show â€œGolden Girlsâ€ because back in itâ€™s day the show was a little edgy.
I wouldnâ€™t be a gay man of the 80s and 90s if I didnâ€™t know my â€œGolden Girlsâ€ episodes so I know that Hallmark has done a lot of slicing and dicing of the episodes to make room for more ad revenue. Lifetime did the same thing during their run, but Hallmark is showing completely re-edited shows. The only good thing about this run is that they are showing the proper credits for the season the particular episode is from.
Now I have mentioned before that I have spotted some dialogue editing in some episodes. The editing mentioned in the linked blog entry irritated me but I let it slide. Well today I spotted another one that pissed me off to the point that I have decreed that Hallmark Channel will not be watched in this house again.
The episode in question is #52, â€œOld Friendsâ€. Originally broadcast on September 19, 1987, the story features a young girl named Daisy. In trying to make friends with the young girl, Blanche mistakenly gives her Roseâ€™s treasured teddy bear to her. This crushes innocent Rose and realising a gold mine, Daisy holds the bear for ransom. As Blanche tries to explain the problem, the normally always pleasant Rose becomes irritated and tells Blanche, â€œcut the crap and get back my frigginâ€™ bear.â€
Hallmark silenced out â€˜crapâ€™ and â€˜friggin’â€™. The covered the whole line with a very out of place and very loud laugh track. The line is funny but itâ€™s not roll-down-the-studio-aisle funny by any stretch of the imagination.
What irritates me is that the line made it past NBC network censors in 1987. Itâ€™s not like Rose exploded with a â€œwhat the fuck? Cut the shit and get my bear back, bitch!!â€
Hereâ€™s the thing. I understand that Hallmark Channel owns the rebroadcasting rights to â€œGolden Girlsâ€ and I guess can do whatever they want with it. I have no issue with that. Thatâ€™s how the U.S. works. However, I do NOT believe that the artistic integrity of a program that has already been broadcasted continuously for the past 20+ years should be edited to make the show conform to the moral standards of the channel. If you donâ€™t like the content of the show, then donâ€™t purchase the rights, donâ€™t broadcast it. If I were to put out a record with some questionable lyrics and expected airplay, I wouldnâ€™t want some radio station changing my lyrics just to suit their needs if the song had already been deemed broadcast safe.
I understand Hallmark Channel is trying to broadcast programming they consider â€œfamily safeâ€. I get that. If they were true to their word and beliefs, then they shouldnâ€™t broadcast â€œGolden Girlsâ€ at all if they find some of the content to be objectionable. But apparently, based on the frequency in which they broadcast the program, they are making a LOT of money on the show.
I guess theyâ€™re money whores.