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"Emma? Honey...? War?"
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May 13 2008

Skin games -21 favourite examples of gratuitous television. Buffy doesn't get spared in this EW.com list of shows that had moments of 'blatant titillation'.

While I don't agree that they were gratuitous, the photo with the handcuffs is a goodie X-D
Well, the Xander one was necessary for the episode but of course, the episode was written knowing he'd be in his trunks so maybe a mix of the two. I'd say the Spike/Buffy stuff was mostly necessary though - hard to show a destructive sexual relationship without ever once showing the sexual relationship.

Haven't clicked through them all BTW but if there's no mention of 'Moonlight' on there then the list's a farce, they never seem to miss a chance to get Mick St. John sans shirt, however unwarranted.

(and clearly the 'Alias' accusation is utterly baseless - every single time Jennifer Garner appeared in her skimpies or in fetish gear it was essential to the mission ... of upping the ratings ;-)
Topping "He's built too well to be a total geek, it must be his personality."

And I still think that the shot of Sarah and ALy doing an eye-pop when they see him in the Speedos was shot during the first in-costume run-thru, it looks too unrehearsed.
Spike and invisible Buffy while Xander looks on -- blatant titillation at its best.
Funny how only they only mentioned Xander and Spike in scenes where the skin shown actually has something to do with the story- (and I'm not just saying that because I think James Marster's abs are necessary to any plot ) when in seasons one and two Buffy often went to school in dresses short enough to qualify as blouses.
You could argue that depicting a teenage girl required adhering to teenage fashions in the same way that depicting a swimmer required skimpy swimming trunks (casting my mind back to my own school days it seemed like the girls pushed the boundaries a fair bit re: skirt length, altering their uniform skirts etc.).

(I don't think it's coincidence that as Buffy matured she dressed less revealingly)
Yeah, she got mom hair, too. :)

I clicked through a few of these, and it seems like they're mostly men. (What stuck in the viewers' memories, I guess.) Although they do mention Baywatch, which seems kind of silly. How could titillation be gratuitous on Baywatch? That was the whole point of the show.
I remember once they had an actual character moment on 'Baywatch'. Frankly, I was disgusted - I mean, there's a time and a place for that sort of thing, right ?
Pretty sure that was just a rescue, Saje. It kinda felt like character development for a moment, but it was just anxiety.

I liked that BtVS was not afraid of pushing the envelop but also made sure it was mostly in service to the story. Spike's constant shirtlessness and sexy bruises did sort of become their own plot device after awhile though.
Nothing beats Torch in the mini series "Fresno". The guy never wore a shirt once in the entire series.

And if you've never seen Fresno then you're missing out. A Dallas spoof in the eighties it aired once and has never been seen again or released on DVD.
Ah the 80s, possibly the only decade where 'Dallas' required spoofing - watch it now and it pretty much takes care of that itself ;).

It kinda felt like character development for a moment, but it was just anxiety.

Could be Sunfire, could be. One time I thought Pamela 'CJ' Anderson actually emoted but it turned out it was just CPR.
The Xander Speedo scene was the excuse for one of my favorite lines:
X: I'm under cover.
B: You're not under much!
Of course they were gonna mention season sex... I mean six! Hmm, that numbering explains something for BSG too.
Season s...ix had it's own rewards. Gratuitous is in the eyes of the beholder. I'm sure everyone here had eyes as pure as, pure as,...I'll think of something.
I think this list is gratuitous, it was an excuse to just show those pictures to drive up hits. :) But anyways the list could have been populated by 21 different scenes in BSG, with 17 involving the Six.
Did everyone but me forget the panther crawl of half-naked Spike? A bunch of us gathered girls wanted to push Harmony out of the way and take her place. Now that was a sight! *feels the sudden need to rewatch that scene again*

I have a friend who constantly cannot but mention the "threesome" dream in the BUFFY comics as the best gratuitous scene lost to television ('unfair much' seems to be the big phrase). Vampire Slayer in a vampire sandwich… Buffy can sure fantasize!
The best pandering was the sound of the zipper. Whose zipper it was, we don't know.
I was watching You're Welcome from Angel's 5th season the other day and wow... Charisma needed a few more buttons at the top of her blouse.
More buttons? There were plenty, they just weren't stuck through buttonholes.
Where was Torchwood on this list? I know, I know, missing because not enough people watch it, but...seriously. Captain Jack is, like, the Platonic ideal of gratuitous.
Having checked out all twenty two entries .... purely in the spirit of research .... I have to say that since gratuitous is defined as
"done without any good reason, unnecessary", they all pretty much qualify except "any sex scene with Buffy and Spike" (clearly necessary to the story line) and "all of Rome". Umm .... depicting the level of decadence seems pretty essential to telling that story.

And I know there really was a good reason for the Jamie Bamber towel scene in BSG, I'm just still working on remembering what it was ;-)

ETA: Saje I can't agree about Moonlight. IMO, Alex O'Laugelin sans shirt is the only legitimate reason for this show to exist, ergo .... totally necessary. :)

[ edited by Shey on 2008-05-14 10:22 ]
Oh that's not fair Shey, it's also a great step-by-step guide for any budding writers/filmmakers I reckon. How not to do voiceovers, how not to do pensive moments, how not to do wirework ...

;-)
Oh that's not fair Shey, it's also a great step-by-step guide for any budding writers/filmmakers I reckon. How not to do voiceovers, how not to do pensive moments, how not to do wirework ...
;-)
Saje | May 14, 10:35 CET


And at the top of the list, how not to do helicopter zoom shots over the L.A. skyline complete with "whosh" sound effects, because ..... well, just the single most blatant rip-off on the show, of a signature Angel effect.

And yet, we still watch ;-)
Yeah, more fool us ;). Probably for complementary reasons too (ahhh, Sophia). Us, shallow ? ;-)

Depending on whether there's a decent cliff-hanger I may well be able to break my addiction over the summer though - not great at leaving shows but i'm pretty good at just not going back to them.
Sadly Moonlight has been cancelled.
Upside is, that makes it even easier not to go back to ;).

(quite liked 'Aliens in America' though, even if the quality was patchy, so i'll miss that slightly)
I love Alex O'Laughlin, Sophia Myles, and Jason Dohring and I didn't make it through the first episode. Never caught Aliens in America.
One of the few first episodes that made me burst out laughing a couple of times (and not in the good way). The voiceover seemed almost like a parody, like Steve Martin in 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid'. But, though I normally don't like to brag, I feel safe in saying that i'm a bigger maniac than you zeitgeist so I eventually watched all of them. Crazy, and not like a fox ;).

Fans of 'Moonlight' might be heartened to know it's not totally dead yet BTW, there're rumours it might be getting shopped around, possibly to The CW.

('Aliens in America' started out seeming like it might be that rare thing on network TV - a genuinely subversive comedy - but then became pretty much a standard teenage led sitcom. Not bad though IMO)
The CW might pick up Moolight? Well, I hope they turn it into the comedy it deserves. That scene with Nick lying on the floor, eyes wide open, and with a stake sticking out of his chest was one of the funniest I've seen in a long time.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-05-14 14:36 ]
You know I have never watched Battlestar Galactica, but even I can see that the Jamie Bamber towel scene was essential. Yowza!

I watched the first episode of Moonlight. That was enough.
One of the few first episodes that made me burst out laughing a couple of times (and not in the good way).


See, if I'd had more spare time, then I may've watched it just for that and Reinette.
Moonlight got better at being bad. Ahh I'll miss not!Madame De Pompadour and not!Logan but basically I'm glad to be cut free.
This makes me sadder than I expected. Put Alex O'Lauglin back on TV in something decent, hurry up with the Alan Ball/HBO vampire series, and I'll get over it soon enough. ;-)

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