Pushing the Boundaries. Well.

Having ranted about the ASA last week, tonight’s television was rather interesting.

Firstly, there was the latest Pot Noodle advert. Remember the infamous ‘the slag of all snacks’ tagline that got their advert banned a couple of years ago? Their latest ad shows a man walking into a restaurant with a large protrusion from his groin, and a wide brass tube coming out of his pocket. He is accused of having the ‘pot noodle horn’, which he vigorously denies, in the process turning around and knocking a woman off her chair with said item. That was all that happened in the pre-10pm version. During CSI:Miami, however, an extended version was shown, in which he admits to having the horn, and not only does he have the horn, but he’s ‘going to blow it’, promptly whipping it out and giving it a good honk. He then returns five minutes later looking somewhat worn out, but satisfied, and his friends congratulate him on his admission. It was very, very funny, but they’re really close to the line. I bet there’ll be complaints. Of course, that could be the idea. It’s not like getting an advert banned is bad advertising, is it…

Then there was CSI. It was the 100th episode, and long-running shows often do something special for the occasion. CSI isn’t like most shows, though. It’s previously broken with tradition by not ending series with dramatic episodes / cliffhangers. It has plotlines that only come up two or three times a series. Recently they concluded the storyline of a serial killer who originally struck in the first series. Incidentally, there aren’t many shows that could finish a large storyline without anything terribly dramatic (cast members in jeopardy etc.) happening and still make it exciting, but CSI manages.

Anyway, I wondered if they’d do anything interesting for the 100th show, and as it turned out, they did. I think they pushed it about as far as is possible on US tv. It was fairly explicit even for the UK, which is saying something. The storyline involved transsexuals being murdered and having back-room operations, one of which became a rather bloody crime scene. There were graphic descriptions of exactly how gender-changing operations work. There was evidence collected from implements that had been inserted into certain orifices, discussion of fellatio by a husband on a wife and also semen collection from cheek cells. It wasn’t deliberately over-the-top, it was just a very, very grisly case. Given that the show is broadcast at 9pm, and already gets bad press from conservative groups, this was a ballsy episode to screen. Nicely done.