WARNING: This column contains nouns, verbs, adjectives; lame attempts at humour; reference to Snoopybabe.
Did you know that Masters of Sex, Sex Box and Sex and the City contain scenes of a sexual nature?
Really? Well, knock me down with a feather. Actually, make it one of those naughty feather ticklers from Ann Summers.
Also, Downton Abbey, which is broadcast post-watershed and has tackled subjects such as murder, adultery and the small matter of war, may contain scenes some viewers find distressing.
Goodness me! I think I feel a Downton-esque swoon coming on, lace handkerchief clutched to bosom.
As you may be able to tell, I’m getting slightly ticked off with every single TV programme coming with a warning.
They’re just so ruddy cotton-wool condescending and right-on – especially if the show in question is aired after 9pm.
Look, we’re all adults here, the kids are in bed and we’re on our second glass of red, I don’t need some posh-bird Channel 4 announcer telling me Homeland may contain scenes of a distressing nature.
Besides, surely there’s not a single person in the world who tunes in to Homeland expecting to see bi-polar Carrie, terrorist Brody and his suicidal daughter sit down for a nice cup of tea before discussing What’s cuter? Snoopybabe or Charlie Bit My Finger?
The thing is, these days it’s not just the drugged-up, sexfest, violent shows – God bless ‘em – that come with warnings.
The soaps have them all the time. Case in point: Corrie.
Any episode that features Roy and Hayley shedding a tear over her battle with cancer comes with the caution that we might get upset.
Might get upset? Isn’t the very point of this storyline that we do get upset? That it pulls on our heartstrings and mirrors the day-to-day struggle thousands of people are having up and down the country? Otherwise, what’s the point? If it doesn’t upset us, you’re not doing your job telly bosses.
The whole thing is just so strait-laced and vanilla, not to mention patronising.
I don’t know about you but I feel a bit cheated by it all, that I’m not even trusted with my own emotions any more.
I’m not quite sure what the TV worrywarts I imagine them all to be a bit like Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons: Won’t someone please think of the children?! – think will happen if viewers do end up being sad/angry/offended. After all, the world is often a sad/angry/offensive place.
I will stop short of using the ol’ “it’s health and safety gone mad” chestnut but it does have that sort of vibe to it.
Quick, someone might scuff their shoes on that step, better put a sign up.
Quick, someone might see something a little bit sad on ‘Enders, better broadcast a warning.
I thought we Brits were supposed to be made of stern stuff? To carry on regardless, whatever’s chucked in our direction.
So, bosses of the TV world, here’s a warning for you: stop wrapping us up in cotton wool and treat us for the adults we actually are.
We’ve lived through two world wars, Thatcher and the return of David Van Day, we can cope with whatever you want to throw at us.