This summer the FX cable channel ran a comedy series called Partners, starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence. Ten episodes were aired between Aug. 4-Sept. 1. Current speculation is that the show won't be renewed.
I watched the series principally because it was summer and even with hundreds of channels available, I needed some half-hour comedies to bank on my DVR for lean viewing times.
Early on I noticed that the office shared by the lead lawyer characters had some sports memorabilia scattered about. I saw some baseballs, a bat displayed vertically in a case and a home white #23 Chicago (the show is set in Chicago) Bulls jersey in a large glass frame.
At least in some episodes it is a Bulls jersey. In other it is a generic "Chicago" #23 jersey. Hell, in some episodes both the "Bulls" and "Chicago" jersey share camera time.
Why the change? Maybe the Chicago NBA franchise protested because they wanted a royalty.
Or maybe it's just part of what I think of as the wussification of television.
Other examples . . .
On many "reality" TV shows, the license plates of vehicles are blurred so they can't be read. This is even done on the vehicles of some of the shows' stars. Presumably this is done for privacy reasons.
One of the people-shopping-for-homes programs that we watch, Beachfront Bargain Hunters, routinely blurs the faces of people in the background -- on the beach, etc. I've also seen this done on Storage Wars and elsewhere. What ever happened to the legal notion that when you are out in the public you have no expectation of privacy?
On many shows, I've seen logos blurred or even duct-taped over on baseball caps. Probably a similar issue to the use of the Bulls jersey on Partners. Evidently the leagues feel it is alright for you to buy their logoed merchandise (or at least a Chinese knock-off), but it's not OK to be photographed in public wearing it.
All car commercials seem to have a small-print disclaimer to the effect, "Professional driver on a closed course. Do not attempt." I can see this type of ass-covering verbiage when the commercial is showing a car zipping around hairpin turns, or sliding into a skid stop kn a parking space, but they also run the legalese when the car is shown driving -- presumably at the speed limit -- on a quiet city street or an arrow-straight country road. If a car company thinks it needs to warn drivers against using the vehicle for the purpose for which it was intended, that doesn't give me much confidence in their product.
I guess I'll end this here, before I start ranting about the nanny state and the unholy mess that is this country's legal system.