Hollywood has a narrative, and usually it isn’t too subtle. Religious people are perverts (and not just the priests), Republicans are oppressive, civil rights crusaders are saints, every variety of sexuality that doesn’t start with the prefix hetero needs protection from an ignorant world, etc. If a white businessman shows up on Law and Order, stop wondering who the bad guy is.
While the television shows in the following list don’t generally pound that narrative to begin with, the following moments were still breathtakingly—and refreshingly—a direct slap at the Hollywood “same old same old.”
10. Nashville — Woman Stops Abortion Because of Ultrasound Law
Season 3, Episode 4
On country music’s high-class version of a telenova (with better music), one of the main stars finds herself pregnant, and not sure who the father is.
Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) goes to get an abortion, but is told by the tech that state law requires her to be shown an ultrasound.
Sure, the stated reason the star decides to keep the baby is that the determined fetal age proves the baby’s father is the preferred choice of the mother, but this character is the last person one would look to for moral or philosophical guidance anyway.
And while an ultrasound does not compare to the image of an in utero baby grabbing the thumb of a surgeon (used in both The Good Wife and House), there is always power in the image of a living baby in the womb.
Viewers are invited to breathe a sigh of relief that the abortion does not happen, and in the end, a beautiful baby girl is born because of a law that pro-abortion forces have lobbied against in all 50 state legislatures.
9. Nashville—Stalked Woman Defends Herself with Unregistered Pistol
Season 3, Episode 17
An up-and-coming female singer/songwriter, Sadie Stone (Laura Benanti), who has just been signed by the show’s main protagonist, Rayna James (the great Connie Britton), is being threatened by an ex-husband. The cad has managed to enforce a “contract” written on a napkin that gives him a percentage of the woman’s earnings for life.
But that’s not enough, or the real point. This abuser is really about not letting his ex out from under his thumb in any way.
Sadie buys a gun and is told the rules by the gun store operator (who is not the sleazy gun nut you see in so many Hollywood productions). However, Sadie cannot wait for her paperwork to protect herself, as the protective order she obtained is not really keeping him away.
When she is ambushed in a parking garage, the gun does its job. Every character in the show is sympathetic, and she walks away with a minor legal slap on the wrist. No speeches, just a good example of the 2nd Amendment in action.
8. South Park — The Self-Identified Gender Scam
Season 18, Episode 3, “Cissy”
Okay, yes it’s possible that all Top 10 Un-PC moments in any season could come from South Park, and in its 18th season, the raunchy animated show was particularly on point, taking on liberals who want to restrict Uber (with the common sense defense of the free market coming from the most simple-minded character), online commentary from people whose only “talent” seems to be commentary, and smacking around everyone on both sides of the Washington Redskins commentary.
But the episode “Cissy,” which satirized the notion of gender being a matter of self-identification rather than of science, was not only the best episode of the year, it has to be considered in a Top Ten List of all 18 seasons.
Cartman, the most selfish and loathsome character on the show, decides that girls have the nicer restrooms in the school; he decides to self identify as a girl so he can use theirs.
The best scenes involve the school administration—even though they know exactly what Cartman is—falling all over themselves not to be seen as intolerant.
In the end, law and current culture dictate that Cartman gets his own bathroom, using the Cultural Revolution tactics of the PC culture that cowardly authorities just won’t stand up to. Classic.
7. Blue Bloods—Left-Wing Teacher and the Anti-Cop Agenda
Season 5, Episode 5, “Loose Lips”
After defending “stop and frisk” in its Season 4 finale, Blue Bloods spent much of Season 5 with Commissioner Reagan (Tom Selleck) reacting to the anti-cop narrative in the mainstream media, the new liberal administration in NYC, and throwing in broad hints about the White House and the Justice Department as well.
How cogently has Blue Bloods dealt with these issues? Enough to elicit a primal scream of protest from Daily Kos. Enough said.
In one episode, the daughter of Assistant District Attorney Erin Reagan (Bridget Donahue) is in trouble for calling one of her teachers at the Catholic school a “bitch” on social media, “who might be a good teacher if she would quit forcing her views…”
Of course, mom is upset… then she meets the teacher, who has a portrait of Che on the wall and talks contemptuously about the Reagan family business of law enforcement.
The daughter is still punished, but on the way out the door, mom mutters under her breath, “You weren’t kidding.”
If this were a list from last season, I would have focused on this clip about the show’s Al Sharpton stand-in…
Yeah, Blue Bloods has too many family members involved in every political case — in a coincidental manner in one of the world’s biggest cities in ways that make Superlotto odds look good—but overlook that and you have a solid police drama that tackles real and weighty issues.
6. Black-ish-– Is Spanking a Black Thing?
Season 1, Episode 5, “Crime and Punishment”
The premise of Black-ish is that a rich black ad exec (Anthony Anderson), who is married to a mixed-race doctor, worries his kids are not “black enough,” and not down for the struggle. In typical sitcom dad fashion, he goes overboard in his efforts to correct this. What’s not typical is the subject matter and the nearly constant mockery of overt identity politics.
“I’m tired of the struggle, Dre,” his (mixed-race) wife Rainbow sighs during one of his crusades.
Black-ish is just a hair below consistently brilliant in exploring such things, but it is a refreshing change from the norm on network TV.
Perhaps the most brilliant show of the year was an examination of spanking and disciplining children, as it brought both a racial AND generational aspect into the discussion.
How un-PC was this episode? ABC felt compelled to put it off for a month because it was set to air less than a week after NFL star Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse in Texas for spanking his toddler (who really was far too young to be spanked, by the way).
The best moment was when Dre brought up the topic to his diverse table of coworkers. It went something like this.
“I threatened to spank my kid.”
“Ooooh, you can’t do that.”
“Were you spanked as kids?”
“Of course, and it was good for me.”
“Do you spank YOUR kids?”
“Oh, hell no!”
Yep, that sums up modern parents of pretty much any race these days…
Coming Soon: 10 Most Politically Incorrect Moments this TV Season – Part