gor[b] Paul Gorbould: Words and Pictures



Ever watch Fridays Without Borders on Showcase?

I don't, as a rule. But I'd be lying if I said that, whilst flipping channels between lawyer show reruns and budget home renovations, I don't sit up and take notice of the beautiful naked people fondling each other on channel 39.

Fridays Without Borders is, in theory, Showcase's lineup of "sexy" shows.

But if "sexy" is defined as "Arousing or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest," then the word is a poor fit. These shows need a different word, one that means merely "containing much sex" - a word that is less "buy this issue of Cosmo!" and more "These chips may contain trans fats."

I'm suggesting "sexful".

You remember the debate among sticklers over "healthy" vs. "healthful"? The argument went that "healthy" means "in good health", so a meal can't very well be "healthy." So they invented "healthful" to indicate "good for you." (More sensible folk said that was nonsense.)

Anyhow, that's the sort of nuance we need here. Fridays Without Borders shows are possessing sex, but probably not conducive to sex. At least not with anyone else.

The subject matter is theoretically sexy: bikini babes, porn, bondage, one night stands, etc. But it's awfully clinical. It's like nobody involved in the process had ever actually been aroused themselves, but were told to go out and film things that were listed under "sex" in the dictionary.

The shows? Well, there's Porno Valley - interchangeable blonde porno stars reenforce your preexisting stereotypes. Sin Cities - A nerd named Grub finds the icky parts of the global village; bring sanitizer. Family Business - Seymore Butts should have stayed a Simpsons prank call. Kink - Hideous Nova Scotians have difficulty learning how to spank each other. Webdreams - After 10 episodes, we learn that running a sleazy website is almost as unintersting as running any other website.

This shouldn't come as a surprise - most of these shows are reality TV. They are to lovemaking what Survivor is to camping and The Apprentice is to doing your taxes. Theoretically applicable, mildly intriguing, but in the end you're glad you don't have to hang around with those jerks.

Even if they're sexful.

I'm not being a prude here, just let down that TV really doesn't get the difference between lurid and erotic. And it makes me ask: when was the last truly sexy (not sexful) thing you saw on TV?



- Now that I do a web search for that word, I see that it was used on Futurama by none other than Zapp Branigan - a cartoon prototype for the jerks I was talking about. If ever there was a proof of my sexy/sexful thesis, he's it!

- I'll say this for Fridays Without Borders, though - at least I now understand Ouimet's reference to Emmanuelle 2000: Emmanuelle Pie. Eeep!

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  1. At least some of it’s factual – according to the only NS pro-dom I’ve ever met, Nova Scotians really aren’t that into spankage. Maybe she should have used a club.

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