Video: Oh, it’s HBO!

posted at 11:06 am on March 12, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

This NSFW video isn’t new, nor is it unknown — it has more than 4 million views since its publication last September. Had I seen it before yesterday, I would definitely have included it in my post on premium-channel nudity and exploitation, but it’s fun enough for a quick hit here. Alberto Belli produced and directed this satirical look at young actors getting their first major role in entertainment — and the way the industry treats them. Click the link below to watch, but do bear in mind that this is Not Safe For Work, and might offend some:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUBiOOx0Pxw

Just to revisit the point from my column:

That’s not to argue that nudity never belongs in art — the classics of Renaissance paintings and frescoes clearly show otherwise, and the same is true in modern film at times. The scene in The Last Detail when a young, condemned sailor sees a naked woman for the first time resonates artistically, for instance. But here, nudity is used sparingly to tell a significant part of the story, rather than used as an abundant commodity to pander to the lowest impulses of an audience that largely watches for better reasons anyway. …

When nudity appears in film and television, it should be used to drive the story and respect the humanity and intelligence of both the cast members and the intended audience. While cable television has won some deserved plaudits for pursuing complicated dramas and adult themes where its broadcast competitors usually cannot compete, the industry still seems intent on selling to the lowest possible denominator. And that’s hardly a new day in entertainment, let alone Eden.

Update, 3/28: Changed from embed to link.

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HBO = Help Barack Obama

22044 on March 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Alberto Belli? One of Melvin’s boys?

Lanceman on March 12, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Heh!

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Funny stuff. Sex sells. Good luck in your crusade to lower the demand for it.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Yea…saw this a while back.
Very funny, and an excellent zinger directed at HBO and the like.

verbaluce on March 12, 2014 at 11:15 AM

I sort of always thought that was the point of these series. Because you can tell the story without all the graphic sex scenes.

And it’s porn. Your a porn star.

Oil Can on March 12, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Well now I know where the geniuses at HHS got their whole “It’s not socialism, it’s Obamacare!” campaign. ;0

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM

It’s not kiddie porn, it’s MTV.

mjbrooks3 on March 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Funny stuff. Sex sells. Good luck in your crusade to lower the demand for it.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Second sex and nudity on TV thread in 2 days.
I’m thinking HA is jumping on the sex sells bandwagon……

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

But here, nudity is used sparingly to tell a significant part of the story, rather than used as an abundant commodity to pander to the lowest impulses of an audience

First, the medium is pictures, not words – the visual is far more impactful than the script. Some people, myself included and I gather most of the R-rated-attending-movie-public, actually enjoy looking at the naked female form, even if it’s not driving the plot along. Moving away from nudity, there’s a reason 2001/A Space Oddyesey is considered one of the greatest films ever made, and /spoileralert/ it ain’t the engrossing story.

This whiteknight instinct is itself degrading to women – if they’re allowed to vote, then they can decide whether or not to unfurl their bodacious tatas in front of a camera.

King B on March 12, 2014 at 11:26 AM

That horrible blockquoting – my bad.

King B on March 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I think Ed is testing out the marketability of anti-sex :-)

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM

You know, its really true that sex-in-advertising sells product.

The next logical step is for ad agencies to hire women to have actual sex with guys who buy the advertiser’s stuff- I bet that would really put one over on the competition.

Good thing that sex is a risk-free endeavor with no unfortunate consequences when indulged in casually.

Pless1foEngrish on March 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM

HBO = Help Barack Obama

22044 on March 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Yep. Simply cannot understand self-proclaimed Conservatives who pay money to be demeaned by HBO.

M240H on March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Well, you’ll have to rid of cable anyway, so you can pay for OCare, so there’s that.

Ward Cleaver on March 12, 2014 at 11:46 AM

We dropped cable five years ago. We get by with OTA programming, a Media Center PC (to record stuff), and Netflix.

Ward Cleaver on March 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Funny stuff. Sex sells. Good luck in your crusade to lower the demand for it.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Hahaha!

Lets ask movie companies to produce a PG 13 edited version of any movie rated R or worse. Let the market actually decide what it wants. There used to be several Utah based companies that did this, but the movie companies put them out of business.

MTF on March 12, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Watched the first episode of Black Sails and was disappointed to see that it was mostly soft core porn with a pirate theme. Turned it off when the girl on girl action started up. Just not interested in having my intelligence so blatantly insulted.

trapeze on March 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Funny stuff. Sex sells. Good luck in your crusade to lower the demand for it.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Ed knows that sex sells. Why do you think he posted this here? NSFW is worth more hits than a Palin post. The only thing better than NSFW, would be a Palin NSFW.

HugoDrax on March 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/game-of-thrones-sex-scenes-nudity_n_3417008.html

All the nude scenes from Game of Thrones :-)

ShadrachSmith on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Thanks for the tip on Black Sails lesbo action. I’ll be using STARZ On Demand to view the show!

philw1776 on March 12, 2014 at 11:58 AM

All the nude scenes from Game of Thrones :-)

ShadrachSmith on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Found that last night after picking an episode of GOT from OnDemand to see what this was all about – and apparently got the one episode with ZERO nudity – same for the episode of Black Sails we caught (for a short while) last night – NONE, NADA, ZIP – just piratey sailing and killing and stuff.

Frankly regarding GOT – I couldn’t handle the jumping around between at least 6 or 8 different groups of people doing different things. From what I saw, the show looks perfect for people with ADHD who can’t focus on a single piece of plot line for more than 30 seconds.

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 11:59 AM

All the nude scenes from Game of Thrones :-)

ShadrachSmith on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

And my wife was very disappointed that they showed all the women nekkid – but in every sex scene the men were FULLY clothed….

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Funny stuff. Sex sells. Good luck in your crusade to lower the demand for it.
MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Maybe you’re on the wrong blog. This is HotAir. The heading says, “Hot Air: Politics, Culture, Media”.

I’d say this qualifies.

Maybe you’d be happier at a blog that celebrates this stuff?

Cleombrotus on March 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

All the nude scenes from Game of Thrones :-)

ShadrachSmith on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

So, basically naked skinny broads. Check.

Jesus. If I’m not treated to bony chicks, my eyes are affronted by a fat pig who thinks displaying her doughy physique is edgy.

Lanceman on March 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Ed knows that sex sells. Why do you think he posted this here? NSFW is worth more hits than a Palin post.

Ha! Not even close. This isn’t even outpacing the Scarborough post on FL-13. No, I just thought the video was funny and worth sharing.

As for being on an anti-nudity crusade, the excerpt from my column in this post addresses that. I’m not demanding an end to nudity in art. I’m pointing out that the gratuitous nudity in this industry is (a) dishonest, (b) insults the intelligence of the audience, and (c) mostly preys on actresses with little clout in the entertainment field.

Ed Morrissey on March 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

and (c) mostly preys on actresses with little clout in the entertainment field.

Ed Morrissey on March 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

That Republican war on women again. Lousy bastards.

Lanceman on March 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

This NSFW video isn’t new, nor is it unknown — it has more than 4 million views since its publication last September. Had I seen it before yesterday, I would definitely have included it in my post on premium-channel nudity and exploitation, but it’s fun enough for a quick hit here.

Ed Morrissey on March 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM

.
There might … have been a better choice of words, for those last nine … : )

listens2glenn on March 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM

That was hilarious.

Lolo on March 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Well as the Supremes squirmed and couldn’t really define Porn, now Porn and HBO are the same but different. The real question is – which is better.

What happens when the mainstream media has fallen so far that Porn is above it. It is Armageddon. Well if will be if I see another Lena Dunham clip.

I personally think most of the Sex Industry is fine, but it shouldn’t be shoved in the face of those that don’t want to see it.

Jay Galt on March 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

mostly preys on actresses with little clout in the entertainment field.

Ed Morrissey on March 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Newbies in nearly every industry have to “pay their dues” somehow….
Hollywood has always had some form of “casting couch” – so getting nekkid is apparently their initiation game (hazing as it were?).

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Ed Morrissey on March 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Am I going to draw smiley faces every time I kid :-)

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

It’s Roku only at my home.

I already miss Schadenfreude.

Shaughnessy on March 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Anyone who thinks “graphic sex” is what they show on these cable series’ has never actually seen porn.

spinach.chin on March 12, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Shaughnessy on March 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Well the next time someone gets what they deserve have yourself a good laugh :-)

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Funny stuff. Sex sells. Good luck in your crusade to lower the demand for it.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

I don’t really think the question is one of reducing demand. Th question is ruining your film or show. I just finished watching True Detective. It was very good. The sex in it nearly ruined the experience though and I say this as a middle aged man who, next to young guys, is the main target for this stuff. I just thank heavens they didn’t inflict a naked Harrelson on us. The sex scenes, all of them, with Woody are terrible and add nothing whatsoever to the storytelling. The last woman was especially ridiculous. The one with McConaughey they at least tried to tie to the story but it still stuck out like a sore thumb.

Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

It is a matter of simple economics. If more people felt as you did there would be less demand. If people, through the power of the intertubes and their blogs, can convince enough others to watch something else the “problem” will be solved.

I am glad that the supply side of the equation is not being proposed here. I find censorship to be odious and against our American values.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Am I going to draw smiley faces every time I kid :-)

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

No, I got the humor of it. This is supposed to be a fun post anyway. I work hard enough as it is. :-)

Ed Morrissey on March 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

It is a matter of simple economics. If more people felt as you did there would be less demand. If people, through the power of the intertubes and their blogs, can convince enough others to watch something else the “problem” will be solved.

I am glad that the supply side of the equation is not being proposed here. I find censorship to be odious and against our American values.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM

That simply isn’t true. It’s not a question of demand for nudity and sex. That is more than being met elsewhere. It’s just fear and laziness. HBO doesn’t get near the ratings of the networks. If it was simply a matter of demand there would be no discussion. The problem is the networks make the equivalent of McDonald’s or at best a good diner meal. HBO, and others, take the real risks and with it produce the most interesting stuff. But they hedge their bets because they don’t want to lose money in case it fails. So, lots of gratuitous sex. It’s the culinary equivalent of sticking Truffles in everything because, “Ooooo, truffles.” It doesn’t matter how great truffles are, sometimes they get in the way. Sometimes they can actually ruin it.

Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Loved the background music partway through: In the Hall of the Mountain King (Peer Gynt Suite) by Edvard Grieg

ExpressoBold on March 12, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

You are just extending my economics explanation. They show nudity to make money. It is a sure fire way to bring in profits without the risk of more expensive bets on more “nutritious” shows. The reason it is profitable is because people are willing to voluntarily part with their money to watch. Even if it is low quality, etc. People buy it. It is junk for the eyes, if you will. Demand is good.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 1:07 PM

HBO doesn’t get near the ratings of the networks.
Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Of course not – you have to pay extra for HBO and the other “premium” channels. So it’s basically pay-per-view to a degree – so they will never have as many people watching as the “free” channels.

Honestly though, I’m not so sure it’s worth the money. I currently have the top of the line full package from Comcast, because it saved me money overall on higher speed internet and extra control boxes.
But the reality is, my wife and I are both now constantly saying “1000 channels, and nothing worth watching…”
To paraphrase Pink Floyd – “1000 channels of sh!t on the TV to choose from”.

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 1:14 PM

As I said in the other thread, many shows are significantly weaker because of the excessive sex scenes. I am not against nudity or a few seconds of showing people in the act when appropriate, but there is little to be gained from frequent (and often long) sex scenes. Those scenes, which always show way more of the female than male, are all about turning on straight men in an effort to boost ratings.

DisneyFan on March 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Funny stuff. Sex sells. Good luck in your crusade to lower the demand for it.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

So porn is okay because it sells product.

That’s almost like saying that anything that wins elections is ok, because it works. And standing for any principles that people might object to is bad because it might not win elections.

The problem isn’t that selling stuff is bad, or that winning elections is bad, but that neither should be the ultimate goal. Otherwise, selling magic elixirs to cancer patients would be a perfectly moral choice.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 12, 2014 at 1:24 PM

HBO = Help Barack Obama

22044 on March 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Yep. Simply cannot understand self-proclaimed Conservatives who pay money to be demeaned by HBO.

M240H on March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Or to fill Bill Maher’s pockets so he can give it to Obama’s campaign. I wonder how many votes that paid for? Or attack ads?

It would be interesting to know how much Lena Dunham gives to places that support abortion.

Oh well. At least we’re entertained, right?

kim roy on March 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Am I going to draw smiley faces every time I kid :-)
MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Might help if you kidded a little bit more often.

Cleombrotus on March 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Look up the entymolgy of the word “pornography”.

Tell me GOT, et al, isn’t porn.

RI_Red on March 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM

So porn is okay because it sells product.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 12, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Did I say that?

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Sooner than we all care to imagine, the networks and cable are going to go away. On demand internet is going to replace them. Cable subscribership is already declining. The networks have been in decline for years. Everything will be delivered via Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, whatever. Probably some that don’t even exist, yet. I’d imagine OTA will continue to serve local markets.

This will also change content and censorship. Anyone and everyone will be able to make and offer content. So, you’re going to get a wide range of material. The really smart providers will possibly even offer the same content with different levels sex and or violence.

The conversation we’re having here will be antiquated in a very few years.

trigon on March 12, 2014 at 1:37 PM

And my wife was very disappointed that they showed all the women nekkid – but in every sex scene the men were FULLY clothed….

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

There are far more man parts showing that I would care to see – perhaps your wife needs to look a little closer… as there is quite a bit of male nudity as well… but anyway…

This is a fair point/however slightly excessive/exaggerated little video clip.

Here is the thing though – normal ‘tv’ or ‘cable’ shows already do tell the story with near nudity (awkward magical camera shot cutaways just when you are about to see the no no parts.. etc…) so it is not as if the rest of the shows are telling stories with(out) sex scenes/innuendo coming out the wazzoo etc… they are just currently (give it another ten years) restricted by fines if they dare show genitals or mammary glands (women)…

I understand valuing modesty in entertainment viewing choices – but it is pretty shallow to say that full on sex scenes without genitals/mammary glands are okay to watch but showing them isn’t… tell me that women do not get… ‘worked up’ about the latest hunk in bed on gray’s anatomy any less than men do about Emilia Clarke etc… on Game of Thrones… and they still don’t actually show female genitals BTW – they make them all furry and or black it out… just saying…

At least Game of Thrones has a good story (the books are excellent, the show typically puts in too much sex, brutal, vivid violence & even had to put in a g*y plotline where none existed in the books) Gray’s Anatomy is horribly depressing awfulness. but I digress again…

It’s the culture that we now live in – morals/Christianity/modesty etc… are unthinkable old fashioned bigotry… feeling shame for sharing your most intimate interactions with those that you have not made serious public commitments to is no longer being ‘easy’, loose’ etc… no.. anyone who dares to brand such behavior as immoral and damaging emotionally gets called a sl*t shamer (BTW men are s*uts too and they ought to be shamed when they engage in wanton behavior as well).

glidingone on March 12, 2014 at 1:41 PM

You are just extending my economics explanation. They show nudity to make money. It is a sure fire way to bring in profits without the risk of more expensive bets on more “nutritious” shows. The reason it is profitable is because people are willing to voluntarily part with their money to watch. Even if it is low quality, etc. People buy it. It is junk for the eyes, if you will. Demand is good.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Again, not really. In the case of something like True Detective it actually costs money. The writing and acting made the show hot, not the sex. Without the sex it would have a wider audience. They will sell less DVDs with the sex. Sex in film and tv doesn’t make money, it keeps you from losing it. It brings in lots of free publicity. But at the cost of having a huge hit. It’s a good practice if your intent is to make “junk for the eyes”. I don’t think anyone, outside of the execs at HBO, intended for True Detective to be junk for the eyes. The show has an audience now and doesn’t need every ounce of free publicity it can get. I think you will see much less sex in the second season. People already like it. No need to stick truffles in it.

Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Yep. Simply cannot understand self-proclaimed Conservatives who pay money to be demeaned by HBO.

M240H on March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

I pay for HBO so I can watch things like True Detective or Boardwalk Empire. I also watch the occasional movie. Another important reason for me is Boxing. If they have some on Saturday night, you can pretty much bet that I’m parked in front of it.

The rest of it, I never watch. I’ve never seen Girls or Bill Maher. Not even once.

trigon on March 12, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I would submit that the market research staff at HBO disagrees with you.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 1:45 PM

It’s a very typical, uptight “Liberal” thing to look at porn disguised as something else. They can still tell themselves it’s not porn. It’s like the French. All the French make is softcore porn. But they feel the need to wrap it up in some silly existentialist dialogue so that they don’t have to admit to themselves that they’re watching porn.

Uptight libtards just need to admit that they’re watching porn. There’s plenty out there, and no shortage of bimbos that will do it.

WhatSlushfund on March 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

I watched ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ about a week ago. Despite all the hype, I thought it was actually pretty tame, sex-scene wise. But it cracked me up to hear the dopey “actresses” talk all seriously about this film as if it was a “serious test” to their “acting abilities.” Please honey, you’re doing porn. Get over yourself. There was no content to that film whatsoever but the porn.

WhatSlushfund on March 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I would submit that the market research staff at HBO disagrees with you.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 1:45 PM

And I’d submit the market research staff is exactly the problem. They stand around saying things like “sex sells”, so put it in everything. Disney makes stuff without, and with sex, and make way more than HBO. Anyone reading the script for True Detective and thought to themselves “Well, we need 4 gratuitous sex scenes in 8 episodes” to sell this show is an idiot.

Rocks on March 12, 2014 at 1:53 PM

WhatSlushfund on March 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I take it that your viewing was purely a research project from which you derived no pleasure. In fact you felt sinful and dirty. Am I right?

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

While I’m on the subject, (I’m a total film geek) if someone wants to watch a hot lesbo movie, forget ‘Blue is the Warmest Color,’ instead I would recommend ‘Room in Rome.’ The whole thing takes place in a hotel room in Rome. So it’s like a pure dialogue-and-sex film, but it’s actually pretty good totally apart from the sex. The two chicks are completely naked throughout, but they also spend a lot of time talking, and it’s actually a pretty sweet, tender movie. Good soundtrack too. Highly recommended.

WhatSlushfund on March 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Must be the Interwebs ‘Sweeps Week’.

Simonsez on March 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

WhatSlushfund on March 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

So…. it’s a chick-flick where the girls are naked? Sounds like a great date movie!

GWB on March 12, 2014 at 2:17 PM

So…. it’s a chick-flick where the girls are naked? Sounds like a great date movie!

GWB on March 12, 2014 at 2:17 PM

If you can find the right date – and her friend…..

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM

I just thought the video was funny and worth sharing.

Ed Morrissey on March 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Me too. The point of the video isn’t some prudish crusade. It is clearly mocking the artistic bankruptcy and juvenile production at HBO.

Jaibones on March 12, 2014 at 6:12 PM

I pay for HBO so I can watch things like True Detective or Boardwalk Empire. I also watch the occasional movie. Another important reason for me is Boxing. If they have some on Saturday night, you can pretty much bet that I’m parked in front of it.

The rest of it, I never watch. I’ve never seen Girls or Bill Maher. Not even once.

trigon on March 12, 2014 at 1:45 PM

You do realize that it’s like taxes – you can’t earmark where your money goes. They use your money to pay Dunham and Maher, too.

You also do realize that everything is somewhere on the internet and if you take the time you can find it. Just saying.

You aren’t alone, though. It seems that being entertained is more important that cutting off those that would destroy us.

kim roy on March 12, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Oh great. Vulgar pornography to raise awareness about vulgar pornography.

Murphy9 on March 12, 2014 at 7:22 PM

kim roy on March 12, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Yeah. I’m sure the money does go there. My eyeballs don’t though. HBO pays attention to their ratings, too. If enough people don’t watch, The money doesn’t really matter. Also, although I have plenty of places and companies I won’t spend money with, I enjoy what I do watch enough to simply say, “To hell with it”.

Life is just too short to worry about some of this stuff. It gets pretty small-ball if you want the truth.

trigon on March 12, 2014 at 7:32 PM

I know many people claim that they only pay for HBO so that they can see a particular show (these days it’s True Detective). But in doing so, even if they are telling the truth about not watching the smut, they are supporting it, which is nearly as bad.

Character matters, and our society has forgotten the lessons of Athens and Rome.

Freelancer on March 13, 2014 at 4:32 AM

..it’s not porn..it’s revolting.

(SERIOUSLY,ED, THIS SHOULDA BEEN PASSED ON! Slow news day?)

The War Planner on March 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM