Tonight’s musical selection is “Penitentiary” by Houndmouth from the album From The Hills Below The City.

A kid's game of jacks

A story which leaves Emily Litella confused.

By all accounts, Reign is a terrible, campy show — the AVClub calls it “TV to get drunk to” – in which the history of Mary, Queen of Scots has been transformed into a sexy teen drama (complete with that young, heart throb Nostradamus!). What’s interesting to me is what they chose to cut. The first episode of the show aired as a preview in May, but when shown again they removed a scene of a woman masturbating, while leaving other sex scenes intact. From Tuned In:

But what was apparently so outrageous that the network trimmed it down for the final version airing Thursday was this: after spying on a “bedding ceremony” (in which a royal couple consummates their marriage for witnesses), Kenna, a young lady-in-waiting, steals away to a staircase and begins pleasuring herself. She’s interrupted by the lecherous King of France; he asks, “May I?,” he kisses her deeply, and they commence the ooh-la-la together.

As Entertainment Weekly describes it, in the revised version,

‘now viewers see the barest suggestion of Kenna’s actions in a few quick shots, then king’s hand snatches hers from her lap. The moment went from a clear ‘I can’t believe they’re actually showing this’ to “Was she doing what I think she was doing?”‘

So… all better? Sure, the original scene was steamy and risqué. But keep in mind, we’re talking about a incident that was, and still is, preceded by one sex scene and followed by another. (And it was no more graphic or explicit than many.) For some reason, however, the notion of a solitary teen masturbating is more outré than teens–or adults, or teens and adults–having sex: in Reign, on many other CW shows, all around network and cable TV.

This continued taboo around sex, and certain kinds of sexual activity, reminds me of much of the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which is definitely worth streaming. In particular, I’m reminded of MPAA censors complaints that a female orgasm in Boys Don’t Cry was too long and pleasurable looking to be considered decent …

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Photo by Lenore Edman released under a Creative Commons license.