Gloria Goodale in the Christian Science Monitor:
TV shows have never shied away from trading on the sex appeal of their stars, but a quick look at the new fall season reveals that the overall TV landscape is about to get a whole lot sexier and more explicit. From the graphic grappling in HBO’s new relationship drama, “Tell Me You Love Me,” to the partner-swapping in CBS’s “Swingtown,” and the teen sex – including rape – of CW’s “Gossip Girl,” the sex is getting rawer and the camera ever closer.
This escalating emphasis on explicit scenes as well as themes is the result of seismic changes already rocking Hollywood and the larger society, say culture watchers: the competition for market share in a spiraling world of entertainment choices, the mainstreaming of pornography, and the explosive growth of an unregulated Internet.
Sexual mores are a good measure of social change, says Kevin Scott, coauthor of the upcoming Beacon Press book, “The Porning of America: Choosing Our Sexual Future.” The combination of adult erotica moving onto Main Street America by the mid 1990s, along with the emergence of the Internet as a massive distribution network, has created what Mr. Scott calls a “perfect storm” of cultural change. “Our general view of sexuality today is so much broader than what it was just 15 years ago,” he adds.