The other day the audience -- do not lose sight of the fact that this show is deemed by E! to be acceptable for eighth-graders -- was treated to an episode titled "Sexual Healing," with three procedures featured. Calahan, a woman trying to enter the male world, had her breasts amputated. (How that's defined as "sexual healing" is anyone's guess.) A man named Mike had a genital wart removed, an underwhelming procedure that lasts about two minutes, but which also allowed E! to focus on Mike's happy promiscuity. "This is no wakeup call for me! I'm still going to lead a pretty promiscuous lifestyle. I waited a long time to have success!"
Then Sara came to the doctor seeking -- are you ready, all you E! channel kids? -- a labia reduction. More sex talk: She thought her genital malformation might come from her promiscuity, but the doctor assured her it was genetic. But now, visuals! While much of the surgical procedure was blurred or pixilated, the portions of labia removed were proudly displayed on-screen in all their E! glory. And then more sex talk, with Sara's friend joking about putting the excised parts of Sara's genitals in a scrapbook or in a picture frame.
Later in the episode, E! followed Sara to a "pleasure party" (and vibrator sale), showing a lubricant saleswoman telling Sara to "go into the bathroom and rub this on your clitoris ... rub that on your clitoris ... and tell us how you feel."
Earlier, there was a different episode about a couple where both the male and female had malformed genitals: Natalie needed a labia reduction, and Josh struggled with an overly large scrotum. Another scene even featured a former porn actress named Tabitha getting a fashionable new procedure -- anal bleaching. "I'm addicted to anal bleaching!" she declared enthusiastically. I will save you the details of the visuals and the narrative. Just use your imagination, then accept that you're not even close, because your imagination can't match Hollywood's.
What compels anyone at this network, from the CEO to the lowliest of interns, to associate himself with this product? Just how proud of themselves are the sponsors, from Visa to Macy's to Fisher-Price, makers of babies' toys?
This isn't an industry that has lost its mind. It has lost its soul.