Brent Bozell
For those who predict the coming collapse of Western civilization, there's always MTV for proof. At this year's Television Critics Association summer tour in Hollywood, MTV put on a panel discussion for the press with the cast and creators of a forthcoming series called "Happyland." The female star of the show, actress Bianca Santos, announced the new MTV motto: "Incest is hot, and we're going to have fun!"

Lisa de Moraes at the website Deadline Hollywood reported on the pilot episode of this "soapy teen comedy" -- remember that this is a show for teenagers. This show, "exploring the underbelly of a popular theme park," includes a clip of Santos making out with the amusement park's "new hottie" only to discover ... he's her brother.

The assembled TV critics and reporters asked the obvious questions. "So, why the twist? Why the brother and sister making out thing? How does that relate to the other things (in the show)?" And, "Without getting too heavily into spoilers, where does this go after she realizes it's her brother?"

We all know the answer to No. 1. The incest "twist" is MTV digging ever deeper for their precious "edge" until they've dulled the shock of every perversion. The show's creator, Ben Epstein, boosted the notion that this was like a fairy tale of the handsome prince sweeping a maiden off her feet, and he just adds the "MTV edge to it, and makes it all weird and crazy." That's when Santos blurted, "Incest is hot, and we're going to have fun!"

But, mercifully for the rest of us, for once, the critics weren't happy with this plot. "She kissed him and they are siblings. That does not sound complicated. That sounds horrifying," one TV critic proclaimed.

"I understand you're all trying to get off the incest thing," another TV critic noticed. "No, please, bring it back -- we haven't had enough," one of the actors (unnamed in the de Moraes report) shot back. The critic replied, "Look, I didn't put it in the pilot," noting the series is described as a comedy, but "I don't think there's a funny 'Flowers in the Attic.'" (That's a 1979 novel about teenaged siblings locked in an attic who fall into incest.)

At that point, the executive producers, well-known gay activists Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, tried to cast doubt on the "edge," insisting that it's possible these kissing characters (SET ITAL) might (END ITAL) be brother and sister, and they might not. "They basically kissed ... nothing sexual happened," Zadan argued.

But the show's star Santos kept babbling joyously about the "holy crap" moment when the kissing-sibling plot is revealed.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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