It's Happening: Iranian Drones Breach Israeli Air Space
Iran Has Begun Its Attack on Israel
Rachel Maddow Is Filthy Rich And Morally Bankrupt
'Our Constitution Was Made Only for a Moral and Religious People:' Part One
Here's What Trump Had to Say About Iran's Attack on Israel
A Quick Bible Study Vol. 213: What the Bible Says About the Sun...
American and Dubai
Setting the Record Straight on Long-Term Care Policy
Nippon Steel Bid to Buy US Steel: Good for US, Good for Japan
US's Happiness Ranking Plummets, but There Are Reasons Christians Should Be Encouraged by...
Texas Holding Universities Accountable on DEI
Iran Threatens the U.S. to 'Stay Away' After Launching Attacks on Israel
Lawmakers Send Stern Message to Biden Amid Iran Attack
How Biden's Failed Policies Led the Way for Iran's Attack
Officials Worry Iran Drone Attacks Against Israel Are 'Decoy' and Will Launch 'Faster...

Step Right Up to MTV's Incest Plot

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
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.

In an interview after the session with The Hollywood Reporter, show creator Epstein kept trying to dig out of this MTV stunt. "Even though there is an incest component, I think the show is not about willing incest participants. How Lucy responds to this information, what she does with it, that's going to carry us into the next couple of episodes and into the series itself."


In other words, the shock of an "incest component" is cynically designed to hook viewers into the show. "The show is not about 'I want you so bad, but society won't let us happen.' ... It's really about telling dramatic stories that are real and compelling and keep us invested in these characters ... It's a great hook to bring you in, but you'll stay past that."

It's too bad horrible plotting devices like this can't just get rejected in the germinal stages at MTV headquarters before the show is made. But MTV will keep pushing social norms to the "edge" and beyond, until there is no "edge" left to exploit.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member


Trending on Townhall Videos