Saturday, January 01, 2005

MASTERS OF THEIR DOMAINS ClearPlay (first discussed here) will begin offering filters for television series DVDs early in the year, the company announced last week. Censored versions of SEINFELD, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and FRIENDS are already in the works.

To which the proper response is: SEINFELD?

What is ClearPlay going to do? Scrub all references to the tractor story? Excise "The Contest" in its entirety? Bleep out all instances of the word "shrinkage"?

SEINFELD, after all, is a product of a culture of censorship: Episodes of the show that deal with mature themes attack their delicate subject matter through metaphor and innuendo--and with dialogue expertly constructed to avoid the ire of network censors.

So how will ClearPlay go about purging risqué content when what's risqué occurs between-the-lines, and without violence, nudity or strong language?

In censoring SEINFELD, the company will face a slew of interesting choices. I'm genuinely curious about where they'll draw the line.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.