SEX. Now that I have your attention…to paraphrase Willie Nelson, sex, you are always on the mind of network television characters, which is tricky for writers who have to talk about Doing It without actually being able to show the good stuff. It’s not HBO, it’s TV, and networks can’t have sexposition here, there, and everywhere. They need to use creative liberties to depict dirty, dirty sex while still upholding “standards.” Here are some shows that are very good at it.
Like many things in life, Shonda Rhimes is the best at this, right from the very first scene of Grey’s Anatomy where Meredith wakes up in bed with Derek on the floor, nothing but a thin blanket covering his very naked body. More recently, How to Get Away With Murder has shown quick flashes of Conner’s sexvestigations. Her dialogue tells while the actors show (as much as they can), like HTGAWM’s Analise getting oral from her lover, who’s on his knees in a nice role reversal; or President Fritz’s daughter’s participating in the Eiffel Tower position in her sex video on Scandal; or Jake’s monologue to Olivia: “I’m the one you like to ride. I’m the one who makes you moan. I’m the one who reaches you in places he can’t begin to touch,” which he means quite literally; or someone explaining how Connor “did this thing to my ass that made my eyes water.” So, yeah.
The Mindy Project’s “I Slipped”
Taking a censored page out of the Sex and the City handbook, Mindy Kaling dedicated an entire episode of her show to butt sex. Though no one ever explicitly utters the words “anal” or “butt sex,” everyone KNEW where Danny “slipped” into.
The Good Wife’s Kalinda Sharma
I talked about Kalinda last week, but I’m mentioning her again because she’s the most sexually rich character on the show. She utilizes her sensuality as an interrogation tool, and enjoys the hell out of doing so. There is no “no” for Kalinda. Nothing depicts this better than when she shows her ex- how she likes to eat her ice cream after he tries to “please” her.
Seinfeld, “The Contest”
It’s another situation, probably the most famous, where we all knew what the characters were talking about — masturbation — without anyone ever saying the word. “The Contest” is about how long Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer could restrain themselves, a sly meta commentary on not being able to do something you want to. On the PeaCOCK network, no less.
Friends, “The One With Phoebe’s Uterus”
Ah yes, the famous seven “female erogenous zones” map. I wish I could’ve seen it when Monica goes through a paint-by-the-numbers tutorial approach of each of them. As she explains the steps, it’s made even dirtier when she uses numbers instead of body parts. When Chandler comments that the map was upside down, Rachel suggests, “Well you know, sometimes that helps,” because that’s what it takes to get to the elusive seventh zone.