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There Are Things You Just Don't Talk About on Network Television

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 13, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 13, 2015 |

I watch more sitcom television than is necessary, because I rarely write about most of it (or someone else does) and much of it I don’t get that much enjoyment from, anyway. It breaks up the dramas, though, and sometimes I need a 22-minute reprieve from the darkness, so shows like Modern Family and The League (which hasn’t really been that good in a few years) remain on my DVR. I’ll also probably end up watching Grandfathered all season long, though the series is mediocre, at best.

Then there’s Life in Pieces, of which Vivian wrote about last week. I finished Fargo after midnight last night, but I needed a wind-down series before bed. I turned on Life in Pieces.

I may never sleep again.

Life in Pieces is not a particularly good sitcom, but the cast is amazing, and if I had to choose a sitcom-wife to marry in an alternate Rick-and-Morty universe where real people wedded fictional characters, Zoe Lister-Jones’ character would be my first choice.

Moreover, Life in Pieces is not exactly groundbreaking television — in fact, it’s a knock-off of Modern Family and Parenthood — but last night’s episode went to a very dark place that I’ve never seen network television go to before, and I pray to God that it never goes there again.

Life in Pieces went to booger town.

There was a subplot concerning dried nasal mucous.

The Walking Dead. Eli Roth. Kurt Sutter. Dario Argento. Faces of Death. These things, I can handle. I am numb to sex and violence. But boogers? Get the fuck away with that. Do not talk to about nostril poop. It makes me spectacularly squeamish. As someone who has been changing diapers for years, and who has seen it all, boogers still get to me. In fact, the most disgusting passage I’ve ever read was about boogers. It was a Stephen King novel — I don’t even remember which one (Dolores Claiborne, maybe?) — and it involved the rolling and the staring and the eating and the flicking of nasal goo.

My stomach still does backflips when I think about it.

In last night’s dark, dark episode of Life in Pieces, the youngest daughter of Betsy Brandt and Dan Bakkedahl’s characters couldn’t sleep in her own bed because she was in an unfamiliar new house, so she kept sleeping in the beds of her siblings. Her siblings, however, complained that she was picking her nose.

“I’ve seen her get two knuckles deep,” said her older sister.

“Does she eat it?” her Mom asked, recoiling.

“No, no. She wipes it on the sheet.”

“Why can’t she just roll it in a ball and flick it across the room like everybody else?” her Dad asked.


It didn’t end there. We discovered that the youngest daughter wasn’t picking her nose haggis because she was scared, but because she had a peanut lodged up there. For two weeks.

When they finally pulled the peanut out of her nose with a pair of Tweezers, her older brother walked through and — because he didn’t know where that peanut was — he grabbed it and swallowed it.

He ate the peanut that was in his sister’s nose.


Where the hell was the Parent’s Television Council on this? Or the Million Moms? They’re all off raising hell about Scream Queens or whatever Miley Cyrus is wearing (or not wearing), and the real danger is right under their nose. They even aired this before 9 p.m. IN THE FAMILY HOUR. Those poor bastards who failed to change the channel after Big Bang Theory were subjected to green-mucous nastiness.

Snot balls! Mocos! Finger bogeys!

This is madness! You have to draw the line somewhere! You can only push the envelope so far before someone it tears. It ripped open last night and covered us all in nose grout.

Please, I beg of you. Keep your boogers off my television. It is unacceptable. Boogers and booger talk should stay on the dark Internet, where it belongs, so only the most depraved fetishists will find it.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.