• No Reason to Feel Bad If “I Feel Bad” Gets Cancelled

    by  • October 31, 2018 • Other • 2 Comments

    I Feel Bad

    Every September the PTC attends they Paley Center for Media’s PaleyFest — where episodes of new television series are screened ahead of their broadcast TV premieres – to get a jump-start on the fall television season and to identify those shows that are likely to be problematic and also to look for shows that offer some promise of family-friendly entertainment.

    At this year’s PaleyFest, the new NBC comedy I Feel Bad stood-out as particularly problematic. In our review of the series, we pointed out the hypocritical way this series presents itself as a critic of our hypersexualized culture – only to exploit it for cheap laughs.

    The female protagonists Emet criticizes her male co-workers for designing female characters with “bowling ball boobs,” yet then deliberately invites them to sexually harass her by asking, “Be honest: am I still do-able?”  Elsewhere, Emet is horrified when her nine-year-old daughter who has joined a danceline, performs sexually suggestive dance moves, including “twerking,” rubbing against a boy’s midsection, and allowing the boy to lift her by her legs so that she straddles him, while he thrusts his crotch into her.

    In this age of #MeToo, content like this is out of place and hypocritical, especially when it involves a young girl.

    In addition, the first episode featured multiple profanities, vulgar anatomical references and sexualized dialogue, while the show’s producer has promised that such content would continue and even expand.

    The grossly inappropriate content in this series cannot be lightly dismissed as social commentary. Not when it is wallowing in the very behavior it purports to condemn. And not when it is rated as appropriate for children as young as fourteen.

    The PTC has been reaching out to the show’s sponsors, and many of the companies that appeared on the first episodes have not returned for subsequent episodes – only 1 of the 20 advertisers we reached-out to in the last month has returned – and that company is a local media buyer, not a national sponsor. Meanwhile, many of the top-dollar, blue-chip sponsors seem to be abandoning ship and those ad availabilities appear to be going to bargain-shopper advertisers.

    All of which could spell trouble for the series.

    But given the problematic content, the disturbing sexualization of young girls, and the hypocritical way this program approaches workplace sexual harassment, there’s no reason to feel bad if I Feel Bad gets cancelled.




    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    2 Responses to No Reason to Feel Bad If “I Feel Bad” Gets Cancelled

    1. moax429
      October 31, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      That’s great news you discovered, Georgi.

      If this show dies, I *won’t* “feel bad,” either

    2. October 31, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Before I begin, I just wanna say sorry for my previous comment here. That’s all.

      Anyway, I have three more reasons why I Feel Bad is on the verge of cancelation:
      1. It has a 23% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
      2. The most recent episode, appropriately titled ‘I’m a Massive Hypocrite’, drew only 2.09 million same-day viewers. Looking back, the series premiere drew 5.72 million same-day viewers, and ratings have declined ever since.
      And 3. So far, NBC hasn’t confirmed a back nine order for the show.

      I may be right when I said this won’t even last the whole season.

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