It’s understandable that the FCC has to uphold some standard of decency in broadcast media (think of the children!). Some movies, though, are so steeped in questionable content that they should stay off the airwaves — not so much to protect the innocence of the viewers as to preserve the artistic integrity of the films in question. Still, TV stations will do their darnedest to get people to watch, which results in the bastardization of movies that it’s hard to make kid-friendly. This practice might be despicable, but it’s absolved by the fact that it offers endless comic potential. Dodging curses becomes especially laughable when the profanity in question is a well-known quote that’s been deeply incorporated into pop culture. But the show must go on.
When FX decided to air Snakes on a Plane, for example (so much for “artistic integrity”), the explicit content had to be removed one way or another. The station could have just taken out the the film’s most famous line, but what would the movie be without it? Instead, they apparently opted to take the dumber, more hilarious approach:
Similarly, the Die Hard franchise sans Bruce Willis’ trademark somehow loses some of its punch. This Die Hard 2: Die Harder montage culminates with the eyebrow-raising substitution. Honorable mention: “Joe off!”
Don’t even get me started on Scarface. Pineapple? Really? Classic.
And then there’s Tarantino. Profanity is integrated into the very fabric of his work; his ability to pen dialogue, including foul language, is part of what makes him great. Deciding to dub Pulp Fiction, which clocks in at a whopping 265 F-bombs, would be such a laborious undertaking that it probably wouldn’t even be worth it, even taking the film’s wild success into account.
Same goes for The Big Lebowski.