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Monday nights on CBS rated R for raunchy
Elliot Metz, a 22-year-old news producer from Wichita, Kan., used to watch “Two and a Half Men” with his parents until they couldn’t anymore.
“It was still funny,” he said. “We just kind of had trouble laughing without looking at each other awkwardly.”
Neil Flynn said the humor is mostly lazy. Mr. Flynn, who stars as Mike Heck in the ABC comedy “The Middle,” said he’s put off by the constant stream of sex and anatomy jokes and is proud that parents and kids can watch his show together without discomfort.
“It’s pandering to the lowest common denominator,” Mr. Flynn said. “I’m no expert, but it seems to me that we’re in danger of dumbing down the audience, where they think it’s a good joke when it’s actually not a very good joke. It’s just a dirty joke, that you could make or your neighbor could make. I just think, without being prudish, that professional comedy writers should write jokes that only professional comedy writers can tell.”
Mark Roberts, executive producer of “Mike & Molly,” said he’s always enjoyed comedy on television where he feels like people are getting away with something.
“There’s certain things you can’t do, you know,” Mr. Roberts said. “I mean, I’m not sure what all of them are.”
“That’s one of the great things about broadcast television is, nobody really knows what’s appropriate anymore,” Mr. Lorre said. “It’s a floating target.”
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