Last October, CBS's Chicago Hope got itself in deep doo-doo when Mark Harmon's character, Dr. Jack McNeil, uttered the phrase "Sh-- happens." Well, for more than a year now the WB drama Felicity has been developing a bit of a potty mouth as well. The funny thing is, no one seems to give a sh--!
Last season, Scott Speedman's alter ego, strapping jock Ben, called one of his professors "a real dick." Executive producer J.J. Abrams says the expletive caught on. In fact, "dick" has come out of Ben's mouth three times this season. "We just sort of realized that it was Ben's word," Abrams tells TV Guide Online. "The reality is that college students have a far greater vocabulary than we're allowed to use on television."
So why isn't the Federal Communications Commission giving Felicity a hard time? "We never comment on any given show," an FCC spokesperson explains. "And if there's a question of indecency as far as language, then we follow the [standard] procedures."
Regardless, Loren Ghiglione, a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication, believes that television is riding a slippery slope. "Today you're calling me about dick; tomorrow you'll be calling me about cu--."
Abrams, however, believes Ben's vocabulary isn't so bad. "It's a b-level bad word," he says. "It's not up there with George Carlin's seven words you can't say on TV. Dick is not one of those."