6 Sexual Boundary Pushers
These Shows Went There...All The Way There
Back in the old days, TV shows were under significant pressure from the watchful eye of moral guardians to keep their content squeaky clean, presumably for the sake of the children, and at the expense of those who wanted to see sex and violence during primetime viewing hours. For the most part, thanks to cable channels like HBO and streaming services like Netflix, those days are over. Sure, there are still technically content limitations in place, but the bar is so high, most TV shows are basically free to show whatever they want. Here are six game-changing TV shows which pushed the boundaries of sexual content on the small screen:
By all accounts, Showtime is a network with no rules. How else can you explain that time on Shameless when William H. Macy literally had sex with a grave? (It was in Season six, for those interested) Shameless is a crazy show, but there’s always a method to its madness, a human heart at the center of all its sexually depraved insanity. A cold, black, rotten heart, but a heart nonetheless. I mean, have they no shame? Oh, wait… Now I get it!
Depending on our mood, we crave either gratuitous sex or gratuitous violence. Every once in a while, though, we want both, and that’s where Spartacus comes in. The brainchild of Steven S. DeKnight and Sam Raimi, Spartacus is a violent, visually stunning gladiator show with bone-crunching martial arts moves, courtesy of oiled-up hunks like the late Andy Whitfield, Liam McIntyre, and Manu Bennett. For such a macho show, however, the women of the series are surprisingly deep and three-dimensional characters. Lucy Lawless, in particular, stands out, and not just for her proclivity towards situations which leave precious little to our imaginations.
The Wachowskis are best known for provocative movies like The Matrix and Cloud Atlas (and the criminally underrated Speed Racer), but their most recent project, Netflix‘s Sense8, was a fan favorite for fans of the streaming site. Though ultimately cancelled after just two seasons (and a grand finale movie event), the show definitely left its mark, particularly with its pulse-pounding sex scenes, which take advantage of every letter in the LGBTQ initialism.
The life and times of Henry VIII seem tailor-made for a sexual and violent soap opera, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the doe-eyed Irish hottie best known for his roles in Mission: Impossible III and Match Point, was an inspired choice to play the horny King. Smart, sexy, and hot-headed, Henry was the type of man who would establish the Church of England just because the Catholic Church refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. This sexed-up melodrama was a distinct outlier from the usual stuffy image of old-timey costume dramas.
HBO‘s True Blood, based on the novels by Charlaine Harris, had blood and sex in equal measure, which was just how the fans wanted it. After all, with a cast consisting of Anna Paquin, Alexander Skarsgård, Lizzy Caplan, Sam Trammell, and Nelsan Ellis (among many other hotties), we don’t want them to just go about their daily business; we want them naked, bloody, and sexed-up.
Game of Thrones
No article about sex on TV would be complete without referencing Game of Thrones. When people aren’t getting stabbed to death, bludgeoned to death, burned to death, or getting their faces eaten by dogs to death, they’re usually having hot, naked sex, probably with a family member. We know it’s gross, but we’re going to keep on shipping Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. It’s so wrong, but so right. But so wrong. But so right.