11 August 2014

ANZAC Girls and TV Ratings

We just started watching a new mini-series from the ABC, The ANZAC Girls. It's about the role of Australian Army nurses during the First World War. The first episode was ... I want to say enjoyable, but there was a lot of human suffering and 'enjoyable' seems inappropriate.

As an Australian you grow up with the ANZAC stories, legends and myths, but I don't know that I've ever really heard much about the nurses. There's been a few stories about Aussie nurses in Asia during the Second World War. This story has so far focused five nurses, two more so than the others. They are a diverse array of characters, which hopefully will become even more three dimensional as the series progresses.

M – not recommended for children under 15; may include moderate levels of violence, language or themes.
I would like the TV rating system to be revised. The episode was rated "M" (mature audience). We don't often watch M rated shows. Maybe I'm not mature enough, but I find them often too graphic. The M rating covers a range of issues, such as "violence", "adult themes", "nudity", "drug use", "strong language". I assume every channel is the same (we only watch ABC shows), at the beginning of the show when they tell you it's M rated, they also tell you the specific issues. I find the M rating is usually due to violence, or maybe that's just because I watch the who-done-its.

This show had a warning about violence. I didn't notice any violence. Being about war, I'd braced myself for scenes of the battle fields. But there were no scenes of the actual fighting. Not even any punch ups in the camps or cat fights between the nurses. However, there were plenty of scenes in hospital rooms of horribly mutilated bodies. Bayonets are nasty business, even before you add bombs and bullets. And there was lots of bloods. Lots of blood. I think "blood" should be a warning.

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