"Blue Bloods," "Five-O," and Others Sending Wrong Signal About Alcohol

This scene from "Blue Bloods," is on every show. The family meets each Sunday and drinks while eating lunch. And on certain other scenes of the show there is consumption of beer and Scotch. What a signal to teens.
This scene from "Blue Bloods," is on every show. The family meets each Sunday and drinks while eating lunch. And on certain other scenes of the show there is consumption of beer and Scotch. What a signal to teens.

I am not "preaching to the choir."

This is not a hub about temperance. Nor is it voicing a self-righteous opinion about people who drink. It is though, a look at how social outlets, namely, television, has helped to keep drinking alcohol not only popular, but a huge, lucrative industry in our country.

You will not see photos of myself with other people voicing their opinions on "Alcohol Abuse and The Television Industry," because we go with the old adage, "The pen is mightier than the sword," to get out point across to those whose eyes have seen the wool being pulled down over them, but in such a way that they do not see anything wrong with this sly promotion.

Alex OLaughlin and James Caan, stars of "Hawaii Five-O," drink beer but drive when they are needed.
Alex OLaughlin and James Caan, stars of "Hawaii Five-O," drink beer but drive when they are needed.
"Mad Men's" Jon Hamm and others not only smoked, but drank at every turn.
"Mad Men's" Jon Hamm and others not only smoked, but drank at every turn.

When will we awaken?

And besides, these deceived people argue, nothing is more cuddly than a sheep. So what's the harm of having the wool pulled over our eyes? "We" do not feel any differently. That's mostly how being deceived works. First you are scoped for being a target, then told all of the soft facts about a certain addictive and dangerous substance. Before long you are "running with the big dogs," with your eyes closed.

Some life, huh?

In earlier times, booze was portrayed in silent movies as something lectherous and even comical when a man in the film would be drinking in a nearby tavern and then try to walk home. Audiences laughed tears of comedy at this scene.

Another scene from "Mad Men," and more drinking.
Another scene from "Mad Men," and more drinking.
Robert Downey, Jr. as "Tony Stark/Iron Man" enjoys drinking.
Robert Downey, Jr. as "Tony Stark/Iron Man" enjoys drinking.
This show is called: Brew Dogs.
This show is called: Brew Dogs.
Daniel Craig loves his martini's while working as "James Bond 007."
Daniel Craig loves his martini's while working as "James Bond 007."
"McGarrett and "Williams," of "Five-O" enjoy more "cold ones."
"McGarrett and "Williams," of "Five-O" enjoy more "cold ones."
Super model, Heidi Clum is proud of her ability to down a lot of beer.
Super model, Heidi Clum is proud of her ability to down a lot of beer.
Sex and The City could not run unless there was booze present.
Sex and The City could not run unless there was booze present.
Remember MTV's "Jersey Shore?" Look at Snooki and J Wow getting wasted.
Remember MTV's "Jersey Shore?" Look at Snooki and J Wow getting wasted.

Alcohol has really grown.

And as for those early westerns, you hardly saw a cold brew even in a saloon much less a shot of Old Red Eye. Booze was not the product being sold. It was the film studio hoping that the silent western you were enjoying would help keep the film studio that made the film open for the fledgling stars on their payroll.

Life went forward with booze as its passenger who had gained a few pounds: More exposure on television and no show I can think of displayed booze more than "The Untouchables." In all honesty, this show was all about Eliot Ness, the famous Fed and his team of "still-poppers," putting the kibosh on drinking. Then Ness and his boys got to chasing "The King of Bootlegging": Al Capone. This show made us forget all about Prohibition.

Now in 2015, booze is still evident. What is so hypocritical of our Federal Government about banning cigarette ads is that there is no warning to speak of on those beer, vodka, and whiskey ads that roll at full-speed on our televisions and especially during the Super Bowl. Why, and I ask for your total-honesty, the same rule-makers make alcohol companies to place warning labels on their cans and bottles? I guess the big booze companies are fearful that their sales will plummet.
Cigarette sales didn't plummet. People still smoke cigarettes today as before the magical "Warning: Cigarettes are Bad" labels placed on packs of smokes and cartons.

Television in and of itself has played such a big role in giving booze a good place to sleep as long as they are on the air. But if you watch these shows I am going to talk about in briefest terms, you will see certain transgressions made by the show's cast and if we committed these same transgressions in real life, we would be arrested.

For instance, "Blue Bloods." -- The "Reagans," are the "first family" of police officers. Tom "Frank Reagan" Selleck is the police commissioner and he has his dad, who is now the retired police commissioner, living with him. On one show, one of the Reagans, "Danny," to be exact, played by Mark Wahlberg, is drinking beer with his dad, "Frank," and "Danny' gets a call to come to a crime scene. But the next shot is "Danny" driving his own vehicle to the scene of the crime. Does the law of NOT driving and drinking only apply to the common citizen? And if an officer on the scene had caught a whiff of alcohol on "Danny's" breath, what then? I wonder.

Hawaii Five-O -- "Steve McGarett," played by Alex Olaughlin, and "Danny Williams," James Cann and the crew are eating at their buddy's rolling cafe, but the thing is, "McGarett," "Williams," and all of the central cast are slamming-back beer, but as in "Blue Bloods," "McGarett," gets a call and jumps into his car and off her goes to fight crime. But you are not supposed to drive while drinking. Again, is the signal that shows like this sending to our young people the right one?

If you will be kind enough to check the photos (to the right) you will see a celebrity boozing in their show or in public. Now I know that in their shows, they do not drink "real" booze, but it's the signal they present that bothers me.

What I would love to see is just ONE season of one show where booze is the co-star, but on "this" season, do it without booze. What harm would there be in a boozeless-season?

And if that one season were to cause a drastic-decline in teenagers drinking, driving and losing their lives . . .it would be well worth it.

This scene alone influenced more young people to drink than you would imagine.

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Comments 11 comments

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 18 months ago from Minnesota

Hi Kenneth-You bring up a really good point. Talk about sending the wrong message to viewers. I watch a series called 'Supernatural'. It's about two Ghost buster dudes. They drink in almost every scene and then bolt off in their car to fight demons and ghosts. You did a great job highlighting some popular shows that have lots of drinking in them and send a dangerous message. Voted up and hit many buttons. Hope you enjoyed your memorial weekend. It rained so much in Minnesota that sis and I cleaned a lot. Felt great!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 18 months ago

Ken, I do agree with you that the prevalent drinking by TV characters whom we admire would not be a good influence on young people. One person you didn’t mention is The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick, who is always seen drinking red wine. She hits the wine bottle the instant she hits the door. What’s wrong with water or a good soft drink occasionally, for gosh sakes. The poor gal must be dehydrated!

I have a true story about drinking and going on a reporting assignment for the Arkansas Radio Network. I forgot that I was on call one evening and had a date come over to my house for dinner. During the second rum and coke, I got a call from the news director that the sheriff had chained some prisoners to the fence outside his office in protest of jail overcrowding and that I was the only one available to cover it. OMG, two big rum and cokes and my first assignment! I told my date goodnight and headed out with rum on my breath to the sheriff’s office. There was a huge crowd of officers, reporters and the general public. I did make it through the evening without having a breathalyzer test, but nobody was more nervous than I was. I never told my boss about the drinks before meeting the fierce sheriff who placed armed officers in convenience stores and chained prisoners to the fence.


Kenneth Avery 18 months ago

Hi, Minnetonka Twin,

Thank you so much for the sweet remark. And rats! I did overlook The Good Wife. You are so right. She loves that wine, alright. Would she be willing to film one season without it?

While I am repenting of this oversight, I should have mentioned MASH and how "Hawkeye" and "Trapper" drank so much that it became just another liquid.

Actually, comparing the infancy of booze in film, it was then funny, but it has grown-up and with all of the alcohol-abuse-related-deaths, it is not funny anymore.

Have a safe night.


Kenneth Avery 18 months ago

Hey, MizbeJabbers,

What a wild woman you are. I would not have chanced that for $20. I admire your bravery for doing your first assignment after two R&C's. Great job.

Wish I had met you then. I would rode to the demonstration with you.

Loved your comment. Come back again.


cwhyel profile image

cwhyel 18 months ago from Charleroi, Pennsylvania

Very thoughtful and well-written. Great job!


nicomp profile image

nicomp 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

The culture of any TV drama is to have a drink when stressed. After a hard day lawyering at $250/hour , have a drink at the local lawyery bar. After solving crimes using the latest high technology CGI, have a drink around the autopsy table.

Oh, yeah, after a hard day bossing people around, gather the family together to bond over sterling silver utensils and wine.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 18 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

nicomp,

Thank you kindly for your enlightening and realistic-comment.

You, if you are not already, need to be authoring books. Honest.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 18 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

cwhyel,

Thank you so much for the comment.

If only ONE person can be saved by NOT abusing alcohol, then this piece has executed its purpose.

Come back anytime.


PaisleeGal profile image

PaisleeGal 17 months ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Great Article and too true. It's sad how we become like sheep and can be lead around by whatever whims the move/tv industry chooses for us to follow. The same thoughts could be said of homosexuality. But of course that's not PC to talk about.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 17 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, PaisleeGal,

"Thank you for this intelligent and sweet comment. I appreciate it very much."

And I do sincerely-appreciate Your Following Me also. That thrills me so much. Welcome!

I shall send you my Personal Thank You email in the next few days to show you how much I appreciate what you did.

Your Friend for Life,

Kenneth


nicomp profile image

nicomp 17 months ago from Ohio, USA

@PaisleeGal, I don't blame the movie/tv industry for my bad decisions.

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