I guess I can buy that there are some people out there who are too cheap or broke to pay for HBO or Netflix or rent the DVDs from a video store, and don't mind watching a very diluted rendition of one of the more brilliant episodic series ever made, but that many? (Sex and the City on TBS is a different story; that series jumped the Prada shark, oh, roughly around when Carrie walked in on Samantha sucking the FedEx guy's cock in her office. Everyone knows the classier bidnesswimmin prefer to take you out to the parking garage to polish your knob.) That's truly a strange financial situation; most people who can afford a TV in the first place can afford at least one of the above three options; Netflix in particular is very reasonably priced.
But I'm not really convinced, and I don't think Goodman is either; we've all endured enough stupid, hypocritical "culture" wars in this country to understand that the pecksniffs among us don't mind violence anywhere near as much as even the whiff of sex, or heaven forfend, a "dirty" word that they don't think their kids hear every day at school. I find it difficult to believe those people would even bother with The Sopranos or Sex and the City, but they've been known to indulge in stranger shit when they're not fleecing their flocks.
I'm certainly not saying that every first-grader ought to be exposed to The Sopranos or anything, but conversely, the entire culture cannot be brought to a halt to accommodate a six-year-old's comprehension of people, places, and things. Adults do not need to be treated like the teenagers in Footloose; not everything has to be hopelessly watered down for lowest-common-denominator consumption.
Eliminating "fuck" and "cunt" and nipples is not going to change what The Sopranos is about -- a ruthless killer and thief who serially cheats on his wife and terrorizes people who get in his way. What it will change irretrievably is the tone of the dialogue, which is the real art of it. Not only are all the dubbed "freakin'"s going to sound ridiculous pretty quickly, but the bleak humor of the show is part of its charm. This is, after all, the series whose first season culminated with the classic line, "Cunnilingus and psychiatry is what got us into this", and it made sense. And don't get me started on Deadwood, so amazingly, heavily dependent on the dense cadences of dialogue, that censoring Al Swearengen -- without a doubt the most aptly-named character in recent memory -- would be like giving the Mona Lisa a dirty sanchez.
What makes no sense is morons going through life thinking that every goddamned thing has to be bowdlerized to meet their delicate fucking sensibilities, instead of maybe finding a clue and realizing that, on the scale of bad things in this world, titties and four-letter words are pretty low. And what also makes no sense is that HBO, which heretofore has strived to make valuable, creative additions to the world of entertainment, would sign off on this nonsense. It makes sense monetarily I guess, especially since series such as Deadwood and Rome, despite their quality, don't cover their cost of production.
On the other hand, apparently there will always be a market for people who are willing to spend their God-given time watching Jack Osbourne and Erik Estrada taser some dipshits in Buttfuck, Indiana. Now that's entertainment!