What The Flock?! What Is Up With ABC's Fornicating Flamingos?

Alright, what the flock is this? It’s a billboard for ABC’s “Bachelor In Paradise,” which started its eighth season on September 27.

Variations on the billboard above starting appearing in the run-up to the new season and are still in use to promote the show on ABC’s website and elsewhere.

One example of many is an outdoor billboard seen this past weekend mounted on the ABC Studios building on Columbus Avenue in New York.

Speaking of “mounted,” the image places two plastic, blow-up pink flamingos involved in the propagation of their species under the tagline “Everyone’s down to flock.”

Certainly, the ad’s message is clear: Watch “Bachelor In Paradise” and see its contestants flocking. 



The TV Blog has not yet watched the new season of “Bachelor In Paradise” because, really, who has the time?

But it is a sure bet that no one will be seen actually “flocking” on this show, which is, after all, on network TV, not Cinemax.

Thus, one could criticize this ad as being misleading, but that is not so unusual for promotional material in the entertainment space. We are talking about show business here.

As readers of this TV Blog may already suspect, this column is less about the toy flamingos and more about the cheeky use of the f-word disguised in flamingo’s clothing.

To sum up the TV Blog’s take on this stuff: Thumbs down on these variations of the f-word (or the actual word) in TV show titles and promotional material (not to mention the titles of best-selling books, stage plays and other media).

They are eye-catching -- visual Velcro, you might say -- but are they creative?

Some would say yes. Where the above billboard is concerned, the quality of its design and production is high -- great photo and type placement, the latter balancing well with the fornicating flamingos.

Some might also praise the ad for its cleverness. It effectively gets its message across and certainly draws attention to “Bachelor In Paradise.”

But it is also representative of TV’s role in the mainstreaming of a word that is still considered by many to be taboo, both on TV and in everyday speech.

On that subject, however, it is widely used in everyday speech today, and therefore can be considered widely accepted.

Even the TV Blog uses it -- when accidentally dealing a blow to my hand while using a hammer, for example.

In any case, this issue has a long history here. It has come up in the context of at least three TV show titles -- the Viceland food show called “F*ck, That’s Delicious,” a Gordon Ramsay show on Fox titled “The F-Word With Gordon Ramsay” and the comedy called “Kevin Can F**k Himself” on AMC.

And here we are -- another day, another f-word column. And yet, in September 2017, a TV Blog on this very subject conceded defeat on the issue and even declared that the battle is over.

“It is time for the TV Blog to close the book on the subject of the f-word,” the blog said in its very first sentence. Evidently, this did not happen.

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