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The Knights of Prosperity on ABC (9:30 p.m. EST)

Rating: TV-PG DL


By Katherine Kuhn


The August 8th episode of ABC’s comedy The Knights of Prosperity was grossly underrated.  In this episode the program’s only female character, Esperanza, uses her sexuality to lure Ray Romano away from his apartment while the Knights attempt to rob it.  As the robbery goes horribly awry (as the Knights’ plans always do), Esperanza tries to seduce Ray Romano into sleeping with her at a hotel so the Knights don’t get caught:


Esperanza: "I've always dreamed of sleeping with you."

Ray: "What?"

Esperanza: "But not here!  It must be in a fancy hotel in mid-town."

Ray: "Are you one of those professional sex ladies?"

Esperanza: "I'm a dancer by night, waitress by day."

[Eugene, pretending to be Esperanza’s brother, enters the conversation]

Eugene: "Hooray!  I see you've met my sister, Natasha."

Ray: "Alright, now I'm in crazy town."

Esperanza: "I must have you."

Ray: "What are you talking about?  You don't want to sleep with me."

Esperanza: "More than anything in this world."

Eugene: "Natasha, we must talk."


Later, Eugene tries to talk Esperanza out of sleeping with Ray, but Esperanza reassures Eugene it is for the good of the group:


Esperanza: "For the good of the Knights of Prosperity, I will give my body to Everybody Loves Raymond."


Esperanza walks back over to Ray Romano:


Esperanza: "Please take me now, in a fancy hotel in mid-town."

Ray: "Don't you see how wrong this is?  Don't you realize that?"

Esperanza: "I will do special things..."


Esperanza is dressed to look like a prostitute, wearing a short mini skirt, feather boa, and revealing skirt. For Esperanza, this is out of character -- she is dressed this way solely to emphasize the sexual nature of the discussion.  Esperanza goes to a hotel with Romano, where the sexual discussion continues:


Ray: "This is exactly what's wrong with show business.  This is just plain wrong.  Should I sit in the chair or should I get right in the bed?"

Esperanza: "I would like to freshen up my private areas first."

Ray: "Okay, alright.  Mine are pretty much ready to go."


This kind of dialogue surely warrants more than a PG-rating.  A female character using her sexuality to prevent her friends from being caught engaging in criminal behavior is not appropriate for young viewers.  Would a ten-year-old girl understand that using sex to get out of trouble is not a good way to solve problems?  Probably not.  Though Romano repeatedly states that Esperanza wanting to sleep with him is “wrong,” he still is clearly prepared to take her up on her offer.


The above dialogue, along with the rest of the episode’s criminal and sexual content, shows that this program is not suitable for children under 14.  The August 8th 9:30 p.m. EST episode of The Knights of Prosperity should have been rated TV-14 for its intense discussion of promiscuous sexual behavior -- behavior that was glorified and validated because it was “for the good of the group.”


If you agree that this program was inadequately rated, please write to the TV ratings advisory board at tvomb@usa.net and let them know that the TV ratings once again failed to adequately warn parents about inappropriate content.    


For more information about the TV ratings, please visit http://www.tvguidelines.org/contact.asp


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