What: "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel"
Where: HBO, tonight, 10
With HBO's "The Sopranos," you get a lot of bad language. With "Sex in the City," you get graphic talk about sex. With this edition of "Real Sports," you get both.
HBO goes out of bounds here. "Real Sports" should be family entertainment, not X-rated, even if it is on HBO.
The lead story is on pitcher David Wells, who never heard a bad word he was afraid to use in front of a camera. And none is edited out.
Another story is on a stripper who got kicked off the Cal State Fullerton track team because of her choice of part-time work.
HBO attacks this story as if the stripper, Leilani Rios, was being wronged. This is a scandal tailor-made for HBO producers. To get to the bottom of it, they work in plenty of explicit shots of Rios at her job.
About being kicked off the track team, Rios says of the coach, "He made me feel like I was doing something wrong."
Rios also complains that members of the Cal State Fullerton baseball team came to her club in Anaheim but weren't punished. She says it was the baseball players who tipped off school officials about her job.
Rios now has an attorney, and they are exploring legal options.
No sex in the segment on Wells, just a lot of expletives.
Asked by correspondent Armen Keteyian why he took a verbal shot at New York Met Manager Bobby Valentine in an interview with http://Playboy.com, Wells says, "Well, a . . . is a . . . " In the press material HBO sent out to promote this show, that quote is written: "'Well, a [unprintable] is a [unprintable]."
It appears HBO will spare reporters from the bad words, but not the viewers. The word comes through loud and clear on the show, as does all of Wells' other colorful language.