That's Holly Hunter naked and bound and looking, well, naked and bound on the
cable TV series "Saving Grace."
Copyright 2007 by Pat Powers
For the first twenty minutes of the September 17th showing of the TNT original TV series "Saving Grace," Holly Hunter is tied naked and face down on a bed, in an upper spreadeagle, her ankles tied together. Nice. With a happy face drawn in lipstick on her back, and other comments drawn on her butt. Also nice. She gets fucked while tied up like that. Even nicer! It's the typical "boyfriend leaves woman tied up after consensual bondage sex" scene.
Most such scenes are really chintzy on the nudity and the bondage, but not this one. A couple of people drop by, and are in no hurry to untie Holly. Nice. We get to see her butt. Very nice.
Frankly, the scene made Sheryl Lee's very similar scene (in terms of pose) on John Carpenter's "Vampires" look prudish by comparison.
Sheryl Lee bound in "John Carpenter's Vampires," being meanced by a Baldwin. It's actually a less explicit pose than the one in "Saving Grace" but Sheryl Lee's body is so damn yummy she just LOOKS nakeder.
For an example of a similar scene in a movie that makes the Saving Grace scene look prudish, think "Spun." (In "Spun" Chloe Hunter is tied face up with her legs spread and her nipples and pussy exposed to view. She's also gagged and blindfolded. It's an incredibly raunchy bondage scene for a mainstream movie, and the surprising thing is, it takes about the raunchiest bondage scene in a mainstream movie to outdo this scene from a non-premium cable TV channel.
Chloe Hunter bound naked and in a full spreadeagle, also gagged and blidnfolded, in "Spun." Raunchier than "Saving Grace?" You bet ... note the naughty bits, which would be much naughtier on a full screen. There's also sex involved, but not in this scene. In any event, Rachel Hunter. Yum.
This scene is WELL past anything that has gone before on non-premium cable TV. (I have to say "non-premium" because of course Skinamax films have had scenes of women tied up naked every so often, though not all that often, and sometimes they're having sex while tied up, which doesn't happen at all on non-premium channels.)
The closest analog to it from TV that I know of is the nude bondage scene in an episode of Law and Order in which a woman is found naked, bound and gagged in an office after a workplace rape. It was very brief scene, lasting not more than 5 or 6 seconds, and didn't show us much of the woman's body. And there was no sex. The only respect in which it beat out the "Saving Grace" scene was the pantie gag, and it didn't make a big deal out of it ... as it should have.
The pantie gag scene from Law and Order SVU. This is as much of the woman as we see, though later she appears clothed and in handcuffs. Those are panties in her mouth, though. Way to go, Law and Order SVU!.
Even movies don't always match it. Frex, in "Birthday Girl" you have Nicole Kidman tied to a bed face down and naked, but she's only from face on through the headboard, and in a very narrow focal range, which means her face was sharp and clearly defined, but her buttcheeks were just two round blobs behind her. And we never saw her having sex while tied up like that.
Nicole Kidman tied to a bed in "Birthday Girl." The scene is basically this vidcap, shown for a second or two. Sad, really..
And that was in an R-rated movie.
Very often, when bondage scenes occur on TV, they are dimly lit, sometimes extremely so. The classic example was a scene of a woman bound in bra and panties by a serial killer in some defunct cop series or other. She was kept in a hidden room near a bathroom, and the few scenes you saw to establish that she was actually there, and that she had been rescued, were so dark that you literally could not make out the woman's features or in fact any details other than the outlines of her body. You had to take the script's word for everything, because you could see virtually nothing.
Of course, a serial killer might really keep a prospective victim in a really dark place, but that doesn't work dramatically because instead of going, "Oh, she's very helpless and vulnerable and in great danger!" you go "what is that? Is something moving? I can't see a thing!"
Grace's dog joins her for a snnoze while she's cuffed to her bed. It's a long scene and there are many shots of our naked and bound heroine. All well lit. did this scene sneak in from another universe, or what?.
The scene in Saving Grace was very well lit, lengthy, we got lots of images of it (Hunter's butt was in fact intrinsic to the plot, due to what was written on her buttcheeks) and was very, very lengthy.
The writing on Hunter's butt was germane to the plot. Germane, we tell ya!
There's been nothing like it on broadcast TV. Ever. Hell, damn few mainstream movies with an R rating can match it or surpass it. If I were plotting it as a data point on a graph about the length, nudity and so forth of bondage images on TV, it'd be way out on one end of the graph without a lot of other dots (probably none) anywhere near it. What we call an "outlier."
Here we see Grace being fucked while tied up naked and bound hand and foot. Like we said, an outlier.
One of the things that has occurred to me since my initial writeup of this scene back in November is that there may well be another reason for "Saving Grace's ability to get away with such a lengthy, naked, sexual bondage scene is the religious theme of the show. "Saving Grace" after all is about a woman who calls on God to restore life to someone she has run over, and as a consequence gets an angel as guide and guardian to help her straighten her life out. In fact, that angel spends a lot of time sitting and talking with Grace while she's tied up, refusing all of her requests to untie her saying "That would be interfering."
(I seem to recall that Old Testament angels of the flaming sword variety had noooo problem at all with interfering, even unto raining death and destruction on people, so maybe it's just as well Grace has one of those New Age Hollywood angels working with her.)
So, maybe the producers of "Saving Grace" are working the old "Biblical epic" scan to get away with more sexy content than others -- it certainly worked for films like "Sign of the Cross" back in the 1930s. The idea being that in order to show how saved Grace is, you have to show what a rip-roaring sinner she is, and so it's OK to show her tied to a bed naked being fed whiskey and, well, fucked by her one-night stand because when she EVENTUALLY gets around to being saved, she'll be all that much more saved, and it'll all be worth it. (Just as it was OK to show just how degenerate those Romans were in the Biblical epics, because that just made the Christians look more prudish, er, moral.
The other problem for "Saving Grace" is that it's just about impossible to properly promote a bondage scene on TV without getting the Flanderses all foamy at the mouth. Can you imagine an ad like this on cable TV? (Imagine this in the "voice" of an announcer for a NASCAR race ad):
"Monday night at 10 p.m. FX is proud to present the most intense, dramatic hour on television as Holly Hunter gets naked for some (reverb and echo effect) NUDE SEXUAL BONDAGE!!! That's right, Holly Hunter, star of stage, screen and television will get (echo effect) BUTT NAKED and (reverb efffect) TIED HAND AND FOOT for YOUR viewing pleasure! Never before has any cable station submitted such (reverb and echo effect) SALACIOUS, EXPLICIT, NUDE SEXUAL BONDAGE for your viewing pleasure! Don't miss this (reverb) EXCITING presentation!"
You can see how that might have been a problem. No wonder so many people missed the scene, without good promotional materials like that to bring it to people's attention.
Will this usher in a new era of moral decadence and nude bondage scenes on TV? I certainly hope so! But probably this won't happen immediately. It seems more symptomatic of the FX Network's willingness to push the envelope with regard to nudity and sex. To which we say, "Hooray, FX Network!" I'm going to make a point of watching the FX Network from now on. Nothing like a ratings boost to make sex and nudity pay off.
Remember, we're regular (and perverted) guys. And sex is gonna sell only if WE keep buying. You can't count on women, children and Flanderses to keep sex as popular as it should be in all our media. (This message has been brought to you by the Conspiracy Against Decency. Join today!)
And thank you, Holly Hunter, for showing us your butt. It was worth the wait.