The Difference Between TV-MA and R Ratings
In an era where streaming platforms are dominating the content landscape, standardized ratings play an increasingly crucial role. These ratings, such as TV-MA and R, serve as a guide for viewers, particularly parents, to make informed decisions about their entertainment choices.
TV-MA and R ratings are intended for mature audiences and typically contain strong language, sexual content, and violence. The biggest difference between these two ratings lies in their primary platforms; TV-MA is primarily found on streaming platforms, while R is mainly seen in theaters.
What is TV-MA?
TV-MA is a rating that indicates the content of a television show is inappropriate for audiences under 17. This rating usually covers elements like bad language, explicit sexual activity, and graphic violence. Shows like Game of Thrones fall under this category.
Streaming platforms have seen a boom in this genre of TV shows, with creators pushing boundaries to offer audiences complex and challenging narratives. Unlike traditional broadcasting channels, streaming services allow producers to release episodes on their own schedule, allowing them to experiment with more intense themes and narratives without the limitations of time slots.
This also allows them to include content that is not suitable for younger viewers, such as the L rating for coarse language and the S rating for sexually suggestive dialogues. This type of content is more common in R-rated movies, but it is still common in TV-MA shows. This makes it important for parents to check the ratings of TV shows before letting their children watch them.
What is the R rating?
R-rated shows can contain a lot of the same content as TV-MA shows, including crude language, sexually explicit material, and violence. But the main difference is that R-rated shows are typically movies, while TV-MA shows are television series.
Movies with the R rating are primarily intended for adult audiences. These films often include disturbing visuals and intense or persistent violence. They also feature mature themes that can be distressing or upsetting to some viewers, such as bullying, suicide, murder, or discrimination.
The R rating is often associated with edgier, more controversial, and boundary-pushing storytelling. However, the criteria for what earns a film this rating can change over time. This can be due to societal shifts in attitudes toward violence, language, and sexuality or because of changes in the ratings system. For example, MPAA started giving more detailed warnings for R-rated films (like “Strong Brutal Violence,” “Pervasive Nudity,” and “Intense Lousy Language”) in the late 1990s.
What are the differences between TV-MA and the R rating?
TV-MA is a rating that alerts viewers that the show they’re about to watch isn’t suitable for children under 17 and may contain explicit language, nudity, and violence. It’s similar to the R rating for movies but can be considered worse in some cases.
While both ratings allow for explicit content, TV shows tend to go into these themes more in-depth than movies. This means that they can create more suspense and fear over a longer period of time.
There are a number of different descriptors that can be used to indicate the contents of a TV show, such as L for coarse language, S for suggestive dialogue and VF for fantasy violence. Additionally, the ratings also indicate if there is sexual activity or drug and alcohol abuse. Some of the most popular TV-MA shows include Game of Thrones, Ted Lasso and Dark. This indicates that the shows have a high level of violence and explicit sex scenes.