Straight Guys Ruin Everything: Glee

Gay Guy,

I think our readers know that we're both Glee fans. It was a hit last year and has returned to even bigger ratings this season.

My original take was that it was surprisingly sophisticated and adult. But the show is a catch-all. It's managed to be slapstick, sleazy, soap-opera-y, and sentimental. And those glee-clubbers have sold a lot of music along the way (Charting 71 singles, recently passing the Beatles, Billboard).

And, based on it's characters, storylines, and all around fabulousness, it's seen as a very gay friendly show... It won the GLAAD award for best comedy last year. Hooray for everyone.

This straight guy is always rooting for the counselor, Ms. Pillsbury, by the way.

Now, along comes GQ Magazine and decides to publish a photo feature on a few of the show's stars. Nothing unexpected for a men's magazine. But the decision to keep the adult actors in character as high school kids has the web all aflutter.

Here's the lead from GQ's "Glee Gone Wild" article:
How the hell did a show about high school theater geeks come to be the biggest TV show in America? Well, T&A helps. (That's talent and ambition, you pervs.) But so does a generous helping of pot-laced brownies, girl-on-girl subtext, and choreographed dry-humping.
That tone, and the racy photos, has made Glee a target of the Parent's Television Council, who decided to publish a snarky release:
"It is disturbing that GQ, which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualizing the actresses who play high school-aged characters on Glee in this way. It borders on pedophilia. Sadly, this is just the latest example of the overt sexualization of young girls in entertainment," said PTC President Tim Winter....

Many children who flocked to High School Musical have grown into Glee fans. They are now being treated to seductive, in-your-face poses of the underwear-clad female characters posing in front of school lockers, one of them opting for a full-frontal crotch shot. By authorizing this kind of near-pornographic display, the creators of the program have established their intentions on the show's direction....

With a demonstrated market of eager fans for an entertaining, musical-themed program like Glee, we wonder why the shows creators feel the need for such graphic sexualization of women. Interestingly, the photos of the male character showed him wearing a shirt, tie and vest...

Unfortunately, it seems Glee is only masquerading as a family show and is far from appropriate for young viewers.
I've got kids who want to but aren't yet allowed to watch Glee, so I get the controversy here. But man, I hate the tone of moral superiority in PTC's review. Since when does a celebrity photoshoot become evidence of plans for the "show's direction?" Besides, many of Glee's major plot points have already focused on sex and its consequences. There are virgins and there are skanks, and everything inbetween. The show has never "masqueraded" as anything. If teens are watching, they're getting a balanced presentation. This is GQ we're talking about, so it's not "interesting" that the male character keeps his shirt on while the women get "near-pornographic." It's expected. Given that these actors are 24 and 28 years old, the pedophilia accusation seems excessively slanderous.

At any rate, this once gay-friendly and family-friendly show has now been tainted, and straight guys are supposedly to blame. Not that I even know anyone who subscribes to GQ.

--Straight Guy


Allie said...

I think those comments from parents are ridiculous- I'm biased, but I learned what all the things Glee talks about (ie sex, drugs) were long before I turned 12, and I turned out just fine. Exposing kids to these things makes them learn- it's not like Glee is supporting promiscuous behavior... Quinn got pregnant after she cheated on her boyfriend and slept with someone else and makes it clear that she thinks what she did was wrong.

Straight in Upstate said...

It's Halloween, people - I'm much more concerned about the truly 13 year old girls that will be walking around dressed like that, and going up to strangers' doors asking for candy. There's bigger problems than 24 year old women posing in mens' magazines.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Some parents just completely lose it. It's like that thing with Katy Perry....what four year old thinks about sex while watching Elmo? Are they honestly naive enough to think that we don't see worse at school?!

Dorn said...

The parents commenting must not watch the show. It's a like 90210 again with adults as high schoolers. Probably would have had a similar response if Kelly and Brenda were scantilly clad with Dylan in GQ.

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