'Glee': Sex, Songs and Sleaze
The popular show "Glee" has caused a stir with lesbian fantasies, gay kissing, teen pregnancy and racy photos of the actors - the new season is sure to display more immorality-promoting content. As "Gleeks" everywhere eagerly anticipate the return of their show, they should be reminded that it isn't just innocent, happy show tunes that this "groundbreaking" show promotes.
Fox's hit musical/comedy has garnered acclaim from TV critics everywhere, having received in its first season, 19 Emmy nominations, one in every comedy category, and four Golden Globe nominations, including taking home the Golden Globe for Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical.
2011 is shaping up to be another praise-worthy year for "Glee" - the comedy/musical has once again taken the Golden Globe for Best TV Series for its category and gym teacher Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) and gay protagonist Kurt (Chris Colfer) walked away with Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards, respectively. It has attracted as many as 12.3 million viewers on its second season premiere and is one of the highest grossing sales on iTunes, with "Glee" cast songs receiving more than 13 million digital single sales to date.
UK Guardian writer Sam Wollaston thanked the Almighty for "Glee's" February return saying, "…praise the Lord its back, at last there's something joyous on television for a man in a mid-winter midlife crisis to look forward to." Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that "Glee" is "delightful enough to qualify as a fall favorite."
Entertainment Weekly writer Ken Tucker was so confident in the success of "Glee" that he wrote that the show "blasts past any defenses you might put up against it."
The media love "Glee," calling the show a "quirky, sweet, humorous, nonpartisan funfest," and a "truly groundbreaking new comedy." But despite its quick wit and impressive following, "Glee" has a disgusting track record of underage drinking, one night stands, anti-conservative jabs, teen pregnancy, and smutty performances.
Sexually Confused High School Students are the Norm
Bisexual teen girls making out in revealing cheerleading outfits referencing sex acts is just another typical scene viewers will see on "Glee." In April 2010, two of the show's popular cheerleaders, Santana and Brittany, were shown cuddling and kissing on a bed, professing their love to one another. Santana (played by Naya Rivera), lying on top of Brittany (Heather Morris) in their skimpy cheerleading outfits, welcomed the kissing and referred to a lesbian sex act when she said, "It's a nice break from all that scissoring." These actors are portraying high school students, all of 16 or 17 years old.
When emotionally unstable and famously gay hero Kurt (Chris Colfer) received an unexpected kiss from a beefy high school bully, the media was unsurprisingly, apathetic. On the November 9, 2010, episode titled "Never Been Kissed," typical high school bully character Karofsky, in an emotional tirade, planted a kiss Kurt in a disturbing locker-room scene.
Kurt's emerging sexuality has been a major theme throughout the two seasons of "Glee" thus far. In one emotionally charged episode, Kurt is forced to confront his inappropriate feelings for straight, handsome football quarter back Finn (Cory Monteith), the fellow Glee club member he loves.
In "Theatricality," Finn's mom decided that the two of them are moving in with Kurt and his father and Kurt used the opportunity to encourage the arrangement for Kurt and Finn to share a room. The tension builds Kurt decided to redecorate their shared room while Finn was away. Finn came back and addressed their relationship and the room's effeminate new design. "You don't think I see the way you stare at me? How flirty you get? You think I don't know why you were so excited we were moving in?" Finn said. Kurt replied by telling Finn that they can redecorate and Finn, obviously offended by the feminine décor, shouted for him to get rid of "that faggy lamp and then we need to get rid of this faggy couch blanket."
Kurt's father Burt (Mike O'Malley) overheard the boys' exchange and came running in accusing Finn of calling his gay son a "fag." Finn defends himself against Burt, saying that he merely called the decorations by the homosexual slur and not his son. Burt launches into a two minute long lecture about the use of the word "fag," calling that rhetoric 'poison.'
Risque, underwear-clad musical numbers and prayers for sexual favors mark the first two seasons of "Glee."
"Glee" star Lea Michelle who plays "Rachel," a high school student, wore a belly-showing, bra-baring shirt, and an extremely short skirt, channeling Britney Spears' infamous Catholic school-girl outfit when she performed the hit "Baby One More Time" in a Spears tribute episode that aired in September 2010. In the same episode, one of the high school boys, Jacob (Josh Sussman) is caught masturbating to the image of his classmate, Rachel, dressed as Spears.
In "Grilled Cheesus," Finn, a high school jock, is seen praying to "Grilled Cheesus" - a grilled cheese sandwich resembling Jesus Christ in an October 2010 episode. Not only does Finn pray to the piece of bread and melted cheese, his selfish prayer is for help getting to second base with girlfriend, Rachel.
And in October 2010 a "Glee" controversy became a sexy national story. Actors Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Dianna Agron engaged in a racy photo shoot for GQ magazine. The actors posed in character, in a high school setting, in seductive positions suggesting a threesome was in order. Michele was pictured in a full frontal crotch shot on a pine, locker room bench seductively holding a red lollipop. Parents Television Council President Tim Winter said the photo shoot "borders on pedophilia" because the actors portrayed children.
Conservatives Under Fire
But beyond displaying sexually active and sexually confused high school students, "Glee" also pushes a left-wing political agenda.
"Glee" took a shot at the intelligence of well-known political conservative Sarah Palin. As could be expected, the favorite media punching bag and vice-presidential candidate was the butt of a joke by gym teacher and "Glee" villain, Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch) in the April 13, 2010 episode. "You may be two of the stupidest teens I've ever encountered," Sylvester said, insulting two cheerleaders. "And that's saying something. I once taught a cheerleading seminar to a young Sarah Palin."
Conservatives who believe in abstinence education for high school students got a slap in the face when the head of a chastity group became pregnant from a drunken one night stand. In season one, in a September 2009 episode titled "Preggers," cheerleader Quinn, a cross-necklace wearing good-girl and president of the "Celibacy Club," had told her boyfriend Finn that they should pray during intense make-out sessions. She initially believed Finn is the baby's father, and that they conceived the child in a hot tub. It is later discovered that Quinn's baby is the result of a single, alcohol-induced sexual encounter with another high school jock, Puck (Mark Salling).
The show went further to insult pro-abstinence conservatives when leading "Glee" club member Rachel chastises the "Celibacy Club," in a tirade against abstinence education. "Most studies have shown celibacy does not work in high school," Rachel tells the club. "Our hormones are driving us too crazy to abstain. The second we start telling ourselves there's no compromise we act out. The only way to beat teen sexuality is to be prepared. That's what contraception is for,' she said. Underage, drunken, unprotected sex among high school students that have pledged abstinence is the message "Glee" is sending its viewers.
Objectionable content should be no surprise coming from "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy. Known for pushing boundaries, Murphy is famous for his raunchy FX show "Nip/Tuck" and according to the Examiner.com, "…Ryan Murphy has declared that it is his goal in life to remove every barrier to the depiction of explicit sex on TV," wrote Charisse Van Horn from the Tampa Television Examiner. "On Bravo's 'Sex in the Box' Murphy said, 'It's tough to get that sexual point of view across on television. Hopefully I have made it possible for somebody on broadcast television to do a rear-entry scene…'"
"Glee's" family-unfriendlynesshas not gone unnoticed by faith and family groups. American Decency Association claimed that 'Glee' is dangerous because it is a mixed bag of "catchy vocal production numbers' and 'sexualized themes and secular humanist propaganda indoctrinating viewers."
The Parents Television Council is no fan of the show aimed at teens. President Tim Winter said "'Glee' is only masquerading as a family show and is far from appropriate for young viewers."
But all this controversy seems to have finally made an impact on Murphy, who told The Hollywood Reporter that he has been hearing about "pushing the line" from fans. When discussing his reaction to the October GQ photo spread, Murphy said, "And I think all parties involved learned a lesson about how parents look to the show as something inspirational and aspirational," Murphy said. "We all realized that we have to be a little more careful when it comes to sexuality … From now on, I will sweat every single word and how we're presenting it."