Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Way to go Glee!

So I know that Glee hasn't exactly been that consistent lately... sometimes it's all about the characters and storylines; while other times the plot seems almost extraneous. We know that for most of the fans, the show is - and always has been - all about the music. But many of us have also really grown to love these characters.

One thing that hasn't faltered about this season is the way the writers have treated the LGBT themes.

Chris Colfer (Kurt) and Mike O'Malley (Burt, Kurt's dad) have shown us quite a few powerful, touching, and poignant moments all season long; the father-son sex talk from last week's episode was especially sweet... and awkward... just like any father-son sex talk should be. The whole Kurt-Karofsky (Max Adler) bullying storyline was handled rather well.

And now they've taken the "sweet lady kisses" relationship between Santana (Naya Rivera) and Britney (Heather Morris) away from what I originally thought it was going to be ('oh they're just slutty' comic relief and titillation) and into a emotionally moving - and heartbreaking - story of unrequited love and fear. (Points to Rivera for the ability to switch back and forth so easily from bitchy Santana to Santana-with-feelings.)

But this week's episode was really something special. After a few misguided crushes on straight boys, this season Kurt finally was given a gay guy to have a crush on! Yes! Finally an actual love interest for Kurt! But unfortunately, the writers were moving a little too slow on that front - his love was yet again unrequited and he was stuck in the "just friends" zone. When we finally, last night, saw Blaine (Darren Criss) fall in love with Kurt - right before our eyes - we were pretty happy.

But we didn't expect it to go any further... at least anytime soon...

Lilith: I think this is the episode where Kurt and Blaine finally get together.

Jezebel: I have heard people complain that the progress on giving Kurt a love interest has been really slow.

Lilith: I'm sure we won't see any boy-boy kisses for a while though. It'll probably... oh shit, nope! There it is!!! Damn! Go Kurt!
Jezebel: Awesome.
Lilith: And now more!
Jezebel: Can't wait for the OMM email about this.

We have to give FOX and the writers a lot of props for this one. Not only was it a real kiss - a big one! - instead of those pathetic bullshit 'pecks' they usually make gay couples do on TV (and it happened more than once, go Kurt!) but they didn't publicize it at all. So many times the networks will overhype the BIG GAY KISS EPISODE for ratings and then it's usually a letdown. Either that or they will totally avoid the kiss, leaving even the most serious of couples stuck only hand-holding and hugging. But Glee totally did it right. They didn't exploit the kiss and they didn't fake it either. It was a great scene - touching and sweet and a little sexy... and long overdue!

You be the judge:


Did Glee handle the big gay kiss right? (Also, checkout Kurt and Blaine's duet from Regionals.)

Although the original songs (which was really supposed to be the point of this episode, no?) were great - the highlight for me was really Kurt and Blaine. I'm looking forward to seeing their relationship blossom in further episodes.

Sidenote: We also really loved Kathy Griffin's portrayal of Tammy Jean Albertson, a 'Former Tea Party Candidate/Twitterer' and Loretta Devine as Sister Mary Constance, an exotic-dancer-turned-nun. (Also, Bill A. Jones as Rod Remington, 'Gadabout'.) Their conversation during the voting was hilarious...

Sister Mary Constance: But my question is this: That Dalton Academy, is it a gay school, or is it just a school that appears gay?

Rod Remington: Could I add a dash of Rod to this lady soup? My hairdresser is a gay, and for fifteen years, he's been with his partner, also a hairdresser. I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to marry and raise a family of beautiful wigs.

Sister Mary Constance: I liked the duet the two boys from Dalton sang.

Tammy Jean Albertson: Oh, boys shouldn't do a duet. The last thing we need to do is send a message to children that "Gay is okay." It is not a legitimate lifestyle, and last time I checked, it's not in the Constitution.


Marika said...

First, this is the first full episode of Glee I have seen, so I'm taking everything at face value here.

While I thought the big first kiss itself was well-handled and sweet and pretty believable, I didn't like how gay characters were handled in general in the show. I don't know the sexual orientations of the characters (other than the obvious ones) or of the actors (other than Darren Criss, who is straight), but most of the Dalton boys and some other male characters as well felt very much like I was watching a straight guy trying to act "gay", which was irritating and somewhat bothersome, and I felt the same about the other stereotypes (which practically every character revolves around).

Gretchen.Engle said...

Though the kiss was amazing - I actually squealed when it happened, not even gonna lie - I think what I loved even more was during Kurt''s performance of "Blackbird," when we got to see Blaine FINALLY REALIZE what we the audience had known for so long: that he and Kurt are perfect for each other in a billion different ways.

I have my issues with Glee. I watch every week and download all the music, but I often find myself cringing/raging/facepalming at things they've done. (Ableism, treatment of minority characters, etc etc etc.) But this time? They got it so right.

Anonymous said...

Marika, as far as I know, the only characters from Dalton that are actually supposed to be gay are Kurt and Blaine. So I don't know who was trying to act 'gay' (whatever that means). I think the show handles orientation really well. But I'm with you on some of the other stereotypes.

Marika said...

While they handle the relationships themselves well, many of the Dalton boys talk/act/carry themselves in what I perceived as a feminine way--which is often, in our culture, considered as "acting gay"... so I guess if they are mostly straight, then it is just stereotyping the type of guy who would sing and dance and all that, or go to an all-boys school. Maybe I'm just being a little sensitive, since I've been dealing with more homophobia than I'm used to lately, but my boyfriend had the same observation when we watched the episode.

Anonymous said...

I guess I see where you're coming from... but there's something a little bit problematic (to me) about your perception of the Dalton students.

First you said your issue was that it felt like they were straight guys trying to act gay. But now you're saying that the way the Dalton boys act seems gay because it's "feminine". Both statements are confusing to me...

Yes, femininity in men can be perceived in our culture as gay, but that's an unfair stereotype. So your complaint about the Warblers exhibiting stereotypical gay behavior would make more sense if the characters were actually supposed to be gay. But since they're not, I don't see the behavior as problematic or stereotypical. If anything, it's showing that you don't have to be gay to 'act gay' or sing or dance.

And since you apparently don't perceive them as gay, but rather as straight guys acting gay, then is it the behavior that bothers you or something else?

Personally, some of them just seemed more "preppy" (or even "dorky" in some cases) to me than gay or feminine... although that's another stereotype I suppose.

Do Finn and Puck seem to act gay when they sing and dance or is it just the Warblers?