Recently, gay bullying as been a huge topic in the media. While bullying (gay, straight, or otherwise) has always existed, the current state of sexuality-affairs is such where unfortunate, bullied youth have taken their own lives and the media is using these tragedies as both a way to expand consciousness and as exploitative fodder. We believe that the “Never Been Kissed” episode was written to expand consciousness.
Considering Glee‘s usage of gay and bisexual characters and storylines for these two seasons and it’s pervasive popularity, we think Glee has had a huge hand in educating people about LGBT issues. Even if the story is shrouded in tap dancing and sequins, it’s still the same.
The show starts with some steaming hot (literally) McKinley High football players (Finn and Sam) contemplating ways to cool down their sex drives from the steaming hot (metaphorically) make-out sesh’s with their girlfriends (Rachel and Quinn.) Finn gives Sam the age-old trick of thinking of something opposite of “sexy.” For Sam, that happens to be Coach Bieste.
Cut to Kurt dealing with a couple “beasts” of his own; as the only openly-gay student at William McKinley High, Kurt is constantly getting bullied by a huge dude on the football team. There is also the issue of being gay without understanding or recognition from his peers. When Mr. Schue announces that sectional competition includes the Dalton All-Boy School Warblers, Santana says, “Ok, hold up. Like a million awesome gay jokes just popped into my head.”
Kurt rolls his eyes and the ignorance of her statement goes totally unnoticed. Then Mr. Schue forces Kurt onto the boys team, again to his rolling eyes. Poor Kurt just can’t get a break (although, we are often left wondering how he manages to get the money to afford all his awesome ensembles.)
Glee loves to expound upon the lives of its minority students, so naturally we see paraplegic Artie being wheeled around by delinquent, Jewish Puck. Puck decides to take “crippled” Artie under his wing as his idea of community service because “there are no chicks and no Kosher meal options up in that place.”Ironically, Puck is “using” Artie for his minority status to help himself with his minority status. But as twisted as it sounds, it’s actually something that seems to work.
Kurt gets pummeled by the “beast” of a football player again, eliciting Mr.Schue’s sympathy (sort of) and making Schue feel guilty enough to reverse the glee members assignments so that the boys have to do girl songs and the girls have to do boy songs. So, the bright idea to discuss gender roles would be to have opposite genders make a mockery out of gender roles. Great idea in theory, Ryan Murphy, but not quite the progressive television we wanted to see.
We will say one thing that we believe as fact: Kurt is the most important character on television right now. What happens to him will change the face of television and how people accept the gay community. When we saw Kurt go and visit the Dalton All-Boy School Warblers and we saw Blaine take his hand, we were in tears. Literal, crocodile-style tears.
Could a gay boy on a super-popular primetime television show actually have a healthy, happy gay relationship or will it go the way of most gay love stories? Death and tragedy? As if it weren’t bad/awesome/heart-wrenching/heart-warming enough, the Warblers sang a gorgeous rendition of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Katy Perry[/lastfm]‘s “Teenage Dream,” despite them being all boys. Swoon. We admit to making out with a couple of boys from an all-boys glee club when we were in high school. What can we say? It was our ‘teenage dream.’
And just like that, Kurt falls in love. Yay! This is what we’ve been waiting for all season long!
Kurt gets caught as a “spy,” but the boys at Dalton know he just came around because of his curiosity. When Blaine sees how emotional he gets about being the only “out” person at McKinley, we see the two bond over their mutual bullying experiences. We are already in love with Blaine and his influence on Kurt.
Meanwhile, the boys and a babe (Tina) are using Bieste as their “cool down” tool when they get too sexually riled up. Coach is obviously not their “teenage dream.”
Puck and Artie make a little dough singing [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bob Marley [/lastfm]“One Love,” jerk it up, and convince Santana and Brittany to go to the ubiquitous Breadstix with them, and the girls sing a ho-hum mash-up version of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Rolling Stones[/lastfm]/[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bon Jovi[/lastfm] “Start Me Up” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.”
How does the school afford new costumes (like leather pants) with every thing they sing? Oh, the magic of television.
We also don’t understand why the show didn’t tackle the bisexual/lesbian relationship between Brittany and Santana. Time and time again they have made blatant allusions to their relationship, they’ve kissed, and they are pretty much inseparable. Yes, they also hook up with guys, but does that invalidate them as “out” at McKinley High. Is this a double-standard that even the writers of Glee didn’t forsee? Something to ponder.
Speaking of people being “out” at McKinley, Kurt gets into another altercation with the “beast” who kisses Kurt instead of punching him, obviously taking out his repressed sexuality on Kurt through violence. We later learn that this is Kurt’s first kiss with a man, one which he most likely would have preferred with Blaine.
Beast kisses Kurt, but Coach Bieste has also never been kissed. Mr.Schue listens to her heart-wrenching life story and then plants her first kiss on her. It’s adorable, but also really creepy, and we can’t help but feel sorry for Coach Bieste. Would you want your first kiss to be the product of pity? The New Directions guys dedicate their mash-ups to Bieste and apologize for using her.
Somehow [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]En Vogue[/lastfm] “Free Your Mind” and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Diana Ross[/lastfm] “Stop In The Name of Love” are supposed to cheer her up.
We were happy enough to see the New Direction cuties in foxy blue suits.