Bummed about Glee (Warning: This Post–and this show–are PG 13)

September 10, 2009 — 24 Comments

My wife and I love musicals.  We love Broadway.  We just love music, so–after hearing the music from the pilot episode–we were excited to watch the new TV show Glee.  It seemed, on the surface, like a sweet, innocent, light-hearted show that might be fun to watch with our teenaged daughter.

It’s the story of a High School teacher’s desire to start a glee club at his school and how that effort is uniting an eclectic group of students.

We set our DVR, sat down after church last night to watch it, and found ourselves disgusted by the theme, tone, and agenda promoted by the program.

We watched the entire episode to see if there would be some redeeming moment, but there wasn’t.  We deleted the show.  We were disappointed and we know our teenaged daughter will be disappointed too.

Here’s a list of some of the things that we found offensive:

1)  The married teacher and leader of the glee club is being pursued by another female teacher and the show glorifies their playful flirting while–at the same time–demonizing his wife at home.  It looks like the show is heading towards them having some sort of inappropriate relationship.  As a Minister, I’ve seen the real life results of marital infidelity, so I think this story line is disgusting.  There is nothing cute about a marriage being broken apart by a third party.

2) The girlfriend of the young male star of the show is a Christian who is portrayed as a huge hypocrite and down-right evil person.  She tells her boyfriend that if he quits the glee club he can touch her breast.  He asks her, “Inside your bra or outside?”  She’s the president of the abstinence club–which is also portrayed as a bunch of hypocritical nut-jobs.  In last night’s episode they show a scene from a meeting of the abstinence club where the boys and girls are placed in couples with a balloon between their lower extremities.  They are told to be affectionate without popping the balloon.  The scene digresses to the point where the young female star of the show delivers a short sermonette proclaiming the absurdity of abstinence as a logical option for teenagers.

3) In the scene with the abstinence club, the boys are meeting separately and have a lengthy discussion about ejaculation.

4)  The glee club sings a song about sex (“Push it!”) for a school assembly.  During the song and dance the boys and girls in the group grind on each other and assume various sexual positions through the entire song.

5) The young male star and the young female star are on stage kissing.  She’s on her back and he’s laying down kind of over her.  After kissing for a few moments, there’s a reference to an image he says he has to think about to keep from being aroused.  He jumps up (obviously sexually aroused) pulls his shirt down over the front of his pants and runs off.

Give me a break?!?

Why does Hollywood have to make everything about sex, especially a show that has been aggressively marketed to kids from 12-18?

I’m so disappointed, because this show had so much potential.

p.s.  Apparently there was another sexual reference that I missed.  Thankfully.  It’s mentioned in an article on Time.com about last night’s show:

Speaking of which, the show’s risque streak is even stronger in the new episodes, suggesting that the show, which previewed after American Idol’s finale is not aiming to be the same kind of wholesome-for-the-whole-family programming. When an insecure Rachel [Michele] gets caught by a guidance counselor trying unsuccessfully to induce vomiting in the girls’ bathroom, she says, “I guess I just don’t have a gag reflex.” The counselor: “One day, when you’re older, that’ll turn out to be a gift.”

Click here to read the article on Time.com:  A Gleeful Return

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24 responses to Bummed about Glee (Warning: This Post–and this show–are PG 13)

  1. 

    I watched the pilot episode back in May and was already turned off by one of the old teachers becoming a drug dealer. It’s shame because it looked to be so promising on the outside.

  2. 

    So disappointing–though I wish I was surprised! I would be surprised if/when there is a show that’s decent to watch as a family (or even as adults!!) Thanks for posting, Arron, I’m going to forward to my brother 🙂
    -Ariel (& Danny too 🙂 )

  3. 

    Since my marriage ended in failure because my husband had an affair (both teachers), I am extra sensitive to begin with when this is glorified! I hate with an extreme passion anyone who portrays infidelity as anything other than pure evil. It is wrong, hurtful, and will murder a marriage! Thanks Arron for posting this – I miss you in Florida.

  4. 

    This is why I don’t watch any TV other than AI or Football!

  5. 

    The marriage isn’t being broken up by a 3rd party, the married man is choosing his actions. It’s illogical to place more blame on the person who isn’t cheating on anybody than the person who is cheating on somebody.

  6. 

    David–True. In real life, married men who flirt with other women are worthy of as much blame as the women who reciprocate. We are all responsible for our actions.

  7. 

    I’m sorry, but so much of this is just not right. Not the show, what you are trying to censor, plus, if you watched more than two episodes, then you would have an idea about what you are talking about. Such as your statement, “there is nothing cute about a marriage being broken apart by a third party.” If you watched more, you would see that nothing more than a little innocent flirting happens between the two parties until he gets divorced with his own wife for completely unrelated reasons. Next, the whole ‘inappropriate’ factor. I don’t actually think the show is that bad. It’s not like your kids haven’t heard of ejaculation before that episode of Glee, and it’s not like you can stop them from finding out eventually. And you also mention how it’s not appropriate for 12-18 year olds. What world are you living in, no offence. Kids in high school find that stuff hilarious. I’m sorry, but can everyone please try to stop analyzing television so deeply? Anything the kids don’t know will probably just go right over their heads anyways. All of this stuff happens in real life, so why not just lighten it with some good ol’ humor on television? I just don’t get the problem, apparently. If you feel like elaborating, I am here to listen.

    • 

      Rachel–
      It was great to hear from you. I really appreciate your thoughts and the tone of your comments.
      I’d love to offer a response.
      My wife and I ended up watching the entire season. There were some good episodes, but there were also things that we found troubling. My 16-yr-old daughter really likes the show so we decided to watch the show with her. It generated some great discussions.
      I work with young people–so I want to let you know that not all teens are as worldly as you suggest. I know of a ton of teens who are still pretty innocent and pure. I also know that–as you suggested–there are a lot of teens who have been exposed to a lot of sexual stuff too early in life.
      Regardless, as a Christian parent I believe it’s my responsibility to shepherd my kids as they mature. I not delusional–I know I can’t completely shelter them from some of the overtly sexually charged messages they’ll see on TV, but I believe I’m irresponsible if I just let them ingest sexual immorality unguarded.
      There have been a few scenes from Glee that were overtly sexual so we processed those with my daughter and had some great discussions.
      I disagree with your analysis of the relationship between Will and Emma. The flirtation between them progressed way beyond innocent halfway through the season. Will’s wife was a head-case, but–setting that aside for a moment–it was obvious that Emma and Will were going to get together and that lines were being crossed in the process. As a Pastor who deals with real people who are dealing with broken marriages, I found that story line disgusting. In real life, married men should not flirt with other women or put themselves in the positions that Will did–no matter what. Before Will knew that his wife was lying to him about her pregnancy, he allowed himself a level of intimacy with Emma that is completely inappropriate for a married man.
      Another thing that troubled me about Glee is the way Christians were continually portrayed. A Christian was never portrayed in a positive life. If you are a Christian, I hope you picked up on this.
      One episode that had me so frustrated was the episode in which Quinn and Finn reveal to both of their parents that she’s pregnant. Finn’s single mom was loving, kind, and understanding and–of course–Quinn’s “Christian” parents went ballistic, were hateful, and kicked her out. This is how people in Hollywood view Christians.
      Rachel, as a pastor I’ve been with several Christian families who dealt with the same situation in real life and none of them reacted in this way. Just the opposite, they were sad, but they all embraced their child and the new baby with an amazing level of love. I wasn’t surprised but I was sickened by that episode because it reminded me that some people in Hollywood really hate Christians and think that we’re all “right-wing, fundamentalist, wackos.”
      Anyway, these are a few of my thoughts.
      Like I said, I really appreciated the tone of your response and would love to dialogue with you further on this. You seem to be reasonable and thoughtful.

  8. 

    This show is getting awards and awards for being not only highly entertaining but also very much educative. the only thing that makes the angels cry is blogs like this one.

    • 

      Very poetic . . . please give me one biblical reference that proves that an angel from the Bible would disapprove of anything I’ve written. I didn’t want to push things too far by asking you to give me a biblical citation that proves that anything I’ve written would make an angel cry. and . . . for the record popularity does not equal truth.

      • 

        you are right, Popularity does not equal truth, the so called “god” is proof of that.

      • 

        Javier–
        You may not believe in God, but He believes in you and sent Jesus to die for you, me, and everyone.
        We all have free will and God will not make you believe in Him.
        I pray you don’t shut your heart completely to God.
        I don’t believe in God because it’s “popular.” I believe in God because He’s made himself real to me again and again.
        I pray that He’ll make himself real to you, too.
        I don’t know you, but I’m here if you’d like to continue this “conversation.”
        I hope you have a great day and that you are blessed.
        Arron

  9. 

    I don’t think calling yourself Christian makes you a better person. I believe, as a Christian, that people are judged on what they do and the goodwill and harm they put into the world. It is not fair to expect people to view Christians as a superier bread of people – we are all meant to be equal. On that note, I do not believe that Quinn’s parents turned their back on her because of their religious beliefs but because of their social standing. Dont try to say that any Christian (or any other person) is perfect or that Hollywood should portray them as such.

    You may not enjoy this show and may be disgusted by it, but leave it alone because there are plenty of people who do enjoy it and there are far worse shows they could be watching. I am very impressed with what they have been able to achieve including introducing a whole new generation of people onto musicals and introducing the musical category onto TV in such a significant way. You are entitled to your opinion and to share your opinion, but I believe you are being too harsh.

  10. 

    Ok, you are beeing ridiculous. I have to admit I didn’t like the pilot either but, it’s a very good show with wonderful messages! You just wrote about everything bad about it and ignored the awesome stuff! Without the show, lots of teens wouldn’t know some older songs the show brings back. Also, althought the main characters are constantly beeing bullied by beeing in the glee club, they never give up and have a very strong bond.
    And what’s the problem about Rachel’s speech against abstinence? I’m a teen too and I am against! Having sex after married is hard and full of surprises. Before you’re fully commited to one person, it’s best that you have “tasted”. She’s 100% right about anti-conceptionals!
    Also, is normal for a boy to want to touch a girl’s breast, he’s a teenager for Christ’s sake! And just becouse you’re a christian, it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. And Quinn (the christian girl) turns out to be a wonderful person.
    Talking about teenage sex is important. Today’s kids need to be prepared.
    Also, the teacher and the guidance counselour do NOT have an affair. They are in love but exactly becouse he doesn’t want to cheat on his wife anything happens.

    You asshat.

    • 

      Thanks for your input. I appreciate it….well, except for the insult at the end.
      One question for you: By your own admission, you’re a teen. How do you know that–to quote you: “Having sex after married is hard and full of surprises?” I’m not sure what you mean, but if you mean that the only way to have great sex is to “taste” it with a lot of partners beforehand, you’re sadly misinformed. My wife and I were virgins when we married over 20 years ago and….you have no idea what you’re talking about. Let me give you three reasons why having enough self-control and self-respect to not give your virginity away before marriage leads to better sex. 1) You have no “ghosts” of previous partners with which to compare your spouse; 2) You have no guilt to cloud the joy of experiencing sex with another person for the very first time in the covenant of marriage; 3) If you and your spouse are virgins on your wedding day and only have sex with each other, you’ll never have to worry with STD’s. Funny thing, I actually watch Glee now and have changed some of the opinions I stated in this article many moons ago, but you’ll never convince me that “‘before you’re fully committed to one person, it’s best that you have “tasted.'” Sex is not like going out for ice-cream and my wife is a lot more significant than a double scoop of cookies and cream in a cone. I pray you’ll open your heart to waiting and following God’s plan for sex.

    • 

      Hey “Girl”–Just for future reference, it’s “being” not “beeing.” Also, using Jesus’ name as a curse word is offensive to me, but–interestingly and ironically–if a teen boy is truly a “teenager for Christ’s sake” he’ll be careful where he puts his hands.

      • 

        sorry about the insult there, I was having a bad day.
        I respect your opinion on marrige and stuff, I just thought it was too harsh. I respect your opinion and lots of people respect mine. I’m glad to hear you have a peaceful wedding and all but it doesn’t work like that for lots of people.
        And think about the cultural reference! Teens are starting to know older songs, that before the show they probably wouldn’t. That’s a really wonderful thing!
        I’m sorry if I was unrespectful to you or your wife in my previous comment. It’s your opinion and I’m truly sorry (although I didn

      • 

        continuing here…
        (althought I did not change my opinion about the show)
        The show is brilliant because of differences! The club embraces everyone and teaches us to respect diferences and, being a fan myself, I didn

      • 

        continuing (again)

        (…) and teaches us to respect diferences and, being a fan myself, I should respect. You have a whole different way of thinking and that’s ok. I’m really sorry if I offended you.
        (I’m brazillian, so the text may contain some writing mistakes)

      • 

        Thanks for your reply. I’m so glad that you wrote back. You sound like a very nice young person and you’ve shown a lot of class in writing back and apologizing. You didn’t need to apologize, but I accept it. Are you writing from Brazil or are you in the States?
        Thanks for writing and I pray that you are blessed.
        I’d love to hear from you again, so please write again whenever you have a reaction to what I’ve written.
        Blessings!
        Arron

    • 

      Yes, I’m writing from Brazil. I felt like I needed to apologize so I did 🙂

  11. 

    Aaron, I agree with you completely. My wife and I began to watch this show and really enjoyed it for a while. Maybe I had a bit of a fatalistic view on some of the disgusting scenes, since I kind of went into it expecting those things, and hoping the “shock value” of it would wear off after a few episodes, then it would clean up a bit . . . but the thing that made me stop watching the show was the blatant anti-Christian/pro-homosexual agenda that started to come up in every episode, and if the show trailers are anything to believe, is still cropping up in every episode.

    And a quick response to “Girl”: You said ” You just wrote about everything bad about it and ignored the awesome stuff!” Aaron is trying to warn people about the poison that is being displayed as being normal. If I handed you a glass of Coke and told you, “don’t worry, it’s only half rat poison”, would you drink it? Of course not! Because no matter how “awesome” that soda is, the poison will still make you sick, if not kill you. If you fill your mind with what is abnormal, you will start to see it as normal. (By the way, that is one definition of a schitzophrenic, to see the abnormal as normal.) Like Aaron, I hope you read these comments and really think about them, because none of them are meant to tear you down or insult you, but simply to educate you and anyone else reading. We want to protect people from the poison.

  12. 

    Awww! Poor bigots! What are hiprocrites suppose to do these days? Hide under rocks? Yes! That is what you should do! Or maybe lock yourselves in your houses and tell yourselves conforting stories about Santa Claus, Jesus, and the Easter Bunny.

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