So, for anyone who has been living basically in the wilderness with respect to the entertainment industry, this American TV show called ‘Glee’ shows the experiences of a high school club which revolves around singing and dancing to arrangements of popular music. Originally it was pitched as ‘High School Musical’ in the form of a serial.
This past week, an episode was aired in which several of the main characters decided to have sex for the first time. And the public and media reaction was of course huge. Cries rang out about how they were simply encouraging debased behaviour and STD rates and teen pregnancy, etc., etc.
All this left me thinking, “What?”
I am not a big fan of Glee. I think it’s overall a cheap, predictable soap opera with a couple of Beyonce numbers thrown in to camouflage weakness in storytelling and substance. However, that has nothing to do with it being a morally bad show.
The prime mover and shaker of this discontent was the PTC (Parent’s Television Council), whose goal is to make parents aware of the amount of sex, violence, and profanity incorporated in any form of TV or film. They said that the show was displaying ‘gross recklessness’ in its depiction of teens having sex.
Here’s what I don’t get:
1. You have MORE of a problem with near-adult teens having intelligent and emotional discussions about the possible repercussions of their choice to have sex than you did with a pair of teens on the same show getting accidentally PREGNANT due to unprotected sex two years ago?
2. At one point, a character says he never uses condoms, and it works for him ‘like, 99% of the time’. In what way is THAT a healthier outlook than above?
3. So, nothing else about this show rings alarm bells? I know that there are 11 and 12 year-old students watching this show. This is far from the most significant of my worries. Its depiction of the education system, teachers, and student ability in general makes me very nervous.
My intuition says, and I really hope this is just me being overly cynical, that the major problem this time around is that one of the couples who engages in sex is homosexual. I hope we’re still not at that societal point where we attempt to deny that anything outside of what you might call the ‘traditional’ human experience is vile and evil and cannot be shown to the children lest they, heaven forbid, get educated about the realities of a modern world, and at least open the doorway to discussion about these realities.
Grow up, people.