Monday, March 28, 2011

TP#6: Connections: GLEE: 'Never Been Kissed'

I am stating general observations I made while watch GLEE and comparing them to three prior readings we've done for the semester. All my points can be derived from the 'Never Been Kissed' episode of GLEE.

Starting with Christine's 'secret education' being media, school & religion; the GLEE show mostly focuses on school and religious ideals but the content is delivered in media form.

From Raby's discourses 'at-risk' and 'social problem' stand out. The fact that one of the characters was in Juvie applies to both discourses. More specifically the gay-bashing can be viewed as a social problem and the general bullying and sex talks and activities can fall under the at-risk discourse explained by Raby.

Grinner's SCWAMP theory is also applied in this episode. The protagonist is a white male. The only religion portrayed is Christianity, some praying and celibacy is portrayed. Even the song the guys chose to preform was 'Living on a Prayer'. I can say that GLEE challenged able-bodies a bit by making one of the GLEE singers have a wheelchair. They also have what appears to be a mentally challenged girl as a cheerleader. Though her tasks are of those that the normal cheerleaders wouldn't preform, it's interesting to see their casting choice. Though I do believe the black girl on the show is a bit stereotypical. She has the loudest voice, moves with extra attitude when performing, wears HipHop-ish clothes, for example her gold boombox medallion stands out in my mind and she also uses slang. This is how I found that Grinner, Raby and Christensen related to GLEE.

Another part I wanted to discuss about this episode was femininity and masculinity. The professor specifically told the gay feminine character that he had to join the boys group, when there was a boy/girl division. Then it seems he thought about how it made the student feel and suggested the girls create a masculine performances and the boys a more feminine one. I was really looking forward to this. After viewing it, I was disappointed. My observation is that their representation of masculine females were females dressed as feminine male rock stars who wear long hair, tight clothes, make and already preform feminine dances. That was a bit funny.

Overall I enjoyed GLEE and the topics they touch. I will be purchasing the full first season and watching it sometime after this or next semester is over. Thanks for the exposure Professor Bogad.


  1. I too am bothered by the femininity/masculinity issues you bring up in your second to last paragraph. The only options made available to the characters are female or male - Kurt not only is forced to fit into one of the two categories - he cannot make the choice himself. The masculine elder imposes his decision on him.

  2. This is a very good analysis of the show in connection with the text. You pulled it together very well.