Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quote of the Day


"If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention. And if your eight-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry. But I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?"

-- Dianna Agron, responding to the entirely contrived controversy over her and two of her fellow Glee castmembers' photo shoot in GQ

I'm a straight 40-year-old male who doesn't much like Madonna and isn't still nursing psychic wounds from being profoundly tortured for his lunch money in the 9th grade -- which means that I couldn't care less about Glee.

That said, it's entertaining the level of at best concern, at worst outright indignation currently being voiced over a new GQ pictorial which features a couple of members of the Glee cast cavorting "half-naked" on a set made to look like a high school hallway. The arguments seem to be that a) showing grown women who play teenagers on TV sexing it up is creepy/sick (the straight female argument), b) it's sexist and entirely unfair that Lea Michele and Dianna Agron strip for the photos while hunky guy Cory Monteith remains predictably clothed (the gay male argument), and c) "Arrrgh!!! No!!! Sex and television characters!!! What about our children?!?" (the Parents Television Council argument).

For the life of me I'll never understand the current pop cultural obsession with Glee; it's not an awful show by any means, but it's a damn near perfect example of a phenomenon that's taken on a life of its own and which is now wildly out of proportion with the thing that spawned it. To its legion of rabid fans, Glee is critic-proof; try bringing up the show's many flaws with any self-proclaimed "Gleek" and you may as well be at a Tea Party rally trying to reason with an obese woman on a Hoveround.


But back to the photo shoot: Artists have been creating and outlets have been commissioning images of attractive and scantily clad women since just about the dawn of time. Jesus, at least Michele and Agron are actually legal, as opposed to, say, Miley Cyrus, who has no issue giving potential pedophiles real spank material by posing topless before the age of 18. And that's really what it comes down to anyway: Whatever you think of the pictures, even if you've got a problem with the fact that the photographer who took them is kind of a notorious letch, the fact remains that the two adult women -- and the man, for that matter -- willingly went along with the shoot and did it for a magazine aimed at fellow adults. If they don't have an issue with posing that way, I can't bring myself to make a stink about the fact that they did.

Plus, at least something finally made Glee, and these characters, interesting for me.

22 comments:

Mark said...

Dead on. And the hypocrisy meter on this one swings far to the right. Many of the people who will rage against Glee for sexualizing adults to portray teenagers are the same people putting their toddlers into hypersexualized costumes for beauty pageants.

Jacki Schechner said...

The sad reality is that if the cast members of Glee want to have career opportunities beyond the show, they have to sex it up. Especially the women. Because nothing says career death in Hollywood than being typecast as a teenager (when you are actually a twenty-something) and then having nowhere to go when the series ends. Nevermind that Lea is an accomplished Broadway star. She will forever be identified as the prissy high school overachiever if she doesn't take good opportunities to show she can also be sexy and someday cast as a grown-up.

I don't condone or endorse the standard (and the double standard), but I get it.

Chris said...

First, what parent is buying GQ? Seriously, if you’ve got kids, you’re not out there buying $600 pants for your kid to paint or throw up on. You’re buying Dockers…

Second, what parent is letting their child watch Glee? The show deals with teen pregnancy, adultery, lying, homosexuality, atheism… not something I would want a child to watch. I wonder about these parents that use TV as a babysitter, so they can go out and complain how the world is not doing enough to protect their children.

For the record: I'm a Gleek. Love the show. Love. It. I was also a film major in school, which means I can see the many problems and inconsistencies with Glee. But, as William Hurt put it so well in The Big Chill: "Sometimes you have to let art flow over you." It's crappy, but I enjoy it.

Chez said...

Hey, I've seen Lea's naked breasts in the flesh -- twice. As has anyone else who saw the initial run of Spring Awakening on Broadway.

Joel Bass said...

I have no problem at all with the fact that a couple of 20-something women from a cheesy TV show are posing for a sexy GQ photoshoot. As you say, they're adults, and the magazine is for adults. No problem.

But I was a little disturbed when I saw that they are posing as high-school girls. I don't disagree that a lot of people bothered by this are hypocrites; that doesn't make it okay.

What is it about our culture that says that it's sexier for women to be underage girls than, say, 25-year-old women? Are so many of us still psychologically stuck in high school that we can't be turned on by sexy images of actual adults?

Chez said...

I get your point Joel, and in a perfect world we'd be evolved enough to truly appreciate sexuality at just about any age -- but come on, men have always had the hot teen fantasty. For god's sake, there are entire porn sites devoted to nothing but that and neither you nor I nor anyone else is going to change it -- not ever.

On that note, about ten years ago I went to a Halloween party with a 28 year old woman I was dating at the time. She wore a tarted-up Catholic school girl outfit. It was the hottest fucking thing I had ever seen. It's just something primal, I guess.

Darek said...

Hey, I've seen Lea's naked breasts in the flesh -- twice.

Apparently that makes you a pedo, Chez. Why don't you have a seat over there?


I don't watch Glee, but I have caught a few minutes here and there, and I'm pretty sure that these two ladies have worn clothing almost as revealing while on the air. So the Parents TV Council can suck it.

Darek said...

Case in point:

http://crazyinsuburbia.blogspot.com/2009/09/glee-tackles-highly-controversial-issue.html

CNNfan said...

Take if from a fan's point of view. Any young actress who may be worried about typecasting or perhaps sexing it up for career opportunities beyond the show, need only look to former Miss Internet Chick for a role model... Who happens to be all grownup, well-favored (READ: fine-looking) and a High Powered Business Director.

kanye said...

The current obsession with Glee really isn't all that hard to understand.

At it's core, Glee is really nothing more than revival musical theater done for television. That's a form of entertainment that most people are never exposed to. We're taught at a young age, certainly in high school, that musical theater is this faggy, sissy thing that only the powderpuffs and weird girls do. Most people carry that perception with them into adulthood.

Then one evening, they stumble across the Glee cast doing a ramped up version of a Journey song or a Madonna song that they like, and they watch. They like the next song as well. Pretty soon, they're watching regularly, oblivious to the fact that the very thing that's putting a smile on their face every Tuesday night is the exact same thing they've been sure, for most of their lives, that they'd hate.

And becasue it's new, and because they're fond of it, they go overboard. That's human nature.

Russell said...

I don't know if anybody has noticed, but most 20-30 somethings dress like they're sexed-up high school kids anyway: that is what American Apparel is all about.

The actors are adults, it's an adult magazine and it's for men.

If Vogue did a photo shoot of the guys half dressed and sexed-up and the women fully clothed, nobody would care. So go for it Vogue and lets move on...

Chez said...

Jax, you are so screwed, honey.

Stephen said...

http://members.shaw.ca/gorillagallery/myweb2/gleek2.jpg

Anonymous said...

"Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!!!"

John Foley said...

Yet another American faux-outrage that the Europeans would laugh at.

kanye said...

My son is 10, almost 11 years old and he's very quickly becoming a musichead. His iPod is already damn-near stuffed...AC/DC, Ozzy, Aerosmith..."I'm all about the rock, Dad," he tells me.

One of his favorite things to do is go Youtubing. He sits down in front of the laptop, slides on the headphones. I always get him started, but after that, I set him free to explore; let him discover things on his own terms.

His current favorite video is Even Flow by Pearl Jam. He giggles when Eddie tells Josh to "turn these fucking lights off," and he thinks it's cool when Eddie swings from the sprinkler pipes.

His favorite song however, bare none, is Creep by Radiohead. The video starts and he sits there, squirming in his seat, barely able to contain the anticipation. Then the guitar blows in, crunching, grinding, and he goes nuts. He jumps up out of his seat, starts banging his head back and forth...sometimes so hard that he'll send the headphones sailing. Reminds me of someone I once knew.

One time he asked me, "Dad, because this song is Creep, does that mean it's the creepiest song ever?"

"No son, this is."

This one's for you, Jacki.

Carrie said...

Normally, I wouldn't care one way or another what who is on the cover of GQ, Maxim, and other lads mags because it will inevitably feature a tarted up starlet doing her best Jessica Simpson open mouthed blank stare...

I think it's the fact that GQ is on shelves for Glee fans of all ages to see. The magazine is featuring characters (not the actors themselves) on a show that's popular with a young demographic and kind of undoes the show's anti-conformity message.

Personally, my gripe with the shoot is that it falls way short of sexy and directly hits the pathetic and desperate target.

namron said...

". . .at a Tea Party rally trying to reason with an obese woman on a Hoveround." Classic. I will use it but I'll try to attrubute.

CNNfan said...

A blip on our fandom radar screen! ☣

Jax, you are so screwed, honey.

RED ALERT FANS!

Evasive Manuevers ☈

FIRE ▫ ▫ ⇒ ☺fans☺♥☺you 2

Jacki Schechner said...

Sufficiently creepy. Thx.

Figgylicious said...

Feh, my biggest problem with this is just how fucking cheap it all looks. Like something out of Hustler. And Lea Michelle looks desperate, and Diana Agron looks painfully uncomfortable.

It just cheapens the actresses. Screw offended parents, it just makes me feel sad for the girls.

Anonymous said...

Lea Michelle looks like a (really good) transvestite, so...you go girl!