Glee: Eating some hats

While there were a lot of amazing details in “Prom-asaurus,” — the predatory theme of the prom; Brittany’s run for king; the Faberry fan-service; the references to both Medusa and Icarus (we’ll definitely be coming back to Medusa and the snakes in the toilet here at this blog); some important stuff regarding Kurt and Puck and the faerie court (which we’ll also be spending some time with soon); the heavily foreshadowed implosion of Tina and Mike; and pretty much everything involving Becky and Puck — because of one tiny little thing, this episode has me eating my hat (or, probably actually Brittany’s and Kurt’s) about something.

Kind of.

One of the big debates around Glee is whether the lack of physical affection shown by the gay couples is a concession to the realities of Lima, WMHS, and personal history, or a concession to a squeamish network. For me, historically, the distances have worked consistently and plausibly on an intradiegetic level, especially considering Kurt and Blaine’s experiences with violence, and I’ve got a pretty decent track record of pissing people off for defending what I’ve seen on screen because it makes sense to me.

Plus, Glee usually reserves physical and sexual affection for couples about to be broken apart or who are busy being publicly dysfunctional while trying to derive status from theie relationship. It’s generally a narrative tool (with the exception of Mike and Tina, who, in exchange, don’t really get a narrative), and in the face of smooth and steady Klaine, there hasn’t been much cause to use it.

Last night’s episode was largely consistent in this for me. The boys continued not to touch, even in a relatively safe-space of the anti-prom. Considering the overall social awkwardness of that room, I actually still on board with the state of things, in part because there was such a comfort and tug between them even in that distance.

But then there was the prom itself.

Or, more specifically, the closing montage of prom, where each couple got their little closeness moment and the closing prom photo. And Kurt and Blaine just had less time. That’s all. And I can’t do anything with that intradiegetically, because it’s an editing choice; and I can’t do anything with that structurally, because it actually runs counter to the law of prom episode structure on Glee, and yeah, it just didn’t feel right.

Now, this is where the “sort of” comes in on eating my hat. It doesn’t matter.


Because in one scenario I was just having an on-point emotional night last night (which I was, thanks to the passage of an anti-gay amendment into North Carolina’s constitution — North Carolina has a long history of breaking my political heart), and the problem I feel was there in terms of visibility and affection wasn’t.

In that case, the intradiegetic truths I’ve always highlighted remain, that Kurt and Blaine have to be so conscious of their safety so constantly, that they can’t even stand to be closer than two feet from each other in a hotel room with a small group of people they at least know won’t physically hurt them, lest they get out of the habit of constant vigilance.

But in the other scenario, Fox has a hit TV show it hates filled with gay content and involving many gay people in the creation process and at every single moment the show’s powers that be are having to bargain with the network’s powers that be for what we see.

Both of those scenarios suck.

No matter how much what I’ve viewed as consistency and plausibility within the narrative has allowed me to side-step the question of network drama about all of this (because it’s so much more than the shows I grew up with — although with everything I have to say about Kurt and magic, maybe Kurt and Blaine just like Buffy‘s Willow and Tara and also perform magic instead of actually having sex), last night just felt like I really, really couldn’t, even if, I believe that given free-reign by the network, the content the show would give us between those characters would remain almost identical to what we’re getting now.

But either way you slice it, Glee remains what it’s always been: a show about terrible people in a terrible place, that somehow suggests we all deserve a little bit better than we’re getting.

Sadly, that includes the audience too.

4 thoughts on “Glee: Eating some hats”

  1. My 25 year old gay son has been out for 10 years and has never displayed PDA in front of us or anyone else for that matter. When I asked him about (I also assured him it was OK to do so in front of us). He told me he just doesn’t do that it. It’s not him. I can respect that. He hugs me and showers affection on his little nephew and nieces. He was raised in a safe and secure home (homeschooled along with his other 5 siblings) and if you couldn’t accept him well we didn’t need you in our circle of friends.
    Aside note on how much our world has changed for the better- this past Feb. my husband and youngest son met up with my son and his current boyfriend for several days in Disney. They had a great time. Could this had happened twenty years ago- I think not. It never even occured to my husband how ground breaking this was. And I think that’s a very wonderful thing.

  2. Have you seen this? Someone on tumblr screen-capped 35 (!!!) images of people kissing (extras as well as cast):

    I was fairly positive about the episode – having decided to just roll with it and try to enjoy Glee without overthinking it. But the final scene and number disturbed me and I didn’t know why. I think it may have been a subconscious puke reaction to this…

  3. Hi, I’d be curious to know what your response is to the common point made in fandom – that the writers are making the decision, repeatedly, to only have their gay couples interact in public, settings that would be potentially dangerous or threatening or inhibiting, where PDA can’t happen.

    If it was the case that the characters could only interact at school, this would make sense. But the fact is, the world in ‘Glee’ doesn’t end at the boundaries of McKinley. There are settings where Brittany-Santana / Kurt-Blaine could have alone time and be demonstrative, but week by week the writers seem to consistently choose to have their interactions take place in public. What’s your take on that?

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