Glee’s flirtation with bicuriosity isn’t necessarily a bad thing


I told myself I would stop watching Glee after the truly awful Rocky Horror Hallowe’en episode. I reminded myself of my decision after watching the episode where Kurt’s dad has a heart attack and everyone is all “let’s pray” and tries to make Kurt feel like an asshole because he’s an atheist. I kept watching, though (most likely because I’m part pop culture masochist).

This week’s episode, “Blame it on the Alcohol,” wasn’t nearly as heavy-handed with the “Drinking is BAD” message as it could have been. But it was the Rachel/Blaine storyline in the episode that piqued my interest the most this week: gay boy kisses straight girl, and starts to question his attractions.

It can be argued that Glee is no stranger to portraying the “sexual” part of bisexuality (see Brittany+Santana private make-out sessions). Girl-on-girl is almost expected now, and is totally socially acceptable when hot cheerleaders who have also had sex with every other boy in the school get together. We’ve also been witness to Kurt’s struggle with accepting his attraction to boys. It’s a very different situation altogether when a teenaged boy who initially comes out as gay starts to wonder if his attractions might not be so cut-and-dry.

Blaine kissing Rachel during a game of Spin the Bottle is supposed to be funny and awkward, not hot and sparky. In the end, Blaine realizes that he’s not attracted to Rachel when sober, but the storyline itself is no less realistic. Many of us are taken totally off-guard by our attractions to people we never would have considered previously. It can be confusing, and awkward, and isolating if our friends don’t share that form of attraction (see Kurt’s reaction to Blaine’s confusion, and Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy‘s scene where Alyssa’s friends find out she’s dating a man).

I think that even though Blaine reaffirms his gayness by the end of the episode, showing his confusion was important. I think it would have been even more effective had he been battling with this without the added complication of alcohol, but I’ve already stated that the show is ongoingly problematic. I know better than to task Glee with the job of creating a fully-realized bi-queer character, but it would still be nice to see.

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2 Comments

  1. Carolyn said,

    February 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    It’s definitely got ongoing problems, but like you, I just can’t stop watching Glee. It’s also a fairly innocuous show to watch with my 12yo and has turned out to be a great starting point for many conversations.
    I liked this article:
    http://ca.jezebel.com/5652429/why-glees-brittany-and-santana-are-my-queer-icons

  2. Carolyn said,

    March 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Whoa, watching Glee right now. Santana just proclaimed her love and asked Brittany to be her girlfriend!!


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