TV: The Underlying Message in Glee’s “The First Time” Episode.


Blaine, Kurt, and Rachel’s first times were surprisingly tender; taking place in front of the fire after Blaine, Kurt and Rachel had given the performance of their lives in West Side Story, and Finn had realised his college football dreams won’t come true—but not before Glee had effectively prude-shamed Rachel and Blaine.

The idea that an actor can’t truly portray an emotion or a situation unless they’ve felt it or been involved in it flies in the face of the theory of acting. That everyone else involved in West Side Story (except Coach Beiste, who finally gets her man. And is Emma Pillsbury still a virgin…?) has lost it except its two main characters, whose sexual awakening the play focuses on, further emphasises the virgin-shaming going on.

I’d like to point out at this juncture that these kids are 17 YEARS OLD! I have friends who are nearly 23 and 26, respectively, who are virgins—not to mention those who don’t air their sexual history (or lack thereof) as freely—and I don’t think it hampers their ability to do their jobs, enjoy life and make meaningful connections with people. I really resent the fact that not just Glee, but society in general, likens virginity to a handicap. Even handicapped Artie (who insensitively makes a joke about Chaz Bono being stuck inside a woman’s body, and is then subsequently picked on by the college football recruiter, asking if Artie wants a handicapped spot on the team. Been there, done that.) targets Rachel and Blaine for their lack of relatability to their characters. What happened to the days when virginity was a virtue? But, please; let’s not go back there!

Now that Rachel, Kurt and Blaine have lost their virginities in the dream-like way that Hollywood so romanticises, can we please go back to normal? Not everyone experiences their cherry-popping romantically in front of the fire. And the sooner this is drummed into young adults, along with the debunking of the “hopeless romantic” idealism of modern relationships, the better.

Related: Glee: T.G.Inappropriate.F.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Asian F” Episode.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “I Am Unicorn” Episode.

Glee Back in Full Force.

The Underlying Meaning in Glee’s “Never Been Kissed” Episode.

Glee “Sexy” Review.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] Why Being a Hopeless Romantic is a Crock.

Images via Megavideo.

8 thoughts on “TV: The Underlying Message in Glee’s “The First Time” Episode.

  1. Glad I wasn’t the only one outraged. I am really sick of Glee glamourising all the wrong things and denigrate all the right things. Every chance they are given to tackle the real tough issues for young people they either gloss right over it or manage to make an absolute mess with no clear or respectable message. I’ve only just started watching it again after giving it up and now I remember exactly why I stopped watching!

  2. Glee is always outrageous! At least it gives us something to talk about. But as older viewers, we have the experience and knowledge to realise the error of its ways, and unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of its target audience – younger viewers – do.

  3. I can’t stand Glee (and not just because I think it’s a crap show). It claims to tackle social issues and promote tolerance, but as you’ve pointed out it completely misses the mark on the topic of virginity. The hypocrisy is amazing.

    I’m also not a fan of how it sexualises teens, given that a lot of tweens watch the show (and as if they wouldn’t, with all the sugary musical numbers). On the one hand the show’s supposedly sending positive signals about various social issues, and at the time there’s this raunch factor (well, raunchy for 10 year olds). I’m not a prude but I think kids need to just be kids, so this show makes me puke.

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