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.

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

 

“When a pony does a good deed be becomes a unicorn, and he poops out cotton candy until he forgets he’s magical, and his horn falls off… then he becomes a zebra,” according to Brittany. Or rather, “A unicorn without a horn is just a horse,” as Burt Hummell puts it.

Take away all the Brittany-craziness and metaphors, and I am starting to relate to Glee like never before.

What Brittany is trying to tell Kurt—whose campaign for class president she wants to run—is that he’s unique, and he should never forget that.

As I wrote in relation to Glee’s season three debut last week, I’m struggling at the moment with not only believing in my uniqueness (or just in myself, period), but also having it recognised by others. But when you keep getting similar responses—“Everyone else has to get by with the daily nine-to-five grind, why shouldn’t you?” is a paraphrase that springs to mind—in the quest to realise your dreams, it’s hard not to become disheartened.

Kurt’s struggling with this, too, as he auditions for the lead male role in McKinley High’s production of West Side Story, which the co-directors, Coach Beiste, Miss Pillsbury and Artie, think he might not be masculine enough for.

Really incorporating a key element in the gender blogosphere this past year, Burt tells Kurt to stop sulking about being too flamboyantly gay to play a straight guy from the streets and to write his own realistic portrayal of gay characters.

Sing it, daddy! (I intended that to be less creepy than it came out!)

Brittany also makes a poignant point when she informs Kurt she’s decided to run for class president, too:

“You know, the last six senior class presidents have all been guys, and look where that’s got us: teetering in a double-dip recession.”

Finally, Glee’s starting to acknowledge some pertinent issues, minus the offensiveness. Maybe Santana’s right in saying that Brittany’s a genius, and a unicorn. We all are.

Related: Glee Back in Full Force.

Images via VideoBB.

Event: Rock of Ages Review.

The last few musicals I’ve been to I haven’t enjoyed. West Side Story, Hairspray… My friends keep telling me I need to stop comparing them to Wicked! Fair call.

So I went into Rock of Ages last Tuesday night with trepidation. I was looking forward to the music and the ’80s campy quality, but I wasn’t expecting a storyline and character development of Gregory Maguire proportions.

And I was right. While the music and the one liners are great, Lonny (to be played by Russell Brand in next year’s big screen adaptation), the chubby, mullet-sporting narrator, admits ten minutes into the production that they should “probably introduce a storyline” to keep the audience invested.

This is where Drew aka Wolfgang von Colt (played by Justin Burford), aspiring rock star and busboy at Dupree’s Bourbon Room on the Sunset Strip (a nod to The Viper Room, perhaps?), and Sherrie, a small town girl looking to make it big as an actress in Hollywood, come in.

While Sherrie is the most vapid character I’ve seen in a musical for a long time ever, her representation is typical of women in the male-dominated rock music industry at the time: just a piece of ass.

This is all mega rock star Stacee Jaxx sees her as, and acts accordingly. Jaxx seems to embody guys like Bret Michaels from Poison, Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and perhaps Jon Bon Jovi (but he just seems too nice!), as the quintessential egomaniac douchebag who forgets where he got his start (hello, Bourbon Room!). The role is a good one, and I can really see Tom Cruise excelling in it in the film version, however I thought Michael Falzon overplayed the role. If he’d just kicked in down a notch and acted like he took himself more seriously as the best front man to ever walk the earth, I think the character would have been more effective.

In fact, if the production itself employed this tactic, I would see nothing wrong with it.

But all in all, the costumes were fab, the majority of actors killed it, the set “broke down the fourth wall”, both literally and figuratively and, of course, the music was pure ’80s hair rock and power ballads.

It’s the best thing going in Melbourne at the moment and, since the last musical I saw at the Comedy Theatre, Avenue Q, for a while.

Image via Crikey.

Is RUSSH the New Vogue? A Comparative Analysis of Their September Issues.

 

I’m not much of a RUSSH fan; I find it a bit too pretentious for it’s own good. Vogue, however, can afford to be pretentious because it backs itself up with flawless fashion and high quality essays. However, I don’t usually find it to be so.

But this month I swallowed my pride and purchased RUSSH, primarily because of its review on Girl with a Satchel, but also because a small-time Australian magazine landed one of fashion’s (okay, lingerie modelling’s) hottest commodities, Alessandra Ambrosio, for its cover, and because of the “Come Back Kerouac” feature on books and reading.

While nothing beats Alice Cavanagh’s musings on the survival of novels “in the age of the small screen” (worth the $9.95 cover price if only for that), other Vogue-esque long-form essays include “Bohemian Like You” on the gypsy jet-setthe gypset; in an ode to “The Art Issue”, Danielle Top illustrates “The Artist’s Way”, “a practical guide to making your mark” which I don’t necessarily think works for me, but some acquaintances have had success with in the past; a profile on RUSSH’s favourite artists, including Anaïs Nin, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Mapplethorpe in “We Want You To Love Them Like We Do”, as well as “the most ground-breaking and… sought-after artist of our generation”, Ryan McGinley; and finally, in very Vogue-like fashion, Jess Blanch deals with burning the candle at both ends inwhat else?“Both Ends Burning”.

In terms of fashion, there is a small accessories feature in the front of the book, followed by Alessandra Ambrosio’s shoot, which merges “street chic with a ballet-esque fragility”, but it’s got nothing on Vogue in this respect. Cover star Catherine McNeil is rife throughout Vogue, channelling a ’50s sex kitten in Louis Vuitton, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana’s figure-hugging frocks in “A Fine Romance”, and a punk rockabilly meets West Side Story meets Grease charm in “Pretty Baby”.

And article-wise, Vogue takes the cake yet again, with “Is Fashion Art?” (an inadvertent dig at RUSSH, perhaps?), the pros and cons of having close male friends and if it can ever just be platonic, in “The Opposite of Sex” and, my favourite (as I always love a beauty debate), “The Beauty Bubble”, in which beautiful women like Nicole Trunfio and Noa Tishby discuss the perils of being beautiful. Seriously, though, it is a though-provoking essay, and Trunfio comes up with some surprisingly deep insights on being a model: “I do think models get away with a lot, but it’s not necessarily the important things in life… But not for long, because outer beauty does not last…”

And how’s this for a coincidence? Both RUSSH and Vogue feature the same patterned green Louis Vuitton skirt this month. I have to say, I prefer RUSSH‘s take on the garment (left), but the Bible’s version is quintessentially quirky Vogue (right).

The overall winner is, hands down, Vogue, for its flawlessly executed fashion, impeccable features and it’s ability to “feed”, as Carrie Bradshaw would say, but I was surprisingly impressed by RUSSH’s take on art, fashion and knowledge.