Glee is a wildly popular and very entertaining show, effectively targeted at teens and young adults. For those of you who have been living on Mars for the past few years, it follows the lives of the students and teachers affiliated with the glee club at large high school. Riding the momentum of the "High School Musical" wave, the choir is made up of a diverse group of students, all united in their love of music. It is not uncommon for them to bust out in song to elaborately choreographed numbers at least three or four times an episode.
Tuesday night's airing of Glee had two couples, one gay and one straight, losing their virginity. The episode was aptly titled "The First Time." Given the popularity of Glee with teenagers, it is likely that your kids either watched it, will watch it on online later, or will talk with others who watched it. Wise parents will make sure they are ready to talk about it.
The Parent's Television Council called the episode "reprehensible." PTC President Tim Winter said, "Research proves that television is a teen sexual super peer that can, and likely will, influence a teen’s decision to become sexually active. Fox knows the show inherently attracts kids; celebrating teen sex constitutes gross recklessness."
Contrast that with the viewpoint of the show's creators.
Chris Colfer, who plays a gay character describes it this way: "I think it's handled very sweetly and very emotionally," he said. "They're expecting this big, raunchy, suggestive, brainwashing storyline when really it's very sweet."
Colfer's perspective is exactly what concerns me. Presentations like this further tells our kids that as long as it is "sweet" and you are "in love" then it's all okay. And our kids are being fed an endless supply of this drivel. Without somebody to tell them differently, it is the perspective that, over time, they will develop as their own.
I spent most of this past weekend working on a book project designed to remind parents that it is their job to train and equip their kids to guard their future sexuality. The very health and strength of their future marriages depend on it. Seeing the content of this new Glee episode serves to remind me of what we are up against.
If you google "Glee First Time," you will get 50 million hits. Most on the first few pages are reviews of last night's episode. The best I can tell, all of them are glowingly positive. The world loves this stuff. So do our kids. Pray for opportunities to discuss these issues with the ones that live at your house. If your kids are fans of the show, you might try watching this episode with them.
Whatever you do, don't demonize it. It's too entertaining to be "bad" in their mind, so if you do that, your kids might think you're completely irrelevant and you will have lost your influence.
Stay clued in, parents!!
*For the curious out there who didn't get a chance to see the episode, there is a pretty detailed synopsis at Billboard.com.