You Be the Critic: GLEE’s Never Been Kissed

“We did not see that coming,” is how we would sum up last night’s episode of GLEE.

And by that, we’re not talking about Kurt’s tormentor smooching him (which incidentally, we also didn’t see coming), or the equally shocking kiss between Coach Bieste (“It’s French!”) and Mr. Shue, but rather the fact that we find ourselves heavily conflicted when it comes to the approach taken by Ryan Murphy to tackle bullying and homophobia in schools. Troublingly so.


After-all, when young people throughout North America are taking their own lives as a result of unconscionable homophobia and bullying in schools, the human being in us wants to give Ryan Murphy a complete and utter pass. Seriously. If Kurt discovering Blaine (Darren Criss), the Warblers and the existence of a mythical and magical Hogwarts-esque school that has a zero-tolerance harassment policy sends even one kid the message that life can, and does, in fact get better, who on earth are we to rain on that parade?

And herein lies the problem.

Our inner TV blogger didn’t particularly enjoy the latest in GLEE’s string of very special message episodes (see: “Grilled Chessus”). And while there was plenty to like — including Chris Colfer’s performance that will surely score him a second Emmy nod, Mark Saling’s hilarious and surprisingly emotional return that had him playing sidekick to Professor X Artie as some form of community service, and newcomer Darren Criss’ killer rendition of Katy Parry’s “Teenage Dream” that we may-or-may-not have been playing on repeat since downloading from itunes yesterday — the good was overshadowed by the overtly preachy writing that made Aaron Sorkin’s post- 9/11 episode of THE WEST WING look subtle.

Begging the slightly awkward albeit painfully obvious question, are we a horrible person for looking to television to first and foremost entertain? Or should we simply shut up, enjoy the genius that was Sue Sylvester comparing Sam Evans to Macauley Culkin and applaud the fact that even at its worst GLEE, if anything, remains a positive force for change?

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  • I’m curious to hear what you felt was preachy because I didn’t get that vibe while watching the episode. I guess some of the Blaine moments could have come off that way, but I didn’t see it.

    I also think some are viewing this episode in a vacuum and thinking that this is the only time the show is going to address bullying. I’m pretty sure a big chunk of Kurt’s arc this season will touch on what happened last night.

    I’m getting the feeling that “Never Been Kissed” was polarizing because most critics didn’t like it while most fans praised it. I for one had a mixed reaction, but it wasn’t “Funk” or “Home” levels of bad…just not great.

  • losermind

    i like it, but im not convince how the “im gay” to the new caracter was aproched… to simple… its never that simple!

    songs were ok, “vitamine D” mash ups were much better.

    kris has become a great actor… i dont know if is couse it have all the “dramatics” parts or what… but i think emmy its comming his way

  • losermind

    i like it, but im not convince how the “im gay” to the new caracter was aproched… to simple… its never that simple!

    songs were ok, “vitamine D” mash ups were much better.

    kris has become a great actor… i dont know if is couse it have all the “dramatics” parts or what… but i think emmy its comming his way

  • I just felt the whole episode was preachy. To borrow a line from Aleks’ point below. Kurt’s been dealing with this for a season a half, seemingly taking the incessant slush’ing in stride, only to all of a sudden tire of it. Too much too soon. Would have liked the story to be stretched out a little bit. Of course this just being the start of a story arc I suppose I should give it time.

  • Ace

    I highly recommend reading this review of last night’s episode: http://tomandlorenzo2.blogspot.com/2010/11/glee-s2e6-never-been-kissed.html

    Very honest perspective of what the episode means for pop-culture to the bloggers.

  • Anonymous

    After almost dropping Glee from my viewing list, I found that I actually loved last night’s episode. I thought it was one of the best in a while. I definitely didn’t get the impression that it was preachy.

    I do like that they’re going to wait just a bit before Kurt and Blaine actually get together. I was afraid they’d have them kiss already last night, which would have been too fast. I love the character of Blaine though. It’s hard to imagine him dating Kurt…

  • Anonymous

    BTW, is it just me or did the boys academy featuring Blaine totally blow New Directions out of the water? I don’t even like that song (Teenage Dream) but they sounded fantastic. The new guy is a great singer.

  • It’s not just you. Darren Criss easily had the best intro of anyone on the show. Which is probably why he just got a kick butt promotion! http://www.deadline.com/2010/11/glee-to-promote-darren-criss-to-regular/

  • Anonymous

    I’m still watching the episode on repeat. 🙂 So effing happy hat Kurt finaly gets a “relationship”.

  • AliciaJo

    Having a bully be gay was done MUCH better on Buffy s2 episode Phases (I’m like 98% it was Phases) because well BtVS’s worst episodes were still better than everything else on. On Glee the misses are real misses and this episode did have a few but having Darren made up for all the misses.

  • Anonymous

    I strongly approved of this episode and was deeply touched by it. It needed to be aired and I do not see the big deal about the show. Also.. have you guys heard about the Reality Rocks Online Fan Awards, I’m surprised I didn’t hear about it on this blog first. I’m having so much fun voting for my favorite shows.You wouldn’t believe who’s winning! I’m so excited about it! Check it out and VOTE for your fav shows! I’m voting everday! http://www.realityrocks.net

  • Anonymous

    agreed

  • I agree that I thoroughly LOVED this episode.

    Mind you, I am pregnant and it had me weeping like a baby, but still I loved it!

  • Sanen85

    This may likely be an unpopular opinion (I’m okay with that), but I can’t stand Kurt (he is such a whiny character). I understand that it is extremely hard for him to be the only homosexual kid. That said, why is his being bullied somehow worse than Finn, Rachel or anyone else in the Glee club. They’ve made it a point to highlight that they are all bullied (even Puck at times) and Kurt doesn’t get it any worse than the rest (except for the hurtful words which others like Mercedes don’t get pelted with). Why is it I have to suffer through 15 episodes (slight exagerration I suppose) that act as if Kurt is the only person ever be hurt by others words/actions)? Also, is the show really going the route of the bully was just being homophobic because he is secretly gay?

    Don’t get me started on the fact that Kurt himself treats others (Rachel specifically) like dirt beneath his shoes, yet somehow deserves respect that he never gives simply because he’s different.

  • Nada Nuff

    I’ll be glad when the focus is taken off of Kurt. Don’t like him. There are literally a dozen other characters they could develop now.