November 10th, 2010
12:47 PM ET
Best. Episode. Yet.
The “Never Been Kissed” episode of “Glee” played to all of the show’s strengths: the ability to deliver a powerful message without feeling schlocky, pitch perfect song choices, and the sheer joy and pain which comes along with being in high school.
The constant torment by a bully is wearing Kurt down and he tells Mr. Schuester, “You and everyone else in this school are quick to let homophobia slide.” This issue is all the more poignant given the recent high profile deaths of gay teens who have committed suicide.
But Kurt’s tormentor has a little secret, and series co-creator Ryan Murphy told the New York Times that the storyline was based on personal experience.
“The turn that character takes is based on someone in my life that I know who did that,” Murphy said. “Somebody who regularly and routinely beat up other gay kids and called them [slurs] and hit them, and the truth of the matter is, he came out of the closet in his 20s and had to get himself to a psychiatrist to deal with the hell he put so many people through because of his own issues.”
And for the record, I love, love, love our new gay hero Blaine. Finally, Kurt has someone to relate to who is cute to boot. And raise your hand if you liked Blaine and his school chums' cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” better than the original. Yep, I’ve got BOTH hands raised.
The producers of the show also did a great job of weaving in the Coach Beiste storyline and I found myself feeling so much sympathy for her. To have a group of teen boys (and one girl) using you as the image with which to quell sexual urges is plenty insulting.
Murphy said he purposely weaved that particular subplot into the episode. “There are different forms of cruelty that people get away with,” he said. “That episode is completely about accountability.”
I cried a little bit when Mr. Schuester gave Beiste her first kiss. That was such a Schue thing to do. I totally think the boys should have won the mash up if for no other reason than their earnest desire to apologize to the coach. Though the girls killed it with the Bon Jovi "Living on a Prayer" and The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" mash-up.
I am so glad that “Glee” is back to pulling the heartstrings and giving us amazing TV on a Tuesday night. Well done.
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