N.Y. Times (Sort of) Hails New 'Glee' Movie As 'Tutorial on Tolerance'
The New York Times was torn in reviewing the new move “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.” The liberal paper felt forced to admire its LGBT sermonizing. The headline was “A Tutorial on Tolerance, with Beats and Upbeats.” But it’s also just a concert film and merchandising opportunity for a TV show, so critic Stephen Holden began by calling it a “carbonated, low-calorie, vitamin-packed high-energy drink that tastes like strawberry bubblegum.”
Somehow, this movie is an odd hybrid. The Times thinks it’s an offshoot of Disney’s “High School Musical” with a lot more gay propaganda in it. Holden said it sounded like “an infomercial,” especially on the front of cultural politics:
Its encouraging message - that "Glee" is good for you, especially if you're an outsider and feel different from the popular kids - is continually reiterated and culminates with a pounding choral rendition of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."
Since one of the show's major characters, the ingenuous Kurt Hummel, is gay - as is Chris Colfer, the gifted 21-year-old performer playing him - "Glee" hammers home variations on the same message of reassurance and self-empowerment as the It Gets Better Project to combat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenage suicides: Just screw up your courage, hang in there, be who you are and you will triumph.
The most outspoken Gleek testimonial is that of Trenton Thompson, a gay teenager who was dragged out of the closet in the eighth grade after his journal was stolen by a friend and put on the desk of his secret crush. Trenton credits Mr. Colfer's character for his determination to stand up for himself and be out and proud.
Holden wondered if this story (and others from a dwarf prom queen and a girl with Asperger’s syndrome) are real or “prefab fairy tales.” But Holden seems to know how Ryan Murphy has turned his TV series into a relentless "It Gets Better” lecture, and yet somehow it still carries a “Disney ethos.” He must be focusing only on its commercial applications, not is sociopolitical ones:
Before "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie," there was "High School Musical" and its never-never land of mostly happy teenagers singing and dancing in the gym and engaging in smiley-faced rites of puppy love; before that there was "Fame." The insular "Glee" world of William McKinley High School is just as otherworldly as that of "High School Musical." The series, for all its little melodramas, evokes the same Disney ethos in which every quirk is an opportunity for self-branding, often on a T-shirt.
The Times had no concern that the young children that love the musical energy of "Glee" might be too young for gay propaganda. But liberals never do.
No one would expect the Times to notice that “It Gets Better” organizer Dan Savage suggested the Republicans should die on the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher in mid-July. The Times never did, even after Savage felt the need to apologize for it. Instead, just a month ago, the Times Magazine celebrated Savage as reminsicent of “a smart, tough old grandmother, randy yet stern. It’s Dr. Ruth if she were interested in bondage and threesomes.”