The second season of Glee premiered last month, catching up with New Directions after their loss at Regionals.
To help make sense of it all, we have a panel of musical theater and pop culture buffs—Meghan Brown, Patrick Burns, and Kevin Fallon—to provide their takes on how realistic the show feels, how well the romances develop, and of course, how good the musical numbers are.
They weigh in on this week's show, in which New Directions channels The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
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Kevin Fallon (writer and producer for The Atlantic's Culture channel): Did Glee's writers time warp forward when they were penning this episode? Were they able to foresee that the show's female leads would be at the center of a major controversy over scandalous "art" just a week before the episode aired? Maybe, because "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" seemed to address the show's GQ magazine drama—impressive, considering the episode was shot months ago.
The show began with Schu expounding on the purpose of art: pushing boundaries for the purpose of self-expression. It's the rationale defenders of the sexy GQ spread are using, that both Glee and the photo shoot have artistic merit, even when making their audiences uncomfortable. The episode also provided an answer to critics who accused the photo spread of being misogynistic (it featured two scantily clad women and one very covered-up man). Not only were Sam, Schu, and Finn frequently shirtless, but the girls took gleeful delight in the boys' body image insecurities. Dianna Agron's Quinn basked in schadenfreude, rationalizing, "They objectify us all the time." Perhaps as she was in the pages of a men's magazine?