“Flaming breasts tend to have that effect”

The post title is the final sentence from an Entertainment Weekly article titled, “Glee‘s Superbowl Thriller” (Jan. 28, 2011 issue).

In the issue, this article appears directly following Jennifer Armstrong’s analysis of the impact of gay teens on network TV, headlined by Kurt (played by the amazing Christ Colfer) on Glee.  Tim Stack offers this gem of a “sneak peek” at the Glee episode that will follow the Superbowl this Sunday.  The article ends like this:

It’s Sue’s Cheerios [cheerleaders] who also deliver the episode’s other explosive performance, an opening dance to Katy Perry’s smash “California Gurls” designed to keep male viewers glued to the screen after the game. […]  Describes [Heather] Morris [who plays Brittany], “It’s BMXers and girls, and not only are they shooting fire out of their boobs, but there’s a fire whip.  Then there’s all of us cheerleaders in blue wigs and all we do is shake our ass.  It’s crazy.”  Adds [Brad] Falchuk [show co-creator and director of this episode], “We put stuff in there understanding that there are a lot of dudes who watch the Super Bowl.  So it was making sure that the dudes who refused to watch Glee are like, Wait a second!”  Flaming breasts tend to have that effect.

[Slow hand clap for Falchuk et al.]  You’ve done it!  You’ve figured out how to get “dudes” to watch your show about outcasts.  Flaming breasts.

Sure, Glee has certainly done sexy things in its episodes before.  I’m not trying to come down on being sexy on TV.  But this sort of narrative of “Men like football!  Men like boobs!  We should follow football with boobs!” shit is demeaning to both women (you know, ALL of them) and any man ever who has sat down and watched Glee for any reason other than boobs.  Or any man who will watch Glee on Sunday and enjoy it for any reason other than boobs.

Is it too much to ask that Glee not show flaming boobs in order to attract viewers?  Can’t it just attract people who want to watch the show because they like the camp, the music, the outsider as hero, etc.?  What’s wrong with those viewers?  Why must dudes who like boobs be the viewers that Glee wants to get?

As someone who has watched Glee from the first episode and sticks through even some bad, bad episodes, I, personally, would really, really, really like it if they didn’t write shows for those people.

This, of course, reminds me of the reaction against the Glee photo shoot in GQ.  The best takedown of that was from guest blogger, Fannie, at Shakesville who explained why people like the show were upset by the infantilizing, misogynistic shoot:

The geeks, the losers, the queers, the disabled, the atheists, the dudely jock who likes to sing and dance, the pregnant girl, the teen diva, and the male Asian actor who is supposed to be geeky-cool but who never gets a speaking part in Glee solo. The popularity of Glee has been Revenge of the Nerds all the way and for that reason it has been pretty, dare I say, special to a lot of marginalized people and teenagers in all its campy dorkwad glory.

But now, the GQ photo shoot has subverted geekiness to give heterosexual men yet another thing in this world that can be, erm, special to them. And what’s supposed to special about Quinn and Rachel in these photos is not their voices, their struggles, their dorkiness, their self-centeredness, their insecurities, or their dreams, but rather, the never-been-done-before message that it’s women! Who are hot! And young! And thin! Who men want to fuck!

Except now it’s not a photo shoot.  It’s a deliberate ploy to those heterosexual men by the creators and writers of the show (with lots and lots of pressure from Fox, I imagine).  As Fannie says, Glee should know better.  They should do better.

Because otherwise they are on the same level as this shit from PETA (and, you know, about 90% of ads we lady viewers of football will have to be subjected to in order to watch the Superbowl.  And then Glee.  Awesome.)



EW’s Tim Stack just posted a video of the opening song, flaming breasts and all.  You can see that simply by looking at the still shot on the video screen.  Along with it he says:

EW can EXCLUSIVELY reveal the opening Cheerios dance number set to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” It’s a veritable boob-a-palooza — with more bikinis than an episode of Jersey Shore — produced to keep eyes glued to the screen even after the big football game is done. “I think our opening number is going to retain a lot of male viewers,” says co-creator/executive producer Ian Brennan. The Glee team knew that they would need to lure in the football audience and adjusted the episode to reflect those potential new viewers. “We put stuff in there understanding that there are a lot of dudes who watch the Super Bowl,” says co-creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk. “It was making sure that the dudes who refuse to watch Glee are like ‘Wait a second!’” Based on the clip below, I think they succeeded.


One thought on ““Flaming breasts tend to have that effect”

  1. Maybe if the players had flames shooting out of their jockstraps every time they scored a touchdown instead of their end zone shenanigans, the NFL would realize their long-term dream of getting more women to watch football?

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