Parents, you have got to love the Parents Television Council. They're always there when you need 'em. Because without them, we would have gone along letting our teenagers watch the Gwyneth Paltrow Glee episode and getting all hot for teacher.
Thank goodness, PTC Public Policy Director Dan Isset set us straight. He told The Hollywood Reporter this week that the show was "pretty appalling" and sent bad messages to our youth. In particular, he's got a problem with the sex . . . and Paltrow:
The show is based on making sexual content look cool. That's why it's a popular show . . . Real-world teachers don't lap dance with their students.
Really, Dan? What age do you expect kids are old enough to separate TV from reality? And how little do you know about human anatomy?
I give the guy props for being consistent. Despite a lame attempt to sound hip by referring to the show's "rockin' musical numbers," on its site, the PTC has never been gleeful about teens watching the show. It gets the council's highest "red light" rating for potential wreckage to young minds. But Isset completely lost me when he admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that he didn't watch the whole "Sexy" episode, stating he never saw the sex talk between Kurt and his Dad (which should earn some sort of top award for seminal parenting moments in primetime, by the way). And there's still his assertion that somehow the show is sending bad messages to teens by showing teachers being sexual:
There was very little doubt -- despite the sort of lip service the show gave to responsible sexual activity -- that the gist of the show was lap dances with students is cool, the celibacy club is not, and when it's presented in that way, it really cheapens whatever discussion there is about consequence and responsibility.
Listen, Mr. Isset, we love to hate on Gwyneth too, but it's not her fault kids are horny! This is just the sort of prudish response that left responsible science teacher Tericka Dye once again looking for a job this week because the kids at her St. Louis school figured out she'd done some legal work in the porn industry nearly two decades prior. A certain sector of adults just can't break it to themselves that kids have urges too.
So let's break this down. Teachers are human. Some teachers are really good looking individuals. And teenagers don't need a TV show to make their hormones work. It's called puberty. Kids naturally hit a point where they find people sexually attractive, and they want to do something about it.
I distinctly remember seventh grade math class with a brand new (read, very young) female teacher, who was the object of every boy's desire. My friend F., being a teenage boy, made it a habit of dropping his pencil as often as he could, just so he could get the teacher to lean down and pick it up, while he got a glimpse down her shirt. Gross? Yes. I'm not defending his misogyny (fortunately he grew out of it -- or we wouldn't have remained friends).
Kids are going to feel sexual whether Glee tells them to or not. What we need is to teach kids that it's OK to talk about it with the adults in their lives -- which is exactly what that scene Mr. Isset skipped did quite well.
Do your teens really think everything they see on TV is real?
Image via Fox