Television watchdog groups have not been kind to Glee in the past, often taking aim at the show and its stars.
So as the show prepares to air one of its most controversial episodes to date, which will find two of the show’s most popular couples having sex for the first time, star Chris Colfer (Kurt) is awaiting the inevitable.
“I absolutely expect to hear from them,” he tells EW. “But I think it’s handled very sweetly and very emotionally…They’re expecting this big, raunchy, suggestive, brainwashing storyline when really it’s very sweet.”
But it’s understandable, he says, that people would approach the episode with apprehension. He admits to experiencing some of his own when he first learned Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt would lose their virginity to each other. Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith) also have sex for the first time in the episode.
“It’s funny, I always go into this instant panic state whenever they tell me about upcoming episodes because we always do so many delicate situations on the show,” he says. “But then I get the script and we shoot it and it’s always handled so well that I never really had any reason to worry about it.”
And that’s much how he anticipates others to react after seeing it on Tuesday. “It’s nothing like what my imagination built it up to be,” he says. “It was much tamer than even I was expecting. My imagination went all over the place. I think everyone is going to walk away from it wishing their first time was like that.” Frankly, he adds, “The love scene is, with all due respect to the episode and all the people behind it, I think the love scene was all physical. We don’t say anything. We kissed and rolled around a bit.”
In the past, activist groups like the Parents Television Council have been critical of the show for tackling controversial subjects. Last season the show came under fire for another sex-themed episode, where, among other things, Kurt shared a talk with his father, Burt, about gay sex. Colfer says it’s the show’s right to do so. (As for whether the moment between Kurt and Blaine is unprecedented, dramas like ABC’s Brothers and Sisters, NBC’s ER and the WB’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured implied scenes of sexual intimacy in the past between same-sex characters.).
“Teens are having sex,” argues Colfer. “There’s not that much you can do to stop it, and we’re just showing a story about it….It’s about an experience in these teen’s lives that everyone has.”
But, he adds, the show makes it a point to address teen sex responsibly. “I think it’s promoting safe teen sex. I believe there’s lots of safe sex innuendos and mentions in the episode,” he says. “And it goes back to what Burt said when he had that sex talk last year — don’t throw yourself around. Make it matter, make it meaningful. Make sure it’s with the right person and that you don’t regret it later.”
As for Kurt and Blaine, Colfer says the experience will be anything but a regret. “I’m assuming they’ll be much happier. They’ll probably be a lot more tired,” he jokes. “But I think it brings them closer.”
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