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Posted at 4:05 PM ET, 10/19/2010

The cast of 'Glee': Too racy in GQ?

By Jen Chaney

The Gleeks, getting it on in GQ. (Image courtesy of GQ)

In the latest evidence that the "Glee" hype machine might be starting to spiral out of control, three of its central stars -- Dianna Agron, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith -- have turned on the softcore-porn vibe in a photo shoot for the November issue of GQ. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, the previous most recent evidence of excessive "Glee" hype is the fact that a Rocky Horror "Glee" CD -- the sixth soundtrack in the program's brief history -- is now on sale at a retailer near you.)

Look, we're not prudes here at Celebritology. Unlike Sue Sylvester in the "Britney/Brittany" episode, we just looove a quality sex riot. But there's something about the pics on display in GQ -- especially the ones of Lea Michele -- that don't seem like the best publicity move for the show, which is hardly starving for publicity in the first place.

I single out Michele because the slideshow currently on display at GQ's Web site focuses primarily on her ... in her underwear, sucking on lollipops and/or tearing off what little remains of her clothes. This photo is a prime example.

For the record, Agron also dons some short skirts and bares plenty of midriff. As for Monteith, he of course remains fully clothed -- even fully buttoned-up and necktied in some pictures, for heaven's sake. And here you thought the gender double-standards of "Mad Men" were entirely retro fiction, you silly post-feminist reader.

Of course, it's no surprise to see hot, young female stars getting saucy to sell a few magazines. It's practically a tradition. But it's troublesome when it comes to "Glee" for a couple of reasons.

One: the show has a young fan base. Seeing the stars of "Glee" in trashy mode clearly doesn't set a great example for them.

But that actually bothers me less than reason two: "Glee" is supposed to be a salute to the high school underdogs, the theater nerds who can only find their voice when they're hiding out in the choral room. Michele's character, Rachel Berry, in particular is supposed to serve as an example of that, even if she is dating a quarterback. Last time I checked, theater geeks don't walk around locker rooms wearing tube socks, high heels and a pair of panties. (At least they didn't at my high school ... not even when the spring musical was "Cabaret.")

Clearly Lea Michele and Rachel Berry are two different people, and Michele shouldn't be forced to behave like her character 24/7. But there's something to be said for keeping the image of one's character in mind when engaging in promotion for the show. (By contrast, the "True Blood" Rolling Stone cover was provocative, but not problematic because those people are naked and/or bloody every week on that show. The shoot suited the source material, semi-racy though it may be.)

At Comic-Con in July, a roomful of Gleeks applauded the cast and crew of this show because it was clear that Murphy and his actors connected with the spirit of being different, of not going along with the crowd, of being a showtune-loving outcast. But the more hype and sexy magazine covers that "Glee's" success generates, the harder it is to believe in the underlying message that, supposedly, all that singing stands for.

But now it's your turn to weigh in.

By Jen Chaney  | October 19, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  | Tags:  Glee  
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I know they have a young fan base, but considering that one of the first episodes featured the guidance counselor telling a female student that she would be grateful one day not to have a gag has never been a show for kids or tweens.

Posted by: onlytheshadowknows1 | October 19, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

That's very true. It's not aimed at the under-12 set, clearly. Which, again, is why that second reason, for me, is more of an issue than the first one I mentioned.

Posted by: Jen Chaney | October 19, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with "racy" pics, per se...but the ones of Lea Michele are just SO softcore porn in feel, it makes her seem just a bit desperate. "Look at me, I lost weight, aren't I hot?" Ugh.

Posted by: lizgwiz | October 19, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Blech. I realize that the women playing high schoolers in Glee are, in reality, adults. But there's just something creepy about them doing the high-school-girls-as-soft-core-porn-sex-pots in the photo shoot. I mean really? Don't the dirty old men of the world have enough "teen" porn to look at free on the internet? Can't the women do sexy photos in their undies without pretending to be so young as to be legally off-limits to most of GQ's audience?

It's not like it matters in the grand scheme of things, but it just seems so....I don't know, lame, almost.

Posted by: LizaBean | October 19, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Ew, ew, EWWW since these are supposed to be high-school kids?!? (Never watched Glee) Every single shot of the girls screams "I'm a porn star/pole dancer, come f&ck me". And the spread-eagle pose defies description, just, ick nast.

As for the double standard so clearly on display here, reminds me of the infamous Tom Ford/ScarJo/Kiera Knightley VF photo awhile back, where they were fully nude and he was fully clothed.

Posted by: Californian11 | October 19, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"One: the show has a young fan base. Seeing the stars of "Glee" in trashy mode clearly doesn't set a great example for them."

HELLO. The GQ photo shoot is only the latest unbelievably inapproriate thing.

The show had such promise from the beginning. Interesting characters but not too deep. Fun songs. And then the increasingly contrived Sue/Will hair jokes, egocentric Rachel, clumsy Finn and hyperearnest Kurt all became one-note and tired. Solution? Add sex. Because that's what parents want their pre-teens to watch. Clearly the writers don't have kids.

I was a semi-fan -- could take it or leave it; watched on Hulu if I were bored -- until the Britney/Brittany episode. Disgusting. The boy caught in the library and then sitting bare-@ssed in Sue's office -- let's zoom in on the sweat on the chair -- was bad enough (and that was before the -- pardon the pun -- climactic gym riot). Stopped watching and haven't looked back.

I've predicted for months this show will flame big, flame out. Right on track. Go.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | October 19, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I would really like to sit Lea Michele down, give her a drink, and tell her to breathe. And to remind her she has something so many young Hollywood actresses don't have, and that's talent. She could probably walk into almost any Broadway show right now and pick her roles. She does not have to go through the "Hollywood Car Wash" to have a career.

Because I'm wondering - considering how little you saw of Diana Agron's underwear compared to Lea Michele - how much of the wardrobe choices were left up to the individual actress.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 19, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Meet Other Singles in a Fun Relaxed Setting. Join the Club Now

Posted by: jeremyrenner18 | October 20, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

Meet Other Singles in a Fun Relaxed Setting. Join the Club Now

Posted by: jeremyrenner18
* * *

I think this says it all, don't you?

Posted by: VaLGaL | October 20, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I was with td through most of his post. OTOH this show has never been a real portrayal of high school, even in the purportedly semi-respectable 1st season. They ran an ep for season 1 last night, and the "show" put on by the delinquent girls school (insert smirk here) showed way more than any HS would allow.

I think the toungue-in-cheek approach with the Sue Sylvester stereotype (just to mention one) is part of the attraction, such as it is.

That said, this photoshoot did look like an "amateurs try to porn-it-up" display. It just thuds.

Posted by: reddragon1 | October 20, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Seeing those pictures just makes me sad. It's the case of yet another beautiful and talented woman putting her body on display for all to say when she doesn't need to - those pictures of Lea looked like they were taken out of Playboy, only exception was that she had a little bit of clothing to cover her naughty bits. I'm not a prude in the least, but I hate when talented women in Hollywood feel the need to go the hoochie route when they clearly have talent to back them up. There's a BIG difference between sexy and slutty.

Posted by: luvlydawter | October 20, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

this just depresses me in so many ways.

Posted by: mcsquared65 | October 20, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"There's a BIG difference between sexy and slutty."

Hear hear. So few up-and-coming actresses and celebs understand this.

Posted by: Californian11 | October 20, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Eww. Those are tacky pictures of LM. They totally reek of desperation. Which is sad because LM has talent, is pretty and has a great voice.

Posted by: Guest1234 | October 20, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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