America Absolutely Lost It for Glee‘s Gay ‘Teenage Dream’

Glee‘s cast recording of “Teenage Dream,” performed by Darren Criss’ Blaine as a flirting-slash-back-slapping opus to Chris Colfer’s Kurt (watch it here), is the show’s best-selling single to date, says show creator Ryan Murphy. That’s pretty amazing, since it’s a love ditty between two dudes. The commercial approval of the single is also is nice, because some of those funds might be going toward paying the salary of a counselor of Harvey Milk School in NYC — a job that was eliminated due to budget cuts, but which Glee is underwriting (in addition to $25k in scholarship funds) so gay students are better equipped.

So Kurt’s First Gay Glee Was Kiss Was A Surprise. So Was His Teacher Confrontation

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  • Chuck

    What’s not to love. Gay love is adorable, and it’s time America appreciated it!

  • Chris

    we still haven’t heard Jason’s point of view on how this show is homophobic, so i think we should hold off on our praise for a while.

  • UMB

    Couldn’t find a cynical spin on this story Queerty?

  • Motard

    It’s only been a day since it aired?

    There’s a whole perfect storm going on with this number.

    I can’t help but sense that in some ways, the Glee version outshines Katy Perry’s – Darren Criss’ clarion voice probably does more justice to the sexy innocence of the song than Katy’s throaty barely-restrained-hussy stylings.

    The pure a cappella arrangement of the song also offers a nice contrast to the overproduction that Glee is increasingly guilty of.

    Remember that Glee’s target demographic is a whole generation of pre-sexual teen girls, weaned on sexless vampires. One wonders if chaste gay love might be this year’s boyband. American girls might have just discovered bishonen.

    Add to that, the writers have been putting Kurt through a pretty shitty ringer this past season – the whole episode neatly encapsulates a cogent emotional arc for Kurt. The number’s also a better example of organic synergy between story and music than the show has managed to pull off in quite awhile.

    All with an almost creepy timing on the heels of the recent attention to teen suicide. Frankly, this is a superlative ‘It Gets Better’ vid, at its heart.

  • Aaron in Honolulu

    Just the scenes with Kurt and Blaine alone made my heart melt. Easily one of my favorite episodes this season so far. <3 <3 <3

  • J. Clarence

    I was in complete tears when I watched it, because the scene really was like the first time that we’ve seen Kurt genuinely happy all season–come to think to think of it, ever, really.

    I’m actually not surprised by the sales. It was a great cover, for me it beats the original; and I suspect most of the people who watch Glee either can tolerate we homosexuals, are friends with gay people, or is a gay. If you’re an old bucket conservative you probably stopped watching way before Grilled Cheezus anyway.

  • Derek

    @Motard: one of the more erudite comments I’ve read on this blog.

  • [email protected]

    Hey Queerty! It’s not a cast recording.

    Darren’s voice is real… but the a cappella was actually dubbed. The voices singing are actually the Tufts University Beelzebubs!

  • scott ny'er

    the visuals make the song SOOOOOOO much better. Without the video of cute Darren acting & singing, it’s just a decent version, IMO.

  • whatever

    I have zero interest in this show. Do I have to tun in my gay card?


    @whatever: No you only get a 90 day suspension…….:p

  • bwst21980

    And the Tufts University Beelzebubs are seriously awesome. Best acapella group in the country.

  • the crustybastard



  • Bobby


    Glee’s target audience is anyone who wants to watch the show. There’s something there for everyone. Let’s not put it in such a small box.

  • James Davis

    @Bobby: Agreed. My 55 year old mother & 65 year old aunt both watch gLee religiously.

  • Ian

    Is this good or does it merely show that corporations out to sell a buck have trained it’s viewers to accept covers from glee and american idol as actual original music?

  • Motard

    @Derek: You’re too kind

    @Bobby: I’m not saying that Glee is some puerile entertainment; what makes it good (when it is good), is that it does have plenty to offer older viewers. Well done teen-oriented programming has that capacity to let an older audience reexperience those dreaded teen years through fresh perspectives and the lens of hindsight.

    But recognizing that is not mutually exclusive with admitting that the Glee merch, soundtracks, concert tours – are, in fact, targeted towards a specific demographic. It’s a sign of quality that it has crossover appeal, but if you look at the fanbase, that preteen female demographic is probably overrepresented. It’s clear that they have a substantial gay fanbase as well, but even ‘mo’s can’t match the pure, ferocious spending power of aquealing teen girls.

  • Bobby

    @Motard, it’s cool. I do know that tweens spend some money, and the message of Glee will benefit them greatly. I just know when I watch it, it is heads above just about anything on television for having a moral to the story and for pure entertainment.

    @Ian, I don’t think anyone is trying to say Glee’s music is original. That’s one of the greatest things about the show is its ability to take songs and make them something new and sometimes very different. It also opens up a dialog for those songs and the original artists to be researched and discovered by a new generation.

  • Motard

    Styling music by way of cover is an old pop tradition, going back to the origins of recorded music. The Porter, Gershwin, Berlin songbooks have been redone and reinterpreted so often, one can’t really count.

    Glee is hardly on the scale of the old great jazz voices, natch. But auteurship in pop didn’t arise until well after the ascent of rock in the mid-20th century.

    Yes, it’s regrettable that kids don’t recognize that the Cyrus sisters didn’t originate ‘My Lips are Sealed’, and on-and-on. But covers have been around forever, and they’re not going away.

    One can only hope that for a select few of them, they might serve as a gateway to explore and discover the rich history of pop music.

  • Xtincta

    “Yes, it’s regrettable that kids don’t recognize that the Cyrus sisters didn’t originate ‘My Lips are Sealed’ ”

    I hunk you mean he Duff sisters…… Your age is showing. Most kids these days are aware that some songs are covers, we live in the information age and that information is readily available.

  • Miles

    This is off topic but does anyone know what happened to “morning goods?” Did Queerty drop it?

  • Motard

    My point exactly.

    It’s been argued that the whole point of the hipster aesthetic is pastiche – it’s all been done before, so why bother trying to actually be “original”.

    And yes – Cyruses, Duffs – they all look the same to me. ^.^

  • Scot

    @ Motard – “The pure a cappella arrangement…”
    That ain’t a capella. The very definition of a capella is “without instrumental accompaniment”
    So “pure a cappella”, yeah, not so much.
    Careful there, really smart people see right through you.
    Good try though.

  • Motard

    To my poorly-trained (though not untrained, mind) ear, that’s all Beelzebub beatboxing underneath. And the bassline is some serious basso subito.

    I don’t doubt that there’s knob-tweaking going on at Glee studios, but I can’t hear a whiff of autotune, or an actual instrument. But then, that’s just my ear. There are plenty of pretty good collegiate a cappella groups that sound that clear; the recording quality frankly isn’t too far from the quality of some of the better groups I’ve heard over the years, including the Beelzebubs.

  • Motard

    Upon further review, that percussion starts as a studio-assisted beatbox – but I have to admit that it sounds like it might just give way to actual drums somewhere around the first chorus.

    Happy to stand corrected.

  • Kyle. OT

    This was stunning…for it’s display that gays DO find attraction, love, that pitter patter in our hearts…even in high school..even if it’s not the ‘norm’ for’s the norm for many of us. MANY of us. There are millions of gay/bi inidviduals in our country and up until recently we’ve had very little showcased toward gay romance, gay love, and gay crushing even. I so applaud Glee. I watched this episode with my much younger 15 year old cousin, 45 year old aunt, and father who is a veteran…and we all smiled at the end of the episode. Do not ever underestimate the power of mass media and entertainment. It had profound effects, and shows like this with themes like this are long over due.

  • Gleekluvr

    This episode in this climate where our gay youth are taking guns and blowing their brains out is beyond noble. I watched it with all my gay friends and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, not for our struggles but the daily struggles other kids face and hopefully this cheered them up.

  • hephaestion

    I have a feeling this episode of Glee saved more lives than a thousand “It Gets Better” videos, though those are important and wonderful also.

  • BjBien1010



    give me a break. this show makes me wanna turn in my gay card every time it gets more attention

    GLEE makes gays look bad. period.

    Kurt is the weakest looking fey gay on TV and certainly not helping the cause.

    I’d put a beating on him myself.

  • scott ny'er

    @Motard: @Scot: Nope. I think Motard was right the first time. I think it’s all Acapella. Have you listened to Rockapella (go to youtube and search Rockapella Jeff Thatcher drum solo and Pretty Woman). OR seen this youtube sensation (search youtube for teenage dream acapella ).

    I tried to include the links but Queerty thinks my message is spam then. Sigh.

  • ron

    I love love love this video. I think it’s the best Glee has done to date. The entire episode was awsome!

  • redball

    Criss is foine. And so was that Asian boy just behind him–anyone know who that was??

    This number and the girls’ rock band mash-up were the best numbers of the night for me!

  • Bobby


    You obviously have some deep self hatred and internalized homophobia you’re dealing with. Kurt is representative of many homosexuals and to homogenize us and try to make us fit into a society where a majority of people are so ignorant they can’t think for themselves is wrong. All humans are similar, but we don’t all have to act similarly. That’s what makes the world beautiful and as a gay person BjBien, you should be spreading the word of tolerance not hatred.

  • stu b

    That song and it’s performance, dubbed or done live, was a seminal moment on the series. It was magical in it’s effect on the character and sets a course for the story line to move onto a new pathway. The performance was much better than the original by the actual composer.

  • Rocket

    Although I do appreciate the fact that the “first kiss” scenario is finally being marketed to a large audience in a gay context, this all feels very Hollywood slick and candy-coated.

    Glee can be mildly entertaining, yet unfortunately this just shows how little there is on television worth watching these days. It’s like eating a whole tub of ice cream. It tastes good but when you’re done you ask yourself “why did I just do that?”

    I do admit that it is fun to hear great old songs again, but it only makes me want to hear the originals, these remakes always being forced into a vaguely hip-hoppy autotuned packaging like watered-down kool-aid.

    It’s kind of hard to really care about people whose deepest dramas revolve around puppy love, synchronized dance moves and where to get the next proactiv peel. Were my teenage years like this…no way.

    I’ve watched 3 episodes of this show, with my 14 year old niece. Even she rolls her eyes at some of the sillier parts of this show.

  • Franky

    You managed to make gays look worse than Glee EVER will in that one comment.

  • rocket

    I’m sorry…I really try. But I just can’t watch the whole show…it is sooooo bad. I changed the channel at the “Make ‘Em Laugh” fiasco. Judy is rolling over in her grave. Poor Gwyneth.

  • Bobby

    Another stellar episode tonight. I think I fell a little in love with Gwyneth and the salute to SINGING IN THE RAIN was really nice.

  • Franky

    Yeah… I don’t know how they went from last week’s episode to this. It was kinda sorta very bad. At least the singing was. I skipped past all of the songs for the first time ever…

  • Elle

    @rocket: Something in your comment confused me… Why would Judy be rolling in her grave over a song she had nothing to do with?

  • rocket

    @Elle: I’m sorry, I always confuse that “Make Em Laugh” with “Be A Clown”. But in my defense, it is common mistake.

    “Be a Clown” is a song written by Cole Porter and performed by Judy Garland and Gene Kelly for the 1948 film “The Pirate”.

    It is a well known controversy that the song “Make ‘Em Laugh” in the 1952 film “Singin’ in the Rain” was largely plagiarized from “Be a Clown” although Cole Porter did not make a complaint.

  • Michael

    @whatever: You are not alone.

  • jaye

    The ‘Teenage Dream’ number is acapella, performed by the Beelzebubs with Darren Criss. This is the ‘Bubs arrangement, their choreography and it’s them backing Criss… no dubbing, no instruments, no auto-tune.
    I think it is a shame that they get NO credit for ‘being’ the Warblers; also a shame that the Swingle Singers get NO credit for the incidental music that happens throughout each episode.
    College acapella groups all over the country are re-imagining covers, they’ve been doing it since the turn of the last century; probably the most forward thinking, fresh way of approaching ‘The Great American Songbook’ with actual talent and musical skills.
    The human voice is the ultimate instrument – there’s nothing it can’t do!!!

  • fredo777

    @[email protected]: Srsly, that’s the Bubs? The ones that were on the NBC show, The Sing Off? I loved them. I also loved this version of the song.

  • Bobby


    Your homophobia is worse than any heterosexual could ever wish to spew.

Comments are closed.