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April 18, 2014

Family TV Guide: 'Glee'

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 26th 2011 2:00PM
New Directions heads to the Nationals after the most recent episode of 'Glee.''Glee'
Network: FOX
Air Date: Tuesdays, 8PM ET
Starring: Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Kevin McHale, Mark Salling, Chris Colfer, Naya Rivera, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Chord Overstreet, Ashley Fink, Darren Criss
TV Rating: TV-14 D, L, S for suggestive dialogue, adult language minor sexual situations

What's It All About?
So here's what you missed on 'Glee': McKinley High Spanish teacher Will Schuester took over as director of the glee club to return it to its former glory. Along the way he recruited a bunch of misfits along with football player Finn, who had a crush on fellow glee clubber Rachel, but couldn't act on it because he was dating Cheerio Quinn. Did we mention that Quinn was pregnant with what Finn thought was his child but really belonged to his friend Puck, who also joined the glee club? Oh, and Rachel and Finn got together, broke up, got together and broke up again.

Meanwhile, Will was getting ready for the birth of his own child with wife Terri, who was actually faking the pregnancy until he found out and divorced her. He has a thing for obsessive-compulsive guidance counselor Emma, who got tired of waiting for Will and married a dentist who looks a lot like John Stamos (he is John Stamos). Will then dated substitute teacher and free spirit Holly Holiday.

They're all hated by Cheerio coach Sue Sylvester, who wants nothing more than to destroy the glee club and light on fire the oily concoction which makes Will's hair so luxurious.

Plus, there's singing, dancing, romance, teenage sex, underage drinking, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Madonna, bullying, Slushie throwing, Gap attacks, Rocky Horror, Justin Bieber, Dalton Academy Warblers, Sectionals, Regionals and Nationals. Through it all, these people, who banded together for their singing talent, bond as friends and family.

And that's what you missed on 'Glee.'

What the Family TV Guide Thinks
There are two sides to 'Glee': the music and the show. The music is appropriate for most audiences. Personally, my three daughters, ages 10, 7 and 5, listen to and sing along with the 'Glee' soundtracks constantly running on our car's CD player. Not only has it given them an appreciation of the modern artists the New Directions group belts out, but it has also given them a taste of writers and performers like Burt Bacharach and Barbara Streisand.

This causes a problem when they ask if they can watch the show. While the music may be in the G to low-PG range, the show definitely isn't. Though the cast is portrayed as somewhere in the sophomore-junior range of high school, many of the situations they encounter are much more adult.

This is not to say the show couldn't be watched as a family during certain episodes -- just make sure you screen them first. For instance, an early second-season episode where Kurt had to deal with his father's heart attack was heartwarming and tragic at the same time. Same goes for Kurt's issues with bullying. Shows which have revolved around New Direction's performances at Sectionals or Regionals have also been mild.

However, the majority of the episodes deal with topics for those high school-aged or above. When it comes to those shows, then upper-end tweens and teens should be the only ones watching with you. In the end, you'll need to determine what you feel your early tweens and younger children can handle.

Parental Concerns
'Glee' is rated TV-14 for suggestive dialogue, adult language and sexual situations. As mentioned above, things can reach adult-level status with the New Directions kids, particularly with the suggestive dialogue and language. As for the sexual situations, it's more implied than anything. Though there are a number of sexually charged situations, there have been very few times where cast members have been seen in bed together sans clothing.

Topics for Discussion
Bullying: While bullying was shown in the past with Slushie hits to the face by members of the football team, the bullying increased this season when Kurt became a victim of a lone individual. It was so bad he ended up leaving New Directions and McKinley High for a private school. It's especially important in these times to make sure your children understand what bullying is and to find out if they are being bullied or are a bullier themselves.

Pop Music: One of the great things about 'Glee' is the diversity of pop music the performers belt out each episode. Spanning about six decades, music genres have included Broadway, classic rock, alternative, '80s, adult contemporary, Top 40 and even rap. This would be a good time to dust off the old CDs and speak to your kids about the original performers of their favorite 'Glee' numbers -- that way, they won't ask why the Beatles stole 'Hello Goodbye' from New Directions when they hear it on the radio.

Good vs. Evil: Will and New Directions are (mostly) good and Sue Sylvester is (mostly) evil. There's a definite battle between dark and light as Sue continues to destroy the Glee Club and make life miserable for its leader. Yet, deep down there's a soft and caring side to Sue which many don't see. Find out from your kids if there are any folks like Sue in their school. Let them know they may not be as bad as they think.

If You Like 'Glee' You Might Also Enjoy: 'Degrassi,' 'Gigantic,' '90210,' 'Hellcats'

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