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Downloading Same-Sex Desire on Glee

by Raffi Sarkissian

The song featured in this post is the downloadable Glee version of "Baby, It's Cold," performed by its two openly out gay characters Kurt and Blaine in the season two holiday episode, "A Very Glee Christmas."

As I wrote in a previous post (http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/rsarkissian/clips/glee-baby-its-cold-video), the broadcast airing of this song featured an edited version of the performance with the middle verse omitted. That omitted verse included a reference to smoking a cigarette and more suggestive lyrics about the intimacy between the two characters singing the song, particularly with the lines, "Gosh your lips look delicious" and "Gosh your lips are delicious." While there's not much sense in speculating the intentions of the creatives behind the show, the simple fact that there's an edited down version that aired on TV and a full, more explicitly intimate version that is available to download makes a case for how the different transmedia extensions of the show manage to queer content that might be deemed too risky for commercial advertisers. 

The advent of making nearly all the songs featured on the show downloadable from iTunes and other vendors (while surely based on economic models for the network and show) helps to break the narrative and the affect viewers experience with the characters and stories free from the constraints of television viewing, personal viewing, and even the specific content of the show. All the songs carry with them the baggage of the context of the show, which audiences can extend now and take anywhere with them or more easily separate from the series-specific content and interpret and use as they wish. This breaking from the traditional temporality of television consumption is another way the show queers outdated conventions of television viewing.

Glee - "Baby, It's Cold" (audio)

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This is the downloadable version of "Baby, It's Cold" from Glee, first performed on the show's tenth episode of the second season, "A Very Glee Christmas." It is a duet sung by characters Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss)

from Glee (2010)
Creator: Ryan Murphy (creator), Ian Brennan (writer), Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (director), Chris Colfer and Darren Criss (performers)
Posted by Raffi Sarkissian
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