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Editing Intimacy on Glee

by Raffi Sarkissian

In this scene, from Glee's tenth episode in its second season ("A Very Glee Christmas"), characters Kurt and Blaine engage in the series' first romantically focused male-male duet, singing holiday classic, "Baby, It's Cold." This episode comes soon after the program introduced Blaine, the show's second recurring openly out gay character, and following Kurt's leave from McKinnley High due to a hostile bullying situation. Kurt has joined Walton Academy, where Blaine attends, and this duet serves as the show's first explicitly romantic performance between two characters of the same sex.

"Baby, It's Cold," traditionally sung between a man and a woman, here is sung between two male teenagers. While the show is no stranger to changing the genders of the source music's vocalists, this is one of the instances where the change intentionally alters the implied sexual orientation of the featured character(s). Although this serves as a very basic queering of the song and show, it is interesting to note that the show has edited one verse out from the broadcast performance.

While it is very typical for Glee to shorten songs in the aired episodes (understandably for time and story constraints), the verse that has been edited out in this case provides fodder that it might have been too suggestive because it was being sung by two male teens as opposite to opposite gendered pairs of teens.

The verse that is missing goes like this...
"I simply must go
But baby it's cold outside
The answer is no
But baby it's cold outside
This welcome has been so nice and warm
Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious
Gosh your lips look delicious!
My brother will be there at the door
Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunts mind is vicious
Gosh your lips are delicious!
Well maybe just a cigarette more
Never such a blizzard before

To hear the full version of the song, check out my complementary post and analysis of the downloadable audio track:

While time constraints, as mentioned above, could very well explain the omission, there are two instances in the lyrics which may have been red flags for the creatives behind the show. First, the mention of a mild intention to smoke a cigarette. Second, the mirrored lines, "Gosh your lips look delicious" and "Gosh your lips are delicious." While it is impossible to know the intentions of the producers and editors for excising that particular verse, I'd argue the insinuation of more intimate behavior between two teens of the same sex, expressed in those lines describing lips, certainly did not help get it on air. Alternatively, the downloadable version of the song (purchasable on iTunes) - as with nearly all songs that have been edited down in the broadcast version - features the whole song, including the omitted verse. The transmedia content of the show, then - here in the form of downloadable and mobile music - further queers the content of the show by both including the more explicitly intimate lyrics but also by making the content easy to travel and be accessed (on your phone, iPod) at any moment.

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

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This is a scene from "A Very Glee Christmas," the tenth episode from Glee''s second season, featuring a duet for the song, "Baby, It's Cold," performed 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)
Posted by Raffi Sarkissian