Image Credit: GQGlee is officially overexposed, and we’re not talking about our exhaustive coverage of the passion-provoking Fox music-com. We’re talking about the photo shoot cast members Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, and Cory Monteith did for this month’s GQ. While there’s no doubt the portfolio is provocative, it provokes me in all the wrong ways. This is hardly some little show dying for publicity (which would make this shoot at least an understandable, if not ideal, course of action) — and yet we have the leading ladies treating us to crotch shots and an explosion of cliched fetishism not seen outside the cheap Halloween costume aisles. Knee socks! Lollipops! Pink high heels! Schoolgirl minis! We get it! It’s a high school show! And high school girls are hot! Because they’re young! And they, um, go to the library in their underwear!?! If only Miley Cyrus had been able to cite this shoot in comparison to her hotly contested Vanity Fair shoulder-exposing debacle two years ago, no one would’ve questioned her point that her photos were the subtlest of serious art. Hell, these photos even make the Britney Spears episode of Glee seem as understated as a PBS special.

Now, I’m all for being sexy. I love a sexy star, and I don’t oppose sexy stars being in various states of undress on camera. But does everything have to be sexed up? Glee isn’t exactly a wholesome family show as it is, what with its “Push It” covers and premature ejaculation storylines — it has no reason to get defensive like, say, a High School Musical star or former Mouseketeer who wants to show folks he or she has grown up. So why Glee‘s strain to prove to GQ‘s target demo of straight white men that it’s sexy? So sexy, apparently, it could become soft porn (or at least a hair metal video) at any second. Conveniently, of course, the only thing standing between this shoot and soft porn is the heavily layered clothing of the one male featured, Monteith, who seems more covered up here, swaddled in various cardigans, than he even is on the show. (All the better for GQ readers to identify with the center of the threesome, I suppose.) Even more convenient is the choice of three stars to feature in the menage: Apparently, when Glee goes “sexy,” the whitest and shiniest stars come to the front out of a huge cast remarkable for its diversity.

I happily tolerate Glee‘s over-the-top antics when I watch the show because of the kick-ass musical numbers and the great messages (even when they get a little heavy-handed). There’s just no reason, however, for it to go this far.

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