There’s been a lot of discussion lately about whether or not Glee is actually an immoral show or ultimately moral but enjoyably clumsy. Personally, I don’t give a rat’s behind about the show’s morality. It could be about hookers, booze, and blow and if it was well done, I’d watch. I care that it’s a lazily written, cliché-ridden, PSA-of-the-week crapfest that gets loads of undeserved credit for its “diversity.”
If you’ve read my recaps of the show, you’re undoubtedly familiar with my disdain. So why bother covering it for 2+ seasons? I wish I could lie and say there was some grand pop culture research in progress, or that my cousin was a background dancer or something. The main reason was that I thought it had the potential to be a fun, guilty pleasure, and once they hinted in season one that Brittany and Santana were secret lovers, I was sold. I kept thinking it would eventually correct its plethora of problems, and Brittana was the carrot that kept me hoping. My punishment for being easy has been watching and recapping two full seasons of it, which required multiple viewings and valiant attempts at finding logic in a show that once centered an entire episode around a grilled cheese sandwich. That means I’ve wasted almost 240 hours, or 10 full days of my life, on this terrible, terrible show. Someday when I’m 93 and I die right before my last hurrah in the Virgin Islands, I’m going to be pissed off I traded white sand and pina coladas for “Saturday Night Glee-ver.” So it’s time to say goodbye, and here’s why:
1. Holy Stereotypes, Batman!
While consistently being lauded for its diversity in cast and characters, Glee is actually one of the worst offenders in terms of stereotyping this side of 2 Broke Girls. Hiring the decidedly non-Hollywood looking Dot Marie Jones is great – until you make her character wolf down whole chickens in every scene she’s in like some kind of unrestrained animal. There’s also the fact that she’s not-so-cleverly named Coach Beiste (Beast). To this day, I’m still in a combination of disbelief and horror that they actually named her character Coach Beast. She’s allowed to be on the show, but only so she can be a walking, talking punch line. It’s extremely offensive on a million levels, and I have never felt more secondhand embarrassment for an actor than I do for Dot Marie Jones.
Similarly, the casting of Ashley Fink as the plus-sized Lauren Zizes was hailed as proof that Glee was inclusive, celebrating all shapes and sizes. Fantastic, until the show had her charging people for favors in candy bars and downing donuts in the hallways during slow motion pans of her double chin. Let’s not forget the storyline about Mercedes being obsessed with tater tots. All fat/big people are uncontrollable slobs, get it?
Kurt Hummel, for his part, is the epitome of gay stereotyping – high pitched voice, loves musicals, fashion obsessed, terrible at sports, good with cosmetics and makeovers, well versed in Lady Gaga, etc. Now, stereotypes do exist for a reason, and they can be fun if used correctly and humorously in a self-referential manner. Kurt doesn’t really go beyond the stereotype at all, though (none of them do), and most of the humor in his character comes from laughing at him for being stereotypical and trying to determine what type of dead animal makes up his outfit for any given week. And just in case we weren’t utterly convinced that gay guys know Broadway, Rachel’s gay dads are there to drive the point home.
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