OK, so I get the appeal….somewhat. It’s campy. It’s got some cute (arguably hot) actors. The musical covers and dancing are fun. It appeals to the geeky high school kid in all of us….and then it doesn’t. As a show, Glee is 25% fun, 75% doesn’t make any damn sense. My high school was NOT like that of the show, and I’m betting most people would say the same. I simply don’t relate to anyone on the show–not even to the Asian girl (sadly)–and therefore don’t give a damn.
I know it’s supposed to be a satirical take on high school life (a cheap laugh at the world of Disney’s High School Musical), but as a satire it fails utterly. Satire is supposed to attack or comment on cultural/social trends and behaviors that the satirist finds undesirable or reprehensible. But as Sadie Stein writes on Jezebel.com (“Sing It, Sister: Why I Hate Glee”), Glee has little to offer in the way of commentary, doing nothing but “reiterate[ing] stereotypes, thereby reinforcing them.” Among the most odious, she notes, are the female stereotypes, which include “Shrewish, Lying Wife; Sweet Perky Neurotic; Bitchy Cheerleader; Tracy Flick-esque Nerd; Strong Black Woman.” These characters are imprisoned by their one dimensional-ness most of time, not allowed to actually deal with the problems that occasionally bubble up in any meaningful way.
Maybe if Tina Cohen-Chang‘s crazy-strict Asian dad showed up once in a while to slap her around for joining the glee club instead of concentrating on her calculus homework. Maybe if Kurt Hummel hadn’t been magically, inexplicably good at football, and maybe if his dad wasn’t so magically and inexplicably OK with his gayness. Maybe if there was anything beyond cattiness and mind games between female characters: Emma vs. Terri, Rachel vs. Quinn, Rachel vs. Tina, Sue vs. Emma, Sue vs. Quinn, etc. Maybe if so-called fans of the show stopped referring to characters are “sassy black girl” and “wheelchair boy.” Maybe then I’d sit through an entire episode of Glee.
If I want humor, if I want high school campy, I’ll just put Mean Girls or Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my DVD player. If I want authenticity, I’ll put in Freaks and Geeks. And if I want background music, I’ll YouTube singing clips from Glee.
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