Why I’m Boycotting Season 3: Confessions of an Ex-Gleek

The following post contains all of my relevant feelings about Glee.  As of September 2011, I do not anticipate blogging about this show again.  Ryan Murphy done me wrong one time too many.   I would never command anyone to stop watching a show, but I don’t think it deserves any more of my energy.   I have been known to get literally upset during in-person Glee arguments before, and it was time for me to call it quits for my own sanity.   I welcome your comments, but you are not going to change my mind. 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I must get this off my chest:

I am an ex-Gleek.

Given my unabashed love for all things Broadway, you shouldn’t be surprised.  I also love high school dramedies, goofy pop covers, and Darren Criss.   Really, it’s no wonder it took me until “Rumors”  (Season 2 Episode 19, The One Where That Blonde Guy Is Poor) to give up in a huff.  I actually haven’t even seen the return of Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) except for the “Rolling In The Deep” clip.   And I don’t even care.

Those of you who have always been feminists or annoyed by this show are no doubt wondering what took me so long.  Those of you who are obsessed with this show are no doubt wondering why I’m a humorless, self-righteous witch.   That’s fine.   I’m pretty used to straddling that divide.  :-p

The thing is, Glee had so much potential.   The first half of Season One was witty, irreverent, campy, and GOOD.  It was deliberately making fun of not just High School Musical but all the teen dramas that had come before it as well as all those Inspirational Teacher films like Freedom Writers.  (BTW, I hear that’s a decent movie, but the book was boring. Stand and Deliver is 1000 times more interesting.)   It seems pretty clear it was originally intended for adults, not high schoolers.   Back then it didn’t matter that half the cast looked 25 or there were too many people to keep track of.  Glee was like that sarcastic gay dude you skipped classes senior year with, the one who taught you how to smoke cigarettes and hold your liquor and could do a flawless Barbra impersonation at the drop of a hat.*

*My sarcastic gay friend was straightedge, and so was I.

Thing is, Glee got popular and Ryan Murphy got self-involved.   Reportedly that’s happened on his previous shows as well.   It stopped being about clever cruelty and cute covers and started being about BEING GLEE.   The writing got schizophrenic and the guest stars started rolling In.  Also, they started doing After School Specials that were neither clever nor properly moral-ed.  I maintain that the only two guest stars who were worth it are Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes and John Stamos as Emma’s Hot Dentist Husband.   And you’ll notice both of them had actual character arcs.   Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t count because she’s awful.  Actually awful.  What’s the point of singing Cee-Lo Green if you’re going to do the radio edit?

Basically, when the show started really sucking I started noticing all of the -isms going on.  They’d always been there under the surface (or maybe openly in the name of satire), but Fox is the channel that has the Simpsons and Family Guy, so for a while I accepted it as part of the package with my primetime Broadway entertainment.

Then, “Blame It On The Alcohol” (Season 2 Episode 14) happened.

It is actually surprising how long it took me to find a full version of this scene:

Fangirl Reponses

Yes, he is.

Oh, you’re still with me?  Awesome.   I honestly don’t have too much to say about that scene; I think if you read it with a feminist lens it’s pretty self-explanatory.  The clip is pretty funny if you haven’t noticed that ALL the guys are “normal” and ALL the girls are not, and it also does a good job of illustrating each Glee girl’s character arc.   Already we see the signs of what’s going to come for Santana — she’s probably more upset that Sam is kissing HER Brittany than the other way around — and this is one of the rare moments in which Quinn remembers that time when she had a baby.

So yeah, the real problem with the “drunk girls scene” — which is very interestingly titled by the YouTube up loader as “Guys get drunk – Glee” — is not that it’s poorly written.  It’s actually really cleverly written.   It’s just massively insulting to women and feminists anywhere.   It is irrelevant whether or not I, a female viewer, can hold my alcohol.   The only guy who got actually wasted in that scene was Blaine, who is gay.   And he’s Darren Criss, and he’s adorable, and he made out with Rachel for the fangirls.  So he almost doesn’t count.

Ugh.  I get annoyed every time I think about it.  Screw you, Glee.

Oh, ALSO Artie is a total sexist.  Sometimes bordering on misogynist.   If the show ever acknowledged how problematic his statements are instead of making them the default, I’d almost commend them for making the disabled kid so unlikable.   He’s attractive, has the best voice on the show (other than Lea Michele), and is doing a great job for busting disability stereotypes.   Season One Artie was hilarious  (“But I want to be very clear.  I still have full use of my penis”) and underdeveloped.   Season Two Artie never took Brittany seriously as a human being — just a dumb but goodnatured pair of boobs and hair that liked him.   What teenage boy doesn’t want that?    He couldn’t handle a real girl: Tina.  By the time Brittany became a real character, their relationship was failing.  And don’t give me that “but he cared about the waitress” crap.  He cared about a Mom Surrogate.  Not about a woman.

Things I’m Going To Miss

— Tina.

Tinatinatinatinatina.   I’ma let Dr She Bloggo explain.    For aural evidence:

— Mike Chang.

DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW IMPOSSIBLE IT IS TO FIND A HOT ASIAN MAN ON YOUR TV SCREEN?   Extra points for making him a FOB (Fresh Off Boat) and not understanding why American-born Tina hates being “the Asian couple”.   Glee is still racist, so I don’t support them fully.  But Harry Shum, Jr. always makes me smile.

— Puck/Lauren Zizes.

What an excellent pairing.  Puck’s character has gone from being the archetypal Dumb Jock Friend to becoming a completely real person.  It’s a shame none of the permanent female cast members were allowed such growth.   Before Zizes came along, I totally shipped Puck/Rachel, because Puck is interestingly flawed, and talented, and respects Rachel as a person, and more attractive (without the mohawk), and has hilarious lines about being Jewish.   Puck’s way more in touch with his religion than Rachel, by the way.   I’m fine with that, because that’s totally typical for small-town high school without much of a community.  It’s obvious that Puck is Reform and that he’s a Momma’s Boy in the best of ways.    The fact that they cut Zizes out of Season Three makes me regret my decision to boycott even less.

That clip was sung by Mercedes, but since Lauren Zizes can’t sing, we’ll just have to make do.

— Sam

We have already established my fondness for straight white blonde dudes, but I actually was never attracted to Sam.  I think nobody gave Chord Overstreet enough props for being the New Kid On The Block.   He was supposed to be Kurt’s romance, but they made the story more interesting by picking Blaine, which I support.   Chord got completely overshadowed by Darren, who already had a built-in fan base from A Very Potter Musical.  He is kind of weird looking, which they made fun of almost every episode.  He had to dye his hair a stupid color.  They only ever gave him character development as an afterthought.

Sam got dumped by the Hot Blonde for the Cheating Asshole Quarterback (I hate you, Finn Hudson) and the Hot Latina was using him as a beard.  He has body dysmorphia (see the Rocky Horror episode and his worries about the costumes).   He’s talented, but he kept getting passed over for solos (in and out of the club) by the guy who can’t sing.  And remember that time they decided to make him “poor” and then get rid of him?   Sam was part of the massive Character Bloat of Season Two, which would have been totally fine if they had responsible writers.   And it’s pretty insulting to throw a season’s worth of characterization at him in one episode and give us almost no time to digest it.  AND then axe his character in response to all the criticism.   Sam’s more interesting than Finn any. day.

— Sam/Quinn

Nobody likes this pairing but me.  But I remember the goofy blonde dork who spoke to her in Na’avi (or however the hell you spell it; I don’t care) and thought that Quinn finally had a chance with a boy who wasn’t awful to her.  Who seemed to like her for superficial reasons that had nothing to do with social status.   Plus their voices actually meshed well together, which Dianna has trouble with.  (Did you know she literally has a deviated septum?  That’s why she’s so nasal.)


OK, no, hear me out.   I mean platonically.  As beards.   Both of them are narratively more interesting than anyone else in Glee club (except for Sam and Tina, who are shown having thoughtful responses to events), and the vagaries of their sexual orientation turmoil are much more familiar and poignant than Kurt’s narrative is at this point.   Glee makes a big point of Lima, OH being a small town until it’s inconvenient.   Congrats, hooray, Kurt Came Out.   Very few gay kids in unsupportive communities can expect that kind of support or self-confidence.   I don’t want Karofsky to be fully redeemed, and the number of fangirls who support Kurt/Karofsky is literally appalling (as is the romantic pairing), but I’ll miss watching him grow.   And I love Miss Lima-Heights-Adjacent.  How could you not?

–Emma/John Stamos

Will is repellent in every way.   I am very, very, very angry at Glee for engaging in such virgin-shaming in Season Two.   It’s abhorrent, and it was terribly handled, and I hate Gwyneth Paltrow in real life and on my TV screen.   She isn’t worth the amount of vitriol I have for her, but I hated her character.  She wasn’t funny or interesting, and she ruined everything she touched.  No sympathy.

John Stamos the Hot Dentist cared about Emma as a person.  No, they shouldn’t have gotten married, but he was great for her.  In all the ways.   Emma has very, very real mental health concerns entirely separate from her virginity, and had she not been in love/lust with Will, John Stamos could have supported her.   I don’t see Emma as a real person, since she’s actually a convenient plot device with a great ensemble (like so many female characters on Glee), so I’m not angry at her.   I’m angry at Ryan Murphy for getting rid of John Stamos, although he was probably glad not to be signed to a full year’s  contract.

Matthew Morrison is not unattractive, but seriously, what kind of lock does Will have on Emma’s vagina that she passed up John Stamos for him?  Girl, it’s too late to check yourself, because you already wrecked yourself.

–Burt Hummel, Kurt’s Father

He wins the Cliff Huxtable award for the Internet Generation.   He also deserved an Emmy as much as Chris Colfer did; it’s his performance and character arcthat I think is so poignant and important for the millions of viewers, adults and children.  As an Ally, his is the only character I don’t find problematic.  (And it’s not because he’s straight, guys.  STFU.)

— The “Baby” cover.

Tina is right; it’s actually a REALLY good song.   There’s a reason it has 625 million hits on YouTube, and it’s not just because of the Beliebers.

Anyway, this parody is one of the reasons I’m really sad Sam is gone.  (One more reason not to watch, as if I were keeping track.)   The reaction shots are excellent, and it makes perfect sense that high school boys would look at Bieber fever and try to do something about it.     And if you can’t beat ’em…

— Becky

The best counter to politically correct anti-ableism on television, and the last living remnant of Season One’s wit.

WARNING:  the following video will melt your heart.

—  “Duets”  Season 2, Episode 4

The only episode in which I agreed with the whole thing.  All of the characterization made sense, all of the covers were great, it was funny, and it progressed the show.  A+

— “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”  Season 2, Episode 5

I’m not a Rocky fanatic, so except on the level of why the hell did they do this it makes no sense whatsoever, I actually enjoyed it.  Except for Mercedes (who they always screw up), they did a pretty decent job.   As a high school drama club alum (whose school actually had a pretty large budget for this stuff), I am offended by their “final” performances as a rule, so I’m linking to a rehearsal one.   If you avoided this episode, check out the reaction shots and you’ll see why I like it.

And I’ve already told you how much I hate Will/Emma, but this was too well-done not to repost:

Ladies and gentleman, has any primetime show with so many teenage viewers  ever had 2:45 seconds of the O-face on screen before?   I mean, really.

On Mercedes

There is nothing good about her character, so I have nothing to say about her.  Reportedly she gets an actual boyfriend in Season Three, as if that were the sole cause of all her problems.  I hate you, Ryan Murphy.

I’m A Feminist But I Can’t Quit This Show Just Yet

I feel you.  My “deal breaker” came in episode 13 but it took me until episode 19 to actually stop, although I was fast-forwarding through scenes like crazy at that point.

Dr She Bloggo is better at this than I am.  If you must keep up, read her recaps, analyses, and projections.  It’s much healthier for both of us.

Highlights:  “How Quinn Fabray Could be the Best Character on Glee (And Why She Isn’t)“; “On Brittana“, and “The Glee Fan’s Lament

On Those Awful Photo Shoots.

In interviews, the cast of Glee is mostly boring.  In photo shoots, the cast of Glee makes me want to commit murder.     The notorious GQ shoot.    Dianna’s response to the backlash.

And just when you think they’ve all learned their lesson, this happens.    Shame on you, HeMo.  I looked up to you.  Shame on me for thinking you had integrity.

How To Fill The Void/Replacement Shows:

The High School Musical franchise is actually pretty hilarious.  Corbin Bleu and Ashley Tisdale are their breakout stars (the Zefron was going to be famous no matter what), and Lucas Grabeel deserves much more attention than he got.  What is he doing now?  Why isn’t he more famous?  I”ll blog about HSM one day.   If you’re willing to give it an honest chance, please youtube the music video “I don’t dance” from HSM2; there are too many links in this post already.

Smash — coming to NBC in January 2012

I’m worried that this show will break my heart.  I’ve been hurt so many times before.

State of Georgia, the new ABC Family Raven-Symone vehicle.

Get over your bias. She’s calmed down her acting, and her best friend, the Skinny Blonde, is an awkward physics grad student.  YOU HEARD ME.   I’ve only seen the pilot; thank G-d someone’s put the whole season up on YouTube.

What This Boycott Means To Me

I will be boycotting all episodes, music videos, and songs from this show.  I will refuse free access to concerts, movies, and merchandise.   If I happen to be in front of a television when it is on, I will change the channel or leave the room.   I will not watch anything else Ryan Murphy produces.  I will not (and this is hard) buy the Warblers a cappella album.  They don’t deserve my money.

Glee-Related Careers I Still Support:

Darren Criss, Lea Michele (shut up; she was a diva before you knew about her), Harry Shum, Jr;  Jane Lynch, Naya Rivera, Lauren Potter, Jenna Ushkowitz, Chord Overstreet, Max Adler.   Everyone else was a guest star/not important enough to the show to count.   Or I find their off-Glee persona problematic or annoying or boring.

I will pay attention to non-Glee things they do because the aforementioned people are talented and personable and interesting.  I just won’t cover anything to do with their Glee persona.

Dear G-d,

Please release Darren from Hell ASAP



One Last Thing

If you still don’t believe that Glee is written and produced by sexist virgin-shamers, ask yourself this:  why is it acceptable/endearing/fitting that Kurt is a naive virgin but problematic/funny/absurd that Rachel, Emma, and Coach Beiste are?

I rest my case.

The High Holidays start next week, so expect my posting schedule to be erratic for a while.  I still plan to have some form of content posted here once a week.   And there’s always short-form opinions on the tumblr.

Comments on Season One and Two are welcome.  Go ahead and watch Season Three if you like, but I’m not really interested in hearing about it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

32 thoughts on “Why I’m Boycotting Season 3: Confessions of an Ex-Gleek

  1. LadyG says:

    Oh, I forgot to include this in the main post, so I’ll just stick it here:

    Where the HELL are Rachel’s two gay dads? It’s beyond irresponsible at this point.

    • Alice says:

      Never showing up. Ryan Murphy has no plans to bring them in this season even though he’s bringing in Emma’s parents and Mike Chang’s parents. I’m getting ready to be offended by stereotyping (though honestly, I gave the premiere a shot, but I’m quitting for sure; this show makes me too angry for it to be healthy).

      • LadyG says:

        Disgusting. So much for LGBT activism or any hope of any responsible adults.

        I am offended by the very idea of bringing in Mike Chang’s parents, based on what we already know about them. Ugh.

  2. chortlevork says:

    This reminds me of when for-profit corporations tell you what their “mission statement” is. To provide excellent whatever to their customers, to stand out from the rest, to become a part of families’ lives by providing high quality services, not just your agent, but your friend, blah blah blah. Of course all of that goes out the window when there’s an opportunity to make more money, because that’s what the mission always really is.

  3. zvbxrpl says:

    I just read all of this, and am surprised, but glad, that I did. I started watching Glee end of season 2 for like 3 episodes…which is not a reasonable place to judge any show from, but I still got a creepy feeling from it. And I thought I would only love it given my love of musicals and high school dramedies as you say. So I support your boycott. What disturbs me is knowing my friend’s little five year old neice (yes! five!) watches this show. :-/

    And although I sometimes (often) find Disney-empire-related things to be creepy when I think about them too much…I also approve of them more than I expect to. EX-HSM…at least HSM1. HSM3 weirded me out. Also one time I met Aly & AJ and it was awesome. True story.

    • LadyG says:

      I’m glad you did too!

      By the end of Season Two I was holding out for my Santana moments, which didn’t come soon enough.

      I have heard HSM3 is weird. I can’t decide if I want to see it drunk or not. (Ahem.)

      I find Disney things creepy most of the time, but I also love them, so I blog about it and pretend that makes it OK. 😉


  4. Liz B. says:

    I still watch Glee, though I’m still wondering if I enjoy it. I know I enjoy the musical numbers, and oh my goodness, I am so in love with Tina it’s ridiculous. Jenna Ushkowitz is, in my opinion, the most talented person on the show. When they give her a chance, girl can sing, act and DANCE. Girl can DANCE, and you never get to see it because of Naya Rivera and HeMo. From what I hear, Tina and Mike are getting storylines this season. If the writers mess up their awesomeness, I’ll probably start my own boycott.

    And yes, I am so sad Sam is gone. I loved him. What happened to the dork that stole my heart?

    Now that I think about it, all the things you say you’ll miss are my favorite parts of Glee. “Sing!’ in Duets was my favorite performance. I totally understand your boycott, but I think I’ll still be watching to support the people I still love.

    Also, I’ll totally burn you the Warblers album if you want.

    • LadyG says:

      “Also, I’ll totally burn you the Warblers album if you want.”

      I hope I don’t have to take you up on that due to withdrawal, but thanks!

      And yeah, I love Jenna too. Of course you know she was ALSO on Broadway, in the-Tony-Award-winning-musical Spring Awakening, but why would we ever talk about HER?

      Also, she consistently has the worst outfits on and off the show. Girl needs some new gays, as TLo would say.

  5. Alice says:

    I agree with almost everything you’ve posted here. For me, Glee peaked during S1 sectionals (both plotwise and in terms of song choice). None of the songs will top Don’t Rain On My Parade for me, even though Darren Criss & JGroff have done some pretty great numbers.

    The music stopped being good in S2. I think for the most part, a lot of autotune was used (which I rarely enjoy unless it is an ultra pop-y song) and often songs weren’t matched up to the right singers. I did appreciate Santana getting more solos because Naya’s voice is beautiful. It also made no sense when the Glee club kept winning things by singing badly. There is no way they tied with the Warblers. I’m sorry.

    The back half of S1 had some major plot and story telling issues, but it wasn’t until S2 that I became really offended by almost everything on Glee. I would’ve quit halfway through, but I thought that JGroff was coming back for a larger arc and would be coming back mid-S2 instead of what really happened and I held out for it. Almost everyone’s characterization makes no sense. Glee is really bad at juggling characters and yet they kept adding more and more of them.

    Rachel was actually my favorite character in S1, and back then, I didn’t think it made any sense for the rest of the Glee club to hate her. Come S2, Ryan Murphy has obviously noticed and addressed this issue by making Rachel completely insufferable.

    All the After School Special episodes were terrible. I cannot even begin with the sexism. Ryan Murphy does not know how to write women. It really shows that Glee had no female writers. While I do ship Tina/Mike, the Asian jokes got old after almost all their screen time was reduced to stereotyping.

    I was vaguely happy with how they did Santana’s arc? I feel like they dropped the ball on that later on too. I did really enjoy Duets.

    The Sam-is-poor storyline could’ve been interesting, but it ended up feeling tacked on and was not resolved properly. I’m sorry, but Chord’s acting wasn’t good enough to pull off those scenes. For the most of S2 he was a pointless character. No wonder he decided not to come back to Glee.

    Amber Riley gave an interview saying Mercedes was going to be more ~girly this season and different because she has a boyfriend now.

    Quinn’s development has been all over the place, but I guess now that a year has passed, her amnesia has finally lifted and she can remember she had a baby again. In the S3 premiere she dyed her hair pink and started wearing black because she started being friends with “The Skanks”. Yup. That’s where that storyline is heading towards. More slut shaming.

    I hope they let Darren go. Ryan Murphy keeps not clarifying on his age and being all “Oh Blaine could be a junior or sophomore”. RME. I’m also a little unsure about what’s going on with Lea & Chris and if Ryan Murphy is really going to do that spinoff with the older Glee cast (I think he should just cut them loose, they are talented kids who shouldn’t be trapped on Glee anymore).

    I really love Lea’s voice and I think she should stick to Broadway (I still like her, probably because I have stopped reading articles/interviews about her that don’t involve just her and JGroff being cute). I only survived watching the S3 premiere by focusing on how pretty Rachel’s hair looked and ranting about the awfulness of everything else on Skype.

    Artie and FInn are douchebags and do not deserve to be dating anyone. Will is a horrible teacher. Someone please fire him.

    The main problem I have with Glee is the message. I’d be surprised if there was anyone who could sit through S2 without being offended. Ryan Murphy needs to sit down and stop using Glee to “teach lessons” on sexuality, education, religion, etc, etc.

    /Long response. Glee gives me emotions. I suppose I’m an ex-Gleek, too.

    • Alice says:

      PS. I am planning on checking out Smash, but I don’t have high hopes. I’m not sure how much I enjoy Katherine McPhee’s voice.

      Is it too early to say that it can’t get worse than Glee?

      Also, Dream High is everything Glee should’ve been. It is awesome and you need to update me on your viewing status.

      • LadyG says:

        The thing is, Marilyn. I love me some Marilyn Monroe. I want to see that musical!!! (and you KNOW if the show’s a hit, they’ll actually produce it.)

        WRT Dream High, I still haven’t seen past episode 1. I keep either being too tired or too busy, and I want to focus properly. But I’ll get there, I promise.

    • Queer Jewish Dandy says:

      I apologize in advance for the tl;dr nature of this comment.

      I’m not exactly sure when I started being continually disappointed in Glee. After reading this comment though, I think it was when everyone else became a Gleek, and I don’t mean that in a hipster fashion. Meaning, it was around the episode “Grilled Cheesus.” I remember listening to a wonderful priest use this Glee episode in her sermon for the week. A show that she had watched for its campy quality showed it was able to deftly handle serious issues. I personally think the way that a secular man scripted a “sympathetic” debate about theology was extremely botched. I didn’t see this as a good show dealing with real issues; I saw the episode as kids shaming a non-believer for his atheism, which the show portrays as only resulting from the death of his mother. Instead of the message which the priest read into the show about a range of modes of accessing the divine, I saw my prime time camp delve into the realm of “God loves you even if she killed your mother and is making your father sick.” While this episode was pleasantly devoid of most of the misogyny in other episodes, the episode lacked two previous hallmarks of the show: unconditional audience support for Kurt and a refusal to pander to mainstream America.

      Although the genre can be excellent devoid of them, camp lends itself to sexism and misogyny, which I realize is problematic, but before “Grilled Cheesus” I could dismiss the sexism and misogyny in the show as part of its campiness. After Glee lost its camp, I can no longer dismiss the sexism, misogyny, stereotyping, and tokenization promoted by the show. At first, I saw Glee as a thinly veiled campy story of a gay boy coming out in his high school. Kurt’s dad coming to his rescue to let him compete for the “Defying Gravity” solo exaggerates the typical over-compensatory response of supportive but clueless parents (although my real-life story is even more ridiculous). And, contrary to real small-town life, Kurt is supported by a majority of his teachers and classmates, and he gets to live the escapist fantasy of real queers in small towns of going to a gay-friendly prep school with snazzy uniforms. But now, in its efforts to shed its gay-centric story line in favor of a realistic experience of a “true ensemble cast,” Glee fails because tokens are not really people unless you actually develop them as characters beyond labels.

      • Alice says:

        Grilled Cheesus was the beginning of the end for me. I was so deeply offended by that episode and how RM pretended as if the writers were trying to honor all points of view while blatantly pushing religion on the two atheist characters and acting like their situations only got better after they decided to ~believe.

        I actually had trouble rooting for Kurt in S1. I was on Finn’s side for the most part (though it was wrong for Finn to use the language he did) and Burt wins at life. I sympathized with Kurt a lot more in S2 (perhaps because he was one of the only characters who wasn’t an asshole every other episode).

        • Queer Jewish Dandy says:

          I think there’s a difference between rooting for Kurt in the sense I was trying to convey and the sense you describe in your comments. I don’t mean that the audience roots for Kurt when he is in the wrong; I mean that the audience roots for Kurt to succeed and to be accepted. Also, I didn’t mean to make Burt seem like he was in the wrong. He wins at life for sure.

      • LadyG says:

        First of all, NEVER apologize for TL;DR. I wrote 3000 words about this. And Dr She Bloggo could probably publish a book on the topic.

        My three distinct memories about “Grilled Cheezus”:
        1) Finn must have brain damage from all those football tackles
        2) Rachel is so hilariously clueless about everything, and Yentl is an absurd movie (oh *man*, I should totally blog about Yentl)
        3) They really dropped the ball with Mercedes, again. Hey America, did you know that black people are ::whisper:: Christian???

        As a non-atheist religious person, I found Grilled Cheezus a cross between comforting and cloying. I wonder what non-critical viewers in small towns made of the conclusion? Especially closeted gay teens and budding atheists?

        My problem with Kurt’s storyline in Season One is that it felt to me like we were supposed to empathize with him and side with him over Finn when his behavior was histrionic and out of line. In Season Two, Finn became an Asshole unrelated to Kurt but they were suddenly both presented as Male Protagonists whose viewpoints don’t get challenged in meaningful ways. Neither of them get their deserved comeuppances for their bad behaviors.

        Also, I absolutely LOATHED the wedding episode. Not only did they rip off that YouTube video and do a worse job (too slick, too insincere), the wedding ended up being all about Kurt and his MAGICAL DECORATING SKILLS instead of being about two people making a public commitment to one another. Gross.

        • Queer Jewish Dandy says:

          Maybe it’s me being a big queermo, but I never thought I needed to empathize with Kurt in his histrionics. I felt the show pushed the audience to root for the overall success of Kurt more than other characters, which could manifest in needed to empathize with his hysteria. While my rooting for Kurt makes me happy that he finds someone supportive, I think the show adds to the mangled message of an initially promising It Gets Better campaign. Kurt’s life sucks until he finds a boyfriend. Then all his troubles go away. This plotline would work much better in the campy escapist Glee that could have been, but I think it runs the risk of pushing gay kids in small towns into dating the first other gay kid that comes along. It happens a lot anyway, and most of the time, it’s a really bad choice.

  6. Pattycakes says:

    I reaaaally wanted thoughts on Mercedes. I actually really like her and I’m curious as to why you don’t.

    • LadyG says:

      I am being completely serious when I say: what is there to like?

      Glee’s schizophrenic writing can’t decide whether she loves her body or has serious dysmorphia issues (remember that time Quinn cured her eating disorder in half an hour?), whether she’s lonely without a man or totally FIERCE by herself, whether she’s an awesome back-up singer or a totally shafted lead, a la Dreamgirls.

      All of her one-liners have to do with being black or fat or angry. In the “Born This Way” episode, her only flaw was her lack of a weave. No.

      • Pattycakes says:

        Well it’s not like she’s a perfect, consistent character (I don’t think any of them are) but honestly I empathize with a LOT of Mercedes’ problems. Why does she have to be happy with the way she looks all the time? She can be proud of being fat and fabulous etc but can also be like WTF why do all the skinny girls get boyfriends/clothes that fit? She can be happy being alone but sometimes still be lonely without a boy.

        I feel like personally as a fat person this is something that I struggle with. You go from being happy and comfortable in your body to hating it, from realizing that you can be awesome all by yourself to really regretting that having a love life is probably like three times harder for you, and back again. I always loved that Mercedes dressed in a really fabulous way but lamented that in the real world finding clothes like that is like seven thousand times harder when you’re her size. While I think that characters like Lauren Z. are really valuable because they don’t give two craps about what other people think of them, characters like Mercedes are also valuable because like many other human beings they suffer from confidence issues–I think the flip-flopping that you see as inconsistent writing can be seen as a very human thing.

        As for the back-up singer vs lead thing, I always figured that Mercedes was the kind of person who wanted to be the lead but for the sake of being a team player and also because she has confidence issues she tended to take the backseat.

        That being said there’s a few chunks of Glee that I haven’t watched, but I would really disagree with the idea that there’s nothing good about her character. She’s problematic in the sense that I think Kurt and Artie and Quinn and all of them are kind of problematic because the show often descends into tokenism, but I think her character is really valuable because she’s a fat character that isn’t always used to get laughs or to portray a sloppy human being.

        • LadyG says:

          I hear you, I really do.

          I *WISH* I liked Mercedes, but I was disappointed by her inconsistent characterization so much that I actually gave up. I really wanted to empathize with her, but instead in my head she’s just like Emma — a bundle of attributes that don’t coalesce into a whole person. Which is sad.

          And also, I don’t think Zizes is problem-free. She has hella issues; they’re just different.

  7. Cranky says:

    I’m not sure if I ever paid attention to the plot in season one even if I enjoyed the cutting remarks, intentional and unintentional. Season 1 was the Season of wishing I could be Sue Sylvester (whom you don’t seem to mention in this post?), begrudgingly being impressed with Rachel’s voice, and thinking Quinn was teh hot and wow, Finn is a talentless idiot. I do enjoy Puck’s attention to his ethnic-religious heritage.

    Season two was all about the Brittania capped off by the jokey implication of an ex-Cheerios threesome in NY. Season Three, I may content myself with screenshots of bad girl Quinn and anything about Brittania.

    I too, love Burt. I may have to co-opt his respect your body speech for my babies.

    • LadyG says:

      Yeah, I realized after I finished this that I forgot to say anything about Sue.

      Um. Season One Sue was pretty awesome, and I liked that they didn’t make her a lesbian, because Jane Lynch needed to be not pigeonholed, and also that’s too easy. I liked where they were going with the backstory with her sister, but in Season Two she was just a weird villain with no clear motivation. Why is she so obsessed with Will Schuester? She’s worth 12 of him, as is every kid in Glee Club. (Even Finn, whose idiocy can partly be ascribed to the fact that he has had no dad to teach him how things are done. If he just asked Burt for relationship advice…)

      That respect your body speech was AWESOME, but I’m still annoyed at Blaine for being so smarmily knowledgeable and lecturing Kurt. I’d be so insulted if my potential boyfriend talked to me like that.

  8. Queer Jewish Dandy says:

    Suggestions for replacement fandom:

    Modern Family achieves what Glee is now claiming to be striving for: a non-stereotypical friendly depiction of the everyday lives of a diverse group of people.

    I don’t really have a good campy suggestion, but for your musical needs my suggestion would be to try The Sing-Off.

    • LadyG says:

      I haven’t decided how I feel about Modern Family. I saw and loved Jesse Tyler Ferguson in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on Broadway but the only two characters I actually enjoy watching on Modern Family (based on the 6 or so episodes I’ve seen) are Sofia Vergara as Gloria and baby Lily. Everyone else I can take or leave, most especially Phil and…BlondeMomWhatsherface.

      And I ADORE The Sing-Off!

      • Queer Jewish Dandy says:

        I Love “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” as well. I don’t think Modern Family is as good as its hype suggests, although I love Sofia Vergara’s character. However, I do think it portrays the ups and downs and humorous situations of real relationships (in the general sense) with reverence. I also think that its portrayal of same-sex romantic relationships as no more or less glorified or horrible than cross-sex romantic relationships is a greater force for acceptance without objectification for the queer community than queer characters on Glee, particularly, as you mentioned, without an on-screen portrayal of Rachel’s dads.

  9. Cookie Monster says:

    I LOVED Sam/Quinn, and several of my friends did. On the other hand, the cynic in me is glad it ended (although it should have gone on longer), since someone that genuine would almost never actually bring out a corresponding earnestness.

  10. Chatulim says:

    I had a huuuuge issue with the “miserable disabled guy” shtick they stuck on Artie. Good job on busting stereotypes, but this is another huge one that they need to bust – what with the sexist comments and all. It’s like they’re asking for a “youcantblamehim.”

    Also, why do I envision a Jewish “fans of straight white blonde men” club? 😛

    • LadyG says:

      >It’s like they’re asking for a “youcantblamehim.”


      And you know I’d join that club in a heartbeat. Just as long as I could be pseudonymous there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: