This is lifted directly from my tumblr from several weeks ago:
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:
Yes, he is.
non-Hunger-Games post coming soon. (i need another week at least, as i’m rereading Book I.)
probably a response to the feedback/criticism/support i got on the ‘blueballing’ and ‘slut-shaming’ remarks for Easy A.
probably also a comment on eating disorders — Demi Lovato just skyrocketed to the top of my blog-about-this list, with her latest music video:
*disclaimer: i never have and never will smoke cigarettes, bli neder
As my FB friends already know, my apartment was burglarized last Thursday night while I was downtown. All of my electronic valuables are gone, which includes some 25 links I had saved to blog about. As I need to spend this week dealing with the aftermath of the Apartment Incident, I will not be able to blog at my usual standards this Wednesday. I sincerely hope to have my electronic life functional by next Wednesday, but I make no promises. Please enjoy this amuse-bouche while I sort Things out.
One of the problems facing feminist discourse in the United States (it probably exists in other places, but I’m speaking from my own experience) is a conflation of action, intention and identity. Which is to say, when an action is deemed sexist or in some way problematic, it is almost automatically assumed by the public at large that this is an ascription of malicious intent, along with a deeming of the person at fault to be in some way a fundamentally bad person. It probably began with Locke, when in a single sentence of the Second Treatise on Government, he discusses a murder, and then calls the perpetrator a murderer. It’s also probably a cognitive bias of some kind. Whatever the source, this phenomenon undermines the ability of feminists to engage in criticism of actions or messages found in the broader culture, since these frequently stem from the choices of a single individual or organized group, and such entities tend not to take kindly to being called sexist, misogynistic, privileged, or something similar.