Posts Tagged ‘Glee’
So Will’s wife Terry is jealous of his relationship with Emma so takes a job as the school nurse, despite the fact that she absolutely no medical training. Because of her jealousy, Terry convinces Ken to propose to Emma. She eventually accepts Ken’s proposal, but only if they can keep the marriage a secret and live in separate parts of town. As her role as the school nurse, Terry gives all the members of the glee club decongestants to give them more energy and eventually gets fired for that. She yet again shows that she has no care for consequences or what happens to other people.
In the glee club, Will needs to light a fire under the students so he designs a competition. It’s boys vs. girls in a mash-up performance. Both teams end up being drugged up for the performances and they come off as a little too energetic.
We started off the show with some pretty blatant ableism. The glee club isn’t motivated anymore because they think they have sectionals “in the bag” because they are competing against a school for the deaf and a halfway house for girls just out of juvenille hall. So these glee clubs obviously can’t be good because they are filled with kids who can’t hear and criminals (their words). Let’s use some pretty blatant ableism to get some cheap laughs! That sounds like a good idea, right?
But I do have to say, I was glad to see Artie doing his own choreography during the boys’ performance instead of someone just pushing (or kicking) him around the stage.
Plus, the performances for this “competition” were pretty much just an excuse to have Finn and Rachel sing with everyone as their back-up. Artie did do some of the main singing during part of the song. But it was pretty much just Finn and Rachel again. I get that they are the stars of the show. But I’d really like to see more showcasing of the talents of some of the other people other than just having them perform as the token performances.
And I’m pretty much hating any storyline with Terry lately because of the way she is portrayed. I don’t really want Will and Emma to end up together, but I’m pretty sure that the show is portraying Terry this way to make it ok for when Will eventually starts a relationship with Emma. You can obviously tell that Terry’s stomach is fake, but maybe that’s just because we know it is. But she’s also just portrayed as this mean, self-centered, paranoid bitch (I hate to say it, but that’s how she’s being portrayed).
I am still enjoying Glee, but I think it’s mainly for the singing and the scenes with the students in the glee club…and Jane Lynch (I just think she’s hilarious). I cringe everytime that Terry comes on the screen. Emma is starting to get really annoying. And I just feel bad for Ken, because he’s so in love with Emma and desperate for company that he will spend his life with someone who doesn’t even seem to like him.
I really enjoyed this episode. The main storyline was that Will decided to bring back a former star of glee club. April Rhodes (played by the amazing Kristen Chenoweth) was only three credits shy of graduating high school so Will convinces her to finish her high school degree so that she can join glee club. The only problem is…she’s now an alcoholic. The glee club doesn’t accept her at first, so she has to try to win them over. She gives Kurt alcohol to help bolster his confidence, she teaches Mercedes and Tina how to steal things, and she does *things* in the shower with the guys on the football team who are on glee. Will catches on to this and tries to get her to clean up so that she is not a bad influence. But she turns up for their performance at the end of the episode drunk and Will has to kick her off the club after the first number.
The secondary storyline was that Finn decides he wants to go after a music scholarship so that he can go to college and support Quinn and the baby. But to do this, he needs Rachel to rejoin the glee club. He leads her on and flirts with her to the point that they end up kissing and Rachel decides to come back to glee. But as soon as she returns, she finds out Quinn is pregnant and Finn is the father. She stands up for herself and gets mad at Finn for using her and quits the glee club again. But she’s not happy in the musical. During the performance at the end of the episode, after April is ousted, she offers to help out because being the star doesn’t make her feel as special as being the friends of the people in glee (awww).
I was really happy to see Kristen Chenoweth in this episode. She’s an amazing actress and an even better singer (side note: I was really upset when Pushing Daisies was cancelled, but I’m really happy that Chenoweth won the Emmy for her role in it). But I really didn’t like her character, even though she acted it really well. It’s just an old stereotype. The drunk, (kind of) middle-aged woman who is trying to relive her glory years. And doesn’t care what affect she has on the people around her. And her performance of “I Don’t Even Know His Last Name” with mainly the high school boys was kind of disturbing.
But I am really glad that Rachel stood up to Finn about him using her to get what he wanted. I do think that Finn does actually have some romantic feelings for Rachel, but that’s not what he was thinking about when he did what he did. He was thinking about Quinn and “his” baby that he has to support. Good for him, though, for stepping up and trying to do what is right for him and his baby. But he didn’t have to lead Rachel on the way that he did. As Rachel points out, he could have told her the truth and she would have come back.
And again, we didn’t really see a lot of the minority characters. April teaches Mercedes (the black girl) and Tina (the quiet Asian) to steal, which I was very uncomfortable with. She gives Kurt alcohol so that he has the confidence to “be who he really is.” But the storyline, again, focused around Will, Finn, and Rachel. I get that they are the leads, but it would be nice to at least see the minority characters in more than just the secondary storyline — occassionally.
I am also kind of glad that the show didn’t focus on pregnancy, which is has the past couple of weeks. I’m really not liking how they are portraying pregnant women so it was nice to see a storyline that did not make Quinn or Will’s wife Terry (I remembered her name!) seem crazy. We did see one scene where Terry was taking an interest in Quinn’s pregnancy, but it was very minor. I understand that these are very important storyline’s in the show, but it was nice to not have them the focus, even if for just one episode.
Glee is turning around for me. At the beginning of the series I wanted to like it so much that I didn’t see the problematic aspects of it. Then I think I was focusing too much on the problematic aspects as a way to compensate. But I do think that Glee is turning itself around and turning into a really great TV show.
Also read meloukhia’s review (especially concerning the treatment of Artie and people with disabilities in the show) up at this ain’t livin’.
Ok, Glee has storylines about teenage pregnancy, premature ejaculation, and girls wanting sex just as much as guys (shocker!). But is this really that more sexual than other television programming, even on network television…even on networks geared towards tweens and even children. Any show on the major networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.) involves some sort of sexual aspect. And why wouldn’t it, sex is part of the human experience. And yes, I can understand not wanting your children to watch some of the shows that primarily focus on sex (off the top of my head, I’m thinking Two and a Half Men — which I don’t really care for — and How I Met Your Mother — which I love). But why did you really expect anything different from Glee?
As the article that I linked to before brings up, it’s because people thought Glee was going to be High School Musical with better songs, writing, and acting. But it’s not, and people just have to accept that.
Let’s look at some of the shows on channels that tweens and even children are watching and how much they focus on sex as well. The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family is all about teenage pregnancy and the sex lives (or lack there of) of teens. Greek on ABC Family focuses a lot of romantic relationships and the sex involved in them. Drake & Josh on Nickelodeon features Drake making out with numerous girls and making that seem commonplace. Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Suite Life on Deck on Disney as well as Hannah Montana focus on romantic relationships quite a bit. Even if these shows don’t explicitly talk about sex (or “show” it), there are still sexual undertones.
So before you go criticizing Glee for being too sexual because you thought it was family-friendly, think about what is on these tween and children’s channels. A show that depicts teenagers talking about sex (and even having sex) in not a shocker, though people might still want to believe that their teenagers don’t even know what sex is. Glee could actually foster some good, healthy discussion about teenage sexuality.
Look for my review/analysis of tonight’s episode of Glee tomorrow.
I thought I was going to have to work until late last night and not be able to see Glee, but I ended up being able to, which made me happy. I much prefer watching shows on the TV as opposed to my computer.
Last night’s epsiode of Glee had a couple different storylines. One centered around yet another of Sue’s plans to bring down the glee club. She recruits Sandy to put on some sort of musical to steal Rachel away from the glee club. Rachel is already feeling shunned by Will because he gave the solo in a song from West Side Story to Tina. Tina ends up giving up her solo because she doesn’t think she can do a good job (even though she only missed one note) and she thinks that Rachel will quit if she doesn’t get the solo. Will makes Tina take the solo and Rachel quits.
Also, Kurt tries out for kicker of the football team as a way to impress his dad and hide his sexuality. But he comes out to his dad after kicking the winning field goal! Yay! Kurt’s dad says that he’s known since that he was three — he’s not thrilled about it, but he can’t change it. He loves his son and is proud of him for telling the truth about who he really is. I really liked that.
Apparently Quinn, Finn’s girlfriend, is pregnant. But wait, she’s president of the celibacy club and they haven’t had sex. She got pregnant from a time that Finn ejaculated in a hot tub. Can that really happen? I don’t think so. Finn goes to Will for help. Finn’s afraid that because he doesn’t want to be stuck in the town forever. He needs to get a football scholarship to get out of town, especially with a baby on the way. Finn wants Will to teach the football team to dance as a way to loosen up. Watching Kurt try to teach the “Single Ladies” dance to the awkward-moving football team is kind of hilarious. And three of the football players end up joining the glee club.
Oh wait, it’s Puck’s baby! And Will’s wife wants to adopt it to hide the fact that she’s having a hysterical pregnancy and hasn’t told him yet. Will’s wife (it’s sad that I still can’t remember her name) has taken to wearing a fake belly to keep Will thinking that she’s pregnant.
I’m really not liking the way that pregnant (or fake pregnant) women are being portrayed. Will’s wife thinks that the only way she can keep him is by having a baby. And she will manipulate her way into thinking that she is having one. Even going to the point of stalking Quinn and breaking into her car in order to convince Quinn to give her her baby. It was not said for sure that Will’s wife wants Quinn’s baby, I’m just assuming because it seems pretty obvious. Quinn tricks Finn into thinking that the baby is his by telling a story that most people would think was impossible. She doesn’t want to admit to having sex with Puck and she doesn’t think that Puck will take care of the baby. So she will make Finn because she thinks that Finn will actually support the baby. But Finn doesn’t want this baby. And he really shouldn’t have to take care of it if he doesn’t want to be with Quinn and it’s not his baby.
I really liked that we got to see Tina, the almost-silent Asian girl, take the lead in one of the songs. But then she had to go and give it up to make way for the white girl. And we saw Mercedes and Artie maybe once throughout the entire show. Glee seems to be having one storyline of each episode center around one of the minority characters as a way to show they are diverse. But where are the other minority characters during this storyline? It just seems to me to be a way of trying to seem progressive but really just falling back on the same old white characters.
I’m still holding out hope for Glee. I really do think it has it’s funny moments and I enjoy all of the musical numbers. I hope it addresses its blaring stereotypes, that it stops trying to be progressive and actually adress the issues it thinks it is, and stops making pregnant women seem crazy.
Before I get started with my post about last nights episode of Glee, I wanted to clear up some points on my view of the show. I think that I wanted to like Glee so much that I was unable to truly critique it in last week’s post. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like the show. But I think I wanted to like it so much that I focused on all the good parts instead of recognizing some of the problematic ones.
For instance, I think the show tries to be more progressive that it acutally is. The minority characters in the show are really just there for show. Mercedes is kind of the stereotypical black girl. Tina, the Asian girl, is primarily silent. The guy in the wheelchair is pretty much there to just be pushed around the stage. And all these characters seem to do is stand off to the side and get locked in port-a-potties.
Sure it talks about abstinence-only education and attempts to talk about eating disorders, and sure the characters on the show say things that a lot of people think but would never say out loud. This exposes what people in high school are really like and encourages people to do what they love, but looking past that, Glee just reinforces some stereotypes that it might think it’s discouraging.
Now to last nights episode: “Acafellas.” In this episode, Will pulls back from the glee club after Rachel criticizes his dance routines and he ends up starting an a capella group, Acafellas, with four other guys. In the end, Acafellas consists of Will, Sandy (the ex-glee club coach), Ken (the gym teacher now dating Emma), Finn, and Finn’s football buddy Puck. The group is a big hit.
After Will pulls back from glee club, the cheerleaders on the team (led by Quinn) decide that it is a good idea to hire a professional choreographer, Dakota Stanley. They want to hire him because they think that his tough attitude will make a bunch of people quit. But the problem, Dakota Stanley’s services cost $8,000. The solution: a car wash with cheerleaders in skimpy outfits, of course. Once they hire Dakota, he criticizes everyone’s appearance except for the cheerleaders. Everyone decides to quit, but Rachel gives a speech about how all of their “differences” is what makes them special and what will make them win nationals. How inspiring. So, in the end, glee is reunited. Will is back coaching them, they are having fun again, and there is still sexual tension between Finn and Rachel because Finn doesn’t have the guts to admit that he likes her.
The side story: Mercedes is lonely. She wants a boyfriend. She starts spending a lot of time with Kurt, the stereotypical gay guy in glee. She thinks they’re dating (and is encouraged by the cheerleaders who are trying to get her to quit the team), but everyone else can see that he’s gay, even though he hasn’t told anyone. They try to tell her, but she thinks they are just jealous. Mercedes asks Kurt if they are dating and he says he’s in love with someone else, Rachel. But by the end of the episode, he finally tells her that he’s gay and that he’s never told anyone before. He doesn’t have the guts to tell anyone, even the people in glee.
This episode was all about confidence. Will’s worried about becoming a father and his dad tells him that being a father or a man is all about one thing – guts. Will finds his confidence again through Acafellas. Rachel gets confidence from Dakota attacking everyone. She realizes that what makes everyone special is their differences. Finn doesn’t have the confidence to admit that he likes Rachel, but he does gain some confidence in himself through working with Will in Acafellas. Kurt doesn’t have the confidence to tell anyone that he’s gay. Quinn came to the realization at the end of the episode (speaking to Sue) that when you really believe in yourself, you don’t have to bring other people down. We’ll see how that one turns out. If it’s true, I’m sure we’ll see Quinn not really believing in herself by next episode.
The storyline between Mercedes and Kurt really bothered me. Mercedes was so desperate for attention that she saw the attention she was getting from Kurt (who is stereotypically gay) as romantic interest. I really don’t like when this storyline comes up on any show. It just makes the girl look stupid. Everyone can see that he’s gay except for her. She’s just so desperate that she can’t see what’s really there, no matter what other people tell her. It’s not the guys fault, he’s just being who he is. It’s just the girl being desperate and stupid.
I can’t figure out is Glee is using stereotypes to be ironic, or if they are just falling into the trap of perpetuating stereotypes. Kurt is the stereotypical gay guy. I was actually kind of surprised when we found out that he had never told anyone that he was gay. He seems quite comfortable with who he is. But that just goes to show that you can look comfortable in your own skin when you really aren’t. Sue, I think, is supposed to be a lesbian. She is also the stereotypical domineering cheer leading coach who is only concerned about winning. Will’s wife is the stereotypical controlling wife. She wants what she wants and Will has to get it for her. Granted, in this episode, she did seem supportive of Acafellas towards the end. Emma falls into a stereotype about OCD. But I am glad that (in passing) they called it what it is in this episode, a mental illness. We’ll just have to see how all of there characters play out.
I do like that the show is pushing messages about being confident in yourself for who you are. Mercedes talks about how glee is about expressing what is really inside you. These ideas of confidence in the episode do fall into some gender norms though. For example, Will’s father talks about how being a man is about having guts. I think it’s good to have a show that is unique in that it is musical, which grabs people’s attention, and that spreads the message that it’s ok to be who you are and to be confident in that. As for now, I’m still getting over my “I want to like this show so much that I miss some of the problematic things” phase and will hopefully have some more deep analysis of the show in the upcoming weeks.
Also make sure to check out meloukhia’s analysis of Glee at this ain’t livin’.
As this is my first post about a weekly television series, I wanted to explain how this is going to work. Every week, a day or two after a television show (this will mostly be for Glee, Bones, and Dollhouse), I will have a post about the episode. I will start off each post with a brief recap of the show (I’m not too good at recaps, but we’ll see how it goes) which we be followed by my analysis.
The series premiere of Glee was last night (Wednesday, Sept. 9). It was technically the series premiere even though the pilot has been previously aired. The pilot aired back in May as a way to build excitement about the show and was aired again last Wednesday.
Glee is musical comedy/drama about a high school glee club. Here is a run-down of some of the major characters: Will Schuester (played by Matthew Morrison) is a high school Spanish teacher who takes over the failing glee club as a way to relive his glory days of high school. Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) is an ambitious member of this glee club who thinks she’s the best thing ever. Finn Hudson (played by Cory Monteith) is a football star who is conned into joining the glee club but ends up loving it. Sue Sylvester (played by the brilliant Jane Lynch) is the cheer coach who is hell-bent on bringing down the glee club.
Now time for what happened in the series premiere: “Showmance.” In this episode, the glee club is getting ready for their first performance in front of the student body. Will has the club prepare a disco song that none of them want to sing because they find it embarassing. Rachel is developing a crush on Finn and tries to resort to bulemia to make herself more attractive. Emma (the guidence counselor who has a really big germ phobia) tries to talk to her about these feelings, but it seems to be more or a way to have Emma fantasize about Will (whom she has a crush on). In the meantime, Will’s wife throws a fit because they can’t afford the perfect, oversize house. I find her really annoying. Will ends up taking a night time janitorial job instead of his wife picking up more hours even though she only works 15 hours a week.
The celibacy club. Oh, the celibacy club. “It’s all about the teasing, not about the pleasing.” That’s the motto of the girls. The guys just make jokes. Finn’s girlfriend is the president of the club (and also the cheer captain). Rachel joins the celibacy club as a way to get closer to Finn, but gets fed up and promotes sex education (woo!) and says that girls want sex just as much as guys. From this Rachel gets to idea to “sexify” the glee club performance at the assembly by performing “Push It” and new dance moves.
This, of course, goes over really well with the students, but the cheerleading coach, Sue, objects because she wants to bring down the glee club (but it’s never really explained why she wants to bring it down). The principal likes the reaction that the students had to the performance, but ends up only allowing pre-approved songs that only have “Jesus or balloons in the title.”
Rachel and Finn grow closer as they practice, and end up kissing but Finn is a little premature and ends up running away. Then we learn that Will’s wife is actually have a hysteric pregnancy because she wants a baby so much. Finn’s girlfriend and two other cheerleaders audition for the glee club to come between Finn and Rachel (or as Finn’s girlfriend calls Rachel, ‘it’). Sue uses this as a way to “infiltrate” the glee club.
I like Glee because it promotes doing what you love no matter what others think of you. It points out some of the hierarchical structures of high school that everyone knows exists, but no one talks about a whole lot. And it actually talks about things that people think but don’t really say out loud. For example, when Rachel talks about how girls want sex just as much as guys in celibacy club. The gym teacher at one point says: “they won’t fire me because I’m a minority.”
There are, of course, some problematic things. Will’s wife barely does any work but pouts when she doesn’t get her exact way because of financial difficulties. It just makes her seem like the whiny, irrational woman who doesn’t know how to handle money. I have mixed feelings about the celibacy club. I feel like it is supposed to be making fun of abstinence-only and promoting abstinence, but I don’t know if it gets it’s message across to as many people as they think it might.
I enoy the show because it’s not like other shows on network television. It has musical numbers, which I think is great. I think it is going to take me a little while to get more of an analysis down about it. I’m still getting used to the show and getting a feel for its humor. Next week I will hopefully have some deeper analysis about the specific episode. My thoughts are kind of scattered tonight and I’m pretty tired right now. But for now, what do you all think of Glee?
Inspired by a post over at this ain’t livin’, I thought I should inform you, my lovely readers, what is exactly in store for you this fall.
It’s September now, and you know what that means…television shows are starting up on a regular basis again. As you can probably tell from this blog, I love television. Up on the top, under “Pop Culture Obsession: TV,” you can see some of my favorite current and past TV shows as well as links to posts about them. It may sound strange, but I really like this time of year. When new shows are starting up and some of my faves are returning.
Because I love various TV shows, I would like to share that with you. I will be featuring weekly analysis of a couple shows as well as occassional commentary on some other shows. Shows that will be featured on a weekly basis: Dollhouse, Glee, and Bones to start, I might add some more later on. I will also be providing occassional commentary on House, Heroes, Gossip Girl, and Lost (when it starts in January) as well as some other shows as I find necessary or compelling.
My posts on TV shows will not cancel out non-television or non-pop culture posts. I will still try to include at least one non-television post a day (hopefully). I may need help with this (please see my call for guest posts). I will try to have posts about these shows up the day following their airing, but that might not always be possible. Sometimes I work at night and am unable to watch the show until the next day, or I do know that one weekend during premiere time I will be out of town and not have access to a TV or really want to watch because I will have other stuff to do. At worst, it should be two days after the show airs that the post will be live (in the case of being out of town, it might be the beginning of the next week that it becomes live).
Now I have a question for my lovely readers. Are there any shows that you would like me to provide analysis on that I have not mentioned? I am always looking for new recommendations or I might already watch that show, so it wouldn’t be too much to write some analysis about it.