Sunday, April 14, 2013

Talking Point Ten: Glee!

I would just like to note that before today I had never watched Glee before (besides the media artifact that I believe Jacki, Eian & Tyne did) so I know nothing about the show or the characters (although I did do a brief "background check" on all them so I could become better acquainted with their character lines/stories.  After watching the Pilot I was like "I want and need to watch more I need to know what happens!"  Well, then I watched Never Been Kissed and Furt and some things really bothered me and I was like WTF how could a show like this even be on television; hmmm maybe not.  We'll see though; I haven't actually decided if it's going to become my guilty pleasure or not haha

Episode One: Pilot
In the pilot episode it was evident that McKinley High School was/is filled with stereotypical "cliques."   When Mr. Schuester meets with Coach Sue to recruit some of the cheerleaders to New Directions she tries to explain to him "the way this school works"--you have your jocks and your popular kids (the football players and the cheerleaders) and then you have your nobody's and she tells him that the glee club is basically way below the nobody's.  Coach Sue tells Mr. Shu that "children like to know where they stand" and if he tries to mix groups it just won't work. **I found it amusing or ironic I guess that throughout the episodes the students are reffered to as kids or children---they're in high school, they are teenagers**  I related this back to Thomas Hine's article the Rise and Fall of the American Teenager.  The argument Hine was trying to make was that teenagers feel like they have no definitive place in the world and that adults do not allow them into society or the work force and social classes so they have no choice really but to find their place in their own environment--high school.  Teenagers are always looking for their place in the world, especially in high school.  They need to feel like they belong somewhere.  Like Mr. Schuester said, everyone feels invisible.  
I have to say I was disappointed with Finn in this episode.  In the beginning when the football was 'preparing to throw Kurt into the dumpster' Finn had this look of remorse on his face and he just looked like he wanted to stop the situation but was too afraid of standing up to his friends and losing their respect as their leader--being a leader is exerting your masculinity .  Instead, he took the bystander role and let them throw a kid in the dumpster.  Maybe it's me over-thinking but I found it ironic that the show chose to throw the gay character in dumpster--almost as if they were trying to portray the message that gay characters are waste/trash?  Finn chose to be a bystander yet scenes later you hear him explaining how he's not afraid of being called a loser and how he feels trapped inside his body wanting to be more than what he is.  I found it pretty ironic that the song he's caught singing is Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore by REO Speedwagon:
And I can't fight this feeling anymore, I've forgotten what I started fighting for

Episode Two: Never Been Kissed
This episode is where I started to have some problems.  For one, Karofsky is the biggest bully I've ever seen and the cheerleader who made the "million gay jokes" was completely uncalled for and somebody should have called her right there.  Everybody wanted to defend Kurt but why didn't anyone step up right there?  I thought the ZERO TOLERANCE HARASSMENT POLICY at the other high school was awesome--my high school had that, actually I believe it is a city policy.  I remember my superintendent coming at the beginning of every quarter to give a speech at an assembly and he would always start it off by saying "if there is one thing I hope you remember from school it's this: every student has the right to come to school free from harm and worry."  Hearing that four times a year since 6th grade and it really is the only thing I think I can remember exactly.
 There was a part in the episode where someone said (I don't remember who or in what context, sorry) if you're gay your life's just going to be miserable.  Well it seemed to be that Krofsky who was struggling with who he was the most miserable.  I believe what Blaine said to Kurt is true about refusing to be the victim and not letting the bully or bullies run you out although I know that is easier said than done.  Like the girl who just stood there in the one scene when Krofsky pushed Kurt into the locker--do something.
There was bullying also towards the teachers in this episode which I connected with our Course Assumption Teenagers are not some alien life form.  When the football uses the coach's "ugliness" basically to "cool off" during make-out sessions with their girlfriends it hurts her feelings when she finds out.  As Mr. Schuester explains, everyone is scarred by high school and students forget that teachers have been there--teachers were teenagers too and they too have feelings.  The football team didn't realize her feelings were being damaged and hurt; they were using another's insecurities as a way to raise themselves up.

Episode Three: Furt
Alright.  There was absolutely no reason why Finn couldn't stand up to Krofsky and defend Kurt.  Sam who kept trying to argue that being on top meant that you didn't get made fun of and nobody called you a loser defended Kurt.  But Finn, his soon to be step brother, was too worried about losing the respect of the football team and losing his position at quarter back and his place at school to defend "the gay kid."  He felt his masculinity would be compromised by defending Kurt by losing others respect he would lose his sense of masculinity.  I thought it was awesome when Kurt's dad called Finn out about not defending him.  I have to admit, I did tear up at the wedding when Finn told Kurt that he was his brother and he would defend him until the end and he danced with him and all that lovey brother stuff--but I'm a sap for a good family story anyway. 
 I also found it awesome when Finn told Kurt he was the strongest man (or some variations of those words) he knew--Kurt, in my opinion, is more of a man than Finn.  Kurt has courage and strength.  He stood up to Krofsky, he knows who he is and is proud of himself and he refuses to be the victim anymore.  He is not afraid to be him whereas Finn is still shying aware, afraid of losing the respect of others.

SO Krofsky was expelled, GREAT! and then he was allowed back in school.  Why? because no one witnessed the act because that is how it works.  And that is all I have to say about that because it pisses me off to no end.  My sister was bullied for her weight, that's how her eating disorder started and nothing was done.  My cousin was bullied when she came out as a lesbian, nothing was done.  My cousin is presently being bullied so bad she hid in the bathroom everyday until she just stopped going to school all together--and still nothing is being done.  

I found this video on YouTube, I thought it went with this week's texts. 
 These teens were all bullied to the point of suicide.

Plot Misses on Glee?
I found this blog while I was searching Glee, it focuses on Never Been Kissed.  I thought it was pretty interesting.

For Class:
Other than these three episodes I don't know much about the show so in class I would like to find out more about the overall message Glee sends and if these three episodes are a representations of the show overall.  I would also like to talk about what it means to be a "man" in the context of this show.

p.s. I also apologize for the long post, I guess I had a lot to say haha


  1. I like that you connected glee to Hine's article. I didn't think about that till I read your blog. I also agree with you about the bullying. I think every school should have the zero tolerance harassment policy. Your superintendents speech is great- students shouldn't have to worry or feel unsafe at school, but I'm sure many of them do. I don't think shows like glee should make it seem like bullying is a normal part of high school because it shouldn't be.

  2. I agreed with almost everything you said, so I did and extended comments on your blog post! :)

  3. "Finn chose to be a bystander yet scenes later you hear him explaining how he's not afraid of being called a loser and how he feels trapped inside his body wanting to be more than what he is. I found it pretty ironic that the song he's caught singing is Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore by REO Speedwagon:And I can't fight this feeling anymore, I've forgotten what I started fighting for" Post was amazing just thought I'd tell you that, most definitely we can all relate to the feelings of wanting to fit in, but also feeling bad at the same time for those who have gotten picked on at some point in their lives...or even relating to being picked on for most of your "teenage" life. Sometimes we forget ourselves in these moments of growing up because like are peers and culture think "we are nobodies and we do not have identities yet" and I think at times we believe this to be true. I love how Finn ended up apologizing and believing in himself in a few of these episodes and decided that he didnt care what anyone thinks anymore! I think we should all teach are younger generation to resist these stereotypes and shameful moments.

  4. Celine, Great post. I too have never watched Glee before. I don't think this show is going to be my guilty pleasure. But I also wanted to know if these three episodes summers up the entire show. My question is what would truly happen if the teacher that passed by kurt being tossed in the dumpster stood up and stopped them from doing his action?