Glee, once considered interesting and a breakaway hit, has slowly descended into a mindless exercise in political pandering. The writing has notably devolved into a sort of dartboard of plot, throwing random ideas into a script and hoping some of it sticks. Unfortunately for the viewers, few (if any) of the supposed “plots” have caught on this season. It is true that Glee very much appeal to those that feel they are socially outcast, those that feel they do not fit in, do not mesh with the apparent social hierarchy. However, Ryan Murphy (the series creator) seems to have given up on trying to make his characters human, but has instead opted to use his show as a launch point to make political statement after political statement, many of which seem to fall flat.
The one thing that he has done right has been his exposure of the consistent bullying of gay students by those that feel they just “aren’t right”. Having the character of Kurt not only come out, but own his identity is refreshing. The idea of a supportive father is even more uplifting, allowing many parents that will inevitably view the show with their children a chance to see that it can be done. This, however, is the extent of what he has done right with Glee in regards to political statement.
Kurt could have been, and was for a long time, a source of admiration for many in the gay community as he was an affirmation that it was okay to be who you are. Then, as always, the character took a downturn. When was this? When did he become borderline insufferable? There was the stalking of Finn in season one, for starters. Sure, we can debate back and forth in regard to the actual definition of stalking, and even argue that it was merely an aggressive crush. But, my friend, Finn is, in fact, straight. There comes a time when a crush borders on obsession. That time is usually indicated by decorating your soon to be mutual bedroom in an extravagant ode to neo-Persian velour. After, you know, setting up your father with the mother of your heterosexual crush in an attempt to somehow force yourself into further social interaction together. Also, his mocking of bisexuality, basically stating that it doesn’t exist and that it is merely an extreme case of denial. So, in other words, acceptance is good if you’re completely one way or the other, but the middle ground deserves indifference. Great message there Glee.
And, while Kurt in recent episodes has become much more tolerable, his neediness and general jerk-iness waning to a degree, to fill that wonderful void of forced tolerance, we come to the subject of general political “satire”. Yes, those quotes are intentional. Have you ever heard the saying, “trying too hard”? Yes? Well, Kathy Griffin guest starring on Glee is a shining example of not wasted space, but wasted opportunity. Okay, maybe it’s both. The character of Tammy Jean Alberston is supposed to be Sarah Palin-esque with a splash of other Tea Party personalities thrown in for apparent lols. This character was, quite frankly, not funny. The character did not make me dislike the Tea Party. In fact, it caused me to dislike the show. It was obvious political mockery without point. There were no one-liners, no clever SNL-like parody. Instead, we had a potential goldmine of laughter slip away into a sea of disgruntled, politically biased propaganda. If anything, this “stunt” may have indeed elevated my opinion of Sarah Palin, an event I had previously thought impossible due to my general dislike of her.
So, while my opinion does not matter as I am not an executive, nor do I have a hit television program on the Fox network, it’s still mine. And I offer this one piece of advice for Mr. Murphy. Write your damn show. It’s okay that you’re gay, it’s okay that there are gay characters, it’s okay if some are Jewish, some are heavy, some are African American or Asian. It’s okay to be disabled and it’s okay to be okay with being any of those labels mentioned. Your show used to be about that. It wasn’t about division or pulling people apart. It was about enjoying music and touching that part of our souls that we can all share. Acceptance is wonderful and should be a given for each and every person in society. We are the land of the free. I loved that you wanted to celebrate that and use Glee as a social flare for those outcasts that fill our national high schools. I was an outcast myself, never fitting in, never knowing how or really wanting to. I applauded you. Now you just sadden me because I feel as if you are preaching to me weekly rather than uplifting me. It’s almost as if it’s bullying masked as entertainment. And as we all know, and as you highlighted yourself, bullying is never okay.