Sunday, March 4, 2012

Glee

Is Glee...mysoginist?

Man, I hope not. Or rather, I don't think it is-- yet-- at least, not blatantly. But I'll admit, I am worried about the direction it might go. I was thinking about the characters today, because I am loving the show for the entertainment, the small town Ohio, the music, and the whimsy... but all the female charecters are messed up. It got me angry until I realized most of the guys are messed up too... but not in the same ways, or to the same degrees as the girls.

Emma is a great person, but she's lusting after a married man, OCD for comic relief, and dating a guy she doesn't really like, purely because he's persistent. Rachel is up-tight, self-important, a little delusional, and willing to treat others unkindly if it'll help her have the spotlight. Terri is... possibly evil. She's FAKING A PREGNANCY to not lose her husband-- she's demanding, she works part time yet is pissed her husband isn't working more hours to give her more useless stuff. Tina is quiet, background, and not talented, and has been given a stutter for, again, seemingly no reason other than comedy. Mercedes is the sassy black stereotype token charecter, who is awesome in many ways, but who THREW A ROCK THROUGH A CAR WINDSHIELD. Quinn is a stereotypical cheerleader, who has some good traits but is still out to destroy the entire Glee Club in an effort to get her boyfriend's full attention... she's also president of the Chastity Club. Sue Sylvester is the villian of the show-- and deservedly so. She doesn't care about her cheerleaders, only her own self-promotion, being a "champion", and tearing others down.

Kurt is essentially a gay minstrel, but he also manages to give the football team their first win, raising their spirits and saving the day. Ken is a joke-- unattractive, down on his luck with the ladies, and only getting a girlfriend through persistence and reminding her that the community doesn't really have any better single options-- but he's a good friend, and seems like a good guy to keep coaching the joke of a football team. Artie is stuck in a wheelchair--and a nerd. THAT'S IT. He's a bit character with no flaws, though his disability is AGAIN something played for laughs. The principal is controlled by his staff, but again-- funamentally a good guy, working nights as a janitor to help keep the school afloat during the recession.

Finn and Will seem to be the main focus of the show-- They do both have their problems, true-- but Will's is that he's a bit of a wuss, and attracted to a woman who isn't his wife-- but he stays true to her, and will do anything to make life better for his family. He is a fundamentally good guy, who is very selfless, kind, caring, and willing to go the extra mile for his students, too (except for his brief interlude with Acafellas). Finn is, at first, nothing more than a dumb jock-- but he's also extremely caring, surprisingly insightful, and determined to stick by his girlfriend's side, even after he finds out she's pregnant (though they haven't had sex, he thinks its his due to a hot tub incident). Though Finn and Will both have flaws, they are good, and likable, and much less flawed than the rest of the cast.

The characters themselves are what made me think of this-- but it's there in a lot of other ways too. The extremely short skirts the cheerleaders ALWAYS wear (as opposed to just on Fridays!). The MILF jokes. The gay jokes. The cheerleader-bikini scene.the AWFUL sister of Terri, and stereotypes of marriage and child-raising.

But there is good, too. I do like that Rachel gave a speech about girls and sex. I like that abortion is treated by the guys on the show as an option for the teen girl, and that they don't question her choice to keep it. I like that the women do act independently and not subserviently to the men. Kicking out the choreographer who wanted the kids to change things about themselves. Glee has a lot of potential, and I'm really, really enjoying it. But there's also a lot of potential to seriously mess things up. I'm going to keep watching though! And... eventually... buy some of the songs off of iTunes.

(Also, psssst. Go see Jennifer's Body! Yeah, it has some super annoying Cody-speak, but its nowhere near Juno levels-- and the interactions between the girls ROCK. Don't believe me? Read the review on Io9.com)

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