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Living Loz
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6th-Dec-2009 11:46 am
Loz Purple
Glee reactions that have been accumulating. Up to date with what has currently aired in the USA.

The pilot, in my opinion, was fairly satirical and ironic, and I really liked that. Everything appeared to be delivered with a gigantic tongue-in-cheek smirk. But since the pilot the satire and irony have been bogged down by sentimentality and inconsistency, and the stereotypes that I keep expecting to be exploded really haven't been, so --- I am at a conundrum.

I am watching a show that wigs me out in so many ways. It pings all of my 'this show is upsettingly sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic and pro-domestic violence' sensors, because it may occasionally present these as Bad Things, but it also continually reinforces these aspects too. Sue Sylvester, for instance? There's a fine line between showing a horrible character as more nuanced than you first present, and trying to justify their horrible behaviour. Glee isn't clever and meta enough. It doesn't wink at the audience like I keep expecting. I often come away thinking that the writers have no idea how a lot of what they do comes across. And it's just --- it's not satirical or ironic 80% of the time it needs to be. A lot of the time, I don't think it's meant to be.

So we have problematic elements like Quinn's, Terri's, Emma's and Rachel's (and really all females') portrayals, to the 'Juvie school' from sectionals and 'Other Asian', to how Artie's treated in so many ways --- not to mention the Tina reveal --- as well as the School for the Deaf performance (during which I was pretty much yelling 'shut the fuck up, Glee kids, I want the other school's performance'), to how both Sandy and Kurt are shown as one dimensional flaming stereotypes except for that one episode where Kurt's good at football, though - look - he's never shown on the squad again. And now to the latest episode, when Will throws objects, grabs Terri's wrist, shouts in her face, and... we're meant to be on his side?

I am glad I cannot completely switch off the part of my brain that thinks about these things but I'm kind of --- I want to like the show. It's not what I thought it would be, what it seemed to be presenting the first couple of episodes, a vehicle that knowingly incorporated these aspects to interrogate and subvert them. Now it mostly just makes me feel uncomfortable and sad. It is not a ball of glee. It's actually pretty disturbing.

(Deleted comment)
7th-Dec-2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
This is exactly what I have been doing, since about episode 8 --- because I kept thinking 'soon. soon they will reveal the punchline.' But no, each episode goes by gets more glurgy and preachy in these incredibly problematic ways and there seem to be no redeeming characters.
6th-Dec-2009 11:17 am (UTC)
I've watched a few of the episodes with my sister, and while I did notice satirical moments in each of them...I can't really argue with any of your observations. I think the frequent shifts to sentimentality make it impossible to argue "but it's all a SATIRE!", and a lot of the Serious Moments are the problematic ones.

The DV overtones in that scene with Will and Terri were blatant. I kept waiting for the scene to end earlier than it did, and for the show/characters to acknowledge the scariness of the situation.
7th-Dec-2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
I kept waiting for the scene to end earlier than it did, and for the show/characters to acknowledge the scariness of the situation.

Same. I kept thinking that at any moment the show would acknowlege what a douche Will was being -- that despite her undoubtedly being a manipulative and demanding person, Terri didn't deserve to be backed into a corner and threatened with violence -- no one does. But no. We didn't even get her perspective after this scene.
6th-Dec-2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
I still have such a love/hate relationship with this show. I watch it every time I'm home and remember it's on. It keeps growing on me yet it bothers me in so many ways! (I've met so many people who have the same love/hate relationship, too.)

So word! to everything you said.
7th-Dec-2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
I am finding increasingly that I mostly hate the show. Yet I keep tuning in.

I generally like the musical numbers, although they are way over processed. But even the couple of characters I liked have since done things I find unconcionable, so... blah. It had such potential to be amazing.
6th-Dec-2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
I have major problems with the show, and am mostly watching just to keep up and because for some strange reason, hubby likes it.

Kurt is extremely problematic. I want to like him and I've been sucked into most of the most emotionally manipulative moments including the coming out scene, but I really disliked his treatment of Rachel, plus the fact that I think he's being set up to never actually have an onscreen relationship.

7th-Dec-2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
YES. YES. I agree with that entirely. He had been my favourite up until his actions regarding Rachel. And don't get me wrong, I don't particularly like Rachel (although they oversell her obnoxiousness quite a lot --- she's not the devil incarnate. I know far bitchier and self-centred people who have lots of friends.) But it was just so awful.
7th-Dec-2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
And yet, I kind of understood where Kurt was coming from too. Maybe what I'm really objecting to is being forced to take sides where both choices are good or bad. Possibly the show is more complex than I've been giving it credit for.
7th-Dec-2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
I was just about to reply to your comment on my comment by saying how devastated I was after Kurt was such a bitch to Rachel, and then I saw that this conversation was already happening... And this is despite the fact that I cannot stand Rachel. Ugh.
8th-Dec-2009 05:26 am (UTC)
bethje loves the show and Jacob ben Israel, and wishes he were a real age-appropriate person (and her boyfriend).
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