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.