Really, Glee? Really?

I would like to preface this post by saying that I like to talk. A lot. I have opinions about everything, and I have “diarrhea of the mouth” because all of my words just pour out of me, not necessarily in a coherent fashion. One of the reasons I love my blog is that it’s about anything, whatever’s on my mind that day. So, anyway, back to the topic. Glee.

Now, I am a Glee fan. I’m not ashamed of it. I love the songs, the dancing, the people, and the drama’s not so bad, either. However, yesterday’s episode, “Asian F” offended me so much that I wanted to get my feelings out in the open.

For starters, (and the main thing that angered me), the episode’s namesake. Shortly into the episode, we find that an “Asian F” is an A-, because CLEARLY, since all Asians are smarter than everyone else on the planet, they’re held to higher standards than the rest of us. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t offended because I’m not Asian. If I was Asian, I would still be highly irritated by the blatant stereotyping on the part of the writers of Glee. Just as the color of your skin does not make you automatically stupider, or poorer, than someone else, it also doesn’t make you a better dancer, or better at math. (If this “Asian F” sentiment was only uttered by the father of Mike Chang, the offending student with the A-, I would write it off as an individual trait. But Tina, Mike’s girlfriend, then says the exact same thing a minute later in the show.)

Glee, I thought you prided yourself on handling social issues and getting past stereotypes. Your portrayal of the struggles of being a gay teen in a public high school goes far deeper and is more forthright than most of the television shows on air. Yet, you followed this stereotype  up with another offensive label shortly after.

Brittany, the (stereotypically, come to think of it) blonde cheerleader, is running for class president. Her platform: being a woman. Now, I understand that this is a school election, for pete’s sake, and the popular people win anyway, but Brittany’s monologue about how the last six presidents have been men, and they messed things up, so it’s time for a woman to win, just made me mad. The last six presidents did not mess the school up by virtue of BEING men, they did it on an individual basis. Just as it’s unfair to say that all women are drama queens, it’s unfair to say that because the people in charge happened to do a bad job, and happened to be male, that the two are related.

Furthermore, Brittany then goes on to sing a song about girl power (Beyonce’s Run The World (Girls), which, in her defense, was done very well), and get the female population of the school pumped up, all while wearing one of the sluttier outfits I’ve seen on the show. Like the only power women have is to flaunt our bodies. I expected better, Glee.

Girls run the world
This looked even more risque when she was dancing around.

One final rant about the episode would have to be Mercedes. Now, this wasn’t offensive, or stereotypical (except in the “because she’s black, Mercedes has to be a diva” kind of way), but it made me so, so angry at the character and the writers. Mercedes is in “booty camp” and doesn’t feel like working, at all, ever. Her ankle hurts, she doesn’t feel well, she just can’t do it. In the form of good coaches everywhere, Mr. Schue yells at her, to keep going, to be the best she can be, that she CAN, indeed, do the dance move. If she would try. But she doesn’t, and instead throws a tantrum about how Mr. Schue always picks on her, and then storms off. How the hell do you expect to get better if you don’t TRY? If you don’t take constructive criticism, encouragement, or feed off your anger, or however it is that you motivate yourself, and keep WORKING. That’s apparently not Mercedes’ style. She’d rather act like a petulant child, and go join the other “choir,” run by Shelby Corcoran, that only consists of one other person, so of course Mercedes can automatically have the best roles without having to work at all.

Okay, I promise my rant is over. Other thoughts about the episode:

  • Since New Directions was for people who felt like outcasts in the school, does that make Shelby’s choir the place for people who feel outcast from the outcasts?
  • Best part of the episode: Mike Chang waltzing with his mother. Guys, keep this in mind: nothing will make your mother happier than dancing with her when you don’t have to.
  • There is NO WAY that Mercedes was better than Rachel in the callback. Rachel deserved that role.

And, for everyone out there who can’t stand Glee, I promise not to talk about for at least another month. Because that’s when the next new episode airs. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Really, Glee? Really?

  1. Fish Buddy, while I agree that this episode was blah, I’m gonna have to disagree with some of the other stuff you say.

    I think that from the beginning Glee has portrayed each character as a stereotype to show how ridiculous Americans are about those stereotypes. Brittany is a dumb blonde cheerleader who can’t go an episode without saying something completely outlandish. I’ve met some “dumb blondes” but none that even come close to Brittany. Mercedes being the black diva. I don’t even need to keep talking about her. Finn and Quinn being popular, and dating, and winning at life. Rachel, the outspoken, I don’t care but really I do theater star who no one really likes.

    The whole Asian thing is another example. I think they say and do the things they do on the show because that’s how America sees Asians. And it obviously isn’t true for everyone. I don’t think they did it to be funny or to try to be true to society.

    Do you get what I’m trying to say? I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of explaining.

    While there is a whole lot of stereotyping to Kurt’s character, I do believe that his situation was handled very well on the show. When I think of the show being real, I think of Kurt.

    I actually couldn’t stand Brittany’s song. And you are right about the outfit. All they ever do is put her in slutty outfits when she performs. I love watching her dance, but I don’t need to see all of her when she does. I agree that if they want to portray “girl power” (gag me) then they shouldn’t pair it with “All I’m good at is looking sexy”.

    And Mercedes. You know I can’t stand her. I have never once thought she was better than Rachel. Because let’s face it, Rachel is the best. I HATE that her only story line is how she comes in second all the time and that it’s everyone else’s fault but hers. You are so right in everything you said. Amber Riley has a voice, and there are some songs that she blows away, I wish they would do more with her character than play victim.

    Best part of the episode? Mike Chang. Bar none.

    …steps off soap box…

    • You’re right, I can definitely see how they are doing a satire on the show, and making fun of the stereotypes THEMSELVES by the way they portray them. However, in this episode, in Mike’s “F” storyline, it just didn’t come off that way. Usually, like with Brittany, it’s fairly obvious that no one thinks blondes are THAT dumb. But I originally felt like they were taking the Asian stereotype seriously, and only when you pointed it out to me do I realize that they’re making fun of it. That means it was an unsuccessful satire.

      And I definitely agree about how Mercedes should be more than just the victim. A lot of the reviews I read talked about how regardless of whether Rachel was the “favorite” she works harder than anyone else to be good at what she does, whereas Mercedes just waltzes in at the last minute and says she “deserves” it.

      One last thing that bothered me. Everyone talks about how prideful and arrogant Rachel is, cause she stomps around, and is loud about how she’s the best. But at the end, when Mercedes is talking to Shelby, and goes “I heard you were looking for some star power. Here I am.” Just because she said that in a soft voice, with her head down, like she was being modest, doesn’t make her modest. She’s still being just as arrogant as Rachel, she’s just not flaunting it like Rachel does.

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