Thursday, 5 May 2011

Why Glee matters

I know I know, just hear me out!  Now I'm an unashamed fan of Glee.  I love the bone dry wit of characters like Sue and Santana (ok, the latter is less witty and more bitchy).  I love how clever and political the writing is, and the fact that it airs on Fox just adds to that particular pleasure.  I LOVE the songs, especially the showtunes (Rachel and Mercedes belting out 'Take Me Or Leave Me' from Rent even managed to make me not want to punch Rachel for screwing up her eyes on every high note). 

But most of all, I think Glee is really important in being so gay- and bi-friendly.  A lot of weeks lately my jaw has dropped watching things that I never thought I would see on a US TV show.  Sometimes I end up cheering at the TV, for example when Blaine finally realised he loved Kurt and they kissed (twice!).  Thinking of this going out on Murdoch's dollar makes me really happy.

The long-running storyline involving Kurt suffering relentless homophobic bullying by a (closeted gay) football player has felt wince-inducingly realistic and painful.  The recent spate of gay teenagers committing suicide in the USA and the fact that just days ago The Guardian reported on a rise in homophobic attacks in London shows just how important it is to have a show that millions of teenagers watch tackle these issues.

The Santana/Brittany relationship has been dealt with really well too, slowly developing from throwaway lines in season one to the realisation that they're in love.  Their performance of 'Landslide' a few episodes ago left me in tears: how on earth did the show pick the one song that meant so much to me and my best friend/girlfriend/confused bisexual partner when we were 17?!

Knowing what it feels like to be 17 and coming to terms with your not-straightness, and now teaching teenagers who go through the same difficulties, I realise how important Glee is, why it matters.  If the show makes just one kid feel less alone, less frightened and harrassed, then it's done more than most TV programmes.  To do all this and with killer tunes... well that's just spoiling us.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on 'Glee'! I must admit that while I was an early fan, I haven't kept up with it due to the storylines and writing that I felt was lacking. I do agree with your points about how it does continue to open the eyes of Middle America and say "Hey, it's actually quite normal to be gay." It's unfortunate that in 2011 this is still a big problem for a vocal minority. Having said all of that, have you ever watched Ryan Murphy's previous high school-based series, 'Popular'? The writing and pop culture references were brilliant! Sadly, it never found enough viewers back then, but has achieved cult status these days.

  2. Yeah I remember Popular but it got pulled from UK TV quite quickly so never saw it all.

    I totally agree that Glee is far from perfect and some storylines really irritate me, but overall I (as you can tell!) love it despite it's flaws.