Friday, May 28, 2010

An open letter to Glee:

Dear Glee,

Hey, I see you're doing really, really well. Your ratings are crazy right now, and you're making yourself into a real brand. You've sold out concerts on your tour and you've been able to decimate the iTunes charts every week when you release new covers of various pop tunes that American Idol can only dream of getting the rights to- "Bad Romance?" Hells yeah. "Don't Stop Believing?" More like don't stop playing that song on my iPod. "Somebody to Love?" Way to prove me wrong with the whole "No one can cover Queen ever!" viewpoint.

Then why is it that half the time I'm watching you, I want to personally smack all the writers on the show? Why is it that every week I tune in, only to want to kick you in the mouth? Is it because Mercedes had an eating disorder for half an episode? Or maybe because the plotholes about Quinn's living situation were wider than her maternity clothes? Or maybe because Finn constantly teeters between decent human being, to airhead, to insensitive jackass, to guy strutting in Lady GaGa-esqueware over the course of one episode?

While these are all obviously issues with you as a show, I realized the real issue I have with you is a member of your cast, Kurt.

Sure, Kurt has his moments of epicosity, mostly featuring his dad. I was sniveling like a baby when his father not only gave Finn a verbal smackdown in the last episode, but remembered to compliment Kurt on his fabulous room designing skills. When Kurt sang his heart out with his name behind him in lights, I swooned. I even happy danced when I found out insider scoop about Kurt eventually acquiring a boyfriend sometime down the line, but there's something about Kurt that just pisses me off.

Maybe it's because you're falling into the Degrassi Trap. For people that don't know, Degrassi: The Next Generation is a Canadian import that was fall of awesome up until the characters graduated from high school and they tried to replace it with new kids that I can't stand. In its earlier seasons, it was pretty much amazing and handled serious topics- from self mutilation, to school shootings, to STDs-with a weird sense of realism and a little humor here and there.

It had a primary character that was gay, as well, named Marco. Marco was pretty all right for the most part. His storylines were interesting and epitomized a gay boy coming of age in high school. However, the issue with Marco was that all of his storylines went back to him being gay. Oh, Marco is trying to run for class president, but oh God! The girl that eventually ends up being a lesbian is threatening to out him! Marco likes a boy, but he's just recently realized he's gay, what should he do? Marco wants to come out to his family, but he's scared! Eventually, the plot lines petered out into nothing. Kurt's storylines are already beginning to have the gay undertones. Mercedes has a crush on Kurt, but Kurt comes out as gay! Kurt is harassed at school, because he's gay! Kurt has an issue with Finn, because Finn calls things faggy and Kurt is offended!

While Marco's storyline eventually crashed and burned, one thing that Degrassi seemed to do right was that Marco's sexuality was never confused with his gender. Marco liked guys. He was a guy. Sure, he was fashionable, but he was always a guy and referred to himself as such. He was able to be a great connector to the entire cast, hanging out and getting along with pretty much everyone, from my favorite goth girl Ellie, to queen bee Paige, to go-to guitar player Craig, however, no one doubted that he was a guy doing all this connecting. In you, Glee, there seems to be this constant flipping between Kurt being a resident girl or a gay- particularly when the show constantly needs to split the club into boys vs. girl competitions. For example, in the Madonna episode, Kurt proclaimed that he was the girl of the group when the guys were brainstorming ideas. However, in the GaGa episode, he joins the girls as an army of little monsters, which results in Schuester telling the boys to ~express themselves in their own way, by performing in Kiss makeup. Because, obviously, that's the way to counteract the GaGa infecting the Glee club. What gives, Glee? Kurt's a boy. If anything, shouldn't he be using his penis for the greater good and telling the boys to get over their fear of GaGa and embrace her kookiness? Maybe I just really, really wanted to see Puck wearing a thunderbolt over his eye or something, but I feel as though the need to have the girls and Kurt vs. the boys a little ridiculous.

Of course, we need to point out that you're not the second coming. You're a silly show that has a lot of elements of a fucking musical, for God's sake. However, it can't be denied that your fanbase is rampant. And while that's good for your ratings, it makes it nearly impossible for you to be dissected sometimes. No one is sitting down to wonder why Kurt is just not making sense sometimes, nor is anyone allowing other people to voice their opinion about it. And while I do understand that you're not supposed to be a showcase in queer theory, you have to realize that you have a lot of power over your fans and you can't make stupid plot decisions because of it.

How can you fix this? Well, how about you stop making every episode be guys vs. girls. While gender is obviously an important part of life, you really need to ease up on it most of the time. And how about you make Kurt be a guy. Hopefully, the fact you're giving him a boyfriend will help, provided you don't make him the "girl" of the relationship, whatever that means. Also, could you please, please, please not have all of Kurt's issues be related to being gay? He's a boy and he's going through awful high school things, he just so happens to be fashionable and like boys. He can obviously like men and state it, I'm not saying that's wrong, but I am saying that all his plots shouldn't focus on his sexuality. He's got so much potential, and it's obvious that it's being wasted on coming out plotlines/trying to be straight plot lines/Finn's "faggy blanket" incident. I won't say I have faith in you Glee, but I'd love to see if you could prove me wrong.

Some love,

PS: I'm totally watching you when you go up on Hulu. I will admit to that.

PPS: I'd love to hear your comments about Kurt, Glee, or about how season four of Degrassi: The Next Generation was the best thing everrr.