Glee is more than just a show, it's a call for social awareness
Many people have said that Glee is a show that had a flash of brilliance, and then settled into a humdrum of so-so episodes that appealed to the baser nature of teenagers. Others have said that the show is passé and was doomed from the start because of its incorporation of song and dance. I would humbly have to disagree.
This show has received a lot of flak for its sometimes-racy subject material and willingness to tackle controversial social issues. However, the message sent out from Glee is always one of tolerance and acceptance, a very noble one.
Glee is an extremely impressive show when analyzed. It caters to a wide demographic of young people and to those who are on the fringes of society, yet the show still manages to draw in fans of all ages through characters like Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester. With a diverse range of characters who all have some sort of label or stereotype imposed on them, Glee provides its audience with multiple instances to relate to and connect with the show.
By making underdogs the stars of the show, Glee has captured an audience that has been left out in the cold for quite a while. Not only has the show captured this audience, but it has also significantly influenced it. By creating characters like Tina, who had a stutter at the beginning of the show, Glee strives to change the lurking belief that kids' problems are inherent. Tina later reveals that her stutter is something she made up in order to keep people away from her.
Just as it was revealed that Tina’s stuttering problem was actually a result of outside forces, Glee continues to reveal arbitrary societal standards and rules. For instance, when Puckerman’s new and serious love interest turns out to be Lauren, the overweight school bully, even I was a bit up in arms. My first thought was, “Puck’s too hot for her!”
In retrospect, I reacted this way because I have been conditioned to believe that a hot guy is naturally going to be attracted to a hot girl, and vice versa. Shame on me for allowing such irrational logic to perpetrate my thoughts.
And it is these sorts of sly thoughts that Glee is very adept at bringing its viewers face to face with, allowing the audience to see the absurdity in much of society.
By tackling big issues like homosexuality, body image, feminism, religion, teen pregnancy, and sex education, Glee proves that it is an extremely socially aware show that understands what teenagers, and people in general, are dealing with. The overwhelmingly positive worldwide response to the show is a testament to its far-reaching effects.
Aided by the singing, dancing, and culturally relevant humor in each episode, the show makes each issue palatable to the public. Glee hearkens back to the days when an actor didn’t just act; he sang and danced as well. Armed with this creative triple threat and social awareness, Glee has the potential to become a long-running show that does more than just entertain.