Glee should not tack deep issues onto plot
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed “gleek,” an occasional watcher, or only know about it through Facebook status updates, it’s undeniable that the television show Glee has become an important part of modern pop culture. As of late, the show has been addressing some pretty serious topics — a big change from the campy, all-smiles episodes in the earlier seasons.
The only scandal back then was which glee club members were cheating on their superficial relationship partners.
But now, for every absurd and hilarious insult said by Sue Sylvester, the show’s antagonist whose mission is to disband the glee club, there’s another scene that leaves you shocked at the seriousness of the situation.
The show recently documented anti-homosexuality bullying, a suicide attempt, a confession of a character’s previous thoughts of suicide, teen marriage, and a car crash involving texting while driving — all in one episode.
Among all these grave issues, the singing troupe still managed to compete at the always-occurring sectionals, which left viewers with a confusing mix of emotions throughout the episode. Glee is becoming more of a social commentary than it ever has been, but are they overloading? Is this seriousness too much, too abruptly?
It seems that the show’s writers have finally realized the power they hold in their creation. While I respect the show for finally addressing serious topics, it seems they’re throwing in these plot elements just to create a stir.
The characters (and the show) become a bit ridiculous if every situation finds a character having a deep-seated emotional experience. If the writers were going for realism, they’re starting to lose it.
One character, Santana — who’s known as a flirtatious and sexual temptress — has come to display the powerful emotions of a secret same-sex relationship, while keeping her sexual orientation private. In a recent episode, she decided to come out to her grandmother, who disapproved and told her, “Everyone has secrets ... they’re called secrets for a reason.”
This tearful interaction came after the rumor spread through school and a guy came up to her claiming that he can “straighten her out.” We empathize with this character who can’t catch a break, but we’re quickly encouraged to sympathize with another depressing situation only 10 minutes later.
However, Glee gets it right with a scene where three of the main characters discuss their senior year. With the impending approach of graduation for the main characters, the future of the show is constantly up for debate.
When discussing college rejection letters, the trio talk about how college was always just a distant event. The effervescent Kurt says dramatically, “The future used to be such an abstract idea. The dream was enough.”
The show has rarely seen such resounding simplicity that is so effective. Moments like this are when Glee shines brightest.
The upcoming graduation may have writers trying to cram in as many storylines as they can, and unintentionally overdoing it. The army of outcasts are facing mature and realistic situations, but the overloading is becoming quite a distraction. Glee should adopt the notion of less is more because when it’s good, it’s great.