Shoved Out of the Closet and Glee’s White Knight Syndrome

I’m going postpone BerryCap today because I have some much more pressing issues when it comes to Glee right now and it really boils down to the show’s glaring and unmistakable misogyny.

I'm too tired.

I was going to do a write up about the episode two weeks ago that dealt with Santana and her coming out, but the episode ended in the middle of the story’s arc and I figured I’d give Glee the benefit of the doubt and see how the show would tie it all up. Turns out they tied it up into one big ass pile of bullshit.

To recap what happened during “Mash-Off”: It was Trouble Tones vs. New Directions and thus Finn vs. Santana in a verbal sparing war in the hallway. Santana crosses some lines and then Finn obliterates any and all lines that have ever existed by telling Santana to come out of the closet and calling her a coward because she hasn’t yet. In a crowded hallway. In front of dozens of students. Some politician, whose niece overhead this particular  exchange, plans to out Santana in a public commercial aimed to attack Sue. Santana, obviously upset since she hasn’t told her parents yet, confronts Finn who says something along the lines of “everyone in the school already knows and they don’t care”. He doesn’t know about the ad. And then Santana smacks him clear across the face and the episode ends. (And that’s what you missed on Glee!)

When we arrive back at McKinley in for “I Kissed a Girl” the very first scene confronts what happens during the previous episode. Santana, Finn, Will, and Shelby are all in Figgins’ office to discuss what happened last week. Well, not really, just to discuss Santana slapping Finn. Figgins says she’s going to be suspended because WMHS has a no tolerance policy when it comes to violence (except slushies are cool); Will and Shelby agree. That is until our favorite Hero Boy, Finn, swoops in to say that she didn’t really slap him even though it looked and sounded like it.

Yes, Finn comes to Santana aids. She will not be suspended! Hooray! He wants sectionals to be a “fair fight” and he feels bad for her because he thinks she is just awesome. Aw, how sweet of him.

But he tells her unless she and the rest of the Trouble Tones come back to Glee for a “lesson” he’ll go back to Figgins and tell him the truth. Blackmail isn’t a good look on you, Finn, and I don’t really know what kind of “lesson” a straight white boy could have for a lesbian latina.

Nonetheless, Santana and the rest of the Trouble Tones wind up in the choir room for “Lady Music Week”. That’s music “for ladies, by ladies”. Finn continues to push Santana’s outing further saying everyone in glee knows about Brittany and her and they’re not judging because they’re “accepting and cool”, failing to consider that coming out isn’t only about having accepting people in your life but coming to terms with yourself and how your future’s going to change. But again, Straight White Boy Finn really wouldn’t know much about that.

Kurt and Blaine sing a song to Santana; she’s ungrateful because of course she is.

Later Finn approaches Santana at her locker, seeking praise for his oh so fantastic lady music idea. She tells him straight up that he’s practically forcing her out of the closet. He responds that it’s really the pizza guy congressional candidate who is forcing her to “deal with it”, completely shirking the blame. Nevermind that it’s because of Finn that the pizza guy even has that information. Needless to say, Finn does NOT apologize for outing Santana.

But Finn is the good guy! He’s concerned for Santana because he thinks that one day her anger is going to turn suicidal. He sings her a patronizing version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (because obviously lesbians are just in it for the fun!) and then she thanks him for it and fucking hugs him! Are you fucking kidding me, writers? All Santana needed was a serenading by Finn and everything is just fucking dandy? How in the fucking world does a douchey song make it okay? Her life is going to be forever changed because of some privileged white boy and all he has to do is sing? No. I know Glee isn’t exactly about realism but that is just bullshit.

It’s apparent that now pizza guy’s ad has run because as Santana walks down the hallway all the dudes oogle her like they’re watching her fuck a chick. And then some underclassman rugby captain approaches her. He says that girls like Santana are a “challenge” and they just need the right guy to “straighten” them out. FUCKING GROSS, GLEE. Here you go, Finn, and everyone who said that nothing good comes from being in the closet. This is why. People like this douchebag exist and they think they have to right to “straighten” queer girls and very often that includes rape. But, hey, Santana was only scared of facing her “feelings”.

Granted the glee girls come to her defense. Rugby dude tells them he’s trying to make her “normal”. Brittany replies that she is normal and Quinn says it isn’t a choice.

BUT. Then the girls launch into a song that is entirely about kissing girls to please males. Do the writers even listen to the content of the songs before they pick them? “I Kissed a Girl” is perhaps the most offensive song about faux-sapphic love ever written yet they thought it would be the most appropriate song to sing. And the show has at least three gay writers (including a lesbian) so there is really no excuse. Anything for that paycheck, huh?

Following their performance, Santana updates everyone: she’s told her parents, they’re cool with it, and now all she has to do is tell her grandmother. Yet, when Kurt came out to his dad we saw an extremely beautiful and moving scene. But Santana’s developments are told off screen continuously. When will we ever see her kiss her goddamn girlfriend?

Speaking of her girlfriend, where was Brittany during this whole storyline? We saw her during her campaign for class president but she is completely absent from Santana’s coming out story. Why the hell is that? Because Finn, a boy who is not even her friend and knows nothing about being gay, is the better choice to aid her as she comes out?

Anyway, Santana comes out to her grandmother. Unfortunately she doesn’t take it well and kicks Santana out of the house calling it a sin and a scandal. It would be a moving and poignant scene that shows the flip side of the coming out process. That sometimes it isn’t okay and your family doesn’t accept it like Burt Hummel accepted Kurt. There’s still the potential that her grandmother will come around and things may patch up in the future, of course. But the scene we see, set in her grandmother’s kitchen (using the set of American Horror Story — appropriate), is rife with heteronormative rhetoric. Santana says that she feels the way about girls that she’s “supposed to feel about boys”. Supposed to? Glee, the writers, and Santana herself think that girls are supposed to love boys. Forget about Brittany saying she’s is normal. Nope, Santana still thinks liking boys is what she’s supposed to do.

In the end, Santana sings a song  to the group. A song that gives her strength and reminds her that she’s not alone. And then the fucking camera pans to Finn, in case you forgot that he’s the White Knight in this story. Fucking pathetic.

The thing is, with Glee, its audience is so young and impressionable and it is literally spouting all the wrong concepts when it comes to sexuality, homosexuality, and feminism: girls need boys to save them, even if they’re gay, forcing someone out of the closet is okay — if your intentions are “good”, girls just want to have fun, etc.

And I haven’t even touched upon Quinn, Rachel, or Shelby in this episode. Another day, because much like Santana, I’m too tired.

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Get Back On My TV, Bryan Fuller!

Today, NBC finally gave Bryan Fuller’s reboot of The Munsters the greenlight.

Bryan Fuller is the man behind critical darlings Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, and Wonderfalls so this reboot is right up his delightfully macabre alley.

Now Fuller’s previous works have not been successful with ratings but the nostalgia factor might draw in some more viewers.

Some might say that a reboot is unnecessary or that an original work by Fuller might be better, but Fuller is one of those showrunners who gets my absolute trust. Can’t wait.

#sixseasonsandamovie

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BerryCap 3.06 “Mash Off”: The Berry Best

Too make a short BerryCap short, let’s talk about Rachel Berry and the WMHS student council election.:)

So after Rachel was afraid of losing the part of Maria she entered the race for student body president (or is it senior class president? I don’t think they’ve made that clear), much to the chagrin of Kurt who had also entered the race to beef up his NYADA application.

In “Mash Off” Kurt and Rachel haven’t been friends for weeks. While preparing for the dodgeball match, Rachel approaches Kurt and very sincerely admits that she misses him. But he tells her that she should’ve thought about that before she stepped all over him on her way to the top. And while I do understand that he’s hurt, he is acting awfully entitled in these moments. Kurt really did only run to look good for NYADA and not because of the self-righteous reasons he continues to spout. Also, let’s recognize that this is Rachel who has always choose the spotlight over friends making a concession. She’s starting to realize that maybe it’s the people who you have on your way to the top that really matter.

#rachel4president

Later, during the presidential speeches Kurt vows to ban dodgeball considering that is violent and only encourages bullying.  Also taking into account that Kurt is the only nominee never made his campaign negative (I’m not sure where Rachel went negative, but feel free to refresh my memory), Rachel decides to concede and asks everyone to cast their vote for Kurt. Yay, friends for Rachel!

In the hallway as Rachel is taking down her campaign posters (Vote For the Berry Best), Kurt asks her why she withdrew from the race. She says she should’ve done it as soon as she she was cast as the musical lead and Kurt needs the resumé boost. She was so focused on getting herself to New York that she didn’t realize that part of her dream is going there with him. It was a really smart way of making her concession not really about him but more about her, her journey, and her relationship with Kurt. They hug, she pledges to help him win, and Hummeberry is back together, ya’ll.

Rachel also has a really sweet moment with Shelby in this episode. She approaches her birth mother about a recommendation letter, considering Shelby is a championship show choir coach. Rachel has already written the letter and she only asks that Shelby sign it. Shelby lets Rachel know how proud of her she is and Shelby taking a look at Rachel’s impressive resumé, Rachel asks if maybe Shelby will writer her own version of the letter.I, too, am so proud of this girl.

It’s also really nice for Rachel to get some reassurance about her future. Shelby tells Rachel her chances are good and that all the girls who beat her out on her own auditions usually graduated from NYADA. Rachel doesn’t often get much support from friends or even teacher so it’s pretty great for her to get it here. Maybe the show can evolve the Rachel/Shelby relationship into a sort of mentorship. It’s a tricky relationship to maneuver and I don’t know if Glee can handle it but we can only hope.

And that’s what you missed on Glee… or however I’m supposed to end this.

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BerryCap 3.05 “The First Time”: Put a Berry On Top

There were so many spoilers surrounding this episode for the last week or more so I really thought this BerryCap was going to be cut and dry. Plenty of thoughts had been swirling around my head in the days prior but after the episode aired I was kind of at a loss for words. It was really hard for me to separate the “Berry”-ness of it all from the show’s messages about having sex but I am going to try and make a whole ‘nother post about that… eventually. So, sorry this is a week late.

“The First Time”, as the title implies, was Glee’s Big Sex Episode. Also they’re preforming West Side Story (it is notable that a full musical production could be put together before the school election. What’s up with that, McKinley?).

The musical serves as the catalyst for all the sex talk. Artie, the director, questions the chemistry between his two leads (Blaine and Tony and Rachel as Maria, natch). He, rather inappropriately, asks them about their first times and when both answer that they have yet to have sex Artie questions whether they can play a role of “sexual awakening” without being “sexually awakened” themselves. Sure.

Is Artie confusing 'West Side Story' for 'Spring Awakening'?

After rehearsal, we find Rachel supervising Finn who is helping her put up campaign posters: “Put a Berry on top of student government” it reads. Ain’t that the cutest! She questions whether he has decided who he’ll vote for: Rachel or Kurt. Finn says that he is still undecided because it’s hard to vote against his brother. (I’m not really sure why the writers keep trying to push the Kurt and Finn are brothers card, because uh, we never really see them interact that much… and Finn likes to keep shooting down his “brother”‘s boyfriend but I digress.) At least he’s helping Rachel put up the posters, right? That’s progress since the last time they discussed the issue and he embarrassed her in the hallway.

Anyway, Rachel is feeling confident because she’s sold out three night of the musical, she’s tied for first place in the polls for the presidential race, and she has a boyfriend. It is a wonderful thing to see Rachel Berry happy, since it usually doesn’t last very long.

Finn mentions that an Ohio State football recruiter is coming to the game on Friday night to watch him play. Rachel is supportive even though it’s a reminder that their lives are on different paths. Finn also says that his mom and Burt are going to be out of town tonight and invites Rachel over. She’ll be there are six.

Rachel sings some duets with Santana for the musical; Finn goes to Puck for some condom advice but Puck says he doesn’t use them and it works about 99% of the time. K.

Now Finn and Rachel are sitting down to dinner at his house. He cooked; she praises it saying it was the best fake meat she’s ever had (because it wasn’t fake). She proposes a toast to the last four months of their drama-free relationship. He offers dessert of Sara Lee pound cake (which also is probably definitely not vegan) but she thinks they should take it into the living room by the fire and get a little more intimate. They share meaningful looks; I sprain an eyeball.

Joke's on Finn when she pukes on him.

The couple is getting cozy by the fireplace when Finn inquires why Rachel thinks now is the right time to have sex. She’s honest; she tells him she thinks it’ll help her WSS performance, but she loves him too. Finn freaks out and leaves. Boo hoo.

Oops, I forgot to mention that Rachel brought her own condoms as “every modern girl should”. Get it, girl.

Rachel calls a meeting with the Glee girls (minus Mercedes, unfortunately) asking for advice. She tells them about what happened with Finn and they all tell her she was basically horrible. Quinn says that Rachel should just wait to have sex because virginity is something you can’t get back (woo! purity myth!). Santana also says she should wait because having sex with Finn is like “being smothered by a sweaty, out of breath sack of potatoes that someone soaked in body spray”. But Tina says that her first time with Mike was wonderful because they were “in love”. Cue “I Have a Love” playing over Tina telling them all about it and then Rachel walking slow motion down the halls of McKinley towards Finn. Barf.

It’s opening night of West Side Story and Rachel and Blaine apologize to each other for not being able lose it. They watch Santana and the others preform ‘America’ and wonder how a bunch of virgins is supposed to follow that. Because acting ability is directly correlated to the amount of sex you have and Tony and Maria don’t come out until after ‘America’?

Then Rachel has an epiphany. Really the show is about having a soul mate and since both have boyfriends they’re good to go. I’m so glad Rachel came to this realization just 2 minutes before she goes out on stage. And I find it completely ridiculous that Rachel, who has had the a strong connection to the role of Maria since she was seven would really ever think that West Side Story was even remotely about sex. Don’t you love it when Glee sacrifices characterization for some contrived plot point?

Little Pink Riding Hood

Blah blah blah, the play is great. We don’t see it, but everyone was wonderful apparently. Rachel goes over to Finn’s house. Unfortunately Finn’s mental incapacity extends to his assuredness in football and the OSU recruiter wasn’t there to see him play but there for Mercedes’ boyfriend, Shane. He has a proper meltdown about the future and having no plans or dreams since he’s not good enough to go to OSU for football or NYADA for singing (or anywhere for braininess). Rachel tells him together they’re figure out new dreams for him and then offers her virginity to him as a consolation prize. Okay, not exactly. But she does tell him he’s special because she’s “going to give him something no one else is ever going to get.” So. Kind of.

They make out and look at each other deeply and then the scene fades to black over his shoulder. And that’s it. The Big Sex Episode. Good job with that, Glee.

“The First Time” really wasn’t about sex, but about love. Gag. Actually more accurately it was about virginity. The episode pushed forward a lot of notions about that word that are frankly pretty sexist. The “losing” and “giving” and “taking” rhetoric that surround that word needs to stop and I was hoping that Glee, a self-proclaimed progressive show, might take it upon itself to debunk some of those myths. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case and I shouldn’t have had any hopes that it would be different considering that Glee really is only progressive when it comes to white males.

Maybe things will change. Maybe the new female writers haven’t shaken things up enough yet. Who knows? All I know is that Glee should stick to more comedy instead of preaching in these “very special episodes”.

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BerryCap 3.04 “Pot O’ Gold”: Seeking A Rachel Berry Solo

This should be a fairly short Rachel cap considering she was in the episode for a total of five minutes. Probably not even five minutes. But a lot of stuff went down that will certainly have an impact on our girl in the future so let’s dig in.

In summary Rachel’s role was diminished to being upset about the cancellation of the musical, being excited about it not being canceled after all, and taking the brunt of Santana’s annoyance at not being featured on more solos.

mte, Rachel

Santana says she’s only had one solo (“Valerie”) so technically, by those standards, Rachel’s only had two. Yes, Lea Michele has sung more songs in Glee‘s run so far, but if we’re not taking into account audition songs and practice pieces then the only two songs that qualify as Rachel Berry competition solos are “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “Get It Right”.

And if everyone is going to keep complaining that Rachel gets all the solos, the writers should probably give her a solo to back up those accusations. Rachel didn’t sing a line in “Pot O’ Gold” and has only participated in duets in the previous episodes this season. The girl hasn’t had a solo since “Funeral”!

I understand that Rachel is not an easy person to love. She’s eager and direct and it puts a lot of people off, including most of her Glee-mates, which is pretty sad when it’s been her objective since day one to be included. yet we sit here, 48 episodes into the series and she still hasn’t managed to win many of the Glee members over.

Moreover, Santana’s accusation of the glee club’s performances becoming “The Blaine and Rachel” show comes after a performance by Blaine. Just Blaine. Rachel didn’t do a thing besides praise his performance and she gets criticized for that. Last season when she didn’t welcome in new members she was chastised (we’re going to ignore that crackhouse business because, wow, way to make your character two-dimensional, writers), but this season many members of the glee club have been resistant to Blaine joining the glee club while Rachel has been supportive yet somehow this is wrong too.

It would be wonderful if everyone could sing equally (I can’t remember the last time I heard Quinn or Tina’s voices), but at the end of the day why is the blame placed on Rachel? Mr. Shue is the teacher and ultimately he decides what song/singer choices will benefit them the most. It is a competition and “fairness” isn’t what comes first. You wouldn’t expect a football coach to play every team member equally, so why demand it from the glee club?

Beyond the constant “Rachel Berry Show” accusations, Rachel and Kurt shared an icy little exchange in the beginning over Rachel running for president but it seemed to be mostly dramatics. During the audition of newcomer, Rory, they seemed to be on slightly better terms. Hopefully we’ll actually get some words over the issue next week.

hummelberry 4ever

In the closing seconds of tonight’s “Pot O’ Gold”, Rachel’s ex-boyfriend, Puck was seen locking lips with her birth mother, Shelby. While not directly involving Rachel at the moment, it’s sure to come out later in the season and, well, let’s just hope Rachel’s dads still have that therapist on retainer (and maybe Rachel should give Quinn that therapist’s number too).

From the promo following the episode, it seems like next week will be a big episode for our girl. Still no word on any solos though.

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Costumes

Halloween is easily my favorite holiday. There’s booze and candy and fun and scary stuff and most importantly, no familial obligations. Loving October 31 like I do, I knew I wanted to put together something but everyone and their brother has a favorite list of Halloween themed television episodes. So, with that, present you with G+TV’s 2011 Costume Awards!

Best Breakfast Food Costume

mmmm

Jane Williams as Bacon (Happy Endings)

She doesn’t even need the eggs, let’s be honest.

Best Recycled Costume

arrrgh

Ron Swanson as Pirate (Parks and Recreation)

It is his Halloween costume.

Best Queen Regnant Costume

No one even knows who that is.

Spencer Hastings as Mary, Queen of Scots (Pretty Little Liars)

She was born to be queen but her cousin stole the throne and then she was accused of treason and her family had her executed.

Best AMC Original Drama Costume

BITCH!

Ryan Howard as Jesse Pinkman (The Office)

This was definitely Mindy’s doing. And I love her for it.

What were your favorites this year? Favorites ever? Happy Halloween!

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Filed under Comedies, Dramas, Happy Endings, Lists, Parks and Recreation, Pretty Little Liars, Television, The Office

In Defense of Quinn Fabray

If you keep looking for that happy ending, you are never gonna get it right.Glee has been on hiatus for two weeks now, with another Glee-less week to go. I always have too many  feelings and it’s going to be hard to this blog to not become a Glee blog but forgive me this post.

Quinn Fabray is arguably one of Glee‘s most polarizing characters. I don’t think there are many people who fall on the in between with this girl. She has lovers and haters which makes her quite interesting.

I’ll admit it: it took me a long time to come around to Quinn. I had gone back and forth before but mostly I just didn’t understand her. She lied to Finn, but came clean and suffered the consequences. She tormented Rachel, but then would have genuine moments with her. She made the glist, but helped Mercedes attempt to overcome body image issues.Her development has been inconsistent, and while most of the trouble is in the writing I think I finally found a way to make sense of it all. I would point my full conversion at about two weeks ago. In a LJ community, of all places, someone said, “She just wants to be loved.”

And isn’t that just it. She wants to be loved! It all makes sense. Her whole life she’s been trying to find someone to love her for who she is and not who they want her to be. The trouble is that she isn’t exactly sure who she is, so she molds herself into what she thinks will make others happy. She’s a good Christian girl, president of the Celibacy Club, for her parents and head cheerleader for her peers. When she feels like she’s losing Finn she joins the Glee Club. Partially for Sue, but mainly because she thinks being a part of glee will make him love her more.

After she gets pregnant all she dreams about is being not pregnant. Her dream in “Dream On” is “no stretch marks”. To Quinn, it’s her pregnancy that is the reason her parents kick her out and Finn breaks up with her. All she wants throughout the whole first season is to go back to “normal” or whatever it was like before she was pregnant, when people loved her.

In season two, she more or less gets her wish. She’s captain of the Cheerios and by the middle of the season she’s dating Finn again. Her new goal is prom queen which she doesn’t get and then Finn dumps her. Thus going “back to normal” didn’t make everything better. She still feels unwanted.

There have only been three episodes so far of the latest season but essentially Quinn’s storyline has boiled down to: joins “the skanks”, dyes hair pink, finds out Shelby’s back with Beth in tow, dyes hair back to blonde, rejoins glee club. The later two are apparently in effort to get Beth back.

Quinn has never shown any attachment to Beth, either during or after the pregnancy. But now Quinn doesn’t have anyone to love her. She has no boyfriend, no real friends (the dynamics of the Unholy Trinity is another post) so she projects it all onto Beth, this little baby who she thinks would have no choice but to love her. So she wants her.

Yes, it’s misguided and would never work, but Quinn is a teenager and doesn’t have a great track record with decision making. But hopefully this storyline will further her character arc to possibly discovering who she is and loving herself.

It’s understandable if you don’t like Quinn; they writers often write her as the villain, a problem in and of itself. But whether you see her as an antagonist or a normal girl with lots of issues, it helps to understand what her objective is. Hopefully the writers will realize the potential they have in Quinn and give her an arc that she deserves.

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