Thursday, November 11, 2010

Glee's Gay Suicide PSA: It Got Worse

"Last night's episode, framed as a response to the rash of gay suicides early this year was extraordinary counterproductive. When Mr. Schuester [Matthew Morrison], the glee club advisor, sees Kurt [Chris Colfer, pictured] being hit by a member of the football team, the teacher does not discipline the bully himself or go to the principal's office to make sure the bullying is resolved. He accepts at face value Kurt's statement that Mr. Schuester can do nothing to help him," writes Leah Anthony Libresco.

"Once Schuester feels like he is off the hook, he reframes the problem as Kurt's responsibility and rebuking him for becoming withdrawn and belligerent. Depression or anger is a reasonable response to abuse. Although Kurt would probably prefer to be less upset by his bullies, it is unfair for Schuester to frame Kurt's response as the problem, rather than the abuse provoking his response. If Glee had set up Mr. Schuester's response as a reflection of the lapses of some teachers and districts and had provided a better model later in the episode, his counterproductive message could have been redeemed. However, the mistakes of Mr. Schuester were repeated and amplified a few scenes later by the episode's unambiguous good guy." Continue reading Glee's Gay Suicide PSA: It Got Worse

I agree with Leah Anthony Libresco. The writing on Glee has always been hackneyed and trite. Last night's episode was no different. Chris Colfer's performance is the sole saving grace.

More Glee reviews...
The moment that the bully football player kissed Kurt: shocking or cliché … or (strangely) both?
It’s surely a testament to the talent of the “Glee” writers and actors that the moment that the football player switched from violently manhandling Kurt to passionately kissing him startled us almost as much as it did Kurt. After all, isn’t it one of the oldest tropes in the book when the bully turns out to be hiding the very thing he’s condemning in his victim? Or maybe what we were most startled by was the bully football player’s sudden transition from a faceless tool in a letter jacket to a nuanced character with a back story and hidden motives of his own. Either way, it was good to be confronted with our own unwitting preconceptions and reminded that the characters (even that sophisticate Kurt) can still surprise one another –- and us.
Here's a positive review of this episode...

'Glee' Takes On Katy Perry, Gay Bullying
Patrick Burns (writer, composer, and star of the original one-man-musical, From Foster Care to Fabulous):

Tonight's episode of Glee did a great thing by confronting the topic of bullying. The gay suicide crisis that has struck our nation is nothing short of a tragedy. I'm thankful that the creators of Glee were responsible and courageous enough to realize that it was necessary to the integrity of the show to utilize the character of Kurt to tackle this issue.

Sure, the musical numbers tonight were lack-luster and it was awkward for everyone when Will kissed Coach Beiste. But, when the episode ended, what truly impacted me was the portrayal of how lost and alone a bullied victim feels. More importantly, Glee reminded viewers that one must refuse to be a victim and live with courage to conquer loneliness and fear.

I have no doubt that there were hundreds of gay teens watching Glee this week who feel a little less alone tonight than they did yesterday afternoon on their way home from school.