Just Stick to Singing Teenagers
I don’t want to tell TV shows like Glee (hell, I don’t want to tell anyone) that they can’t or shouldn’t talk about domestic violence. It’s important to talk about stigmatized and silenced issues. But it’s equally important to talk about them in a way that’s nuanced, respectful, sensitive, and real. If you can’t figure out how to do that, then stick to being an hour of television about singing teenagers.
When you have the platform that Glee has — millions of viewers in prime time and millions more online, to say nothing of the hashtags and the sheer Tumblr re-blog potential — you have the opportunity to bring about change, to expose people to material that shifts the way they see the world. Glee’s managed to do this in the past, not just in the halcyon days of my beloved season one, but in recent episodes like “The First Time.” But that’s not what Glee chose to do last night. Instead, Glee reminded America that sometimes women on TV shows have husbands who hit them for not doing the dishes. What a damn waste.
What a brilliant way of framing this. I have hated Glee for years (and for a litany of reasons), but this encapsulates so much of the issue at hand here. Lauren Hoffman at Vulture highlights why a show that considers itself to be so important cannot provide social commentary unless it actually commits to the nuance and time necessary to discuss the issue at hand.
Ryan Murphy will never stop being self-righteous enough to actually unpack what happened to Bieste - just like he never discussed Karofsky’s suicide attempt after the fact. Domestic violence is not a plot twist, and shouldn’t be treated as such.
So, in case you want to know why I hate Glee, read the article.