Glee is an extremely well-known TV show about a group of high schoolers who join a show
choir in their school while they deal with their own problems and navigate through teenage
life. The show tries to tackle many important problems that are prominent in adolescence.
From eating disorders, to teenage pregnancies to school shootings, this show often deals
with most problems in a constructive way. With that being said, there are some plotlines in
Glee that not only make zero sense but are blatantly problematic. Glee in itself was as
problematic off-screen as it was on-screen with many actors coming forward and saying they didn’t enjoy their time acting on Glee. If I had to write about every little odd thing that
happened on Glee, I would be here forever; so here are some of the plotlines/stories that
aged like milk. Warning: This article contains spoilers.
1. Artie’s and Quinn’s “I’m still standing” moment.
For the people who haven’t watched Glee, Artie is a character that became paraplegic after
an accident when he was little. For the whole show (except for extremely weird episodes) he is seen in a wheelchair, unable to walk. Quinn Fabray is a character who got in a car
accident and was left in a wheelchair for only 4 episodes, before she magically got better. In
an episode where both of them are in a wheelchair, Quinn struggles with her new disability
and realises that her school isn’t built for people with disabilities. In fact, there is a giant,
steep slope that she just can’t get to the top of. Artie encourages her and they make it to the
top without anyone’s help. Due to this massive victory, they decide to sing Elton John’s “I’m
still standing.” The writers of Glee really saw the title of the song and thought to themselves
that it would be a good choice to give to the only two characters who... can’t stand. How the
writers of the show got away with this, I’ll never know. And this isn’t even the worst plotline in Glee...
2. The “Blurred Lines” Fiasco
Will Schuester is the teacher in charge of the Glee club; infamous for his weird and
predatory behaviour towards the teenage students (mainly the girls). However, the epitome
of this creepiness is when Mr Schue decides the children need to learn how to twerk in order
to “step out of their comfort zone” and uses the help of other students to teach them.
Meanwhile, the main antagonist of the show: Sue Sylvester, decides to ban twerking in the
highschool, which already shows the absurd lengths that this show will go to in order to have a conflict. As a way to rebel against this rule, the students begin to twerk, while singing
“Blurred Lines”, a song that talks about the “blurred line” between a drunk woman agreeing
to spending the night with a man and a drunk woman not agreeing, because she physically
can’t, due to her inebriated state and how a man can decide what to do, without the woman’s
consent. It’s a very controversial song and the fact that it’s sung by teenage students while
they twerk around their teacher is really bizarre and worrisome. This is another plotline that I cannot believe was ever greenlighted.
3. Ryan Murphy is a menace.
Ryan Murphy is the director for most of the Glee episodes. He is notorious for frequently
writing about the insecurities of the actors in the show. The most famous insecurities he’s
written about are Lea Michele’s nose and Cory Monteith’s substance abuse problem. Lea Michele is an actress who has a big nose reflecting her Jewish heritage and sadly, her
nose was an insecurity of hers at the beginning of the show. Throughout the whole show
there are many comments about her nose and how big it is and even one episode entirely
dedicated to a dilemma that Rachel (her character) has about how she would love to have a
nose job to be conventionally pretty. In that episode, there is even a song that focuses on
how ugly Rachel is, due to her large nose. This is not only harmful to the actress as she’s
having her insecurity highlighted for the entertainment of a large audience but it’s also very
harmful to the audience of impressionable young girls with beautiful ethnic noses that may
watch that episode and believe that their nose is not as beautiful as that of other people.
Corey’s example is harsher as he had a substance abuse problem throughout the filming of
the show which sadly ended in him overdosing. At the beginning of the show, it is said that
his character’s Father dies while serving overseas and he is described as being brave and
an inspiration to Finn (Corey’s character) and mentioned frequently in many episodes,
especially how proud Finn is of his dad. However, in one episode, suddenly, Finn’s dad is
exposed as dying from an overdose after deserting his family rather than dying while serving his country. Finn overreacts and starts claiming that dying from substance abuse is very cowardly and that using drugs is for people who have no shame and how he doesn’t like his father anymore because he isn’t the man he thought he was. This might have been an attempt to warn Cory Monteith about how he could end up. However, I can’t imagine that
having Cory publicly shame someone with his same issues on television would be the right
thing to do.
In conclusion, Glee is a show that, when you binge it, you don’t really notice the messed up
parts, perhaps because the show is so full of them, they end up mixing in your mind. Glee
really got away with the strangest things that a show nowadays could never get away with.
The show tried to tackle serious subjects but most of the time it failed catastrophically.
Image By Kristin Dos Santos from Los Angeles, California, United States - Glee Balloon, NYC, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15436715