These Glee fans love the show, but are concerned

November 13, 2009

abbieBethWe are huge fans of Glee – we love the singing, the dancing.  It’s definitely “cheesy bad goodness” and we have to watch it every week.

However, there have been a couple storylines lately that have us a bit concerned.  A few weeks ago, Shu’s wife decided to get a job at the high school to keep an eye on her husband and his budding romance with the guidance counselor. Her job was the school nurse and having no nursing training, started handing out over-the-counter cold medicine to help the kids stay awake during exams.  Well, we work with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and right now, kids are using OTC and prescription medications to get high at an alarming rate.

In the show, no consequences.  In real life, potential addiction.

Glee 1This week’s show highlighted Artie, the student with a disability.  We have been extremely impressed with how they have incorporated Artie’s use of a wheelchair in the storyline.  He is an active participant in the glee club and his friends are quite supportive.  However, last night’s show focused on him and the students rallying to raise money so they could get the “short bus” to take them to competition.  Really, a “short bus?”

They raised money by having a “handicapable” bake sale.  We work with Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, an advocacy organization for people with disabilities.  ABIL’s philosophy of independent living is always focused on people-first language and words like “handicapped” and “short bus” are no longer acceptable.  To see examples of people-first language, click here.

Glee 2Even more disturbing to us was the character who admitted faking her stutter in order to get out of doing a homework assignment in elementary school.  Scottsdale recently hosted the National Stuttering Association’s annual conference and having had the pleasure of working with the NSA and attending the conference, it struck us as more than a little odd that the Glee writers incorporated that into the plot.  Although Artie had the right reaction – he was upset that she’d made up something he thought they’d had in common (a disability) – it seems to us she could have just been a character with a stutter.

Are we among the majority here?  Did anyone else find these plots offensive?  Do you, like us, think the writers should have done a little more research before writing the words “handicapped,” “wheelchair-bound,” and “able-bodied” into the script?  Or do you think they wrote the story like it might happen in real life?

Are we just sensitive because we’ve worked so closely with these organizations and identify with their messages, roadblocks and goals?  Or do you agree with us?

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5 Responses to “These Glee fans love the show, but are concerned”

  1. Jenny Brooks Says:

    It seems to me this begs the age-old question of TV’s responsibility in society – does TV have a responsibility to educate its audience or is it there to simply reflect its audience and offer an escape? In this case, on a show that works on the premise that no one fits in any one stereotype, it’s too bad the writers wasted such a good opportunity to use the material to educate their audience.

  2. TaylorK Says:

    I completely agree. Wednesday night’s episode was my first Glee experience. I decided to give in and add another show to my DVR rotation. I SO enjoyed the music, and the story line is ok, but I was surprised at not only the WORDS used, but the lack of correction by a teacher or another student on the appropriate vernacular.

  3. E. Fink Says:

    The show is a parody of itself. You can’t take it seriously, and it on at 9 PM for a reason. It is not for young kids, think of it as PG-13 TV.

    The whole show is ridiculous, the stories are wild wacky and colorful and not supposed to be believable.

    There are so many more examples of “bad lessons” – how about Puck saying how “great a father” he will be because he made hash brownies and sold them for a bake sale for Glee club and then steals the money! It’s all just silliness.

    I mean Sue’s Sees It and the principal calling the students children? Just enjoy the silliness!


  4. I agree with you completely! Shelia

  5. Tommy Says:

    Ummmm…it’s a network “sit com”. Maybe you’re not familiar with this high art form?

    PS – it’s not real.

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