Every high school has its cliques, issues, and of course, people. No two people are the same, and it is highly evident as we see girls in one corner of a lunch room wearing cheerleading uniforms and talking smack about other girls, or just boys. We see some kids with glasses holding computers: at the nerd table . At another table, we see some kids with skateboards and beanie hats, most likely playing with their food at lunch. What if, there was a group at a high school, where everyone was friends, and none of them were of the same clique? Meet the Glee Club at William Mckinnley High, where we have some football players, cheerleaders, Broadway geeks, nerds, punks, and some preppy girls all coming together to sing and dance.
“Glee” is a show that is not on anymore, but it ran for eight years on television. “Glee” spreads the message to kids and teens, to strive for what they want and to not fear what others think. In the first couple episodes, Mr. Schuster, the History teacher and faculty advisor of the club is shown struggling to get the club started. The first episode shows only Rachel, Mercedes, Kurt, and Tina as the only members interested. At first, the club is awkwardly silent and we see the peak of Rachel as being the true diva. Rachel ends up getting the solo, and it upsets Mercedes. Mr. Schuster has been threatened to that the school will disband the glee club because, but we see in this video what the Glee Club kids put on together as a group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FaJshIWdpU
Certain characters in the show are representations of high school stereotypes. Every character makes a contribution to the show, but some characters make more contribution to the drama. Rachel Berry, who I have mentioned previously is a true diva. She was raised by her two gay dads and they have brought her into the world of art. She claims herself to be the head of the Glee Club and she is very possessive of the club as well. She is known for demanding solos, being slightly bossy, and she ends up dating Finn. Finn is the typical high school jock and is on the football team. He is slightly standoffish, but is clearly not as into the relationship as Rachel is.
Rachel and Finn end up dating on and off, and Finn ends up lying to say he is the father of Quinn’s child. Quinn is an innocent cheerleader who had a relationship with Puck, a tough and no nonsense football player. Mercedes scolds Puck by telling him to step out of Quinn’s life since he has ruined it enough. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf9_lkf7BtA Mercedes is the only African American student in the Glee Club in the first few seasons, until Unique comes along after the students of the first few seasons graduate. These stereotypes are significant because in reality, it is very rare that people of different groups will come together and form intimate relationships.
Going back to the first cast of “Glee,” we have talked about the kids who are at the core of drama, but there are some issues that create drama in some kids own worlds. Santana and Brittney are two cheerleaders and best friends who join the Glee Club. We find out that Santana is gay and has a thing for Britney. Britney is straight but the whole friendship changes after Santana confesses to her. Unique is a cross-dresser. Wayne joins the Glee Club and people are horrified at his character, Unique. Unique gets bullied for dressing as a woman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yilrlypz-R8.
Kurt is in the closet for the first season, terrified to come out to his dad. He eventually comes out, and is accepted by his dad and the Glee Club, but is bullied at school by another jock. Curt transfers to an all boys school and starts dating one of the Warblers, Blaine. Blaine insists he goes back to Mckinnley High to prove that he is not afraid of those who don’t accept him for being gay. Blaine and Curt form an intimate relationship since Blaine is gay as well, and Blaine transfers to Mckinnley High to be with Kurt. This connection proves that teenagers are very sensitive of their sexualites especially if they are not straight.
So,of course, “Glee” represents that there is a lot of drama in drama. The show is eventually cancelled after losing a lot of viewers near the end. “Glee” shows examples of bullying in high schools. Whether it be not accepting someone who is of LGBTQ, someone who is different, someone who lacks skill, and someone who doesn’t have as many advantages. Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading coach is very questioning of the Glee Club. In the Britney Spears tribute episode, Sue Sylvester is upset the club is using music from Britney Spears and pulls the fire alarm during a performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3Bh6-6c7KQ. In this episode in particular, Artie, the wheelchair nerd presents himself as not weak just because he has a disability https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqHJnysspo4.
There were many reasons why viewers stopped watching “Glee,” Some topics were not presented well, such as school shootings, homophobia, transphobia, and bad relationships. Eventually, Blaine and Kurt began having an abusive relationship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8HW08ApawA. One tragedy that dismissed a lot of viewers, myself included was the death of Cory Monteith who played Finn. Cory Montieth overdosed on drugs and died in a hotel bathroom. He was engaged to Lea Michele who played Rachel.
The show was becoming far too upsetting to watch, and the show was becoming like a soap opera. In fact, “Glee” was originally a comedy, but became such a heavy drama overtime. Many fans, myself included appeared to hate what the show was becoming. However, my argument states that the show represents bullying in every form, but every form of bullying in the show is exaggerated.
High school is a rough time for most kids. Some kids have it easy it may seem, but “Glee” helps kids realize that even the best people face hardship. Just by looking at Rachel Berry, the absolute diva, representative of the Glee Club, always had and demanded solos, and had the most confidence and sharpness out of everyone in the club. She was in such a strong and intimate relationship with Finn. In the show, the two were so certain they were going to get married right after high school. To lose a significant other at such a young age is heartbreaking, traumatizing, and depressing. I think it is really good the show made an episode about Cory Monteith’s death (Finn) because death is nothing to ignore and kids need to learn the importance of carrying on and letting people go. The whole cast in the episode was heartbroken and all the tears were legit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPAILkilPOQ
Kurt was the one character in the show the first five seasons who was the target of the boy who bullied him, Dave Karofsky. Dave would bash Kurt into lockers, call him homophobic names, and he would get other kids from the football team to assist him in harassing Kurt. There is one episode where Kurt is holding his bride and groom at his locker. Dave shoves Kurt, kisses him on the lips, and he takes the bride and groom and leaves with it. Kurt is traumatized, and Mr. Schuster brings Kurt to the principle. Dave later apologizes, but not many people get an apology from those who bullied them in high school.
Now, it is true that kids who are gay tend to be in the closet by making homophobia statements, using the language, and harassing those who are also gay, but my critique for that particular scene is the fact that Dave kissed Kurt in the school hallway when there were other kids around. Usually, something like that would be done alone.Dave was projecting. I think “Glee” represents bullying as something that is there, but I also think the show tried too hard to present to kids that some things in life are just “too good to be true,” and that is why fans turned away from the show.
By Nora Whouley
GleeWiki David Karofsky and Season One