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I Think "Glee" Might Be Heterophobic

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 26, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 26, 2010 |

Lady Gaga and Barbara Streisand?! I think “Glee” might be heterophobic. That was brutal, people. “Funny Girl?” A “Poker Face” duet performed like a Feist song? It’s rare that an episode of “Glee” doesn’t have at least one song that I halfway like, but last night … Wow. And KISS? Why would you compound our misery?

Last night’s episode was about theatricality, which gave the Glee Club an opportunity to take that freak flag they’ve been flying, pull it down, wrap it around them, form a mosh pit in the hallways, and break people’s noses with their freakishness. And by freakishness, Ryan Murphy apparently means “gay.” I think Murphy might be imputing his own high-school experiences upon the show, which is fine and great and dandy, except that — at least I’d like to think — being gay isn’t as alienating as it once was in high school. I mean: The fact that “Glee” is one of the most popular shows on television suggests some mainstream acceptance (the Christian Newswire, notwithstanding). Sure, “Glee” is set in Ohio, but “United States of Tara” is set in Kansas City, and it doesn’t seem as though the gay students at that school are being ostracized (yes: I know both schools are fictional). Maybe I’m over-thinking it, but maybe in 2010, the homophobic jock — or at least one that’s popular in high school — is the outdated stereotype? Does anyone fucking wear a letterman jacket anymore? After all, it is my understanding that high-school popularity now entails getting a Beiber haircut. That doesn’t align very well in my mind to homophobic jock. In some ways, I think Murphy is unfairly demonizing people who participate in sports.

Also: Sue Sylvester didn’t make an appearance (unless she popped up during one of the many songs I had to fast forward through). I suppose they didn’t want anyone to outshine Gaga’s music.

Anyway, putting the wretched songs aside (sorry, Gaga fans — no offense), last night’s show was a mess. Rachel Berry came out to her mother, and Shelby — in turn — embraced Berry as her daughter by making her a Gaga outfit, only to push her away again for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me other than the fact that they couldn’t afford Idina Menzel for another few episodes. In the end, though, Rachel got to perform a duet with her mother, the aforementioned “Poker Face,” which must have been 17 minutes long (granted, it was easily the best number of the night).

Meanwhile, the theatricality subplot played into Kurt and Finn’s relationship after Finn’s mom moved in with Kurt’s dad, forcing Kurt and Finn to share a room. I had some major issues with that subplot, to be honest. Finn, to an extent, had a point: I wouldn’t want to live in that room, either (straight or gay, that bedroom was hideous), and if I were Finn I might feel uncomfortable living with someone who had a long-time unreciprocated crush on me, too, whether he was gay or straight. Let’s be honest: Kurt did spend the first half of the season obsessing/stalking/preying over Finn. That said: Finn did cross the line with the “faggy” comment, and Kurt’s dad delivered a really nice (but hokey) lecture that should’ve been delivered to every high-school asshole in the nation. In 1991. Or maybe 2002. However, the “faggy” comment was way out of character for Finn, and the writers did a disservice to that character by forcing that on him. At any rate, in the end, Finn made amends by wearing a shower curtain dress and threatening to beat up the jocks on behalf of Kurt. Because he couldn’t stand up for Kurt dressed as himself? That was kind of cheap and lazy. Also, rather than preaching to the choir, maybe Ryan Murphy should use his soapbox to engage his audience, instead?

Did I mention there were KISS numbers? The dudes, because they didn’t want to perform Lady Gaga numbers (because Gaga is emasculating? Can’t handle the feminine aggression?), decided to dress up as the Knights in Satan’s Service. When the pyrotechnics started bursting from the stage of a high-school auditorium I nearly lost my shit. Really. And I fucking knew that they’d pull out “Beth;” I just fucking knew it. God, I hate that song, which is responsible for the name of 25 percent of all midwestern/southern females born in 1976-1977.

Finally, I’m not going to get into Tina’s minor Twilight subplot because I’m just not. And I don’t even know what to make of “Bad Romance.” Lady Gaga is so autotuned and the cast during that number was so autotuned that I could barely tell the difference between Gaga’s rendition and Glee’s rendition. But I’ll say this: Santana fucking rocked it.

Now, someone explain to me why that song makes me feel like I’m watching a Tool video at 3 a.m. in a pitch dark room?

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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