A must-read: Thoughtful essay about race and the Fox series “Glee”

The cast of the Fox TV series "Glee."

Erin and I have come to love “Glee!,” the Fox TV series about a group of outcast students who join their high school glee club (remember how glee club people were always the nerds?). We enjoyed the sneak preview premier, which was shown last fall, and then waited with great anticipation for the season to start this spring. After several shows, though, we started to tune out the outrageous stupidity of some of the characters (faking a pregnancy to hold on to a husband; lying about the father of a pregnancy to hold on to a boyfriend) even though we really liked the dancing and singing, which are top-notch every week.

So we blew it off for a few weeks, then came back to it again one week and got re-hooked by the musical numbers all over again. The first season just ended and did a pretty good job of tying up loose ends, we thought. It also left unresolved the plotline of the evil cheerleader’s coach who wants to get the teacher who’s the glee club sponsor fired.

I just read a very good, thoughtful and laser-focused essay by Sylvie Kim of The Antisocial Ladder, which was also re-posted on Hyphen’s excellent blog, that I think everyone should read.

I’ve been thinking about blogging about the show too, because of its multicultural rainbow of characters (black, gay, wheelchair-abled, Asian, blonde, jock, Hispanic, and yes, nerds), and haven’t gotten to it.

I still might, because like Sylvie, Erin and I both would have wanted the one Asian character, played by Jenna Ushkowitz, to get more screen time and performance time (Tina was in one subplot when she had a crush on wheelchair-bound Artie, played by Kevin McHale). And the other Asian character, a kid played by Harry Shum Jr. was so invisible he could have not been on the show and I wouldn’t have missed him. I only noticed him in some of the group dance sequences.

But I may wait until April, when the next season starts up. I can hardly wait!

Here’s an excerpt from one of the episodes. You can see entire shows and clips on Hulu.com:

Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A must-read: Thoughtful essay about race and the Fox series “Glee”

  1. sk says:

    Thanks for the props, Gil!

  2. pgee says:

    i really love Glee myself. i watch the episodes with such glee* but a few episodes ago, the part, where Tina, the Asian Am. girl, said “other Asian kid” with such… roll of the eyes annoyance.. i died a little inside. glee tries, but just having a diverse cast isn’t enough. hope they step it up next season!

  3. Gil Asakawa says:

    Sylvia makes that point too, on Antisocial Ladder. Being diverse isn’t enough. But the musical segments are so enjoyable, I’ve been willing to put up with some lapses in social awareness (not to mention some stupid plot lines) to tune in. I’m with you and Sylvie, and hope next season puts it all together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *