TV: The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Prom-asaurus” Episode.

 

Three episodes before the end of the season, the issue of Brittany’s class presidency is finally addressed, because she the show seems to have forgotten she was elected earlier in the season. Brittany addresses this herself, when she says she’s been a bit out of the loop this year, and “even stopped speaking” for a period.

In her first prom committee meeting, for which the board has sent Brittany ten prior memos, she fires the team and monopolises the choosing of the theme (she did like the unicorns featured in the diorama for the original Castle in the Sky theme): dinosaurs.

When explaining her choices to New Directions, she compares her presidency to the corrupt nature of the U.S. government, and is determined hers won’t turn out that way. She also imposes a ban on hair gel, sending Blaine into meltdown!

Last year, Kurt was humiliatingly crowned prom queen, a memory he still struggles with in this episode. It seems Glee has learned nothing from the tokenisation of gay people as somehow not being of the gender they identify as, as Brittany is nominated as prom king. Maybe it’s that undercut that had people confused…

Also troublingly, the show pitted the two “disabled” girls, Becky and Quinn, against each other. Becky was sure she’d get a nomination as prom queen, but when Quinn gets one in place of her, Coach Sylvester tells her there’s only room for one “sympathy vote”. Helen Mirren’s voice (shoutout to The Queen) makes another cameo as Becky’s inner monologue, adding to the “difference” between her and the other characters on the show. (That Quinn manages to walk at the prom after months of intense physical therapy widens this gap.)

Becky wonders why no one realises that not all prom queens “have to look the same; they can be different.”

And Glee tries to tie Becky’s concerns up nicely in a bow of equality with Puck crowning her “the anti-prom queen” and the boys of New Directions crooning One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”.

Related: The Underlying Message in Glee’s “I Am Unicorn” Episode.

Glee Gets Down on Friday at the Prom.

Image via Gleerific News Stop.

TV: The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Yes/No” Episode.

 

Wow, where do I start? Last night’s episode of Glee focusing on Becky’s newfound interest in Artie and Mr. Shue asking Emma to marry him was one of the most offensive yet.

Let’s begin with Becky: I found it weird that Becky’s internal monologue was spoken in a British accent (Helen Mirren’s to be exact). She claims that it’s her head and she can sound however she wants, but how many “abled” characters have a different voice in their heads and make that justification for it? I though it was singling Becky out because of her disability.

She and Artie go on a date and, at first, Artie feels uncomfortable with it, but begins to get to know and like Becky. It came across as platonic on Artie’s end, but his fellow glee clubbers gave him the third degree about what kind of message he was giving Becky.

They urged him not to lead Becky on or give her the wrong idea, and Artie called them out on their hypocritical ways: “You guys talk a good game” about acceptance, but at the end of the day, they’re just as narrow minded as the rest of McKinley High, which pretty much sums up Glee. They think just because they’ve got black and Asian characters and characters in wheelchairs and with Down’s syndrome and characters who are gay they’re being “inclusive”, but really, they show is just using them as token gestures.

Take Kurt, for example: he hasn’t been the focus of many storylines of late, and the writers seem to just slot him in to the background. In the opening scene, Mercedes and Sam channel Sandy and Danny of Grease, while the rest of the glee club stand around imploring them to “tell me more, tell me more”. Kurt belongs to the girls’ group in this instance while his equally gay boyfriend, Blaine, is hanging with the boys on the bleachers. Furthermore, when Puck, Finn and Blaine act as backup singers to Artie, Will and Mike in their rendition of “Moves Like Jagger”, mashed up with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, Kurt is nowhere to be seen. Is it because he’s not sexy or masculine enough? Let’s remember that this isn’t the first time Glee has ostracised Kurt from the gender group he belongs to because of his sexuality. Didn’t Glee get the memo: gender and sexuality are not the same thing.

But back to Becky: when Artie takes into consideration what the rest of New Directions are trying to tell him, he asks Coach Sue, of all people, for advice.

It is revealed that Becky sent Artie a sexy photo and he feels weird about it. Sue asks if he felt the same when Brittany, no doubt, sent him similar pictures of herself. Artie replies no, but those were different circumstances. So even Artie, a man with disabilities himself, thinks someone with Down’s can’t be sexy. Hypocritical, much?

The other storyline driving this episode is Will and Emma’s relationship being taken to the next level in the form of marriage. Emma is so desperate for Will to propose that she fantasises about doing it herself. Funnily enough, Coach Beiste and Sue become her bridesmaids in the dream sequence, wearing Princess Eugenie and Beatrice’s royal wedding hats, respectively. They called Kate Middleton “Waity Katie” and I think that’s what the writers were playing into with Emma’s patient wait for Will to propose.

Will finally decides to propose and asks Finn to be his best man as apparently he has no grown up friends and because he thinks Finn has showed him what it means to be a good man. Pah!

Finn is the whiniest, most cowardly and simpering character on the show! He feels sorry for himself, has an unrealistic idea of what Rachel and women in general should be, is (or has been) embarrassed by Kurt’s sexuality and only stands up for those he loves after the fact. He also thinks that joining the army will fill the void that college football has left and make him more of a man.

To further illustrate Finn’s insecurity, he decides to ask Rachel to marry him because he’s got nothing else going for him!

I was also a bit disturbed by Sam’s inclusion in the synchronised swimming team, called the “Guppies” and lead by bronze Olympic medalist, Roz Washington, who is of African American descent. She also comments that Sam’s “trouty mouth” is one she’s never seen on a white kid. This, in addition to Becky’s dig at the possibility of dating Mike Chang (“I’m no rice queen”), makes “Yes/No” one of the worst episodes of Glee yet.

Related: Glee’s “Sexy” Review.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Duets” Episode.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” Episode.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Furt” Episode.

Image via The Dam Nation.

“With a Gun Between Her Legs,” Take 2.

 

From “Is Female-on-Male Violence on the Rise?” by Lynn Harris:

“… ‘we are fascinated by girls’ and women’s violence’. For those who like to see womenAngelina Jolie, even Helen Mirrenwielding serious, even heretofore forbidden, power, it’s hot. For those who fear women in that role, it’s… not. ‘For all the increased tolerance, even celebration, of aggressive women in pop culture, in daily life there’s still a lot of disapproval of women even speaking up at meetings or asking for a raise, let alone committing a physically aggressive act,’…”

Related: “With a Gun Between Her Legs”Why “Strong” (AKA “Sexy” Whilst Being “Strong”) Female Characters Are Bad for Women.

Elsewhere: [Salon] Is Female-on-Male Violence on the Rise?

On the (Rest of the) Net.

A new discovery of mine, Millennials Mag, publishes quirky, up-to-the-minute features on everything from Mad Men to youth crises to Lindsay Lohan. In fact, here’s one on Lindsay, as well as the hilarious “Bylines & Boyfriends” and “The Myth of the Plugged In Millennial”:

“Do you find that you have friends your age who still don’t understand blogs/blogging? And that it’s actual work/writing?… In a way it’s like, really dispiriting, because I have friends who still can’t understand why I’m a journalism major if I don’t want to work for The New York Times… Like I have a friend who wants to be a fashion blogger, but told me she would never get a Twitter account… Well they will clearly never be a blogger…”

Gah! I guess I’ll never be a blogger then, either. Oh wait, I am! Twitter Schmitter (Shitter?).

Rachel Hills discusses the (pop) cultural virtues of Sweet Valley High, and how Gossip Girl relates to real-life. I particularly like the latter, as it deals with the breakdown of friendships, which is something I’m dealing with at the moment. Hills says:

“… When I think about my own anger, about grudges I’ve been unable to let go of, often it has little to do with the original offence. Instead, it’s about a residual feeling I can’t get rid of, a new framework I’ve built up in my head…”

Halloween is just around the corner (more on that to come later today/next week), and Gala Darling ventured to the 20th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Check out the dressed-up dogs that were out in full force. And while you’re there, see her case for adopting rescue animals.

Britney Spears, now Miley Cyrus: Eat the Damn Cake writes about how growing up = “Girls, Take Off Most of Your Clothes”.

Betty Talk’s musings on “Western Feminism & Global Gender Justice” harkens back to the Feminism Has Failed debate I attended about a month ago, in that “Western feminists are characterised by being somewhat ethnocentric,” and trying to prevent genital mutilation in some lesser-developed parts of the world, for example, is a little bit ignorant when such societies have “practised these customs for centuries”.

Becky Sharper, on The Pursuit of Harpyness, discusses The Guardian journalist Sarah Churchwell’s rant on Bridget Jones and how the myth of the single girl stereotype affects actual single girls.

Published two years ago, Racialicious’s Latoya Peterson ponders “The Not Rape Epidemic” in the form of her own sexual assault when she was fourteen. Powerful stuff.

MamaMia defends Helen Mirren’s right to bare breasts. When you look that good at 64, all I have to say is: you go, girl!

Mad Men’s Betty Francis (nee Draper) exemplifies the cycle of abuse on Tiger Beatdown.

Is curvy Christina Hendricks getting the Kate Winslet treatment?

The male motivational power of the pinup.

In a similar vein, the consensus circulating around the blogosphere is that Hugh Hefner is to blame for all that is wrong in the world today, which is an issue I beg to differ on, however it’s not all Playmates and flamingos at the Playboy Mansion, either, according to The Washington Times.

Following on from Rachel Hills’ post on intersectionality, Hoyden About Town profiles the “squishy bits” of “Intersectionality and Privilege”.

It has never been a better time to be an out-and-proud gay man, in my opinion. This is evidenced by all my straight and single friends who are also desperate and dateless (myself included!), while my gay friends flourish in the dating world, with the added bonus of the iPhone app Grindr. If only the straight folk had an online dating service to present potential suitors to usoh wait, we do. It’s called online dating, which still has a stigma attached to it (if the disappearance and suspected murder of Zara Baker, whose stepmotherwhom her father met onlineis a suspect, is anything to go by), the likes of which Grindr has never seen.