Sunday, March 20, 2011

Talking Points Blog 6: Glee


Glee is a show about a group of misfits that join together in a glee club.  I am a big fan of the show and watch it regularly so it tough to check myself out of the ‘fan’ part and analyze it.  I connect this show to Grinner’s article that showed the SCWAMP ideology.  It does enforce a lot of the pieces but challenges them.  A majority of the characters are straight, but Kurt is a prominent gay character.  He is fairly stereotypical and likes designer clothes.  He deals directly with a bullying situation in the episodes we saw.  One of the interesting things is that it deals seriously with Kurt’s situation but the females get a different treatment.  Santana’s character has experimented with Brittany but it is not really a focus, until two weeks ago, but I won’t spoil it.   Also we have yet to see Rachel’s two gay dads.  That could be an interesting dynamic but it is almost ignored. Straightness is still seen as the norm.
                The characters don’t really talk about religion in these particular episodes.  It is assumed to be Christian though as the wedding is a traditional wedding.  There is an episode in which religion is dealt with and explored, but even there Christianity seems to be the norm.  Surprisingly two of the main characters Rachel and Puck are Jewish.
                Whiteness is also enforced as most of the characters are white.  There is one African American character and a few of other minorities.  This I wonder if it is realistic to the setting.  Lima, Ohio seems to be a small town that may not have much diversity.  Mercedes is an interesting character as she seems to have the big voice and diva attitude that is sometimes attributed to an African American female in pop culture.  While being a diverse character she is still portraying a stereotype.
                There is a boy in a wheelchair that deals with a lot of hardships surrounding his wheelchair.  This is dealt with a bit more in the focus in other episodes, but he is portrayed as someone who always needs help.  I do think that this is one of the few portrayals of a disabled person in a television show.  I compare this to Jimmy in Degrassi.  Although he is now known as Drake, he was a teenager who got shot and paralyzed and spent the rest of his high school life in a wheel chair.  He deals with changing his dreams in a different light. 
                Also all the characters are American but I think that is realistic as it takes place in America.  Santana is Latina so it would be interesting to see more of her and others heritages.  Much of the music they choose is American or British groups that made it big in America. In the music they can display the American dominant ideology.
                Lastly maleness is dominant.  Kurt being feminine is seen as a weakness.  The male leads dominate in their relationships.  The cheerleaders are dumbed down.  Even Tina falls into this.  Rachel is the lead female and is constantly shown as confident and determined and sometimes a bit cocky.  Still she falls in love with Finn and almost loses that piece of her.  Mercedes is a strong female character and is a little insecure but confident. 
                Glee is a show that I enjoy watching and it is interesting to think of it enforcing these ideas.  I still think that it is showing a lot of differences and displaying them in a unique way but it is showing the dominant ideology.  One of my favorite things of the show is the music, but even that can show the dominant ideology.
Questions to share:  Is there any comparisons you can make between Glee and Degrassi, in how characters are portrayed?
                                       Is there a way to accurately portray differen


  1. I think I need to start watching Degrassi. :)

  2. Degrassi is a great show! I think it does relate to Glee in many ways such as the dominant discourse and ideology. I think Degrassi is also a great show for teenagers and for them to relate to. I have watched that show since my adolescent years!

  3. Melissa,
    i think that you have made some great connections, you analyzed the three episodes very well, you also made some things from the show more cleaer for me since I only catch it sometimes on tv!