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Glee: My Rapid-Fire Catch-Up

Alright, so I’ve gotten behind on my Glee. I moved. And then it was Christmas. And, to be real with you, I don’t actually have television. So I understand that there are five, maybe six Glee episodes I haven’t commented on. But have no fear, readers. I spent the entire Super Bowl ignoring the game and the insipid Halftime Show and watching every episode I have missed and I am now completely up-to-date. And because commenting on every episode in depth would be unbearably boring for everyone except for me, I’m just going to hit you with Twitter-sized reviews of each episode I’ve missed.

“The Substitute”: Who knew an injection of shiny hard plastic (Gwyneth Paltrow) would revitalize Glee? Yay! The show makes fun of itself. "Umbrella"/"Singin' in the Rain" mash-up was boss.

“Furt”: Dancing wedding was magic, if ripped-off. I cried. Finn’s song for Kurt was equally magic. I cried again. Carol Burnett storyline was boring except for “Ohio”.

“Special Education”: Rachel being a diva is Rachel at her best. Evita song was exactly what Rachel and Kurt needed to sing. Sectional performances were spectacular. Dog days really are over!

“A Very Glee Christmas”: Really good filler episode. Kurt/Blaine duet was justified in its hype. Grinch storyline was hilarious. I still don’t like new girl. Shu is being an adult, thank God.

“The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle”: Everything was great except the music. Finn returning to leadership makes me happy. Cannon was funnily far-fetched. Why the kiss at the end? Still don’t like new girl.

“Silly Little Love Songs”: High school love heptagons are funny. Remember that these are hormonal teens? Blaine is too perfect. New girl is growing on me. “Firework” shows: Rachel Berry > Katy Perry.

But since I’ve seen a lot of episodes in rapid succession, I thought I’d also comment on the bullying theme. I was super hesitant when it was announced that Glee would be addressing bullying this season, and my fears seemed well-founded when the show almost messed it up immediately. Making the homophobe a repressed homosexual is convenient and satisfying but teaches the wrong message, namely, that bullying is only ever caused by jealousy or repressed desire as opposed to ingrained and sometimes systemic hatred. And the seriousness of the storyline—Korofsky tells Kurt he’s going to kill him—seemed too much for the show to handle. But the fact that everyone forcefully stepped up on Kurt’s behalf—Mr. Schu, Sue Sylvester, Kurt’s parents, Korofsky’s parents—and still nothing changed until Kurt transferred schools demonstrates the complexity of this issue, that it doesn’t go away, that school systems are frequently geared towards appeasing the bully rather than protecting the bullied. I also appreciate that the show hasn’t let the story drop; the members of New Directions still stand up for Kurt and make Korofsky certain that his bullying of Kurt would never be okay. And even being forced to participate in the Glee Club—something he secretly enjoyed—hasn’t changed Korofsky’s behavior. In some ways, I think it takes a show like Glee, where all problems are solved through singing, to address bullying as a problem that doesn’t disappear when confronted with happiness and togetherness and Journey. I’m impressed with Glee for addressing the bullying issued and for also making sure it hasn’t bitten off more than it can chew.

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