Guest Post From Satah: Glee: The Substitute

This is a guest post from satah. satah, more commonly known as emily swashbuckle, is a canadian cardigan aficionado. her life goals include “be sherlock holmes” and “reference harry potter until people start to visibly cringe at the words ‘well, as dumbledore said in goblet of fire…'”. she tumbls vociferously at eating dictionaries and never prepares tea properly. (I would also note that her Twitter is pretty damn funny.)

Sue is bored of being friends with Will! Which is great, because so am I.

Will Schuester gets sick and substitute teacher Holly Holiday (played by the lovely Gwenyth Paltrow) swoops—er, slides—into New Directions full of taco field trips and references to smoking pot. She Dead Poets Societies it right on up in there, replacing “oh captain, my captain” with “oh chicago, my chicago”. She wins over the glee club by singing Cee-Lo and committing the revolutionary act of actually listening to the students. I see you driving ’round town with Conjunction Junction, and I’m like, “A strong, independent woman? IN MY GLEE?”

But luckily, the status quo is upheld! Ms. Holiday is yet another addition to a long list of women with Emotional Problems who have come to Will “Informed Ability” Schuester for help (seriously, can anyone point to a single moment in the series where Will’s fabled amazing teaching abilities actually show in his behaviour?). She’s spontaneous and fun because once someone punched her in the face and she’s scared of commitment! Oh, woe! How will she ever find a husband whose life she can ruin with her inevitable womanly crazy, like every other lady on this show?!

Which, speaking of womanly crazy, Lindsay Lohan: CRAZY, RIGHT? How many times has she been in rehab?! What a crazy person! I love it when people need serious help, it really cracks me up. I wish that every single female celebrity would have severe emotional trauma and fall into substance abuse, just to have something to talk about in Spanish class.

And Teri’s on medication for depression and anxiety! Which is good, because I really want good things for her. I realize that I’m supposed to hate Teri. Her babying of poor sicky Willfayse crossed the line into creepy, yeah, and he lapped it right up. Perhaps she shouldn’t have been so angry to walk in on him sitting with another woman, but I don’t understand how the way he handled it makes him the good person in the situation. Get out, never come back, how dare you possibly still care for me even though we only divorced a few episodes ago?

Will Schuester is one of the most selfish characters I have ever had the misfortune to shove into my eyes on a weekly basis. “What is that, Teri? You JUST said you still love me, like TWO DAYS ago? Well then YEAH, let’s have sex! There’s no way this could have emotional repercussions… for me.”

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the point of the nutrition plotline was? It didn’t have any moral at all, good or bad. It was so awkwardly done. I feel that it was supposed to be important enough to warrant mentioning, but… what am I supposed to mention, exactly? Was it supposed to be a parody of “AHH THE OBESE CHILDREN!!”, or an agreement? I have no idea. So. Moving on, I guess.

Normally, I adore Kurt, but this episode. WOWEE. He indulged in some nice casual racism by deciding that Mercedes should totes date this one dude, which—he’s black, so you have all of the things in common, right? Mercifully, Mercedes called him out: “Why him? It has nothing to do with the fact that he’s one of the five black dudes at this school?” And then at the end, she decides Kurt was right and goes for it. SUGGESTED AD CAMPAIGN FOR GLEE: remember that one time you liked what we did? We take it back!

Kurt managed to get in lots of nice jabs to her this week: “You are substituting food for love, Mercedes, and more importantly, you’re substituting me for a boyfriend.” Careful with that food-shaming trope, Kurt, it’s an antique! This is great comment over-all because not only does it posit that one absolutely needs to be in a relationship, it shows that it’s totally unreasonable for Mercedes to be upset that her best friend ditched her twice in one week for Rich Boy In A Uniform (people in this show really have a thing for their uniforms).

For a show that’s been honoured time and time again for its depiction of gayness, I am continually unimpressed. Let’s just do a quick recap on the gay characters: rich, white, fashionable brunette man who is into showtunes and divas (x2); violent, in the closet bully who issues terrifying death threats in the halls (x1); casually bisexual cheerleader girl (x2). We can also take stock of the topics we have seen the two out gay dudes discuss: singing, being gay, being bullied for being gay, gay marriage, vogue magazine. Oh, but one of them likes sports, too! Which one? I don’t know! I’ve been watching this show since the first season premiere and I literally can’t tell these characters apart!

I’m not trying to do what the show did during the dinner scene, which had seriously uncomfortable tones of “You can be gay, BUT NOT TOO GAY!” I adore Kurt, and I am very pleased that he now has a love interest, but I was really looking forward to having another gay character on the show that wasn’t… you know… Kurt, in Harry Potter’s body. Maybe I haven’t given Blaine enough time—maybe this isn’t a Cat in the Hat situation and they aren’t actually just Gay 1 and Gay 2—but as it stands, I’m really disappointed.

Aaand, finally… for twelve years, I lived with a parent who has bipolar disorder. You BET I was chortling when Ms. Holiday asked her students to practice their “bipolar rants”! HA! Bipolar people, AM I RIGHT? They so wacky! The suicide rate of bipolar people is said to be thirty times higher than average! THE LAUGHS: will they ever stop? You decide!

Sue suggested that Will sell himself on Craigslist in order to pay for repairs to her car, and I would like to place an ad as well. MISSED CONNECTION: you were a fun, campy, musical romp of highschool tv shows, full of stereotypes and lampshade hangings; I was the girl screaming “I HATE YOU, WILL SCHUESTER!” at my laptop. I looked away for a few episodes and by the time I looked back, the only thing in your chair was a clusterfuck of rage-inducing, autotuned fail. I dunno if you left, or if you just started taking yourself too seriously, but either way… I kinda miss you.