OPINION: Dear Anti-Gay, Anti-'Glee' Critics: Watch the Show First, or Shut Up
Let me start by saying this: I may recap "Glee" here on Yidio, but I can't say I'm the biggest fan of the show in its current form. What started as a brilliant, ironic, self-aware comedy has become more of a melodrama lately, one that takes itself far more seriously than any musical probably should.
Thus, I read any criticism of the show with an open mind: it has its flaws, and those flaws can be discussed by any critics who choose to approach them.
However, the recent backlash from conservative, anti-gay critics has irked me. Not because of their general close-mindedness or hatred of an already oppressed group, but because it's becoming very clear that they don't even watch the show before criticizing it.
Case in point: conservative media critic Dan Gainor told ABCnews.com that the 90-minute "Born This Way" episode was "Ryan Murphy's latest depraved initiative to promote his gay agenda." He went on to say that the show's McKinley High is the "gayest high school in the history of mankind," and "a high school most parents would not want to send their kids to."
As to the "gay agenda" comment, let's clear something up about the "Born This Way" episode: it's true that the episode featured gay themes (Kurt returned to McKinley and confronted Karovsky, who is now dating Santana so that the two can cover up their sexualities), but the real focus was accepting who you are. The episode gave equal focus to Rachel's consideration of a nose job, Emma's struggles with her OCD, and Quinn's insecurities about her former (fat, pimpled, sans-rhinoplasty) self. If Gainor even watched the episode at all (his comments were released before it aired), he had to have ignored at least half of the storyline, if not more.
Those who oppose homosexuality and "Glee" (such as "SNL" alum Victoria Jackson) seem to feel that since it's one of the most popular shows on television, any mention of homosexuality on the show is pushing an agenda. But they're putting the chicken before the egg (or the egg before the chicken), seeing as "Glee" has featured gay themes and storylines since the very beginning. Kurt has been here all along, it's only because he became a fan favorite and won a Golden Globe that he might be featured more now. There are clearly many fans of the show who identify with gay characters (of which there is a serious shortage in primetime TV), so now there are more of them. That's just good marketing.
As to the "gayest high school in the history of mankind" comment...I'm sorry, I don't have much to say except that it's absurd. There are now three McKinley students on the show who are gay (Kurt, Santana and Karofsky), and one student from Dalton (Blaine). Even if you include Blaine in there, that's four gay students (four and a half if you count Brittany) out of an entire high school. Guess what, Gainor? There were more than that at your school, I guarantee it.
All of this "gay agenda" fuss is unnecessary. The ridiculousness of the idea that a show would be attempting to turn the youth of America gay aside, there's a simple, logical explanation here: I might be making some unfair assumptions, but considering that this show is centered around a singing, dancing glee club, wouldn't it make sense that some of the characters are gay? It's honestly a little unrealistic that only one of the New Directions men is...
All that being said, Gainor did get one thing right: I don't think McKinley would be a school that parents would want to send their kids to. Not only is it seemingly overrun with bullying (a good deal of it from the cheerleading coach), but they seem to misallocate a LOT of their budget toward this glee club with less than 15 members. They have full sets and costumes every week for performances in front of less than 20 people. The electricity bill alone for all those lights should be through the roof.