ellydash: (sue is forever judging you)
[personal profile] ellydash

I had this moment while watching tonight's episode where I was staring at Puck's hideous hair and the way it looks like it's trying to run away from his scalp but can't quite manage it. And I realized Puck's hair sort of has a similar relationship with his scalp to the relationship I have with Glee. I'd probably have lower blood pressure on Tuesdays if I just stopped watching, but all I can seem to manage are these little curls of rebellion in the form of posting angry gifs on tumblr.

The thing is, I'm honestly not going to quit this show, not unless they put something on air that exceeds Funeral's manipulative triggering jackpot. (This episode was unbelievably angering, but for me, it still doesn't reach the record nadir that Funeral set.) When Glee's good, it's good; when it's funny, it's immensely hilarious, and when it hits the right emotional buttons, it hits them more effectively then just about any other show on television. It engages with issues and debates and characters that matter to me, in ways very few other shows on TV seem interested in doing, even if that engagement is often seriously messed-up and rage-inducing. At least for me, I don't want to spend every Tuesday post-episode shouting into my computer GLEE, YOU ARE A FACTORY OF ANGER, BUT I'LL STILL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK. I'd much rather talk about enjoyable moments.

But this week? Fuck it. Just, fuck it. GLEE, YOU ARE A FACTORY OF ANGER.

Before I yell a lot about Finn Hudson, here are six things I liked:

1) Sugar’s entire existence. The unicorn move was adorable, but my favorite moment? Sugar taking the opportunity to hug Mercedes while Santana was hugging Finn, and Mercedes's WTF face. Hands down the best exchange of the night.

2) Santana. I projected my little queer heart out onto her tonight, so my reactions to her aren't in any way objective, but the way she kissed Brittany's cheek on camera and drew a heart around her check box on the ballot made me so, so happy.



There's so many stories just in these two screencaps. Eric Stoltz, you guys. Sue Sylvester has Eric Stoltz in her booty call book. Eric Stoltz has also apparently changed his number multiple times, but nobody gets away from one Sue Sylvester. And I guess Sue used the Soviet embassy as her go-between for hookups with Putin, before she managed to score his home phone number. I also like to think that the reason there's a number for an all night pizza delivery next to Stephen "Train Wreck" Baldwin's name is because Stephen Baldwin is now delivering pizza in Lima, Ohio. (Notice the lack of number for him.)

5) Mercedes was the first one of the girls to speak up for Santana in the hallway. How much did I love that? A whole lot. ♥____♥


And now, rage time:

You know that pure heart of Will Schuester's? The one that's just like Jean's? IT IS IN REALITY THE WORST HEART. THE WORST. Even setting aside the fact that he let Kurt get beat up on a regular basis for years, not once hauling any of those kids into Figgins's office like he did Santana, his reframing of the whole situation was unbelievably offensive. I know Will wasn't actually present for Finn's outing, but having him say that "[Santana] thought the whole thing was Finn's fault" (no, you asshole, she didn't think it; it was Finn's fault) and that Santana "hit Finn unprovoked" - I don't care if he doesn't know the whole story, MAYBE, I DON'T KNOW, TALK TO SANTANA AND HEAR WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED? Oh, my God. If I thought this was actually intentional writing, I'd be impressed, because it's phenomenally passive-aggressive and redirective, and it is actually a pretty realistic depiction of one of the ways privilege gets deployed, but NOPE, WILL IS A GOOD MAN AND FINN IS A HERO AND HE HAS A PURE HEART, TOO.

Finn blackmailing Santana into coming back to ND for his I'm Totally Not a Homophobe project by not only telling her he'd get her suspended if she didn't, but also saying he's worried about her killing herself if she isn't more honest about who she is - that was some of the most offensive shit I've heard on a show that is broadly, generously offensive in many ways every week. Never mind letting Santana come to terms with her sexuality and her anger on her own terms, Finn Hudson knows what's best, and he's going to push her out of the closet whether she likes it or not! Which is good, because she needs a push from a straight white cis male who clearly understands her needs! I just – look, last week he took away her right to come out the way she wanted. He took that away from her. And this week he not only makes her coming out process all about him, he justifies his own actions by saying they’re helping save her life, WHEN HE WAS THE ONE WHO ENDANGERED HER IN THE FIRST PLACE BY OUTING HER. FUCK.

And then, the rancid cherry on the rotting cake: the writers have Santana hug Finn, and thank him for what he’s done for her. So a storyline that should’ve ideally had Brittany as its secondary character, because she’s Santana’s goddamned girlfriend, has Finn Hudson instead! This is an important story, and therefore we need a straight white cis male character to validate its importance.

Other things I really want to talk about with you guys in the comments but won't elaborate on too much here, because this is already approaching a ridiculous length:
  • Puck and Quinn. Appreciate that at least one person on the show is expressing concern for Quinn (even if he did say he’d rather fuck a beehive than her – and wow, did that speech make me angry); appreciate that the show seems to, at least on a superficial level, realize a baby or a guy isn’t going to fix what’s wrong with her; hate that once again, a male character is the one to point out to a female character that she needs help. I need to watch that scene again, but there was something about Quinn’s ready and accepting response that really sat poorly with me, almost like his “diagnosis” was the verbal equivalent of last season’s bad juju-eliminating haircut.
  • Sue, Beiste and Cooter. Cooter’s a dick, Shannon deserves better (although I get why she wants to “fight” for him, even though I wish she wouldn’t) and I could write a whole lot about the overt Sue/Quinn parallel in “Jolene,” which I thought was really interesting. And honestly, it’s a little sad, and indicative of how bad things are for her, that having Cooter in her life is the best thing that’s happened to Sue since she met Becky - because imo Cooter hasn’t shown us anything that indicates he’s any great shakes.
  • Will and Emma gave Shannon relationship advice. Let that sink in for a second. Will Schuester and Emma Pillsbury gave someone else relationship advice.

See you next week, Glee.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littlestclouds.livejournal.com
Again you sum up perfectly what bothers me about Glee. :P

I had this moment while watching tonight's episode where I was staring at Puck's hideous hair and the way it looks like it's trying to run away from his scalp but can't quite manage it. And I realized Puck's hair sort of has a similar relationship with his scalp to the relationship I have with Glee.

This entire paragraph is made of win.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littlestclouds.livejournal.com
Also this makes me kind of relieved, as a Karofsky fan, that Glee decided not to show Karofsky's coming out. >:|

Date: 2011-12-01 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
You know, I was thinking about this yesterday, and I wonder if the show wouldn't have done a better job if they'd decided to show Karofsky coming out, because so much of the problematic stuff that happened on Tuesday's episode seems bound up in gender as well as sexuality. Male sexuality on this show, whether hetero or queer, seems to get much more respect and positive attention. I mean, since it's Glee, I imagine they would've messed it up somehow (and goodness knows they stumbled a huge amount with not addressing some of the more problematic stuff they did with Karofsky), but I'd be willing to bet it'd be at least slightly less offensive then what we saw with Santana.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burn-to-emerge.livejournal.com
I had this moment while watching tonight's episode where I was staring at Puck's hideous hair and the way it looks like it's trying to run away from his scalp but can't quite manage it. And I realized Puck's hair sort of has a similar relationship with his scalp to the relationship I have with Glee. I'd probably have lower blood pressure on Tuesdays if I just stopped watching, but all I can seem to manage are these little curls of rebellion in the form of posting angry gifs on tumblr.


I could literally write pages on how angry this episode made me. Just-- everything you said about Finn. The fact that the show didn't even acknowledge what Finn did in the previous episode, even to excuse it. It might as well not have happened, for all the characters talked about it in this episode. The fact that Santana had no agency, except for the scene where she comes out to her grandmother. Other than that, Constant Craving, and the small scene right before I Kissed a Girl (ugh), all of the scenes that involved her and were about her getting outed weren't about her at all. They were about Finn and how he felt, or about the girls.... making some point... with I Kissed a Girl. I had a lot of problems with the last episode, but the way I could feel Santana's pain in the final scenes was extremely well done. This episode's main storyline was 10% about her pain and 90% about what a great guy Finn is.

And Brittany! The extent of her reaction to her girlfriend being outed was "Santana is normal". Which is an amazing line, don't get me wrong, but it's one line, and actually less than both Quinn and Rachel said about the situation in the same scene. Just.... how does one write a storyline like this? The mind boggles.


I happen to think Shelby is legitimately the worst, and Quinn is clearly messed up. But that said, it made me really uncomfortable that Puck was the one to lecture both Quinn and Shelby for not being "sane" enough, or "courageous" enough. I hate this storyline no matter what, but if Glee let all three characters be hot messes, it would work a lot better than Saint Puck Fixes the High Maintenance and Hysterical Women.

Kurt, Blaine, Rachel:

I liked that Perfect was well meaning, but also kind of self absorbed. I would rather Santana have accepted that performance than Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, but I thought it rang true that 1) they got a little caught up in their own egos during the performance, and 2) that Santana wasn't buying it. That said, I could do without the homophobic jokes, Glee. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

The NYADA plotline continues to be the worst. I know realism isn't Glee's strong suit, but really, if Kurt doesn't get into NYADA, he apparently can't go to New York? I'm also not sure how I feel about the ballot stuffing and the suspension. I do think it was in-character for Kurt to contemplate cheating, and for Rachel to actually end up doing it, but something about the fact that Kurt didn't end up cheating, but Rachel did, kind of made me uncomfortable. But perhaps I'm just oversensitive because of all the sexism going on in the rest of the episode.


Jolene was so hot, y'all. But Cooter is really bland at best, and I hate that they're framing it as Beiste and Sue fighting over him, with no sense of awareness on the show's part that he isn't worth it, or that maybe it's not Beiste who needs to win him back, or Sue that's the other woman, but that Cooter is just kind of a dick.

Ending on a positive note, here! Sugar is actually the greatest. The actress is doing a great job with the little background moments, and I can see her fitting into ND so well.

Date: 2011-12-01 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
Two days later, and I'm still totally livid about this. It's not even that Finn did what he did, which - I could absolutely buy a 17 or 18-year-old kid who outed one of his friends and then convinced himself he was doing the right thing by pushing her further out of the closet. That isn't at all unbelievable, imo; it's even realistic, and if presented in the right context, a somewhat nuanced portrayal of heteronormative privilege. But the context was so fucked up, so insistent on convincing us that Finn was doing the right thing, so insistent on showing Finn, for heaven's sake, when this wasn't Finn's story at all!

This episode's main storyline was 10% about her pain and 90% about what a great guy Finn is.

Yes. Yes. This. And the fact that this is a pattern they've established (Funeral was maybe 25% about Sue's pain and 75% about what great guys Will and Finn are) is really, really disturbing.

something about the fact that Kurt didn't end up cheating, but Rachel did, kind of made me uncomfortable.

I don't think that discomfort is oversensitive at all - I felt the same way. (Or maybe we're just both oversensitive?) That Kurt backed down from cheating and that Rachel actually did it completely reinforced the episode's theme of "men can rationalize, women are irrational and make impulsive decisions that need to be corrected." I actually buy Rachel cheating - that in and of itself doesn't seem totally OOC - but coupled with everything else, it was gross.

Even though I don't like Sue and Shannon fighting over some guy who doesn't seem worth it, I really did love Jolene - Dot did a good job with the song, and the way they staged it was interesting. I think what's bothering me about Cooter (other than the fact that he treated Shannon really poorly) is that the underlying message with him is that Shannon and Sue are just grateful to be chased after or admired. Because, of course, they're women who present outside of the acceptable gender-spectrum boundaries - Shannon more than Sue, definitely, but I think it applies to both of them - and who are both lonely romantically, Sue's booty call book aside. I get the sense we're supposed to think Cooter's a catch for both of them largely because he doesn't find them unattractive. Again, this would be interesting, if it weren't presented without any sense of awareness whatsoever.

Sugar should stay forever.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kitsune13.livejournal.com

All I will add is that I was, er, grateful that show gave me a tiny breather in my frothing rage against Finn to remind me that I hate Emma too: I wanted to fucking slap her for snarking on Shannon's food. I'm am getting really sick of the way that her eating is some huge joke that three adult female (NATURALLY, AMIRITE LADIES) characters so far must make snotty remarks about.

Date: 2011-11-30 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nasimjoon.livejournal.com
Can I just say that I hate that their solution to not having Mercedes's storylines revolve around food is to have BEISTE'S? Cool it with the food humor, Glee.

Date: 2011-12-01 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
That cutting remark from Emma really stuck out to me, too. I keep thinking (and saying it over and over in these replies, lol) that so much of what this show does would be fascinating and nuanced if actually presented with awareness and in a different context. Emma's behavior, imo, absolutely falls under that umbrella. It makes a lot of sense that she'd be (I'll give her credit here and say 'unintentionally') cruel about Shannon's eating, because it clearly disturbs her own disordered sense of what's acceptable and what isn't. Here's a woman who eats without shame and without regard to what others think of how she eats, while Emma can't allow herself that freedom in any facet of her life. Lashing out at Shannon is about lashing out at herself. Which, of course, doesn't excuse it or make it okay, but it explains it a little.

She's played a much more limited role this season, but I'm surprised there doesn't ever seem to be much fandom discussion of Emma beyond "she needs to get away from Will." Emma seems to get a lot of slack, I think because it's so much easier to blame Will for everything (and because hardly anybody in this fandom wants to talk about the adults anymore; I can't say I much blame them). It'd be nice, though, to see people looking more critically at her character, not just as a victim, but as a person whose illness has prevented her from doing her job correctly in ways that are actively harmful to her students. Imagine if McKinley had a competent guidance counselor who could've helped Santana deal with Finn outing her? And then imagine Emma in that role. Nope. Can't do it.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elva-barr.livejournal.com
re: Puck. I'm conflicted. I didn't like the fact that Quinn's storyline was "I want sex" and then "I want baby" and then "I don't know what I want, please hold me." It's so incredibly sexist, and there's a huge double standard for Quinn's crazy and everybody else's crazy. At the same time, I liked that Puck looked at his life, looked at his choices, and said "no, I don't want to have sex with you, this is why." His why might have been a horrible thing to say to anyone, but I think that was a big step for him. It was also him taking care of his own needs and desires, so it alleviated (for me) the feeling in the episode that he's ~Saint Puckasaurus of Compassion~ because he is also caring about himself. Does that make sense? He was definitely in the wrong to say that last part, and he wasn't being helpful to Quinn at all, so I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

I thought Kurt's ~cheating storyline was weak and kind of unnecessary, but Kurt and Blaine and Rachel and Mercedes and Mike and Tina and Sugar Motta were wonderful in this episode. And Brittany was perfect. Santana... you keep doing you, except I'm not sure why you hugged --

oh, I think I'm feeling something

my blood pressure is rising

getting angry...

my skin looks a little green


my heart rate feels so fast


I can't throw things

and then my anger simmers down to a nice cup of "fuck you"

that's for you, ryan :)

and that's how I feel about Finn.
Edited Date: 2011-11-30 09:17 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-30 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nasimjoon.livejournal.com
I wonder in retrospect if the Puck/Quinn scenes were intended to parallel, from Puck being dismissive of what's going on in Quinn's head in the beginning to realizing that something is actually very wrong.

Date: 2011-11-30 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elva-barr.livejournal.com
Maybe! I would really love it if someone just took Quinn seriously and tried to help her.

Date: 2011-11-30 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nasimjoon.livejournal.com
I completely agree. It'd be an excellent opportunity to revisit the Quinn and Mercedes friendship. Or Tina! Give that girl something to do that doesn't deal with Mike.

Date: 2011-12-01 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
I would adore a Quinn/Tina friendship, but I've been craving Quinn and Mercedes interaction for ages. Quinn/having a female friend is really the most important thing, though.

Date: 2011-12-01 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
All I could think about re: Finn while I was watching the episode was that Madeline Kahn ". . . flames - flames on the side of my face" speech in Clue.

I didn't like the fact that Quinn's storyline was "I want sex" and then "I want baby" and then "I don't know what I want, please hold me."

I've been watching American Horror Story, which has not been one of my better life choices, and literally every single one of the female characters on this show is defined by "I want sex," "I want baby," and/or "I don't know what I want, please hold me." Ryan Murphy's misogyny is really unbearable.

Agreed that it's nice to see Puck learn to discriminate between what his body might want and what's better for him emotionally. I think, for me, it was just - not something I wanted in this episode, where all these stories about female characters became more about the male characters' development.

Date: 2011-11-30 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nasimjoon.livejournal.com
I was really interested in reading your response, because my dash was overall "meh" on the episode, and I didn't hate it. Maybe Glee worked me up into enough of a rage the last two episodes that I can't work up the energy anymore, IDK. I missed some of it due to phone calls though, so I'm going to have to go back and rewatch at some point.

Honestly, the stuff presented in the episode wasn't good, but I was expecting much worse. I hate that they forced a love triangle on Beiste, but I like that it came about because Cooter thought she didn't return his feelings as opposed to him chasing the "better option." Still a dick move but not as dickish as I thought it would be.

Finn was...yeah, Santana forgave him too easily. On the other hand, on his end, it spoke true to the character for me. Finn was still a massive douche, but he was trying to fix things in his own, stupid, misguided, douchey way. Does that make sense? The show let him off to easily for sure, but they played it consistent with how they have been portraying him, IMO.

I WAS SO PLEASED THAT THEY FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGED QUINN IS NOT OKAY, KJSDJFLSKDF. So much so that I missed...a lot of that speech. But she's supposed to go back to cray Quinn next episode, which...on one hand, I'm glad that it wasn't so easy as "man fixes problem, woman is okay." On the other, can we get some actual growth for her?

I'm actually really curious to your thoughts on Santana's coming out to her grandma.

Date: 2011-11-30 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nasimjoon.livejournal.com
Belated addition: I'm hoping that I'm not coming across as a Cooter or Finn apologist, because I'm a little afraid I did. I should clarify that I don't think they were right or forgivable at all. I was, however, expecting RIB+ to write them at a thirty on the Awful Douche Scale, and they didn't get that high, IMO. So, still bad, but not apocalyptic bad.

I am a little bothered that the show has a trend of "everything is the woman's fault." I feel like they played the Puck/Shelby scenario that way, too: that we're supposed to side with poor lovesick Puck who just wants his cougar and not the teacher who recognizes she crossed a line she shouldn't have and wanted to stop it.
Edited Date: 2011-11-30 01:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-12-01 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
Finn and Will being framed as the heroes is a surefire anger trigger for me, but that coupled with the overt silencing of Santana's agency definitely generates a rage supernova.

You're definitely right that Finn's actions aren't at all OOC or unbelievable. Actually, I'd would've been super interested in this episode if it had been made clear that Finn wasn't in the right, or if Santana had consistently called him out and not forgiven him, or if Finn hadn't been the focus of Santana's coming out in the first place. So it's more about the context than the characterization, imo. Cooter, too - I wouldn't have minded him so much if it weren't for the fact that he's become the focal point of the antagonism between Sue and Beiste, when their mutual dislike of each other is clearly bound up in so much more that doesn't have to do with Cooter. (And don't worry, you didn't come across as a Cooter or Finn apologist!)

Santana coming out to her grandmother was actually one of the few scenes this week I really liked! I thought the scene was realistically written, and Santana telling her abuela that she's still the same person she was before she came out was such an on-point moment. I've read on tumblr some speculation that Santana's grandmother was referring to her own sexuality when she was talking about keeping secrets secret, and I hope that's not the case. We've already seen homophobia as expressed by someone who's dealing with his hatred of his own sexuality, and I think it's important to show that homophobia gets expressed in different ways for different reasons.

Date: 2011-11-30 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silentsymphonie.livejournal.com
Actually the Cooter storyline seemed to me to be more because she wasn't fulfilling his needs than anything else. He was saying "I'm a man, blah blah blah" but instead of acting like a goddamn man and talking to her about the status of their relationship, he went to another woman who could give him what he wanted (a regular booty call since the early 1990's no less).

Date: 2011-11-30 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nasimjoon.livejournal.com
Yeah, true. Beiste's storyline is one of the ones in which I missed a good chunk. I don't think I caught any of the dialogue in that one scene up until she sang "Jolene."
Edited Date: 2011-11-30 03:02 pm (UTC)

Sorry about this rant.

Date: 2011-11-30 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silentsymphonie.livejournal.com
Guys what even was this episode? WHAT EVEN WAS IT?

I just cannot believe that the writers of this show see no problems with the way Finn acts like an asshole in every. episode. and always comes out smelling like a rose at the end. Santana forgave him. She forgave him even though he forced her to come out, and a couple scenes later she is verbally harassed in the hallway by a student. Remember how Finn said the entire school already knew that she was a lesbian and didn't care? Obviously, that student didn't know until the commercial aired, and when he did know he took the opportunity to harass her about her sexuality.

But it's okay for Santana to be open to that sort of trauma because at least Finn doesn't have to have her blood on his hands when she commits suicide. Because he (and the show) actually had the gall to cite Jamie Rodeymeyer's suicide, not as a means to see how horrible harassment of out gay kids in high school can be, as a way to clear his straight, privileged conscious.

The more I think about this episode the more appalled I am at the writers because I know that none of this offensiveness was in any way an intentional satire. There are kids who watch Glee for the LGBT storylines and now all they're getting are messages that they're cowards for staying in the closet and that their fears of bullying are over-exaggerated. The fact that none of the writers stepped back to think "maybe we aren't going about this the correct way" is absolutely ridiculous and incredibly sad.

I'm gonna stop there because if I start on how the female characters are written on this show I might break livejournal :P.

Re: Sorry about this rant.

Date: 2011-12-01 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
The misogyny is really approaching unbearable levels, isn't it? I literally yelled something obscene out loud at my television when Finn brought up the It Gets Better campaign (which in and of itself has issues, but that's another rant for another time!). Of course we have to have Finn as the mouthpiece, because his straightness and whiteness and maleness, especially his maleness, all lend him a legitimacy that Santana doesn't have. Which is just the biggest heap of angry-making bullshit.

And you know so many people watched the show this week and thought "That Finn Hudson, isn't it nice he likes the gays? What a sweet guy." The irresponsibility of all of this is infuriating.

(Your Sam icon, though. YES.)

Date: 2011-11-30 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] milk-and-glass.livejournal.com
I have a real problem with some of the male characters on this show (namely, Will and Finn). Will is a first class douche with the most inappropriate line of thinking towards these children I've ever seen. Teachers don't (or shouldn't, I should say) pick sides like that. And I'm sorry, what happened to "let's protect the vulnerable students that don't carry straight/white privilege"? UGH. That entire scene pissed me off.

But I love Naya's acting. I love it so much. Her scene with her Abuela is like the scene I had with my aunt when I came out to her. It hit home for me so much. I need to write an angsty Santana fic.

AND QUINN! She is drowning so much. A Quinn/Shelby may help me work through some of that. I forgot to say that the first time.

P.S. I love your write ups, bb. They let me get my ~*feelings*~ out.
Edited Date: 2011-11-30 03:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-12-01 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
Will and Finn are the absolute worst. Will, honestly, deserves more criticism, even though I'm a lot angrier with the way Finn's been presented, because Will's a grown-ass man in a position of authority.

Naya did a great job in the scene with her grandmother - I think it really resonated with a lot of people who've had similar coming out experiences - that was pretty much the only scene that didn't make me angry, because it was actually about Santana and her own agency and showed her making an active choice to come out.

Oh, Quinn. I don't even know what to say about Quinn anymore, other than that I want her to get help and I want to see Mercedes and Rachel actively supporting her.

I'm glad these posts help you get your feelings out! That's what they're here for :D
From: [identity profile] merkintosh.livejournal.com
I knew this episode was a wash straight from the voiceover when Ian said something like, "And Santana thinks that Finn outed her or something." thinks. I checked out mentally around then and it's probably a good thing I did because there were so many close ups of Finn's face in this episode that I couldn't stand it. I seriously couldn't. And that's while I was mentally rearranging my closet.

Things I got from this episode (mind you, while only half paying attention):
Finn's a selfish, condescending douchebag
Rachel's a well-intentioned, selfish asshole (it's growth!)
Santana seeks external validation
Quinn needs help
Kurt is at a crossroads about his future but unlike Finn he didn't solve his problems with sex
Blaine knows this but doesn't know how to help so instead he raps
Sugar desperately wants friends but only knows how to buy things not earn things
Mike has a crush on Kurt
Puck is a forty year old manchild
Will is an idiot and everyone is humoring him
Coach Beiste is better than this bullshit
Sue has been lost since the superbowl ep
Mercedes remains the only sane woman.
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
Rachel's a well-intentioned, selfish asshole (it's growth!)

HAH! I totally thought something similar while watching: "Well, at least she's stuffing a ballot box for someone else!"

Kurt was pretty much the only person that came out of this episode looking good, imo. And thanks to you, now I'm imagining Kurt telling Blaine he's feeling sort of lost and nervous about his future, and Blaine is all, "I'm so sorry to hear that, Kurt, would a few rapidly delivered Lupe Fiasco lines make you feel better? :D? :D?"

Oh, man, don't get me started on how lost Sue's been; I could (embarrassingly) go on for ages. I will say, though, that I thought her dialogue was funnier this week than it's been in a long time. Which doesn't at all solve the problem about the fact that RIB+ clearly has no idea to do with her, but I'll take it.
From: [identity profile] merkintosh.livejournal.com
LOL that's what I was thinking about Rachel too. She frustrates me so much as a character because you would have thought she'd have figured all this stuff out in the first season and moved on to newer more complicated problems. But this is Glee.

See, the thing is that I can actually believe that Blaine would do that. Like he's in the passenger seat of the car as they drive to school and he does Nicki Minaj to make Kurt smile. It is not outside the realm of crazy because Blaine seems that dumb!puppy to me.

Yeah, Sue's pretty lost but I think the writer's haven't done enough to show why she's stayed lost for so long so people forget and are frustrated with her. She needs to do something and get back to her old self again otherwise it's just blah. That or RIB+ need to give her something to do stat like you said. I think the return to the journal was a good step forward.

Date: 2011-11-30 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pee-wee-2005.livejournal.com
An episode about Santana's coming out wasn't even about Santana's coming out. It was about how Finn could feel better about what he did. Even though he got reprimanded for it from no one. Not Kurt, not Burt, not Rachel, not Brittany who all should have been livid at what he did. Everything that Finn said/did should have been said/done by anyone but Finn. I get that he's the lead guy but JFC. "Perfect," should not have been trivialized the way it was. To completely drop the ball like that. Just.

I didn't think the writing could have gotten more contrived, but it did. Finn cares about her. Since when? It meant something to him when they had sex. EL OH FUCKING EL, since when? FUCK.

Of course Will took Finn's side.

Lesbianism is still a consequence. Every two people can kiss and get moments, private or otherwise, of affection. But the lesbian couple? The two characters that have technically been together from the beginning and are, imho, the only two characters who are actually by definition in love with each other? Absolutely nothing. It's on purpose. There is no other way around it. They will only write and place these two girls in public so they don't have to show them being an actual couple. They really only give a shit about what the PTC care about in this regard, because they obviously weren't scared of it when Kurt and Blaine had a hot kiss for no fucking reason other than to do it last season. Atrociously sexist. And somehow happens despite the fact that this is the gayest show on American TV, one of the creators is gay and a lesbian is one of the staff writers/producers. The homophobia is mind boggling.

It's not just about wanting to see two girls kiss. I'm not asking for a gratuitous make-out scene or anything. But when Brittany went up to her after CC, all that was needed was a loving peck on the lips. One that say's, "I'm proud or you," or "that was so great," like Finn/Rachel, Finn/Quinn, etc., have given each other for the past three years after a song.

Your second paragraph is perfect. I won't quit the show. And while it has frustrated me, I have always been able to keep the good moments forefront. This is the first time where I have been legitimately angry and felt legitimate hate towards it. How can I love something so much that is so, so bad at what it does? I'm angry. I'm sad. I-I just want this week to be over with.

Date: 2011-12-03 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
It meant something to him when they had sex.

I'd forgotten about how much that line enraged me - I mean, obviously, all of the Finn stuff was infuriating, but that line in particular was so damn selfish, especially when you consider what it was probably like for Santana. (That line a couple weeks ago about Finn being like a sweaty sack of potatoes in bed was cruel, but imo it had way more to do with Santana's own regrets about sleeping with someone she didn't really want to sleep with.)

The double standard really is appalling. I'd been pretty pleased with how they were handling Santana's storyline up until now - I really liked that it seemed to be focusing on the fact that she loved girls (Brittany in particular, ofc), rather than just focusing on the fact that she wanted to sleep with them - in other words, the emotional part of it more than the sexual. But to take away the focus from her and give it to Finn, of all people, rather than take the time to show Brittany being there for her girlfriend, is pretty unforgivable.

Date: 2011-12-03 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pee-wee-2005.livejournal.com
in other words, the emotional part of it more than the sexual.

YES. Last season was amazing. Then to continue it into this season especially with the knowledge of Brittany and Santana becoming a couple. Oh. The expectations were endless, and not at all in a delusional wishing way. Arguably one of the best and most complex arcs they've given us.

Flushed. Down. The toilet.

They can make good with it for the rest of the season. But just the fact that it has to start from that. Sucks.

Date: 2011-11-30 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-seaward.livejournal.com


sad browns fan

I can't even bear to think about it for one second longer, so that gif is gon have to do.

Date: 2011-12-03 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
I spent the first half of the episode doing this:

and this:

and then just lapsed into this:

(Seriously, what did we do before gifs? How did we express ourselves? I have a feeling I just made sounds and gestured wildly at my computer and hoped somehow it got through the tubes.)
Edited Date: 2011-12-03 01:17 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-12-01 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lennoxave.livejournal.com
There's a universe in which this episode didn't make me super-annoyed, and just made me sigh and go, "Oh, Glee, you and your casual misogyny," but it's not the same universe in which the last episode happened.

At the same time, I'm still not in a RAGE about it because, even if it would have been nice if they had handled this particular subject matter well, the issues with the way the Finn/Santana stuff shook out were just . . . the problems the show always has, where no one's emotional arc is continuous between episodes and every time someone takes a step forward they take two steps back and the writers ignore what's inconvenient for the particular story they're trying to tell. The way the show just ignored Finn's part in Santana's outing is the same way the show ignored Quinn's mellowing in Season 1 and Rachel respecting Mercedes's talent way back in fucking Sectionals and Jesse maybe actually being in love with Rachel but maybe not but maybe and Sue actually having a heart in . . . all the episodes Sue has a heart in. I dunno; I guess the fact that I think it comes from ineptitude rather than a conscious decision to try to make XYZ happen makes me hate it less.

Because, actually, apart from how incredibly smurfy this episode was, I kind of liked it? Like, if I just pretended this was the first episode of this show I had ever seen, it was fine. Problematic as what, but fine.

Other thoughts:
1) I am on board the Sugar Motta bandwagon. So. Much. Love.


3) I kind of adored all the girls sticking up for Santana in the hallway. I hate "I Kissed a Girl," but the fact that it was a kind of tongue-in-cheek reclamation of the song made it work for me. (Um, it was tongue-in-cheek, anyway. If this were a better show, I'd say the reclamation aspect of it was intentional and done well, but it's not, so.)

4) I actually really liked all of the music this week, at least as music, if not always how it was used in the episode. Also, a point in favor of not being spoiled for song choices: I cackled during "I'm the Only One" because I wasn't expecting it, and it was so douche-tastically appropriate for Puck.

5) Speaking of, I hope his speech to Quinn doesn't magically "fix" her. Like, if it starts her on the path to figuring her shit out, I can handle that. If she's suddenly all better, I'm going to be so pissed. (I'm prepared to be pissed.)

6) Also, I want her to freak the fuck out on Shelby SO MUCH. Not because of Beth, or Puck, but because SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU SHELBY YOU ARE THE WORST.

Final thought: The scene in Figgins's office in the beginning was so weird to me that it made me wonder if it was some sort of meta thing. Like, did people freak about the Quinn/Rachel slap, and this was RIB+'s idea of addressing that slapping people is wrong? It was just so weird. (Also, did Figgins say this policy started three years ago? Are we sure Santana wasn't being retroactively punished for the time she attacked Lauren and a teacher saw, or the time she attacked Quinn and Will saw? Y'know, things she actually should have been suspended for? Shut up, show.)

Date: 2011-12-01 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kitsune13.livejournal.com
Re your final thought: Will did something about it because she slapped Finn, ofc, and he probably would have for Rachel too, because they're his pets. With Quinn, it was a mutual fight and he seemed to be going through one of his periodic "almost kind of giving a tiny fuck about Quinn" fits. But anyone else? pfffft.

Date: 2011-12-02 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lennoxave.livejournal.com
See, to me, Will's overwhelming character flaw (which is, of course, only one of many character flaws) is his complete inability to take action. And honestly, as much as he favors Finn and Rachel in the context of performing and Glee Club politics, he's never really gone out of his way to help them. The only two things that jump out at me are Will helping with Finn and Quinn in "Preggers" and the speech he gives Rachel during "Ballads," and both of those interactions were really initiated by the students, not by him. (I could, of course, be overlooking things, but those are the two real-life type situations that stick out in my mind.)

And he's certainly had plenty of opportunities to help Finn and Rachel in similar contexts to what happened here: both have been the targets of bullying and are frequently the targets of insults hurled by their fellow glee-clubbers (although, not always undeservedly, and certainly not anymore than anyone else, really) that Will never really puts a stop to. And there's the end of "Theatricality," where Finn is legitimately threatened by Karofsky and Azimio at the same time Kurt is, and judging by Will's reaction, he knows exactly what happened and doesn't do a damn thing about it.

Like, Will's terrible, he's really terrible, but this still seemed weird and out of character for him, and I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that it was Finn who was involved.

Date: 2011-12-03 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
(First off, oh my lord, this comment is so late, I'm sorry - I am the worst at responding to things in a timely manner right now.)

I think what really made me move from my standard "man, Glee is the worst at actually maintaining a consistent emotional arc and having characters progress in interesting and compelling ways" to RAGE MACHINE 5000 this week is that this episode was so symptomatic of the way the show and its writers (and a lot of people out there) view women. And for me, that's so much more anger-inducing than general shitty/lazy storytelling, because it's reinforcing a bunch of bullshit stereotypes about female irrationality and that no matter what women are going through, what men go through is more important. It's not like Glee hasn't been sexist before - it's been horribly sexist, and pretty consistently - but EVERY STORYLINE in this episode had this strong undercurrent of misogyny that left such an awful taste in my mouth. You're almost definitely right about this stuff being the result of ineptitude; I think that actually irritates me even more than intentional offensiveness, partly because it smacks of the laziness that's status quo in that writing room, and partly because, as a show that's known for its focus on LGB issues (I won't even include the T in there) they have a responsibility to not be such colossal fuck-ups.

Sugar is just the best, isn't she? I'm so impressed with Vanessa Lengies, and I hope she sticks around and becomes a full-time cast member. One of the things this show really does do pretty well is bringing in new blood.


Quinn better not be all better. I'm going to give the show enough credit to say that she's not going to be, but I have a bad feeling they're going to use a male character to bring about her redemption - if not Puck, then Sam or that Dreads guy from The Glee Project. Ugh.
From: [identity profile] sceptick.livejournal.com
My first thought upon finishing the episode went something like this:


So did my next twenty or so thoughts.

Once I finally regained some semblance of coherence, I was able to think about what I didn't like and why I didn't like it. You've summarised a lot of it here (four for you, etc etc <3), but the thing that keeps sticking with me and making me sad is that this episode was perfectly set up to be centered around the girls' narratives and it just wasn't.

When I say perfectly set up, I mean it. The theme was songs for girls by girls. Santana, Beiste, Quinn, and Rachel all had what could have been a significant role because they took action in different ways. There were so many other ways this episode could have gone. It would have been so much more interesting to have it be focused purely on the girls -- to see Rachel's dilemma in depth, and to watch her scheme about cheating (because you know Lea Michele would've made that shit hilarious); to see the rivalry between Beiste and Sue as it really is, because let's face it, they've been going head-to-head from the getgo about more than just some guy; to get a glimpse into Quinn's head and get the chance to feel some empathy for her, because right now she's either being painted as a villain or a psycho and all of our sympathy as viewers is being directed, deliberately, at Puck. And fuck it all, it would've been damned nice to see Santana's coming out story (even with Finn's asshole behaviour) from her own goddamned point of view, where she was the protagonist, insults and all, instead of giving that part over to Finn fucking Hudson.

I'm sorry, but that sounds like a damned good episode.

I think this is the most blatantly sexist Glee has ever been. That's four major, important, interesting storylines revolving around women, and in each one the major, 'sympathetic' role or focus was given over to the guy. Finn took over Santana's storyline, Puck took over Quinn's, and Cooter was set between Sue and Beiste as their only point of contention. The only point I'll concede is that yes, Kurt's storyline was somewhat interesting, and I wouldn't mind the focus being on him in that particular one (despite Rachel's major involvement) if it weren't for the fact that it was the fourth storyline in which the men behaved calmly and with integrity (supposedly) while the women acted out. Like, holy shit. That's pretty fucking sick.

It's just so unnecessary! Like I said above, each and every one of those storylines could have been approached from the female character's pov. Even just one, jesus. Even just one would've lessened the shittyness of this episode.

/end of sexism rant. mostly.
From: [identity profile] sceptick.livejournal.com
/beginning of sexism + ... idek what the fuck to call it. 'whatever the fuck happened with santana's storyline last night' rant

That said, there is nothing redeemable about the Santana/Finn storyline. Nothing. Not one fucking thing. Even if it had been told from Santana's pov, and they'd justified the hell out of it*, I still would've been disgusted. Not only do they make Santana's coming out all about making Finn feel like a Good Guy, they don't even mention that he outed her. Not once. Not one single character (not even her!) ever brings up the fact that he outed her. Oh, except for the voiceover, where they said she thinks he outed her "or something." Way to fucking trivialize a horrible, terrifying moment, Glee. Then, the story continues with Santana protesting at every turn about the plans ("No thanks, I don't want to join your little group session, Finn. No, I don't want to sing about girls, Finn. Way to pull me out of the Flannel Closet, Finn.") and being ignored. Lovely. You'd think she'd get angry, but no! In the end, she thanks Finn. And hugs him. After he sings a song about how 'girls just want to have fun,' which, given the whole thing where queer girls are treated as a joke, is pretty stupid, all things considered. Then there's "I kissed a girl," where after condemning a guy (rightfully) for being an ignorant asshole and saying that Santana's not really gay (but it's hot that she makes out with girls), the girls then go on to sing about making out with girls, complete with sexy choreo, in front of a roomfull of straight, lustful guys. Great. Fucking great. The only good thing about that number was how into it Will was, and even then I was too pissed to really enjoy the pedowill.

I just can't even with this episode. Sam stripping had better the fuck make up for this shitstorm.

ps: relevant icons are both relevant. Actually I was just going to use the Scully one twice but then i remembered that I had this one saved to my computer and it's hella accurate for how I was feeling tuesday night.
From: [identity profile] kitsune13.livejournal.com
I love everything you've said in these comments. ♥ That is a such a perfect observation, about how ALL the stories were theoretically about female characters, but in every single one they were refocused on the guys, who then became the sympathetic voices of reason.
From: [identity profile] sceptick.livejournal.com
♥ Thanks, bb. It just -- it bugs the fuck out of me. Like, would it really have been so hard to write these same stories just a little bit differently? Do they have so little faith in their female actors? Or, and frankly this is the one I believe, they're just sexist assholes.
From: [identity profile] kitsune13.livejournal.com
I'm gonna go with sexist assholes too, because that's where all the signs point.
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
Oh, man, this is the LATEST COMMENT, I am so sorry.

YES. A million times yes to everything you've said here. It's not just that the stories were centered around male characters, but that there was so much effort put into making sure women-centered storyarcs didn't get to stay women-centered. Which, imo, is even more hurtful than simple erasure. It's blatant, glaring redirection. And, as you've said, it was literally EVERY SINGLE STORYLINE in the episode, which, for me, made it impossible to brush off with "lol Glee," because in every single scene we kept getting reminded that the female characters' stories weren't the ones we were supposed to hear.

Remember that spoiler about the scene where Santana comes out to Sue, with Brittany and Becky there? How much more interesting and meaningful would that have been, getting to see Santana telling Sue - a character she's had more history with on the show than anyone besides Brittany or Quinn - on her own terms, in her own way, with her girlfriend by her side and being supportive? NOPE, SORRY, WE NEEDED MORE SCREEN TIME FOR FINN HUDSON.

I would read the fuck out of a fic that rewrote this episode to actually focus on the female characters in the way you described.

(Also, I just realized something: Sue is the only character on the show who actually told Santana she was sorry for playing a part in her outing. Not Finn, not Will for condoning Finn's behavior. Sue.)
From: [identity profile] sceptick.livejournal.com
I would read the fuck out of that fic too, only it'd probably make me even angrier that that's not how it went down on the show :///

That's interesting, about Will and Sue and Finn. I wonder if that was a deliberate character choice. Maybe they thought that, as always, Will would see himself as fault-free because that's how he thinks, right, he's the hero in his own mind. And maybe they thought that Finn seriously didn't recognize his own part in this! Maybe they thought Sue would be the only one who would, because for all that she can be crazy and spiteful and delusional, she's been in the wrong so often that she can tell when she is, and she really does care underne--

who the fuck am i kidding. The writers just didn't want to show Will and Finn in a negative light. It's alright if it's Sue, though!


Date: 2011-12-01 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourmalet.livejournal.com
I went into this episode ready to be angry and be making ugly rage faces at my tv, but holy fuck they somehow managed to make it a million times worse. I think all of this overlaps with what you said but it felt a lot better to type it out than to just nod along.

I truly cannot believe this is the episode we got Santana's coming out story. I can't believe the moron who wrote this, wrote it and then everyone else on this joke of a writing staff was like great job! there are no gross issues anywhere in this script. I mean for them to allow for this story to be told from the pov and be made about Finn Hudson, straight, white, cis-gendered, male, hero of heroes, Finn Hudson is disgusting.

I don’t really have much to say about any of it aside from how offensive it was and for some reason be surprised that this is the route they decided to take. I just can’t believe they took the opportunity away from exploring Santana coming to terms with herself and her sexuality and dealing with being so forcefully outed so they can remind us how great Finn is, and that they swept him outing her under the rug. This storyline should have focused on Santana and they could have used the C storyline to focus on Finn being a gross homophobe yet again, who is maybe trying to make amends (tho seeing everyone berate him about what a colossal fuck wit he is would’ve been great too). I also can’t believe they included the line about the igb kid committing suicide, and Finn saying he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if anything happened to her when he was the one that outed her(:\\\\\\\), and that she means something to him because she took his virginity. Especially since we've been told repeatedly that it was meaningless and not worth it and they've shown Santana to be almost a villain for taking it. I just can’t believe this is how they handled it and that they gave her validation through Finn. Don’t worry Santana bb your grandma doesn’t love you, but Finn thinks you’re important and special.

This was a really long way of saying the lack of agency for so many of the female characters drives me absolutely crazy. Though I do think Santana got it in the scene with her grandmother. I wish we saw the rest of her family, I know spoilers and stuff, idk maybe give her a shoulder to cry on after leaving her grandmother’s house. What I would’ve given to see her be supported by her family or Brittany or hell Sue, instead of Finn.

Also, on the lack of Brittany, I agree with you 100%. They had Santana hug Finn, be moved to tears by Finn and let Finn say I love you to her but not let Brittany do anything.

I didn’t really like the Puck/Quinn scene, it was too ‘male character plays savior to the female character’ for me, which this episode is already overflowing with. Maybe watching these scenes without watching the rest of the episode would change my mind.

I'm happy the election storyline is over with; I didn't like how most of it played out and of course while I do think it was really in character for Rachel, I don’t like they got a girl to be the one to cheat. The NYADA storyline and their belief that Julliard and NYADA are the only schools in NYC makes me want to beat them both over the heads. Based on how things have played out (and some of the actor bleed) I'm not really as ~taken by the Kurt/Rachel friendship as I was last season.

Date: 2011-12-01 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tourmalet.livejournal.com
Other things because all my feelings used up too many characters in my last comment:

- Sugar was great; I hope they keep her on the show post-sectionals and next season. They don't even need to rehab her as a singer like they did with Mike, just have her be one of their dancers and the greatest thing to happen to background moments.

- I noticed Mercedes to be the first one to defend Santana too! I also loved there was some Troubletones solidarity in her voting internal monologue calling Brittany her Troubletones sister, or something along those lines. Though I wish she mentioned being friends with Kurt, before the writers dropped their friendship for Kurt and Rachel's, and maybe that influencing the way she voted.

- I really liked that they gave Jolene to Shannon and I really hope she kicks Cooter to the curb. I wish they would stop making food jokes at her expense, I mean Santana can’t call Finn a whale because it is the meanest, but this show can make fun of Beiste for the way she eats.

- Puck’s hair looks like it’s about ready to achieve consciousness and join ND to make up for the lack of members. I fully expect it to be like this due to some Beth related juju that has accumulated some Shelby juju over time and for Quinn to explain the great spiritual cleansing that comes with a haircut.

Date: 2011-12-03 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellydash.livejournal.com
The It Gets Better reference was so, so gross. I've got some issues with that campaign as it is, but seriously, Glee, you have Finn Hudson bring it up in order to justify his reasons for outing Santana? "I don't want you to die because you hate yourself so much so I'm going to publicly out you and actually endanger your life in the process!" And, I mean, I can see Finn actually doing that, because it's very, very Finn to think he's being a good guy when he's actually being a privileged dick, but we the audience were absolutely supposed to fall all over him for HOW ENLIGHTENED he is, and that is just massively nauseating.

Agreed about Santana getting back a little agency in that scene with her grandmother. I was saying to [livejournal.com profile] sceptick above that I wish now more than ever they hadn't cut Santana's coming out to Sue and Becky, with Brittany at her side. I would've loved to have seen her tell Sue on her own terms, even though it's pretty obvious that Sue knows (and has probably known or at least suspected for a while) - that would've been a really great way to see her reclaim some of the control she'd lost through this situation.

Ugh, the food jokes. And the fact that they seem to be using Emma's disgust as a intended projection of what they imagine the audience's discomfort to be - because Emma is such a great barometer of non-disordered health! I do love that Shannon is not at all bothered by it, and that she seems to have no qualms with eating the way she wants to eat, but the context of it is frustrating.

Based on how things have played out (and some of the actor bleed) I'm not really as ~taken by the Kurt/Rachel friendship as I was last season.

Same here. I absolutely love both Rachel and Kurt; I really do love their interactions more, though, when they're sniping at each other but there's still this underlying respect and admiration and caring, rather than WE'RE BFFS FOREVER. (The "jowls" exchange was hands down my favorite of theirs this season.) This whole NYADA arc is annoying, because, like you said, the all-or-nothing framing makes no sense. And honestly, I can't believe that Rachel Berry hasn't been carefully, exhaustively researching the best place(s) for her to go to college since, like, middle school.


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