Monday, April 15, 2013

I Struggle With "Glee"

Before I even start this, I want you to know that I fully understand that I invest way too much of myself in stupid television shows. I feel all best-friend-ly with people I've never met or who might not even exist.

I am not ashamed (okay, kind of ashamed) to admit that I love, love, love Glee. I sends me in a time warp to high school and theatre and a person who I haven't been in a long time. The whole Finchel relationship reminds me a frustrating amount about my one true (read: terrible, awful, dickish) love. I like most of the characters, I usually love the music, and I appreciate that they dive head first into differences and accepting others in the campiest way possible. 

Glee as a concept makes me uncomfortable, though. Not because of the ridiculous story lines or the improbability of it all, but because, as an adult, I am always concerned about the example that we are setting for teenagers.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know that teenagers are going to do what they're going to do, but I remember watching pubescent dramas when I was that age and thinking that I would do everything they were doing. I can't decide if I'm okay with them portraying teenagers doing what they do anyway like drinking, having sex, and shacking up with their bed buddies, or if I would rather see the idealized version of teen life where they just don't do those things. I know it would be unrealistic, but if it prevents one teen pregnancy, is that worth it? If it deters one kid from getting drunk and driving, isn't that okay? 

Maybe it's because I deal with kids who get into trouble on the daily, but I just hate that we set an example that making bad decisions is the accepted norm. They might be the norm, but they certainly aren't happily accepted. If they were, then they wouldn't be "bad decisions". Furthermore, these decisions stay with you for a long time. Getting pregnant in high school and then giving the baby up for adoption is not just something that goes away when the season is over. That stays with you forever. You don't just "bounce back". 

I know the show is made for adult but their primary demographic is impressionable teen-somethings. Most of the messages they send are about acceptance and individuality, and I love that. But while being individuals, kids just don't have to grow up that fast. 

Maybe I'm a prudish 80-year-old in an open-minded 26-year-old's body, but these are the things that I think about. I don't believe in censorship, and I think that it's the parents job to police TV viewing, but I just wonder if setting these examples makes stupid decisions "okay."

As always, it's hip to be square (and ponder-ish), kids.

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