Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Trouble with Glee

So it’s April Fools Day and it might be nice to have come up with some clever and fun post for today, (Google is now Topeka? huh?) but seriously, I’m just not feeling very clever! But I did read a blog the other day that made me think about something I do want to talk about.


So first, here’s the blog post that caught my interest: Movies, Books & Teen Sex

So what does this have to do with Glee?

Confession - I was a musical theater geek in high school (we didn’t have a glee club). I didn’t play sports. I couldn’t play an instrument. But I did every theatrical show possible throughout high school and into college. And I love musicals. So when Glee premiered I was deliriously happy.

Glee has a great cast of misfit characters

(we won’t talk about how most of them are not teens, but rather twenty-somethings.)

Glee has great music and choreography.

Glee can be utterly hilarious.

(Sue has some of the best one-liners on television).

I started watching it last year, eager for each and every week. I ignored the “yuck” of the show and concentrated on what I loved about it. But as time went on, the “yuck” side grew and grew - to the point that I decided to turn it off.

I was SO frustrated. There were parts of the show I just loved. Why did they include the junk? Why did they have to ruin it?

For me, part of the problem was that my 10 year old daughter was watching it with me. My “mom” ears are more sensitive to the messages and behavior that is being encouraged. But even my regular “Sarah” ears were bothered by what was happening in front of me. This wildly popular show among teens - what is it saying?

1. The President of the Chastity Club gets pregnant - making the idea of chastity a complete joke. Actually, sexual comments are all over the show, all the time. So much so, that it accounts for most of the “yuck”. Treating sex so lightly and casually - it's damaging to the way God wants us to view it.

2. Will is married to such a witch that viewers actually want him to commit adultery with the sweet doe-eyed Emma. This is by far the most troublesome one for me. Adultery made it into the list of 10 commandments for a reason. This just makes marriage look like something disposable. The idea that "I can do anything for love and it's not wrong". Marriage shouldn’t be disposable. Ever.

3. Bullying - the Glee kids are regularly bullied and harassed, but it’s never stopped. Granted, Slushie in the face isn’t dangerous. But it feeds into that idea that those who are on the outskirts of High school society should expect to be abused. they should expect to be tormented. And with so many troubling news reports about bullying that is taking lives, well, should we be laughing about it?

4. Many of the “adults” of the show are usually portrayed as either idiots or just ineffective. I realize that books and shows for teens want to portray the teens as smarter than the adults and able to make their own decisions - but - and this is a pretty big but, adults cannot just be dismissed from the equation. Scriptures are full of examples of how important it is for one generation to mentor the next generation.

5. The lying. Oh, the lying. Morality? Practically non-existent.

The trouble with Glee?

It teaches, supports and encourages things that are absolutely against Scripture. And no show-stopping musical number can really make me forget that fact. I know there are tons of people who continue to watch the show with great excitement every week. I totally get it, and I’m not judging you for it. Me, I wanted to turn it off to be a role model for my daughter. And maybe for you too.

All I want is for you to Be Wise. I don’t think we should ever ignore the messages that the media is throwing at us every day. Messages that make us deaf to the true messages. We have to be discerning. We have to be thoughtful. And we have to make sure that we don't give this world permission to change us in ways that move us farther from the One and Only.

Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8

So what do YOU think?



Sarah Anne Sumpolec


Gina Conroy said...

I've heard so much about Glee, but I've never seen it. Thanks for this insight. I've actually looked into the open auditions for the show for my teen, but he misses the age requirement by 4 months. I guess that's a good thing now!

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

It's a shame though cause it would be such a fun opportunity...and yet...very troubling stuff.

Miriam Cheney said...

I love the musical aspect of the show and Sue's one-liners, too. But I agree--there is much that rankles the soul in this show.

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

"rankles the soul of the show"

What a great way to put it....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your thoughts! I started watching "Glee" last year and absolutely loved the musical parts of it, but when I started having trouble saying "no" to temptation it wasn't hard tracking down the fact that "Glee" was encouraging such thoughts and behavior in my life. I stopped watching as soon as the Holy Spirit awoke me to this and I haven't looked back.

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

Thanks for sharing that lovedandamazed! The Holy Spirit speaks to us in that still small voice but we have to be willing to listen...and obey.

So glad to hear you were willing to listen - and there's such a freedom when we trust Him with all that we are.

Emii said...

I saw this show like, twice last year... I'm not really into watching musicals and stuff though, so I didn't really like it anyway... grr, we need some good shows on TV! I mean, even on the little kid shows. I don't know what it's called, but on ABC there's this one show where they talk like this, "Oogga bugga waga" the whole time... it's so annoying. (And, no, I don't watch it, it was just on TV once :P) No wonder little kids take to speaking like that sometimes! :)


adge said...

I agree. I haven't seen it but from the news articles and sneak previews that my AOL sometimes gives I caught some of the things you were saying, especially the adultery part.

*Andye* said...

Hey! Great post, and thanks for the shout out! One of the responses I got was from a teen who thought I was being archaic, so it's good to know I'm not crazy! :) She actually blogged about it!

I have been more and more disheartened by the things that are constantly being introduced to us in the media. I was completely shocked when I started screening my daughter's YA books (which is how the Web site started). I had no idea what was in them. It is frustrating! Especially when you (otherwise) really would enjoy the show or book.

Keep up the good work! I'm halfway through your book! :)

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

Thanks Andye, both for the kinds and for speaking up. I think it's critical that we keep talking, keep sharing and keep urging each other on to what is "good".

And yes, I am often disheartened by what's in many YA books. You're definitely not crazy:-)

Makay said...

This is EXACTLY what I thought. The premiere episode was so clean, and it was really good. Due to school I didn't watch it, but about 3 weeks in I turned it on and it was soooo dirty! I couldn't believe it. I was so frustrated. I Thought I had found a good and clean show, how very wrong I was. I agree with everything you said. I think that Glee is just a pathetic show that conformed to the overall society.... :P darn.


Ray said...

I agree that wayy too many shows these days are contaminated with stuff like sex and things like you mentioned. It's hard to find good, clean entertainment anymore, especially in TV shows and movies. Even in some Disney stuff. I recently saw the movie Old Dogs that was produced by Disney and it contained alcohol, sex, lying and so much more stuff that little kids these days shouldn't be hearing. I wish there was something we could do to stop it....