Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Note About Glee

I watch it. I watched it this week with Sara, who asked, Mom, are you going to blog about this? (as I had my face buried in a pillow, sobbing, when Sue went to visit her sister).

I love Sue Sylvester. She is the best character on television. Maybe ever.

I love Mr. Schuester and his mash-ups, Kurt and his dad, sweet Finn, the Cheerios, the hot guy with the mohawk :)...all of it. With the exception of the pregnancy story lines, and the show not being appropriate for young teens--who are watching in large numbers (I have to censor quite a bit with Sara)--there isn't much I don't like.

People have been talking about Glee all fall, and while some people can't get enough of it, others are critical. The show is meant to get people talking...and thinking. The people behind the show know just what they're doing. That became clear in this week's episode. (Click here for a review of the show.)

Regardless of gender, level of ability, social strata, sexual preference, diagnosis, age (and so on), all people are people first, and want to be treated like everyone else.

In life, just as in high school, people form opinions about others without all the information, without truly understanding all the facts. All people want--and deserve--to be seen, and to be treated with compassion.

*This week's show featured two actresses with Down syndrome. I know many people in the Ds community were aware of this prior to the show and watched because of that. Like most everyone else, I was curious how Ds would be portrayed, and how it fit into the story. It was hard for me to see that Sue's sister was in a nursing home, and I didn't love that others (without personal experience with Down syndrome) might assume that all people with Ds end up in nursing homes, or remain child-like and dependent. (The relationship between the sisters was genuine and touching, though, so my emotions were all over the place...hence, the sobbing...hard to process.) The younger character with Ds was a vibrant teenager, perhaps to show another aspect of life with Down syndrome today (I do wish she would have had her own money to buy the darned cupcake). As with everyone else, there is enormous diversity within the Ds population. Both characters are realistic and representative of individuals with Down syndrome. It will be interesting to see where they go with this.


  1. Lisa, loved your post. I too am an avid watcher and thought about posting something about this weeks episode. There have been moments where they have caught me off guard but I love the characters, the rawness, the truth behind them. I am a fan like you.

    Hope you guys are all well.

  2. Saw it, loved it, lots of interesting conversations. I cried too... hard to know why. I'm sure my daughter has a wonderful spot in the world but it is hard knowing how hard it might be ahead of time.

  3. Love your thoughts. Thank you for blogging about it. All is all I totally agree with you. I too worried about them showing a very dependent sister in a nursing home situation but hey, that's real life too sometimes. It's not always a pretty picture. But what was beautiful was them holding hands and sharing a very special moment...I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

    I also noticed a couple sneaky remarks like when the "dumb" blonde character walked up with Becky (isn't that the character's name with DS) and one of the boys said that the blonde cheats off Becky's math tests or something like that. So in effect, this "dumb" blonde must be REALLY dumb that she can even get tips from Becky. I tend to be overly touchy at times so I'll let this slide as just some humor. Also heard mention of a short bus....but's real life these thoughts, words, things, events so if it attracts a wide audience with it's reality and then helps to shed light on the beauty of difference then by all means KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GLEE!!! I think I may be Tivo'ing the rest of the season!

  4. I loved it but was a little nervous when they first showed Becky. Not sure if Glee would take a negative spin on Down syndrome. I was so relieved with the story line and the positive view it gave on Ds. I thought Becky was so cute (I know...not a word she would probably choose but so true) and Sue and her sister was an emotional mess for me too. I love the show! The music is amazing and Finn and mo-hawk boy are fun to watch too. :)

  5. Becky was way cute :). I took the comment about the blond cheerleader cheating off Becky's tests completely the other way: that Becky is as worthy as anyone else to be "cheated off of" :)!

    And the music...what more could you ask for? Classic rock, current hits, 80's music, showtunes, Neil's all been great.

    I'll be watching the Ds story lines with interest.

  6. I too am a fan of Glee and was looking forward to the episode....(Becky will be on one more time early December)............must watch! I agree with your view on the episode, I too was very emotional. I am 9 months into my journey and new to the blogging world so every time I read a blog or see an episode like this one I can't help but see the sunny side of my little Landon's future! So inspirational!

  7. I liked it too. I wasn't sure, because I think the show has been a little offensive in the past, but it was well done. The nursing home made me sad too, but I suppose it was realistic.

    I do love Sue Sylvester. She's just hilarious. The extra dimension to her character is a bonus.

  8. Lisa, I LOVE Glee! It's my favorite new show. And Jane Lynch has been one of my favorite comedic actresses since I first saw her on "Best in Show." Anyway, I missed this epidode but caught it on hulu. I gotta admit, I have mixed feelings about it. Like you, I'm concerned those who don't know much about DS will assume they all end up in a nursing home (the actresses speech was great!). I thought the teenager was cute, but they could have done more with her so I'll be interested to see where the story goes. Like others have said, the nursing home maybe ONE reality, but it's not true for all, especially the younger generations. I was just expecting more from such a high visibility platform -- I want more balance, I guess. I will post more thoughts about it on my blog too. Thanks for the conversation.


  9. I totally agree w/ your observations. It's not something my 10 and 12 year olds can watch, tho. I'm uncomfortable with the pregnancy story line, although it happens in real life, too, but it's too "adult" for them at this stage of their life and in our particular family. I agree w/ Jennifer that the dependent sister was hard to watch, but given her age, it makes more sense and is probably more common that she would be dependent at her stage in life. Alzheimer's and/or dementia is a real concern for the future as it also runs in our family (but I don't dwell on it.) I am recording the season and only watching episodes that I hear on FB or blogs that are going to be good (or were good). I have so little time to watch TV anymore anyway, but I love the positive portrayal of the cute girl w/ Ds.