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“Glee” is one of the most popular shows currently on television. However, recent storylines and character developments on “Glee” threaten to pull the popularity plug on FOX’s hit TV show. Is FOX turning away viewers by playing the homosexuality card too often?
When “Glee” debuted on May 19, 2009, the characters included an eclectic mix of high school misfits: the jock who wants to sing, the overweight African-American, the Goth Asian, the pregnant cheerleader, the Jewish diva (ironically, raised by her two gay dads), and yes, the closet homosexual.
The arrival of the newest Gleek, Sam (played by Chord Overstreet), was wildly rumored to either have a crush on Finn or be a new love interest for Kurt. While his first episode (Duets, air date October 12, 2010) dropped hints of homosexuality, they were quickly dispersed when he was paired with Quinn (Dianna Agron).
The last several episodes have had a distinctively gay slant. Chris Colfer is a talented young actor with a bright future, but the focus has seemed to shift from Lea Michele (Rachel) and Cory Monteith (Finn) and has focused more on the homosexual tendencies of a growing list of characters.
The latest episode of “Glee,” Never Been Kissed, again centered around Kurt’s anguish with being the only openly gay student at fictional McKinley high. After being slammed into the lockers several times by the same angry football player, Kurt (and the audience) was shocked when the player grabbed Kurt and planted a big kiss on him.
Another gay character was also introduced when Kurt sneaks in to Dalton Academy to spy on the competing show choir. When Kurt considers leaving McKinley for a more open-minded school with a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, he meets Blaine (Darren Criss), a gay student, who tries to help him face his difficulties.
Also in this episode, Coach Bieste is the butt of jokes when some of the glee clubbers use her image to “cool down” when in the throes of a make-out session. Her sexuality comes into question when she tells Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) that she is not gay.
Past episodes have hinted at the possible bisexual nature of Brittany (Heather Morris) and Santana’s (Naya Rivera) relationship when we were “treated” to a girl-on-girl kiss between the two. Sue Sylvester’s (Jane Lynch) sexuality is frequently questioned as the track-suit-clad coach is repeatedly disgusted by the romantic escapades of other characters.
“Glee” is still one of the most entertaining and original shows on television, but the gay focus is becoming a distraction. The original appeal of “Glee” was the portrayal of the difficulties high schoolers face trying to fit in, and the realization that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. The stories were ones that so many people could relate to from their own teenage angst.
It’s time to get back to the formula that has made “Glee” one of the most popular. Yes, many gay students have a tough time deciding whether to “come out” or not. Yes, high school can be a difficult time for many. Yes, “Glee” should include those issues in its storylines. But, no, it should not be the main focus week after week.
“Glee” airs Tuesdays on FOX, at 8 pm ET.
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