26 May 2010
EVERYONE IS WEIRD. Everyone is an outsider. No one feels comfortable in their skin. Everyone has someone who puts them down, beats them up or generally makes them feel small. EVERYONE. What Glee needs to realize is that being weird does not make their characters interesting or in any way deserving of an audience’s love. Being gay does not give Kurt a free pass to be selfish and inconsiderate, he has to earn our respect just like everyone else.
In tonight’s not terrible episode, Kurt spewed the quotable line “I’m different, it’s the best thing about me”. It’s a cute line, sweet really. It’s something I could see wonderful people putting on their facebook pages and observing as a personal motto. But it’s not really true. Everyone’s different. Even those undeveloped football caricatures who were determined to beat him up, they’re different. They’re certainly different from Kurt. They’re different from me, from everyone I know. They’re different from one another and from (better developed) jock characters on teen-oriented TV. There is no such thing as normal, therefore “different” is a moot point.
And for the record, the best thing about Kurt is NOT that he’s “different”. So he’s a little more glittery than the other guys at his highschool. So what? The best thing about Kurt is his passion. It’s his sense of style, his sass, his determination and his dynamite vocal range. It’s certainly not being different- that’s not an achievement at all. And it’s not that he’s brave enough to show that he’s different (he changed who he was just to fit in like 2 weeks ago).
I’m actually just going to put it out there, and I know all you readers are evolved enough to know that this is not a reflection on my appreciation of the gay community or my lack of empathy or even my low tolerance for the overly dramatic. I don’t like Kurt all that much. I think he’s a mishandled character who has all the potential in the world but spends most his time being, frankly, antagonistic.
Finn’s an essentially good guy, not a smart one or one who’s particularly steady-footed when it comes to his convictions, but a good guy, well intentioned and whatnot. Kurt may be right in his refusal to dilute who he is but he’s certainly not considerate of Finn’s feelings when it comes to the move and his personal hangups (which are legit, by the way. If Finn was having this reaction assuming Kurt was checking him out just because he’s gay, that would be wrong. But Kurt is watching Finn’s every move and Finn has every right to be uncomfortable with it). Kurt is selfish and insecure and flat out inconsiderate of others, including his dad and Finn. It really says something when I am defending one of my least favourite characters even after he used the “f” word, but Finn wasn’t altogether in the wrong this week. He was definitely in the wrong, but not as much as he was framed to be.
Now Kurt’s dad, there’s a heroic character. His speech tonight was beautiful. A bit redundant since it basically said everything that an intelligent viewer had to know the guy was about in the first place, but it served to drive that point home to thick-headed Kurt, something that really needed to happen. His father’s heroics just HAD to wipe out that ridiculous complex Kurt’s been whining about for weeks, this delusional idea that his father doesn’t love him as much as he would if he were straight.
So sure, the episode made its point. And it certainly had it’s moments of greatness (POKER FACE!!! They CANNOT let Idina Menzel go! That was such a plot cop-out). But its whole “being different makes you better” attitude was just plain backwards. Instead of saying “we’re great BECAUSE we’re weird” can’t the show just admit that we’re all weird and greatness has nothing to do with it? These characters are great because they’re fun, talented, determined and (sometimes) clever, not because they’re any more weird than those strange neanderthals who wear the same jackets every day and beat up complete strangers. It’s not about being weird, different or some kind of “freak”, it’s about all that other stuff that Glee keeps forgetting they’ve got.