Friday, January 28, 2011

Glee and the Anonymous Comment

I just stumbled upon an anonymous comment from last month. I initially overlooked it because an anonymous reader added it about four weeks after everyone else had stopped commenting, but this anonymous reader brings interesting insights to a discussion Erica and I simultaneously posted about last month: Glee.

In fact, I appreciate this viewpoint so much I'm reposting it below:

Some disclaimers : I am a female who as worked in the entertainment industry, as such I will say that yes, it is a very sexist business and has issues with people of color. It is at heart a business, and they sell what sells; what the public wants to buy.

I have major issues about how Glee writes and treats it's female cast.

But I disagree with many of your points. Glee was cast pretty well; it is a band of misfits chosen for voice and acting. The plain fact of it is that Tina and Mercedes were always small support roles and will never be front and center. Not everyone is a lead. Glee is not an ensemble show. It isn't everyone gets a solo day. There is plot and story going on (except for the second season which is an unstructured crapfest)

Quinn got to sing season 1 for a good reason; the main plot concerned her and Finn, and they needed to support the conversation that was happening about the baby and the inherent secret keeping. It wasn't race, it was plot. Kurt/Puck/Artie didn't get chosen as lead male either even though they are better singers than Finn. It was plot. The actors service the story.

The story always should come first, and I really didn't have an issue with the first season in that regard. Glee was the story of Will and Rachel primarily, and Finn and Rachel symbolize the merging of the different high school worlds. Those are (or were) the leads. It's the structure of the show. 

There is also the issue of the different levels of acting ability amongst the cast. Some really would not do well with larger more complex roles. I really don't want to single anyone out as they all haven't actually trained or worked as actors. That is an honest assessment. 

All casting is about how the actor looks. That has been a fact since the beginning of showbiz, and all actors/actresses know this. 99% of being an actor is being rejected. Paul Giamotti, though white, is never going to get the roles that Will Smith does. 

In the second season , the writing has been a mess. I don't even want to get into everything thing that is a problem, there is just too much, but the overall issue is that they are just not writing for the girls. Any of them. Even the adult women have disappeared, except for Sue, who is written as a man, and Coach Beiste, who is a new toy. None of the girls have much story.

They need female writers, or someone who can write for a character that isn't male/white/gay.

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