Monday, January 24, 2011
Don't Believe Them, Artie
I didn't start out as a Gleek, but I am now. I'm two seasons behind on the wildly popular show, Glee, but I am making my way throught Season 1 on Blueray right now. I am loving the show, and try to fit in a new episode whenever I can.
Today I watched two episodes. The first included a story about Rachel (the glee club's biggest star) getting very upset because she had tonsilitis. Even though her doctor recommended she have her tonsils removed, she just couldn't because she believed she would lose her singing voice. And in Rachel's mind, the only thing she has going for her is her voice. Without it, she feels she would be nothing.
But another glee club star, Finn, took Rachel to see a friend of his. Finn and his friend used to play football together. The friend, however, was injured and was paralyzed from the chest down. The friend convinced Rachel that she was more than just her voice, and that life, though different, wasn't so bad. Rachel bought it, and the episode ended happily ever after.
The next episode, however, seemed to send the exact opposite message. Artie, the glee club member in a wheelchair, succumbed to the flirting of one of the girls in the club, and decided he wanted to dance. Not just a different kind of dancing that involved his wheelchair, but real stand-on-your-feet dancing. The girl researched a lot of medical trials and convinced Artie that it would be possible for him to walk and eventually dance.
Then, unlike with the ex-football player from the previous episode, everyone, including teachers and guidance counselors, convinced Artie that he had to accept his limitations and stop dreaming of walking. The episode ended with Artie telling the girl that he wasn't going to walk, or dance, or even be able to sink a basketball. The girl danced with an able-bodied boy as Artie gazed sadly off to the side of the stage.
So why would the writers promote dreams and a no-limits lifestyle for one character, and then in the next episode have Artie accept that he was different and shouldn't dream? Maybe the answer will be revealed in later episodes, but for the first time, I really didn't like Glee.