Glee is one of those rare shows where every episode attempts to realize the same succint message: be good, feel good. Characters encourage each other, and often themselves, to live according to some greater standard of high school morality. And if you’re bad, you won’t feel so good. Literally. As cheerleader Quinn laments in this episode, “I’ve only cheated twice in my life. The first time I got pregnant. The second time I got mono.”
Mono totally sucks, but Quinn did cheat on her brainless boyfriend, and in Glee, there are consequences for actions like that. Finn gets mono too, after a steamy make-out sesh with Quinn, but what about all the other girls he kissed via his Glee Club fundraiser kissing booth?
This incident is indicative of a larger fault in Glee. Glee tries so hard to merge the story lines of its primary characters, the Glee Club members, that viewers are often left with inexplicable narrative gaps that don’t fit into the be good, feel good formula. Why is half the school punished with mono just because Finn can’t commit to a single girl?
Some of the ways in which unity is constructed among the Glee Clubbers is also questionable. In this episode, there seemed to be numerous incidents of characters adopting fake voices to indicate toughness. All of these voices depicted a race-specific, class-specific approach to machismo. Does a don’t fuck with me attitude always need to be accompanied with the mimicked voice of a stereotypical black girl from the inner city? And if this is the case, why is Mercedes, the show’s only black protagonist, the most articulate and insightful character on this episode as she delivers a monologue on the career benefits of being single?
I realize I’ve raised more questions than answers, but perhaps next week’s episode will clarify some of my concerns. Though I remain doubtful about this prospect, I am bursting with glee for this week’s episode of Hellcats. Stay tuned!