Part of it is undoubtedly nostalgia. The first half of the first season of Glee, which is when I started watching the show a few episodes in, is the story of how Will and Emma discover their feelings for each other. Will, at the time, is married to a woman who lies in the most inconceivable ways (pun intended). Her (and her family’s) attitude to life is fundamentally detached from Will’s (and, by extension, I think, the audience’s). By comparison to Terri, we read Will as some kind of saint. That’s an illusion, of course, because none of the characters in Glee are saints (there are magicians and nature spirits but no saints).
And the love story is sweet, and story-booky for a while. But real life gets in the way.
Real life is nothing like romantic stories or movies, and if it is, it isn’t for very long. Here’s where my love for Will and Emma gets personal.
I feel really bad for Will. It isn’t easy being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t act the way you expect them to. Being in a relationship with someone who isn’t neurotypical is really fucking hard work. It means you lose out on things, and it’s not their fault and it’s not your fault but there are times the two of you will just lie in bed crying at how hard it is.
I know, because I’m my wife’s Emma. I don’t have the same issues as Emma, but I have issues. And because of it, I fail my wife on a regular basis on things that any neurotypical person would just be able to do. My whole brain works in ways that sometimes I love and a lot of the time I hate. I used to have medication for it but we can’t afford that anymore. And strictly speaking, it’s not 100% necessary. It just makes life easier for us.
These medications also do not solve the lifetime of broken that has happened pre-diagnosis.
I like the way Glee treats Will in the context of Wemma. Yeah, ok, so Tumblr is full of revulsion because Will talked about morning wood. But it worked, and it showed the cracks that still exist in a relationship that otherwise looks reasonably ok. And Will isn’t a jerk for wanting to have sex with Emma. Emma seems to want to have sex with Will, and it’s likely that has happened since Will feels comfortable making a casual proposition.
But Will’s a fairly normal guy — he’s done some good and he’s done some bad — who is struggling in a very real way with loving a person who is different. He doesn’t push her away and say he can’t cope with her being different. He doesn’t say that because she fails to meet the expectations he’s been taught by the world to have that she’s not good enough. To the contrary, he thinks she’s worth the extra work and he doesn’t begrudge her that.
And it’s one thing for fans to be all “Emma, you deserve more” but Emma wants Will.
So you know, I’m apparently all about the Will-love today. I’m sure it’ll pass.
*It strikes me how often I’ve used, or wanted to use the word “willing” in this post. In every plot, Will is shown to lack the magic others have. He’s unable to induce a magical cure for Emma like John Stamos’ character did. He couldn’t just come up with the money for Glee club — he had to work another job for it (nobody in Glee works for money except Will). He’s unable to magic Kurt off to Dalton the way Puck does. He tries and fails a lot. He does awful things sometimes. Everything Will accomplishes is done the plain old ordinary human way, which has to kind of suck for him. Mr Schue is a Saturday’s child. Will’s only power is will.