Yes/No: Could be called Silly Love Songs

they all look like they're trying not to sneeze

Everyone’s losing their minds now, and I’m struggling to understand.

Two weeks ago, I was certain we wouldn’t see much of Klaine or Brittana, because the episode is about marriage, which, if you’re from Ohio (or, most of the world) isn’t about gay couples.

Maybe as a queer of a certain age, I’m used to being excluded from such things (despite being married, but we’ve seen recently how easily that can be taken away). Despite Kurt’s declaration he’ll be “legally married by 30”, we’re still not allowed to dream the same dreams.

And so, to me, it makes sense that we saw very little of Kurt and Blaine and Santana and Brittany in this marriage themed episode.  And what we saw was lovely. Kurt and Blaine showing absolute confidence in what they have; Brittany and Santana clutching hands far less confidently, but

More horses

still, it was important.

I can’t stand the idea that anyone is not complete without someone else. I think we should have hopes and dreams unrelated to pairing up with anyone. And how much more true is that for Rachel, who really is a star? I just felt the interaction during this song was not healthy for them, and it didn’t feel sweet or romantic to me for that reason.

There was something else that disturbed me. Santana and Brittany are holding hands while Rachel sings, which is sweet. And at one point, Blaine leans over to give a kiss to Kurt, although it’s off-camera. And that’s sweet, too.

Except when the song’s over, Rachel and Finn suck each other’s tonsils out of their mouths. And once again, the double standard for affection between the same-sex and opposite sex couples on the show slaps me in the face.

It’s not about what couples you like; it’s about parity and visibility. And I’d like some, please.

from AfterElton

This criticism of the episode annoys me. Partly because I can’t brush it off as coming from teenage straight girls on Tumblr who want to see boys kiss, because it’s written by a gay person. But also because the first part is right on the money:

I can’t stand the idea that anyone is not complete without someone else. I think we should have hopes and dreams unrelated to pairing up with anyone. And how much more true is that for Rachel, who really is a star? I just felt the interaction during this song was not healthy for them, and it didn’t feel sweet or romantic to me for that reason.

And then, for some reason, she wants to see Klaine and Brittana be equally unhealthy.

Except when the song’s over, Rachel and Finn suck each other’s tonsils out of their mouths. And once again, the double standard for affection between the same-sex and opposite sex couples on the show slaps me in the face.

It’s not about what couples you like; it’s about parity and visibility. And I’d like some, please.

This disconnect seems pervasive in fandom right now. I don’t want Klaine to become Finchel.

There are practical considerations too. The “stars” of Glee are Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele. So Will and Rachel will dominate storylines just because it’s their story. Their relationships, their trials and tribulations are meant to be the anchor of the show (whether that works or not is another blog post).

The other practical consideration is one that Racheline (at Letters From Titan) and I have rehashed more often than should be necessary. It’s not safe for gay people to be free with their affections in public. And that’s different for girls and for boys – Brittany and Santana can hold hands with impunity, because they’re girls and girls are expected to be more expressive with their friends. For boys, the expectation is back slaps and shoulder jabs, not snuggles and kisses. And maybe they should feel safe in the choir room, but when you’re en garde almost every hour of every day, it’s hard to just snap into “safe mode” and feel comfortable.

Anyway, old argument.

And while we’re on the subject of toxic relationships, let’s have a look at Shane and Mercedes. Shane doesn’t show up often, but the times that he has, he’s tried to steer his girlfriend away from her friends (first Rachel, now Sam). That makes me dislike him. I’ll admit to being a bit giddy when Mercedes’ thoughts turned to Sam first during The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

Will and Emma? There’s toxicity there, but it mostly comes from outside. Will’s suggestiveness is appalling as he takes on all of Emma’s horrible, horrible parents’ arguments and, in despair, presents them to her. He’s also showing up his issues when he tells Finn that he’s the dude who taught him all about being a man. Maybe Schue’s just feeling guilty now over the whole blackmail thing. Mostly, Will and Emma seem committed and in love. I’m sure they’ll have struggles but if they stop listening to assholes, they should get on just fine. And yeah, he hurt her. And she forgave him. But people in intimate relationships will hurt each other. It’s impossible not to, unless you’re perfect, and I’m not so I don’t expect others will be. There has to be a certain “surface tension” when it comes to doing stupid or hurtful things in the confines of your relationship — like the glass more-than-full of water, it will hold together a bit. Too much will spill everything, but a good relationship can tolerate some hurt here and there. It has to or it will be very, very short.

Artie and Sugar and Becky. I loved this storyline. Helen Mirren’s voiceover was genius. I particularly enjoyed the use of the word “haters”. I don’t know how much I want to comment because I think the episode made its points very plainly and well.

Another post is coming on “Daddy Issues”. Because whoa, Glee has them.

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7 thoughts on “Yes/No: Could be called Silly Love Songs

  1. It explains so much about Will’s character that he believes a high school boy, and a not very mature one at that, taught him about being a man. I have always enjoyed Finn’s character because I see him as a well intentioned, but not terribly intelligent jock. He is not secretly a straight A student and his understanding of the world is limited by his circumstances. I find it slightly disturbing that this is what an adult teacher aspires to be. I can hope that as Finn grows up and sees more of the world his perspective will broaden and he will learn to see some of his past actions through a different lens. I now see that Will never wants to.

  2. //And then, for some reason, she wants to see Klaine and Brittana be equally unhealthy.//

    I think you’re being incredibly disingenuous here. Finn and Rachel aren’t a toxic relationship because they are physically affectionate with each other, or because their relationship is centered in plotlines instead of sidelined, which was the arena where the writer explicitly said she wanted parity. Finn and Rachel are toxic because he still zones out when she talks, because she planned to lose her virginity to him to better her acting and then decided to use sex to show him how special he was, because he has nothing good in his life except her and she’s happy to be that, because they still largely seem like symbols instead of people to each other. All of that has fuck-all to do with the amount of casual physical affection between the two of them, and nothing about that implies that increased physical affection between Kurt/Blaine or Brittany/Santana would somehow poison their relationship from within. Tina and Mike managed to cuddle in a flashback without becoming Finchel, so I’m really not sure why you think it would somehow ruin Brittany and Santana. You flat-out said that the criticism annoys you and you want to brush it off, but I think it’s more honest to *actually* brush it off instead of pretending to address it while willfully misinterpreting it.

    I also don’t think we’re supposed to see Finn/Rachel as as toxic as they come off (if so, I’m not sure why “Without You” and the final scenes of The First Time were framed so romantically), and the same with Will and Emma. Her parents are horrible people, and it was frankly ridiculous and awful of him to contact them even with the implication that it was what *Emma* wanted, but the issues they raised were valid (both in actuality, and as presented by the narrative). In order to get to the honest proposal at the end, he didn’t have to “stop listening to assholes”, he had to listen to them and recognize the truth of what they said–that relationships are messy, and Emma in particular has problems dealing with messes–and *then* make the conscious choice to accept that instead of ignoring it like he had been. He incorporated their words into his proposal, even.

    As for Mercedes and Sam, I think there’s an (unintended) element of toxicity there as well. She told him to stop hitting on her because she wants to stay with her boyfriend (her exact words: “Sam, stop”), and he ignored her stated wishes in order to second-guess her reasons and continue flirting with her. He ignores what she actually says she wants because he assumes that he knows what she really wants. And he happens to be right, which is very convenient for him, but I much preferred the Sam of last year who kissed Quinn and then, when she said she didn’t want him to kiss her, apologized for overstepping her boundaries.

  3. I disagree. I think the completely out of proportion PDAs that Finchel is famous for are part of their problem. They perpetually feel the need for public moments and only sometimes share sweet private moments. I think part of their relationship is performing it, and not in the way we all do, but in a “smile for the cameras, honey” way. Rachel even planned it that way. When she was pursuing Finn she spoke of her “leading man”. I really believe that both Rachel and Finn believe they are in love with each other. I’m withholding judgement on whether I actually believe they are.

  4. I think Will’s “You taught me about being man” line to Finn was weird. That said, however, I don’t think he was saying that he aspires to be more like Finn in every way. I think he meant that he admires the way Finn sticks up for his friends and does certain things. I’m sure some of that was also a call back to what they went through together in season 1. When you get right down to it, Finn DID handle the revelation about Puck/Quinn and the baby relatively maturely for his age, so I can see why Will might admire that.

  5. //And then, for some reason, she wants to see Klaine and Brittana be equally unhealthy.//

    I disagree. As she said it’s the disparity that’s annoying. The lack of interaction between two couple (three is you count Mike and Tina) that could be very healthy and functional but we never get to see them. Just because we get more face time with them would mean a automatic decline in how their relationship function and the quality of those relationship. In terms of dealing with their issues as couples they are light years ahead of their Finchel counterpart.

  6. I think we’re forgetting the crucial point here-Blaine still loves Kurt in that Hat-that’s got to be forever.

  7. I think that there are so many more deeper issues that were in this episode that are more critical to focus on and discuss, especially in today’s society.

    Marriage
    Proposals
    Eloping
    Disability
    Dating
    OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
    Break-ups
    War Heroes
    Biracial Relationships
    Young Love
    Post-Secondary Dreams

    And thats only to mention a few…

    I feel like a lot of these things are not touched upon and discussed as deep and as often as they should be.

    I also have a blog about glee called Glee Inspired Me. http://www.gleeinspiredme.com

    I would love to have you check it out, comment and create much more discussion.

    By the way, i love this blog and how you put a lot of passion behind your words.

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