Fox: You’re Doing It Wrong….again.

I can’t help it, Glee is a show I watch. I continue to watch it even though it has failed at most every topic it’s covered: fat, misogyny, non-marital sex, disability. It should be no shock to me that they would continue the fail, why start getting it right now? So last night’s episode, laryngitis shouldn’t have made me so irritated.  Oops.

It started out like any Glee episode, snarking teen angst and asserting possible fat acceptance. Then it progresses to two folks in a wheelchair at a 'chair off' poseiSpire/Inspire with a Poor Disabled Person™ as bate. One of the main characters, Rachel is upset because she’s loosing her voice (temporarily) and thus her life. Her foiled love interest takes her to meet this guy he knows. Dude is paralyzed and in bed. Sadly, he never tried out for his school’s glee club and now he has no life and no friends. Also no sex. He misses a lady touch. He discovered he’s good at math. Like, really good.  Rachel sees that even if she (temporarily) looses her voice she still has because she’s met this dude. And boy does this dude’s life suck!


Although the character (and true-life PWD actor) claims use of a wheelchair, we only see him in bed, covered in blankets and assisted by mom when one blanket isn’t covering his nekkid chest enough. Although he misses a lady touch, when Rachel holds his hand it feels more like dirty bad touch than a cute connection. They sing together, for surely he wants music lessons from Rachel (who has taken so much from him knowledge-wise that she must give back!) and he…can’t sing. But they pick a song that should unite us all and a magical tear slides down her cheek at the end.

SLOW CLAP. CLAP. CLAP. my face, the Glee L finger thing on my head, the text 'glee fail' to the left

So Fox heard about the hubbub surrounding featuring a disabled character played by an able-bodied actor. They found a PWD actor and filled a spot. Cool. Generally I don’t like when shows speak to fans but this is aright. But then they do this. They use a PWD actor and a new PWD character and….make it inspirational. Because if this poor slob can face the day (and the music!) then surely so can we.

Dood. Stop. Just stop.


2 responses to “Fox: You’re Doing It Wrong….again.

  1. for what it’s worth, I think an awful lot of Glee fans – able-bodied or not – were pretty appalled by this character and the hugely massive FAIL Glee perpetrated by using the kid’s disability as a lesson. It felt icky to me from start to finish. Reading comments from other Glee watchers, though, gave me some shred of hope for the world, because many of them remarked on their discomfort with the way this boy’s paralysis was used and represented, in essentially the same terms you’ve used here.


  2. Pingback: More on Glee Disableism | Dis/positional

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