Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Glee" Redeemed

About a month ago I wrote an entry about how I thought Fox's show, Glee, was not sensitive to people with disabilities.  I was offended by some of the things they said about "special ed kids", "mongoloids", as well as insensitive comments about other disabilities.  Well, I'd considered boycotting the show, but for some reason, got sucked in. 

Last night's episode has redeemed the show for me!  I was so surprised to find that what I thought was offensive had now become a show working hard to break through stereotypes and make the viewers aware of the struggles some go through.  The entire Glee club spent the whole week in wheelchairs to try to understand what one member of the group experiences on a daily basis.  The Glee club quickly realized how difficult his life is and experienced the prejudice he lives with.  They then introduced a girl with Down syndrome.  The coach of the cheerleading squad (a very harsh, insensitive, guarded character) was forced to hold open auditions.  After the girl with Ds stumbled through her audition, the "Cheerios" coach tells her she made the squad.  This part made me a little nervous, thinking the coach was going to show her insensitivity again.  I actually watched the rest of the show with a bit of anxiety and anticipation, just expecting to be offended.  Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to watch this cruel cheerleading coach soften as she walked in to visit her older sister who had Down syndrome.  Her facade melted away and she lit up as she sat next to her sister's bed and proceeded to read a story to her.

This show may actually have a chance to raise awareness and change perceptions about Down syndrome and other challenges. 

I stand corrected and humbled.


  1. I missed it, dang! Already gave up on keeping up with the show. Thanks for sharing that.
    Love your blog facelift, BTW!

  2. Hey Danielle! I'm totally with ya on that one! I've been a big fan of the show because I identified with the drama geek characters but I did feel like it overly stereotyped for entertainment's sake--at first. As the show has progressed I think they're doing a good job of fleshing out the characters and bringing more sensitivity. I actually cried when they showed the scene of Sue with her sister. It made me think of you guys:)
    We miss seeing you all. Amy Jo misses her boyfriend--she asked about you and Cody every time we went to baby bootcamp for a while. Hope you're having a good fall! (love that adorable picture of Nate right there, BTW!) Take care and have a wonderful holiday season!

  3. I was one of the few that stayed away from this show because I was scared over some things I had heard...didn't want to put myself through the guilt in watching a show that stereotyped. I have had several people tell me how great this show is and ESPECIALLY after last nights episode. Guess I'll have to start from the beginning!

  4. I agree Danielle. I think they are working towards acceptance. There are comments here and there...short bus, etc. but I guess that's real life and if it wasn't there then the audience wouldn't relate so I think they are angling it the right way. I'm impressed. May have to watch from the beginning as well now!

  5. Just found you through Jennifer's blog. I love Glee. I watched the show with a lot of anticipation too. I had posted a link with Becky's picture on my fb page encouraging people to watch it and then as the show went on I feared it may be a negative take on Ds. I was relieved to see how positive it was and I had tears in my eyes when the cheerio leader went to see her sister. Such a love that we all know too well and understand.

  6. I agree, the show had me on pins and needles, not knowing what the coach would do. I was pleasantly surprised and shed a tear at the end with that touching scene.

  7. HI! I just ran accross your blog. My name is Jennifer aka Googsmom and I live in Molalla. I have a daughter w/ Ds who is almost 4 yr old. Our blog is I started a play group/ mommy group out here at the library in Molalla. We have a date next Saturday. Your invited. 10ish to 11ish. I'm in O'City alot if you want to visit and have some coffee. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}