Sunday, 16 December 2012

Glee's retelling of Artie's story

Oh, Glee. Why do you do this to me?

There are so many reasons why I love you, and for balance, I will start with them. You brought me:
  • Heather Morris's and Harry Shum Jr's dancing.
  • Naya Rivera's amazing acting and singing.
  • Amber Riley's and Lea Michele's singing.
  • An example of what not to do after a barrage of insults.
  • Cory Monteith's excellent 'wah?' face.
  • The strength to be totally honest about my own sexuality and to ignore anyone who has a problem with it.
  • Brittany's absolute acceptance of her own bisexuality.
  • The story arc of Brittany and Santana's relationship.
  • Dianna Agron's all round awesomeness.
For these things and more, I love you so much, and I will find it almost impossible to stop watching you, because every time I give up on you, you reel me back with either a fantastic cover or out of the blue fantastic storytelling.

However, I simply can't ignore your retelling of the story of New Directions by making Artie the hero of the piece.

The reason? Him being in a wheelchair meant he had time to focus on things other than being a football stud so he had time for Glee, thereby having a knock on effect on every other characters' lives, as presented in the 'It's a Wonderful Life' segment of the Glee Season 4 Christmas special.

A thousand times no.

I'll address the 'points' you made in that segment of the episode as I see fit.

In the alternative timeline, Will's shown as still being married to Terri, with a fake baby. He's also an alcoholic, so he was too drunk to have noticed Terri never actually gave birth. Funnily enough, he's also still a teacher at McKinley high school, even though in the pilot he thought about leaving to become an accountant. So, even if we accept the assumption that New Directions wouldn't have pulled him back without Artie, which is a big if, he would simply not have still been teaching. Also, if we look back at what convinced Will to believe in himself, it was Emma showing him the video of him performing in his Glee club and Finn convincing New Directions to perform 'Don't Stop Believing'. Another thing Glee, there is no way an alcoholic Will would have been allowed to carry on teaching. Oh wait, no, because Sue, who physically assaults students, is still a teacher. Never mind then.

So, Finn only chose to stay in New Directions because Artie was in a wheelchair and therefore in New Directions? Will was the one who heard Finn singing in the shower, and it was him who blackmailed Finn into joining the club.  Yes, he did leave after Will decided to leave the school to focus on becoming an accountant for Terri's sake. Also, yes, it was the footballers "giving" Artie in a portaloo to flip which gave Finn the strength to be honest about loving singing, but he was getting there anyway. If it had been Kurt in that portaloo instead, it'd have been totally within his character development at that point to have turned his back on his bullying ways.

So, in this alternative timeline, Rachel would've been a librarian and she'd have been in the chorus for a local production? She'd been performing since she was a toddler, and she'd been focused on getting a career on Broadway for years. Even without New Directions, I'm sure she'd still have been aiming towards that dream all throughout high school. Yes, she might have continued to be bullied, but the show has proven her dads are awesome, so they would have continued to encourage her to follow her dream.

Puck apparently wouldn't have graduated after his first attempt at senior year and he'd still have been bullying outcasts. He already had a creative outlet before joining New Directions. He sang and played guitar to get the women whose pools he cleaned into bed. Not exactly a healthy reason to do it, but I honestly believe he'd have worked that out for himself anyway. He also joined Acafellas, which Will set up because he felt pushed out of New Directions due to Rachel and Quinn's actions. That's what ultimately led him to join New Directions, not Artie.

So, without Artie in New Directions, Kurt would have carried on being bullied? The bullying ramped up due to Karofsky's denial of his own sexuality, which lead Kurt transferring to Dalton. Would he really not have heard of the school without New Directions? Are we really meant to believe a private school's marketing is so bad that it relies on kids performing against its Glee club to get new pupils? Also, in case you've forgotten, it was Santana who got Karosfky to promise to stop bullying and as a consequence making Kurt feel safe enough to return to McKinley.

What stopped Emma marrying Coach Tanaka was her moving their wedding to take New Directions to sectionals because she wanted so badly to do something for Will because she loved him. Even if New Directions hadn't existed, it's likely something else would have happened to make Ken realise she loved Will.

When Artie found out Tina was "faking" her stutter because she was shy, he had a go at her, all because apparently having an actual disability makes you an outcast all by itself. That's not exactly the way to encourage people to feel less shy! The person who made Tina feel loved was Mike, and she'd probably have been in a relationship with him even if she'd never dated Artie.

I don't really know how to address this one because as soon as I saw they were likening her character to Harry Bailey, I just stopped listening.

Glee, I am pleased you've finally got Artie to acknowledge that being in a wheelchair isn't as bad as he's been claiming since Season 1, but did you really have to do it by giving him the credit for other characters' actions and motivations?

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