Glee (Television Series)
Fox Studios ©2009-
Glee is currently one of the most popular shows on the Fox network, and the influence of the show is affecting much of the teenage culture in America. Glee appeals to many different types of individuals, both the “popular” and the “unpopular.” In fact, supporters of the show often refer to themselves as “Gleeks.” The characters in the Glee club are portrayed as being the unpopular students and yet they still do what they love without feeling like they have to change who they are in order to fit in. The message for standing up against peer pressure and just being yourself is quite commendable. In the past year and a half, Glee has won a handful of major awards, and the show is gaining a reputation for breaking established stereotypes and prejudices. The positive diversity messages of the show are far-reaching, and it has done much to break down discrimination and intolerance. Glee has an actress with Down Syndrome on the cast, and they have replaced the word handicap with “handi”capable.
One of the student characters on the show, Kurt, is openly gay. Much of the storyline follows his struggles and there is much sympathy aimed at him. Kurt is also recognized for being the most responsible, caring, kind, open, and self-controlled Glee club member on the show. At the most recent Golden Globe awards, Chris Colfer, the actor who plays Kurt, won best supporting actor.
In determining the worldview of Glee, it is important to note that all religions and belief systems are given credence and are openly talked about on the show. However, after a season and a half on the air, atheism is the overarching viewpoint. Mr. Schuster, the Glee teacher, and Kurt, are both atheists. However, they respect others for having different viewpoints, and the writers make a point to show that this respect makes them very moral people, regardless of whether or not they believe in a higher power. We are all good people deep down and this is shown through how we treat others. There is also a Christian character on the show named Quinn. She is considered to be very conservative and is the president of the celibacy club. Early in the first season she becomes pregnant from a one-night stand, and when her parents find out they kick her out of the house and father refuses to acknowledge her existence. This picture of a conservative Christian family is not positive at all.
In the second-season episode “Grilled Cheesus,” the worldview of the characters are most clearly shown. Kurt, who was mentioned earlier, has two rather deep comments. In the first he says, “I appreciate your thoughts, but I don't want your prayers” when speaking towards his classmates. The second comment hits even deeper into the reasons why he doesn’t believe in God. He says, “God makes me gay and then makes His followers go around saying it's a choice, as if I'd choose to be mocked every day of my life.” In the same episode, Sue, the cheerleading coach, makes a comment about believing in God, “asking someone to believe in a fantasy, no matter how comforting, is cruel.” This episode is very definitive in its final message and solidifies Glee’s status as an atheistic show.