The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Why this unhinged TV show is worth watching

A compelling case to waste time on “Glee,” a show about a quirky show choir
You can watch “Glee” now on Disney+.

In addition to having the first African American President of the United States inaugurated into office, the year 2009 also presented the world with the groundbreaking show that is known as “Glee.” After introducing this show to my college and hometown friend groups and using it as a guilty pleasure ice-breaker in my current spring term class, why not share it with the world?

It begins with Mr. Schue, a Spanish high school teacher searching for his purpose in life. He comes to believe that “New Directions,” a glee club consisting of “11.5 students,” will be the answer to his prayers. Some argue he is living vicariously through them, while others claim he has the purest of intentions.

The controversy behind this show, which I believe to be overstated, is not limited to Mr. Schue’s inappropriate tendency to overstep boundaries, which has absolutely nothing to do with his talent. Go listen to his duet rendition of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” As for his controversial acts, examples include threatening to frame the star quarterback for experimenting with drugs and later on, asking the same student to be his best man at his wedding. The general controversy of the show extends to one of my favorite characters, none other than Sue Sylvester herself.

Sue is the ruthless and intimidating coach of a six-time consecutive national cheerleading team. Our two beloved educators partake in an intense rivalry over the allocation of the school’s budget, mutual students balancing their time between the two activities and more importantly, Sue’s jealousy over Mr. Schue’s lustrous, wavy hair.

Sue earns layers to her character development as she flexes the hardships she has faced by starting most of her iconic rhetorical questions with “You think this is hard?” And then goes on to share her challenging experiences that include, but are not limited to, waterboarding, hepatitis, gallstones and rejection from Baywatch casting. Finally, she ends the line with a “that’s hard.” Who can blame her, those do sound awfully hard.

We learn so much more during Sue’s Corner, her hysterical segment on WOHN-TV news where she shares her unique insights on the current state of our world, which surprisingly, are poorly received. Claiming that “America is failing” due to arts programs is a grand statement, yet she offers no reasoning. She distracts us with the lack of rationale with an iconic “that’s how Sue C’s it,” forming a letter C with her hand.

With much respect to Sue, a fictional character, “Glee” clearly indicates the positive impact each of these students experiences from the arts through the encouragement of discovering oneself, accepting what they discover and triumphant victories. However, in alignment with Sue’s views, I will not delve into the details of the students because Sue is the reason this show is worth watching.

As you can see, this show is no joke; it is a masterpiece. Serious matters are addressed in “Glee.” The exhaustive list of issues includes alcoholism, bullying, fake pregnancies, homophobia, religious exploration and show choir addiction. As for whether these are properly addressed is a different question at hand, which is answered by the use of a show choir conversion group as a solution.

Paired with spectacular hits like “Gangnam Style” and “Sexy and I Know It,” it is undeniable that Glee combines hard coming-of-age conversations with music that is equally as serious.

To build credibility for this serious TV show recommendation, I asked two of my roommates (also forced to write an article) to willingly provide a response to the question: “Would you also recommend this show to a friend and why?”

Christy Childs, ’26, eagerly responded, “Yes, because the singing is amazing. That is that.” While I did not go into detail on how the impeccable performances and theatricality, this should suffice.

Lydia Bowersox, ’26, agrees. “Yes, because when you are not laughing at the jokes, you are laughing at the cringe-worthy drama.”

Now, I understand the concern behind these quotes or references, but I promise context is necessary, which is why I encourage you all to give it a shot. At the very least, the first three seasons, after that, it gets weird.

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