WHAT! I like the idea of Glee. The fun nature of this hit show taps into my inner performer and somehow allows me to escape back to a time that demanded less responsibility and more excitement from me. Only, now that I’ve used our Netflix subscription to “catch up” (which is to say that I never watch Glee and therefore to catch up would be to spend endless hours watching all the episodes for the first time), I am speechless to say the least. The time is high school, the attitude is carefree, the setting is safe, the relationships are pure, life is easy! At least it’s supposed to be. Why is Glee so popular? What makes the drama that these kids- acting -like -adults engage in so appealing? I literally sat here and watched 3 episodes and I was legitimately entertained by the music, but utterly astonished by the content.
And it occurs to me that one of the target audiences is obviously the same demographic that is portrayed in the show. This is less a critique or criticism of the show Glee and more a gut check and a wake up call as a parent and for parents. Glee has been a primetime favorite for it’s 3 seasons of life. Some of it’s primary themes are dysfunctional relationships, sex, popularity, sex, homosexuality, sex and sex…oh and then there’s the music! As I watched these dramas between teenagers play out, I thought to myself, “Am I so naive? Is this what high school is really like? Is Glee closer to real life than I choose to realize?” WAKE UP!
This is not a venue for me to tell you about my experience in high school. I’ll spare you, the details are impressively boring. I knew that there were other options for me on weekends. I knew that some of my classmates were getting stupid drunk. I knew that a fair amount of illicit drugs passed through the halls of my high school. I knew it, and I was afraid of it. Now, as a parent, I have to ask myself, “What makes kids so different? How do I create a righteous fear in my own children without creating a spirit of judgment?”
For everyone who wants to look at me and call me naive and prude, I urge you to cast the first stone. I feel defensive and almost offended when I get done watching Glee. I escaped high school without taking a drink and without losing myself to anyone and never once have I wished that it had been different. It’s so frustrating that if the Glee cast were among the amazing group of students that I graduated with, they would take me down with more thrown stones than most people see in a lifetime. Why is it okay for a primetime, highly rated, widely watched (mostly by adolescents) television show that wins awards on top of awards to be allowed to influence KIDS with ideas like having sex with whomever, whenever is okay? Backstabbing your friend by cheating with her boyfriend is adequate revenge? Teen pregnancy glorified? Drinking alcohol in high school is a way to “see life”? WHAT?! I wish this show was actually about the music! Honestly, I wish that Glee would put out a montage of only the performances and music so that I could watch it with my musically and performance inclined daughter, but alas, even if that were available (and perhaps it is), I would be at risk of my daughter believing that approval of that, is approval of it all.
The conclusion at the end of it all is that socially, the world is becoming so much more tolerant of all things unrighteous and utterly unholy. I will not raise my children to be judgmental of friends who make different choices, but I will raise my children to think for themselves. Our primary responsibility as parents is to raise Christ followers. I’ve said it before and it becomes truer and truer all the time! It is my goal to allow the Holy Spirit to be THE primary influence on my children and the decisions that they make. I hope that if my kids ever see an episode of Glee or experience the reality of it in their lives that they will be more disturbed by it than even I was today. It is neither glamorous or impressive to experience the reality of this kind of drama in life. It is anything BUT glee!