400 words. This will be difficult. My main problem with the show is that its premise sets it up to be about outcasts, but then it decides to just make it about the beautiful people like every other teen drama. The main characters are football players and cheerleaders. Oh, and Rachel, who gets to be an honorary beautiful person by virtue of her being white, straight and well-abled. She's also the one who gets to have a real personality, and that personality is arrogance coupled with wangst about said arrogance and how it alienates people but she just can't help it and guys like her anyway. The girls are allowed to think she's bitchy because she's straight and therefore can't be paired up with girls. The show defines its non-beautiful people by stereotypes. Mercedes is fat and sassy and big on R&B. Kurt is high-pitched and fixated on fashion and show-tunes. (Also of note is that Rachel's showbiz-glamor obsession comes from her two gay dads.) Artie...there are no stereotypes about wheelchaired people, so he just complains about his wheelchairness all the time. Also he's a nerd which means he wears square glasses and is on the academic challenge team and stuff. Mike Chang spends season 1 underdeveloped and season 2 fixated on his own Asian-ness. (Puck's Judiasm becomes a defining character trait once we find out he's Jewish, and upon finding out she's a lesbian Satana expresses exasperation at being asked to join the golf team and says she'll cut her hair short later in life. Spotting a trend?) Hell, even the beautiful people aren't exempt—Brittney is blond and dumb as a post. Sue is shoehorned in and it shows, badly. I was tempted to sympathies with the showrunners, as apparently she was thrust upon them, but Inara of Firefly was also a Fox mandate (space hookers!) and she worked out fine. It's the showrunner's fault for not even trying to make her work, instead making her a cartoonish supervillain who's later added depth make her primary persona make no sense. I have other complaints about this show, but they tend to be very episode-specific. Can't bitch about the singing, though, autotuned or not. I watch for plot and character and those are sorely lacking, the show is instead loaded with cliches, which it lampshades and then refuses to fix. Some of those mashups are damn irritating though.
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