I’ve spent the last 3 hours discussing the show Glee with one of my best friends. The fact that she let this conversation happen is loveliness and amazingness and awesomeness all rolled into one.
The show itself always strikes me as a bit trite, but some of the characters are wonderful, and the progressions of those characters have proven themselves fun to watch. I worry about the writers, though, because sometimes, the plot is just awful.
My favorite character is Kurt Hummel, who is a young man with a high tenor voice. He also happens to be gay, and be obsessed with fashion, even when it pushes himself further away from the rest of high school society. His boyfriend is dull, but his nemesis is pretty interesting.
David Karofsky is the bully who took a special distaste to Kurt because of his internalized homophobia. For me, watching Karofsky’s struggle with his identity and how it relates to the world around him has been on of the highlights of this past season. He’s a football player, and a macho guy, but he’s also gay, and doesn’t know how to resolve the two. Also, he just wants to be normal, but has this trait about himself he cannot change and that separates him from everything he prizes.
Throughout Karofsky’s efforts to punish Kurt for being open about himself, Kurt has almost always managed to rise to the occasion and maintain a truly admirable strength of character. Unfortunately, the other aspects of Kurt’s life have at times run together with the bullying, making it difficult for him to come off as strong as he truly is.
However, Kurt has been able to successfully confront Karofsky about not only the bullying, but also the choices that Karofsky has made for himself.
It seems as though the writers are allowing them to finally start growing into the young men they can become. Kurt has been showing a mature side to his dealings with Karofsky, and Karofsky has been making strides toward behaving more appropriately. Granted, I think that most of Karofsky’s changes have been surface, but I really think that the case can be made that by forcing himself to behave in public, he is giving himself the opportunity to actually see how his previous behavior affected others.
Part of the discussion I had was about people shipping Kurt/Karofsky, and how this seems to be a ship that just doesn’t sail for many. Often, the people that don’t ship it just can’t see why anyone would be interested in it. Karofsky is a bully, an abuser, and that must translate into the rest of his potential interactions with Kurt right?
I don’t think it is so clear as that. Kurt and Karofsky are both strong-willed characters who are looking out for themselves out of self-preservation in a hostile environment. Their paths are very different, but Kurt has had the time to realize that Karofsky’s threatening was, yes, quite dangerous, but also a symptom of a problem that actually has little to do with him. He’s made the decision to not accept Karofsky’s behavior.
Karofsky, in turn, has been forced to realize that his problems are his own, and something he must work out for himself. He’s working toward one of those realizations that most self-aware persons must face, that there are things about himself he cannot change, nor can he truly allow that to rule him or he will never be free. High school sucks for him because he feels as though he cannot be true to himself. Being himself would mean being an insult to all he loves, and he’s starting to separate that from Kurt’s chosen freedom.
Hopefully, the writers will continue to handle the dialogue well. Even if it doesn’t end how I would like for it to, I just want the interactions to be real to what people actually go through in life, and not just a farce of storytelling.