Monday, 28 February 2011

The curious case of Santana and Brittany

So here’s the thing. I love Glee. I love Glee almost as love as I love Girlie (that’s quite a lot). I even love the auto-tuned voice of Gwyneth Paltrow covering Forget You.

There is only one thing (other than the appalling cover of Poker Face) that I find really hard about Glee at the moment, and that’s the relationship between Brittany and Santana.

Kurt’s sexuality was brilliantly and sensitively handled. From the moment he told Mercedes to this brilliant moment between his dad and Finn, there has been no question that this is a serious issue in his life that defines his adolescent experience. Particularly, in the recently broadcast episodes at the beginning of series two, his shocking experience with Karofsky’s internalised homophobia was bravely handled and the impact on his schooling was made explicit in a way that I don’t think I’ve seen on television before, on either side of the pond. Bravo!

But, on the other hand, Brittany and Santana are shown frequently making out (which is apparently "a nice break from all that scissoring") but in a way that I can't help but feel is designed to attract male viewers and their relationship is never explored in any detail. Even now Brittany is dating Artie, it seems that we’re supposed to believe that this could pass without comment. Brittany and Santana are both very sexualised characters – Brittany claims to have had every guy in school, and Santana almost talks of nothing else – but it still strikes me that Glee is buying into the idea that guys who like guys are definitely gay and do lots of soul-searching whereas girls who like girls are just sexy. 

It seems a little misogynistic, from a show that's explored some really serious issues in an awesome way; I really hope it resolves. 

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