Lesson to Unlearn from Glee – Season 3, Episode 10

And we’re back!

You guys, it’s hard for me to tell if this was a good episode or not. Because during it, Zoe said, more than once, “Mom, it’s a fast song! Let’s dance! Let’s dance together! Let’s shake our butts!” And then she shook her butt. In her little pink fleece footie pajamas with the horsies on them. And then, “It’s a slow song! Let’s do hit-ups, Mom! Let’s do these hit-ups!” And then she lay on the floor and starting lifting her hips up, which is the kind of sit-ups I do where she can lay on my stomach if she wants. So I did, and she did, and she hugged me and said “I love you,” so I really, really enjoyed this episode of Glee.

Anyway.

The lesson: You and your teacher are really supposed to be close. So close that he tells you, a seventeen-year-old kid who just a few weeks ago forcibly outed one of your classmates and then patronizingly told her why she should be fine with that, that you’re the “best man” he knows, and he wants you to be his best man. Also, the teacher should consider you to be family, to the degree that he will tell you he’s planning to get engaged before he tells his fiancé-to-be, his actual parents, or even his grown-up friends, like Coach Bieste, whom we’ve seen him confide in and talk to before.

The truth: Your teachers are not your friends. They’re your teachers. They should support your educational efforts, even your character growth. But their personal lives should not be your concern, and you sure as hell shouldn’t be the person they tap as their best man. Nor should you be probing into their relationships. Super-inappropriate.

And apparently, this is an actual problem in school, at least for teenage girls. They want to perceive teachers as friends and then, when they get a bad grade, they interpret this as the teacher not “liking” them. So now the teacher is an enemy and the girl does not get the scholastic help she needs because she’s not going to talk about her weaknesses with her enemy.

So it’s actually really, incredibly important for middle and high school teachers to maintain appropriate professional relationships with their students. Yes, you should be a person to them, a person who is accessible and relatable if possible. Yes, they can know that you are dating. But they should under no circumstances be the people you entrust with your proposal plans, nor should they be best man at your wedding. They actually need you to be teachers, not friends.

Also, Finn is no great shakes. He walks around publicly outing people, condescending to less privileged friends, prioritizing football over protecting his gay stepbrother, and so on. Let’s be serious here.

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Lessons To Unlearn From Glee – Season 3, Episode 8

Well, this was quite the hot mess of an episode. Does anyone remember Sectionals performances being so damn boring before?

The lesson: Hold on to sixteen as long as you can. The inexplicably hotter and more charismatic Sam – who’s been moonlighting as a stripper – gives this advice to Quinn, directly quoting John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane.” Because Quinn seems determined to become a mommy, two years after having had her child. Remember?

The truth: I wake up every day and thank God I never have to be sixteen again.

I’d take nineteen, though.

This was the most muddled message of the episode, really. I mean, Sam’s delivery was supposed to be taken seriously, but then Rachel, also seriously, exhorts Quinn to “grow up” regarding her desire to out Shelby and Puck’s relationship, and then New Directions sings Jane Jackson’s “Control,” about how much it sucks to be young and listening to everyone else tell you what to do, and then . . . oh, forget it. I don’t give a shit. Too much of a muddled mess.

Although it’s worth mentioning that Sam, who delivers the line, is working as a stripper to help support his family. So it seems “sixteen” is less an age than a position of privilege.

Also? Hearing the kids sing “Jack and Diane,” while somewhat predictable a choice, would have been a lot more entertaining than most of this episode.

The lesson: It’s immature to turn a teacher in for having sex with a student. Rachel strongly advises Quinn not to do it because after all, Puck is eighteen and it would ruin Baby Beth’s life.

The truth: Even if a student is eighteen, it’s gross to sleep with them. Because you’re still their teacher. Most colleges have rules against professors hooking up with undergrads, even though almost all undergrads are over eighteen, because it’s gross and wrong to have that much of a real-world power differential between lovers.

I know whole communities exist around getting off on power differentials between lovers but usually, they’re creating those power differentials where they don’t actually exist and that’s why it’s fun and not squicky. (Well, sometimes there’s also squickiness, but you know what I mean.)

And yeah, Quinn was being immature about her reasons for turning Shelby in. But that doesn’t mean Shelby is right to have had sex with Puck.

The lesson: You can just transfer in and out of schools at will, regardless of where your parents live or what school you’re in now, just to perform in singing competitions.

The truth: I am pretty sure you can’t, actually.

The lesson: As a privileged middle-class kid, you can totally look down your nose at what your less fortunate classmate is doing to earn money and still have that person love and be loyal to and follow you.

The truth: No, you can’t. Finn remains a jackass, and Rachel is occasionally one, too.

The lesson: A song that is an ode to the red Solo cup exists.

The truth: Well, alright, then.

And finally,

The lesson: Follow your dream of a career in the performing arts no matter what.

The truth: It’s really, really hard to make a living as a dancer, or an actress, or a singer. Many, many, many talented people exist, and maybe one in a hundred of them – maybe one in a thousand – will ever be able to support themselves doing what they love.

Look, Harry Shum, Jr. is a-freakin’-mazing, and it’s easy to say that if a kid could dance like that he’d surely make it. But if you saw who else auditioned for that role, you’d see a whole bunch of amazing dancers. Most of whom will never be able to support themselves exclusively through performing. Because them’s the brakes.

I think Mike Chang should pursue dance, and I think his father should let him. But I also think he should take him to see a production of A Chorus Line, and then remind him that the stories he’s hearing of what dancers have gone through – those were all dancers who got the job.

ETA: Kate’s is up.

Lesson to Unlearn from Glee – Season 3, Episode 4

Okay, people, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The first of my backlog of Lessons to Unlearn from Glee!

Lesson: Leprechauns don’t exist and don’t grant wishes. Some random dude who is apparently the winner (or one of the winners) of some random reality show and who is Irish and has no chin to speak of at all is apparently pretending to be a leprechaun to get Britney’s Pot o’ Gold, which I guess we’re supposed to think is her . . . uh . . . they’re supposed to have sex, is what I’m getting at, but I was thinking the whole episode that we’d find out that she meant something totally different, like she’d been collecting arcade coins in an actual pot or something. But instead she came to the realization that leprechauns don’t exist and don’t grant wishes.

The truth: Shirtless Puck? Cute Blaine song? Crazy cute outfits? Well, I guess I got my three wishes.

Oh, wait a second. I mean, sure, I wished for those things, especially shirtless Puck (and man, did I get him tonight) but they were way down on my list. I had “sensical plot developments,” “consistent characterization,” and “funny, punchy writing” at the top.

Instead I got Finn acting randomly douche-tastic and weird, the new girl I refuse to acknowledge changing personality completely in the face of Santana’s bitchiness, another new guy who just seemed to have “twinkle” as his only character direction/motivation, two characters making random mean faces during group numbers for no apparent reason, Jane Lynch phoning it in (and who could blame her, really?), and a whole series of other nonsense I want nothing to do with.

Oh, and there was a thing with the baby and Quinn and maybe Idina and Puck getting it on. I will not acknowledge. Except to say one thing – Show, just because Dianna Agron is a pretty girl and a decent actress does not mean everything Quinn says and does is reasonable and/or sympathetic. Stop that. You’re making me not only suspect that Quinn is in fact a sociopath, but that you people are as well.

So I guess leprechauns aren’t real and wishes don’t come true. Oh, well. I’ll get the next one up ASAP.

One random thought – the song where the twinkly Irish guy is singing “It’s Not Easy Being Green” and he’s in the cafeteria singing sort of slow and wistful while all around him random extras bump into him and carry on with their jovial lives – that was supposed to look like that similar scene in Grease 2, right?

Kate?