This week’s Glee cemented an increasingly obvious fact: Will Schuester is the single worst thing about Glee. Somewhere along the line, Will has morphed from a flawed but well-meaning teacher to such a complete jackass that he needs Sue Sylvester– Sue Motherfucking Sylvester!– to act as his moral compass. I’ve begun to feel about Will the way Sue does: disgusted. And that is a problem, because the show does not seem to realize that one of its central protagonists has become the show’s nastiest villain. (Spoilers follow.)
Whenever the old “Are Judd Apatow’s movies sexist” debate gets dusted off again, someone inevitably trots out Freaks & Geeks’ Lindsay Weir as proof that Apatow and his roving band of merry potheads might not be completely allergic to decent female characters. Lindsay’s strong and smart, but has her flaws. She’s not just another generic girlfriend or sister type, but the three-dimensional protagonist of her own show. She’s a girl so many of us were (or felt like) in high school, but rarely see reflected onscreen. And for all those things, Lindsay deserves her place among Daria Morgendorffer, Veronica Mars, and Angela Chase in the pantheon of great female teen characters from the turn of the century. Bravo, Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, affiliated writers, actors, and assorted crew members!
But we’re not here to talk about her today.
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Loving Glee has been a singularly frustrating experience. When it’s good, it’s brilliant, poignant, hilarious, and like nothing else on television. When it’s bad, it’s so cringe-inducingly awful that it’s embarrassing to admit you’re actually following this show. I keep watching because so far the good has outweighed the bad, and because despite the occasionally horrendous writing, I’ve come to like and care about the characters. But hot damn, this show needs to pull it together.
As you may or may not have read, I love the Scott Pilgrim series– I think they’re lovable, smart, and funny works. I don’t love the movie on the same level, but I nevertheless think it’s a breathtakingly original work of pop art, and a perfect summer movie to boot. So the last thing I want to think about are the ways in which Scott Pilgrim may be a tad problematic in its portrayal of people-who-aren’t-straight-white-men, but what kind of obnoxious humorless feminist would I be if I just let that go? Here we go with another battle: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Three Evil -Isms.