Why I let my ten-year-old daughter watch "glee"

In case you haven't heard, I LOVE the show "glee" (that's how they spell it--lowercase--so grammar queens, no need to correct me). My ten-year-old daughter loves "glee." Most parents I know are pretty horrified by that fact, but I'm okay with it. Why?

Get ready for the Ss: the singing is spectacular; the writing is sharply satirical, snarky, and spot-on; I love singing coach Will Schuster, a.k.a. Mr. Shu (yummy is how my friend Mindy described him and I wholeheartedly concur); everything about evil cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester--she's sharp and has the best lines by far; but most of all the the storylines, while somewhat soap-operaish and containing stereotypical characters, are stupendous. Oh, and there's lots of sex (well, mostly it's just discussed). Phew! Here's what I mean:

Quinn, the beautiful, blond, rich girl and president of the Chastity Club and former head cheerleader of the Cheerios (I know, cute, right?) is pregnant with Puck's (handsome Jewish football/glee club member) child. However, she told her doofus dumb jock boyfriend Finn that it's HIS child after they kissed and he um, you know, squirted (sorry!) in a hot tub and he believed her and is a good enough guy to man up (see, she thinks Puck's a loser and a townie and thinks Finn's a better choice for her future), even though Finn and Puck are BEST friends and Finn doesn't know Puck is the father--yet. I know.

See, this is where I'm so glad I can have an open honest conversation with my kid about sex. Because there's so much misinformation out there about what goes where, and who does what, and she's starting to have questions...so this show is offering a plethora of, shall we say, "conversation starters." But it's not just about sex. There's also how to treat others, how to work as part of a team, backstabbing, friendship, honesty, crushes, teacher-student relationships, and of course, there's OMG the singing, wow...that's why it's a great show.

I can see that there would be help for lots of parents and "conversation starters" with this show...there's the snotty cheerleader (oh wait, that's actually real), the gay kid with the unbelievable voice and great clothes who's just coming out (and the sweet relationship with his blue collar dad), the heavy girl with the AMAZING voice, the girl that stutters (or not), lots of minorities, the talented drama queen outcast with two gay dads (kind of a reach--but maybe not in this new rainbow environment we currently find ourselves), the handicapped kid...it goes on. Did you know that almost all of the cast came from Broadway? Major talent here, folks. If you're not watching, you. Are. Missing. Out.

In the last show, Quinn's W.A.S.P. parents found out, between swigs of scotch and watching Glenn Beck (OMFG I died) that she was pregnant when Finn, on gay kid Kurt's advice, broke out into his rendition of Paul Anka's "Having my Baby" which, as you can imagine, did not go over well. Finn's single mom had just discovered that Quinn was pregnant when she noticed her son singing "I'll Stand by You" to the sonogram on his computer; so when Quinn's Glenn Beck-loving repressed parents kicked out their no-longer-going-to-the-Chastity-Ball-daughter, Finn's mom took her in without hesitation. Cool chick. My point?

Well, not that I'd want my daughter to be pregnant at seventeen by any means; but I do want her to know that I love her enough not to kick her out on her ass because she's no longer cookie-cutter perfect--not that I'm that perfection-expecting mom in the first place. I also hope that by discussing issues now, she will be informed and not think that she can get pregnant just by, you know, hanging out in a hot tub with a dude. You get what I'm sayin.

Sure, it's clearly a satirical, liberal show, but where else are you going to see a bunch of football players dancing to Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)?

If I've offended your right-leaning, conservative "abstinence works" sensibilities with this post, feel free to switch over to msnbc or fox news. I'm sure you'll find enough Glenn or Bill or Sean to wipe the thought of talking to your kids about sex right out of your close-minded little head.

Yea, right.

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Comment by Rachel Thompson on December 2, 2009 at 2:22pm
Stacy that is so cool! I'm actually finding it to be a valuable behavior modification tool as well, in that if my girl gets too snippy, I threaten (tho would I really withhold this awesome show? as if!) not letting her watch.

Even my husband is following along--and my 4 yr old son! I've do have one friend who doesn't like it--she's an ER nurse with a military background. She tuned in for the "Single Ladies" football ep and just couldn't get her mind around it. I think you just have to go with it, put aside the believability factor (I mean, really, making Terry the school nurse? come on!) and allow yourself to be entertained to a certain extent. The writing is just so right on and sharp. Rare on TV these days.

Anyway. thanks for commenting and welcome to shewrites. I love it!
Comment by Stacy Jill Calvert on December 2, 2009 at 1:06pm
I'm seconding Anna's comments. :) I absolutely love that show. The fact that I have my girlfriend (who HATES anything to do with musicals) hooked on this show is a sign that this show can appeal to many peopel!
Comment by Anna Pulley on November 30, 2009 at 7:35pm
I love glee! simply for the fact that it discusses issues like sex, being gay, disabilities, etc. when most other shows, like gossip girl, for instance, are so far removed from reality, let alone teenagers' reality, glee is a refreshing change. sure, it's kind of Lifetime-y, and, as you said, the characters are pretty stereotypical, but all in all, love it. i'm glad you and your daughter can watch and discuss together.


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