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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Worst TV Show of the Week


Glee on Fox


Compared to Skins on MTV, Glee almost feels like an after-school special. On Skins, the consequences of bad behavior aren’t always clear. Plotlines aren’t wrapped in neat little packages and the lessons the characters are supposed to learn aren’t always clear. While the February 22nd alcohol-fueled episode of Glee at least attempted to convey a message, it was lost amid the drunken revelry. Thus, for mixed messaging and sexual content Glee has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.

Rachel Barry’s parents have left her home alone for a week. So she throws a party in hopes of gaining life experiences to inspire original songs. When wine coolers fail to spark the party, Rachel gives Puck her blessing to break into her parents’ liquor cabinet. The Glee kids soon hit all-out party mode, downing shots of tequila. Santana licks salt off of Brittany’s belly and Rachel chugs an entire wine cooler. Eventually, the inebriated youngsters begin to fall into various drunken archetypes. Finn points out to Rachel that Brittany is “the-girl-who-turns-into-a-stripper” type of drunk. While he says this, Brittany begins dancing on top of the washer and dryer as her boyfriend Artie “makes it rain” fluttering a stack of dollars while she flings her top around above her head. Rachel suggests they play Spin-the-Bottle and lands on Blaine, Kurt’s openly gay classmate. They share a passionate kiss that causes Blaine to question his sexuality.

The following Monday, the Glee kids - still hung-over from the weekend – drink Bloody Marys at school that Artie smuggled in his thermos. Ironically, Principal Figgins has tapped the Glee Club to perform at an alcohol awareness assembly.

Meanwhile, their teacher Will experiences his own wild night of binge-drinking with Coach Bieste at a local honky tonk bar. Will ends the evening by “drunk-dialing” Emma, leaving her a rambling message.

The day of the assembly arrives and backstage Rachel distributes a potent concoction she mixed from the remnants of her parents’ liquor cabinet and a bit of cough syrup. In the middle of their performance of Ke$ha’s problematic party anthem, “TiK Tok,” Brittany throws up on Rachel’s face, causing Santana to throw up, as well. Brittany blankly tells the assembled student body, “Everybody, drink responsibly.”

Later, Sue humiliates Will by playing over the PA system the drunken voicemail message he intended for Emma but mistakenly left on Sue’s phone. In the message, he tells Emma to come over to his place for a roll in the hay. He also informs her that he rode a bull earlier in the evening and thought of her.

So what were the consequences? Figgins rewards the Glee Club for their convincing “special effects” during the assembly that apparently scared their fellow students straight. And besides embarrassment, Will suffered no reprimands at all.

In the end, Will convinces the kids to sign a pledge of sobriety and if they break it they simply can call him for a free ride home.

As with a lot of Glee’s disingenuous moralizing, the episode spent most of the time glamorizing binge drinking before offering a forced, phony, harm-reduction solution. Given Skin’s complete lack of consequences, it may be tempting to give Glee an “A” for effort. But given the mixed messages, the show instead deserves the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.   

Worst TV Show of the Week

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