Tag Archives: Glee

The Racialicious TV Roundup

Courtesy: Advocate.com

By Guest Contributors Kendra James and Jordan St. John and Managing Editor Arturo R. García

MSNBC’s Transgender in America: Hosted by Melissa Harris-Perry, this 20-minute segment started off with a bang when she gave a definition of ‘cisgendered’ on national mainstream media television and only got better from there, including taking time to speak about the CeCe McDonald case. If you still have a bad taste in your mouth from Barbara Walters’ 20/20 interview with Jenna Talackova (in which every question is somehow worse than the last and Donald Trump thinks he’s clever), Harris-Perry’s MSNBC segment might be just what you need to restore a bit of faith in the media. You can read Autostraddle’s full wrap-up here. - KJ

Glee: From 20/20 to MSNBC… to Glee? This episode of Fox’s musical dramedy couldn’t have aired with better timing. When Wade (a student from rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline, played by Glee Project runner-up Alex Newell, who is not a trans actor) comes to Mercedes and Kurt for performance advice, they discover she wants to perform as her female alterego “Unique.” While at first appearing male to the audience, she reveals to Kurt that she identifies as female. Perhaps this isn’t as much of a traditional learning experience as the MSNBC special but, for a show aimed at a younger viewing audience, it seems to be a fairly big step.

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Introducing The Racialicious TV Roundup

Courtesy Los Angeles Times

By Guest Contributors Kendra James and Jordan St. John and Managing Editor Arturo R. García

In case you hadn’t guessed, the TV Correspondents here at The R watch a lot of television. Unfortunately, not everything of interest makes it into article form and, with that in mind we present the weekly TV Roundup: a catch all of televised pop culture tidbits that might not warrant a full column, but you still want to know about. Big SPOILER ALERT in place for the items under the cut.

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When will Glee stop ignoring race?

By Guest Contributor Tami Winfrey Harris, cross-posted from What Tami Said

I’m not quite a Gleek, but I do regularly record and watch Glee. It can be treacly and inconsistent, but I live for the moment when Chris Colfer busts out a Broadway classic like last night’s “As if we Never Said Goodbye.” The song occurred in the middle of the show’s much-hyped “Born This Way” episode, centered around the Lady Gaga song. The episode, which found the choir kids battling their insecurities, led to a denouement where they sang the Gaga anthem while wearing tees emblazoned with the natural traits they wrestled with most.

Rachel’s shirt read “Nose.” She had earlier decided against getting rhinoplasty that might erase one marker of her ethnic heritage. Kurt’s top read “I like boys.” And, in this episode, we saw the close of a storyline where he is bullied at school because of his homosexuality. Britney’s read “I’m with stoopid”–a nod to the running gag that is her questionable intellect. Mercedes, the sole regular black character on the show, wore a shirt that said “No weave.” I’m not sure exactly what her insecurity is. Does she hate that she wears a weave? Does she not wear a weave, but thinks she should? In this (customary) ignoring of Mercedes’ character development, Glee missed a chance to provide a window into what it’s like to be one of a very  few students of color (particularly a black girl) at a majority white school.

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POCs on the DL: Color-coding & Your Favorite TV Shows [TV Correspondent Tryout]

By Guest Contributor Diana Lin

Prime-time television shows may be a lot more diverse than we give them credit for. And before you jump down my throat, think about it: Darren Criss from Glee? Part Filipino. Morena Baccarin on V is of Latin American origins. And Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy—part black, part Scandinavian. See? That’s three more actors you didn’t think of as POC.

People of color have long struggled with representation on network television. We are obviated on sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother, where there’s never a single minority to be seen, much less in a positive light; we’re tokenized on shows like Justified where Erica Tazel’s Rachel Brooks exists simply to fulfill a racial quota in an otherwise all-white cast; or else we’re trigger-happy stereotypes in material like The Chin-Chens, which premiered a trailer so problematic it was subsequently removed. And the flip side of all this is yet another issue: color coding.

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Your New Action Heroes: Harry Shum Jr. and Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss Light It Up in 3Minutes

By Arturo R. García

Good news for Harry Shum Jr. fans who want to stay away from Glee: Shum and Stephen “tWitch” Boss have teamed up for a short, taut burst of kick-ass, 3Minutes, which was released online this week.

Checking in at exactly that length, the film’s premise is slim: Shum is charged with tracking down Boss in under the allotted 180 seconds. Shum is armed only with a gun. But things really get cooking once Boss finds an equalizer.

The video’s under the cut, and is NSFW for some violence, but Boss fans should be happy to note that he’s incorporated the flair of his So You Think You Can Dance? days into his battle with Shum.

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Credit Where It’s Due: Glee Gets ‘Sweet Transvestite’ Right

By Arturo R. García

Long-time readers may recall that I was turned off to Glee pretty quickly. But this week’s  Rocky Horror Picture Show-centric episode piqued my interest. And, thankfully, nearly completely rewarded it.

You see, this ep reached into some personal history for me. That’s yours truly on the right a few years ago playing Brad Majors for the now-defunct Justice League of Denton in Kansas(!). Both of the troupes I performed with, the JLD and Crazed Imaginations, were safe spaces for me as both a POC and a geek.

But I only started caring about the episode when word got out that the lead role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter would be played in the show-within-the-show by Mercedes, who was relegated early on in the series to Sassy Black Diva status.Yeah, I know she got to sing Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” in an earlier episode, but, as she points out this week, she’d never gotten to play a lead before.

The music from the movie, of course, is just a backdrop for off-stage melodrama: Mr. Schu is putting on the show to stay close to Emma, who’s dating RHPS fan Dr. Carl; Coach Sue fakes supporting the show for the purposes of chasing a local Emmy; and the prospect of performing in their underwear stirs up anxieties for Finn and Sam. (Actually, the male body-image subplot might make for interesting stuff in future episodes, not to mention a welcome contrast to this kind of mess.)

SPOILERS AHEAD

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The Return of Glee

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Glee fans! Are you excited about the mid-season premiere? I have seen the episode, and it’s darn good fun. Though, as always, I wish “Asian” (Jenna Ushkowitz) and “Other Asian” (Harry Shum Jr.) got a little more screen time. That said, here’s a cool clip from the episode where we get to see Harry get down.

Glee Cast All White

By the way, perusing the airport newsstand the other day, I happened to notice that the Glee cast is on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone — well, the Caucasian cast of Glee, to be precise.

I get it, these are the show’s main characters. It’s just a obvious reminder that it’s awesome to see such great diversity on Glee… but never forget who the show’s real stars are supposed to be, and who usually gets relegated to the periphery.

Crazy From The Heat: The End Of Summer TV Roundup

Glee1

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

These have truly been depressing days. Bad enough that the past few weeks of summer television hasn’t given us anything to rave about. But not even the bad stuff was inspiring – there was nothing that brought out the sweet, bileful taste of anger.

So thank you, Fox, for bringing Glee back into my life.

Like the Tea Party protests its’ parent network supported, this show is an astroturf “grassroots phenomenon” – not just a rip-off of both every other high school comedy you’ve ever seen but every recent musical Disney and Nickelodeon have shoved down our throats, but the new pet cause of a fanbase that can’t wait for Randy, Ryan and Simon to drive your parent’s pop hits further into the ground.

The series’ rise to prominence is especially disturbing when its’ characters of color make Long Duk Dong look nuanced. Mercedes (Amber Riley) is not small, calls co-protagonist Finn (Cory Monteith) “white boy” and “Justin Timberlake” compares herself to Beyonce – what the hell is wrong with Kelly Rowland? – and sings Aretha at her audition. Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) is Asian, Hollywood “gothy” and … well, that’s about it. At least she has hope for development in the future. And Principal Figgins is a relentless cheapskate, which I normally wouldn’t worry about except for the role being played by Iqbal Theba, who was born in Pakistan. But hey, at least Figgins isn’t driving a cab. Continue reading