Glee: Real World Consequences

Three episodes have gone by. And we see the kids are still learning to be adults in a a harsher world than they imagined. All choices create consequences. As children, they could hope parents or teachers would help with either choices or consequences, but now they have to rely on themselves.

In “Tested,” we see this directly. Artie, a rock star in his film school, actually has a choice of sex partners. The results of this and unprotected sex? Chlamydia. We see a lot of scenes of Artie in a germ suit. Fortunately, as Kurt points out, it’s a curable STD.

However, he now needs to be responsible and tell his sex partners plus the young woman he wants to be his girlfriend. And this is played for laughs, but it is serious. One rejects him, one takes it in stride and potential gf is grossed out, not by his disease or that he had multiple sex partners, but who he chose to sleep with.

On a more serious note, Sam and Mercedes are sharing a bed but not having sex at all. (Because all sex is intercourse.) Sam, who is experienced, wants to go further. Mercedes, who is a virgin AND religious, is reluctant.

Sex is serious business. It carries emotional and physical consequences. It also carries moral ones for someone like Mercedes, raised in a church. And she’s not ready to accept them yet. She loves Sam, but they’re 19, and unlike Kurt and Blaine, know they’re too young for a lifetime commitment. And she needs that. Marriage, for her, gives the promise that she won’t go through the consequences alone.

They decide to wait. This could strain their relationship, too. It’s a choice with a different set of options.

Blaine isn’t dealing with choice, exactly. He’s dealing with a different reality. Last year, he was king of the school, star of the Glee club. Now, he’s just Kurt’s fiancé, and Kurt has been watching his diet and working out and he’s got the boys paying attention to his muscular arms. And no one cares about Blaine. So Blaine is eating his feelings and gaining weight. But they talk it out, without prompting from the MIA Elliott, and all is well.

Superficially, nothing has changed, but now Sam and Mercedes have a deeper goal, Artie has definitely learned about consequences and at least Kurt and Blaine have realized they can’t stop talking to each other. Real world consequences.

Miss Rachel? Well, next ep is ALL Rachel, with a sideline of teachers. Her opening night as Fanny Brice is here. And she is choosing to read negative blogs and comments. If Elliott had been there to channel Adam Lambert, he’d have told her that was a mistake. But it’s not likely she’d have listened to him any more than she listened to Kurt give the same wise advice. Rachel is not wise at all.

So she had major nerves, which makes her the center of attention for all the friends (okay, Tina) who come to watch her take the stage. Takes Santana to get her out of bed.

And she kills, of course. After a big opening night, where her producer tells her the entire production is on her 19 year old inexperienced shoulders, decides to skip the cast party in favor of a club for, apparently, leather-wearing theater queens.

Definitely needed Elliott. He’d fit in perfectly. But Adam was in Sweden making an album. (Also, where were her fathers?)

But the review from the Times was perfect. Everything is perfect in Rachel land. So much so that she was able to kick her former teacher/nemesis out of her apartment. She was also able to step outside of herself enough to be happy her other former teacher had a baby boy. With the middle name Finn.

Rachel is an adult with a promising career who can now relate to ex-teachers as near equals. As you do in the real world. Although, Rachel is still in a more magical world than reality.

As last night’s episode, “The Back-up Plan,” demonstrates.

Rachel, a month into her run, has been told that she has no other future except endless repetitions of this one musical, eight shows a week, forever. Because her nose is large, or something.

Never mind that Barbra herself has gone on to many a film role. Never mind that her new manager talking to an incredibly talented but very young woman.

And never mind that hours later she’s offered a role on a TV series. At that point, she should have asked for different management since her first was an idiot.

BTW, since when do network heads approach talent directly? Producers contract agents. They’re missing a few middlemen here.

The events of the main plot are so divorced from the real world that we might as well be be back in Lima. It’s a musical comedy again. The girl who didn’t even want an understudy and was threatened when her friend got that job suddenly fakes an illness a month into her run.

She is also totally unprepared for her audition. How is it possible that Rachel came in not knowing anything about the project? She was sent an address, so presumably she was sent the basics of the series and her role. If she wasn’t, they should not have penalized her. Just. Stupid.

And she was in serious breech of contract. Which would be compounded if she got another job. She’d be blackballed everywhere. Good thing Santana was able to jump back in after not doing anything for months.

Should have let her hang. Bit friends are friends. Rachel made lousy choices but others made it easy on her and her consequences are minimal.

Mercedes is having career issues, too. She has recorded most of an album, but her label doesn’t see single potential in any track (so why didn’t they choose better songs? Presumably, she wrote more than a dozen. Or get one she didn’t write if she’s that bad a writer.) Her solution? Call in virtually unknown friend. And then make then put said friend on the album. That’s… not always a good idea.

In the story of Kurt’s life, he asks Blaine to help him impress a socialite, but Blaine charms her instead. And all the opportunities come to Blaine, as usual, with Kurt left outside. In fact, she encourages Blaine to dump Kurt.

I felt like the world turned technicolor again, with all the inching towards reality turning flat. It needed. Well. Someone not from Lima to give real world advice. But Elliott can’t exist Toon Town forever.

Speaking of, rest in peace, Bob Hoskins.

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About mamadeb

I'm a devoted fan of Adam Lambert, but also of cooking, knitting, science fiction and pretty anything pop culture. I'm @_mamadeb on Twitter.
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