by Chris Saccaro
This week, “Glee” has the utmost privilege of being able to air its Valentine’s Day episode, “Heart,” on Valentine’s Day. And how does it repay the world? By mixing in religion, homophobia, and Whitney Houston covers!
Sometimes it seems like the writers of “Glee” are just filling in a “gay/religious storyline” quota. A perfectly normal episode will be plagued with seemingly random storylines dealing with gay bullying or religious dilemmas. And these plotlines are great in small doses. In fact, one should applaud “Glee” for shedding light on these issues when most shows don’t make mention of homosexuality or religion at all, unless it’s for a punch line. But it just happens so much on “Glee” that what would normally be a poignant commentary on our society, becomes an eye-roll inducing lecture.
This was especially true of Glee’s “Heart”. Thankfully though, all of this week’s homophobia stemmed from Santana and Brittany’s public displays of affection, and not something Kurt related. Anyone who has seen even a tiny fragment of “Glee“ knows that there has been enough “Anti-Gay” storylines for Kurt to last a whole series.
So, to change things up, Santana and Brittany are the focus, when their kiss is reported because someone felt offended based on religious grounds. While this storyline had potential, in the end, it was resolved (read: completely dropped) rather abruptly. We never find out who reported the kiss, nor do we find out why or how the religious student suddenly became accepting of homosexuality.
One thing we did find out, is that Kurt would be a much more interesting character if he got with Karofksy, the troubled ex-bully who announced his love for Kurt in the form of a creepy Valentine’s Day gift. This is an interesting story arc: the kid that bullied Kurt out of the school ends up falling in love with him? It might be a bit melodramatic, but Karofsky is proof that the writers have some indication of what character development is, even if it isn’t shown often.
Case in point, nearly every other character on the show. Whether it’s Artie being a tool, Rachel deciding to go ahead with the wedding, or Mercedes being religious, each character just does whatever suits the episode, only to do something completely different next week.
Overall, though, this being the third “theme” episode in a row, it wasn’t all that bad once you overlook the unnecessary religious/homophobic commentary. There were some great songs by “Glee’s” standards. Amber Riley (Mercedes) did a great cover of “I Will Always Love You,” which made absolute perfect sense with her storyline of breaking up with Sam. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, allowing Ryan Murphy to dedicate the whole episode to the late Whitney Houston. There were a bunch of other love songs that were bearable, and then some that gave everyone time to go to the bathroom or get a snack.
Chris Saccaro is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.