Why I’ve Given Up on Glee
And Modern Family, and Will & Grace, and Smash, and Two Broke Girls. The list goes on and on.
It’s simple really: I’m tired of giving up and giving in to the tide of anti-Catholic TV shows.
Oh, I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy watching Glee for the first couple of seasons. I’m a sucker for a good musical number. I think it comes from living near NYC and having a healthy love of the theater. That’s what drew me, and I’m sure many others, in to watching it in the first place. Then there’s the great underdog story that everyone loves. Those plucky kids, trying again and again to make it despite seemingly insurmountable odds and being Slushied every week. It’s fun. It’s cute. It’s happy. It’s overwhelming anti-Catholic and subversive.
Shows like Glee are forcing upon us, the average views, amidst their catchy tunes and attractive actors, values that are at odds with a Catholic mindset and lifestyle. For one, they promote a homosexual lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against any gay individuals. It’s that whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing. Kurt was one of my favorite characters from day one. He is a funny, charming, entertaining young man, much like Will from Will & Grace, who has a phenomenal voice and a keen sense of fashion, who just happens to be gay. Unfortunately, what happened is what has been happening quite frequently on popular TV shows: the writers decided to use the show’s popularity as an opportunity to ram their political and social views down the throats of the viewers. Kurt went from being one out of an ensemble of fun, quirky characters, to having whole arcing story lines based almost solely around his being a homosexual, and seemingly solely for the purpose of showing everyone watching how “normal” and simultaneously extra-hard his lifestyle is making his life. In a less than 30 years, homosexuality has gone from a taboo subject to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” subject, to a “we’re here and you must accept us” subject, to finally a “we are the new normal and if you object then you are hateful” subject. And it isn’t just homosexuality.
When I was younger, my father banned the show Friends from our home. I thought this a bit harsh, but for the most part I didn’t watch it (at home; full disclosure: I watched it in reruns in other houses from time to time). His reasoning? The show treated the ideas of cohabitation and pre-marital sex, not to mention a whole host of other topics that are against Church teaching, in a way that made them seem, if not glamorous, at least normal. Like Friends, Modern Family is more subversive than Glee. It doesn’t beat you over the head with it, but instead just treats each of the “families” as equal, every one of them from the homosexual couple to the couple who have each been divorced before marrying each other and everywhere in between. As an adult who has begun trimming my own TV viewing down to avoid watching shows like these, I understand what Dad was doing, and I wish more parents had done it then so we could have avoided it now. Shows like Glee and Modern Family and even Friends don’t glamorize anti-Catholic lifestyles. They do something much worse: they seek to acclimate the viewing population to the lifestyles represented within them so that they can be perceived as “normal.” By being humorous, by being likable and entertaining, by showing that a homosexual couple raising an adopted daughter faces struggles similar to those faced by a heterosexual couple, they help to make these situations seem not so strange as they once did. I’m sure the couples on Modern Family are loving and funny; endearing even. It doesn’t change the fact that their lifestyles are in direct opposition to Catholic values, but if I accept them on TV and see those characters as “normal”, this is where the paradigm shift starts. Where does it end? Eventually, people no longer complain when a new show premiers that features unwholesome topics and even begins to ridicule other programs as “unsophisticated” and “parochial” that do not promote modern ideals.
TV is a powerful medium. We support the ideals of the programs we watch by viewing them, discussing them, sharing them with friends. We don’t need to buy the products or the advertisers or boycott them. Boycotting large corporations rarely has a huge impact on them, but boycotting a TV show may have one on your own circle. Try telling your friends you don’t watch Glee or Modern Family because you don’t want to accept their lifestyles as the “new normal” and see what kind of conversation it sparks. It’s been my experience that taking a personal stand against such shows can have a great impact on the hearts and minds of those around you.