- Nov 15, 2009
- Reaction score
did you see tonight's episode of glee? they had kids from a fictional deaf school's glee club perform a song in sign language. what did you think of it?
So after hearing so much about this, I went and watched it on Hulu (with CC. Thank you, Hulu!) As a show, I think it's terrible: abysmal acting, trite, unoriginal story lines with very predictable characters and conflict, etc. The only redeeming quality of it is the music, which I must admit, is very, very well done. But I'm a snob when it comes to this type of critiquing, so don't listen to me.
What did I think of the deaf choir scene? Hmmm... well, I would have liked it better if they had set up deafness better in the show prior to that scene. What they did was show the stereotypical HoH person misinterpreting sentences, talking loudly, not hearing his phone, etc. All the jokes came at the expense of his hearing loss. If they wanted him to be funny, why didn't they just make him funny regardless of his hearing? Of course, when a show has lousy writers, they go straight for obvious, cliched caricatures: oh hah hah, look, the deaf guy who misses 4 phone calls. hah hah! :roll: nevermind that it's been done a billion times before, and it's still not funny.
I have mixed feelings about the actual deaf signing scene. I think the intentions were good, but I didn't like how the hearing students just came in and started singing and co-opting the deaf students' performance. For me, I read that symbolically as just another instance of patriarchal hearing attitudes towards deafness. Here's one blogger's opinion on this: Squidalicious: Facepalm: Deaf Choir on Glee. I tend to agree 100%
Also, I wasn't convinced that all the actors playing deaf people were deaf. Some of them seemed to have very shaky ASL articulation.
Still, "Imagine" is one of my favorite songs in the entire world, and I do think it was a nice choice, if a little corny and obvious. It could have been worse, but in the end, this episode still reinforced the wrong perception of deafness.
You really thought this out, eh? Guess that means you reflected on it before reporting it on the forum. I am inclined to agree after seeing the show. It was neat to see it, but then... reality sunk in a few hours later.
i do think the director from the deaf school was a bit overboard. he should've had an interpreter there. regardless, it was nice seeing sign language on a major television network.