Glee: Why I Can’t Deal with Artie.

This past Tuesday night, I was raging about Artie on my other site.

Quite frankly, Glee has to be one of the most progressive shows about High School on TV. They cover various social hot-button issues, in a satisfying way. They give their characters agency, and make some draw some pretty striking conclusions about society as a whole.

Before I get into why Artie ruins the progressive nature of the show, let me just reiterate that the entire purpose of this blog is to take a closer, more educated look at TV shows as a whole, without allowing ourselves to become a part of the hype.

When we discuss topics here, I’m asking you to make the assumption that any comments made are not to make a slanted slur about some group in society. Therefore, any comments like, “wow Faith, you’re a racist, I can’t believe you feel that way,” will be deleted and ignored. As social scientists, we CRITICALLY examine implications made…here we do that within TV shows.

WITH THAT SAID, Artie is the worst character on Glee. I’ve thought this for sometime now, pretty much since the show started, but I wanted to give the show a chance to empower him as a “differently-abled” high school student. As far as I’m concerned, Ryan Murphy (Glee creator), three strikes and you’re out. I’m done with Artie. And like I said here, I hope Sue Sylvester rolls his ass off of a cliff because he’s holding the progressive nature of the show back.

Let’s prove it:

  • Last season, Artie had a crush on Tina, who had been pretending to have a stutter speech impediment. I forget the exact reason she decided start pretending to stutter, but it was something along the lines of her wanting to be special/unique in some fashion, and she just stuck with it. Before Tina confessed her stellar acting skills to Artie, he was in love with her because they were both “differently-abled”. To make a long story short, Artie told her off and broke up with her because she lied about her stutter and now they had nothing in common. Really, Artie? You’ve found “love” in someone (yes, love in quotes because in high school, we are talking about lust with a dash of friendship) and you’re going to ditch it all because she no longer has a stutter? And since when is having a speech impediment comparable to being paralyzed from the waist down.
  • Let’s not forget about Artie’s delusion of grandeur last year when he decided that he wanted to dance and actively TRIED to jump out of his wheelchair to start dancing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Artie been paralyzed since a very young age? Didn’t someone tell him he wouldn’t be able to walk again, let along TAP DANCE? So, once again instead of EMPOWERING Artie to do something to own the fact that he’s differently-abled, they made him look like a punk. NEWSFLASH, Ryan Murphy: there are hundreds, and I’m sure thousands worldwide who have climbed to the tops of the highest mountains, or wheeled miles and miles at record speeds in order to prove to themselves and the world that though they have a physical hurdle to overcome, they would excel in something. NOT TAP DANCING. STOP.
  • This week, now he wants to JOIN THE FOOTBALL TEAM AS A RUNNING BACK. Seriously, enough said.

Mr. Murphy, if you can star a plus-size Black teenaged-girl with upper middle class parents, an empowered Gay teenager, a Jock who also sings and dances, and a Pregnant teenager, would it be too much to ask that you ALSO STAR A DIFFERENTLY-ABLED TEENAGER WITH SOME AGENCY?!

There are so many other examples of Artie’s loser qualities, but I don’t have the attention span to go any futher into it (I’m a TV Junkie, not a Movie Junkie for a reason).

In conclusion, I will go above and beyond all pretention to quote myself:

Dear, Mr. Murphy…PLEASE GIVE ARTIE THE AGENCY TO ACCEPT HIMSELF AS A DIFFERENTLY-ABLED PERSON WITHOUT HAVING HIM EMBARK ON THESE RIDICULOUS, EXISTENTIAL VISION-QUESTS! I seriously cannot deal with him any longer. I’m giving you until the middle of the season to empower Artie before I start a petition for Sue Sylvester to roll his corny ass off of a goddamn cliff!!! via

Mr. Murphy, you’ve been warned.

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