|Ashley Fink (Lauren Zizes) in the middle, with Chris Colfer and Amber Riley. Image from Wetpaint|
Sometimes I find it mind-boggling how some jokes get through without someone calling foul, but entire plotlines? This episode found Puck, the bad-boy character, suddenly falling in love with the newest Glee-member, Lauren Zizes (played by Ashely Fink, from Huge!!). She's been a pretty fantastic recurring character though the show's run, but unfortunately the show's creators aren't content with her being an awesome, mouthy wrestler-lady, they have to always film her eating (close-up on her mouth) and milk the fat jokes for all they're worth. They brought her on as a main cast member, but so far have made everything about her weight.
The show starts with Puck staring at Lauren while a voiceover says, "You can't choose who you fall in love with." Really? That's how you're going to start this? Would they have used that line if he was staring at Quinn? First "ugh".
Lauren gets a main part in this episode, where Puck decides he wants her after she tells him she doesn't want him. I immediately thought, is this supposed to be an interesting plot because he wouldn't normally go out with a fat girl?** I felt really bad making that connection., but not so fast, brain-- he goes on to tell her several times he likes her because of her curves and body, even once saying he likes her despite her curves. And then he serenades her in the choir room in front of the whole Glee Club-- with "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen. I really liked this song until this episode. The whole club was clapping along and having a great time, while Lauren sat silently.
The song ends and she tells him, "That was the first time anyone ever sang me a love song. And it made me feel like crap". Ok, maybe someone will learn a lesson: like someone for who they are, not for their body type. Don't reduce a person to a body part. Don't tell someone they're attractive despite something you don't like. Don't make your attraction sound like a kink (unless you're just going for some kinky fun times, of course). They end up on a date by the end, but you never hear Puck say that he understands that she wants to be loved for who she is, not because he's suddenly curious about big beautiful ladies.
|Fink peeking at other Huge cast members. Really, if you haven't watched this excellent, short-lived show, do so now.|
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I've obviously been thinking about this awful episode too much, and should not be expending my valuable (limited?) thought resources on a teen musical dram-edy. I want more diversity on TV where the character's non-white/hetero/thin/cis identity is NOT all the writers can think of.
And this is what he could have sung and it wouldn't have been as bad, but still pushing it:
*If I use any terms that are not ok, PLEASE TELL ME. I'm not always sure, and I try to look everything up and get the terms right. I'm not asking for a 101, just a helpful nudge.
**Don't think I'm fat-hating by saying that. In the context of the episode, with the writer's obsession about her weight/eating food, it's obvious that's the direction they're taking. And in 2011, it's just sad that this is still how TV works.