Glee’s latest episode was about a lot of things; asteroids, cats but most importantly, school shootings. It’s pretty obvious why it’s a pretty touchy subject and reactions have been … mixed. I’m still undecided but I do know that the direction in the episode was moving, and the twenty or so minutes in the choir room were tense and unnerving. But I also know that you can be tense and unnerving in different ways. And if you really want to get teenagers to cry, you can just send them to a party, ply them with vodka and turn on some Radiohead. But whatever. We’ve rounded up some of the best reactions from the internet thus far:
The review opens pretty brilliantly to show that a lot of what happened on Shooting Star, while moving and touching, was also superfluous:
‘When I was in high school, we went on high-alert or something one day because there was a shot fired, maybe three, at the junior high. It turned out that one of the teachers, an infamous hard-ass, had fired a gun in her classroom before school had started that morning. Then, a few hours later, she reported that someone shot a gun in or at her classroom, which was a barely-walled one-room annex. She was eventually fired with a criminal trial pending, and that’s the last I heard of it. What’s weird is that no gun was ever recovered from the incident. Looking into it now, I can’t find any word on the result. What I can find is the complicating fact that on the day of the shooting, three students made a video talking about how they hated her and discussing a gun that they were going to bury. From what I gather, they were talking about the gun. The video was brought to the police by one of their parents. I can’t imagine such a video would not have been investigated, but I can’t find any information online about what happened to either the teacher or the students after that. The teacher has always protested her innocence. I’ll never know if she fired the gun or not, but I’ll remember until I die that “Shooting Star” is trash.
See what I did there? I invoked a real-life campus gun incident in Texas, a joint effort of yeehaw regulation and low mental-health care, all so I could make some trivial point. But I sure was emphatic.’
– Brendan Nowalk
‘But the depths of the emotional manipulation are unforgivable, even putting aside the fact that the ten gut-wrenching minutes are followed by literally everything being fine/never mind, guys. Sam gets wrestled to the ground for trying to leave to save Brittany, but then Mr. Schue (for unknown reasons) goes to save her later anyway! Confrontation and rescue! The manipulation is so ingrained in the episode that the cynical part of me wants to believe that the preshow disclaimer about violent content was less a genuine warning and more a way of building suspense at the outset — after all, there wasn’t a similar warning before Karofsky’s equally graphic suicide attempt last season. (Also, not for nothing, but if you’re really trying to be realistic, don’t have everyone decide that the threat has passed and burst into group hugging as soon as some random, disembodied voice yells “All clear!”)’
The same reviewer does however admit that:
‘I don’t want my caps lock rage to belie how strong some of the performances are here, especially from some of the newer kids — it’s the acting and not the writing that keeps the episode away from complete melodrama.’
– Lauren Hoffman
‘Sure it was admirable of Sylvester to take the blame for a student who more than likely meant no harm and just needed some guidance, but given recent events, such as December’s tragic Sandy Hook shooting, this felt wrong, especially since the person who carried out the Newtown massacre reportedly had Asperger’s. The media’s obsession with Adam Lanza’s Asperger’s hurt and maligned the autism community, as some tried to find a connection between the condition and his unspeakably evil act.
That was less than four months ago, and while Glee should definitely broach the subject of school violence in today’s world, pinning the gun on Becky was not the best way of going about it. I adore this show even though many would agree it has decreased in quality in recent years, so hopefully it can survive this uncomfortable plot twist and Lynch’s possible permanent departure.’
– Laura Donovan, policymic.com
The episode’s reviews weren’t short of qualified praise, though:
‘In the shadow of real-world issues with guns and violence and school shootings, television shows have to tread carefully to pay respect to the severity of the issues while also staying true to their characters and storytelling. In that regard, tonight’s episode of Glee was spot-on. Bravo, Glee.’
– Miranda Wicker, tvfanatic.com
And of course, there was Tumblr. Well, most people here just seemed to be Very Emotional. I screen-capped some of the tagged glee feed to give you an idea:
Look at all the tears.
And that’s what you missed on Glee!