Podcast Supplement: These F***ing Teenagers

Ryan Sheely and Matthew Wrather overthink the latest Gossip Girl and Glee.

Ryan Sheely and Matthew Wrather overthink the latest Gossip Girl and Glee, including micro- and macro-storytelling and whether Glee hates women.

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7 Comments on “Podcast Supplement: These F***ing Teenagers”

  1. Gab #

    Unrelated: How come Wrather always sounds the clearest, even if he’s not the “host,” e.g. this time?

    Related (I think):


    The video suggests to me a great deal of homoeroticism, badly written characters, and painfully superficial plots in the show. I’ve never watched, though, so is this off?

    Thanks for correcting me about the age thing, the “news” v. the entertainment channels/organizations with the name of Fox, and the terminology of patriarchy v. misogyny. Boy, was I off or what? Mea culpa.

    The writers of Glee sort of explained via exposition why Tina (“the Asian girl”) doesn’t talk much: she has a stutter. Thoughts on that?

    Don’t forget the crazy/manipulative sister-in-law on Glee, too!


  2. Sheely #

    @Gab- Do you mean that Wrather sounds clearer in terms of sound quality or in terms of actual content? Both are entirely possible. As far as sound quality goes, he actually hosted the call.

    I don’t know how totally fair that GG parody is. They were pretty on point about some of Ed Westwick (Chuck) and Blake Lively (Serena)’s acting tics, but they also missed some of the more annoying/poorly written characters. In terms of the homoeroticism, that is more of an empirical question, and it is one that we might take up on a later edition of this podcast.

    You are right about the sister-in-law on Glee. I didn’t mention her because she hasn’t had a ton of screen time, but every time she has appeared, she has served to make Will’s wife seem a bit more sympathetic by comparison (except that she ultimately follows her suggestions).

    Did you watch Glee last night? I thought the depictions of both Rachel and Emma were really good and suggest that the show is moving in a slightly different direction in terms of its depiction of female characters.


  3. Matthew Wrather #

    @Gab — I do the actual recording, so the signal comes straight from my microphone and not through Skype.

    My thought process is also more coherent. ;)


  4. Gab #

    Yeah, sorry, I meant sound quality. ;p

    I watched Glee, and I found April’s turnaround a little hard to believe- but not because she’s a woman so much as it just came out of nowhere in comparison to her previous behavior in the episode. The other girls/women did look a tad better than before, and I’m kind of intrigued by the potential this overeating thing with Terri- it’s kind of gimicky at first, but it could actually end up really interesting, since 1) the myth that you’re all-out “eating for two” when pregnant has been debunked as it is, and 2) she isn’t even pregnant in the first place.

    The mansion April made me wonder: what is the economic situation in the town Glee takes place in? If a huge mansion like that was foreclosed on, is there a huge dichotomy of wealth there (like Vegas- that’s what it reminded me of) and what group do the majority of the students at William McKinley High School fit into? I have a hunch that it’s pretty split overall, but the HS has a mix of both because it’s the only one in town because of what we have seen of students’ houses thus far- but I wonder if there is a majority of one type or not, as well as if the students even care. Finn is obviously not wealthy, but Quinn appears to be, and both are socially elite at WMKHS; but Kurt, a wealthy guy, is still a social reject- so does this mean economic position has no bearing on social status in their high school? And I suppose this nugget, if resolved better, could lead to some good comparison with the wealthy characters in GG, right? Would any of the GG characters “be with” someone from a working-class family- and for serious, not as some sort of fleeting form of “rebellion” or whatever?


  5. Scott #

    You asked for opinions from actual high schoolers, so here I go.

    The one thing that annoys me about the portrayal of high school in pop culture is the near complete lack of schoolwork done by any of the characters. I realize that drama is supposed to be “life with the boring bits cut out,” but it still breaks the verisimilitude of the fictional universe when we never see people doing homework or studying or posting on Facebook threads celebrating the fact that they’ve just finished a big research paper at 3:00 AM on the morning that its due. Blair is supposed to be a perfectionist who scoffs at anything less than an A…but when have we ever seen her working on a paper? When, indeed, do any characters in Gossip Girl turn down a party or machination because they have three tests the next day, or a sports practice, or because they’re burnt out and low on sleep?

    The actual high school experience, at least in my personal experience, is defined in large part by work. Just to catalogue the events of the last few days, I’ve had a four-test day, seen the editor-in-chief of my school’s newspaper (a good friend of mine) sleeping sprawled out on a table in the middle of the afternoon, listened to endless gripes about the number of supplements there are to the common app and realized that a first draft of a major essay is due on Monday. None of this is really glamorous, but all of it is a critical part of high school life.

    Part of what made The Wire great was the attention paid to seemingly mundane, inglorious things like probable cause, exhaustion, the legal prerequisites for wiretapping, the day-to-day grind of surveillance and office politics…that’s where the tremendous sense of realism came from. And that’s lacking in just about every teen drama/comedy I’ve come across.


  6. takenoko #

    Last week’s SLOT podcast convinced me to watch Glee. I’m really enjoying it and caught up to it pretty quickly.

    I thought Wrather’s comment that the black girl and Asian girl were nonentities. At least they have some substance compared to the ethnic guys, who exist as background scenery! Stats from wiki: 82.8% White, 11.8% Black, 2.3% Hispanic, 1.5% Asian/Pacific Islander. So I guess it’s realistic in that sense.

    Another thing I found amusing was Wrather’s skepticism over Mercedes not knowing Kurt was gay. I actually wasn’t sure what gender he was until episode 4. It’s funny because I accidentally watched episode 4 before 3, so I didn’t know for sure that Kurt was gay till his confession to his dad at the end of the episode. Watching episode 3 made me kind of disappointed by his confession to Mercedes which didn’t seem to serve any purpose except to give Mercedes some characterization and a bikini cheerleader car wash moment. I mean, they could still have had that car wash scene without letting the cat out of the bag till episode 4, because the moment with the dad was a much stronger one.


  7. Megan from Lombard #

    I don’t really watch Gossip Girl or Glee (darn the need to earn a college degree and have money to do things) but what I’ve heard from my sister is that Gossip Girl has strayed far from the books, which is one of the reasons she stopped watching. What I want to know is that true? Has the show strayed from the canon of the books and does that diminish the viewing or has it evolved to blend the both and make it more enjoyable?

    Also, I wish that college dorms in real life looked like the ones shown on TV; be it shows or commericals. Honestly, I would love it if I could fit an entire bedroom set and still have room to dance around/whatever without knocking into something or just have the entire bedroom set in the room!


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