Glee And Other Media Choices



These thoughts have been niggling in the back of my mind all week, and I decided I just had to get it out.

Last weekend Derek went to spend the night at his buddy’s place.  It’s been a while since he’s been able to hang out with this friend, and I was glad he had a chance to go.  My parents and siblings were unavailable to get together on Friday night and Saturday, and since I knew I’d be spending most of the weekend by myself, I decided to swing by the library on my way home from work and pick up a movie or TV series to watch when Wyatt was napping.

I ended up renting the first season of Glee.  I know, I’m a couple years behind on that craze, but after being a little curious about it for a while I decided to watch it and see what all the fuss was about.

As I watched, I had very mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I can see why it was so popular.  The premise of the show is interesting, and the characters are likeable.  The episodes are written in a way that leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next.

On the other hand, I didn’t feel good about what I was watching.  A lot of situations in the show are inappropriate.  As an episode ended and I went to get my boy up from his nap, the contrast between Wyatt’s sweet innocence and what I was just watching was very stark.  I felt like I needed to reset my mind in order to take care of him, because a lot of the behaviors of the characters are behaviors that are wrong and that I pray that my son never falls into.

I was sucked into five episodes before I realized that the show wasn’t going to get any better, and I packed it up to take back to the library.

Now, I’m left wondering how so many Christians think that shows like this are okay – and how I thought it was okay to watch five episodes before I turned it off.

Because it’s not okay.

Media choices are important.  They shape the way we think, they shape our interactions with others, they can shape what our kids think is right and wrong.  When a plot is entrenched in sinful behavior at every turn, and there is no “moral of the story” in sight?  That’s not okay.

And if we think that God doesn’t care about our choices in movies, music, and books, we are lying to ourselves.  He does.

I was embarrassed to admit to Derek that I had watched so much of something that is not “true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable”.  Or “excellent or praiseworthy” either (Philippians 4:8).

I’m not telling you what you should or shouldn’t watch, because that’s between you and the Lord.  And I’m not trying to just pick on Glee, because there are a lot of shows and movies that would make or have made me feel the same way. This isn't the first poor media choice I've made, and I'm sure it won't be my last. I'm not directing this post at any one person.

What I am suggesting is that maybe Christians in general (myself included) should overlook a little less when it comes to media choices, and call sin what it is, rather than willingly letting it into our homes and hearts and minds.

All I know is that if Jesus came back right this minute, I wouldn’t want Him to find me watching Glee.

Image credit.
You may also like:
Veronica and Daniel said...

I couldn't agree more with you, and sometimes I feel like I am alone in this view (it's good to know I am not!). There are so many better things I want to fill my time/thoughts with - but the songs on Glee are so catchy! :) When I did watch a few episodes I just couldn't get past the moral issues I had with the show.

I remember when I was younger being so mad at my mom for not letting me watch certain popular shows (I was not allowed to watch 90210 or Buffy the Vampire to name a few) and at the time it seemed to be the 'worst thing ever!'...but now I am thankful she didn't let me watch. Thanks for sharing these thoughts :)

lindsey said...

I completely agree with you, Callie. My husband and I were fans of Glee during the first season and we watched the show faithfully. But then I started to feel uncomfortable and we decided the show just wasn't for us. While the singing is great, you are so right about a lot of situations being inappropriate. I also feel like there's a hidden agenda to push certain issues upon the viewers. I guess it's really a personal decision, but I'm with you -- If Jesus came back now I definitely don't want him to find me watching Glee, either.

Amanda said...

i have had the same experience with glee. when it first came on husband and i started watching it. right away we realized it was pretty crude and the situations that the characters are in made me sick. we stopped watching after a few shows. callie, i so appreciate your stand on media choices. i just don't know how christians can stomach watching stuff like that. and we laugh at situations on tv that God hates. tim and i always try to monitor what we watch....but my radar is even more up now that eleanor is on her way! thanks for this post callie!

Nicole said...

wow, very convicting. I agree with you... I too felt like I didn't think the premise of Glee was appropriate... much LESS for teens, to whom it's marketed. (mind you, I do watch it) After watching the FIRST episode, I decided it was too much. Just in that episode alone, there was already talk about infidelity and teen sex. We're not naive in thinking these things don't happen, but I dont' want to watch it.
Like I said, I watch it on Netflix and Hulu. I come back again and again because I'm a singer and I love hearing the music... even though I gag at everything else.
As a Christian, is it something I'm proud of or even advocate... and I know I justify it with the music thing. I'll have to think about that.
Thanks for an eye opener.

Natalie said...

I think it's great that you put this out there! Your blog is so refreshing for me all the time.
I watched the WHOLE FIRST SEASON of Glee to try to see what the hype was about. Sad to say. We are always very mindful and careful about our media choices (or try to be) and that is a huge reason we don't have cable and barely watch t.v. There is not much that is noble, righteous or pleasing to God on t.v. these days!
Do you use pluggedinonline? We always check out movies before we rent or go see them and they have great Biblically minded reviews on there!

Jessica said...

I agree with you. I used to watch Glee too because I just loved the music so much, and had been in show choir myself in high school so I thought the whole premise was interesting. But last year I finally decided that it was completely inappropriate, and that I didn't need to watch it anymore. I had a similar situation with The Bachelor, which had been my guilty pleasure for years. But this season I turned on the first episode, and within the first five minutes when they were showing a preview of what would be on the episode, I saw some really inappropriate things, and a light bulb finally turned on. I just said to myself, "why are you watching this?!! It's horrible and demeaning and not at all honoring to God." so I made a decision to turn it off and never watch it again. It was amazing that right in that moment I felt so freed!! Since then, I've tried to be careful what I watch, and have also tried to limit my TV viewing altogether. It has been great!

HIS daughter said...

Wow! This is so good! Totally agree with you and thank you so much for this reminder!!!

CAC said...

awesome post.. pretty much totally agree. I did love Glee when it came out, but it's gone downhill. I love the singing and that main girl is so gorgeous! But, i pretty much gave up tv over a year ago and haven't missed it all.

Sarah said...

I also watched some of it (more than the first season though) and eventually quit watching it because of the exact same reason. I was sick of being told what I was supposed to accept and how I should view things very perseonal to me without it being a "fair" view. I know never to expect a "fair" view on tv since most of it is definitely NOT christian based, but it still disappoints me when it goes so far the other way!

Lydia said...

You are completely right! I have thought a lot lately about the things I watch throughout the day, mostly because Brynlee is starting to repeat words we say and really paying attention to EVERYTHING! I actually wish we could get rid of our cable just so I wouldn't even have to option to watch half of the things that I do. {We have it free and have asked the company to come cut it off but they won't} I am so bad about just putting on a station and leaving it on in the background no matter what is on. Definitely an area I need to grow in!

Sarah said...

I agree 100%. I know what the show is like and I feel the same way. I know Christians that LOVE this show, and I wonder how they rationalize it. I know it is easy to get caught up in TV-Land because it is a getaway, but we do have to hold it up against what the Bible says. There are no neutral areas in our lives when we commit them to the Lord. Great Post!!!

Ashlee J said...

Wow! Thank you for this post. It made me realize the kind of filth that I watch and the fact that I really need to guard my heart more when it comes to our media choices!

Funny thing though, I too, just started watching Glee on Netflix the night before last, and I couldn't bring myself to watch it anymore

Katie said...

The second season is actually worse (I think) and the third season even worse than that. I admit I watched the first two (on netflix), and then part of the third (on hulu). I thought I was fine with it, but I noticed that every time I watched it, the night after I had horrible nightmares. Like, the past coming to haunt me nightmares to the point where I didn't even want to go to sleep. Awful. I stopped watching and with it, the nightmares are gone. Amazing how things really do get in our mind.

Melanie said...

I know what you mean Callie..I watch things at time and later (especially now that I have Makayla and have 'another' set of eyes on me) think why I watch such stuff. Like you said..some things we watch on tv or in the movies..we wouldnt want God to 'catch' us watching..though He's always got His eyes on us! Definately an important reminder!
PS ~ From what you said..I'm glad I never watched Glee!!

Bridget said...

It's funny how you really start to ponder things like these once you have little ones around. I also haven't been able to get into glee either. I couldn't even make it through an episode. It wasn't necessarily for all the same reasons as you...for me...I just didn't get why it was so popular cause I kind of felt like it was dumb. There are many others out there that I have heard people say are funny "Whitney" is the first one that jumps into my mind and I think that one is just awful! Thanks for speaking on a good topic in a non condescending way. We all need a little accountability sometimes!

Olivia said...

Thanks for posting this! It was definitely convicting. Our society is sooo accepting of everything, it's easy to overlook obvious sin in a show. I watched modern family the other day for the first time, and although it was hilarious, I was so uncomfortable with the normalcy of the gay couple. Thanks for the reminder!

Julie S. said...

This is going to be a hard comment to write. I do agree with you- but I am really into Glee, mostly for the music. Yes, some of the story line is uncomfortable, but I am not acting on it. It's make believe in my mind. I guess for me, its kind of like when Harry Potter came out and everyone had a cow about it. My mom read the first book before my sister and I were allowed to read it, and she concluded that to her it was nothing more than make believe. This show is just that- a show.

While the story line of Glee is true in our society, it isn't something I take too seriously. It's a TV show. I don't have it on when Brayden is around (actually, we don't normally watch ANYTHING when he is up!) and I am careful about which of the songs I am playing on my phone when he is awake. It's definitely not something I am going to let my kids watch.

There are lots of other things I am mindful about watching, so I really do appreciate this post as a reminder! :)

Felicia said...

I have watched one episode of Glee to see if it was really as good as everyone says, and I didn't much care for it, for the same reasons you've stopped watching it. I definitely support your decision :) Isn't it just funny how easy it is to get caught up in things that we know aren't good for our souls just because it's entertaining? I'm so guilty of this sometimes, but I really want to make an effort to make good media choices like you :)

Melissa said...

Callie, I read this when you wrote it but at the time couldn't comment for whatever reason & just remembered it. I love love love this post.

Some could say i am being hypocritical b/c i love the show Grey's Anatomy. And I'm not justifying, b/c there are things in that that i do not think are pleasing to God. I had such high hopes when i started watching Glee, but I was very disappointed. I was shocked to find that not only did i not like but i was disgusted by it. I felt sick watching. And this was starting at the very beginning. I agree w/ an earlier commenter who said she felt like there was a hidden agenda. Other shows (like grey's) have immoral things in their shows, too, but that's not the focus (or at least it doesn't feel like it is!). Glee has such an in-your-face agenda to push certain things. I hated it. And something that blew me away is that certain people from church who judged me for having a "negative" FB status (when i wasn't being negative) or for missing Wed night church, would also constantly talk about how much they love shows like Glee!

But i agree... we need to be careful about what we watch, whether we "feel" convicted or not! Thanks for standing up for these issues!

© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.