Glee: Following up – Blaine and gender; Sebastian, Blaine, Santana and race

Two quick Thursday afternoon followups to some of our recent Glee discussions:

First, the detectives over at CSI Tumblr have been having some fun figuring out what’s on Blaine’s bookshelf. Aside from toy robots and old film-based cameras, they’ve also identified some SAT study guides, a book on the American theatre, and what someone is pretty sure is a history textbook. That isn’t the awesome part though.

The awesome part is not only does he have Mockingjay, he has What If… You Broke All the Rules, a-choose-your-own-adventure book in which the reader is a teenage girl neglected by her parents who must decide which boy or fabulous group of friends to spend her spring break with.

Next to that? Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J.Edgar Hoover. I don’t need to give you Hoover history here, do I?

The job of set dressers isn’t, really, to be ready for CSI Tumblr, but to make things look good at the level of detail the TV audience is supposed to see things at. That said, HD TV and digital fandom really changes the game, and I love that the folks working on Glee are not only hilarious, but seem to agree with me that maybe Kurt’s not the character we should be asking gender identity questions about. Blaine passes as a lot of things, and maybe that’s not just straight if he wants to; remember the Sadie Hawkins dance?

On a completely separate note, that does however touch on this season’s themes around passing, biyuti has written about Sebastian’s bad behavior and subsequent reactions in the context of race. Because, of course, it’s not just that he says unbelievably offensive stuff to Santana; Blaine’s not white (at least as of this writing, more on that in a moment) either, and while Dalton looks a lot more diverse than the private school I went to growing up, that still doesn’t mean that what’s happening with the power structures in this episode isn’t all about race too.

Meanwhile, for those who haven’t heard (and remember, this is not a spoiler-free blog), the very white Matt Bomer has been cast as Blaine’s brother for an episode airing in April. Considering that Glee‘s canon has glancingly acknowledged Blaine has having a non-white background (Rachel wanting to have his “vaguely Eurasian babies”), a lot of folks are head-tilting at this choice, especially when Glee has often used details of the actors’ personal lives in crafting character backgrounds (i.e., both Jenna Ushkowitz and Tina, the character she plays, are adopted). Stay tuned….

6 thoughts on “Glee: Following up – Blaine and gender; Sebastian, Blaine, Santana and race”

  1. As I posted over on the link about race and conflict, I don’t think Blaine has ever been suggested to be non-white on the show. They make meta-allusions that have no bearing on canon all the time, and the “vaguely Eurasian” comment was one of them, from all appearances. Blaine has always been treated like he’s white, in the same way that Naya Rivera’s Santana is purely Hispanic even though Naya herself is 25% black and 25% white in addition to her Puerto Rican ancestry.

  2. I don’t remember anything from the show or an interview saying that Tina was adopted… is it just something Jenna wants for the character?

    (I know I’m hanging on to the very last point in your essay and kind of being OT, but I got into a meme thread earlier about Tina being adopted so it stood out to me.)

      1. That particular spoiler is almost certainly not true pertaining to the episode, but Jenna Ushkowitz did talk about Tina getting a story relating to the fact that Mike’s parents disapproved of her being adopted back when the season was starting. It seems to have fallen by the wayside as an idea.

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