Glee Season 4: Did “Swan Song” Disrespect Brittana Shippers?
Hey guys, let’s have a talk about GleeSeason 4, Episode 9: “Swan Song.” Specifically, we want to chat about the way Brittana (and their fans) may or may not have gotten the short end of the respect stick in the whole affair.
As any Brittana shipper worth his or her weight in unicorn poop knows, Brittany (Heather Morris) and Santana (Naya Rivera) have one of the best and most frustrating relationship histories on Glee. Santana used to be a dude-dating angry cheerleader until she realized her true feelings for her best friend Brittany. When the two were together, it was magic. They loved each other in such a pure, sweet, lady-kissing way, it was hard to see that anything was wrong until it was over.
But there were some things wrong, and one of them is that writers treated Brittana like it was just another relationship in some ways, and like it was just something they (the writers) were experimenting with. But that’s not how it should be. As many angry fans have pointed out, Britt and Santana were given a miniscule amount of screentime for their love to bloom, and the lady kisses were pretty G-rated compared to everyone else. But that’s its own separate issue.
Something shippers find incredibly insulting happened on “Swan Song,” and we want to clarify our views on the situation. What went down was, Britt had a scene that should have been hilarious when she broke down the “fourth-wall” that separates TV characters from the real life people who connect with them. We say “should have” because what she said was so uncharacteristically Brittany, we thought we had heard wrong.
Basically, Brittany told Sam (Chord Overstreet) that the lesbians who love her and Santana would be mad and might hurt her blond buddy if she got with him. Look, we know there are no boundaries when it comes to letting characters stir up trouble, but this is a little much. Whether it’s racist slurs or homophobic language, things are said that are controversial to the core. But usually, the people who say them are vilified in some way.
But here’s where the problem really lies. First of all, we’re not all lesbians. Sure, there is a substantial gay fan base to the show and to this relationship in particular, but there are tons of others as well. Second, no matter how sad or hurt we feel by a betrayal of the relationship we believe should be endgame for Brittany, we aren’t necessarily a horde of violent lasher-outers.
The fact that all of our feelings were summarily dismissed with a single joke feels a little wrong. We, the fans, are the reason that show has had great success. It is a wonderful show, and we can see that the creators have poured parts of themselves into it in tender and loving ways. It is a show that has changed countless lives and television standards and we are grateful it exists.
But underneath it all, a certain level of respect must be afforded to the people who keep it relevant and who feel valid and true things because of the fictional actions of fictional characters. And that level just was not shown last night. What do you think — should we take it all with a spoonful of sugared cereal, or is something a little off key for you, too?