When did the Blaines in stories suddenly override the revisionist craving for understanding why people are driven to cruel acts or bullying words? Blaine’s story has already been told (he apparently suffered from bullies himself and now goes to school in a place where he is a top man on campus because he belongs to a singing group). Karofsky’s story hasn’t been told.
And what I fear is that it won’t be. We’re too uncomfortable with the idea that if we tell it, it means Kurt might find something to like, and that would be unacceptable. But for the gay teens who remember being that athlete who didn’t know how to handle his emotions or to treat people well because he didn’t even know how to treat himself, we do the story a disservice from backing cautiously away from taking risks.
In the fictional world, what bullying sometimes means, especially those who can identify with the Daves and Dracos and Amber and Houses of the world, is that everybody can find reconciliation and love in unlikely places. The journey should be complex and unpredictable, yes, but let’s face it, Glee is, in some ways, escapist tv in the same way that Harry is an escapist story of young adult fiction, and it’s all right (isn’t it?) to hope that the villain can be a catalyst for healing or unification among unlikely cliques of people. Or in Glee perhaps the villain or bully can add to the fascinating overlap existing between the athletic and artistic worlds, which, I think, is where the show’s strange magic lies. The scenes between Will and Sue, Biest and Will, Puck and Artie, Kurt and Karofsky…they all captivate us because these two cultures of the body (sports) and the mind and spirit (the arts) have always been divided unproductively, most often in schools. Think about the way people dismiss athletes as “meatheads” or “guys on a scholarship,” and then consider what bullying messages are associated with them. Look at how Biest is treated for being a woman in a man’s world of football. What people remember from Glee are the scenes between characters belonging to different cultures, even if those scenes are messy and nonpolitically correct. Perhaps they remember those scenes most.
In fact, I loved seeing Karofsky (representing the underrepresented hockey team player) slushie Finn (the sports player turned artistic performer) in season 1. He did it because, as he said, Finn had been making fun of him since he was in fifth grade and Finn began his journey toward most popular guy in school-- “You and your girlfriend have walked around here treating the rest of us like we’re worth nothing. Now there’s a new world order.”