Season one's "Bad Reputation" finds the characters on FOX's Glee either wanting to attract or shed their bad reputations. Sue's (Jane Lynch) mojo is hit hard when Kurt (Chris Colfer) steals and uploads a self-made music video of her singing "Physical," which quickly goes viral. To get even, when no kids steps forward to take the blame, Sue tells Emma (Jayma Mays) about Will's (Matthew Morrison) trysts with Shelby (Idina Menzel) and April (Kristin Chenoweth), and encourages her to stage a public confrontation. Rachel (Lea Michele) is so desperate to get some cred that she drives away all three of the guys that care about her in the process.
This episode of Glee perpetuates the "high school never ends" theory, as the adults act just as catty as the kids when insulting each other. Between Sue, Emma, Will, Ken (Patrick Gallagher), Figgins (Iqbal Theba), and new teacher Brenda Castle (Molly Shannon, Saturday Night Live, Kath & Kim), they snip at each other in a way that normally only children do. It makes them look downright foolish. Perhaps their behavior can be blamed on being around actual teenagers all day, but it's not becoming on a single one of them.
Will really is kind of a man slut, though, and Emma has every right to be angry at him. While he is still one of the main characters of the series, and thus beloved, his behavior hasn't exactly been loyal to the girl he says he cares about. As such, it's nice to see him called out on his bad behavior, even if done in a juvenile way.
That Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes (Amber Riley), Artie (Kevin McHale), and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) all seek to destroy their own good image, is a crying shame. Realistic for someone their age, yes, but regrettably so. Sure, by the end of the episode Rachel learns her lesson. Sort of. But the others don't, as they continually fail in their schemes to look bad. What kind of example is this to set for the kids that tune into Glee? Example setting aside, it's frustrating to watch. A "Bad Reputation" is not something one should seek out. The only place it serves any positive purpose is in high school, but many adults eventually regret those past mistakes. You get more flies with honey than vinegar, every time. I guess in that metaphor, attracting flies is a good thing.