Glee means joy…unless you worked on the show, apparently. The hit musical series, about teens who express their hopes and dreams through well-known pop songs, ran on Fox from 2009 to 2015, and fans (and haters) are still eager for behind-the-scenes tea. On a March 2020 episode of the podcast Dating Straight, Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale, who starred on the show as Tina and Artie, opened up about the moment that made them “hate” the series.
In a clip from the interview which has now gone viral on TikTok, Ushkowitz and McHale laugh when asked to shade the show that made them famous.
“I never hated it…some people did,” says McHale.
“I was the last one to break…it was ‘What [Does] The Fox Say’,” he continued, referencing the short-lived parody song that became an unexpected pop hit. For Ushkowitz, singing South Korean star Psy’s song “Gangnam Style” was seemingly her breaking point. Though she doesn’t address it directly, she grimaces and nods when the hosts call it problematic. Both stars agree that season five of the show was “rough” and “pretty tone-deaf.” McHale warns that viewers who watch it “now” will be “shocked.”
They also get into the Mr. Schue of it all. Matthew Morrison played Glee Club director William Schuester on the series, a character who was a fatherly figure and leader…but also, perhaps, a little too invested in his students’ lives. Viewers routinely call out his behavior as “creepy” and “weird.” Ushkowitz and McHale seem to agree. The TikTok now has over 1 million likes.
The podcast’s TikTok account also posted another clip from the interview, in which McHale and Ushkowitz talk about hookups among the cast:
There’s been, let’s say, conversation around Glee ever since it premiered 10+ years ago. It was originally praised for its depiction of queer students, though the plot lines could sometimes be so far-fetched, it bordered on parody. The commentary didn’t stop when the show did; thanks to availability on Netflix, Glee has found its way to new viewers every day. And many have used social media to call out problematic moments from the show. Maybe Coach Sue Sylvester was right to try and shut it down.