Last evening was the season premiere of Glee – number three.
Becky, the awesome Cheerio with Down syndrome, fared well on the hit show. In fact, I was surprised by her total screen time because she was on my television more than quite a few of the main characters. This makes me exceedingly happy and hopeful for the season, as Glee has the potential to create a seismic shift in the way society sees and interacts with people with Downs.
Last May, I began a Facebook Fan page with this very hope in mind. Our goal? Get Becky some friends by getting the attention of Glee producers and writers. Today, with close to a 1000 fans and multiple pleas, I can only hope we were successful.
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, if you want people to see you as an equal you can’t be treated special. Glee achieved this last evening over and over again.
What did Glee do right? They gently played with Becky’s diagnosis and did it well. Santana is mean to everyone and she spared Becky no sympathy when she found out Becky was going to be her co-captain for the Cheerios.
In the argument, Santana makes light of Becky’s chromosomes and how they would in no way save her from the wrath she could dish out. Becky fought back and added some snotty attitude to the mix. I couldn’t have been more pleased. Enough of the old adage that we have to treat these people with kid gloves - this was war in the world of the Cheerios and both characters played their roles well! Oh the progress!
My favorite line of the evening? Head Cheerio Coach, Sue, was whining that she needed something to hate, to which Becky declared she should hate toast. Becky’s reasoning was sound but it made little sense. Sue replies, “Becky, your twisted ingenious excites me.” At that moment, I have to say that Glee’s twisted ingenious excited me. How creative must you be as a writer to comment on the cognitive abilities of someone with Down syndrome and make it hilarious.
The writers of Glee flawlessly got inside the idiosyncrasies of the disability and took the “idio” out and welcomed the rest of society in. Which means? I’m not quite sure yet – but it’s good.
One last item. I want to personally thank Glee for having Becky start the food fight in the cafeteria. By throwing a plate of food at Rachel, Becky has finally laid to rest the notion that all people with Down syndrome are loving. They’re not and it’s time for society to get over it.
So Glee producers, if you happen to read this blog post, thanks for a great evening! You did well!
What was your favorite Becky moment?