I initially balked at season 2 of Glee. I argued in a few early season posts with some other Gleeks. I claimed that the writer's total lack of attention to Quinn's post-relinquishment issues was a slap in the face to every birth mother (and adoptee) who watches the show. Others argued back that it was early in the season, that I should give it time. I eventually gave up on the season -- mainly because of the torture that was the Rocky Horror episode but also because I was peeved about the Juno treatment that they gave the show.
But I sat down a few weeks ago to catch up on the season when the Oxygen network ran a marathon. I also watched the finale on FOX when it ran.
And I maintain what I said. I was told that I was over-reacting when they didn't address it in the first episode. But they didn't address it for the rest of the season. There were a couple of minor undertones, a glance here or there. In the "Original Song" episode, also known as the Regionals episode, Rachel makes a brief mention of how her biological mother ended up adopting Quinn's daughter Beth. She said something about it bonding them together, but Quinn didn't even blink. Not once. It was ignored. It wasn't even an elephant in the room. If you were new the show and missed that scene in that episode, you really wouldn't know that good girl cheerleader Quinn got knocked up while cheating on her quarterback boyfriend Finn with the bad boy rebel Puck during the first season. It's the baby that never was.
I recognize that the show isn't about adoption. I am still forcing myself to recognize fiction for what it is: fiction. And I may have even felt some renewed love for the show by the finale, though I screamed and cried along with other fans when they decided to kill of Sue's sister. I'll watch season 3, but I won't expect to see anything about how Quinn is doing post-placement.
And it's disappointing. The show does so much for other issues. They've got the PSA going to end the r-word, something I fully support. They deal with everything from homelessness to the bullying of gay teens to trying to figure out as a gay teen when and how to come out to everyone else. They deal with some heavy freaking stuff. But we can't dedicate ten minutes of one season to talk about how relinquishment forever changes a girl/woman/mother? We couldn't even have a moment, one year after Quinn gave birth, where she was simply sad?
It's a shame. I don't expect Hollywood to ever get it right as there is no one "right." But the total lack of anything? It's just a shame. Heck, I'd even accept seeing her lash out about how she doesn't care about the baby and, darn it, leave her alone -- because at least it would be an emotion to revisit later. I don't know. Perhaps they're going with the whole First Year as the Year of Denial theme, but even then they would have done the storyline better by at least having someone ask about the baby or a song or something more than what was offered.
As it stands, I'm disappointed in the writers. They missed an opportunity to do something real, like they've done with other issues. But I can't hate the show. I can hate episodes of the show (oh, Rocky Horror horrors!). But, I mean, come on. We all know there's a little bit (or, uh, more) of Rachel in me.
I wonder when the writers (of this show or any) will get it right.
Of note: I don't address any father/birth father issues regarding Puck in this post simply because I am a woman and a birth mother. My heart breaks for Puck as well just as it does for my daughter's biological father.
Family Section Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land. She is a freelance writer and photographer. She is also a birth mother and works very hard not to take things personally.
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