Bow Tie Outfits for Blaine from Glee
Before we get to that, I feel like I need to defend myself for knowing about Blaine and his sartorial decisions and statements. Yes, I know that this is a niche fashion blog and not a TV blog.
Glee, which is airing its final season right now, started off promising with the ability to actually successfully allow its characters to burst out into song whenever. It also was fun to watch as it celebrates so many popular and guilty pleasure songs (not so much when it comes to the show tunes for me) and helps those of us who really cannot sing and dance vicariously live our desires through the show. However, it has frequently fallen short of its potential.
NPR TV critic Linda Holmes recently noted Glee‘s quality has fluctuated
greatly violently. It’s no secret that the show suffers from inconsistency. In their attempt to excel at the “teen dramedy” genre, Ryan Murphy and company have often strained any credibility of the characters and plots that it seems one of the most demented characters in Murphy’s horror anthology American Horror Story conjures up the ludicrous and incoherent rules of the Glee universe.
Mr. Shuester is a prime example of this. During a second season episode he wanted do Rocky Horror Picture Show as the school play in order to woo his love interest — now wife — Emma as she’s a big fan. Of course, he gave little or no thought to how high school students and, more importantly, their parents would react to the play’s subject matter. So, when people started to advise him to edit the play, he got upset and cried free speech. He was then miffed when his students expressed concern about wearing revealing costumes in front of their peers. I mean… Who’s secure with their bodies in high school? Or ever? Did I mention that Mr. Shuester is a teacher who should have some maturity? So, when observing him in the episodes that immediately preceded and followed this hot mess, he was a believable stable and mature adult who is a suitable role model for his students. Due to this roller coaster of consistency, it is his picture that appears when you one looks up “unlikely voice of reason” in the dictionary. While later seasons have smoothed out such problems, they still exist.
A big part of the reason why this post has veered from bow ties to defending why I still watch Glee is that we’re in a Golden Age of Television. Some of my favorite shows include Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, 30 Rock, and Fringe. All of these critically acclaimed shows are or were very consistent, unafraid to risk alienating fans by making dramatic decisions (like killing off main characters) in order to keep the overall story fresh and compelling, and for the most part harnessed a willingness to dive deep into serial story telling that demands attention and devotion from viewers. These shows are far better than Glee.
I’ll admit that my entertainment diet has variety that mixes quality art with solid yet not critically acclaimed shows and simply enjoyable fare. Glee is junk food that one eats while knowing that they’ll regret it afterwards.
So, why do I even watch the show with all of these complaints? I’m a sucker for commitment. For some reason, I connect with characters — likable or not — and feel obligated to follow them through their trails, tribulations, and adventures. That even goes for Don Draper from Mad Men, whom one of my friends called a royal loser. I agree with her. Don is a man who has so much unhappiness in his life, and he has on multiple occasions achieved periods of peace and fulfillment. However, Don typically throws it all away and reverts back to a miserable bloke. One of the reasons why he’s so compelling is that his fatal flaw is that he’s incapable of learning and progressing to find lasting joy in his life. This same critique is very applicable to Glee‘s own Rachel Berry. She is condemned to a life of toxicity as she learns how to genuinely focus on others and experiences joy from that only to return to focusing on herself and her desires. Tragically, she also drags those around her down to darkness with her. Ugh!
Out of fairness, I applaud Glee‘s noble efforts to address important issues like LGBTQ issues, domestic violence, bullying in schools, inclusion and respect for those with supposed disabilities, sex ed, and arts in schools. Plus, running a TV show is really tough.
I dare TV showrunners to find ways to develop compelling characters who grow and achieve lasting happiness. It is so cliché these days — especially on cable, premium, and streaming shows — to rely upon characters tragically doomed to misery for critical acclaim. I’m not saying that they have to make sappy and saccharine shows like the cable Christmas movies that Holmes indulges in as her guilty pleasures, but even happy people have challenges that life throws their way. I would like to see characters that grapple with challenges — instead of continually tripping over their innumerable fatal personality flaws — in shows with consistent and plausible writing.
Getting back to neckwear… It’s that annoying obligation I feel to characters on TV that guilts me into watching Glee, and if I’m compelled to watch this train wreck, then I might as well help Blaine better represent the bow tie brotherhood. Without further ado, here’s a Pinterest board of outfits without polo shirts that would suit him well.