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October 7, 2015

Where Have I Seen That 'Glee' 'Born This Way' Plot Before?

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 27th 2011 12:20PM
GleeThey say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's true, then a bunch of writers are probably feeling extra good about themselves after last night's episode of 'Glee.'

Listen, self-acceptance is a great message to promote, especially to teenagers. But I can't shake the deja vu feeling that settled in while I watched the super-sized 'Born This Way' tribute. Those self-acceptance storylines were just so ... familiar.

A little too familiar, if you ask me.

Here are three plot points from last night's episode, and three places I've seen them done before.

1. Aspiring star considers plastic surgery = 'Degrassi'
I suppose it's not hard for a high-school show to tread the same ground as Canadian institution 'Degrassi,' especially since the long-running, issues-focused show is filming its eleventh season. During 'Degrassi''s fifth season, aspiring actress Manny considered a boob job to further her career, much like Rachel considered a nose job during last night's 'Glee.' Luckily, neither girl ended up going through with the procedure.

2. Popular bitch was once a fat little girl = 'Saved'
Maybe the 'Glee' writers were subconsciously influenced by how much Dianna Agron kinda resembles Mandy Moore when they decided the motivation behind Quinn's thirst for popularity was the fact that she was once a fat, orthodontia-clad middle-schooler. The motivation behind Moore's bitchy popular girl in the movie 'Saved'? Yep, she was once a fat, orthodontia-clad middle-schooler. (Anyone want to do a side-by-side comparison of those two "before" photos? Because I'm positive they're identical.)

3. Writing down your insecurities = 'America's Next Top Model'
Want to take bets on the size of Tyra Banks' ego once she realizes that one of the most popular shows on television borrowed an idea from her signature reality show? Earlier this season, TyTy had her aspiring models write the things they're insecure about on their bodies during a photo shoot so they could learn to own their flaws and gain confidence. Eerily similar to those T-shirts Mr. Schue convinced the Gleeks to wear ...

Tell us: Did you notice any more 'Glee' plot parallels from last night's episode?

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The injury to Rachel's nose made me think of Marcia getting hit in the nose with the football on the Brady Bunch.

April 28 2011 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You say this like it's a bad thing, when, in reality, there is no such thing as originality. Originality is nonexistent, Authenticity is crucial. Glee gets away with doing storylines like this because they approach them authentically and bring their own Glee spin and flavour to them. Last night was one of the best episodes of Glee in a long time, and it was because it dealt with the stories authentically.

April 27 2011 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These plot lines have been done many times in many different shows... but the great thing about Glee is that even recycled storylines come off as refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and thought it sent a great message. It's the responsibility of shows like Glee, shows that are hugely popular and are speaking directly to a young, easily influenced audience, to reinforce these messages. If it takes 5 shows or 5 movies with the same storylines to make a teenager realize that she's perfect the way she is, then it's all worth it.

April 27 2011 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The "Lebanese" joke was originally from the Golden Girls. Everything in life can be traced back to the awesomeness of the Golden Girls.

April 27 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to K_Pants's comment

yeah i caught it too! i commented about it in the TV Squad recap.

April 27 2011 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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