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Dave Karofsky: Trapped in the Closet


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#1651

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Posted Mar 8, 2012 @ 11:21 PM

I don't think Karofsky was in any stage to talk about his feelings back then, but IMO it was clear he was upset in the locker room scene and then scared when Blaine confronted him in the stairway. There's also the fact that he was gay and clearly couldn't accept it.

#1652

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 10:31 AM

They may not have intentionally retconned but it ended up seeming, to me at least, like they wanted us to think he had always been on the football, and it just sort of ignored that he had ever played hockey for narrative reasons. Technically not ret-conning I know, but it felt almost like that to me?


It felt that way to me too. I remember thinking, when he showed up on the foortball team, "isn't he on the hockey team?" That's not to say he couldn't do both, it just seemed so out of the blue.

I don't think Karofsky was in any stage to talk about his feelings back then, but IMO it was clear he was upset in the locker room scene and then scared when Blaine confronted him in the stairway. There's also the fact that he was gay and clearly couldn't accept it.


I can think of someone else who was probably more traumatized by the events in those two scenes.

And what, you don't think Karofsky was in pain? I thought that was established in NBK.


It's obvious that he was in pain in NBK, how he chose to respond to that pain, is what drew the line in the sand for me. He was offered the help and while I could understand his reluctance to take it he responded by upping his abuse of Kurt.

I think being outed and almost driven to suicide is worse than being slushied or locked in a portapotty.


Puck went to juvie and was beat up by the other boys there on a daily basis. He was ready to cut and run, violating his probation.

In the Superbowl episode, Karofsky had both Will and Finn reach out to him. By the end of it, he laughed in Finn's face and went his jolly way. Then, I'm supposed to believe in Prom Queen during his out-of-nowhere breakdown in the hallway that he's in a lot of pain. Any apology got lost, because it was all about him. It's a cheap storytelling technique.


I agree. I think that they didn't realize just how people were going to react to the bullying arc and it came down to people really, really hating Karofsky, despite his issues, so they needed a quick resolution. Hence his apology under distress. And I could have bought it if the whole thing had been orchetrated by his own hand. During his apology, I felt the only reason he did say he was sorry was because he had Kurt staring him in the face, because he was forced to interact with him. He didn't actively seek out Kurt and apologize. I know his lines in PQ were enough for some but I was still on the fence about it.

So it still hard for his outing and suicide attempt to tug on my heartstrings. I feel this incredible sadness for his situation but not for him, if that make sense. I don't like for my emotions to be manipulated and that's exactly what they were going for. So I'm watching things play out and I know I should feel sorry for him but all I feel is blinding anger, because this is the cheap ply to obliviate all the wrong his done because no one is going to call out the kid that just tried to kill himself. He's in such an emotionally vulnerable state that no one can really, actually address the crappy things he'd done. Plus it doesn't address some of his deeper issues.

And honestly, it not just that I don't think he was a sympathetic enough character to carry such a storyline, it was just random either way. Not the idea that he could be outed at anytime, that was a given, but the things leading up to it.

#1653

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

I can think of someone else who was probably more traumatized by the events in those two scenes.


Who said it was a competition? The other poster was questioning the idea that Karofsky was in pain, when it was clear that he was.

Puck went to juvie and was beat up by the other boys there on a daily basis. He was ready to cut and run, violating his probation.


Still not as bad or serious as what happened to Karofsky.

I agree. I think that they didn't realize just how people were going to react to the bullying arc and it came down to people really, really hating Karofsky, despite his issues, so they needed a quick resolution.


I don't think the hate was as universal as you make it seem. There was a lot of people who liked Karofsky or at least sympathized with his character, and Adler got a decent amount of press coverage. If there was really such a large backlash against his character they would have just quietly written him out like they did with Terri or Lauren, instead of bringing him back in S3.

And I could have bought it if the whole thing had been orchetrated by his own hand. During his apology, I felt the only reason he did say he was sorry was because he had Kurt staring him in the face, because he was forced to interact with him. He didn't actively seek out Kurt and apologize. I know his lines in PQ were enough for some but I was still on the fence about it.

So it still hard for his outing and suicide attempt to tug on my heartstrings. I feel this incredible sadness for his situation but not for him, if that make sense. I don't like for my emotions to be manipulated and that's exactly what they were going for. So I'm watching things play out and I know I should feel sorry for him but all I feel is blinding anger, because this is the cheap ply to obliviate all the wrong his done because no one is going to call out the kid that just tried to kill himself. He's in such an emotionally vulnerable state that no one can really, actually address the crappy things he'd done. Plus it doesn't address some of his deeper issues.


Kurt already forgave Karofsky in S2, they seemed to be on good terms when they met at Scandals, and Kurt seemed sympathetic towards him at Breadstix, so I don't think they did the suicide storyline just so they could avoid calling him out. That storyline was already over.

Furthermore, you can argue that they're manipulating your emotions whenever something bad happens to the characters. Look at Quinn and Puck; they started out as bullies, and then when Puck got Quinn pregnant and they got ostracized you were supposed to feel sorry for them.

And would either of them changed for the better if it weren't for that storyline? Probably not. Puck only joined the Glee club so he could be with Quinn, and I don't think Quinn would have changed if she wasn't kicked out of the Cheerios and then had the Glee club support her. And on a lesser note, Finn probably wouldn't have changed for the better if Schue didn't blackmail him into joining the Glee club. They all needed a push.

Edited by Thailog, Mar 9, 2012 @ 12:40 PM.


#1654

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 3:06 PM

Furthermore, you can argue that they're manipulating your emotions whenever something bad happens to the characters. Look at Quinn and Puck; they started out as bullies, and then when Puck got Quinn pregnant and they got ostracized you were supposed to feel sorry for them.


That's a good point. However, I would argue that things with Quinn and Puck flowed better in terms of storyline. Things that they faced were the consequences of the choices and mistakes they made. And for me it comes down to Karofsky never having to face consequences for what he did to Kurt. We got his "apology" in PQ, then he left the school and we didn't see him again until Scandals, where he seemed to be in a pretty good place. And his conversation with Kurt was distant but sociable enough. And you know, I was happy with that, it was nice to see him becoming more comfortable with himself. Then they needed something "critical" for sweeps week but he had to stalk Kurt for a week, effectively illustrating that he saw nothing wrong with what he was doing and really had no clue what he had initially apologized for in PQ. The only difference is that he "loves" Kurt instead of hating him this time, but the behavior is still the same.

#1655

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 3:26 PM

I really don't think the gorilla grams was "stalking," or in any way comparable to his behavior in S2. It would only be stalking if Kurt told Karofsky he didn't want any more gifts and Karofsky kept on sending them or something.

Furthermore, Quinn and Puck never really faced any consequences for their bullying and harassment of the others. The only consequences they faced were for having unprotected sex and for Puck stealing an ATM.

Edited by Thailog, Mar 9, 2012 @ 3:39 PM.


#1656

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 4:45 PM

So I'm watching things play out and I know I should feel sorry for him but all I feel is blinding anger, because this is the cheap ply to obliviate all the wrong his done because no one is going to call out the kid that just tried to kill himself. He's in such an emotionally vulnerable state that no one can really, actually address the crappy things he'd done. Plus it doesn't address some of his deeper issues.

This for me is perhaps the biggest problem. We had that scene where the teachers were overcome with 20/20 hindsight, yet nobody said, "hang on a sec, Karofsky's gay?" and then consider his abuse of Kurt from this new perspective. Because, knowing that particular nugget of information, throws the whole history between them into a different light. In fact, no one seemed to react to finding out that Karofsky was gay - not Finn or Rachel, not Mercedes, not the teachers, no-one. It's like the suicide attempt and the underlying reason for it (Dave being gay) was given no narrative connection beyond the latter being shown as the initial impetus for the former.

If there was really such a large backlash against his character they would have just quietly written him out like they did with Terri or Lauren, instead of bringing him back in S3.

This implies that both Terri and Lauren were dropped because of audience backlashes against their characters, which I don't think was the case with either of them. In my opinion, they were dropped simply because the writers had no further stories to tell with those particular characters.

I really don't think the gorilla grams was "stalking," or in any way comparable to his behavior in S2. It would only be stalking if Kurt told Karofsky he didn't want any more gifts and Karofsky kept on sending them or something.

Except Kurt was not informed enough at the time to reject them. He clearly believed they came from Blaine. If Karofsky had wanted to give Kurt the option of either accepting or rejecting his advances, then he would not have made them anonymous. Instead, he spent a week approaching Kurt at odd times, giving him gifts under false pretenses and not allowing him the chance to make an informed choice. And of course, as soon as Karofsky did reveal his identity, Kurt knowing the truth told him his attention was inappropriate and unwelcome because a) Kurt already had a boyfriend in Blaine, b) of their past history and c) he believed Dave was deluding himself about how he really felt about him.

Edited by Cylelle, Mar 9, 2012 @ 4:50 PM.


#1657

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 4:58 PM

Still not stalking. When Kurt said he wasn't interested, Karofsky accepted it and left. A stalker wouldn't take no for answer.

Edited by Thailog, Mar 9, 2012 @ 5:08 PM.


#1658

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 5:51 PM

Still not stalking. When Kurt said he wasn't interested, Karofsky accepted it and left. A stalker wouldn't take no for answer.


I think those six phone calls prior to the day he was outed shed some light on the fact that he didn't exactly take no for an answer. If Kurt wasn't uncomfortable then why not take the calls?

This for me is perhaps the biggest problem. We had that scene where the teachers were overcome with 20/20 hindsight, yet nobody said, "hang on a sec, Karofsky's gay?" and then consider his abuse of Kurt from this new perspective. Because, knowing that particular nugget of information, throws the whole history between them into a different light. In fact, no one seemed to react to finding out that Karofsky was gay - not Finn or Rachel, not Mercedes, not the teachers, no-one. It's like the suicide attempt and the underlying reason for it (Dave being gay) was given no narrative connection beyond the latter being shown as the initial impetus for the former.


Very true. And this was something that also hindered the narrative connection for me. I realize that him being outed was something that could have happened the moment he slipped up but then why not just play it that way? The shock of everyone suddenly realizing exactly what the root of the S2 bullying was would even have opened the door for someone to really help him. Why have that whole exchange with Kurt, why have him stalk Kurt for a week, why drag Kurt into the situation before hand at all? I think it would have had more emotional impact, more of a narrative connection if it happened suddenly and Karofksy turns to Kurt for help. Then you've got a story that quite possibly isn;t muddled up in the creepy events of the week earlier and doesn't play like now Kurt is tied to him, obligated to be there every second so Karofsky doesn't have a breakdown. From a narrative standpoint when I think of what they could have done vs. what they did, even if I don't care much for Karofksy as a character I think they did him a disservice. Imagine a conversation about living with and loving with a gay son between Burt and Paul K., that's great character work right there. Oh why couldn't we get something like that?

Edited by Cloud99, Mar 9, 2012 @ 6:05 PM.


#1659

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 9:01 PM

Throwing my voice into the fire!

Karofsky's behaviour in Heart definitely felt creepy and innappropriate and just too much to me, but I would not go so far as to call him a stalker. He was deluded and scrambling and given their history the behaviour was unhealthy (even otherwise it wouldn't have been the best, but would have been more acceptable) and Kurt had every right to feel violated and uncomfortable. And I think it does sort fo fit Karofsky's "pattern", which makes perfect sense, this is a kid who has severe issues and has no coping mechanisms, he needs professional help to deal with everything he's carrying.

I thought the calls all came post-outing, it makes more sense in the context they were discussed than the alternative.

#1660

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 9:24 PM

You really think he was still thinking about pursuing Kurt right after Nick spotted them together at breadstix? Not to mention that he tried to leave after Kurt brought up Blaine. I don't think a stalker would have given up like that.


I'm simply going by what was shown. And from the way the scene was cut, only the last three calls came after the outing. So perhaps calling it stalking is the wrong side of extreme but clearly Kurt didn't want to talk to him. I agree it would make more sense for all nine to come after but that's not how the scenes played out. However I know Glee and inconsistency is one of their biggest issues.

Edited by Cloud99, Mar 9, 2012 @ 9:25 PM.


#1661

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 10:42 PM

He was calling for help, not because he was still pursuing Kurt.

Also how exactly would Kurt have known, before the suicide attempt, that they were a 'call for help'? Based on their past interactions, I feel Kurt was more than justified to ignore calls from someone who had imposed himself negatively upon his life on more than one occasion in the past. Especially since they would have probably felt like more of the same.

If it had been Blaine whose calls he ignored, that would be different. But Kurt had no reason to answer Karofsky and shouldn't have been made to feel responsible for his (Dave's) actions. But that's the way it's always been between them. Sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, but throughout what we've seen of them together, Karofsky has always put the burden for his own (often appalling) choices on Kurt's shoulders with little to no regard for the other boy's feelings or well-being.

#1662

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 11:01 PM

Not this argument again... He was calling for help, not because he was still pursuing Kurt.


Agreed. Kurt DID tell him in "Heart" that he liked him as a friend, so why shouldn't he have called him? Kurt had every right to ignore the phone calls, but that doesn't make Karofsky wrong for making them.

#1663

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 11:08 PM

Also how exactly would Kurt have known, before the suicide attempt, that they were a 'call for help'? Based on their past interactions, I feel Kurt was more than justified to ignore calls from someone who had imposed himself negatively upon his life on more than one occasion in the past. Especially since they would have probably felt like more of the same.

If it had been Blaine whose calls he ignored, that would be different. But Kurt had no reason to answer Karofsky and shouldn't have been made to feel responsible for his (Dave's) actions. But that's the way it's always been between them. Sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, but throughout what we've seen of them together, Karofsky has always put the burden for his own (often appalling) choices on Kurt's shoulders with little to no regard for the other boy's feelings or well-being.


We weren't talking about whether or not Kurt should have answered the calls. We were talking about whether Karofsky was calling for help or calling because he was still pursuing Kurt.

#1664

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 10:18 AM

Also how exactly would Kurt have known, before the suicide attempt, that they were a 'call for help'? Based on their past interactions, I feel Kurt was more than justified to ignore calls from someone who had imposed himself negatively upon his life on more than one occasion in the past. Especially since they would have probably felt like more of the same.


Agreed. That seemed like the most obvious reasons for Kurt not taking the calls. And as I said that's what we were shown on screen. What pisses me off more was that as soon as Nick saw them in Breadstix I knew exactly how things would play out. I knew Karofsky would get outed at school and then he'd hurt himself and we'd be treated to an whole episode of Kurt feeling guilty for rejecting him in "Heart" and then when they brought in ignored phone calls.

Karofsky has always put the burden for his own (often appalling) choices on Kurt's shoulders with little to no regard for the other boy's feelings or well-being.


And it was a trend I could see them continuing from a mile away when he started in on the "love tokens" in Heart.

#1665

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 10:36 AM

We weren't talking about whether or not Kurt should have answered the calls. We were talking about whether Karofsky was calling for help or calling because he was still pursuing Kurt.

In a way, I suspect, it was both.

Obviously Karofsky needed help. But from what we were shown, the only person he CHOSE to call for that help was Kurt. If Kurt wasn't answering, why not call someone else? He said he'd been going regularly to Scandals for months, that it was the only place he felt comfortable and accepted and that they liked him there, so since his secret was already out, why didn't he go there? Maybe, he didn't have any specific friends at the bar to ask, but do we really think that if he had started spilling his suicidal feelings to the bartender that they wouldn't have made sure he got some sort of help or advice? How about Santana? Who had also recently undergone a very public and humilliating outing and who knew how he'd been struggling to come to terms with his orientation for about a year? Or Mr. Schue who had extended an offer of help in the past? Or even Finn or Blaine who had both also offered understanding? And that's only among the people we know he's had contact with. (And doesn't count his Dad, who also gave every indication that he would be sympathetic.)

I can accept that Karofsky might see Kurt as his FIRST or preferred choice to call for help, but as his ONLY choice? No, that smacks of fixation, tunnel vision and a mind-set that deems death better than seeking help from anyone other than the one person he wants it from.

#1666

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 2:11 PM

[snip]
Santana was blackmailing Karofsky, and Adler said he didn't really think they were friends so I can understand why he wouldn't be comfortable talking to her.

Karofsky's only two interactions with Blaine (the stairway scene in NBK and the hallway scene in NoN) were both negative, even if Blaine did try reaching out to him in the former.

Will is practically a stranger to Karofsky, and while Finn did try acting nice to him in the Superbowl episode he reacted negatively to him in BTW.

And it's still a scary thing to come out to your parents. Also, maybe Karofsky knew a little bit about how his mother felt about homosexuality, and thought his father's feelings would be similar (even if that wasn't the case).

Edited by TWoP Howard, Mar 11, 2012 @ 2:35 PM.
Boards on boards, tone


#1667

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 2:27 PM

I can accept that Karofsky might see Kurt as his FIRST or preferred choice to call for help, but as his ONLY choice?


For someone as closeted and terrified apparently of being outed as Karofsky, I could see where he thinks Kurt is the only one who can help him. It's his choice, a wrong choice I might add, but it's plausible that he didn't see any other options for himself.

#1668

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 1:27 AM

It's his choice, a wrong choice I might add, but it's plausible that he didn't see any other options for himself.


Why was it a wrong choice? Didn't Karofsky say Kurt told him that he wanted to be friends in Heart? That line seems weird to me now.

#1669

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 2:04 AM

Why was it a wrong choice? Didn't Karofsky say Kurt told him that he wanted to be friends in Heart? That line seems weird to me now.


I think OP meant that choosing to believe that Kurt is the only one who can understand what he's going through is a bad decision to make, but one that I can totally see the rationale behind.

#1670

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Posted Mar 15, 2012 @ 12:04 AM

I think OP meant that choosing to believe that Kurt is the only one who can understand what he's going through is a bad decision to make, but one that I can totally see the rationale behind.


Oh okay. I understand.

#1671

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Posted Apr 8, 2012 @ 1:58 AM

I really, really don't like this character and it might be delusional hope on my part, but I pray we never see him and his "pain" again. If they could shuttle off Terri who was actually freaking hilarious because the writers felt they'd ran out of stories for her, I think it's more than fitting to put the period on Dave Karofsky's storyline.

I thought about why the character bugs me so much and to be fair part of it is due to my irritation at the blatant manipulation on the parts of the writers to make me feel sorry for him and sympathize with him (and I don't take too kindly to being manipulated) and oddly, the more they tried, the more I disliked him. I didn't watch the suicide attempt (hell didn't even watch the episode and refuse to) because at that point, I just didn't care.

My main issue with Karofsky is that I just find the character so incredibly selfish and like I said, even when the writers were manipulating the story to sell him as this "poor, misunderstood" guy, some of the lines weren't helping and only served to showcase him as being incredibly selfish and self-involved.

I couldn't believe in that very horrible scene in Heart when after Kurt rightly points out all the crap Karofsky did to him (except of course the writers made sure to ignore the death threat), Karofsky's only defense was that Kurt was so proud and honest with who he was and it bothered him. So basically his torturing Kurt was Kurt's fault for having the audacity to be himself. And that's really the story of that whole twisted dynamic.

Karofsky hates himself and is in deep, deep denial...okay, let's go take it out on the open and proud kid who's done nothing to him and basically use him as his own personal punching bag. Who cares what all that physical and emotional abuse could do to him and how it could affect HIS spirit. Karofsky is in denial and pain and his feelings are the only ones that matter.

He then apparently decides to tentatively step out of the closet and maybe, sort of accept who he is and I guess is hard up for a guy, so hey, let me go creepily follow the guy I tortured for months and tortured right out of school and put on the spot by telling him I might be in love with him and offer to have a closeted, hidden relationship with me. Again, if Karofsky actually thought about Kurt's feelings in any way shape or form, there is no way that would have seemed like a good idea to him.

Kurt and Karofsky were never friends and weren't friends then. The scene at Scandals clearly established that they'd had zero contact since he transferred schools and then his comment to Kurt in Heart that he'd wanted to call him since that day further highlights that they were not in any contact with each other. So in what world would this person who you have no real connection with (except for a creepy, violent, uncomfortable history) or even a friendship with, who has never indicated any romantic or physical attraction to you in any shape or form and more importantly has a boyfriend that you know about...in what world would that guy be interested in you and worse interested in having some mostly hidden, closeted relationship. But that's just it, Kurt's feelings didn't factor in. Karofsky decided he was lonely, wanted a guy so of course it makes perfect sense to go bug the guy he's always fixated on.

And that's why I had such a major problem with the last episode even without watching it. This bullshit of Kurt not only feeling guilty over something he has no reason to feel guilty about (and I just loved the writers conveniently isolating him from Burt and even Blaine...people who could tell him that has zero reason to feel guilty about this and he owes Karofsky not a damn thing) coupled with this even more annoying offer of friendship is frankly disturbing and offensive to me. The fact is, imo, the entire Karofksky/Kurt dynamic has revolved around the former's creepy and unhealthy fixation on the latter and that is in no way a healthy basis for any type of relationship, even one that is just friendship.

Nothing about that dynamic has ever been healthy and like I said, most of it has been selfish on Karofsky's part. His pain, his self-loathing, his feelings, his hurt...it's all HIM and Kurt has had to suffer the consequences of all of that. In what world is that fair?

Karofksy hates himself...abuse Kurt and the effects of that be damned. Karofsky decides he's ready to try dating...go hit up Kurt no matter how uncomfortable it makes him. And now the writers somehow want us to accept that it's a good thing for Kurt to be around this person when no matter how they tried to frame it and no matter how many pretty tears Colfer shed and how much he tried to sell the scene; this came across as nothing more than some misplaced guilt on the part of a 17 year old boy who now feels responsible for this person who made his life miserable and who he owes nothing. Because the final act in Karofsky's fixation on Kurt was to drag him into his suicide attempt.

Yes, I'm sure some of his fans will argue that he was reaching out for help and there was nothing calculated about it. Maybe so, but again it doesn't change how unhealthy and disturbing every single aspect of the Kurt/Karofsky dynamic is and frankly since he isn't particularly funny (seriously, when he was just dumb jock #2 throwing slushies, Azimo was the one who actually delivered the hilarious lines and I actually miss him) and I know this is blasphemy to some but Adler hasn't sold me on "sensitive, woobiefied Karofsky" either (the only Karofsky I bought was bully, menacing, angry Karofsky) I see no purpose and place for the character anymore. So good riddance already.

Edited by lleykian54, Apr 8, 2012 @ 2:05 AM.


#1672

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:28 AM

I really, really don't like this character and it might be delusional hope on my part, but I pray we never see him and his "pain" again. If they could shuttle off Terri who was actually freaking hilarious because the writers felt they'd ran out of stories for her, I think it's more than fitting to put the period on Dave Karofsky's storyline.


There's a vast difference between "I don't like him" and "his story doesn't deserve to get told", though. To many gay teenagers, Karofsky is a more relatable TV character than Kurt or Blaine or Sebastian and to end his storyline with a suicide attempt would be a ridiculously poor decision on the show's part.

#1673

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 8:13 AM

To many gay teenagers, Karofsky is a more relatable TV character than Kurt or Blaine or Sebastian and to end his storyline with a suicide attempt would be a ridiculously poor decision on the show's part.


I get that there are a lot of people who weren't happy that Karofsky was the one given the super-serious storyline of being outed and then attempting suicide rather than Kurt, Blaine or Santana, but for me it made enormous sense for the show to use Karofsky as the vehical for this. While we want our favorites to get these meaty storylines, it didn't make a lot of sense to use the more established and well-liked gay characters because they all had well-established support networks around them. Santana might have been the Queen of All Bitches, but she did have friends in ND that rallied around her when she was outed, and her parents (off camera, unfortunately) were supportive of her. Blaine's parents, whatever issues they might have with his sexuality (and it's all conjecture since we've never met his parents) still cared enough to send him to a school where he would be protected and he was comfortable enough to be proudly out from the moment we met him. Kurt would be a more likely candidate, but perhaps the writers felt that he'd had enough angst after season 2 (where they were laying it on with a shovel). But Kurt had proven himself time and time again to be one of the strongest male characters on the show and even during the height of Karofsky's harassment, he didn't break. His health was certainly being affected, but he was fighting to get through his problems.

There are, unfortunately, a lot of kids like Karofsky. Kids who don't fit the sterotypical gay male image (like Kurt does), who don't have friends who would be supportive and who's families would reject them. Not all of them channel their confusion into bullying the way Karofsky did, but it's hardly an unknown circumstance. As a jock, Karofsky would have heard from a very early age the words "gay" and "queer" tossed around as casual insults. In jock culture, those words mean weak and that's just about the worst thing you could be labeled as. When you are surrounded by a culture that keeps telling you that being gay is absolutely the worst thing in the world to be and don't have anyone around to show you otherwise, it's no surprise that when Karofsky was outed, he fell crashed and burned hard.

The fact that Karofsky started out as being one of the most unsympathetic characters, I believe, does color how some people see the suicide storyline but for me it does make perfect sense. This is a kid who was so completely fucked up on every level that it's more a surprise to me if he wasn't the one to make the attempt. This was a guy who was surrounded by people who kept reenforcing the idea that being gay meant being weak and unmannly, and the only openly gay kid at school seemed to fit that image. He channeled his feel feelings of confusion and even attraction towards Kurt into horrific levels of bullying, partly to deflect any suspicion away from him and partly to try to kill those feelings within him. It's telling that when Santana saw through his facade that he all but crumbled as a result. With just the threat of being outed, he was effectively neutered as a bully. Even more telling, he seemed to relish the chance to guard Kurt from attacks. He wanted Kurt, but was living in absolute terror of what being out would mean for him and how people viewed him. And when he did get outed, after finally taking the plunge and telling Kurt how he felt about him, his worst fears were realized. He'd been building up in his mind how awful being outed was that when his expectations were met, it seemed like his whole world fell completely apart.

I personally find Karofsky's evolution as a character facinating. To see him go from being just a background stock bully, to a complex and conflicted character that inspires me to feel both sympathy and revulsion is a pretty amazing feat. I find myself watching past episodes with him now seeing a lot more context for his past actions. I know that I'm probably in the minority (and I don't mind that) but I hope that they don't just drop Karofsky's storyline and continue his growth as a character.

#1674

lleykian54

lleykian54

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:26 PM

There's a vast difference between "I don't like him" and "his story doesn't deserve to get told", though. To many gay teenagers, Karofsky is a more relatable TV character than Kurt or Blaine or Sebastian and to end his storyline with a suicide attempt would be a ridiculously poor decision on the show's part.



I never said anything about his story not deserving to be told. I didn't see the episode but didn't he get his boo-hooing, hand-holding, "it'll all be okay, visualize your future and I'll hold your hand through the pain" scene with Kurt? So fine, I assume that means we're supposed to believe he's slowly on his way to acceptance with Kurt there holding his hand...what else is there to tell.

Frankly, imo, the stupid suicide attempt should not have even been done because aside from horrible pandering and shock value, it really had no place on this show. Karofsky's story should have ended in Scandals when he seemed okay and was apparently happy at his new school and slowly coming to terms with who he is but whatever, it is what it is. And like I said in my first sentence it's not like I expect that I'll actually be lucky enough to never see his simpering, annoying self ever again so whatever, I'll do what I did with OMW. I simply won't watch because I don't care.

Also, "poor decision" (and that's subjective. I actually think it'll be one of the few good things they've done this season) and Glee is almost synonymous at this point. In the grand scheme of their many poor decisions, somehow sending Karofsky off to the happy land where he'll find peace and happiness, never to be seen again, would hardly be a blimp among all their other very, very poor decisions.

Karofsky is a more relatable TV character than Kurt or Blaine or Sebastian


Now this statement I have an issue with and I've seen it bandied around a lot by Karofsky fans and apologists. I've even read how he's more real of a character unlike Mary-Sue's like Kurt, Blaine and Sebastien and I find that wholly inaccurate. Yes, we hear the stories of the kids killing themselves all over the place because they are tragic stories but contrary to popular belief there are many gay teenagers who come from happy homes and are fine with themselves. The idea that the majority of gay teens are a bunch of self-loathing people trying to kill themselves is just inaccurate in my opinion.

The fact is, gay teenagers, much like any group of people isn't one thing. There are the Blaine's in the world who come from fairly happy homes and are fairly well-adjusted where their being gay is just a part of who they are, there are the Kurt's of the world who are effeminate and who yes just about everyone knew was gay since they were kids and I'm sure there are the Sebastian's of the world who are extremely confident and even obnoxious. Being gay does not mean they are all walking around depressed, self-loathing, hateful bullies who try to kill themselves.

Also I'd say many found Kurt more relateable when he was being tortured by Karofksy since actually the majority of stories you hear of gay teens killing themselves has to do with their being tortured and bullied by others for being gay. Hell, that was the whole reason RIB and company jumped on the storyline in the first place but then they decided, after making said bully incredibly loathsome to justify Kurt leaving McKinley, to pander to a few vocal fans and we've since had the "redemption of Dave Karofksy" complete with whitewashing of what he did to Kurt.

This is my last comment on this because this will definitely be an agree to disagree situation. Like I said, I don't like the character and I personally just feel like his storyline should have been over a long time ago because there is simply no place for it. Like I said above, dark comedy though Glee may be it is still technically a comedy and there is nothing funny or light-hearted Karofsky brings to the show.

As I said before, he was never funny or clever, etc. When he was just the jock slushing people, he was really just Azimo's sidekick and the moment he kissed Kurt in that locker room he has just been a dark cloud of suck and misery on the show, imo. Heart was a fun, awesome episode with one glaring exception.

That one scene where the viewer can literally see the joy being sucked out of poor Kurt who was all excitedly coming in to meet his boyfriend. Instead he's now in this horrible awkward, uncomfortable situation where he has to try to figure out how to gently let down the guy who tortured him. And the passive aggressive crap from Karofsky was equally annoying.

And like I said, I also hate the horrible, horrible dynamic between those two that the writers don't seem to realize that they're sending and I fear any subsequent appearance by him will just be even worse. Any subsequent appearance by Karofsky, let's be honest, will involve Kurt and worse, they'll probably isolate Kurt even more like they did in Heart and OMW and I have issues with Kurt being anywhere near Karofsky. I don't think that dynamic is healthy and in fact I find it actually quite disturbing on many levels. So as far as I'm concerned, he had his suicide attempt, Kurt cried some tears with him, he supposedly got his hope...fine walk off into the light and don't come back. But of course, YMMV.

Edited by lleykian54, Apr 10, 2012 @ 6:05 PM.


#1675

kineticzo

kineticzo

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:07 PM

Well like it's said, mileage varies.

AfterElton.com opined that the Karofsky story was the most compelling story Glee had told.

While I wouldn't go that far, I do find it compelling and the acting interaction between Kurt and Karofsky very interesting.

#1676

Calrice

Calrice

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:19 PM

AfterElton.com opined that the Karofsky story was the most compelling story Glee had told.



AE also thinks Matt "I Kissed a Girl Flopson" Hodgson is a wonderful writer. I'll take anything they have to say with a barrel of salt.

Edited by Calrice, Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:20 PM.


#1677

SnideAsides

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    Fanatic

Posted Apr 13, 2012 @ 2:16 AM

I don't think that dynamic is healthy and in fact I find it actually quite disturbing on many levels.


People put themselves in horrible positions all the time. Why should Glee be any different from the real world?

Now this statement I have an issue with and I've seen it bandied around a lot by Karofsky fans and apologists. I've even read how he's more real of a character unlike Mary-Sue's like Kurt, Blaine and Sebastien and I find that wholly inaccurate. Yes, we hear the stories of the kids killing themselves all over the place because they are tragic stories but contrary to popular belief there are many gay teenagers who come from happy homes and are fine with themselves. The idea that the majority of gay teens are a bunch of self-loathing people trying to kill themselves is just inaccurate in my opinion.


I never said it was the majority. I merely said that "many" gay teens - certainly a sizable amount, but by no means a majority - find themselves in the same sort of position as Dave, where they hate themselves for not being "normal". And not all of them attempt suicide if they're outed. For many of those people - especially those less outwardly "gay" than Kurt, including myself - Dave IS a more relatable character than any of the other same-sex attracted characters this show has given us. Did I like Dave when the story began? No. Do I respect the producers for giving an unlikeable character a background and helping us to understand WHY he does the things he does, in turn showing us a second type of gay character AND expanding the Glee universe without resorting to more celebrity cameos and new characters? Absolutely.

In terms of TV characters, they may not be the nicest or the most popular characters, but the most fascinating characters motivation-wise often tend to be those like Dave, who start out morally-corrupt but develop into three-dimensional supporting roles. For example, Scully was definitely a more popular character on The X-Files than, say, Alex Krycek or the Cigarette-Smoking Man, but the latter two characters were far and away more fascinating people to try and figure out. Same with Joey and Pacey, or The Doctor and The Master, or literally ANYBODY ELSE on Gilligan's Island, or innumerable other examples.

Edited by SnideAsides, Apr 13, 2012 @ 2:39 AM.