Glee Glee

How fitting that a cover of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" was the best number in a Glee that addressed the teenage nightmare of bullying.

Gay bullying, to be specific: A topic that's been getting tons of attention lately due to a rash of abuse-related suicides among gay youths. Tragic. Needless. And sadly, an option considered by way too many kids who feel they have nowhere to turn, nor anyone in their corner. Sweetly, if a tad conveniently, the episode granted Kurt both of those things after the pressure of being regularly taunted by a football behemoth led him to the promised land of acceptance — an all-boys academy with a zero-tolerance bullying policy and an insanely adorable love interest in the form of Darren Criss, who needs to become a series regular, pronto.

Still, the harsh reality wasn't washed away with just a fun a cappella performance and some slow-motion hand-holding. Even after we got the twist of his tormentor sharing more in common with him than anyone ever imagined, the threat of Kurt's continued demoralization at the hands of his classmates remains — and may actually have escalated — as does the veiled homophobia rampant among New Directions members and McKinley High's staff. But the baby steps we saw Kurt take toward standing up for himself could payoff in more than just some much-needed development for the character. It could also give viewers in his shoes (or yellow boots) the courage to stay strong and, more importantly, stay alive.

As dreamy Blaine said, prejudice is just ignorance. And the only way to teach a bully is to live proud and out loud despite their attempts to take away your voice. It does get better.

How do you feel about Glee's handling of bullying?

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!