Photo: MAX ADLER plays Dave Karofsky on FOX’s
‘GLEE’, a teenager struggling with his identity.
Last week’s episode of the hit series “Glee” (Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, WSVN-7) drew attention to the national epidemic of gay teen suicides, with the outing of character Dave Karofsky (Max Adler), a jock and bully who had previously tormented the openly-gay Kurt (Chris Colfer). After Karofsky’s football teammates haze him with Facebook posts (“Go back into the closet.”) and vandalize his locker with the word “fag,” the teen attempts suicide, after which his father finds him and rushes him to the hospital.
“I was incredibly happy that the writers and producers chose to go there, and I said that to them, ‘It’s so brave and honest, and you’re really treating this character with the integrity that he deserves,’” Adler told “E!” The actor explained his choices in depicting the character’s struggles of self-acceptance. “I felt like to not show the struggle and to have him just kind of flip over and be nice and be happy, I just felt like it wouldn’t have done it the proper justice and it wouldn’t have been treated with the honesty that it deserves,” Adler described. He also believes that from near-tragedy springs a positive note. “I feel like the message that results out of that in the end is one of hope and optimism,” he offered.
The stage for the teaching moment had been set during the hit series’ 2010 season, during a show-shocker when Adler’s Karofsky character planted a wet one on nemesis Kurt in the episode “Never Been Kissed.”
Prior to this, Karofsky had treated Kurt with only scorn and disdain. The openly-gay virgin Kurt was widely believed by fans to be getting his first kiss in that episode, but they were stunned to find out by whom it would be delivered. Producers had lulled viewers with a red-herring: a gay rival glee-clubber named Blaine.
Kurt was smitten with Blaine after the latter’s glee club performed Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Sparks flew. Having led the audience down the garden path, the writers then locked Karofsky’s lips with Kurt’s, although it took more bullying and a near-death-experience to resolve things for the characters, at least up until this point. Views should settle in and ready themselves for a few months of wondering: “Glee’s” next new episode airs April 10