Although Glee remains in hiatus until April 13, fans continue to debate whether or not Rachel Berry should end up with Finn Hudson or Noah Puckerman (Puck). While I expected fans to root for Rachel and Finn, it hasn’t worked out that way so far.
According to an E Online poll, 61.4 percent of fans prefer Rachel and Puck as a couple compared to 38.6 percent for Rachel and Finn. Yet while Puckleberry seems to be fan favorite, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Rachel and Finn.
Rachel and Finn on Glee: TV Cliches Exist for a Reason
Sure, Rachel and Finn are the predictable couple, like Sabrina and Harvey, Cady Heron and Aaron Samuels, Josie Gellar and Mr. Coulson. Television and movies follow a formula. Part of that formula includes the geeky girl triumphing over the cheerleader and ending up with the wholesome popular guy.
Yet there’s a reason that television cliches exist: they work. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Viewers thrive on the predictability of romantic comedies and sitcoms. Although chick-flick fanatics know what’s going to happen, it’s still satisfying to see Sabrina Spellman, Cady Heron, Josie Gellar, and Samantha Montgomery land their boys-next-door. This is why shows and films such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Mean Girls, Never Been Kissed and Hilary Duff’s A Cinderella Story appeal to their targeted demographics.
Rachel and Finn on Glee: The American Dream
There’s a satisfying element of the American Dream and in seeing Rachel and Finn together. For Rachel, it shows that the geeky unpopular girl is not doomed to a lifetime of slushie-filled datelessness. For her to attract a popular boy like Finn shows that the harsh caste system of high school is not as impenetrable as we may believe. Social mobility is possible, even in the American high school.
As for Finn, Rachel (as well as Mr. Schuester and Miss Pillsbury) show him that there’s more to life than being a Lima Loser. We viewers see Finn mature, learn to resist peer pressure, and take leadership even when it’s unpopular. We saw this when he rescued Artie from the PorterPotty in the first episode, and finally when he rescued the glee club after Sue had leaked their set list for sectionals.
We also see Finn looking at college options, music scholarships, coming into his own as a singer, and learning to balance sports and music. Rachel inspires him to think beyond the scope of his small town and to strive for higher goals.
Rachel and Finn on Glee: Not Settling
One of the ultimate problems of a Rachel/Puck match is that each one would be settling for their second choice. During their brief romance, Rachel admitted that she was using Puck to make Finn jealous, while Puck was doing the same to Quinn.
Although she has chemistry with Puck, she clearly idealizes Finn to the point where she was fantasizing about Finn while making out with Puck. Likewise, Puck clearly idealizes the beautiful popular Quinn over the talented but ostracized Rachel. When Rachel broke up with Puck, he lamented that he couldn’t even “hang on to a girl like you.”
While Rachel and Finn may not be as popular as Rachel and Puck, it is still very early in the series. As the characters develop, there’s no reason fans wouldn’t be able to warm up to the idea of Rachel and Finn. If Rachel and Finn ultimately end up together, hopefully Glee’s writers will be able to construct it in a way that would be fulfilling and satisfying to even the most ardent Puckleberry shippers.
Glee Love Debate: Should Rachel Be With Finn or Puck?, E Online