Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Case Both For--And Against--Glee.

I can't make up my mind about Glee.

When people excitedly bubble, "Oh my God, do you watch Glee?" I breathe an emphatic "Oh my God, YES! How. Amazing. Is. That. Show."

But the thing is, even in the same day I might have someone ask me angrily, "Ugh, have you seen Glee?" And with an eye roll I mutter, "Christ, don't EVEN get me started with that show."

And yet I watch. And watch. And download songs. And watch some more. Despite my clearly mixed feelings on the matter. I thought it might be good to try and vocalize my feelings on that show. Maybe it'll bring light to my own opinions for me, so I can quit looking like such a waffler. Let's start with the bad news.


1. I'm sorry, but how old are these children? I mean, God forbid Daniel Radcliffe be a few years older than Harry Potter, but no one seems to blink an eye that these "high school" kids have back hair. Is it me?

2. These songs. You are BUTCHERING these once wonderful songs. From Broadway to MJ to Queen, you cannot just take any song you want, cover it with your silly, un-bourboned voice and sell it to teen girls and their moms for millions of dollars. Not when the original singers have lived and died by their music. "Everything's Coming Up KURT"? COME ON, guys. Is nothing sacred?

3. Hey. Glee. Suspend some reality, will you? Between the constant breaking out into song to the insanely expensive performances with lights, costumes, and NARY an audience, to the lip syncing while jumping, it's like being slapped in the face with a giant wad of your sponsorship money.

4. Golly, a high school show where the cheerleaders always wear their cheerleading outfits, jocks wear their varsity jackets inside, and popular kids are idiots who crave nothing but sex and furthering their own popularity. Refreshing.

5. John Stamos. He's a cast member now. But where is he? Why is he not around more often? I am counting this against you, Glee. Where is my Uncle Jesse "Forever" cover? Because I promise you, during that moment, there will be streams of tears.

6. The writing (and acting) during the show's serious moments leaves much to be desired. Maybe they hired a soap opera writer to take over during those parts? Any conversation about "our relationship" makes me want to rip the TV off my elliptical and throw it at someone, just to create some ACTUAL tension.

7. These songs are ridiculously auto tuned. It's like the difference between Original Star Wars and Remastered Star Wars. I don't actually mind when things weren't perfect and you could see the strings. It's interesting. It's gritty. It's REAL.


1. Sue. Sylvester. This could actually be the only piece in this side of the argument. If you have only seen one episode of Glee and it was not one with Jane Lynch, then you have done yourself a SAD injustice. It's like saying you hate cats because your grandma had a hissing, spitting, rabies cat once. PLEASE give it another shot with Sue. She might change your life. To inspire you, here are some choice Sue quotes:

"Even if your team has dropped their sequin-covered panties and urinated all over the stage like an elderly Carol Channing, they literally could not have done worse."

"I never wanted kids. Don't have the time, don't have the uterus."

"Nobody quite like the Material Girl to empower my Cheerios. Just like your hair dresser has empowered you to look absolutely ridiculous."

(And my personal favorite) "If it is one minute late, I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And then on some dark cold night, I will steal away into your home...and punch you in the face."

2. In my opinion, the most passionate way to express your emotions is by belting it out in song. And MAN do these kids do just that. It's like they take all the hormones and stress and passion of being a teenager and throw it at at you. And it's freaking amazing.

3. The songs are actually helping. I was sure that young kids would take these songs and ignore their original artists. It was going to be "Did you know 'The Grinch' used to be a cartoon??" all over again. But it turns out, the reason why so many people are willing to let Glee cover their songs is because with each single, sales of the original are taking off, too. It's like the Wayne's World/Bohemian Rhapsody scenario (kinda) but for dozens of songs, every week. Which is freaking awesome. It's bringing the 80s, Broadway, and non-pop genres and making them accessible to a new generation.

4. While the popular kids get the short end of the stereotyping stick, there are so many other boundaries broken and so many other groups represented in Glee, it's hard to stay mad for long. Becky, the girl with Down's Syndrome is completely adorable and very much capable. There's Tina, the goth Asian with a voice that'll blow your eyeballs into the back of your head. And while they started with Kurt as the only gay representative with a higher voice and love of fashion and Liza, a few newbies have snuck their way in, including a dreamy dream dream and a caveman-like jock who's struggling with his own prejudices. I give them credit for trying to expand, although I know there are many who are less pleased.

5. There's an honesty about stereotypes in our generation that I'm not sure has been there before. People are a lot more willing to put things out in the open, laugh about them, and continue to break free of those stereotypes. We don't have to ignore the things that are right out there in order to be PC. We just need to be respectful. So when Artie (who is in a wheelchair) sang a song for Brittany and she said, "That's my man and his legs don't work!" I found it endearing and funny. And I like that this show has picked up on the fact that us young'ins feel that way.

6. If taken seriously, this show comes across as completely ridiculous and unfathomable. But I think anyone who actually enjoys it understands that this show is about parody and silliness. Just in the episode this week: we had the skinny girl trying to take down the big girl and failing MISERABLY. It's not supposed to be real. It's supposed to be a comedy, a parody of real high school.

7. My greatest argument is this: it's fricken fun. No one ever said the show was supposed to be realistic. The point of TV is to take you away from your real life. And Glee does that with more flair than any other show out there. Besides, dudes. You are NOT allowed to bitch about reality. Because I have seen Speed. And the day I see you jump onto a helicopter as it follows a train through a tunnel? That's the day I turn off Glee. Calm down. Have some fun.

Anyone else have thoughts? Opinions? What do you think about the songs? The stereotypes? Is Rachel a goddess or an overactor?


Sarah Lindahl said...

I never noticed the hair on Rachel's back. I'll look harder next week. I LOVE Glee, but you're right, it's pretty silly but what's wrong with that? Rachel is an overactor.

Elizabeth Smith said...

Jane Lynch is the only reason I watch Glee. I find my self wanting to change the channel so badly but I don't want to miss her so I suffer through the rest! She is also great on Two and a Half men as Charlie's psychologist.

Emily said...

Sarah: I KNEW someone would call me out on the back hair/Rachel incongruity. But I couldn't pass up a good back hair joke.

Liz: YES, Jane Lynch is basically amazing in everything she's ever touched. Remember her singing in 40 Year Old Virgin? *Sigh* So majestic.

Anonymous said...

I have the same issue with this show, but different details. I feel like if I stop watching Glee then over-the-top melodramatic gay writers that appreciate their high school show choir experience will lose their wings. Which is not what I want. I want them to be flying around my head adding pizazz to my life, constantly. I also want to see Kurt punch the big gay bully in his mouth, somebody to mention that the cheerleader uniforms have 8 months of filth caked on them, and for half of the high school to speak up and say, "I don't care about glee club, the football team, cheerleaders, hockey, whatever. I'm kinda busy trying to get into college right now without bursting into song or keeping track of social standing."

Also, if they actually graduate out their cast I bet the show will be canceled in 2 years. 3 tops.

yours in procrastination and writing on blogs,