52 Weeks, 52 Shows: #9 Glee

I started watching Glee this season.  I was late to the party, as usual.  I don’t know what went on last season because I only watched one episode, the Lady Gaga-themed one called “Theatricality.”  I don’t suppose I have to tell you that this part made me cry. (Forgive the quality of the video.  It was the only one I could find anywhere on the entire internet.  Also, please forgive the earnestness of the poster.  Actually, don’t forgive it; honor it instead.)

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Glee was pretty much everything people were saying it was: fun, gay, musical, funny, quirky, over-the-top, and silly.  I’m a sucker for all things gay, especially on network TV so it is strange indeed that it took me so long to jump on the Glee bandwagon, and now that I’m on it, a lot of fans seem to be jumping off.

I don’t know if it’s as good this season as it was last season because I didn’t watch it last season.  I think it’s good now.  It isn’t the best show I’ve ever seen.  Sure, everything doesn’t always comes together perfectly as if I’m watching Six Feet Under. On Glee, loose ends don’t always get tied up and characters don’t always get logical arcs.  It could be better and I don’t think we should settle for shows that fall short of our dreams.

I have big dreams, though.  On paper, Glee is pretty close to the kind of show I’d design if I were going to design a TV show about show choir.  It has a cast diverse in race, body type, and gender.  It has Jane Lynch.  It has authentic (for pop culture) homosexuality, and perhaps more important, it has conversations about sexuality that are sometimes meaningful.  It has jokes, and sometimes, it even has Billy Joel songs.

Glee 2.03 ~ Only the Good die young by Billy Joel

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I’m no musical theatre expert but some of the numbers fall short to me. Most of the time it’s a matter of song selection, but music is more subjective than maybe any other form of art.  I just can’t explain what people get from certain kinds of music, and I don’t understand why people don’t like the Eagles. With Glee, I just have to be generous with the benefit of the doubt. The show doesn’t always make good on my trust, but it tries so hard that I let it go. TV shows have personalities, and trying so hard is Glee‘s strongest personality trait. It’s trying to be inclusive.  It’s trying to be fun.  It’s trying not to take itself too seriously.  It’s trying to show us that tolerance isn’t acceptance because tolerance isn’t really even tolerance.  How many shows are trying any of that on TV right now?  I find it difficult not to like Glee‘s personality.

And, god help me, I thought “Blame It on the Alcohol” was kind of wonderful.

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