Sunday, June 13, 2010
Put a Little 'Glee' in Your Heart
By now, you’ve probably been prompted by several people to watch Fox’s hit show Glee, which recently ended its first season and will be in reruns all summer on Thursday nights (not to mention the many soundtrack CDs on music store shelves). But maybe you’ve convinced yourself not to fall prey to this particular pop-culture zeitgeist. Have musical series ever worked on television? Does Lady GaGa even have enough songs to fill an hour episode? Didn’t Ryan Murphy hurt us enough with Nip/Tuck? These are all perfectly valid arguments. What I’m asking is that you give yourself permission to watch a show that is honest and heartfelt and makes you happy. A refreshing change of pace in the landscape of reality shows, 24/7 news coverage and smarter-than-you sitcoms.
You see, I was reminded of something this past weekend as I sat in the darkened Stevens Center watching students from Miss Joyce’s Dance Studio tap, twirl and tumble their way through the annual recital. I loved performing! The costumes, the make-up, the reactions from the audience. I still love performing, even though it runs counter to my introverted nature. Maybe it’s because there’s a script or choreographed steps to follow. Because I’m playing a character, not myself. And for those few moments of that performance, you’re part of something special – something bigger than yourself.
The kids in the McKinley High Glee Club face the same problems we all did in high school. And some that are not so same. Granted, the faculty have their share of faults to deal with as well. It’s a primetime drama; there has to be a bit of a soap opera (Fake pregnancies! Cancelled weddings! Scheming divas!). Even though the writing and the plots stumbled at times, there was always a sincerity to the proceedings. Finn having to choose between the jocks and the glee clubbers, Will and Terri trying so hard to make their marriage last, Sue Sylvester alternating between outright cruelty and touching compassion for her sister, Quinn wanting to do what’s best for her unexpected baby, Tina and Artie testing the waters of teen romance while dealing with a handicap, Mercedes struggling with her weight, Kurt and his father coming to terms with Kurt being gay, Rachel wanting everyone to want a shiny gold trophy as much as she does. But in the Glee Club practice room with its ever-present accompanist and backing musicians, everyone is safe. Everyone is accepted.
These characters may be so far removed from anyone you know in real life, but they walk the streets of Ohio. And you feel every ounce of their pain and their joy. So just one night a week, suspend your disbelief and sign up to join the “Glee” club. The cast and crew have worked so hard to make this show a unique experience. They do it with a song in their hearts to put a smile on our faces.