04 May 2011

Glee Conundrum

I have a love/hate relationship with Glee. For those of you unfamiliar with Glee, you must not watch much TV or hang around teenagers. The show follows a group of fictional high school students who are a part of a glee club, New Directions. Each episode they take popular tunes, or a theme of classics, and mix storyline and song to create the ultimate high school musical.

What draws me to Glee is the music. I think I would have loved to be a part of something like this glee club when I was in high school. I practically lived in a musical. I sang in choir and Vocal Jazz and often ate, drank, slept music (my parents said I would sing in my sleep). So how could I not love episodes like Glee's Born This Way, featuring these three songs!

I Feel Pretty/Unpretty

I've Gotta Be Me
(videos aren't available any more, and it was as much about the dancing as it was about the song!)

As If We Never Said Goodbye

Goosebumps! Quite literally.

Brings back memories of musical theater sets and band room lunches. Of course, in our high school, participating in music was semi-cool (dare I say!). So I wasn't necessarily really making a Glee kind of statement.

But that's the problem with Glee, is that they try to make a statement. To make their scripted musical story lines, Glee takes current events and twists them in a way that lacks any sort of value. The best episodes of Glee are the ones where they don't take on any political or social stance, but are just silly... supported by backup dancers and melody of course (case in point: tater tots)! However, when Glee approaches a topic of interest in their episodes, I generally find myself at the end of the episode contemplating whether or not the show is worth watching anymore. Do I really want to support a show that teaches drinking, sexuality, relationships, or religious freedom in the way they do to teenagers? There is more drama and perversion than truth, and I doubt that today's teens possess that clarity.

I've encountered this conundrum before when a group of friends and I followed Gilmore Girls obsessively. I loved watching that show! My conversations were always wittier afterward, though I do recall my brother suggesting I was just talking faster. Well, several seasons down the line the writers of Gilmore Girls changed and they introduced adultery into the show. It went downhill from there, plot-wise, and at the tipping point my group of viewers decided to abandon the show. Having watched a few of the final episodes, I don't really feel like I missed out on much.

So here lies my conundrum - if I had "left" Glee six months ago when Season Two began and episode plots turned terribly sour what would I have missed out on? Plot wise? Nada! But I would have missed those three songs and other gems! Glee has me (and most likely others) in a musical bind, and I think they know it!