Thursday, December 10, 2009

Glee: Midseason Report Card. [Cuz it's high school, yo!]

So I think when Glee returns in April I might start blogging about it and since the fall finale just aired I figured I would make a test run at it. That would officially make this a GG + G blog, and for the two [literally] people who read this blog, I think they are cool with that.

You know who else is cool? Mr. Schue. Yes, like Emma, against my better judgment I am in love with a married man. Oh wait, a married fictional man. Guess that makes my obsession worse.

But my Glee obsession on the whole is pretty bad, so maybe by writing blogs I can get it out into the open and you know, see how crazy I am. And then maybe I'll go to therapy. At the local community center. See you there Terry!

So to reign this obsession in, let's start dissecting it. Because that's healthy right? The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, correct? Because like Terry I know I used to be a different person, but then Glee danced into my life and now I'm totally alright with listening to covers of classic rock songs performed by a bunch of TV choir geeks over and over on my iPod.

This week's episode, Sectionals, was the perfect storm of everything that caused the obsession to form in the first place: earnest heartfelt moments that weren't cloying, stupid catchy songs made even more catchy, hilarity [in the form of that Ohio Vice Comptroller or whatevs who had to appear at that "fool event"], and most importantly, Mr. Schuester running in slow motion.

So I'm pretty jaded, like for real. I hate Christmas and jolly good cheer and stuff and the other day when a Hindu friend yelled at me for hating on the holiday season I thought I would give it another go, since if he likes it maybe I am missing something. I decided to watch It's A Wonderful Life for the first time since I was about 12, since I always had good memories of watching that with my dad around Christmas. But the whole time all I think was man George Bailey gave up traveling the world and college for freaking Bedford Falls and all he gets is some annoying kid named ZuZu, and all this movie is doing is reinforcing the hetro-normative domestic circle at the expense of the Self and blah blah blah grad school ruined my life and by the time it got to that big climatic scene when everyone in town shows up with a basket full of money the only thing going through my head was....damn, George Bailey's life sucks.

Oh, but then wait! I heard Mercedes tear up [girl has piiiiiiiiiiipes!] And I'm Telling You and my hardened heart thawed a little. And then Rachel sang Barbara and our little Gleeks put aside their differences and worked it out to to the Rolling Stones. And my heart warmed over a bit more. And then! Then! The Glee kids put on a special performance for Mr. Schue, to thank him for all the hard work and dedication he put into making them the team they are today. And then a tear fell down my stone cold face, because I have had teachers like Mr. Schue believe in me even when I didn't and that has meant more to me than trite Christmas cheer ever could. So yeah, Glee, you made me cry. Are you happy now!? Unlike Sue, guess its a good thing I didn't have those tear ducts ripped out. Apparently, I can still use 'em.

But aside from getting caught up in the happy warm fuzzy feeling Snuggie fest, I think I do need to take Glee to task a little bit here. As much as Glee encourages us to ignore stereotypes - omg! It's totally cool if the jock sings and dances you guys! - it more often than not falls into them itself. Of course Mercedes sang And I'm Telling You, because what self respecting black diva wouldn't? And of course the Jewish girl with the big nose sang a Barbara song, because obviously that's what she's been practicing in front of the mirror since she was four. That's like if I was on Glee and was only allowed to sing Bobby Vinton songs because I'm Polish American. [Though a Glee cover of My Melody of Love would make my LIFE.]

I understand that comedy works best when there are easily recognizable stereotypes to play off each other, but now that we've established everyone's niche in the club I think we can expand a bit. Why does Mercedes always have to sing Jennifer Holliday, Jazmin Sullivan, Beyonce or Jill Scott songs? Wouldn't it be kind of awesome if she covered, oh I don't know, a Feist song? [That sentence is ridiculous actually, and I can't believe I typed it] But if Glee is going to continue beyond one season and remain interesting, Mike and Other Asian Guy need to say actual lines, and the musical choices need to stop being so formulaic. I mean, it was kind of crazy seeing Mr. Schue perform Bell Biv DeVoe and Young MC songs, but that's what made it awesome. I think Glee needs to remember its own advice, when Mr. Schue told everyone that mash ups were great because the further apart things are, sometimes the closer they become - like chocolate and bacon. So shake it up Glee! It will be like that time David Cook sang Mariah Carey on American Idol and it was kind of excellent:

[Ahahahaha this is like the only American Idol performance I know. Also, isn't it weird to hear Mariah speak coherently?]

But of course, this same thing is also sort of the pull for Glee - everything happens like its supposed to. And in a world where crazy wormhole looking things suddenly appear over Norway, that's kind of comforting. Nothing happened in the finale that you couldn't see coming from a mile away, but occasionally its a nice change of pace for the non cheaters to win, for the guy to get the girl, for the outcasts to find acceptance amongst each other. None of this stuff is a guarantee in real life, so to have it happen once a week on your TV screen is like yeah, getting all nice and warm and cozy in your favorite Snuggie. I refuse to own a Snuggie out of principle, but I imagine that's what it feels like.

Of course New Directions had to win Sectionals, because otherwise they wouldn't advance to Regionals, and then this season's plot would be dead in the water. But I would hate to see them keep winning, because then what's left for future seasons? If they win Regionals would next season just focus on getting to Nationals? It's like how J.K. Rowling couldn't have every Harry Potter book end in the ultimate goal of winning the House Cup a] because Harry got too old for that noise and b] it would get redundant and boring. She had to invent stuff like the Tri-Wizard Tournament to keep our interest. So in this ill-conceived metaphor, what's gonna be your Tri-Wizard Tournament Glee?

Now don't get me wrong, I freakin' love this show. And you know you only show such concern for people you love, and want to do well. My love for the characters and the cheesy musical numbers override any complaints I might have [for now anyway]. It's not like Ryan Murphy is gonna read this blog, unless he obsessively Googles himself or something, but a few more quick suggestions for the rest of this season and the next.

I read on EW that both Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are dying to get Bruce Springsteen's music licensed, and I can't stress how much I support this idea. I mean, I love pre-Kabbalah Madonna and all, but well, she didn't write Thunder Road if ya know what I mean. Aside from my deep abiding Boss love, I'm pretty obsessed with this idea because I'm convinced that Mr. Schuester needs to sing Backstreets. I mean, at its most base level, its about breaking up with a girl named Terry! Look, when the song contains lyrics like"Blame it on the truth that ran us down, you can blame it all on me Terry/ It don't matter to me now" how could Will not sing it?! If Matthew Morrison can competently cover the Thong Song, he can cover Bruce. Plus, can he wear a tight white t-shirt while he does it, like the beginning of the I'm On Fire video or the Born in the USA cover? Thanks in advance.

Also, I know I just said 2 secs ago to avoid stereotypes, but could someone please sing Rosalita to Santana? I know singing to her a song about young love with a lovely Latin lady would be ridiculously cliched, but since its fucking Rosalita, I'll let it slide. And based on this last episode it might be Brittany singing it to her, so in that case, I think we can safely say that would rise it to the level of legendary:

Oh and lastly, when are Matt [Shaft] and Mercedes gonna hook up?! I'm pretty sure it's gonna happen since when she got up to sing her solo this episode he was making all sorts of crazy facial expressions at her which I can only construe as love. Also, I really want to hear him speak. Especially since the actor who plays him Tweets stuff like this:

DijonTalton Ok.. So I'm starving... Heathy or Greasy guys? DijonTalton Ok guys... Greasy won!! Eating Wienerschnitzel

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