Thursday, January 27, 2011

Glee Club

I'm not a big fan of the show Glee. . . there I said it.

I feel like a better thesis might be: "Why I'm not a fan of the show Glee by someone who absolutely should be".

See, I was in the Glee Club for 3 years in High School and 2 years in College. I've been to huge, regional competitions; I've sat in the back row and made fun of other show choirs; I've felt the "difference" between what the Glee Club was doing, and other organizations within the High School (it is a pretty unique thing); I've even been made fun of for being a part of it (I was also on the varsity basketball team). Also, I've acted and sung in musicals and love many Broadway shows.

But, I really, really dislike this show. Here's why: In order of importance.

1) Gender confusion. I don't expect a T.V. show to give a biblical model of masculinity or femininity, but "Glee" is trying very, very hard to confuse any sense of difference between men and women, and ridicules or demonizes those who feel differently.

Sue Sylvester, while a hilarious character, is a female who is the most masculine person on the show (a screwed up, abusive masculinity to be sure). The gay characters are flamboyantly so, and act like everyone needs to see it as "normal". (I'm not making a statement on homosexuality there. . . but on acting like a man or woman). The girls are active, the guys are passive. . . . the girls are sexually aggressive, the guys are waiting, sitting in the corner. . . yeeesh.

They should be given alot of credit for bringing the gay-bullying issue before a mass audience, (heavy handed a bit, though it was). . Listen, I don't think gay people should be bullied, harassed, or otherwise discriminated against in the public school system. I also don't think every girl needs to be a cheerleader, and every guy a football player. But, this show is showing (mostly) kids that all social norms are wrong, . . that there are no judgments to be made about any kind of behavior, and that basically, Anything Goes. (hey someone should write a musical with that title).

2) The (auto-tuned) music: I got goose bumps as well when Lea Michelle uncorked "Don't Stop Believin' " last year, and some of the other songs taken on by the cast have been great. But, the auto-tune is so thick, that I'm not sure I know what most members of the cast sound like. Lea Michelle could sing the phone book. . .she's great. She should sing more, they should auto-tune her less. The other characters are so processed and matched up that it often sounds like two robots singing a love song to each other. They attempt to make "epic" moments on screen, such as Sue Sylvester and Carol Burnett singing a duet last week. (this is event television, folks). But, it is so processed, it sounds bad, and it's, for lack of a better term, fake. Auto-tune is used by everyone, and it's fine. . . .in small doses. The producers of this show are trying to make flawless, perfect music. . .which is by definition, fake.

(Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the worst I heard . . did we hear Gwen? or just the computer?)

3) The chutzpah, pompous-ness, ego, etc. . .

If you disagree with anything Glee does, or, as a musician, don't let them use your music or refuse to appear on the show. . . . apparently, you are a close-minded, talent-less hack who needs to get on board with the auto-tuned gravy train.

This is a pretty revealing article about the higher ups at "Glee" and how they roll.

They really think they are doing revolutionary, "never before seen" stuff. You know, kind of like real, live music.

If the cast of Glee ever does a "live" show, or performs "live" on Letterman or something (awards shows don't really count. . there's alot of lip-synching going on there) I will watch. Again, I'm a big Lea Michelle fan.

But, until then, I think I'll stay away from the show. I'm firmly with "Slash" on this one. (that's probably the last time you'll ever read that sentence on this blog.)

Incidently, a reality-show/behind the scenes/real story of a big, High School glee club would be very interesting. All of you jocks can find out what it was really like for us oppressed artists!!!!! (puke). But, that might be a better option than "Glee". I'm sure many of you disagree with me, and that's fine. I'm just letting you know, as a former Glee Club member. . that I don't like the show. And, I wasn't even the "obligatory wheel-chair guy".

1 comment:

Andy said...

I think a VH1 "Behind the Music" on the 1996 Gretna Show Choir woudl make a compelling reality show. I have rackin' backstage footage.