My, how high school seems to have changed in the past five years since I graduated. I don’t seem to recall anyone bursting into songs during my days with the Class of ’87, umm, I mean Class of ’04 – Is that right? I’m carrying the two and it’s heavy!
Kids nowadays seem more apt to express their feelings via singing than in any other time in recorded history, barring the recent High School Musical era.
The cast of Glee, including teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), make it look like it would be fun to load up a flame retardant backpack with a hot pink Trapper Keeper and head back to high school. Sigh, if only choreography was considered a viable substitute for taking P.E.
Thankfully, we can live vicariously in the world that Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk have created, in which diversity reigns Diana Ross and The Supremes, as the hit show straddles musical decades and genres like a bowlegged cowboy!
It’s so easy to say that we gays like the Fox series because of the musical comedy element.
Gurl, that is so clichéd – it’s obviously because of the underdog component, and no, that is not some new Kama Sutra position for bottoms! It means overcoming adversity, like the Glee participants face in their quest to make it to regionals.
So, let’s put this must see show under the microscope, like we were in Biology class, and see what its insides are made of and which we can eviscerate.
Tuned In And Tie-Ins
I would imagine that Glee probably has the highest GPA (Gays Per Audience) of any new show this season.
So, I am really nonplussed when I inquire of friends (not the imaginary kind!) if they are watching it, and they answer with a no! The show has more gay written all over it than a tagger on the DL, who spray paints with a limp spaghetti noodle wrist and has a flair for bedazzled bandanas!
Who wouldn’t want to be a senior (citizen in my case) at William McKinley High School, even if it is by proxy?
You have jocks that want to belt out Neil Diamond songs (they get points for trying), faux pregnancies mixed with ’fo real ones, a Bring It On-esque cheerleading squad called the “Cheerios” (Huh? What does cereal have to do with cheer…never mind, got it!) led by the always great Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester. An openly gay actress playing a gym teacher…hmm, that’s queer! But the gay quotient isn’t subscribed to having a talented lesbian thespian castmember.
Female lead Rachel (Lea Michele) has two daddies, while gay character Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) taught the football team that dancing to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” during a big game is the way to score points with them heterosexuals! It certainly seems to work for the singer, as she has used some variation of the moves in each of her subsequent videos released off Sasha Fierce.
Plus, there’s enough plots surrounding love of both the requited and unrequited variety between Rachel and Finn (Cory Monteith), Puck (Mark Salling) and Rachel, Puck and Quinn (Dianna Aragon), Mr. Schuester and Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays – she sounds like a rapping baseball player!) to keep things entertaining.
The one between Sue and herself could fuel a dozen soap operas on its own.
Now, if only Puck and Finn would show uneducated viewers a new meaning for wide receiver or tight end. However, Finn and Kurt recently became “good friends” when the latter professed his feelings for him. What? No special handshake was involved!
On the subject of Kurt… the episode when he comes out to his father tugged on heartstrings that I thought were tied up in bitter knots. I now believe in miracles. Speaking of believing…the cast recording of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” recently achieved gold status, so it was only a matter of time before the makers of the series realized they had struck just that with the show’s tunes.
The first of several planned soundtracks for Glee was recently released and number two will hit record stores (do they still make those?) on December 8.
Plus, the kids’ version of “Last Christmas” by Wham! just came out…I can envision George Michael tapping his foot in a bathroom stall when he hears it at the mall this Holiday season.
One thing the cast of Glee may want to steer clear of is doing too much too soon, so apply that career SPF in healthy doses to avoid a nasty burn from overexposure!
In the past few months, they have embarked on an autograph signing tour for the aforementioned first soundtrack, will partake in a summer 2010 concert tour – kinda akin to what American Idol does with the Top 10, but without the worry that Paula Abdul may try to sneak on stage, thinking she has a new “job.”
They were also rumored to be rejected by NBC to appear on the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as the showcasing of the entire cast of a rival series would amount to outright promotion. And?
Exactly how much glue does one have to huff to become an executive, and I am sure that The Biggest Loser float knocked the crowd dead! Seriously – did anyone check the struts on that potential death machine?
And, those busy ‘lil bees also sung at a game during the World Series, which was a wee bit on the questionable side. I don’t think of teens singing the national anthem when I imagine the very fabric of a treasured pastime (Go, team?), like hockey. Wait, I get it! There’s a character named Puck and that’s what they use to shoot through hoops at the games.
You must have thought me momentarily foolish or saw that I was trying to make a point, ala the show – that stereotypes can be entertaining! So there!
Anyhoo, the powers-that-Glee really needs to remain vigilant with what are good and bad ideas, promotion-wise. So, we best not be seeing a Quinn-inspired teen pregnancy kit at your local pharmacy anytime soon – two pom poms means you’ll be a mom! Go contraceptives!
For Appearances Sake
The show carries on the fine Hollywood tradition of people who could be in college being tapped to play high school students, not that there’s anything wrong with that. That’s why Tinsel Town is a world of illusion, where we are expected to believe anything, like Ashlee Simpson-Wentz saying she was glad to leave Melrose Place – you keep telling yourself that.
So what if a majority of the characters (Quinn, Rachel and Tina played by Jenna Ushkowitz) are early twenties, 23, to be specific. The fact that Puck and Finn’s real-life counterparts are both 27, breaks Fox’s earlier record held by Luke Perry’s 25-year-old 90210 student Dylan McKay.
Artie Abrams (Kevin McHale) and Kurt could pass for some-children-left-behind at 21 and 19, respectively.
Olivia Newton-John was 30 and Stockard Channing was 34 when they appeared in the similarly-themed Grease – sounds like Boniva was needed during filming, because slipping on some discarded “Greased Lightning” could have resulted in broken hips!
I threw that last dig in so that “Gleeks” (rabid fans of the show) won’t come after me with Chinese throwing stars fashioned out of used retainers!
You would think that a show, which already had a Wicked “diva-off” between Kurt and Rachel to see who would be “Defying Gravity” in a solo, and a wheelchair-inspired performance of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” in one episode couldn’t get much gayer. Oh, but it is!
There’s an entire Madonna-themed episode on the cone-bra horizon, as she has granted the rights to her back catalogue to be used on the show.
Hmm, but who should sing what? It’s a safe bet that preggers Quinn’s a shoo-in for “Papa Don’t Preach.”
However, I could see “Open Your Heart” being used as a plea from Rachel to either Puck or Finn, and Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) literally singing the beejeezus outta “Like A Prayer.”
Somehow, I can fathom Kurt working himself into a gay cyclone of a frenzy about what song to do, call it a hunch. The writers could throw him a literal bone and give Kurt a boyfriend. Then, it’s “Burning Up” all the way. Hell, even if he’s single it’s lyrically apropos – don’t put him off ’cause he’s on fire or do you wanna see him down on his knees, bending over backwards – now would you be pleased? Wow, that is one dirty ditty, Mo! By Mo, I mean Madonna, not Kurt.
I wonder if any other famous songbirds will follow suit with episodes built around their top-sellers. Although Rihanna has now told her side of the altercation with ex-beau Chris Brown, it would still be in poor taste to have an episode based around his “Greatest Hits.”
Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!
Glee has a great fictional moral that has spilled into a real-life lesson!
Amber Riley recently said in an interview that more kids are starting up Glee clubs in their schools – see TV is a good influence, unless you are holding fake auditions For The Love Of Ray J in the back of your van – then that’s bad! BTW, the first 13 episodes will be on DVD on December 29.Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print!