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Why Grown Ups Should Watch Glee

So there I was on a girl’s night out yesterday when I suddenly glanced down at my watch. The time? 9:52 p.m. “Um…I need to go...

So there I was on a girl’s night out yesterday when I suddenly glanced down at my watch.

The time? 9:52 p.m.

“Um…I need to go home,” I said abruptly, grabbing my coat. “It’s late.” I tossed in a yawn for good measure as I stole out the door.

It not that I wasn’t having a good time. Or that 10 p.m. wasn’t a perfectly reasonable time for we middle-aged folks to call it quits anyway. (I personally thought we deserved a gold star for hauling ourselves out to a Tapas Bar on a Monday night to begin with…)

No, the real reason that I fled the scene was that  here in the U.K. where I live, the hit show Glee airs at 10 p.m. on Monday nights. And come hell or come high water, I’m there to watch it. Every week.

One of my friends was surprised to discover this about me. (Clearly, she hasn’t read my post on five inspirational show tunes. Pity.)

Lord knows there are lots of reasons *not* to watch Glee. Or at least not to watch it now that it’s entered its second season.

When Glee first started, the whole concept was really fresh. For those of you *not* in the know, the show is about the trials and tribulations of a bunch of high school misfits who belong to the school’s A Capella group and struggle for recognition. Along the way, you get to re-visit your own high school run-ins with bullies, friends, parents, teachers, first loves, crushes, athletes and everything in between.

As one critic wrote, the show’s main strength is its “near reckless portrayal of both people as stereotypes and vice versa.” Particularly impressive in this regard is Chris Colfer as the show’s openly gay, often campy teenaged character, Kurt, who won a Golden Globe for his affecting performance.

And then there are the songs…The All-American Rejects’ Gives You HellKisses’ BethBilly Joel’s Piano Man. (I go running to the sound track. No kidding.)

As it enters its second season, however, the whole thing has gotten rather stale, at least to my way of thinking. They’ve done a very nice job of featuring some of the minor characters from the first season. (I’m particularly fond of the super-bendy Mike.)

But the plot is becoming pretty tedious. (I mean, really. How many times can they compete for the Regionals?) Sue Sylvester has gone from being quirky and mean-spirited to completely off the deep end. As a friend of mine put it, “I think they’ve jumped the shark.”

And yet. And yet. Still I go on. (My friend still watches too.)

Why? You may ask.

I think the answer comes from last night’s episode, Comeback. (Note to American readers: We are 1/2 season behind you.)

One story thread had the ever-earnest Will Shuester (aka Mr. Schue) trying to help Coach Sylvester escape her suicidal feelings after her beloved cheerleading squad is defunded and she is publicly humiliated. As he encourages her to join the Glee Club for a bit of “music therapy,” Mr. Schue turns to her at one point and says something like: “The reason to join a singing group is because music is inspiring, Sue. It makes you feel better about the world.”

Cheesy. Trite. Self-serving.

Yes.

But also true.

And if you don’t believe me – (remember, I *do* go running to the show’s sound track and am willing to admit that out loud) – have a listen to this fellow:

He’s a college student who went onto You Tube and performed a simple, unplugged cover of Eric Clapton’s Layla.

Bliss.

At any age.

 

Image: Glee! by i heart him via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. daryl boylan April 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    I’m sure “glee” is everything you say, but. . .this is a Sinatra, Cole Porter, etc. fan speaking. Need I say more? Except that my grandchildren have me on a quest to find ” 30 Rock”. When I reach that grail, I’ll have a go at “Glee”. Meanwhile, you enjoy.

  2. Patricia April 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I watch Momma Mia every time I feel a bit blue or just let it play to hear the music…music does help in this world…and I love to sing and sing…

    wish I could still do it in public – but I had a growth removed from my throat and an operatic soprano went to being maybe a 5 note tenor….someday maybe I will find a teacher or healer who can assist me in at least being able to sing a whole song?

    There is a lot of Glee in glee. I have no TV and haven’t figured out how to watch on line – have to wait for the DVD

  3. Ali April 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    I love Glee. I have no love loss for the second season because I haven’t seen the first (except for on mute at the gym). As a recent convert, I thought the football championship episode was amazing, as was the one featuring Finn’s kissing booth. Not sure I’d go running to the soundtrack, but where music is concerned, whatever blows your hair back is fine by me!

  4. Donna Trussell April 6, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    I’ve yet to watch Glee, but I’ve seen a lot of flash-mob videos on YouTube. It seems many are inspired by the show. Anything that can make students this happy – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlQH3dSliGI – has got to be a force for good in the world.

  5. delialloyd April 6, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks everybody for chiming in on this one. @daryl-there’s plenty of cole porter to go around. And while I’m no TV expert, I think Glee dominates Thirty Rock. (Despite my abiding love for Tina Fey.) @Patricia-I watch Mamma Mia too sometimes. @Ali – am going to copyright “whatever blows your hairback.” And @donna-thanks (again!) for the great video clip. I rely on you sister!

  6. Barb @ 1SentenceDiary April 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    I cracked up when I saw this post today. We have never watched Glee, but noticed it was available on Netflix “Watch Instantly” recently. My 11-year-old daughter was home sick, so we decided to try it out. We saw several episodes of the course of the day, and really enjoyed ourselves. Plus, by watching on Netflix there were NO COMMERCIALS (a definite plus!).

    I’m still laughing at the scene in an early episode where the football team does a whole dance to the tune of “Single Ladies” on the field: http://www.tv.com/video/10395258/glee–single-ladies

    • delialloyd April 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

      yeah, i saw that one, @barb. the musical numbers are a lot of fun, I must say. I can’t believe they learn them each week on top of their lines!

  7. Elizabeth April 7, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    I started watching Glee at the end of the 2nd season here in the US. I love it too much and plan to go back to the old episodes, probably via netflix. I can imagine that the teenage intrigue does become stale as you say, but it’s really just all about the music!

    I always have exactly one show I am watching (when I can manage) and now Mad Men is not expected to be back until 2012, so I had to find something and so glad I found Glee.

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