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 Hell…Kisses’ Beth…Billy 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.
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.
At any age.
Image: Glee! by i heart him via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.