I just today finished watching the entire series of Glee, which airs 2009-2015. I had poked it with a stick when it was new, because Jayma Mays was on it and we’d loved her brief appearance on Heroes. I didn’t think to comment about it as I watched, but I could write about my thoughts in encyclopedic length. This means I may or may not post many different times about it, as I did when obsessed with Melody.
How did I get sucked into it after all this time? As I discovered Melody existed by seeing music videos to certain favorite Bee Gees songs and parsing that they were from a movie, I started seeing YouTube videos of songs from Glee. Then there were clips, videos of stats about songs, etc. I had watched Supergirl briefly when it was new, and it was a Huge Big Deal that it starred Melissa (WHO??) Benoist. I believe the specific video that grabbed me was one with her in Glee, doing Tell Him with Heather Morris, as Marley and Brittany. I was aware of Cory Monteith’s death, I may have heard something about what happened with Mark Salling, and I knew Lea Michelle was notorious. I didn’t have any idea of Naya Rivera’s death in 2020 until I started seeing the Glee videos on YouTube and seeing it mentioned in comments.
One of the big things that struck me was the political agenda of the show. It
was very much a product of its time, and is a fantastic example of politics being upstream of culture. Even agreeing with the main agenda, if it had been any more in your face, I’m not sure I’d still have liked the show. Universal gay marriage exists, and should exist, but the proponents were rather impatient. It should have seen a legislative approach, while the ultimate resolution was legislated by the Supreme Court. Of course, to me marriage isn’t even a government thing at all, ever, and is a contractual association between any two or more people old and mature enough to understand what they are undertaking. The only reason for it ever to involve the government is that traditional marriage does, and presents a shortcut to legal details that otherwise at best require a jumble of paperwork, and a shortcut to benefits bestowed by the government. Some of the latter is to incentivize the creation of new subjects citizens, which takes you back to the presumption of opposite sex, but hey. Social Security survivor benefits? Marriage. That kind of thing, poof, all made automatic. Since the world is as it is, not as it should be, then it makes sense to have legal same sex marriage.
The funny thing is I got the wife hooked on it and she has actually watched the entire thing twice in the time I watched it once. We both fell in love with Brittany. I can see why they picked her up as a regular due in part to audience reaction.
When I did poke the show when it first came out, I somehow saw enough snippets of it to have seen Acafellas, to have seen an instance of “that’s how Sue sees it,” and to wonder how in the world it was going to work having a kid in a wheelchair doing song and dance numbers.
I could write for hours on every detail, so I need to stop soon. Some of the music… Meh. Good job, not my thing, and that does include some (most?) showtunes and old stuff. I eventually figured out the beloved Defying Gravity must be a song from the newfangled musical based loosely on Wizard of Oz. That I call it newfangled tells you a lot about how I perceive it and when it came to be on my radar. I haven’t looked it up to confirm that, or to find out just how old this “new” musical is. I hated most mashups. Ugh! If they were much more intolerable, I might have abandoned watching. And yes Will Schuester, I am part of the America that hates when you rap. Breaking the fourth wall and being self-referential amused me, as did periodically trying to pretend there was any relationship between the school’s finances and the elaborate productions, and as did the whole “band as furniture” thing.
Season 5 was pretty awful, especially after episode 13. The Quarterback was handled nicely, and I cried less than I’d expected. I probably liked season 4 the best, although I wanted more at the school and less in New York. Season 6 got some mojo back, in no small part due to the incredible new kids and a more mature Kitty. Those guys got such short shrift, but the show would arguably have run longer had Cory not self-destructed, a process that was visible in his appearance late in his run.
I’ve bought some songs from the show. Two feature Marley and Jake. I’d never heard of one, and the other one is a favorite of mine, at least as good as the original, which I also got around to buying. The other is The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, which I liked better than the original, perhaps in part because of my age when it was a hit. Nothing else has grabbed me enough yet. Maybe some of the Christmas music later.
The other character we both particularly love is Burt. He is just the best.
Well, that’s about enough for now.