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27 September 2010 @ 09:49 pm
Holy Hotness, Batman!

That is why I love Glee.

<3 Brittany and Heather Morris.
kellychamblisskellychambliss on September 27th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
It must be because I'm so old, but truly, I Do. Not. Get. "Glee."

Help me, Kiwi! You are young, extra-bright, thoughtful, verbal, creative, intelligent, analytical. If you like "Glee," then there must be something to it. You can explain it to me -- please.

I love musicals, so I have no objection to people bursting into song and dance. The musical numbers are fun and well-done, and the kids are talented. For me, the problem is the stories and the characters: the plots make no sense to me, and the characters are like no human beings I've ever seen. They don't behave like any conceivable person would.

I'm not demanding "realism" on any sort of "this could really happen in life" level. I do understand that it's television, it's fantasy -- so it's going to be about impossibly-beautiful people, and it's not always going to be terribly deep. But "Glee" keeps getting held up as one of the most innovative, insightful, clever things that's happened to TV in years, and frankly, I can't see it.

For instance...even if a show is not "realistic," even if it's a fantasy, I think it needs to have some sort of psychological believability, and in the three "Glee" eps I've seen (admittedly, a small sampling, and I should watch more before I complain), the plots and characters make about as much sense to me as some of the things I've seen posted on FFN.

At first I thought, well, maybe it's a sort of post-modern thing -- you know, self-conscious irony, a clear recognition that these people and events are not to be taken seriously. Maybe they're offering a meta-commentary on the absurdity of modern life. Like a high-school version of "The Office" or something.

But no. . .it seems to me that this show is not ironic at all; it's perfectly straightforward and intended to be believable (again, not in a "this is the way it would really happen in life" sense, but in the sense of "however fantastical, these people are meant to have motivations and attitudes that make sense." But it makes no sense to me at all. It seems like FFN stories done with really high-level production values and all the spelling correct /g/,)

A student was trying to explain it all to me the other day; she said, "it's finally a show about the nerds and underdogs and not about the cool people. But sometimes even the cool people realize that they can admit to liking what the nerds like." Now, I certainly understand this premise -- in theory, it could be great.

But it just seems so badly done in "Glee." Can't they do with some plausible plots and characters that are recognizable as people who might actually exist in the world? Truly, if "Glee" were a fanfic, I'd be writing it off as hopelessly OOC and clueless and probably written by a ninth-grader during math class when she was supposed to be doing her homework.

But clearly I am wrong, because, as I say, all sorts of people whose opinions I respect tell me that this show is cutting-edge brilliant. So explain it to me, please!!
Lakelalakela on September 28th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
We don't know each other, but I thought I would join in, in this discussion, because I'm sort of in the same place you are but a few steps "ahead"... in that I've actually seen ALL of the episodes.
And actually enjoyed them. lol

I started watching the show not very long ago. Since everyone had been raving about it and it had gotten all those nominations, I had quite high expectations for it. To my surprise, the show turned out to be a Sunday afternoon tv movie dragged out through out multiple episodes and possibly seasons. How was that new? How many movies are there about teenagers who don't fit in, who find themselves through music? (movies that are mostly mere pretexts for the musical bits, at that... how interesting could that be?)
Also, again to my surprise, the narrative was absolutely conventional, not even allowing the songs to break the established seemingly "realist" code (more often than not, being simply a song that is actually sung diegetically, so not even allowing themselves the freedom that musicals already have - which would have been interesting in a tv show).

Oddly enough, though, as you said, the characterizations were far from realistic. And, to be honest, that's probably what makes the show interesting to me. The only thing that keeps it from being a musical soap opera, is how out there the characterizations are (not all equally successfully, unfortunately).
Because of the conventional narrative, it's hard to tell if it's a conscious irony or if it's pure naiveté, but the more I watched it, the more sense these characters made to me.
Particularly the leads (Rachel and Will) and Sue are SO out there, I have to think they're purposefully so. Both Rachel and Will are interesting characters to lead a show, IMO, both quite atypical. While the others are all clichés (the cheerleaders, the football players, the gay kid, the asians, etc.). As some character on the show eloquently put it, a bad Beneton commercial.

Meanwhile, the basic storyline, is still that Sunday afternoon flick being dragged out... and the songs, more often than not, are wasted opportunities. (because those kids are seriously talented)

I dunno... I think there IS something to Glee that makes it special but I'm still not sure of what it is. Maybe it's that it keeps you dancing around that fine line where one wonders... is this brilliant or is it really THAT bad?

I gotta admit. I'll keep watching. At least for now. Besides, Lea Michele has an amazing voice and Jane Lynch kicks ass. And Will has nice hair. heh.
kellychamblisskellychambliss on September 28th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This does help, and I'm going to give "Glee" another chance. After all, as you say, Jane Lynch kicks ass. Love that woman.

"A bad Beneton commercial" -- *snerk*
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on October 9th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for joining in the discussion! I love when others join in new conversations in my journal space. (:
Lakela: knock much?lakela on October 16th, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
heh I just happened to be around the neighborhood ;) How's you doing?
Kiwi Crocus: GA's || Robbins & Altman || Girl Talk.cranky__crocus on October 17th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
I is...are...be...I may...

Er. I'm. Hmm. I'm either happy, serene and centred (with my own eccentric flare, of course) or I'm batshit crazy; I veer between the two depending on what I'm thinking about. It's a touch disconcerting, really.

But then, I guess that's what third-year uni does to us - all my friends are the same, currently. If we think of the amount of work we have or our dissertation, we're off the handle; if we think of our social commitments and ideas, we're pleased and excited. (However, planning for the future and oops, there's the handle in the distance again!)

It's strange feeling so...all over the place.

But more importantly (for I'm always a spot crazy), how's you? I miss your angst-fest writing! Not many people could get me to read Petunia/Snape, I'll have you know.

(Also, krizzzie informed me that I have written the only Hahn/Webber story. That makes me feel...something strange. :X)
Lakela: Find your graillakela on October 25th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know what you mean about third year uni... I'm last year of two different majors... the "future" is imminently scary and the years behind feel endless (because they probably are). So I understand: "all over the place". lol
But the future has a funny way of becoming present, it's only a matter of time ;)

As for me, well, a bit like you, as you see. I've been AWOL partly due to periods of RL craziness w/ work/uni and partly because I lost the habit of checking in. I'm trying to come back though. I do miss all of you!!

And speaking of Petunia/Snape... I'm going to Dublin to see Fiona Shaw and Alan Rickman in a play! I just couldn't resist..!

Kiwi Crocus: Mary || Smiling.cranky__crocus on October 9th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
Dear Kelly, it is certainly not because you are 'old' (and indeed you are not!).

I suppose one key thing for me to mention is that though I WATCH Glee, I do not "get" Glee. I will admit that I occasionally showcase some of the traits you mentioned, but I also have moments during which I prefer to slack out of all of them. In those moments I may watch an entire show just to witness a music video in which an attractive blonde actresses dances around in Britney Spears clothing. I suppose, then, that I occasionally transform into an adolescent boy or lesbian? Laughter.

Sometimes there is something to Glee. The last episode, to me, had something 'to it': it had real themes, a believable plot and relatable characters. The episode before that, the one to which this post's spoilers applies? Very little 'to it' besides skin-tight clothing on an actress I love watching (she is a rather excellent dancer).

I do love most of the music. (There is one character/actress I find talented but annoying, and thus don't enjoy her numbers; I also can't stand the main male lead's voice.)

I think one thing I enjoy (and find hilarious) about Glee is how often the characters are out of touch with reality - at least if they are written to be that way. My favourite characters, usually, are Sue Sylvester, Brittany, Santana and Kurt--all caricatures of high school stereotypes. Brittany and Santana are consistently just that: they are consistently ridiculous caricatures and a joke, which entertains me. Kurt is occasionally written in a manner that inspires an arched brow from me, but usually I enjoy his story lines. Sue Sylvester I find delightful because she is relentlessly terrible, and then at the most surprising times reveals her humanity; in many ways I find her one of the most consistent and believable characters on the show. She's mean and a bully, she knows it, but she has her human moments and a special 'cause' (relationship) in her life. She enjoys being a cat playing with her prey.

I don't think 'Glee' is one of the most innovative, insightful, clever shows. I think it is sometimes all of those things, but not often enough to be hailed as some of TV's best in years.

I'm ashamed to confess that I did not analyse it as you have! Nor am I ever capable of applying the terms 'post-modern', 'self-conscious irony' or 'meta-commentary'. (Well, perhaps the second.) I'm not familiar with them, alas. My ability to analyse is, in general, lacking. I tend to read/watch things, appreciate what I enjoy and ignore what I don't.

I think Glee could very much do with some plausible plots and recognisable characters!

I do not think you are wrong. I don't believe this show is cutting-edge brilliant. However, historically, I have not watched only cutting-edge brilliant shows. We all remember The L Word, I'm sure... I used to call it "crack fiction", a term I also reserve for ridiculous fanfiction. I watched that show for eye-candy and quotes, as well as to just relate to women-loving characters as I didn't witness them often enough at all. I love but ceaselessly mock Grey's Anatomy. I tend to find no difficulty in liking things that I don't find particularly spectacular (or at least not consistently good). I've come to the conclusion, as I mentioned in my post, that this is because I simply don't take things seriously. I watch and read things often to escape; I have the desire to not take them seriously--to do the very opposite!

I regret that I can't defend/explain Glee to you, or enlighten you on the show at all. It's a communal presence in my life. The night before I left the States, a collection of my friends and I gathered in my living room to watch Glee on the big screen. We laughed out loud; we made fun of each other for who we were in high school; we took the mickey out of the characters for being ridiculous. It was just fun! Sometimes gathering in a community for something feels great to me, even if what we are gathering around is not something I find incredible; sometimes just being in the community at all can be the incredible part.

And there we have my relationship with Glee!

Plus, uhm, Jane Lynch is hot. Every time Sue Sylvester smiles, I fall a little more in love with Jane Lynch. I'm not hard to please. :P
(Deleted comment)
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on October 9th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
You are not a creeper. And I admire you for avoiding spoilers; I am not capable of that. :P The image slew me!
President Airlock: Glee!queen_of_snapes on September 28th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
Oh boy, have I really missed the start of season 2? Really? Was I so obsessed with season 7 of Grey's Anatomy that I missed the return of Sue Sylvester? I'm shocked...
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on October 9th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
As well you should be! Sue is too great to miss! ♥
Kelly: deskddagent on September 28th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
I cannot wait for this! :D Glee + Britney Spears = Awesome
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on October 9th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
I agree with your equation, even as I often detest maths. :P Britney and Glee make for great equations. :B