It is time to get back on this horse. Sorry (to all two of you). I’ve been very busy with my other writing. And then I’ve had that trigger-shy feeling of, “But I haven’t blogged in a week/two weeks/a month! What should I even say? It has to be awesome! Except it doesn’t matter if it’s awesome or not because no one reads my blog. Sad mopeyness. Well, of course no one reads your blog – you haven’t written in weeks! Get back on the horse, you whiney baby! Other aggressive words of encouragement such as you might hear from a curmudgeonly but ultimately lovable high school football coach in a movie! But you really should be doing the writing that you hope is going to make you money/laundry/minding the child. Especially since no one reads your blog. More sad mopeyness.” Then my Facebook status updates went from “Zoe did a thing!” to “I must rant for several paragraphs about something vaguely political and/or woman-related!” and I realized that seriously, I need to get back to blogging.
So what am I starting with? “Glee”! Sorry. It was in the hopper.
So I’d been doing this thing where I’d been posting “Lessons to Unlearn from Glee” every week. It was my little bit of hateful loving on the show, back when I still used to have some love for the show, but felt the need to poke gentle fun at their preachy total wrongness. You know, the times when they were all, “Never deny your art!” and I as a thirty-year-old person was like, “Uh, but your art might never support you financially, so, you know, be guided accordingly.” Or the times when they were all, “Finn’s random self-righteousness about x is totally warranted!” and I was all, “Finn’s a douchebag!” Fun times.
But then this happened and I could not take it any more. I ignored the show. It was easy because they were on break for, like, a month and a half, but then I continued to ignore it. Then I caught up, half-attentively, putting the show on while doing dishes or folding laundry or what have you. And you know what? I was completely right to drop it. With the possible exception of the moderately amusing punk rock version of “The Rain in Spain” from My Fair Lady, nothing worthwhile musically or story-wise has happened since February. (I haven’t watched the season finale yet. It’s two hours long. That’s a lot of time to invest in a show I no longer care about.) And they’ve been up to their usual preachiness shenanigans. Really, show? You needed to have a domestic violence-themed episode?
(And on that front, and I really can’t help myself here, I’m sorry, I have to point out that they tried to make this point, this “Every girl thinks it’ll never be her boyfriend point,” but no one ever explains that really well so it always comes across like “Your boyfriend could Hulk out on you at any moment! All boys have a secret Mr. Hyde hiding in them! You are never safe!” That’s not really the point. The point is, don’t be dismissive of women going through this by saying things like, “I would never put up with that from any man.” I made this point in my “Real Housewives” post, but I’ll repeat it here – when you say that, you’re not thinking of your actual partner. You’re not thinking of the person you love, the person who melted your heart by playing so sweetly with your puppy or made you that really meaningful mix CD or maybe even helped you out of a serious jam without judging or complaining. You’re not thinking of the person with whom you share a child, a pet, a home. You’re not thinking of that person who gives you toe-tingling kisses. You’re thinking of that Mythic Guy Who Hits and Does Nothing Else. That guy is easy to leave. Your actual partner is usually not that guy. Even when s/he hits you. Okay, PSA over.)
So this is the last thing I’m going to write about “Glee,” and it’s going to be nice. I did watch it for a few years; I must have liked things. Like:
1. The Pilot – The pilot was so promising. It was sarcastic, it was funny, and it let you know the show was not to be taken seriously. And Lea Michele sang “On My Own,” and Amber Riley belted out “Respect,” and while those are both extremely obvious choices of songs – the misunderstood, unpopular girl sings a song about the one she loves not noticing her, and the sassy black girl sings the sassy black girl anthem – but as we know, these two are so phenomenal who cares that they’re stereotypes? There was stuff like Miss Pillsbury’s ridiculously inappropriate pamphlets, which were just skimmed over on camera instead of given a whole episode and reason for existence. Oh, and Jane Lynch existed.
2. Zoe shaking her butt to “Gold Digger” – Y’all know the only reason I even watch the show is because Zoe and I dance to the musical numbers together and she is so freakin’ cute, right? “Gold Digger” was in the second episode. Zoe was just a little over a year. She heard the song and started bopping her butt up and down. The memory of it is enough to make all the head-bangingly stupid plot points worth it. Oh, and the way she memorized “Bad Romance” and used to sing it all the time. You have not lived until you’ve heard a child who is not yet two singing, “I want your ugly, I want your disease.”
3. Kurt and Rachel doing “For Good” – I mean, when Lea Michele sang anything, it was awesome. And when Chris Colfer sang anything, it was awesome. And when the two of them sang Wicked songs together? Holy moly.
4. The Madonna episode – The episode packed in the musical numbers and skimmed over the plot, which was perfect. The dancing was spectacular. Remember the Cheerios on stilts? Holy hell. Remember Mercedes and Kurt rocking it with the Cheerios and the marching band on “4 Minutes to Save the World”? Kick ass. Remember the whole team on “Like a Prayer”? Niiiiice.
A personal anecdote: The summer that song came out, my sister (Lauren, not Kate) played it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And this was in the days before we had a CD player – she learned how long it took to rewind the tape over that particular song. And you know what? I never got sick of it. Say what you want about La Madge, but that’s a good song.
They followed this up with an all-Britney Spears episode the following year. Britney is no Madonna but the episode was still awesome, not in the least because it showcased Heather Morris’s dancing. Damn, that girl can move.
5. Rumours – The episode they dedicated to the Fleetwood Mac album was really pretty good, musically, and it was basically because the kids, and Kristen Chenoweth, who guest-starred, can really sing, and they basically just sang Fleetwood Mac’s songs straight. And here’s the stupid thing – I kind of didn’t know I liked Fleetwood Mac. I mean, obviously, having lived in the English-speaking world for thirty years, I knew their music. I’ve had more than one experience where I turn off my car as the radio is playing “Landslide,” then get back in my car to find “Landslide” starting up again. On regular FM radio. And, you know, I liked it fine. But I never really thought to myself, “Oh, I like Fleetwood Mac.” They were just there, in the background of my life. This episode made me think about it. And program a Pandora station. (Music fans should know, that’s pretty much my height for liking a band these days. I know other people actually, like, buy albums and go to concerts and shit. Not so much me.)
6. The alcohol episode – As a musical episode, this one was a lot of fun. “Blame it on the Alcohol” showcased some great staging and dancing, plus Artie and Mercedes are always awesome on hip-hop. “One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer” was hella fun. And Heather Morris got to show off her dance moves on Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”. I always like it when Heather Morris gets to show off her dance moves. And, as far as preachy episodes go, this one handled things pretty well. Kids, drinking is not the best idea in the world, but you’re probably going to do it, as do we all, so do it responsibly, and do not under any circumstances drink and dial, ’cause that shit’s embarrassing.
7. The Adele mash-up – So maybe this season wasn’t totally useless. It brought us Santana and Mercedes and the other girls doing a mash-up of Adele’s “Someone Like You” and “Rumour Has It.” They rocked it. First of all, those are two really good songs. Second of all, Amber Riley and Naya Rivera can sing. Mash-ups on this show are generally a mixed bag. Their first mash-up episode, featuring the girls doing “Halo” and “Walking on Sunshine” and the boys doing “It’s My Life” and “Confessions II” was good, as was their Journey mash-up. Their second year of gender-specific mash-ups was a hot mess, particularly the boys’ “Stop in the Name of Love” with “Free Your Mind.” But this Adele one was a keeper.
8. The (Junior?) Prom – I know “Friday, Friday” is the worst thing to ever happen in the world – but Puck, Artie, and Sam kind of killed it. I know “Dancing Queen” used to be the worst thing to ever happen in the world – but Mercedes, Santana and Quinn kind of killed it. Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff doing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” was pretty kick-ass, and Lea Michele doing “Jar of Hearts” was spectacular. The whole episode was super-fun and what else does a prom episode need to be?
9. Kurt and Blaine singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is already my favorite song about date rape. (“Say, what’s in this drink?”) Kurt and Blaine singing it together? Oh, my God, my heart melted. Although the sound of sqeeing when they kissed (!) was much higher. You know, Chris Colfer is gay but as far as I know Darren Criss isn’t. And he still kissed passionately and intensely and like it was no big thing. Hear that, Jack from “Dawson’s Creek” over a decade ago? It’s called acting. And being awesome.
10. Mike Chang – I have mentioned Heather Morris’s dancing but not Harry Shum, Jr.’s, and I should, because my God, he is amazing. The best number that showcased this was when he and Finn did “I Gotta Be Me,” with Mike acting like he was showing oafish Finn how to do his awesome dance moves. It was a number that had a logical place in the plot, responded to their established characters, and was performed beautifully. Too bad they couldn’t just keep doing that.
10 1/2. The Hotness – As long as I’m giving personal shout-outs, I’ve gotta mention Naya Rivera and Mark Salling. Hot, hot, hot. So much with the smoking. I heard rumors during the first season that these two were steaming up their dressing rooms with each other. I think that makes perfect sense, since if I looked like either of these people, I’d be getting with the other one.
I mean, they were talented, too, with the singing and the dancing and, at least in Naya’s case, the acting. But seriously? The hotness.
Okay, show. It’s been lovely. See you again in Seasons One and Two when Zoe and I do our dance parties.