' ' Cinema Romantico: Glee: Theatricality

Friday, September 17, 2010

Glee: Theatricality

Up until a few nights ago I had never seen an episode of ABC's hit show "Glee." I was pretty sure it involved a high school glee club and that popular songs were sung and that it starred Jane Lynch. That was all. I simply never had any desire to watch it despite its apparent critical acclaim. (My fellow blogger Andrew has actually been engaged in a massive meme about the show.) So why did I suddenly sit down to see it? Because "Theatricality" was all about the glee club using the music of (ahem) Lady Gaga to "express themselves." (This is similar to my reason for only having ever seen one episode of "Big Bang Theory" - it was an episode about Nebraska Football.) So having now seen an episode I can confirm that it is about a high school glee club and that popular songs are sung. However, I have no idea if it really stars Jane Lynch because I never saw her.

Within moments I felt I had waded in too deep. The "catch up" monologue at the beginning was delivered rapid-fire about people I didn't know doing things I didn't understand and when it was over I think I was more confused than when I knew nothing. There were numerous characters and I had and still have absolutely no idea what anyone's name is. This does not matter, however, because I can easily break down all the characters I saw without using names. There was the gay guy who wasn't accepted by the letter-jacket wearing jocks and the son of the mother that the father of the gay guy is dating is moving into the gay guy's house and this puts the two of them at odds and there was a daughter who is re-united with her mother who apparently coaches the rival glee club and which leads to an awkward, cringe-inducing moment when they perform a duet of "Poker Face" which leads to mother singing to daughter "When it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun" (uh...........no comment) and there was the goth girl. The goth girl was my favorite. She was not allowed to dress as a goth anymore by school officials and then Gaga-ed it up instead which led to my favorite line:

"Even though I'm painfully shy and obsessed with death I really am an effervescent person."

So basically our glee club finds out the rival glee club is going to use the music of Lady Gaga and so our glee club also chooses to use Lady Gaga (I think this was all for mythical "sectionals" but I could be completely wrong) - well, the girls and the gay guy choose to use her. The real men of glee club want nothing to do with Lady Gaga. And here is where things got interesting....uh, at least for me.

You hear the first faction perform Gaga's "Bad Romance" and then you hear the second faction perform Kiss's "Shout It Out Loud" (both of which just looked like high production karaoke) and sure, sure the whole episode is about theatricality but let's discuss rock and roll for a second. Listen to these songs back to back and tell me which one rocks and which one just kinda goes pfffffffft. Rock and roll all nite, my ass, "Shout It Out Loud" is glam, "Bad Romance" is rock and roll, and I am not flexible or open to arguments on this. If you can't hear how effin' hard "Bad Romance" rocks then you just don't like her because she wears meat and flips people off at Yankees games, and that's that.

Reader: "For crying out....you're supposed to be reviewing 'Glee' and you've just turned this whole thing into yet another oration on Lady Gaga!"
Me: "Well, honestly, what did you expect?"

The show itself actually had some nice moments and had themes I would strongly support and while its crux is surely the sort we have all seen many times before that does not mean it cannot be presented convincingly and originally. I especially enjoyed seeing Mike O'Malley (finally getting his moment in the sun it would seem after appearing in, like, 42 sitcoms that were cancelled after 2 episodes) as the gay guy's father who recites a stern speech to the son of the woman he is dating in relation to treating people properly, and the like, and has one line that felt essential: "I thought you were a new generation of dude." Yeah. I like it. I like it a lot.

I spent this past Sunday on the couch flipping between the Redskins/Cowboys game and the MTV Video Music Awards (which I had not watched in at least 10 years) in the hopes of catching a few glimpes of Her Gaganess. I rooted for Donovan McNabb and I cheered when Lady Gaga won for Best Female Video. I know, I know, a dude is not "allowed" to like Football and Lady Gaga.

But then I'm "a new generation of dude." Which is to say I learned a valuable lesson from "Glee." So there.


Andrew K. said...

Ha, this made me laugh a lot. I like this episode, but it doesn't make any sense as a stand-alone episode whatsoever (though I must be the only person who wasn't offended, freaked out or confused about a mother daughter singing "Poker Face"). I really have no feelings towards Lady Gaga, her lyrics are good but I'm not a big fan of her actual music or her "theatricality", but she seems like a cool person.

(Fox, not ABC.)

Nick Prigge said...

Whoops! I didn't even notice I'd written ABC. My apologies, Fox. Just another reason I need an editor.