by Caren Crane
I have a new TV obsession. It's full of stereotypes, teen angst, dysfunctional relationships and topped with extra cheese. My name is Caren and I am a Gleek. I am totally addicted to Fox's Glee and I unashamedly adore it!
I glommed onto the gouda-laden goodness long about episode 4 last fall. Unfortunately, the season is now over, since Glee shares the Wednesday night timeslot with the results episode of American Idol. So, it will be April before we get any new Glee. Meanwhile, I will watch episodes on Hulu.com until they all fall off the list.
I was a little surprised I loved Glee so much, despite the major cheese factor. I haven't been hooked on a TV that was still on the air in a long time (American Idol not included). Wondering why this show and why now, I analyzed my fascination and have created a list of reasons I love this wedge of TV dairy so much:
5. Baby Daddy Drama - The captain of the cheerleading squad (the Cheerios) and President of the Chastity club, Quinn Fabray, is pregnant. The father isn't her boyfriend (and captain of the football team/quarterback) Finn, but his mohawk-wearing friend/teammate/glee club member Puck. Everyone knows this, it seems, except Finn.
I love baby daddy plots because it is astonishing how many women pass off other's men's children as belonging to their husband/boyfriend/significant other. This stuff happens all the time in real life and I enjoy the angst on everyone's part. The lying girl, the unacknowledged father, the betrayed guy who is inevitably crushed by the truth. Awesome!
4. Sudafed Dispensing - The glee club sponsor, Will Schuester, is married to a heinous witch who was faking a pregnancy until the season finale. In one episode, she is so jealous of the guidance counselor, Miss Pillsbury, that she claims nursing experience and become the school nurse to spy on them. To treat every ailment that walks through her office door, she gives the patient Sudafed. She gives it to the entire glee club at one point since they are exhausted from rehearsing for sectionals, keeping up with school, etc. Except the pregnant girl. She gets folic acid for the baby Terri hopes to pass off as her own. *g*
I take a Sudafed-like substance every day and you basically have to sign your life away and swear to the Feds you aren't running a meth lab before you can buy it. So Terri handing it out like candy and the kids pinging off the walls was a plot I found hysterically funny. Especially after the hapless guy who was buying the stuff for her got arrested.
3. Gay Male Soprano - Kurt is a diva and everyone knows it. They either love him and his unearthly voice or they utterly despise him (usually the homophobic jock types). The relationship he has with his widowed car mechanic father is incredibly touching. Kurt's vulnerability and jaded-too-young view on how the world sees him and his sexual orientation give his character amazing depth.
I always enjoy divas, makeovers and people on the cutting edge of fashion. Plus, gay male characters are always the most fun ever. Kurt never disappoints and, even when he gives Rachel a makeover for all the wrong reasons and makes things between her and Finn incredibly awkward, you want to forgive his bitchiness because of his (completely unrequited) love for Finn. Plus, he has such great clothes!
2. Show Tunes - Show tunes, pop songs, old school rock, jazz numbers, folk songs. You name it, they sing it. The kids (and Mr. Schuester) all have amazing voices. The choreography is always interesting, since Artie is quadriplegic (and also has a great voice AND plays electric guitar). They even did a whole number in wheelchairs. If you get to watch the 'Sectionals' episode (the season finale), you'll get to see Rachel (the wonderful Lea Michele) do a rendition of Barbra Streisand's Don't Rain On My Parade that may surpass Babs's rendition. I'm just saying.
I've talked before - at great and exhaustive length - about my love for musicals, music of all types and cheesy, over-the-top entertainment. Show tunes + cheese = AWESOME. This show has it all. I rewatch the song and dance numbers on YouTube far more often than I should.
And the number 1 reason I love Glee:
1. Mean Girl Turned Mean Woman - You may know her from movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin or Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. You may recognize her from roles like the lesbian dog breeder in Best In Show. She is Jane Lynch and she delivers caustic wit like no one else. As the evil Cheerios coach, Sue Sylvester, Jane gets in touch with her inner Mean Girl. She undermines the glee club, New Directions, at every turn and even went so far as to give their set list to the other glee clubs competing against them at sectionals. Despicable! Yet she also has a softer side, which we saw (exactly once) in the "Wheels" episode.
Every episode, I wondered how Sue could be more evil than she was the week before, while also delivering the best one-liners of the show and keeping us all hungry for more. I have no idea how they do it, but somehow the writers and Ms. Lynch pull it off time after time. Sue Sylvester gets to act the way we wish we could when faced we're under the influence of hormones - lucky duck. I can't wait until she returns from her sabbatical to Florida (since, you know, she got fired for the sectionals thing)!
Until Glee, there was no other show I went out of my way to watch except my other obsession, American Idol. Glee is over-the-top, satirical and wildly entertaining. It's as if it was designed just for me.
As a matter of fact, I am so hooked on Glee that it was with a bit of hesitation that I tuned into Wednesday night's episode of Idol. But come on, it was auditions in Atlanta, so I knew it would be extra fun and Atlanta did not disappoint. Still, I'm counting the days until we have a new American Idol and Glee returns to Wednesday night!
So what's your current TV obsession? Tell us what makes it so great for you.
And did anyone see AI this week? If so, all I have to say is, someone is losing a best friend this week (Lauren) and General Larry Platt's Pants on the Ground will be on YouTube forever!