Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gleeking Out

There’s been a lot of backlash surrounding Glee, the theater geek’s wet dream that debuted on Fox this summer.

When I heard about it, I was like, Fuck yes. All I have ever wanted was for my life to become a musical comedy (even though Jeff would probably divorce me, as he is definitely more of a Ken Burns PBS series).

So of course I’ve been watching, and I’ll be honest: It could be better. The pilot episode was sharp, funny, nerdy and slightly twisted (in the best way—it was like the movie Election on the small screen, plus musical numbers) but subsequent episodes have been uneven, with ridiculous plotlines that develop too fast, like the writers are so excited that they’re blowing their wad, um, prematurely. Wow, I’ve alluded to semen twice already. Which is fitting because...

Despite all of its shortcomings I still have a total boner for Glee. I am still all Fuck yes when I watch it, because this show is like my adolescent unconscious mind made flesh and given a microphone. I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

I was not very cool (okay, not at all cool) from ages 12 through 19, and I loved to sing even though I was shy and never sang in front of anyone. But when I got home, I would pop Madonna’s Immaculate Collection or the Dick Tracy soundtrack into my Walkman and roller skate around the house imagining that I was performing for the whole school. All of the boys I had crushes on would be watching. For “Like a Prayer” I would have a gospel choir, and some sort of laser effects in the background, and during the crescendo I would rise up on an illuminated platform (yes, really). If I was feeling saucy I'd perform "Hanky Panky," shocking all of my teachers and titillating all of the jocks who never gave me a second glance. Or maybe I’d take it down to a slow jam, singing “Crazy for You” with my eyes fixed longingly on the unrequited (and, as it turned out later, gay) object of my affection. I think it goes without saying that my acne had magically vanished, and also that my hair fell in perfect, shiny waves that gleamed under the spotlights.

Later in life I actually got to perform Like a Prayer as part of a karaoke contest! No lasers, though. Sad.

This odd fantasy cabaret I invented in adolescence remains my adulthood escape. When I listen to my iPod on shuffle, I often scan past any male vocalists, waiting for Heart or Elle Fitzgerald or Pat Benatar to appear on the screen (I have amazing range in my imagination). Depending on the song, I will conjure up the perfect setting. Maybe I’m a finalist on American Idol (let’s forget about the age limit for a sec). Maybe I’m a lounge singer a la Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys, draped across a piano, making grown men cry into their martinis. Maybe I’m bringing down the house at a karaoke bar that happens to also be frequented by every ex boyfriend I have ever had, who all feel like assholes because I am so awesome, or, better yet, Beyoncé, who’s all, Girl you can SING! Do you want to tour with me and also learn the Single Ladies dance? And I’m like, um, YES.

c. 1984...I don't think anyone should have been
surprised that I turned out to be a theater queen.

So the reason I can’t help but love Glee is that it lets me live inside my fantasy for an hour each week, without having to be that girl who sings her heart out in a private room in a karaoke bar at 2 in the afternoon (not that I’ someone who did that, hypothetically). It tides me over until the day that I actually do get to perform “We Belong” to Jeff on that set from Singin’ in the Rain where Cyd Charisse wears the long, flowy scarf. It validates the part of my brain that, despite being unable to tell right from left without first holding my hands in front of my face (and even then sometimes I get confused), still knows all the words to "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid.

Also, I kind of want to bang Mr. Schu. Is that so wrong?

UPDATE: Swoon! E-Dubs knows just what I like. It's my pop culture porn.



  1. also. puck's body is KICKIN.

  2. When I first saw the title of this post, my brain vaguely recalled that "gleek" might be an actual word with some actual, and probably not entirely upstanding, meaning. I was right.

    I mean WTF? I also have to agree with you. Glee = mehhhhhh, but somehow still pleasurable. I'm behind a couple of episodes but I have to say I LOOOOVED the episode with the Single Ladies dance. Sigh.


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