Gleeks of the world unite.

June 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

“There is nothing ironic about showchoir.”
~Rachel Berry, Glee, Episode 1

I came to be a Glee fan somewhat late in the game, after the first half of season one wrapped up.  I’m not sure why it took me so long; possibly because you can find me most evenings at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central bathing children and putting them to bed.

One evening, however, I happened to flip to Fox, and what I heard blew my ears off.  Lea Michele – as Rachel Berry – was performing the Barb Streis standard “Don’t Rain On My Parade.”  And she wasn’t just performing it; the song was coming from the tips of her toes.  Two seconds in and I was hooked.

I borrowed the DVD collection of the first thirteen episodes from my friend Candice, the original Gleek among my circle.  It took me nearly a month to watch all of them; at an hour here, an hour there, I pieced together enough time to get through all of the episodes.  And during the first one, I was smiling ear to ear as I watched.  I couldn’t help it.  Alissa saw me smiling like a moron at the TV and asked, “Mommy, does this show make you happy?”  Yes, it does, Lissa.  Yes it does.

Glee is a show who hit the right note at the right time.  People love it for various reasons, despite its obvious plot flaws and story holes.  I know the reasons I love it:

1.  I’ve done a little showchoir myself.  In case you haven’t heard of it, Butler Community College has a fantastic vocal music program.  Over the past twenty years, Valerie Mack and Ron Garber have built the program into a powerhouse.  One of the groups is called Headliners – a mixed vocal showchoir with a live band.  I was in Headliners for two years.  Through Headliners, not only did I get my tuition and books paid for through two years of college, but I got to perform in places like Vegas and San Antonio.  I got to sing and dance my way through two years of college.  And I loved every minute of it.

This picture is from my first year as a Headliner.  I’m in the top right.  And yes, I have ginormous hair.  It’s one of the qualities that was required in the mid-90’s.  I still have ginormous hair.

I was also in a girls gospel quartet made up of me and three of my Headliner friends.  We performed at the talent competition at RiverFest.  Oooh, look how sparkly. (I’m on the right. Again with the ginormous hair.)

2.  The music selection is brilliant. I love a wide variety of music, and this show makes every genre accessible and relatable.  Where else can you find a contemporary reworking of Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance” next to the classic “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables?  I have been introduced to a whole range of songs I had never heard or never really paid much attention to.

3.  The boys remind me of the boys I used to know.  I knew a Finn, a Puck, and a Kurt in showchoir.  Okay, so perhaps I didn’t know any boys that were quite so “out” at that time as Kurt is.  Looking back, though, I realize that a Kurt obviously walked among us.  And truth be told, I dated both a Finn and a Puck.  Back then, boys that could sing were my cup of tea.  How I married a man who can’t hold a note is beyond me.

Well, hellllloooooo, Noah Puckerman.

4.  The teacher is MY AGE.  Based on the references to the years he was in high school, Will Schuester and I are contemporaries.  It still kills me that people I grew up with are molding young minds.  I know what some of them were like as teenagers, and it cracks me up that they grew up to be teachers.  And they’re GREAT teachers.  (Angela – you know this means you.)  And while we’re at it, I should mention that I dated a Will Schuester, too. (The teenage version, not the teacher. Duh.)

I’ll try to overlook the fact that Matthew Morrison was in a boy band before he joined Glee.

5.  The show isn’t just fluff.  It tackles some real issues.  Teen pregnancy, sexual orientation, single parent homes, divorce – these issues are not new to this generation.  However, some of the taboo that surrounded these topics has been lifted.  I think it’s great that Glee talks about some of the real issues that kids are talking about today.

6.  I love Brittany.  I knew a Brittany in showchoir.  In fact, I can probably match up several of the Glee characters with people I knew.  Brittany is the ding-dongiest of the ding-dongs.  She’s a fantastic dancer.  And I wish they’d give her an episode of her own.

7. They make great choices for guest appearances. I could listen to Idina Menzel sing all day.  I love Olivia Newton-John’s snarky role.  And who would have thought Doogie Howser would grow up to be such a talent?  I read, though, that John Stamos is joining the cast next season for an arc.  I’m not sure how I feel about Uncle Jesse in Glee.

8.  It makes me laugh at how quickly they throw together large production numbers.  Rehearsal, schmearsal.  These kids are obviously so talented they can throw together vocals, instrumentals, lighting, and costumes at the drop of the hat.  Practice is overrated anyway.

9.  Sue Sylvester cracks me up.  Her one-liners are hilarious.  And I appreciate the fact that she has a hidden softer side.  It makes her more accessible.

10.  Last but not least, the talent is phenomenal.  I am blown away by some of these kids’ voices.  I would have given a pinkie to be able to sing like Rachel, Mercedes, or even Kurt.  All of the cast has a bright future, especially on the stage.

It makes me sad that the season ended last week and now I must go a whole summer without a new episode.  If you haven’t watched it and you want to, don’t despair – you can catch up from mid-season on Fox.  I know where I’ll be on Thursdays at 8/7 Central.  Enjoying it all over again.

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Entry filed under: Life in general.

That old fashioned warm fuzzy feeling. Yes, I'm finally admitting it: I'm not perfect.

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