If one is going to go after sacred cows, one should really go after sacred cows. Most of the people in our society who get credit for "going after sacred cows" are just going after unfashionable ones. At least ones that are unfashionable in the circles they want to appeal to. We live in a world of iconodules posing as iconoclasts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Glee (Review)

So I watched last week's episode of this show. But before I get to that, are any of you familiar with shows on the Disney Channel? Shows like "That's So Raven" or "Hannah Montana"? I think the Jonas Brothers or some such also have a show there.

There is one commonality to all those shows, at least the parts that I've seen. Even granted that they are children's shows, these shows are bad (and not in the good way). It's hard to tell if the actors are really so horrible as their acting might imply, or if it is just because they are saddled with wretched script writing and even worse directing. These shows usually have an up-beat, positive message, but are embarrassing bad.

What does this have to do with "Glee"? The actors on Glee are handsome (except for furniture-characters) and the girls are pretty. Even the "uncool" protagonist is "Hollywood Homely" - a dark-haired girl to contrast with the blond Heaters, who possibly think she needs to lose 5 pounds and she weighs maybe 115. "Glee" also seems to have a positive moral in each episode, but is the anti-Disney. Here is what I guess happened: Writers and a director, embittered by being rejected by Disney Channel, got together and said to Ryan Murphy "lets put on a show". The result is Glee, the UnDisney.

Which isn't to say it doesn't have a positive message embedded in each episode, an "I learned something today" moral. The one I saw featured the Uncool Protagonist joining a Club run by the Heathers, the "Just Say No" Club or something. The purpose of the scene was so that the Protagonist could deliver the episode's Aesop: She issued a soliloquy to the effect that studies showed that, due to the emotional instability and poor judgement of students educated at public (government) schools, it was unrealistic to expect them to not become crackheads, and that therefore only reasonable thing to do is to give them clean crackpipes and sterile needles, and then she stormed out. Or something like that. I admit I was a bit confused. Anyhow the Jock-Singer who is to be her soulmate had the look worn by "Smell-the-Fart" Actors showing he was thinking about this Aesop. Possibly in a future episode, after he drops his Heather, he and the uncool chick will share a rock together or something.

Well, I doubt it, because usually the Uncool Protagonists in shows like this don't engage in such activities. But they do convince their Glee Club Advisor (or whatnot) to cut out Disco, on the grounds that Disco Sucks, and instead sing something that would appeal to Kanye West, because, of course, he's a genius role model, resulting in a song-and-dance number so horrible, it would embarass the Disney Channel. So the show's meta-message is it's cool to be uncool as long as you're uncool in the way that unfashionable Heathers find objectionable, but you don't want to be uncool in an unfashionable way, you better follow the herd of independent minds and embrace modern muzak.

"Be uncool in fashionable ways, but not in unfashionable ways" isn't nuh of a message, so it's never put forward explicitly. Only by implication, like on most such shows.

Anyhow, "Message" shows, like Disco, usually suck, both in Disney and Anti-Disney varieties. Unless they're cartoons. In which case the message (don't play with dynamite, don't drop anvils from large heights, don't declare war on Bugs Bunny, respect Cartman's authoritah, and whatnot) are sometimes embedded in a well-written, well-directed format.



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