If all football games included choreographed dance routines, I’d probably watch more than the Superbowl half time show!
Ok, I’m probably a day late and the millionth person to blog about this, but now that I’ve caught up on my dvr, how can I not at least make mention to episode 4 of Glee? I’m sad now to say I haven’t seen the first three episodes because somehow this show boggles the mind with extreme acts of betrayal while still being charming and heartwarming. How? Well, as we’ve all heard by now, in part with this amazing song and dance routine by the football team to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’.
Never before have I wanted a touchdown to be scored in the closing seconds of a game so much! But of course, it was Kurt’s coming out to his father after the game that truly got me. My network tv, prime time trained sense expected a build up and let down: ‘Dad, I have to tell you something’ wasn’t going to be followed by, ‘I’m gay’. But then it was! Coming out isn’t going to be the finale of this season, the intense moment that we build towards. It’s a relationship definer at the beginning of the season. And so as Kurt’s father offered the nervous response he had clearly prepared since Kurt was three years old, the scene became as unexpected as it was beautiful.
It got me thinking of why everyone was talking about that Single Ladies scene yesterday. It wasn’t because it was silly or funny, although it was to various degrees both. But it’s also because it was liberating and hopeful. The standard divide between the high school jocks and artists we see on tv wasn’t just overcome by some intense moment of co-operation at the end of the season. It was overcome by a real sharing of each other’s tactics; each other’s ways of being in the world; each other’s ways of making the world work. And it did so with humour and, best of all, with a little thang-shaking.
Just a quick late night note to say that I just spent all evening watching the catch-up episodes of Glee on Fox on-line. All the standard high school drama is there: betrayals, teen pregnancy, outsider angst, plus a good dose of regular soap opera fair: a faked pregnancy and would-be affair with the married teacher and the school counselor. But it isn’t a drama or a soap opera – it is something entirely different, quirky and campy and almost a parody (I would have said mostly a parody until this last episode when the real emotions actually start flowing). I almost feel manipulated by the changes in emotional register, but as you point out, somehow I walk away smiling. Which means I’ll keep walking back; maybe I’ll even put a ring on it.