I Won't Stop Believing in "Glee"

What Women Really Think
May 20 2009 11:36 AM

I Won't Stop Believing in "Glee"

I really, really wanted to love Glee , the new Fox comedy about show choir - that strange, unholy amalgam of drama club, choir, and dance team. After all, I have already made my love of such dorky performance activities rather public. And before the first commercial break, it seemed like Glee was really gunning for my affections in particular, showcasing all of the following:

- Clear allusions to one of my favorite movies, Election , as Willa has already astutely outlined


- A high school setting (as a former teacher myself, I'm a sucker for any show that prominently features a teachers' lounge)

- Lea Michele, star of Broadway's Spring Awakening

- An Indian guy in a nontrivial role

- A goth-lite Asian girl doing a raunchy rendition of "I Kissed a Girl"

- Jane Lynch , the funniest woman alive, as the captain of the cheerleading squad

But I felt like the show lurched around a lot, never quite finding its groove, either comedically or emotionally. For one thing, all five members of the team have fantastic (or at least very, very good) voices, so the whole Bad-News-Bears, we're-a-crummy-squad storyline felt a little off. And while I am always up for a little Journey in four-part harmony , the show hasn't quite captured the passionate, often hysterical (in all senses of the word), curiously subaltern nature of America's teenage musical theater subculture. For that I suggest the 2003 film Camp , which has a rickety, see-it-coming-from-a-mile-away narrative but absolutely nails the anthropological elements - particularly the funny, complicated ways sexuality can play out in these hothouse, Sondheim-loving environments.

I'll tune in next week, of course, if just to maintain my weekly jazz-hands intake. Maybe this pilot was just a shaky dress rehearsal?



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Amazon Is Launching a Serious Run at Apple and Samsung


Slim Pickings at the Network TV Bazaar

Three talented actresses in three terrible shows.


More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. Now There’s Just One Thing Holding Us Back.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?