Friday, September 24, 2010

Gleekonomics: A Social Bingo Game

There is a student who attends the school I work at whom I'm fairly convinced is gay. I don't know why but because of this fact I always want to talk to him. I however am straight as an arrow (*Although sometimes many people would question that statement*). It made me start to think about how we sometimes treat different people in our society. Sometimes I think that we play a game of Social Bingo. We're all collecting as much diversity in a circle of game, almost to show off how open-minded me are... but is this being open-minded? I wonder if the fact that I have multiple openly gay friends makes me want to talk to this person, but that's literally saying "I have gay friends, we should hang out".

The fact is having a diverse group of friends is something practically praised like winning a super bowl trophy. Do you have both a Gay Male, a Lesbian and 2 bi-sexual friends of different sexes? You're at a good start. Are you friends with every type of Asian possible? Doing even better. In your circle of friends are you the only straight, white male? You've won the game. BINGO!

Currently nothing showcases this type of extreme diversity like the explosion of popularity of the show Glee. The show has proven to be more than just a flash in the pan hit. It's a full on phenomenon, among the ranks of Star Trek, Harry Potter and Twilight. Fans of the show (or Gleeks) often praise the show for it's diversity. The show has literally a little bit of everything.

In that picture we have a handicapped kid, an asian girl, a jock, a gay male, an african-american female, a cheerleader and our man character (the determined feminist). If only more shows had such diversities! Something I like to call Gleekomonics.

Okay, so bringing up Extreme Ghostbusters is sort of a moot point. It's mostly just an excuse to remind people of this spin-off that I loved, but everyone else just called "Ghostbusters PC edition". My point is, packing a show full of minorities isn't always progress, it's just trying to have a massive appeal. I don't hate Glee; I don't want to send that message, but I'm not also not in love with Glee. The pilot episode sets the show up to be almost a TV version of the underrated High School film Election. Our main character Will Schuester plants marijuana in Quaterback Finn Hudson's locker in order to blackmail him into joining the Glee club. This is delightfully dark, but as far as I know (and I admit I only watched the first 13 episodes) this plot point is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN. The general tone of the pilot is brilliant and fun and slightly dark. However as the show continued it turned into a bubbly, upbeat underdog story that starts to wear thin.

The problem with the show is that it leans on the musical numbers to carry it. I sincerely think the reason I don't love the show is because I didn't watch the show as it aired. I watched all 13 episodes in one day. When you're getting slammed with 13 hours of this show, you start to really notice the extreme amounts of filler that the series has. For roughly 5 episodes nothing happens but life lessons. And while sometimes the life lessons are well-written and have great dramatic marks ("Wheels") other times it just really feels like needless filler ("Mash-Ups"). I suppose Glee just isn't for me. By the end of the show I decided all I need to enjoy the show are the soundtracks; maybe I'll give it a second chance with the full first season being on DVD now but that's for another blog on another day.

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