The Brilliance of Glee
I spent the last month pretty much totally smitten on Glee, a weekly sitcom about a teacher gathering a bunch of misfits in high school to form a singing group. The premise isn’t new - it’s Mr. Holland’s Opus, a huge dose of Scrubs humour and beautiful, beautiful pop music set to Broadway. It’s basically Broadway on tv.
What is brilliant about the idea is how the show has served as an aggregator of pop culture for me. I’ve bought the show episodes off iTunes. Then there are the extended versions of the song which were cut short for the show, but available for sale. I bought those as well. Then intrigued, I searched for the original performance of the song, and sometimes bought those as well. I’ve never been so compelled to spend so much on media, but the storytelling and music make it well worth the money.
For example, Glee’s performance of “Don’t Stop Believing” had me buy Journey’s original rendition (oh so beautiful).
So yes, Glee in itself is campy, but it’s opened a window in the previously closed room of things I like, and I’m loving the new stuff. My wife and I are now momentarily-crazed fans of Kristin Chenoweth.
Going ahead, I have some ideas for Glee. :) They should release the instrumental tracks with backup vocals so fans all over can belt it out and put up their renditions on youtube. Do this a month or two before American Idol - you can imagine how many participants will be plugging Glee on the largest singing show on earth.
We could possibly see a renaissance of some sort.
I speak in my own echo chamber of course, I can’t fathom people not loving Broadway.