Monday, September 14, 2009

Thoughts on the show: Glee

I am in love with Glee.

I usually check out the shows about high school out of professional curiosity. Boston Public was okay but a bit overdramatized, and the teachers could order a set of books and then have them delivered the same day without having to discuss it with the department chair or fill out any purchase orders, and the guy who both had an affair with a student and shot a gun in class got to keep his job, but there were some poignant if unrealistic moments on the show. Freaks and Geeks was, of course, the best show about high school because the show explored the life of most of us who were on the fringes. We weren't overly picked on but we weren't popular either. We had our own group of friends and our own drama.

My So-Called Life did an excellent job of showing how a teenage girl just wants to fit in and get with the cute boy but a lot of the issues were a little off. Dawson's Creek was what high school would be life if it was populated with Harvard grads. And there have been a few others here and there that have attempted to identify high school, but none have fully succeeded.

Until now.

Holy crap I laughed my ass off at the second episode of Glee. I enjoyed the pilot, but the first actual series episode knocked it straight out of the park, at least as far as what it's like to be a teacher.

Okay minor spoilers ahead.

First, I have to commend the writers on the unexpected jokes. They do a phenomenal job of landing a joke you didn't see coming, kind of the way the Simpsons does. There is a scene where the cheerleading coach talks to the glee club adviser and throws him a bottle of iron pills. She tells him they're great if you're menstruating.

Now here's the moment where you think she's going to make a joke calling him a woman or a girly man. Nope.

Glee Club Guy: I don't menstruate.
Cheerleading Coach: Neither do I.

I chortled. That's not the joke I expected.

But here's where they completely won me over. At a later scene, we see our male and female leads in the office with the principal and the afore-mentioned Cheerleading Coach and Glee Club Adviser. The kids did something bad, something the cheerleading coach caught them doing.

At this point you know it wasn't something sexual. That's too obvious. So I was sort of trying to guess what they did, and that's when the reveal came that they were using the cheerleaders' copy machine.

I laughed for like ten minutes. Ahh, schoolteacher humor.

There are two things they did right besides the unexpected joke. 1) EVERYBODY in a school is possessive as hell over the copy machines. They break constantly just like they do everywhere, except at my job you have 100 people using one machine to print 80 10-page copies each like three times a day. Our machines sometimes break daily.

I'm telling you, if you want to have true job security, become a school copy machine repairman.

Anyway, because of the constant breakage of copy machines there are always a zillion signs up in every copy room explaining how the machine is to be used and how many pages you are allowed to copy. And God forbid someone catch you changing out an ink cartridge if you don't have permission, or taking more paper than your allotment. We narc on each other in a fucking heartbeat. So the fact that the cheerleading coach got all bent out of shape over 17 illegal copies is not only completely believable, but I confess it's something I would totally do, as would many of my colleagues.

The second thing I love is the club sponsor possessiveness. As a yearbook adviser, I can tell you that I will fight you over my club and my club members. Since I have a unique opportunity to work with every other club, I know that every single sponsor of every club thinks whatever they're doing is the most important thing since the Hindenberg exploded. The other day the student council sponsor told me I needed to devote 4 pages to her club. We only have 148 pages total in the book and we have over 3,000 students, but god dammit student council is the most important thing ever, even though every picture would just be some kids standing around discussing shit nobody else cares about.

So in short, I am in love with Glee. So far they have nailed it. A lot of doctors say that Scrubs is far more accurate than ER. I feel the same way about this show compared to a show like Boston Public. Our jobs are far more comedic than they are serious.

The funny thing is, I didn't want to watch this show. I thought it looked silly so I put it off for a long time, and only when people started talking about how great it was did I finally check in. I'm not alone in that, which worries me now that I'm a fan. I want this show to stay.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, liked the first "real" episode more than the pilot. A lot more, actually.

    Oh, and I don't think Glee has anything to worry about in terms of cancelled anytime soon. Ratings are quite good.


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