by Benjamin Kissell
Nothing quite makes a Gay Heart Weep like getting smacked upside the head with unpleasant realizations. Like, and here’s an ugly one, you identify NOT with the extremely-relatable protagonists on what was once your favorite new show and no longer actually connect with the show itself but really connect with … the parents! This gay heart may have given vent to a healthy scream [okay, a scream, shout and several small temper tantrums may have happened, but, I dare you to find a witness] and a new [maybe my third] vow to walk away from the show.
I’m not gonna pretend I’m some tween or even early 20s gay heart – I am rather proud of my being 28, I mean 25, I mean … ahh Hell, 28 – but, it’s still kinda stress inducing [read: mild anxiety attacks soothed by random influxes of chocolate and Guinness] to watch a movie or tv show and identify with the parents (especially when the actors playing the teens are only a year or three younger than you).
A few years back (late June, 2005), my best friend [@ForeverNATE85 on Twitter, versus my @praetor1983] and I caught The Perfect Man [you know, that Hillary Duff/Heather Locklear/Chris Noth/Carson Kressley flick] and about 30 minutes in we realized that neither of us was identifying with the “stress” the teen character was in, but, the adult problems of her mother. That? Called for immediate medication/therapy [a quick jaunt to the store after the movie and spending too much money soothed my ego]. The killer part is we were only 19 and 21 when we saw it – compared to Duff at 18 and Locklear at 44 – and yet, we did not even bear mental resemblance to someone that close to our own ages.
Cut to me last month, coffee in-hand and chubby cat on my lap while I sat down to catch up on the first few episodes of GLEE [yes, I hate where the second season went and yes, I said I would try and give the third a chance – Marti Noxon from Buffy joined the crew, c’mon!]. I made it through the first two [mostly unscathed, but primarily unimpressed], but, Asian F? It made this gay heart threaten libel suits.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad episode – probably the best in a while. It was well-written, the actors actually had me [almost] caring what happened, but … when the most believable scene for me – the only one I saw any connection with – was when Mike Chang’s mother told her ‘I gave it up’ story I cried a little [some was the ‘aww that’s so sad’ cry but most was the ‘GAH; this bears repeating. The Mother. Again. GAH!’ cry].
That? Was the last straw. The shark has been jumped, circled back around and had a water-slide park built around it complete with flaming hoops. My hands? Washed.
Aside from this new season just lacking any other connection for me, my big complaint is that it began taking itself too seriously. When you stop taking an objective (or subjective) look at pop culture and begin aiming to be/influence it, you lose that initial outsider magic. The lightning in the bottle? Has officially been let out [at least for me and most of my friends]. GLEE isn’t a bad show, don’t get me wrong, but, the charm and aspect which drew us in? Gone. Blame it on bad writing, convoluted story-plots, “interesting” song/music choices, disjointed characters and story or whatever you want, my friends and I are done.
"Fuck you guys, we're going home."
We used to have our Tuesday Night Drinking Club [aka Glee Night] where a bunch of us would hang out, watch the new GLEE [on DVR to pass through the commercials, of course] and take shots – whether to various Brittany one-liners or to amazing songs. But, as the second season continued, our interest waned and with each passing episode it felt more like a chore and less like entertainment. By the end, we may have been taking shots to help us get through the episode instead of to celebrate it.
Since my ‘I’m done’ moment, I’ve been told mixed reactions to the recent episodes: Some positive, some ambivalent and more than a few were vocally negative. I? Just say ‘meh’ and neither watch them live nor catch them online anymore.
For example, the episode where Kurt and Blaine go “all the way”, which was supposed to really connect with its gay heart audience, came with a lot of flack from the few GLEE-watchers I still know. Various reports of a gay bar straight out of 1985 [gag], fully-clothed sex which was a so un-risque it used a cheap fireplace fadeout cut-away [as compared to season 1’s Like a Virgin sex number] and others left me luke-warm at best (mildly stabby at worst) and cemented my ‘No more GLEE’ stance.
What it boils down to is that I’m not their target audience anymore. When GLEE came out, it came out swinging in rainbow spangles and was a unique voice embracing its outsider-niche. It loved its cabaret-style bad outfits and Loser Like Me side. But, in its successive seasons, it’s become the network monster and, honestly, that’s just not what I connect with. I’m not a teenager whining about the spur-of-the-moment love you feel in Home Room and lose by Second Period Gym class. I’m a late-20s adult and a high school drama class is not where I intend to be.
Somehow, I just don’t see myself watching Degrassi: The Musical Generation, I mean GLEE, anymore.
[this joke courtesy of @ForeverNATE85]
The media is saying her flub sounded like "choot-spa", but I'm telling you, it sounds more like shitz-spuh and I think the bitch is doing it on purpose!!! Or maybe a wire short-circuited in her memory board?? They really should look into replacing her Jewish slang chip. If these kinds of malfunctions are going to happen while she squawks sound bites at us over the media waves, they need to spend a few million more on maintenance at The Stepford Body Shop. And let's hope they don't trade her in for one of those T models.