Did you watch Glee last night? Did you, did you? If you didn’t, go click on that link and watch it now!
I didn’t find out about this show until almost the last minute– a couple days ago, with the “preview” of the first episode being last night. Fox is doing a weird, risky thing, showing the first episode after American Idol, and making that episode available on their website all summer, and then not showing the rest of the season until the Fall. But hopefully a bunch of people watched and are now as in love with it as I am. It’s totally tailor made for me- created by the creator of one of my favorite shows of all time, with singing and dancing, and a similar sweet, lovely feel to Pushing Daisies,another of my all time favorite shows.
And the singing and the dancing. Oh my goodness. They completely and utterly traffick in what Liz and I refer to as musical blackmail- they use arrangements and songs that make you all emotional- but oh how I love it. I can’t even begin to start to talk about Rachel’s “On My Own” audition scene, it was so heartbreaking and so perfect, and perfectly expressed to us the duality of her character- and goodness, she’s a little baby Idina Menzel! I was in tears at the end of the show when they finished “Don’t Stop Believing”- and not just because the arrangement was gorgeous, but also because again they used it to mirror the character development, as the best musicals do. It came perfectly after Will’s speech about his own experience with Glee Club, how during their award winning performance he suddenly “knew who I was in this world”. Ah, it gives me shivers just thinking about it, because it so completely spoke to my experience.
In Zen terms, my most present, most mindful experiences have been while on the stage performing. I can remember them in vivid detail – I was hyper aware of everything that was happening, of every other person on the stage, in the audience, in the wings, of the lights, of the air around me. And I was completely aware of my connection to each and every one of those things- of exactly who I was and my place in the world. And that feeling is so brilliant, so ideal, that I know why people spend so much time in pursuit of it, whatever way they go about it.
But seeing that played out, as Will walks in and sees those kids feeling that same way- man, it kills me. Seriously, I want to put this episode on my iPod so I can just carry it around with me.
I also totally identify with that little rag tag glee club fighting against the powerhouse money suck that is the Cheerios (the cheerleading squad) – in our High School it was the teeny tiny drama department against the Show Choir. So I look forward to living vicariously through New Directions and their ultimate triumph. And yes, I could have just been in Show Choir, but the teacher drove me insane and someone needed to stand up against his madness and keep the drama department afloat. (Yeah, I was a total little activist. Just call me Lily. If you don’t get that, go watch Popular. You’ll love it.) Maybe someday I’ll post the story of how I stormed into his office and completely told him off for being disrespectful and actively running drama into the ground for the benefit of Show Choir….. ah, good times.
But old resentments aside, I also love how the creator, Ryan Murphy, so captures what it is to be in high school. Obviously, this is a made up world for TV, but the underlying emotions and motivations are all there and so dead on. He did it in Popular, and I can already see he’ll do it again here. Rachel’s certain, yet completely uncertain statement that “If you’re part of something special, that makes you special… right?” is heartbreaking on so many levels. Ah, I love it.
Go check out the show. I hope you like it.