Don’t Stop Believin’


Fox has put the muscle of social media behind the premiere of Glee‘s first episode which airs Wednesday, September 9. After watching the pilot, I was surprised at the enduring questions and/or propositions that were posited in that pilot about the nature of things: the good, the true, and the beautiful. Here are a few:

“By it’s very definition, Glee is about opening yourself to joy.”

“There is no joy in these kids; they feel invisible.”

“Fame is the most important thing in culture now.”

“Being a part of something special, makes you special.”

“…swirling eddies of despair.”

“She used to be filled with so much joy.”

“The only life worth living is the one you’re passionate about.”

“It’s not a bad thing to want things…”

“Being an adult is about making difficult decisions. Sometimes you have to give up the things that you love.”

Questions about the source and pursuit of joy are ultimate questions. The stories of each character’s pursuit of happiness will either grow in tension as he/she holds out for that which satisfies or gives into the pressure of have-it-all and have-it-now. That tension is highlighted by the first episode’s rendition of Salt N Pepa’s “Push It” which is racy enough to cause trouble for the Glee clubbers. The sexual and moral tension it seems, will not be highlighted by concerns that children are being exploited, but rather by the girls in the Chastity Club who’s motto is: “It’s about the teasing, not the pleasing” which is er, exploiting.

David Hickley at the New York Daily News writes a review here and states,

“The new musical-comedy drama Glee dresses like High School Musical and has the heart of Porky’s.

That’s a compliment.”

Yeah? Not really. Sex is just a tool to either gain notoriety or control? Yeah, that’s joyful.

If Glee has the “heart of Porky’s“, it will either sink into the morass of despair that all of life is just a tease leading up to soul-crushing disappointment or the hedonistic cannibalism of “Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”. Either way, the end is death and not joy.

I’ve been encouraged to not stop believing, and so, I’ll probably catch the first episode, but I don’t think I’ll be watching it with my teenager.

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