You’ve never really seen the bottom of the barrel until you’ve been kicked out of a house party by a woman with an at-home dye job and Hobby Lobby art hanging on her walls. Now, I hope this never happens to you, but let me assure you: it feels miserable.
It’s a long, boring story, but trust me. From the moment I walked in the door, I could tell this wasn’t an environment where a person like me tends to flourish.
The lighting was that bitter yellow color, and people were playing cards in the living room. The kitchen had one of those huge, ornately-trimmed dark wooden shelves to hold plates. Plates that had apparently been airbrushed with portraits of angels. Lots of plates. Each one with one or more angels.
Now I’ve never really been persecuted in my life, but when you are used to being the loudest, gayest man in a room, you take on a certain watered-down form of double consciousness. Sure, gay men love interior design, but a lot of it probably stems from the fact that we’re generally forced to scan new rooms in an effort to figure out if some guy has a knife in his jean jacket pocket or something.
Before long, my gut proved correct and I was kicked out of the party by an angry hostess who told me to “shut the fuck up.” And I’m asking you to take a leap with me here, but I hadn’t even said anything!
The lesson here is twofold: first of all, don’t ever walk into a house party where the central feature is two side-by-side televisions that allow party guests to simultaneously play Call of Duty and watch DVRed shows from the fishing network. Second, leave every party five minutes earlier than you think you should.
That’s a long, winding story to say that I’m passing the Glee torch to another recapper here at OCTV.
I don’t know if I’m leaving this party five minutes too early (because the show is almost kind of watchable again) or five minutes too late (because I’ve been bitching about it for a year), but it just feels like it’s time to hand the reins over to someone who doesn’t roll her eyes when she thinks of Glee.
I love television, and I always have. I believe that it can pull people together. Of all the communities I’ve ever been a part of, there is none that has been more hilarious and more full of people who are kind to one another, and that is to be celebrated. No one who writes for OCTV for the money (spoiler alert: there is none) or the dates (I thought I was going to get so much play from this blog. I was wrong). They do it because they love pop culture and the way it connects people.
More than television, I love musical theater. It’s such a stereotype, but Broadway cast albums helped me while away the hours as a lonely kid, and they buoyed my spirit as an awkward teenager. Musicals pushed me through a religiously-conflicted early adulthood and to this day I believe that there is no experience more spiritual than hearing a big, brassy number belted out by some flawless broad.
That’s why I have taken Glee so seriously: because it has played fast and loose with what I consider to be sacred text. Because when it’s been good, it’s been really good (Lea Michele’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade” is a modern miracle) and when it’s been bad, it’s been terrible. Because the creators hitched their wagon to the “It Gets Better” project star and repeatedly told kids they were fine to be born this way, as long as “this way” didn’t mean fat or ugly or unwilling to compromise for some dumb high school relationship. Because there are real kids out there who have a Kurt and Blaine on primetime television when all I had was the option to secretly browse through the foreign film VHS selection at the public library. Because I used to blow my entire allowance on special-ordering an obscure cast album and now you can hear kids singing “I Dreamed a Dream” as they walk down high school hallways.
Because Glee is a great idea that has, for the most part, been pretty terribly executed.
I think it’s fun to be snarky and critical, but it’s most important to be kind. I like to think that OCTV has given me an opportunity to do all three. The good news (at least for me) is that I’m not going anywhere. I’m still going to be a regular around here, where I’ll be doing more essays (like this one) about television, pop culture, and who are we trying to kid, gay stuff.
I was going to write more about Glee, but in typical fashion I just talked about myself the whole time. I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t watching so closely or because they’re starting to enjoy it more, but the last few episodes have actually been pretty fun to watch. Sure there is stuff that makes me roll my eyes (Coach Beiste being an overeater, etc.), but overall I haven’t hated it. And who knows, maybe it will get really good again!
But I doubt it.
I’m sure there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, so find me on twitter and allow me to cradle you as you grieve. And say hello to Jenna Gionta, who will be taking charge with tonight’s episode. Here’s hoping she never gets a Slurpee in the face.
Oh, and because I always have one last thing to say, I want to tell everyone that Sarah, who runs this site, puts in hours of her time to make it run so smoothly. She is a cheerleader, a sage, and a good friend. To one of the most generous people I know: thanks for giving my silly little ideas a place.