Thursday, October 14, 2010

in defense of television

It's time to take a moral stand; I'm not going to watch Glee anymore. During the show's first season I never had time to try it, and once it became a huge hit my disinterest in it grew to a bit of disdain. It seemed loud and annoying, like That 70's Show. Over this summer I was finally so bored that I decided to give it a go and watched the entire season. It started off strong with a semi plot that propelled it forward a bit, similar to cheesy movies like Sister Act 2, all about the competition and will they win and all that. The characters were weak, but it was OK. But then the show began to drag, there were so many things wrong with it, and the flaws became incredibly apparent as the "plots" dragged out. It's an immensely self-satisfied show, and there's very little that's actually satisfying about it. I do like some of the musical performances still, but the writing and character development is some of the worst I've ever noticed. There's this odd addiction I have to it, though. It's become a show I hate (especially this season) but I can't seem to help tuning it at some point or other to see what's going on. I'm always disappointed. Huge waste of time, I don't want to watch it anymore.

BUT. One element I have to admit that I adore is the not even fully developed relationship of the "antagonist" Sue, someone who appears to hate everyone including God, and her older sister. Her older sister is downs (retarded) and living in a home, and Sue goes to see her there. Even the short scenes between the two of them are incredibly emotional to me as of late, and I think about them often. I'm glad that they made that a part of the show, even though I do see that as a part of their half-baked plan to make their collection of characters as diverse and unique as possible. It also made me realize how touchy that subject has become for me, it seems these days that any time my sister comes to mind I want to cry. When I think about what's to come or all of the things that have already happened with her and that aspect of my life, I want to cry. It's strange that one can so rarely comprehend all of the ways that their life can be impacted by a person or incident. When people die we see as far back as we can into our lives with that person, and we are sad because they will not be in our future as they were before, but we can't know what else their absence is going to mean. The same idea applies to people moving, traveling, or anything significant at all, which is just the point-- we can never know the significance of any one thing. We are too human for that, we have no gauge. Though I guess we get better at it.

Sue's anti-religion speech + the most recent scene to make me burst into some pretty serious tears . Still not even quite sure why.


Sonja said...

I intend to keep on watching the show -- they're already approved for a third season so it's not like fewer viewers will affect its presence for the foreseeable future. And it's a tragedy that they're not doing something new and bold and amazing with a guaranteed second and third seasons which, I'm sure, would be a writer's dream in a field where television shows get canceled willy nilly. *coughFirefly cough*

I'm probably going to keep on watching it for a few reasons. I think it was Bradbury who said that storytellers learn more from watching/reading crap than from watching/reading gold. I figure that if nothing else I'll learn what not to do or, by keeping up to date with pop culture, figure out what's already being done to death and realize new angles or perspectives that aren't being explored in sufficient depth or detail.

I do enjoy the scenes with Sue and her older sister even though they don't affect me the way they do you. If only they had more of that quality, to speak to those people whose stories don't necessarily get told...

Katrina said...

I'm sure I'll continue to see the highlights. But I just feel like it's such a drag right now and I have enough time-wasters.

I still cannot believe shows like Firefly and AD get canceled as quickly as they do. With so much garbage congesting the tube... don't get it.

Sonja said...

Me neither. Flash-forward should never have been canceled. Jericho should never have been canceled. Firefly should never have been canceled. And so many others of course.

One of my English classes said that you could always tell the state of the nation by the quality of the television and it listed Glee as an example because (so they said) musicals always regain a measure of popularity when the nation is sad and depressed and sick of war.

I think a reluctance to actually think about issues could be added to the list as well. There seems to be so much meaningless conflict going on in every level of our lives right now, I guess I shouldn't be surprised when it leeches into our pop culture.