28 March 2010

I Wish I Knew How to Quit "Glee"

ETA: I originally called this post, "I Wish I Could Enjoy 'Glee' More Thoroughly", but then I realized that wasn't quite appropriate.

(Image: www.FOX.com/glee)

There's this show called Glee you may have heard about through the massive YOU MUST LOVE THIS EVERYONE ALREADY DOES EVEN THOUGH WE ONLY SHOWED ONE EPISODE SEVERAL MONTHS AGO kick-off campaign run by the network (which: well-played).  It has just started playing over here, and I have been progressing apace through the Seven Stages of Grief/Hipster Co-optation of Pop Culture, to wit:
  1. Shock or Disbelief: I refuse to even acknowledge it; if they're hyping it this much, it has to suck.
  2. Denial: Based on the previews, which I have encountered purely by accident and certainly never YouTubed out of morbid curiosity, it looks like a rip off of something that was awesome and underappreciated (in this case, Freaks and Geeks).  I will acknowledge it, but mainly because I enjoy excuses to bring up my attachment to the awesome and underappreciated comparison.
  3. Bargaining: I will watch ONE episode (listen to one song if we're talking about a band), because people keep saying it's great and because it will give me further fodder for scorn if it's not great.
  4. Guilt: I may need to watch TWO episodes.  Because ... I don't have enough fodder for scorn yet.  And I will need to download the early episodes from iTunes, because to really scorn it good and proper I need to know why Will's wife is faking her pregancy and how far I can get away with biting Miss Pillsbury's style while pretending I don't watch the show.  (Or, you know, however this can be applied more generally to other popular things hipsters end up secretly liking, like Lady Gaga.  Or cleaning houses.)
  5. Anger: As I have gotten to know it better, I have begun enjoying it, but also learned that the hidden depths I'd hoped to find so I could say I appreciate it on a deeper level than you are tenuous at best.  This provokes a backlash in which I bitch about it more loudly than ever, in much the same way homophobes are sometimes closet cases.
  6. Depression: God damn it, I'm still going to watch the next episode, aren't I?
  7. Acceptance and Hope: I forgot that I've always watched it with ironic detatchment and out of an academic curiosity about what the hoi polloi (note douchey italics) are doing these days, so it's OK to keep watching.  Maybe the next season will be better.  And if not, I'll be able to sniff at how far it's gone downhill since the early days!
So it's safe to say I've gotten suckered in, but I'm lodged pretty solidly in Stage 5.  Y'all, I have some issues with the show, namely three, because I have just noticed that Blogger has a little button that inserts a numbered list: 1. A series of black people gags; 2. Half-assed multiculturalism; 3. Ambitious women are undesirable.  Seriously, show?
  1. In our introduction to Rachel's character, who is played by a Caucasian actress, she describes how she has two dads and both donated sperm, so isn't it cool that they don't know which one is her bio-dad?  By way of a punchline, they cut to a family photo: one of her dads is stereotypically nebbishy Jewish, and one is African-American.  Hilarious, right?  Ahahaha!  She's so sweet and clueless -- everyone knows what Black looks like!  Ugh.  This was even underscored when she's shown getting the side-eye from the rest of the Black Student Union while the point is made that she joins wildly inappropriate student groups to get more photos in the yearbook.  Then, in the Very Special Episode in which we meet the competition for Sectionals (a girls' reform school and a school for the deaf), the first reform-school girl we meet is an African-American girl named "Aphasia" who steals Will's wallet.  Ahahaha!  Black parents who raise criminals think medical terms sound pretty but don't know what they mean!  They don't choose appropriate names like "Rachel" and "Noah" (TV shorthand for Jewish) or "Quinn" and "Finn" (unusual enough to not be considered bland, but testament to the bearer's whiteness) or "Mercedes" ("ethnic" but on the white, er, "right" side of the line, as opposed to "Aphasia" and "Shatonda")!  Hilarious.
  2. Okay, honestly, I do give the producers and writers credit for having major characters of a range of ethnicities and actually incorporating disability into storylines on a regular instead of "very special" basis, but they do undercut themselves quite a bit when the non-caucasians are pretty constantly relegated to the background.  You know, to the point that the show makes a wink-wink reference to it by one character referring to another as "other Asian".  And I won't get started on how the only major character who is overweight is the African-American girl.
  3. And then there's the way the viewers are constantly reminded that the one female character to express specific goals and career ambitions beyond "getting out of here" or making her relationship work is annoying, grating, insufferable, etc.  Hey ladies!  Don't try too hard or care too much about having a successful career, because it makes people hate you!  Fantastic.
But, you know how it goes for all that: God damn it, I'm still going to watch the next episode.  I'm a sucker for musicals.  Plus, Will just found out about the non-baby over here so what will happen?  (Don't tell me.)

04 March 2010

Haiku are for Slackers

Door slammed on my way
Out the flat; heard the toddler
wake up.  Bad flatmate.

My flatmates have a toddler and a new baby.  I try not to set off any crying bombs in the mornings so everyone can sleep in a little.  Didn't do so well this morning.

This is what passes for a blog post at the moment, as things have been a little wacky (in a super entertaining way) with the new little person around.