Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You're a loser, baby

The thing about being a geek is you don’t know how to be popular. You’re a geek, how could you? So if all of a sudden you do become popular, things are bound to go awry. And no, I did not learn this from every teen movie in the 80s where a nerdy boy bought the affection of a popular girl only to have disastrous results follow. OK, that’s a lie, I got all of that from “Can’t Buy Me Love.” But I do have my own certified geek credentials. In high school, and this is a true story, I was floored when it was announced over the PA system that I’d been voted onto Winter Court. What? Me? I’m the shy, nerdy kid who never cuts class and always takes copious notes. But then I learned it was the one formal court voted on my teachers instead of students. So, there you go. Geek.

All this is a long and windy way of saying that “Glee” is that geek. “Glee” is the misfit who became popular overnight and then couldn’t handle her shit. It started as the outsider, the scrappy underdog with a heart full of dreams and a face full of Slushee. But then something happened. It became a hit. It was the star athlete and homecoming queen and beloved valedictorian all rolled up into one. Sitting at the cool kids table all of a sudden does things to you. Your head swells. Your personality changes. So then came big egos and bigger production numbers. More instead of better. You got standalone episodes about Brittany Spears and Lady Gaga and Madonna. And that’s all fine and good for some fun. Heck, I sung along. But they didn’t actually move the story along, unless learning that all the Glee Club members have similar fever dreams about Britney when under sedation.

But these last two episodes. Wow. They’ve actually moved the story forward and developed the characters and allowed coherent narratives to develop. Wait, am I watching the right show? Quinn telling Rachel that Finn is not her future? That made sense. Blaine realizing how special Kurt was? That made sense. Santana being hurt and confused by Brittany’s refusal? That made sense. The Glee kids finding inspiration in Sue’s bullying to write their own song. Even that made sense. This is what “Glee” should be and is about. The misfits who find strength in each other. The cruelty that can come when you are different. The never-ending struggle to feel special. This is what made me fall in love with “Glee.” OK, that and the dancing.

And, dammit, how catchy is “Loser Like Me?” So damn catchy. And it’s everything the show stands for. Getting pushed down, but getting back up. Fine, it was also tinged with a healthy dose of the Revenge of the Nerds. See you when you wash my car? Ouch. Also, I can’t in good grammatical conscience approve of the "I can only be who I are” line. But, that aside, all of the original songs from “Hell to the No” (snort!) and “Trouty Mouth” (snort squared!) were great fun. Sure, those lyrics were silly – but intentionally so. Perhaps this is what “Glee” needed all along. To tap into its own emotions instead of lip syncing someone else’s experience. In finding its voice, Glee also finally found its footing.

p.s. Speaking of Brittana (stop trying to make Santittany happen, Fox), pop over to AfterEllen later today for some juicy spoilers. If Brittany just looking at Santana makes her forget her locker combination, you know there’s more to come. That look, kittens. That look.

13 comments:

Melinda said...

Amen! My favorite moment of the episode: When they were talking about their favorite songs and Brittany said, "My Headband."

sonja said...

It was a good episode. I'm not a big fan of the "Loser Like Me" song though. I thought the lyrics were just as silly as Trouty Mouth. Rachel's ballad was a tad better for me.

Kat said...

Haha, its not Fox that's trying to make Santitanny happen, it's Naya Rivera!

Ava said...

I freaking loved this episode so much. I fully admit I was bopping along to "Loser Like Me" - it made me feel 16, but in a good way. I went to a performing arts high school & we were all those loser freaks that the song talks about. I think the show has found it's footing again & I'm really excited for the rest of the season.

Vikki said...

I let my kids watch last night which I usually don't becaue it's not at all appropriate but whatever. My son's favorite song? Trouty Mouth. I wish they'd put that on iTunes.

J9 said...

I was losing my interest too, waiting until the weekend to watch on DVR, but last week when I did that, I was really mad at myself for waiting. So last night, I watched it when broadcast, and was so thrilled about the story lines, and the hurt of Santana at feeling rejected (even though she was only put on hold). And Kurt and Blaine? It was soooooo heartwarming!

chesmd said...

The Dirt locker scene link for rewatching courtesy of the tumblesbians:

http://rainbow-molotov.tumblr.com/post/3889472534/dirt-locker-scene

I hate that glee has pulled me back in. I was ready to let it go after the debacle of the christmas episode and now I'm hooked again. Welcome back glee.

vdpro said...

How did Naya Rivera keep a straight face during Trouty Mouth is beyond me :D she deserves an award for that alone...also,Brit Brit's fav song, "My Headband"? That line was priceless!

Lenore said...

I'm happy with the way the writers and producers are handling Brittany and Santana's relationship. I totally get how Santana would try to be into Sam so much harder after letting herself be vulnerable for the first time and getting her heart stomped on. It feels real. It's also hilarious that she's so obviously turned off by his giant trouty mouth.

Keyla said...

I loved last night's episode. I think it was a really Gleeful episode hehe!
Ohhh and I luuuvvv Santana and Brittany so much! Hope there's more depth to it in the episodes to come.
P.S. I like Santittany more than Brittana, just sayin'

Anonymous said...

santitanny sounds like a feminine hygiene product

AnyDreamWillDo said...

I totally agree. The EXTRA SPECIAL EPISODES were tiresome and not at all what Glee was supposed to be about.

Original Song is ALL about what the show is supposed to be about.

Hannah said...

I agree wholeheartedly, as is often the case with your writing. I recently gave a paper at an academic conference, the crux of it being that the characters of Glee could never achieve happiness because they were relying on fake emotions as of way of attempting to feel real ones. Obviously it being an academic conference I used words like Hyperreality and referenced Baudrilliard, but the central tenets of my argument were basically this. I'm glad someone else agrees that the show is finally achieving emotional resonance and to me it's no surprise it's happened at the same time they start to sing their own words.

Not that I want them to stop doing covers, I like me some Glee-ification of my favourite songs.