Friday, March 20, 2015

My Weekend Crush

It’s funny, I actually feel a little sad. Not about life, in general – though there’s always plenty to be bummed about on the daily. Get it together, world. But mostly just about the series finale of “Glee” tonight. I haven’t decided if I’m going to watch it live. Mostly this is because I haven’t watched all but a couple select episodes this whole season (you know the ones *cough, Brittana, cough*). But what I will mourn if the possibility and hope of “Glee.” Have no doubt this is a show that did something extraordinary during its run. This is a show that helps to define the generational gap between old-school homophobia and new-era acceptance.

This isn’t to say that we’ve solved LGBT bigotry in America because of a TV show about high school kids (and now high school graduates who inexplicably keep returning to high school) who sing and dance in unison. But it’s pretty extraordinary to think where we’ve come. I can remember the days Ellen DeGeneres’ totally tame sitcom ran with a parental advisory before it because the lead character dared to be a gay to now when young people and their families sat down together to root for the gay kids to stop getting thrown into a dumpster together.

Change comes slowly, but also sometimes breathtakingly quickly. So much has changed since 2009, when “Glee” debuted in terms of LGBT rights and LGBT acceptance. We’ve crossed the threshold where back during Obama’s first presidential election it was perfectly acceptable for my across-the-street neighbors to plant a “Yes on 8” sign in their yards proudly. Now, such public displays of bigotry simply would not fly. Sure, they may still feel it. But would they say it out in the open like that without fear of ridicule and scorn? I kinda don’t think so.

Now, that isn’t all because of “Glee,” of course. So much has shifted in conventional wisdom because of the tenacious and tireless work of LGBT advocates. But it certainly helped that for a time one of the most popular and talked-about shows on television had not qualms about being out and proud and gay as freaking hell.

We can go on and on and on – and I most certainly have – about all of the show’s shortcomings. Dear sweet fanciful Cheerio shirt, was it not perfect. But I have to say, overall, as a phenomenon in our culture it did so much more good than harm. Sure, it squandered a lot of opportunities to do more and be better. But, in the end, I’m happy were able to be part of it – however long we stayed. Because it never hurts to have a show that unapologetically reminds us to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Also, there is always the music. That first “Don’t Stop Believin’” still gives me chills.


Anonymous said...

And let's be honest, it gave us the gift of Heather Morris dancing

Carmen SanDiego said...

The music, the fandom creating Britanna, the anti-bullying storyline, Jane Lynch! Yes, Glee did way more good than harm

Shannon said...

Glee was equal parts splendor and horror. When they got it right there was nothing like it on tv. When it was bad, it was difficult to get through the hour. What a gift when it was great. No one does a musical number like glee and the finale was a splendid bow. The finale was a gift. Beautifully written and makes me sentimental and sad that it's over.

Helena said...

Glee certainly did more good than harm. And totally agree that above all it gave us Heather Morris :)