So I was watching Glee the other night, boogeying on the couch to their spunky rendition of Katy Perry’s anthem, “Last Friday Night.” Kurt’s bf (does he even have a name? Oh, Blaire, Bore, Bam-bam or something….) takes the lead on this one with a perky hat as a prop. Brittany’s the first to join in, as she usually is on the dance numbers, and then everyone gets in the groove. Footloose and fancy-free, dancing and singing about ….
uh, getting trashed, having casual menage-a-trois sex, and blowing their chances at that fake singing-art school Kurt and Rachel are dreamy about with pictures of the whole thing on the internet
And then doing “it all again…..This Friday night”…..?
In all seriousness, this blog is NOT about whether or not people should be doing what Katy Perry’s song is all about. This blog is about the DISCONNECT between singing about having that kind of fun, and how the characters actually behave.
I think I remember one single episode in 2.5 seasons that involved booze.
Even Puck’s lost his bad boy with his pool business and his passing grade in math.
These are some seriously squeaky clean kids. Even when Quinn got kicked out of her house for being preggo, she still looked like she’d taken her steam shower and dressed in her walk-in every morning before school.
Glee used to be kids singing songs that meant something to their character, and the story line. Like when Finn sang “Can’t Stop This Feeling,” on the pilot, or the cast did that awesome boudoir version of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” or they belted out “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” that first year at Sectionals. The songs used to move the plot forward.
Now listen. Do I still download the tunes to my iPod and listen to them every day? YES.
But, listening to the songs no longer drums up images of the characters and their plights, which is what I used to like most about the show. Everything–or most things–on the show used to be fully integrated. I don’t have quite as much respect for the show as I once did.
Now there is the music. And there is the plot. When they do coincide, as they did in this year’s Sectionals episode, I’m over the moon. And BTW, I’m not the only one who’s noticed this: note the drop in viewers from Season 1 to 2, when this disconnect got out of control (Brittany + Britney does NOT = Integration).
Why am I blogging about this TV show in a literary mag?
Because I think it’s a cautionary tale to all artists. Try try try not to let your music get away from your plot (or your characters away from their truth, or the scene away from the story, or the “message” away from your characters, or your voice from your age group, etc).
Integrate, integrate, integrate. Your audience will notice and love you for it.