I'm not going to say love it, but I like it a lot because it's brave. It throws every possible demographic and nerd and loser and bombshell and thug at the screen and they all…sing. They allow every dysfunction between high schoolers to take place and they sing about it. I am so tired of watching shows where every kid's idea of how to handle anything difficult is to get drunk or fight someone. You might say, "Yeah but that's reality" and I would say "Yeah that's because that's all we've been modeled since we first started watching TV and, by the way, that's not how I dealt with things so…there!" But here is a hit show where even the geeks and losers find solace in something other than more self hate. But if you long for a bit of hate there is always the genius of Jane Lynch.
I like the current trend on TV shows that are bent on showing off art and artists, even the dreaded reality shows that turn everything into a contest. At least those folks are being judged on their dancing or singing or performing. The shows all point young minds toward cultivating themselves as artists to become a stars. Not trying to simply be a celebrity or worse yet; notorious (on a side note I wish everyone would just pull their pants up already. That fashion trend is so played out. Young America…by the time the fashion trend makes it to you, the folks that started it have moved on).
Art has gotten short shrift in America for a long time. Reagan started it by cutting the endowment for the arts budget and then school budgets and there hasn't been a political saviour since. We will spend a trillion dollars on defense next year and the budgets to both the NEA and NEH are being cut. Art is seen as an extra, as an expendable. But look at what's happened. The artists just keep coming back and making noise to be seen and heard. I love that these shows are hits and that kids everywhere are throwing their efforts on Youtube. I don't care how poor the video quaility might be, effort is everything. When kids everywhere are trying to best Glee's version of "Don't Stop Believing," it's very good news for society as a whole. The word is inspiration. These shows are inspiring the artist in all of us to just get up and contribute because right now it's cool to do so. I read there are 2 more singing shows coming on the air…good. One thing I'm sure of is there is more than enough talent to fill them, whether those folks tryout or not is another thing but after 25 years in this biz I can tell you conclusively, the ranks of artists runs very deep. It's the politics of competing that keeps absolutely every artist from trying.
I spoke at an acting for non actors class and all I talked about was how they should use the class to simply be as silly and outgoing and risk more than ever had before because it might be the only safe place they ever find to do that. The teacher emailed me the next week to say that a student in that class had decided to run for student goverment because my talk got her thinking about risking. Art inspires all.
The more we press to make art the way to deal with our fear and leave behind the morally bankrupt ways of the past, the better shot we have at really leaving the world better than we found it.