In the past couple of days I’ve watched the entire first season of Glee, despite the fact that, after watching the first two episodes, I had decided I wasn’t interested at all. But since risking an anaphylactic shock is a lot of fun, I gave the show the Sex and the City treatment—that is, if I want to be able to comment on it (and justify my dislike), I need to have watched the whole thing, like I did years ago with Sex and the City. (Although in this case season one is as far as I’ll go.)
Since the deadline for this year’s Film & History conference is approaching (being an area chair doesn’t mean I don’t have to produce something within the same timeframe as everyone else), I decided that, for once, I should concentrate my research on something I don’t like. It’s an exercise of balance. And given the theme of my area, my focus won’t be on why I don’t like the show—I think that’s way too easy a task, which can very easily turn into petty criticism.
As everyone should know, my area at Film & History is “The Intrusion of Love,” which is a way to indicate all those cases in which the themes of love and romance are injected into a non-romantic, non-comic narrative, most often with comic intentions or results. My take on Glee will move from the impression the show gives of following certain narrative patterns of romantic comedy, although ultimately falling short on both the romantic and the comic side. (I like to call it the extrusion of love—though maybe I won’t use that as the official title.)
This shortcoming is not necessarily a bad thing, nor the reason why I don’t like Glee. Like I said, this paper will be an exercise in balance: while I will have to take into account the basic structural framework of the show and all its possible flaws, that is not the main focus of this research. Also, since criticism is not really what I do (in case it wasn’t clear enough), my idiosyncrasies will be left at the door. It’s gonna be fun. (Apart from the fact that I will have to watch the thing over and over.)