The Lessons We Can Learn from Glee!

(Warning: Spoilers for Season 1 below)

I’ve mentioned this show in my blog a number of times in the past. I keep coming back to it for the simple reason that I will always think it is one of the most uniquely innovative shows that defines our generation.

As every episode of the show is unveiled for public consumption, it just continues to keep giving me more reasons to love it.

Their interpretations of seemingly ordinary songs makes for a full and constantly played and replayed playlist on my iTunes. As an ensemble, they sound terrific. Lea Michelle’s voice is awesomely strong, powerful and evocative. Even without video accompaniment, hearing her sing about her loves, joys and heartaches makes me feel the exact same things she feels.

Their story lines are contemporary and genuine. Teenage pregnancy, discrimination, broken families and the dynamics between high school kids with the classic mean cheerleader girls, popular jocks and the misfits take me back to my own high school days and remind me of the same pain and angst every high school kid must go through to build character.

But perhaps what really differentiates this show from any other high school flick is how almost every episode of Glee! can make you feel like you’ve actually learned something from the show. In my mid-thirties, I actually sometimes feel that this show makes me stronger and gives me perspective on my own life.

I haven’t started with Season 2, though I’ve seen and heard a lot of spoilers. One of the season’s episodes tackles mortality, faith and religion. If you think about it, the youth today are growing up with a much less firm grip on spiritual fundamentals. Many today question the existence of a God (in whatever name or form He is referred to) who rules over us all. Many prefer to believe that there is no God, and that our mortal life on earth is the only life there is.

But the show reminds us that in the grip of a mortal life filled with grief, pain, hardship and disappointments, we can’t go on believing that this is all there is to it. At the end of it all, there is something bigger than all of us that has a promise of bringing back balance and giving us consolation for all that we go through.

In Season 1, one of my favorite episodes tackles the issue of teen pregnancies in America. It paints a realistic picture of what happens to teen relationships today and how they regard and behave towards sex.

These days, sex among teens is as commonplace as breathing air. A girl can have multiple sex partners, and can have casual sex without a second’s thought. You lose your virginity at a relatively older age, you’re seen as a prude.

It’s so different from how sex was with my generation. We were all mortally afraid of teenage pregnancy. So we either staunchly waited until (at least) College, or better yet after school altogether; or took great precautions to be extremely cautious. The few who eluded good sense of caution, ran out on luck and got knocked up… were frowned upon and shunned, cast out as “loose” and lacking in morals.

In Glee, Quinn was cast out of her home; cast out of cheerleading and frowned upon by her former friends.

So maybe yes, sex is commonplace, but good sense to elude caution is still frowned upon.

Quinn’s consolation comes in the form of a bunch of campus misfits who’ve found a home and solace in each other. They remind us that really, regardless of what comes to us in life, we can get by with a little help from loving and supporting friends who will be there no matter what.

As a general rule, I like happy movies. I like shows that paint a picture perfect life, or shows that have a happily ever after. In my thirties, I’ve stopped wanting to see shows that paint a too-accurate portrayal of real life and all the pains that come along with it. My life is complicated enough, and too real enough — that when I sit back and relax to watch a show, I want to be transported to another world for a brief moment in time, in revel in stories that give me a tiny lift in my heart.

I think perhaps, Glee is my exception… in a paradoxical way.

On one hand, it’s happy-happy, feel good, lalalala singing all the way. Almost every episode ends on a high note.

On the other hand, it’s not too far from what has become real life today.

A gay couple raising a daughter, broken families, single parent households, teen pregnancies, performance-enhancing drugs, racial and status discrimination… what happens out there in real life, name it – it’s all somehow inside Glee.

But just like life, I think what makes this show so special is the feeling of hope it leaves behind. Behind every struggle is a group of zany, crazy, insane obsessive-compulsive weirdos who’ll never abandon you to the wolves.

In simple terms, shit happens. But at least you don’t have to deal with your shit alone.

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3 Responses to The Lessons We Can Learn from Glee!

  1. Pingback: One-Year Old « Loves Stories

  2. Hanna says:

    I enjoy your writing every time i visit your blog, do you work as a journalist some time? Keep up with the good blog.

  3. Pingback: One-Year Old | A Wife in the City

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