Two summers ago I was sitting my cousin’s room watching the pilot episode of Glee, completely unaware of the impact that this show would have in music, TV, and pop culture in the coming years. We thought the pilot was kind of weird, which it was, and the only things I remember are the bare bones initial Glee club belting “Don’t Stop Believing” and a great line from Sue about an elementary school production of the musical “Hair.” Within a week, I forgot about it.
But, when my college friends started watching it in the fall, I joined in. I am a dancer, singer, and actress, so it was pretty much right up my alley. And then something started happening. My heartbeat would rise. I would start singing along. My desire to run into the night and find an empty theater was almost uncontrollable. The singing bug was laying dormant in my soul until the melodious sound of choral perfection coaxed it out.
Glee made me remember my own dreams. It made me want things I hadn’t wanted in years, because my dreams about Broadway and professional acting had been completely glossed over by years of searching for something more “practical” to do with my life. And all of the sudden, I remembered. I remembered how much I wanted those things, and when I let them go it wasn’t because I wanted to, but because it seemed like the smart thing to do.
Yes, Glee is a show about high school, and I think it does that well, and the constant coupling and re-coupling makes me want to laugh out loud. The drama is sometimes nauseating, the characters annoy the heck out of me, and I want to strangle the writers every once and awhile. But there’s more to it than that. It’s about show about performance. It’s a show about adrenaline. It’s show about magic. What can I say? There should be more magic in the world.
I have to believe that there always be a place in the world for a beautiful voice. I have to believe that, as impractical and irresponsible it might seem, it is possible for bright light pipe dreams to come true. Look at the actors on Glee. Isn’t that exactly what I’ve always wanted to do? I say, good for them. They help the rest of us believe.
So, the Brittany Spears episode? Not my favorite. There are plenty of music videos and awards and talent shows where great soloists get to belt to their hearts content. But the competition episodes? They are about the synergy between many talented people, forming something awe-inspiring: a choir. A group where people’s voices and bodies are trained and unified to create something spectacular. That’s what I miss more than anything.
That’s what I believe in.