J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

Giving in to Glee

I don’t know how many seasons Glee has been on. It feels like somewhere in the range of 3-5, but to be honest I’m not sure.

I do remember when Glee first came on the air. I had no interest in watching it. I’m not sure exactly what it is about the show that turned me off. I love acapella music. I like underdog stories. I’ve known and liked members of choral and glee groups.

Perhaps it’s because I watch very little live TV. Maybe it’s because I’ve invested in many shows only to see them get cancelled early on in the first season. Possibly it’s because as much as I like underdog stories, I’m not a fan of martyrdom, especially overly dramatic “poor, unappreciated me” people. I do know quite a few singers and choral directors who seem to fall into that category. I dunno, I just wasn’t interested.

As my daughter has grown older, my wife and I have been looking for television shows we can share with her. At Paul Goebel‘s recommendation, I introduced her to The Middle (which she liked), and on my own last month I introduced her to Glee on Netflix.

The first episode was a little heavy, compared to my daughter’s usual Disney Channel/Nickelodeon fare, but my wife loved it and my daughter was interested and patient enough to give it a few more episodes. It’s now become one of their favorite shows, as they are averaging four episodes a week as they race to get to Season 2.

I admit, I’ve enjoyed it as well. It’s less acapella than I’d expected (and hoped), but it’s good. It gets a little whiny sometimes, but so far it’s pulled itself back just enough.

My concern, so far, is not the maturity of the themes (so far it’s been fine), it’s the constant references to the Glee kids as “losers.” They call themselves “losers”. Other people call them “losers”. It’s clear they are meant to be misfits, but it’s declared over and over again.

Now, my wife and I do talk about what we see on TV with our kids. So, we made a point of addressing this with our daughter. “The point of the show,” I said, “is that they’re really NOT losers, at all.” My daughter agreed, and we went on to discuss it in much more depth: What would you do? Has anyone ever treated you that way? What could this character have done? etc., .

It almost had me pull the plug. If my wife hadn’t immediately taken to the show and there had been a viable alternative, we might’ve given up on it quickly, but so far it remains in our Netflix Instant Queue.

I do find myself still looking for that perfect family show to share. The Nick and Disney shows are decently produced, but they have such snarky young characters and such dumb adults – not what I’m looking for. Yes, there are game shows and singing competitions we can watch. She’s still a little young for the Mythbusters/Top Shot/Chopped type shows we watch with our son, and I find myself still looking for a good family show to share with my wife and daughter.

For now, I’ll give in to Glee, but I wish I felt better about it.

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