Friday, May 14, 2010

For all it's unevenness and contradictions and lapses into cliche, there's still so much going on in Glee to make it probably the most successful socially subversive text being consumed right now. That a broad audience is engaged with and moved by a lot of characters marked by their "otherness" going through identity struggles, and that the storylines are structured seemingly to say identity is a process- is fascinating. And I think says a lot about how musical theater is such an expressive and catharsis wielding medium. I'm sure I'm in the minority of the viewpoint that the genuine showtune numbers are the most successful (and successful is one of those words that makes me cagey about how we all relate to value and taste totally differently), but when Kurt broke into Rose's Turn this week, just as when Rachel busted out with Don't Rain On My Parade I was sort of stunned at just how powerful and straightforwardly emotionally evocative they could make television watching, even amidst all of the deadpan-pomo-meta-ironic stuff in the plots surrounding the songs. Even the numbers themselves are sort of winkingly clever about who these characters are and how they would express themselves, but I think what struck me about them is that there's some quality of performance that felt like it transcended all the layers of irony and was just emotion. Not entirely sure what I'm saying, but those first few note's of Rose's Turn there was a part of me that was tickled at the referential mania working hard for all of the geeky broadway babies and gays and hags who would be like "Yes! Motherfucking Gypsy, Bitches!" and yet there was another part of me that wasn't deconstructing the reference and was just responding to some mysterious power of expression in those notes.

I don't know if I can entirely divorce the reactions...

At any rate, Motherfucking Gypsy, Bitches! Awesome.

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