Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    CULTURE WATCH: What's so great about "Glee?"

    Is your youth ministry full of jocks, cheerleaders, and future valedictorians or is it a rabble of drama geeks, choir kids and the "losers" no one wants to sit with at lunch? Either way, you should be watching "Glee," a new series on the FOX network and one of the best reasons to watch TV. "Glee" focuses on a passionate young teacher who is trying to make a success of the high school's glee club. Known for being a depository of losers and geeks, the teacher's real goal for the glee club is to help these teens discover their worth and realize their potential, despite what others think. Along the way, his efforts attract more students to join the glee club (including members of the football team and cheer leading squad) and the wrath of the coach of the cheerleaders.

    Last week's episode, entitled "Wheels," firmly established "Glee," in my opinion, as great TV. This single episode dealt with issues of justice related to teens who are differently-abled and mentally challenged, the realities of teen pregnancy and casual drug use, and took an honest look at the loving relationship between a gay teen and his father while acknowledging the homophobia of high school culture. On top of that, the humor and music remind you that life can be an uplifting and exciting adventure.

    If you are a junior member of the morality police, you might have a problem with the mostly adult content of a tv show focused on teen characters, and personally I'm not certain younger teens should be watching the program. But for those of us working with teens, it's a vision of world where all young people have someone who loves and cares for them and challenges them to be the persons they were created to be. Hmmm...remind you of anything?



    Anonymous said...

    I love Glee. I wish my high school experience was more like that - having a teacher that inspired me to be the best ME I could be.
    I am now a teacher. Being a teacher like Will Schuster is why I became a teacher. To help those kids (teens) become the best unique individuals they can be. I am also a new youth ministry coordinator, and that is what I strive for.

    Danny Bradfield said...

    I enjoy the show ... most of the time. It's one of the two shows I currently watch (the other being Amazing Race). "Wheels" was a great episode, perhaps the best of the season. However, it almost seems to me as if they had two sets of writers who work alternate episodes, because one week the show is great, sensitive, and fun, and the next it is outlandish and way over the top in ridiculousness. After the "Wheels" episode was over, I realized that one of the reasons I liked it was because Schuster's wife was not in it.

    Brian said...

    Sarah and Danny - thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love the show but I agree that it does seem to have a dual personality. In some ways it strives to be like a real high school experience and at other times it wants to go over the top (and some of sex and drugs content I think makes it inappropriate for younger viewers)but it is a welcome respite to most of the vast wasteland tv.