UPDATEDx2: Glee returns tonight on Fox

by CynthiaYockey on April 13, 2010

As a basssoonist, I am a band and orchestra geek.  I have a trained soprano voice — my teacher, Berthe Townsend, sang with the Paris Opera — but it cracks now and my range is shot, although that doesn’t stop me when my heart is filled with joy. And, thanks to Mrs. Townsend, I can fill an auditorium with my speaking voice without a microphone.

Show choirs like the one on “Glee” didn’t exist when I was in high school (1967-71). But the program shows why school music programs instill in teen-agers a work ethic and professionalism that give the kids who participate in them an edge for the rest of their lives.

I enjoy watching “Glee” for four characters: “Sue Sylvester,” the girls cheerleading squad coach, played by Jane Lynch; “Kurt Hummel,” the gay male soprano, played by Chris Colfer; “Artie Abrams,” an electric guitar player and paraplegic, played by Kevin McHale, who is able-bodied; and “Rachel Berry,” played by Lea Michele, whose singing talent is on a par with Barbra Streisand’s, judging from her grand slam performance of, “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” from the mid-season finale episode that aired on Dec. 9, 2009.

Both Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer are openly gay, which I experience as a wonderful affirmation. I wish straight people could fathom how healing and uplifting and inspiring it is JUST KNOWING THEY ARE GAY. Colfer’s character is openly gay, while Lynch’s character is in an odd place that positions her to come out sometime during the series: she shows up for a date with a man in swing dance zoot suit male drag — so very, very, VERY “We’ve all figured out you’re a lesbian — when will you?”

As for Artie Abrams, of course for all the battles I had to get wheelchair access for Margaret and all the places I pushed her in her wheelchair, I LOVE seeing a character in a wheelchair getting full inclusion in dance routines. I also was glad the show’s producers worked out that it is NOT access and NOT OK to carry someone in a wheelchair (it’s scary and dangerous and requires dependence on others) and stopped having their characters do that in an episode where they got the money to renovate the auditorium to be wheelchair accessible.

And, Rachel — well, God bless Rachel — the girl who is clear about her goals at an early age and has the talent and discipline to reach them, but gets constantly carped at by the lazy, foggy people around her. Think for a second and see if you can figure out what I love so much about Rachel.

Post-show bonus, the “Sue Sylvester” cover of Madonna’s “Vogue”:

The blonde Afro wig in the music video is an homage to Marlene Dietrich singing “Hot Voodoo” in the 1932 film, “Blonde Venus”:

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  • Let’s not be too eager to compare Lea Michele’s voice to barbra Streisand’s. She did a good job on “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, but she has a long way to go to fill Ms. Streisand’s pumps.

  • Amy

    Oh, yes, the Glee is back!!!!!

    I was so excited last night, I actually enforced my kids bedtime since DH had already laid claim to the downstairs TV to watch some bullshit about people lost on some kind of island.

    I could literally go on about Glee for pages, but in the interest of brevity I will say that Finn is my fave. I just love how he’s supposedly got it all (as far as high school goes) but how he still struggles to do the right thing, and how you can just see his emotions written all over his adorable face. Also, the hot bod doesn’t hurt.

    And of course I love Sue…how can you not? Deliciously evil and hell bent on getting her way.

    And Vince, I must respectfully disagree…Leah Michele has a voice as good as Streisand’s. Not the same voice, but IMO just as good.

    My Sissy called just as the Vogue video started and we *squeed* our way through the whole thing. Then DH came upstairs to make fun of us, to which I had to remind him that in the past he and she have had plenty of conversations about that dumb-ass island show.

    • Amy,

      Girlfriend! You feel free to go on to your heart’s content about “Glee”!

      About Lea Michele’s voice — it looks like the producers/writers are repeating the same mis-direct ploy* they used in the first half-season so her character seemed like a spoiled wannabe-diva and then, poof! in the clutch, she turns out to the THE REAL DEAL. I don’t like that and I’m worried it could damage Lea Michele’s career in real life.

      Also, for Finn — I do love that they chose an actor with a solid build, as opposed to the tiny, wispy leading men who have been so popular.

      I also applaud Madonna because she has been one of their earliest and most staunch supporters. Letting the “Glee” cast cover her “Vogue” music video shows a lot of courage and class. Also, after watching the video a couple of times, I realized Madonna/Sue went through the looks of the actresses named in the video. The easiest one for me to spot was the similarity to Marlene Dietrich in her “Hot Voodoo” song (which I’ve posted) from “Blonde Venus” (1932) — the blonde Afro wig is the tip-off. I can’t help myself — I’ll add it to this post.

      Cynthia

      *The ploy is having people put down her voice and/or abilities and giving her songs that don’t really show off the full scope of her talent. Also, it’s pretty easy to predict that we’ll see the kids rehearse one set for regionals and then have to improvise another one out of the blue and THAT’S the one that will show off Rachel’s true talents. Because the writers haven’t used that story arc before. Oh, wait. They have.

  • Lanny Short

    I am in lust with Sue Sylvester!! (Yes I can tell that charector is so not into men and I am assuming that the actress is as well, but that doesn’t squelch my torch for her)

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