It’s not exactly a secret that we think Glee is awesome. Despite its more stupid moments (Finn believes Quinn’s ridiculous lie about becoming pregnant after he, um, hits a high E in a hot tub/Mr. Shu doesn’t become suspicious about his wife’s non pregnancy/Emma accept’s Ken’s lacklustre proposal with a lacklustre yes/Shu’s wife blackmails her obstetrician into faking an ultrasound), the show provides America with what it wants: Attractive young people singing songs made famous by others.
And we like that, too. BUT. There are some serious issues with this show’s decision to showcase bland over black. We’re not saying there isn’t bland soul music, but dayum, the songs the kids want to sing that get them in trouble are almost always songs that are powerful and soulful and sexy. The songs the adults pick for them to perform are universally treacly power-pop ballads that don’t even have the decency to be so bad they’re good! Wither the Journey, yo?
Last night’s episode, Throwdown, made a point of showcasing the fact that almost half of the glee club’s participants are minorities. In particular, Mercedes asks to sing something a little more… black and Mike mentions that he is an excellent pop and locker. Shu ignores them in favour of having bland white bread singers Rachel, Finn and Quinn trade off on the lead vocals. So Sue devises a plot to split the glee club up, then picks all the minorities (including Santana, Wheels, gay kid, Asian, other Asian, Aretha and Shaft) for her team, then allows them to perform Hate On Me, which they nail because Mercedes clearly has the best voice of all of them and damn, Asian kid can really pop and lock.
Shu has all his leftover white kids sing some very bland song that we cannot even be bothered to learn the name of. We’re sure all the kids are making it their ring tone, but it was boring. And when the newly split Glee kids get together for an impromptu jam session, they choose to sing Nelly’s Ride With Me. And again, it’s awesome.
But in the end, when Will eventually learns his lesson and tells the kids that they are all minorities because they are in the Glee club, they celebrate by having Rachel and Finn sing some snoozefest of a song about togetherness or specialness or something. With the possible exception of the OTHER white-bread song, this was the whitest song that ever whited.
Of course, this episode actually had nothing to do with race or minorities or even music. It was about Jane Lynch being awesome. We lost count of our favourite moments with her because she just had so many, but Gosh, here are s few of the best moments as we see them:
Sue’s TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE use of the phrase “chink in the armour” after Quinn tells her the minorities don’t feel they’re being heard, Finn’s revelation of the best baby name ever: Drizzle, any scene with Principal Higgins (especially those involving anti-embolism stockings), Kurt’s Flashdance-esque leg kicks, aaaaand last but not least, Rachel’s awesomely creepy stalker telling her that the “independent polling company in his dockers” had determined she was the hottest girl in the school.
I guess I just want to see the Glee Club perform soulful songs with all the energy and power they’re capable of instead of this WASP-y, Top 40 anti-soul. It sucks the fun out of everything. Basically, if it sounds like and American Idol winner’s song about overcoming odds and seizing the moment and rising to the top, we’re kind of not feeling it. Sorry guys, but Aretha is right. This joint needs to get more crunk.