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Cougartown and Letterman
Formative TV Experience No. 9: The Day After the Day After

A Shot Fired Across the Bow of Glee

  • 10/14/09 at 4:00 PM

Why I Hate Glee, by Sadie Stein at Jezebel.

I've got a far-higher tolerance for campy TV than Stein: I liked Popular more than anyone I knew, and I adore Ugly Betty. But I can't say I disagree with much of what she says — both about the female characters and the brittle use of high-school stereotypes. Calling the show "a smug, G-rated Election on uppers with 2-D characterizations" is a punch in the solar plexus of my tenuous fanhood, because it crystallizes a discomfort I've felt with the show over the past few weeks. And while Election is one of my favorite movies, the year it came out marked the rise of this type of caustic-satirical story. Many of them were flawed copycats, and few were capable of Election's nervy trick: to be terrifically tough on its characters while revealing a core of genuine insight, even kindness, into their worst acts.

Unlike Sadie Stein, I certainly don't hate the show — parts of it I've adored, especially the outrageously great premiere episode, which had everything good in it — but hey, I don't want it to be a guilty pleasure. I want it to be an actual pleasure. Fingers crossed for this week!

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