Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pop Culture Curiosity Chapter 4: The One Where I Tap Into My Long-Lost 'Fame' Fan ...

When I went away to music-theater camp last summer at least two of my friends predicted a massive tap-dancing freak show hardly visible through the blur of sheer scarves and jazz hands. (Paraphrasing liberally here). That, of course, wasn't true. Sure, a few people could bust out serious "Les Mis"-isms and there were clever barbs starring Bob Fosse. But these were likable people who were just fluent in another language. A language that knows all the call-backs for "Rocky Horror Picture Show." 

I am not much into the verbalization of inner monologues in song. Except "Footloose." And about 10 other things I saw before I turned 13. Except "Dirty Dancing." I was never really into "Dirty Dancing." "Fame" though. Whoa. 

One thing I found disconcerting was the way the cast of "Glee" had taken over the Top 10 lists on iTunes. That's like ... a super strange 2011 fact. This is a special brand of inexplicable I've not experienced in the post Ice Age era. It's reminiscent of the record I had when I was four of Barbie singing a gender-altered version of John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."

When I made this plan to delve deeper into pop culture's various shitpools I knew I'd have to watch "Glee." Or else literally become a Teen Mom. 

I was waiting for a time when I didn't have to directly pay for it. That would be embarrassing. And now season one is streaming on Netflix and that's more than enough time to research it. It takes four episodes for me to become addicted to something. It takes five episodes to erase the past four hours by wrenching a corkscrew into my eyeball and wrist-twitching out a fist-sized lobe.

Whatever. It's the weekend. 


My legs got goose bumps when this five-some busted out "Don't Stop Believing" in episode one. This could be because a) it was super cold in the house and I have sensitive leg hair; b) I love this song; c) my repressed inner "Fame" fan was clawing her way out of wherever I buried that little leotarded freak.


By the third episode I was unable to focus fully on the show. This could be because a) I took a Lortab and then couldn't find a blue enough blue to paint my nails; b) Instead of a short kicky routine to close the show, these people are bursting into solos in a way I that I find very "Bye, Bye Birdie." And not in the Ann Margaret setting a precedent for Belinda Carlisle way. More in a way that reminds me of having Annie's "Tomorrow" as a ringtone.


Am I missing everything if I say I would like this show better if they could hold it to one song/night and not even a full song? With more gymnastic-y choreography. I can see why people like this show. But, counter intuitively, the more episodes I see and the more developed the plot becomes, the less I am interested in it. Barring further distraction, I'll probably finish watching this season. Barring the flu and complete exhaustion of the entire world of moving pictures, I probably won't TiVo it.

I like to consider myself pop culture curious, but there are whole categories of things that go by unnoticed in a way that suggests I've never seen the internet. I'm dedicating this week -- give or take a week -- to introducing certain much-talked about things I've not experienced into my life. And then blogging about it. The whole series is here.


Kate Bee said...

You are a stronger women than I for watching "Glee". Maybe I'm an old crankypants, but I can't even stomach YouTube clips of that show.

Christa said...

It does take strength. But if you get into a zone, you get used to the annoyingness of it. I've started Fast Forwarding through the singing and dancing.

It's all in the name of knowing what the kiddies are yammering about.