Ever since I was born, I’ve listened to our “age-advanced” members of society complain about how we were ruining American culture. No one reads anymore and we listen to noise, not music, and cars aren’t made the way they used to be. We’re lazy, we wear our pants too low, and we don’t appreciate things we have.
Of course, I assumed they were complaining about nothing. Then I began to watch TV.
While television hardly counts as culture, it has become a part of it. There are incredible shows out there that are thought provoking and push the boundaries, but it seems like every couple of years, TV executives try to ruin it.
I used to think Survivor was going to ruin television. CBS decided to create a real life Gilligan’s Island, minus the humor and enjoyment, and within a month it seemed every TV show was a “reality” show.
Then, I was sure that murders would ruin TV. CBS (Seriously, do they hate enjoyable TV?) developed 712 different TV shows revolving around people staring at a decapitated body and deciding it was murder, then finding the murderer through a series of boring and usually slightly disgusting tests.
Fortunately, I was wrong on both counts. Unfortunately, there is a new fad that is going to drive me insane.
From a young age, I disliked musicals. Sure, there were exceptions, but for the most part, I found them unrelatable. Never had I, in the midst of a terrible, life altering problem, burst into song. Even if I did, I doubt my friends would spontaneously harmonize and begin to bust a prechoreographed move.
So, I avoided them. When Chicago was up for best picture, I avoided it. When The Sound of Music was on TV, I avoided it. When girls wanted to watch any sort of musical with me, I would go, on the off chance the evening might contain kisses, but I refused to enjoy it. The musical, I mean.
I graduated college, got married, started dressing like an adult, and assumed I was done having to avoid musicals.
Unfortunately, my TV had other plans.
I, unwillingly, watched a pilot for a TV show named Glee. The series was about a group of high school kids who are nerds, so they sing songs all the time. This, of course, makes everyone in the school dislike them even more, so they sing some more songs to get over it. It seems like a strange vicious cycle.
Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it. The singing seemed to fit into the plot, since it was done inside of a glee club rehearsal. Did I enjoy the music itself? As much as I can enjoy a karaoke version of Journey songs (that means no, not really).
Then it got more and more ridiculous. Anytime I see it now, I am amazed at the budget this school must have for the arts. They’re clearly dropping 100 grand on a rehearsal for a song they will never sing again. They have started to sing songs walking down the hallway. There was a duet of a Lady Gaga song in the women’s restroom, and while I don’t know exactly what goes on in there, I am pretty certain that isn’t it.
Now, it’s everywhere. I opened up iTunes the other day and the top ten contained five Glee albums. I’m fairly certain that is what happens right before the four horseman of the apocalypse arrive in Revelation.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, now other shows are trying to capture this kind of mojo.
Thursday, my wife sat down to watch the worst show ever: Grey’s Anatomy. I know people are going to disagree with me, but it is an awful show. I was sure there was no way to make it worse.
I was wrong.
It was the Grey’s Anatomy musical episode, also known as television hell. Instead of just dramatically saving people and dramatically being involved in each other’s lives, they did all of that WHILE SINGING. I found myself praying for a power outage to stop the torture that was coming from my TV screen.
Clearly, this musical thing is not going away. I’m going to have to learn to live with it or stop watching TV. I’m clearly not going to stop watching TV, so that leaves only one option.
I only ask one thing, though. If we are going to continue to do musicals, can I choose the shows that have musicals? Why not Sportscenter? Or the CBS Evening News? Antiques Roadshow? I would love to see shows like this throw in an occasional musical number.
Until this happens, can we please try to keep our TV shows and music separated?
- Grey’s Anatomy…the musical?? (meredithemily.wordpress.com)