Glee is not universally loved. A common criticism is that it is populated by all-Americans behaving in standard teen America ways. A criticism of the second series by those who proclaimed love of the first is that it fails by not being subversive enough. Now, I’m a fair way behind as I’m watching on E4 so maybe it does go downhill and everyone starts eating freedom fries and being impossibly sun-kissed and successful because they believe in themselves but at the end of last season’s struggle the gang finished rank bottom and the episode I’ve just watched was as good a discussion of mortality, faith, humanism and friendship as you’ll find anywhere outside the classroom. Actually probably better because the classroom is unlikely to feature a gospel version of Bridge Over Troubled Waters or Jesus appearing as a burnt cheese toastie.
It didn’t hide away from faith being important. It didn’t flinch showing from how atheists feel discomfort when people start praying to deaf heaven ((C) C Hitchens) on their behalf. And it didn’t simplify science vs religion. I mean, for goodness sake, when acupuncture is offered as an alternative to prayer you know it’s not some cold-eyed defeneder of the Enlightenment that’s put the script together. But whilst “let’s all get along now” might very well be trite if it’s an alternative to morons detonating themselves on buses or firing randomly into crowds in the name of whatever they believe in then quite possibly the atheist’s acceptance of a hand offered in prayer – and the understanding by the faithful that said atheist is not a nihilistic monster – is a start that needs to be made. But apparently Glee is just stereotypically American, which means I should try and catch the next episode of 90210 as I understand they’re doing something about string theory. In bikinis.
See this shot of rabid Americanisation in dull Britannia here.