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Congratulations, America: You Made Glee a Hit, and Now Top Brass Thinks We Can’t Get Enough of Show Choirs

December 13, 2009

Full disclosure: I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of Fox’s smash Glee, enough to have a passing familiarity with the cast and a gist of what the show entails. And while I’m not frothing at the mouth over it, I do recognize a certain novelty in the proceedings. And I get why it’s popular. But here’s the awful downside to Glee, folks. Because we as a society are behaving as if we like it, the fad-makers have decided that we love show choirs.

That may be true for you, dear reader — that you secretly watch youtube clips of glee clubs doing their thing, and secretly choreograph elaborate routines to Madonna’s “Holiday” in your living room — and if so, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not judging you. But I’m not entirely sure that everyone is as nutty over real-life show choirs as our pop culture overlords seem to think.

Or maybe we are. After all, last week’s episode of CBS’ Sunday Morning featured a glimpse into a real life glee club of an Ohio high school called the Keytones. And USA Today inexplicably sent a group of Waukee, Iowa elementary students to “show choir camp” to gauge their reactions.

And, of course, let’s not forget NBC’s new show Nick Lachey-helmed The Sing-Off, which features competitions from peppy show choirs around the country, its commercials featuring judges “blown away” and crowds screaming wildly, having us believe that what we’re going to see there will challenge everything our minds can handle. The winners will receive $100,000, which is sure to make up for all the lunch money beaten out of them over the years. Groundbreaking, sure, until you remember that The Sing-Off is merely a repackaging of another failed NBC show from the winter of 2007, called Clash of the Choirs, which also utilized host Nick Lachey and featured judges “blown away” and crowds screaming wildly. It’s practically the exact same show. And why is it back? Because you said you liked Glee, and told your friends.

Hey, it’s fine if you want to watch Glee. That’s cool. I’m fine with that. It’s a good show. But here’s my plea. Don’t tell anyone you watch it. Don’t recommend someone “check it out.” And for the love of God don’t talk about how great the music is. Because all that’s serving to do is force more show-choir-ism down our throats. And once the networks think we like something, and once they think we’ll like them for giving it to us, that’s all we’re gonna get. That means more sequined vests, more jazz hands, more arrangements of Bohemian Rhapsody. If that’s what you want, you got it. As for me, I’m going to wait for the barbershop quartet to make its well-deserved comeback. Are you listening, NBC?

  1. December 14, 2009 2:11 am

    Man, now I can’t wait for the Be Sharps reunion on The Simpsons.

  2. December 14, 2009 10:37 am

    What a pity. The alternate lesson for fad-makers is that the American public love well-written, fully realized characters and amazing dialog. But, whatever. Show Choirs are easier and probably cheaper.

    • December 14, 2009 12:29 pm

      There’s nothing like watching the TV industry try to replicate something without using any of the things that make it good, is there?

  3. Jay St. Orts permalink
    December 14, 2009 11:14 am

    Mark M, you nailed it. That’d be pretty awesome!

    “For all the latest medical poop,….”


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