I did not believe in Glee.
Teenagers singing harmonized versions of show tunes and pop songs I probably haven’t heard anyway? Nah.
People living in Ohio? No thanks.
Cheerleaders getting knocked up? It’s been done.
Jane Lynch is in it? Okay. Yes.
This past Thanksgiving weekend, when I was holed up in my house with a chronic sinusitis-induced sore throat, I signed up for Hulu Plus, which gives you access to the full current season of the shows they have available (they offer a 1-week free trial, so remind me to cancel it before 12/4) and decided to give Glee the old college try, as I firmly believe in not knocking it until you try it (and then knocking it mercilessly, once you have). I couldn’t watch all of Season 1 (at least not for free), so there are some major gaps in my knowledge. I don’t understand the depth of the unrequited love Mr. Schu has for Emma, the doe-eyed school guidance counselor, or what happened to Quinn’s baby (or who the father is, for that matter), and why in episode 1.21, “Funk,” it looked like Mr. Schu’s ex-wife, Terri, was going to go all Mary Kay Letourneau on Finn in the stockroom of Sheets-N-Things. But I do know this: Jane Lynch is a delicious breath of dirty, snarky, heinous air.
As Sue Sylvester, the winningest high school cheerleading coach in television history, she compensates for other character shortcomings in the show, like the totally unbelievable secretly-gay gay-hating football jock ,Karofsky, whose violent locker-shoving and generic death threat drives Kurt to transfer to the 50 percent-gay all-male Dalton Academy where a cappella group, The Warblers, has celebrity status. Other things I don’t want to believe: John Stamos is a Rocky Horror-obsessed dentist, and Coach Bieste isn’t a drag queen.
With that said, I’ve included (thanks, buddyTV) a few fine examples of Sylvesterian dialogue for those of you who were once like me, standing, scoffing, at a FOX show about a high school show choir:
“I think you should both pack up and move out of the district, unless you wanna lose your man to a mentally-ill ginger pygmy with eyes like a bush baby.”
– Sue to Terri in “Vitamin D”, re: Will’s interest in Emma
“I’m reasonably confident that you will be adding revenge to the long list of things you’re no good at, right next to being married, running a high school glee club, and finding a hair style that doesn’t make you look like a lesbian. Love you like a sistah!”
– Sue to Will in “Sectionals”
“And that young terrorist went on to become the first gay president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.”
– Sue to Principal Figgins in “Funk”
And this one, my personal favorite, which takes a minute to digest:
“That’s what one Hubert Humphrey said back in 1968 at the start of the Democratic National Convention. But then hippies put acid in everyone’s bourbon and when an updraft revealed Lady Bird Johnson’s tramp stamp and tattoos above her ovaries, Mayor Richard J. Daley became so incensed with sexual rage that he punched his own wife in the face and spent the next hour screaming “sex party” in the microphones of all three major networks.”
– Sue to Will in “Britney/Brittany”
So Jane, you’ll keep me coming back for more. As long as the writers behind this cultural phenomenon can continue to craft sentences that incorporate the words tattoo, ovary, sex party, and Democratic National Convention in reference to a high school choir club, I will continue to gleek out, and gleek out hard.