Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Grilled Cheesus

OK, confession to make.

I'm a little weirded out to be saying this. Really never thought I would utter it.  Little shocked that it is going to be coming out of my mouth.  Here goes:

I started watching GLEE.

Whoooo.  Man, feels good to have that off my chest.  Freeing.  Really freeing.

Last season I could never bring myself to watch. Being a stubborn Sopranos fan, I held a grudge against the show because they used "Don't Stop Believing" in their original commercials (If you don't know why that is insulting, you aren't a Sopranos fan).  Still mourning Tony's death (Yes, he's dead), it seemed inappropriate to me.

This season, the cultural exegete in me wanted to see what so many people were interested in, so the first two episodes were TIVO'd.

The Sue Sylvester & Brittany Pierce characters had me cracking up and won me over.  The character Kurt Hummel as well.  Going to be giving it a shot for a few episodes.

Last night's was titled "Grilled Cheesus," about the various character's various views on God, Jesus, religion, and church.  The episode title came from the fact one of the characters saw the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese.

I'm not going to give a play by play, scene by scene recap; it's on Hulu if you want to watch.  These were my highlights though:

  • When the Sue character tells the school counselor why she is against the religious talk
  • The way the Glee writers transformed "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was incredibly powerful
  • Every time Brittany opened her mouth was hysterical ("I wrote a book report about heart attacks once that you can give to the doctor. But I got a grade doc'd off of it because I wrote it in crayon.")
  • Mercedes' comments to Kurt by their lockers
  • The counselor's comments in her office ("God works in all kinds of mysterious ways, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't spend a lot of time trying to speak to us through sandwiches.")
  • "What if God was one of us" at the very end, when Sue said she wasn't going to try and get him in trouble
The episode was a great commentary on the diverse religious opinions in our society.  In the somewhat over-the-top way of depicting things that seems to be Glee, it was honest, it was raw, and it was indeed funny (when Brittany said, "Every time I pray I fall asleep," I busted a gut).

The opinions and feelings expressed in Grilled Cheesus were pretty true to what people I know have vulnerably communicated.  That's why I liked the episode so much: there were genuine emotions that people could resonate with.  Be it dedication or defiance, praise or pain, commitment or confusion - anyone could connect with at least one character and what they were going through.

For me, I don't assume that people believe as I do and I don't get offended when they don't.  Even though it's a TV show - I know people on this side of the screen who have been in Kurt's shoes.  His expressions of pain and his honesty of disbelief don't disturb me.  They shouldn't disturb anyone.

Didn't delete this episode.  Still chewing on it.  Probably going to watch a second time and comment again.

But in the mean time, anyone else see it?  What did you think?


Kim said...

Not a regular watcher of Glee but I've seen a few episodes. Mostly I just love the Sue Sylvester character.

Your post convinced me to watch this particular episode. I think it's really culturally relevant right now and you're right that a lot of diverse opinions are represented.

I like that it was nuanced and wasn't just about what's "good vs bad" about religion. I have to say that I really liked the counselor's talk about how things happened because of circumstances not because of God waving a magic wand (or sandwich) but she didn't say it was stupid to believe in God either.

Fav line: "Dear Grilled Cheesus, first of all, you're delicious."
Second Fav: "At the BET Awards, but not in a public school."

Also, thank you for your comment on my blog earlier

bobby moss said...

Those two lines were hilarious as well. So funny

Tim Newton said...

I just watched this episode tonight. It's the first episode of Glee I've seen, and I was impressed by the thoughtfulness the writers and actors infused into each scene. Their considerations on God and religion challenged me. Kurt's lines were so honest, like when he told the group, "I appreciate your thoughts... but I don't want your prayers." So much packed into this episode, I'll try and catch you after class tomorrow for a minute to talk about it.

mello said...

i <3 glee.

but they didn't arrange "i want to hold your hand" like that. it was done that way in "across the universe". either way, still amazing. :)