(2015 Comment: Musicals are still garbage.)
Let me set the scene: It’s a week-night and you’re at home, ass firmly planted on the couch; remote’s within reach, watching a bit of television. Nary a thing in the world could interrupt it, save for a nuclear war. You haven’t really moved in quite a while as the content you’re consuming has you so engrossed that you can’t leave the couch. Not that you wanted to anyway.
As you flick through the channels, you notice that one of your favourite shows has come on. It’s as if it was meant to be! You place the remote back down and chill out further more. The television is flickering with various light patterns and noises coming from it’s general direction. You sit there watching, eyes open with blinking at critical intervals only. A god damn truck could drive through the back of your house and your daze still wouldn’t be broken at this point.
All of a sudden something changes in the room. As if the entire Earth shifted it’s lean to another direction in one swift manoeuvre. Through the haze of light and sound coming from your television a distinct pattern reveals itself. A pattern that you think you’ve heard before, but know for certain to be different from the last. A pattern that takes a few seconds to filter through your minds zombie like mindset. Shortly you realize what’s happening.
What a pile of shit.
Then a freight train comes straight out of your television and runs you over. Dead.
Long wound-up stories with abrupt endings aside, I don’t watch Oprah and I certainly don’t watch Glee but that clip should feel just as horrible to fans of Oprah as it would to fans of any other show with inappropriate musical performances. If you played that video you would have gotten exactly the same gut wrenching feeling as you would if they started busting out musical numbers on an episode of ‘Lie to Me’ or whatever horrible shows you people watch nowadays.
There’s a certain awkwardness to inappropriate musical performances that just can’t be imitated anywhere else. I find I suffer from a certain level of depression and frustration when the producers behind my favourite shows decide to waste an entire week of my waiting for another instalment, just to screw me with a musical show. Fortunately most of my favourite shows don’t do musical episodes, but when they do I’m almost inconsolable.
To me those episodes feel like, “I really enjoy these characters!… OH NO WHAT ARE THEY DOING”, particularly when the cast can’t even sing. It feels like a forced extraction of my ear drums with a coat hanger. There’s something inherently repulsive about singing and musical performances, but I just can’t nail down what it is. Could it be my fear of public performance? It’s all well and good to ghost write for someone with talent at something, but entirely another to actually perform it yourself. I guess I’ll never know.
The standard ‘Webster Dictionary’ version of the Musical however would be defined as a theatrical performance, composed entirely of songs to express a story. Generally a love story – god knows I can’t stand those either – but often about anything. I’m not saying that the people that star in such performances aren’t talented, certainly they are, but I’ll be stuffed if I’m going to sit there and endure anything of the sort. I’d rather tear my fingernails out with pliers.
When I see an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ that’s comprised entirely of songs I turn it off straight up, because I just know the songs are going to be awkward, family value oriented and just generally shitty (just like ‘The Simpsons’ itself now). Other musicals are no different. I’m so repulsed by people singing awkwardly to, and in-front of one another, that I just can’t bare to watch and won’t if I have an option. Musicals to me are on the same level as classical music and ‘country and western’ oriented films – the most awful of the awful. The fact someone has made an excruciating prime-time television series, the entirety of which is a musical, really takes to the hairs on my skin with a meat cleaver. Glee basically sums up everything I hate about them in one convenient series.
The problem now being everyone is going to try and imitate it and… revive the musical from its deathbed. Here’s hoping that fad doesn’t last long.