I guess it all started after I tweeted about the most recent episode of GLEE. Now, I have friends that both love and hate GLEE. I’ve blogged about the show already so I won’t say much about it any more unless it’s used to back up my statements tonight.
I had tweeted about a scene where a big brawl breaks out when some of the students attempted to confront a bully. I was really impressed by all of them, but especially Harry Shum Jr. Could it possibly that over the past week or so I’ve developed a huge crush on him? Ok, guilty… but the actual substantial reason I was impressed, because the skill it takes to pull off a scene like that.
As a former actress myself, I know how hard it is to really get pissed off in a scene. To you people who think it’s a cinch, you try getting pissed off when there’s multiple cameras and a whole crew in your face, or when you’re on stage with an actual audience sitting in front of you. It’s harder than you think. So, in short… Harry deserved praise.
So, I tweeted my reaction to this :
“I’ve never been more proud of @iharryshum
. It takes guts to confront a bully, & to take a fall for someone else. That was outstanding. #GLEE
My friend replied saying:
” u do know none of that is real…right?”
The guy who tweeted that is an amazing guy and one of the nicest I’ve met… but my first reaction to that was “Should I be offended and upset or should I laugh it off?” The only reason I’d be offended would be because to the people who don’t know who I am, I would look like a psycho who didn’t know fantasy from reality.
Now, yes it’s true… I did get a little crazy tweeting Harry constantly. But that’s only because I’m extremely impressed at what he’s done representing the Asian American community (see previous blog for my whole Harry spiel).
Harry aside, my friend did raise a good point for me. A couple things (I’ll try to make them brief as I can)…
1) The power of willful suspension of disbelief…
To all my GLEE haters out there… listen up… I’m not entirely 100% happy with GLEE, remember? I said that in a previous blog. But when you talk to the millions of GLEEKS (yes there’s more than 12 million of us strong), they react to it… We laugh… we cry… we feel something. When people say “Glee’s a piece of garbage” then they’re reacting to it are they not? When you react to something, us folk in the entertainment industry like to call that “willful suspension of disbelief.” When the creative folks break it by obviously showing the audiences that cameras/special effects went into making the piece of art… then you react to their willful suspension of disbelief by saying it’s a piece of crap because you obviously know that it’s not real,making the story a lot less believable.. Whenever us GLEEKs really get into an episode, we laugh.. we sing.. we feel whatever emotion is being portrayed on screen. And as a brilliant Professor told me, whenever you manipulate people’s emotions… You’re set.. You’re golden… You have the power to make them believe whatever you want them to believe. For however long that piece of work is…you have them. And it’s not only Gleeks who do this, but everyone does. They return to their favorite book, because they want to relive the story again. People tune in weekly to their favorite shows, because they’re so “sucked in” that they want to know what’s going to happen.
That is a very powerful tool. And trust me this tool has been powerful enough to drive teens who are obsessed with things such as “Twilight” into thinking that it’s actually real (Yeah, you thought I was nuts. I’ve seen Twi-hard fans who think they’re vampires… I’ve seen guys lose themselves in video games, and they actually think that whatever simulation game their in is real).
2) What I’m pissed about is in these past couple of weeks when I’ve been in my full-on GLEEK mode, people have been saying, “Glee’s crap.” Okay… would like to tell me why it’s crap? Oh, you can’t? Well then I’m sorry you don’t have an opinion. The way I’ve been taught is unless you have substantial evidence to back your point up… you can’t make a valid argument. I’ve been an editor, a commentator, a critic, and an English tutor. I’ve helped people with Rogerian arguments and Rhetoric. And the one thing I’ve learned is that in order to have a balanced argument, you logically, ethically, and emotionally have to argue you statement WITH substantial evidence. So, please for the love of God… do not come to me and tell me Glee is crap anymore. Unless you make statements like “The vocals of the songs take away the original meaning of the song… The writing lacks creativity….” Then you cannot just say, GLEE is crap…
The last thing I want to say is that, no matter if you hate or love GLEE you have to agree that at least there’s a show out there with millions of people watching that actually discusses current issues… like harassment and bullying.
I’ve been a victim of bullying… To this day I distinctly remember instances where I’ve had hands around my neck. I also have vivid memories of being taunted to the point of melt-downs… It’s not cool… and so that’s why it’s a little hard for me to see it or hear about it anywhere, and I’m glad that at that least GLEE’s teaching our youth (the predominant audience) tolerance.
So, the messages I want taken away
1) Willful suspension is powerful… and even though I may seem crazy I’m just reacting how the creative team wants me to react…and if they’ve got me crying, laughing, gasping… then they’ve done their job.
2) Please, when you make an argument… frickin’ back it up… I’ve had way too many people tell me stuff without giving a reason why lately, and I’m just sick of it.
3) There is a common ground to every issue… and if you’re smart enough you’ll find it…
To every cloud there is a silver lining.. and to every story there’s more than just one side. Take time to consider all of them.