On Glee

Share Your Glee: Gleeful

By Maria Mora

In “Dream On” (1-19), former show choir superstar Bryan Ryan wanted to shut down the glee club because he thought it was setting kids up for disappointment. Do high school arts and entertainment “careers” lead to disillusionment later in life, when the big leagues get bigger and the spotlight narrows down to a select few? Maybe. A solo in high school show choir isn’t exactly a one-way ticket to the Great White Way. The thing is, we can’t define success as making it in the finicky world of show business.

The value of the arts in schools doesn’t lie in a measurable future, but in the present. High school art, theater, band, and chorus clubs give losers and outcasts a safe haven. Forget the library; the green room is where it’s at. Just look at the Burger King Kids Club—level of diversity on Glee. It seems like a clich©, but those of us who were outsiders in high school nod along with every heartbreak and laugh.

Modern kids connect through Facebook and rapid-fire text messages. Rumors travel faster than ever. Parents struggle to keep up with issues like cyber-bullying. In the digital age, it’s more important than ever to give kids a chance to engage face-to-face. The arts drag socially awkward kids away from the comforting glow of a computer screen and into the sometimes-painful heat of the spotlight.

I love that Glee presents a reality just a little skewed from our own. Instead of burrowing in online games  …

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