On a Tuesday night in April, millions of people will gather together for the tale of four Jewish children, each of whom embodies contemporary Jewish consciousness in a different way. The evening is filled with song, multiple narratives and insights into Jewish identity. I’m talking, of course, about the award-winning Fox television series “Glee.”
For those of you not in the know, “Glee” is the TV show of the moment. At once an escapist fantasy and the most realistic depiction of high school angst this side of Claire Danes, “Glee” is also — thanks largely to co-creator Brad Falchuk, son of the current Hadassah national president — among the most “out” Jewish shows to grace the small screen. Like the show’s gay, disabled, multiethnic and differently sized kids, what’s interesting about its Jewish characters is how their difference marks them as “other,” but, precisely as it does so, includes them in a very 2011 world in which difference is the one thing we all have in common.
I love this (read the whole thing!). And I’m totally unqualified to comment, as from a general perspective, it would be easy for many to assume that all Jewish people in America live in New York City. I know that’s wrong. I grew up near enough a synagogue, but if my only exposure was television, Glee is almost as radical with this message as it is with Kurt’s storyline.
Glee is multi-ethnic, sexually diverse, all-singing, all-dancing Ohio. Win.