Science fiction takes our reality then subverts it with blatantly unrealistic ideas that are based in science, rendering them somewhat plausible. This plausibility forces us to compare the two worlds, then reconsider and question the possibilities of the world we live in.
Glee does exactly that, but in social science terms.
Finn has a speech in episode 8, “Mash-Up,” that sums up Glee’s entire social science fiction ideology:“Leaders are supposed to see something other people don’t. They can imagine a future where things are better, Like Thomas Jefferson, or that kid from the Terminator movies.
I see a future where it’s cool to be in Glee club.
Where you can play football and sing and dance, and no one gets down on you for it. Where the more different you are, the better.”
A future where things are better. Glee shows us high school and post-high school careers as we know them, but they’ve tweaked it just enough to show a place where some things are better, where the jocks and cheerleaders are friends with the nerds, the emocore girl, the wheelchair kid, the choir nerds, the divas, the gay kid. Where the pregnant girl gets support, the Spanish teacher gets to live his life to the fullest, and even Sue Sylvester has a heart.
Social science fiction. Why had I never encountered that phrase before? It’s perfect. It explains the movies that I’m willing to pay money for and the TV shows I proactively look up on YouTube. It also explains why my interest was so piqued with Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. It wasn’t just superficial diversity I was seeking, I was looking for discourse and redefinition of cultural interactions.
I highly encourage you to read the rest of Panda Press’ theory.
Now if only there wasn’t this upcoming dry spell of Glee.
Meanwhile, with several new shows waiting in the wings, a handful of incumbents will take a hiatus — most notably, “Glee,” which will go dark between Dec. 9 and April 13. (On the bright side, net execs note that “Glee” originally wasn’t even on the midseason sked that Fox unveiled in May.)
Fox better give me a hell of a lot more of how Sue Sylvester Cs it than they did in the last two episodes if they think I’m not gonna be bitter about that! (Really. I’d be more than fine with a temporary Jane Lynch Show to hold me over if all the other Glee kids just want time to rest their voices and work on their hairography.*)
* Hairography = New favorite word!