Sometimes, a good parody is what’s needed in the world.
A week ago, I had an early morning text from a friend saying that she and I could/would/should (?) mourn “Finn.” I was so confused. There was only one Finn I could think of– Finn Hudson from Glee. But I couldn’t figure out the ‘mourning’ part because surely Finn, played by Canadian actor Cory Monteith, wasn’t dead. Surely not. But of course he was. A recovering addict, Monteith died of a fatal overdose of alcohol and heroin. It’s been stupefying to think of Monteith’s death. And every time I do I think about his career defining role as Lima, Ohio’s McKinley High quarterback. Oh Finn…
I fell in love with Glee from the very first episode when it ran after the American Idol finale. That summer, I was so smitten, that I read everything I could about this show, it’s stars, and the crazy notion of creating a prime time dramedy about a high school glee club, set in the perfect midwest of Ohio. As much as I loved the show, I was so very nervous. Ryan Murphy, showrunner for Glee, was the creator of the once brilliant Nip/Tuck, another show I once adored– key word “once.” Season one of Nip/Tuck was enthralling. And from season two on Nip/Tuck became a mish-mash of plastic television akin to Jocelyn Wildenstein’s face– frightening and gross.
I feared for Glee and my fears proved not to be unwarranted. I can barely pay attention when I watch Glee now. I’ve stopped buying the music and DVDs. I continue to watch because I love a few of the characters. And now one of those characters is gone.
I did love Finn Hudson and consequently Monteith. When I went back and watched that pilot episode, the brilliance of Glee and its performers, especially Monteith, are clearly in the spotlight. Monteith’s Finn was the heart of the show, the heart of every drumbeat and high B. That first episode, and so many after, showed Monteith bringing a beautifully sincere Finn into focus. This was a kid who meant well, who had a good heart despite all of the distractions and detractors that could’ve sullied his generosity of spirit. When he reaches for the rafters in the “Don’t Stop Believin'” number you see the hope and joy of a not-so-bright, fatherless boy thinking about the future. His glee is our glee.
Damn Cory/Finn, we are going to miss you, but you will “go on and on and on and on.”
Honestly, the first time I saw the photo of Mitt Romney hitting a “Clear eye, full hearts, can’t lose” banner, I knew that someone would probably ask him to stop. There are notable instances of candidates using songs for campaign stops only to have the original artists ask them to stop. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “Jackson Browne successfully sued Arizona Sen. John McCain’s campaign in 2008 for using his song “Running On Empty,” and ’80s rock group Survivor put a stop to Newt Gingrich’s use of their hit “Eye of the Tiger” during his failed campaign bid earlier this year.”
Now Peter Berg, creator the television show Friday Night Lights, is asking the Romney/Ryan campaign to stop using the mantra of the Dillon Panthers, Lions, and Pemberton Pioneers. A link to his letter, via The Hollywood Reporter, is below. Apparently now, it’s Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t use.
UPDATE: Tami Taylor is mad too.
In my humble opinion…
Best album: ADELE’s 21 is almost too easy to name, yet I can’t help myself. If you’re looking for something other than the phenomenal force that is Adele? Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars.
Best song: Again, if you’re not up for ADELE singing “Someone Like You,” then it’s a tie between “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys and “I’ve Got This Friend” by The Civil Wars.
Best book: The Art of Fielding. I never knew I could love a shortstop so much.
Best ‘celebrity’: Cory Booker
Best documentary: With no disrespect to Steve James and The Interrupters, I was most moved by Life in a Day.
Best episode of television: “Always” from Friday Night Lights. Don’t take my word for it. Time thought the same thing.
Best film: The Tree of Life was a stunning achievement. Both epic and experimental, Terrence Malick is a master.
Best personal moment: Praying for Strangers.
Best photograph: I’ll let you choose.
Best popular culture indulgence: “Hey girl….”
Best television show: Are you kidding me? Clear eyes, full hearts….
Here we go 2012. Remember, it’s about love. It’s about compassion and grace. It’s about kindness and faith. It’s not about luck. You get what you give. This year give good.