"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Rant: Glee

As some of you know, I do all my TV watching online. It's kind of nice. I watch the shows I want when I want and I'm not a slave to the networks' schedules. I can ignore something for ages and go back and watch when I want, or I can miss something entirely and go back and catch up whenever I feel like it.

Well, I'd gotten all caught up on the few shows I normally watch, and I was looking for something else to watch one night recently. I'd heard a lot of buzz, and though I resisted even considering it for quite a while, I finally caved and checked out this new show Glee.

One of the things that first struck me in the first episode was when I saw the license plate on the first car shown was an Ohio license plate. Well, that was interesting. We don't have many shows set in Ohio. The Drew Carey Show is the last one I can think of that was really obviously set in Ohio, and Cleveland almost doesn't even count. Sort of like Chicago doesn't really count as Illinois.

But anyway, not only was this show incidentally set in Ohio, but the characters actually talked about it. I believe someone first mentioned that it was western Ohio. Well, that caught my notice. I live in western Ohio and have for almost my entire life. Of course, they weren't talking about it in exactly positive terms. It was pretty much portrayed as a dead-end. Ok, I can accept that. I've thought the same thing.

A little further into it, they referred to the town they were living in as Lima. I know Lima, quite well. It's not exactly the tiny western Ohio town I was imagining them to be living in. Lima's almost a city, by western Ohio terms. Heck, it was the place we used to drive to when we wanted to do any real shopping or eat at any place that wasn't McDonald's. Granted, in my limited experience in high school, it felt more like a city than it does now. But still, it's not the tiny little 'burg it's portrayed as in the show.

For example, it struck me in the last episode I saw that someone mentioned there were only two obstetricians in town. That was funny, as three of my four children were delivered in Lima. And there are two HOSPITALS there. Obviously, way more than two obstetricians. They do have a TV station, but seriously, would any place be big enough to have its own TV station and only have two obstetricians?

Somehow, the image of Lima they were painting bothered me a bit. The small city definitely has its problems. It's not exactly a town of the greatest reputation. But it seems to me that if they were going to pick a real place in which to set their story, they might have gone for some accuracy. Why choose a real town, then make a fictional high school and create a completely different description for the town? Wouldn't it have been just as easy, if not easier, to say "western Ohio" to give it a solid location then make up a name for the town and create it the way they want it? I can't imagine that many viewers in Lima - if there are any left - enjoyed those references to "Lima losers." And really, the overall western Ohio theme is fairly accurate, though, of course, exaggerated and silly in its execution. The show doesn't exactly make me proud to live in western Ohio, though I found it a sort of interesting novelty to see it as a location. But I'd think Lima residents might be a little pissed off at their city's public humiliation, despite any incidental interest that might be generated by the show.

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