|Freaks and Gleeks|
One of the amazing things about growing older is that the hurts and the slights of oneâs youth donât sting any longer. As a matter of fact, in many cases, itâs downright impossible to believe that we were ever so thin-skinned, so quick to bruise and to be offended by harsh critiques or idle gossip.
Whole portions of my adolescent life had been gleefully forgotten and buried under the concerns that entwine me today. That is, until âGlee,â the Fox âdramedy,â hit the airwaves. Itâs difficult to believe that this critical powerhouse has only completed one season, because its cast, creators, and spin-offs are everywhere you look. You canât shop at a Barnes & Noble without one of its CD tie-ins wafting in the background. The Yahoo search engine homepage is constantly abuzz with updates about the prior nightâs episode, next weekâs storyline and season 2âs plot spoilers (Paul McCartney wants to be on the series, Susan Boyle is going to play a lunch lady, John Stamos will be on board as a dentist).
Awards are being heaped upon the show, and its fans (including me) are worried if success will spoil the freshman seriesâ freshness and the infectious âlittle program that couldâ attitude. I love the show âGlee,â not just because I was a high-school âoverachiever:â member of the glee club, drama club, newspaper, yearbook, booster club, French club, Honor Society (believe me, Iâm just getting warmed up)! I have an affinity for the show and its collection of misfits and outcasts, prom queens and social climbers, because my heart actually aches each time one of the maligned characters takes a great big Slushie to the face. (For the uninitiated, the schoolâs bullies and jocks terrorize the poor glee club members by throwing Slushies, full force, at them. Itâs a cold wake-up call, in every sense of the word, for the unpopular kids.)
Whatâs most amazing about âGlee,â and what makes it rise above other school-based musicals, like âDisneyâs High School Musicalâ and âFame,â is that thereâs a campy, self-aware thread running through the production. Its producer and head writer Ryan Murphy knows that setting a battle between âgoodâ and âevilâ in an Ohio high school is a tad ridiculous. He knows it; he knows we know it; and weâre all in on the joke together. (Part of the insider status comes from knowing that the fictional high school William McKinley is named after a U.S. president who was assassinated while greeting the public at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, N.Y.) Even with that realized, it is still impossible not to get caught up in the struggles of Will Schuester, the hapless choir master, and his archenemy, Sue Sylvester, the coach of the cheerleading squad, the robotic, relentless Cheerios.
The people who follow this show just donât watch it. They live it. As such, forums about âGleeâ are everywhere on the Web, on Twitter, on Facebook and on every other social media network. One of the threads that consistently catches my eye has to do with âWhere are the Glee dolls?â
I must say I agree with the posters who wonder where are the Mattel or Tonner or Jakks Pacific look-alikes? The ensemble lends itself to doll re-creations. There are the requisite good-looking guys, comely girls, sassy supporting players and earnest role models. The clothing is ripe for reproduction: from Sueâs ubiquitous tracksuits to Kurtâs fabulous designer tops and bottoms. Why hasnât this franchise been licensed and promoted?
The clever fans of âGleeâ have taken matters into their own hands and have been making their own doll doppelgangers.
But, where oh where, are the professional versions? The message boards unfurl heated debates about this topic. Some respondents fear that dolls will herald the end of this showâs âhipnessâ; others admit that they will buy two of each character (one for playing and one for displaying).
In each episode of âGlee,â the students learn a lesson from Mr. Schuester, and it very rarely has to do with the Spanish class he teaches. Instead, itâs a life lesson about self-love versus caring for others; standing up for whatâs right and doing what has to be done, even when it feels wrong. The faculty members on the show are painted as flawed folksâthey have imperfections and have made many faux pas. They are inherently human, even though they are painted with such broad strokes.
Thatâs why they would make such ideal dolls. The characters have a ârealnessâ that comes through, despite how cartoonish or contrived the circumstances might be. Thatâs essential for a well-made doll: it has to seem both alive and artful. In the case of âGlee,â there is a dream team of expected stereotypes (the confused, closeted gay boy; the plucky wheelchair-bound student who moves us weekly with his courage; the catty queen bee who really has a soft side), plus the unexpected revelations (Josh Groban will hit on anyone, and Olivia Newton-John is a bit of a bitch).
If all of us who love dolls and who love the show band together, perhaps we can get some promises or some feedback about whether or not Rachel and Finn, Puck and Quinn, Tina and Artie, are going to be converted into dolls.
Think of this blog as an episode of the show, where we, the ragtag members of the student body, learn to cooperate and to petition the powers-that-be about having our voices heard.
Sure, we canât vocalize or harmonize or do jazz hands simultaneously, but we can leave a comment asking for âGleeâ dolls to be made. Or, we can make our own versions of the cast and post them for all to see. Letâs do that now. Letâs do that for the kids of New Directions, the programâs star-making show choir.
If they can take a Slushie in the face for our youthful memories, then we can take a moment to ask for a âGleeâ doll to be made in their honor. I guarantee, a chorus of these dolls will give all of us Gleeks something to sing about.
Each member of the âGleeâ cast has his or her own defining fashion sense (top), whether itâs splashy, bright rhinestone-studded jackets, little-girl cardigan-and-skirt sets, or sportswear in every imaginable hue. Wouldnât it be a treat to deck out Mercedes and Kurt, Rachel and Quinn, in their charactersâ appropriate ensembles?
Trackback(0)TrackBack URI for this entry
The 2015 DOLLS Awards of Excellence Industryâs Choice winners (DAEs, also called the Diamond Awards) were announced at the International Doll & Teddy Bear Show in Asheville, N.C., June 6. The Industry's Choice winners will go on to become the nominee's in the Public's Choice voting, set to begin in late June.
Without further ado, here are the winners of this year's Industry's Choice Diamond Awards!
The Jones Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon one recipient per year. This award was created in 2002 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the teddy bear, with the first recipient being Steiff, a German-based plush toy company known for its high quality and prices.
The Lifetime Achievement recipient must be or have been involved in some aspect of the doll and/or teddy bear field for a minimum of 25 years. The recipient may be an individual, partnership, corporation, company, author, artist, marketer, historian or any other industry professional. Lifetime Achievement Award nominations may be made by previous recipients or members of the LAA committee.
To qualify as a nominee, entrants must meet the following criteria:
The Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to the following individuals and companies since its inception:
2003 Hildegard Gunzel
2004 Alexander Doll Company
2005 R. John Wright
2006 Wendy Lawton
2007 Virginia Turner
2008 Toy Shoppe
2010 Helen Kish
2012 Maggie Iacono
2013 Heidi Plusczok
2014 Jack Johnston
2015 Kaye Wiggs
August 8, 2014 - Blackall Associates Inc. is proud to announce the winner of its Summer Heat Photo Contest. The contest drew entries from around the world. Masterpiece Doll collectors sent in a special photo showing how their Masterpiece Dolls were enjoying the summer heat.
You havenât seen a toy show until youâve seen this one. Six buildings! Over six hundred exhibitors! Exclusively toys and dolls and childrenâs playthings on display everywhere! This is the show everyone always says they intend to visit, and now is the time to do just that. Collectors say the Chicago Toy Show really is the largest in the entire world. They are correct. Collectors say they find toys at this show that are never seen anywhere else. Correct again.
19 April 2014 â 5 October 2014
A special exhibition will take place at the Toy Worlds Museum Basle to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japanese-Swiss diplomacy and friendship.