Recently I finished watching the first three seasons of Glee, followed by Mean Girls and The Graduate, and topped off with a little Freaks and Geeks. I couldn’t help but create connections where no connections actually existed and I have diagrammed them here in this venn:
Apparently I wasn’t the first person to notice that both Glee and Freaks and Geeks used McKinley High for their school name, but I didn’t realize that it was also the name used in The Wonder Years. I thought I could find a better connection between Mean Girls and Freaks and Geeks, but all I could come up with was Lizzy Caplan. I am pretty proud of the “quickly broken marriages” connection between Glee and The Graduate though since Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays) dumps both her first fiance and her first husband for Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), which is similar to Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) stealing away Elaine Robinson (Katharine Ross) from her wedding. My favorite though was the “Plastics” connection between the now famous line* in The Graduate and the name of the most popular group in Mean Girls.
*”One Word: Plastics”: The theme of an innocent and confused youth who is exploited, mis-directed, seduced (literally and figuratively) and betrayed by a corrupt, decadent, and discredited older generation (that finds its stability in “plastics”) was well understood by film audiences and captured the spirit of the times. In Mean Girls, the “Plastics” are “an exclusive group of girls led by queen bee Regina George”, who are depicted as shallow, arrogant, and thoughtless.
NOTE: One thing I forgot to include in the venn diagram is that Mean Girls and The Graduate are both movies and Glee and Freaks and Geeks are both television shows. I’m not sure that matters, but the difference in medium does affect how the story plays out. There is much less time for a story to develop in a movie, but on the other hand, sometimes simple story arcs can take seemingly way to long to reveal themselves in a television story. Freaks and Geeks didn’t even get a chance to complete their story as eighteen episodes were completed, but the series was canceled after only twelve had aired until the complete series was later released on DVD. I watched it on Netflix. And now I have to get back to work.
PPS: The last four blog posts were written during the Blizzard of 2012. #snowpocalypse #2012blizzard #indasnow