You can finally raise up your L for Loser hand sign again: After an almost month-long absence, the one big karaoke fest that is Glee returns to Global this Wednesday with a much-anticipated block of new episodes.
Of course, if you’re the savvy Gleek — get it, Glee-geek — you weren’t exactly pining away in vain: You were Facebook-ing Fox clips to your friends on the status feed, already in the know about the music covered on this week’s episode (like Generation X’s Dancing With Myself).
You maybe even downloaded those music covers off iTunes, and perhaps even purchased last week’s release of the Glee – The Music, Volume 1 compilation.
(I bet you were also even the first to know about Calgary native Cory Monteith’s — who plays jock lead Finn — Gemini Awards presenter gig via his @Frankenteen Twitter account.)
Since Fox aired Glee’s pilot in May, it’s helped to accelerate the Gleek fandom growth with accessible behind-the-scenes online tidbits dropped on the show’s website and Twitter account (@GLEEonFOX) and, surprisingly, also took a hands-off approach to the fandom’s user-generated products.
Take for example the unique Gleek-ish “re-doing” video: YouTube-posted covers of Glee’s own out-there covers of ’80s rock anthems, current pop-charting hits, and Broadway showtunes — all complete with matching choreography.
Yale classmates Kurt Schneider and Sam Tsui’s offered their own popular take on Glee’s Don’t Stop Believing cover. The duo posted their version in June, with multiple versions of Sam singing lead and harmonies. By the fall, their re-doing vid had over a million hits and even warranted a Bonnie Hunt Show appearance.
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Long gone are the days of fansite shutdowns and ceast-and-desist letters. On MIT’s Convergence Media Consortium blog, research associate Alex Leavitt explains how the “re-doing” vid phenomenon is a win-win situation for consumer and producer.
Since Gleeks’ re-doing vids are “performative copies of the original,” the original Glee product hasn’t been threatened but rather heightened. According to Leavitt, it’s probably FOX’s “work of mouth” marketing strategy that’ll keep fans interested in between episodes.
“Fans are reading and understanding the story not by recreating situations and bending the narrative, but by reproducing the situations and scenarios in their personal lives.”
Now, more than ever, the lines between show and fan are becoming blurred.
Web watch: Glee styling
Want to emulate the Glee’s nectareal guidance councillor Emma Pilsbury’s penchants for tone-on-tone pencil skirts, blouses and cardigans? Click onto the stylish episode recap blog What Would Emma Pilsbury Wear?, which sources out the mass market retailer versions of Pilsbury's bow-neck blouses, flowered cardigans, and yup, those classic sweater guards.
Mad Twitter world
Last year saw a fictional Twitter conversation between characters of the show Mad Men; @PeggyOlsen and @FrankAdman. FOX has clearly taken note with the official character Twitter account for Glee’s coach, @S_SylvesterGLEE, popping up. Look for the fakes too, such as @CoachSylvester and @Sue_Sylvester.
– Rea McNamara writes about the on/offline statuses of niches and subcultures. Follow her on Twitter @reeraw