Thursday, October 8, 2009

What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

If you're like me, you spend your Wednesdays from 9-10 p.m. watching Glee (if you're not like me, you still watch it, but you have a DVR, so you watch it later and without commercials). I love the singing, love the one-liners, and I'd watch Jane Lynch read "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," because I think she'd read it in a sardonic tone that would just crack me up the whole time. The relationships (all of them) are AWK-ward, but I prefer to view that as intentional, like it's a whole school of Michael Scotts. One thing has been bothering me, though. A couple weeks ago, I made the following comment over at ALOTT5MA:

I'm having trouble with the tiimeline for this show. If there's enough time passing that it's noticeable that Mr. Shuster only shows up for rehearsal once a week, where are we in the semester?

(This was referring to the "Acafellas" episode. And yes, I've misspelled "Schuester.")
Fortunately, the next week, we got an answer to exactly where we were: towards the beginning of the episode, Ken Tanaka made reference to the football team being 0-6. Assuming (generously) that it took one week for the following:
  1. Kurt joins the football team as its kicker (Monday)
  2. Kurt and Finn convince the entire football team to take dance lessons (Tuesday)
  3. The team choreographs and rehearses a dance routine to "Single Ladies" to the point of presentability (Wednesday, Thursday)
  4. The football team, with the help of their newfound dancing skills, wins their game on Friday.
Then the team has run its record to 1-6. High school football in the North generally starts the last Friday in August, so, assuming there were no bye weeks, the game took place on October 9. Finally, we have pinned down a date!
(NOTE: At ALOTT5MA, I said this game would have taken place on October 16, based on the fact that football starts the week before Labor Day. However, with the late Labor Day this year, that was not the case. This jibes with my own high school's football schedule.)

Having figured out what day it is for a specific episode, we can keep track of the chronology by estimating how long each new episode takes. Again, I want to be generous with these estimates - a lot more happens in a typical high schooler's day than most of us remember. Anyway, "The Rhodes Not Taken" begins with Rachel having quit the Glee Club to join the school play (this happened at the end of the previous episode). Let's assume that this happened on Saturday, at a weekend rehearsal. Then the episode opens at Monday's reharsal. In the course of this episode:
  1. Will talks to Emma about having found April's transcripts, then gets in touch with April.
  2. April returns to high school and meets the gang. This, obviously, couldn't happen until Tuesday.
  3. The Glee Club rehearses two songs. Along the way, April wins over the teenagers by contributing to their delinquency. This, plausibly, takes place over the course of the rest of the week. Given the number of outfit changes, this can't just be Tuesday and Wednesday. This is important, because:
  4. They perform two songs at their invitational. This, presumably, takes place on Saturday - given the previous assumption, it can't only be Thursday, and the football team (and Cheerios) would have a game on Friday. April leaves after the first song. Fortunately, Rachel has gotten fed up with Sandy Ryerson (after, what, two rehearsals? Three?), and re-joins Glee for the second song.
After this episode, I estimate the date as being October 17. We're now caught up to this week's episode, which begins with Mr. Schuester saying that sectionals are in two weeks, and that the kids have been coasting since last week, when they got the notice that their only competition would be a school for the deaf and an all-girls alternative school. I had originally given the benefit of the doubt and decided this announcement took place before the invitational, despite April's absence, but Rachel's presence (and outfit - she did re-join Glee for a day in the last episode, but quit again partway through the rehearsal) indicates that this is post-invitational, and thus we begin on October 26 at the earliest. Will then pits the boys and girls against each other in a singing competition, to be started, and I quote, "one week from today." The boys sing on Tuesday (so it was actually the 27th at the beginning of the episode), the girls sing on Wednesday, a drug scandal hits the program on Thursday. Sue Sylvester is now co-coach of the Glee Club as of, at the earliest, November 5. Two things to note from this:

  1. It is still sunny and warm in Lima, Ohio - as evidenced by none of the Cheerios wearing tights or long-sleeved shirts under their uniforms.
  2. The Ohio high school football playoffs begin on November 6. Even if the football team has won out to finish their season, they are, at best, 4-6, and not making the playoffs. Football season is over.
And that's what you've missed on Glee. Stay tuned in the following weeks, as I keep everyone up to date on the date!


Scott said...

Awesome work.

bill said...

Dates look good -- Lima Senior HS played its first game on August 28. Currently 1-4 and based on how badly they're being blown out, that lone victory must have been against an all-girls alternative deaf school.

If Pauly Shore's "Son-in-Law" can show North Dakota as sunny and warm and GREEN at Thanksgiving, I can handle a warm fall in "Glee's" Ohio.

bill said...

wasted opportunity