Monday, May 16, 2011

A fistful of Max Adler...

I don’t really watch TV; hardly at least.  I mean, I indulge in pointless Reality TV, and while I don’t every cast a vote I do watch American Idol kind of religiously.  But, when it comes to actual television programs or series or whatever the hell they are called, I just don’t watch it.  I watched every season of ‘The Sopranos’.  I watched the first two seasons to ‘Mad Men’.  I watch some random reruns of ‘Friends’ and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, but honestly I just don’t have time to invest myself in settling down once a week to FOLLOW a particular program.  I also have this rich obsession with film (thus my blog) and so I find it hard to share my passion for the ‘big screen’ with the ‘small screen’. 

That said, have you ever watched a program and saw a performance so rich you wished it were in a film, so it could win an Oscar (or some personal award you love to lavishly decorate the underappreciated with)?  I had that feeling about James Gandolfini ever season (and nearly every episode) of ‘The Sopranos’.  I’ve recently had similar feelings towards Max Adler from ‘Glee’. 

Yes, I don’t watch TV, but I make sure to always watch ‘Glee’. 

Don’t misunderstand; I totally understand that ‘Glee’ is all sorts or ridiculous, but I can’t help but label it (arguably) the best show on television.  Even when it has absolutely no merit whatsoever, the show is NEVER uninteresting and it is ALWAYS entertaining.  Cap that off with a slew of very good performances, and you have a show that I simply can’t get enough of (and thanks to online episodes I can rewatch recent shows, like I did with ‘Prom’, whenever I want). 

But back to the real reason I’m writing this; Max Adler.  I mean, seriously…this kid is amazing.  When they started expanding David Karofsky’s storyline I was really excited because it added this incredible layer to the show (‘Never Been Kissed’ may go down in infamy as the most shocking and provocative episode of this boundary pushing show). 
With each passing episode, Max Adler enriches Karofsky’s backstory and layers this character with so much emotional depth.  Maybe it’s a personal thing, having dealt with the fear of confused emotions myself, but Karofsky (and by association Max Adler himself) is becoming the most human element of the entire show.  The way that Adler handles the character is flawless.  The bent up anger, the frustrations, the anxiety, the pain; all of it.  Watching him plead with Kurt Hummel through exasperated glances not to expose him was so genuine, and so painful to witness.  Watching him tear up on last weeks ‘Prom’ episode over the pain he caused Kurt was devastatingly real, right down to the quick recovery. 

But even in Karofsky’s less emotional moments, Adler understands how to paint him as something more than a mere cliché, a mere school bully.  You can see the scared little boy behind Karofsky’s anger infused arrogance, his threats and his cold demeanor.  You see that there is more to this story than intolerance or unwarranted hatred.  The only person Karofsky hates is himself, and Adler knows how to color his character with all the right crayons to make him three dimensional. 

Yes, I know that this is a blog about films (thus the blog title), but it’s only May (not yet Awards Season) and quite honestly, the best performance I’ve seen by anyone this year has been Max Adler.  Oh how I wish they’d just turn Karofsky’s ‘coming out’ episode into a Television Movie so that I could justify stretching the rules of my own Awards (The Fisti’s) to include Television Movies.  Then I could just have Adler the Supporting Award and be done with it!  I obviously don’t watch enough TV to warrant my own ‘Emmys’.