Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

My Falling Out with Gleekdom

Posted by CJ Cregg on April 28, 2010

Let's go back to the beginning

I’m feeling not so full of glee these days.  It could be that final papers and grading is looming.  It could be that my hard drive has gone to the big Apple Store in the sky along with all of my data.  Or it could be that the show Glee kind of sucks these days.

I embraced being a Gleek at first.  This is exactly the kind of sugary-toothache-sweet show that I like.  Mr. Feeny pointed out the show’s strengths in his review of the premiere, and I agreed wholeheartedly with what he had to say.  The show stuck to singing, but made it mainstream by making it not as contrived.  Songs were believable because they were in the context of auditions or rehearsals. Mr. Feeny did note that predictability could be a problem for the show, and while he is right, I feel like the show has gone too far afield.  Writers and producers have strayed from the recipe of what works.  And now my sugar toothache is starting to hurt.

Why?  Well, gee, I’m sure glad you asked.

Now, Glee seems totally contrived (in a weird, i-have-n0-idea-what’s-going-on-anymore kind of way).  The plot has virtually stagnated (and I do admit that this is not a show that was heavy on plot from the beginning) and become a vehicle for mediocre songs. As much as I liked the video for “Vogue” in the Madonna episode, did anyone else think that the WHOLE episode was just designed around some writer’s vision of a “Like a Virgin” sequence?  Nothing else happened.

And why are the Cheerios like a choir now?

And really?  Jesse St. James transferred schools to sing with Rachel?

The writers seem to be missing opportunities to really say something about high school life.  (Now granted these are lessons we’ve heard before, but they’re important.)  Like when Quinn was telling Mercedes not to feel bad about her body.  That scene was sweet and heartfelt.  And the stuff with Fin and Kurt’s dad was also sweet.  More like that, please!

I find the show’s lack of balance disturbing as well.  There is a big cast, so balancing the episodes is difficult, but in last night’s episode, Rachel didn’t say anything.  Emma wasn’t even in it.  Isn’t there a way to advance the plot in a balanced fashion so we don’t forget who some of the main characters are?

And COME ON.  Let’s get over the Kurt-Fin thing.  That shot where Kurt was lurking outside while his dad and Fin were watching football?  TOTALLY CREEPY.

And what happened to Idina Menzel and Vocal Adrenaline?  Let’s keep it focused on the important things.  Like getting her and Kristen Chenoweth to do a duet.  That might win me back.

As High School Musical taught me, stick to the stuff you know.

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4 Responses to “My Falling Out with Gleekdom”

  1. Mr. Feeny said

    First, didn’t you totally expect Mercedes, Artie and Tina to break into “Stick to the Status Quo” in the cafeteria?

    Secondly, this review is pretty spot on. I only disagree with one thing. I’m sick of Rachel. I want as little of Rachel as possible. I think that’s what makes plots stale. More independent episodes like this last one work great for me. I thought last night’s episode was superb. Great acting, emotional, beautiful songs. That surprising regret from Sue at the end (THE best character in the whole show…and maybe in any comedy).

    But, there were also big problems. Like the beating us over the head with the “home” message. WE GET IT. And the ridiculous pining of Kurt (though, again, his acting was excellent, as was his father’s).

    You put it best when you say it’s become a vehicle for mediocre songs. Everything just seems to drive towards singing a song instead of letting the song appear fluidly. And a Madonna-themed week? Is this just another hour of American Idol? Oh, and the total gaps in logic that are too abundant to mention.

    I’ll keep watching. Partly because there might be more great episodes like yesterday’s. Mostly because Neil Patrick Harris will be guest starring next month. In an episode directed by Joss Whedon.

  2. Mr. Feeny said

    And not to toot my own horn, but I went back and read my review. Wow. That was really good. Maybe the best review I’ve written. I should frame it.

  3. CJ Cregg said

    HAH. That was a good review. Well done.

  4. Katie said

    If they were going to do the Home thing, it would have been much better in this direction: http://s0.ilike.com/play#Edward+Sharpe+%26+The+Magnetic+Zeros:Home:54253579:m31382583

    I think I’m with you Feeny, that this week’s episode had everything to make a great episode, from plot to acting to the richest character development you’re going to get on Glee. In the end the problem was storytelling. It lacked fluidity, and that alone can make the rest fall apart. It’s something I’ve noticed in a lot of television and movies recently. Everything will be right, but the storytelling itself is just lackluster.

    Dear Glee,

    Pace, dialogue, transitions, exposition, etc. REALLY matter.

    Best,
    Katie

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