Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

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

Glee’s Constant Lack of Attention

Posted by Mr. Feeny on June 11, 2010

Not attention paid TO it, of course. Gleeks are taking over the world. It’s becoming a genuine cult. The problem is the  constant lack of attention paid BY it. Attention to detail. All season long, they’ve just brushed over or past things because it’d be too hard to explain. The finale was pretty much just a confluence of these problems. Problems that drove me crazy, mostly because they made no sense. And the writers seem to just shrug and say “We’re fun and occasionally deep. Who cares about annoying facts and logic. You know you love us!”

Really, it’s laziness. The writers seem to scoff at continuity because it gets in the way of the story they want to tell that week. They’re trying to tell 22 different stories and connect them inside one show. Larger ideas and premises don’t really matter, just the week’s event. That’s fine, if you’re up front with that. But they try to make it a soap opera, meaning everything is supposed to connect. And they’re failing.

They’re a procedural stuck inside a serial. We need a name for that. Like, procederial. But I think people would just think I can’t spell.

Some might think these arguments are pointless. But, I’d respond with this: a) look at the sheer number of problems in one episode. And I’m sure I’ve missed some. That’s not incidental. b) This is just the continuation of a pattern of not caring, not having a gameplan, not respecting the audience, and not understanding what they’re doing. That creates problems throughout the show. I guarantee that if they were more consistent (not meticulous) with details, this show would have less critics and overall be more enjoyable for everyone.

1) Timeline — It’s 9 months since they started Glee Club, and Quinn is 8 months pregnant. Now, I’m not an expert on these things, but don’t girl usually not realize they’re pregnant until they’re a month along at least? So, that would put the fourth episode of the series two months into the school year. That seems unlikely. The glee club did not seem like they were working together for two months at that point.

2) Logic — There are four judges on the panel. Sue Sylvester has it out for the New Directions. So they all give up and are sure they’ll lose. I can understand Brittany thinking that…but how could the entire club? All they have to do is count. Unless there are only two judges, they can still win. Just perform great and convince the other two judges you were best. But wait, there are FOUR judges?! Even better. Your odds just went up. So…why are you all packing it in? And why is Schuester letting them without pointing this out. Or Miss Competitive herself, Rachel. The writers wanted a part of the episode where they all give up. Nevermind that it doesn’t make sense. The writers want it, so they put it in.

3) The Aborted Arc — So, just last week, the key to winning Regionals was funk music. It’s the only thing Vocal Adrenaline couldn’t dc. And they were scared stiff. So, it makes sense that the VERY NEXT WEEK, that’s completely been forgotten. Not even a mention of funk music. Um, I thought that was your big weapon to win the competition. I think that’s stupid, but they never gave a reason for not doing funk. I’m fine with them not doing it, but explain why. As it is, they just abandoned it. Another aborted arc. The writers wanted to showcase funk music in an episode, and they decided to create a reason for doing it. But then they immediately dropped the premise in the next episode. They don’t care. And they’re arrogant enough to think you won’t either. And most of you don’t, so you’re playing right into their hands.

4) Competition Structure — So, there apparently isn’t a “State” level to this competition. OK, that’s fine. But, if that’s the case, wouldn’t Vocal Adrenaline and New Directions HAVE to be in the same Sectional? How in the world could only three teams be in a section from Ohio, yet there’s another Ohio Sectional that goes to the Midwest Regional. Are we to assume there are only 6 or so show choirs in that entire state? But no show choirs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, etc??? Since there apparently were only three sectionals in the entire Midwest. So, 9 show choirs in the Midwest. That makes sense.

And, how is there a sectional in May? When is there time for State? Once again, the writers wanted Quinn to give birth during the season finale, and there wasn’t enough time to have Regionals AND State this season, so they had to rush it. They put the individual episode over the series. There’s no big picture thinking in that writer’s room.

5) Realism — I’m not looking for drama. All musicals take liberties with how people suddenly can sing songs. But, Glee was originally set up as more mainstream. Songs were only going to be sung in performance setting. If that’s the case, you need time to rehearse said song. They’ve spent 9 months rehearsing numbers. And in the 11th hour, with less than a week to go, they decide to sing a completely new medley of songs? The writers didn’t want to repeat, so they just had them start fresh. Works for their soundtrack sales. But in real life, it makes no sense. What were the last nine months for? At least at Sectionals, they were forced into doing new numbers when their set list was stolen. But even that lacked logic. Why not use one of your other 30 prepared pieces? How did you learn those songs in a day? Actually, maybe that was worse than this.

6) Flash over Substance — Sure, the Bohemian Rhapsody number was fun and well done. And its juxtaposition with Quinn giving birth was interesting. But it didn’t make sense. How do the lyrics match up with that other scene at all? The words are completely pointless…”Nothing really matters to me” as Quinn and Puck are falling in love with their baby for the first time. What?! There were even points where they could have made it work, but didn’t. For instance, “I see a little silhouette of a man” would be great with the doctor seeing the baby’s head. But that didn’t happen.

7) Simple Character Motivation — Why in the world would the 2nd place team (out of 3) be excited? They were hooting and hollering and jumping up and down. They lost. They can smile so not to seem sore losers, but to go crazy? Complete lack of attention to detail.

8 ) Simple Math — So, Sue voted New Directions first. And, it seemed like Josh Groban was going to as well. So…how did they lose? Not even place? I guess Groban just suddenly changed his mind for no reason. Great.

I’ll tell you what worked, though. As it has all season, Jane Lynch. Once again, Sue Sylvester showed amazing compassion and understanding when forced to. Just the simple line “they’re just kids” suddenly made her likeable. And while they railed into her, she went from powerful to pathetic, and we also felt sorry for her. That character has been fantastic all season.  And, for a good portion of the year, Matthew Morrison has been very solid. In this finale, he showed great emotion, crying in the car and enjoying his kids’ performance from backstage, especially. Emma’s fit at the end. Quinn’s statement that Mr. Schuester is like his surrogate father. Pure, honest moments. So, there are glimmers of the writers being able to do the right thing.

But hey, there’s a lot of singing and clever jokes and bright colors. That’s all they need, right?

(admittedly, I do love the singing and the big guest stars and the jokes. That’s enough to keep me watching, but I can’t say I actually like the show).


3 Responses to “Glee’s Constant Lack of Attention”

  1. Skate said

    1) The real thing that bothered me about the baby was for most of the series she did not even have a baby bump or it would disappear during songs.

    2) Even though there were four judges, having one judge on there that is out to destroy you would still be enough to depress people. She could have influenced the other judges or scored them low enough to prevent them from winning. (Though apparently there isn’t a scoring system, it is a ballot system.)

    3) It irritated me to no end that the aborted the kryptonite story line. What also bothers me is that you think it was punk. It is funk. Funk is their weakness not punk.

    4) I think what will really bother you is that in future seasons the writers will start to add those portions in.

    5) It does have to keep everything fresh. They cannot continue to have the same songs in over and over, there is no way a show could survive doing that. I do wish though that the writers would allude to them working on other songs instead of just randomly singing and dancing to new ones.

    6) I think the song worked for the most part. You are right that they miss out on doing a lot.

    7) Didn’t second place advance as well? I think that would be motivation to celebrate. If New Directions placed, I am sure they would have celebrated. Is is disappointing to lose? Sure, but getting second place and advancing is celebratory.

    8) I did the math in my head over and over, it bugged me. There had to be a change of mind in the room for it to have worked out the way it did. New Directions would have scored at least 8; Rhapsody could have scored 9 but that would have meant Oral scored 7. It did not work out that way at all.

    I like the show. It provides me entertainment and I want to see what happens next. There are things that bother me, but I enjoy the show enough that it doesn’t stop me from watching.

  2. Mr. Feeny said

    1) Good point, though first time pregnancies usually don’t show as much, if I recall.

    2) You think that would have stopped Rachel? Not a chance.

    3) Thanks for pointing the funk/punk thing out. I guess they’re just one in the same for me.

    4)I don’t understand this comment. It wouldn’t annoy me at all if they explained the competition structure. That would clear things up for me.

    5) That’s the problem with the show’s whole premise. No show choir would work on 40 songs and then suddenly use a different one the week of the show. Obviously, the episodes would get stale that way. So, they need to either have less songs, give a reason why they can’t use that song that they just performed, or have songs that aren’t performance-based…just breaking into song instead of rehearsed numbers.

    6) How did it work out? Just because it’s an emotional song and it was an emotional scene? That doesn’t cut it. Why not just Beethoven’s 5th or We Didn’t Start the Fire if they just want dramatic music? Wouldn’t have made any less sense.

    7) I didn’t realize second place advances too. Are you sure? I thought the thing about placing was just to show that they earned some sort of respect.

    8) Yup.

    Thanks for commenting. This show is one of the most over-hyped ever. It should basically be watched like you watch cartoons. Just for simple pleasure, not for quality. So, when I hear they’re getting nominations for awards left and right, it’s frustratingly undeserved, hence my rants.

  3. CJ Cregg said

    Great post, Mr. Feeny. The biggest ones that were bugging me throughout the finale was the new songs that they hadn’t rehearsed (or #5).

    I agree with you on all these, but I think (and I have no idea why) that I just enjoy the show more than you do. 🙂

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