My Review of Glee... so far
You can make fun of me all you want, but I have to admit that I am a huge fan of the television show Glee . Yes, yes people, I am a Gleek and proud of it. Though some people might find it annoying and cheesy, I find it oddly entertaining. But as much as it pains me to admit, Glee is not perfect. After an outstanding first season (well, first half), Glee has officially jumped the shark. Although Glee isn’t for every audience, they have to admit that Glee has become a huge hit. Who knew that a TV show about a glee club would become such a sensation? I was hesitant at first, but I quickly fell in love with the show. The members of the glee club of McKinley High are considered to be the losers of the school (hence the L shaped symbol on the forehead you see in the cover of everything Glee). They are outcasts and that’s what drew me to the show in the first place. But the reason I like Glee isn’t because of the zillion musical numbers or the underdog storylines (although I enjoy that too), but I enjoy (enjoyed) Glee because of the characters. Glee started with a variety of characters, albeit clichéd, they were unique in their own way. If you know anything about Glee, you already know the main characters of season one. Other than the new glee teacher Will Schuester, who’s dealing with his crazy wife at home, and Sue Sylvester the coach of the Cheerios who is constantly trying to get rid of the Glee club, we have the members of New Directions (BTW, what a stupid name for a glee club!). We have the talented overachiever Rachel, who would do anything, even getting her choir teacher fired for child molestation charges, to get what she wants. And of course she is in love with the jock, captain of the football team Finn. He is pretty stupid (he believed he got a girl pregnant without even having sex), but he has a heart of gold. (Awww) Then there’s Quinn, the blonde head cheerleader who gets pregnant even though she is president of the celibacy club, and Kurt, who is dealing with the hardships of being the only openly gay student at school. And then there’s the other glee clubbers who really don’t get the spotlight very often,Mercedes the diva, Tina the weirdo, Artie who’s in a wheelchair, Puck the bully, Santana the bitch, Brittany the dumb blonde, Mike Chang the dancer and the other football player who’s just there (sorry I can never remember his name).
Like I mentioned before, the characters of Glee are awesome, but gradually these characters have deviated from their original persona. If you watch the first half of season one, you can see how the characters and their stories are clearly defined. But by the end of season one, you begin to notice great inconsistencies, plot holes and the storytelling just becomes plain awful. In this Hub I will mention a few things that have been bothering me about the show and please remember that these are my thoughts and not everyone will agree with my views.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
The Guests Stars
I’m fine with bringing a guest star every now and then (and when I say every now and then, I mean maybe once every season), but come on! It seems like every other week Glee has a new guest star. First it was Josh Groban, then Kristin Chenoweth, then Eve, Idina Menzel, Johnathan Groff, Molly Shannon, Neil Patrick Harris, Olivia Newton-John. AAAAHHH and that is just Season 1!! In Season 2, other than the usual Kristin Chenoweth (so far she has been on 3 episodes) and Jonathan Groff (10 episodes), there are guest appearances by Gwyneth Paltrow (3 episodes), John Stamos (4 episodes), Carol Burnett and Britney Spears. Enough is enough. Having guest stars doesn’t make for good storytelling. It just makes you gimmicky.
The biggest problem that Glee has is that it has no continuity. How can the writers not pay attention to the details that make the show? They may seem insignificant but these are the things that make the story seem believable. Not staying true to the story makes it seem like the writers are just phoning it in. If a regular viewer of the show notices these things and cares for them, why don’t the writers? It seems like one day the members of New Directions are losers and heroes the next. First the gleeks are bullied and slushied, and on the next episode they help the football team win the big game. Then the gleeks are losers again and then they go all Thriller and do the halftime show with the football team and everybody loves them? What is that??? Come on, make up your minds! Then there is Rachel. In one episode Rachel is best friends with everyone (how they tolerate her, is beyond my comprehension) and then they hate her again. First they hate her and don’t want her to be in the glee club and later they are begging her to come back because they can’t do it without her. Do they hate her or love her? I still don’t know. Then Rachel knows everything there is to know about Broadway and when they are in New York, she doesn’t know that Cats is no longer running. WTF!! How can Rachel not know that?? And don’t get me started on the whole Rachel/Jesse relationship. First he likes her, then he’s playing her, then he falls for her and then he breaks an egg on her head!! It just doesn’t make sense to me. Then there was that period where Quinn lived with Mercedes (for who knows how long) and after that generosity on Mercedes part, Quinn later barely even speaks to her. (What a biotch!) Then there was this whole thing where Lauren Zizes is offended when Puck dedicates the song Fat Bottomed Girls to her, but when he sings her Big Ass Heart she loves that he’s calling her fat?? By the way, how much does a mechanic make? Because I find it hard to believe that Burt Hummel is able to afford Kurt’s expensive wardrobe and that luxurious car that Mercedes was outraged enough to bust its window. Also, didn’t New Directions have money problems and couldn’t afford to go to their competitions? Then how is it that they have flashy costumes for their performances on nearly every episode and are able to create elaborate sets for when they perform in the school auditorium? For example, look at the episode The Substitute when they perform the mashup for Singing in the Rain/Umbrella. It’s raining in the stage!! (BTW, their performances in the auditorium are so much better than their competition performances.) But what really creams my corn is Brittany. She is the most inconsistent character there is. She seems spaced out one moment and then the next she’s energetic and social. You see her spacing out in her chair or standing alone in a corner and then you see her jumping around and dancing and noticeably having a brain. In one episode, she is rubbing Quinn’s belly in the hospital and then in the episode Sexy, her stupidity comes back and she believes babies come from the stork.It’s hard to believe that somebody who believes in the stork and in Santa Claus is smart enough to be able to broadcast her own web show.
Glee’s themed episodes are getting a little annoying. I get that Glee is trying to bring awareness to social issues, but sometimes it can be a little preachy and unrealistic. It is very unlikely that in the same week everyone is dealing with the same exact issues and at the end of the episode they all reach a gratifying conclusion. They have made themed episodes that deal with issues such as underage drinking, sex, religion (thanks to Grilled Cheesus), being homeless, death, sickness, weight, etc, etc. I want to watch a TV show that entertains me, not a show that’s giving me life lessons every week and trying, not intentionally (I think...), to push their beliefs on the viewers. We get that you are trying to teach lessons to the audience, but sometimes these are the wrong lessons. Like having premarital sex, not being responsible while being sexually active, having drinks with a teacher and cheating on your partner. In addition to the preachy episodes, there are also episodes with a music theme. At the beginning of the series they played random songs and it was exciting when they sang a song you liked. But now, they choose a theme for the entire episode like Madonna songs, or Britney Spears songs, or Journey songs (ughhhh) or Funk, country, songs with bad reputation, and even rejected artists. I liked how it was before when the characters sang about what they felt and sang songs that dealt with the characters individual issues. Not when they decided the theme of the week and adjusted their feelings to the songs.
Filler Episodes/Dropped Storylines
Since Glee is all about the competitions and there are 2 maybe 3 every season, between competitions the writers of Glee need to create filler episodes or episodes where there is no plot development. This is understandable, the writers can use these episodes to move forward character development and create some very entertaining episodes. But sometimes I think that maybe they have just run out of ideas and create these ridiculous plotlines that seem to come out of nowhere. In the episode Born this Way, Quinn was suddenly insecure (again) because she was losing her prom queen election to Lauren Zizes. As an answer for her insecurity the writers of Glee came up with this storyline where she used to be fat in middle school and now she’s trying to leave that life behind by being perfect all the time. An easier answer for that, and an answer that I would definitely buy, would be that she had an unplanned pregnancy and had to give up her child for adoption. But the writers of Glee came up with this ludicrous story. How about the Brainiacs club whose members included Tina, Artie, Mike and Brittany? The club came out of nowhere and was mad that no one even cared about them winning the big match. Maybe they would if it was mentioned somewhere before! Also another storyline that fits this category is Sam being homeless. It seems that the writers of Glee suddenly remembered that Sam was around and they decided to give him a story, since he was pretty much forgotten after Quinn dumped his butt. So the writers of Glee racked their brains looking for a story for him (or looked for an underdog story that wasn’t already done) and came up with Sam being homeless. No offense to the homeless, I know that this is a serious social issue and in no way am I saying that it isn’t, but this could have been the stupidest storyline in Glee so far. Where did this come from?? There was no antecedent to this problem and in no way could I have seen this coming. After these revelations and out of nowhere storylines (and after that episode was over) we can see how the purpose of filler was accomplished in the worst possible way. Everyone forgot that Sam was homeless or about the Braniacs or that Quinn used to be fat and no further remarks were made on the matter. Then why even bring it up??? And speaking of plot points never heard from again, what happened to Quinn and Puck? Puck confessed that he was in love with Quinn, but he completely forgot about her and announced that Zizes was the one for him (although their relationship makes for great comic relief). And what happened to Quinn’s promise to get even on theseason 2 finale? She just got a haircut! Was that it? A Haircut? Really?? Also Quinn had a baby, gave it up for adoption, (supposedly) lost her figure and she just brushed it off like nothing happened. Clearly this must create some sort of emotional turmoil, the writers of Glee don’t think so.
And finally, another great weakness that the show has is over focusing on certain characters and just forgetting about everyone else. They tend to focus too much on Kurt, Rachel and even the teacher Will Schuester with his marital problems, deciding whether or not he’s in love with Emma and promoting his latest album. They keep ignoring the other great characters of the show and everything they have to offer. On this second season they focused a lot (a lot) on Kurt and the whole thing with the bullying and Karofsky turning out to be gay and Kurt getting a boyfriend and winning Prom Queen. I get it Kurt is gay and is dealing with serious issues but the show isn’t called Kurt. I honestly think that the producers of Glee got so incredibly lucky that they found Blaine (Darren Criss) and they just want to put him in every episode and the only way to do that is through Kurt. I get that Blaine is the best thing that has happened to Glee (GO AVPM!) but there are other characters that needed to shine like Sam. After Blaine came into the picture the writers of Glee forgot about Sam, the lovable trouty mouthed nerd. He had a lot of potential, a potential that sadly will remained wasted since Chord Overstreet isn’t coming back next season. And what happened to Finn? He is my favorite and started as one of the main characters opposite to Rachel. Now he is just used as the love interest of whoever the current episode is focused on. Finn was dumb and funny and a great lead and now he is being used as a prop.And how about Mercedes, she is by far the greatest singer in the group and they just use her to belch out a note at the end of the song and don’t pay attention to her powerful persona. Santana is another one of my favorite characters, and although in the second season she had a “thought out” storyline, which I personally think is a copout. I liked to think that Santana was bitchy because that was her personality, a tough latina, but apparently it was because she was a lesbian and was fighting her feelings for Brittany. I don’t buy it. Santana is a fantastic singer and actress and has been underused for most of the series run. Puck also started as a great character but now he has been written off as comic relief.And although Artie, Tina and Mike are not my favorite characters they too could play a bigger part on the series. They writers of the show just have to dig a little deeper and don’t dismiss them because of laziness.
As you may have noticed by now, I am very passionate about Glee and although I started out as a huge fan I think I am slowly starting to loathe it. It isn’t because of Glee’s overall plot, because I think Glee started with the right idea at just the right time. But it’s more because I think that the show has become greedy and has started to get a huge ego and are taking the fans of the show for granted. They concentrate too much on album sales and breaking records, on winning awards, concert tours and 3D concerts and just forget about the story and what Glee is all about. Do they think that the fans aren’t bright enough to follow a storyline, that we aren’t smart enough to follow character development? Some people say that the best way to enjoy Glee is to ignore the inconsistencies and the plot holes, and just enjoy the musical numbers and the funny dialogue, but that just isn’t me. I can’t shake the feeling that they are just toying with my emotions. I am just as confused as the writers. I can’t make up my mind. Do I love Glee or do I hate it? You can decide for yourself.
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