Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gleeked Out

I had a dream that I finally made this confession. I know it's not going to boost my popularity and may come as a shock to much of America, but here it is:

I don't think I like Glee.

I can applaud the hour-long comedy format, the relief and confidence that a popular new show must give the TV industry, and the catchy and Broadway dream inspiring musical numbers. I've watched all the episodes and will probably continue, so I guess they got me. But here's what I don't like --

TIRED PLOTS. Every week the story seems like an echo of before. Will gets distracted from Glee. Glee Club almost dissolves. Rachel storms off again. Or, in a variation, the football players have to choose between Glee and football. Glee Club almost dissolves. Fin struggles with his feelings for Rachel. Ken gets jealous of Will. Glee Club almost dissolves. On and on and on. Think of some new stakes, please! We know Glee Club isn't going to be canceled, whether it's threatened by its adviser's wandering attention span, lack of members, or deficit of popularity.

Saving grace - Sectionals are coming up. A NEW STAKE! Will Glee do well at sectionals? What will threaten their success? How will they overcome it? If it wasn't for this episode, I would fear that Glee would be treading water for the rest of the season. There's no forward motion.

THE ROMANTIC STORYLINES. This is my biggest problem with Glee. Why in the world is your strongest romantic pairing between a guidance counselor and a MARRIED man? No matter how much I like Emma - and she's one of my favs - I absolutely cannot root for her and Will. Sorry. I don't find infidelity attractive. I don't really care if it's clear that Will and Terri aren't right for each other. You dance with the one who brought you. And you stick with your wedding vows!

My prediction on how they're going to work this out - You can't have Will leave Terri for Emma. No one likes a home wrecker. He has to break up with Terri for reasons independent of Emma. The baby secret or some other unforgivable fault of Terri's will severe Will from his wife. There will be no marital counseling, either. This may not happen for a while, since you have to keep your romantic tension going as long as possible. But seriously, Emma - don't take your married crush wedding dress shopping with you. And Will? So much for "discouraging" her.

I have the same problems with Quinn-Fin-Rachel, but I find Fin less morally delinquent in his emotional confusion. But here's my biggest question about this romantic triangles - why is the girl the boy with such a shrew? I learned that the strongest choice you can make as a writer is to present your character with two equal choices - equally bad or equally good. So why are Terri and Quinn such controlling, love-sucking characters? Wouldn't the better, more conflicted choice be to make them just as attractive as their romantic rivals? Then it wouldn't be just a moral choice for Will or Fin. Terri tries, sometimes. She's just an idiot. I'd like to see Quinn act like she loves her boyfriend. Then her whole dilemma of "I love my boyfriend but I'm carrying someone else's baby which he thinks is his or he'd probably leave me" would be so much more interesting.

Sue Sylvester is the best part of the show. My favourite episode was when she and Will had joint control over Glee. Probably because there was a lot of her and none of Emma.

Look, the micro writing of Glee is great. I'm still watching it, aren't I? But the broad brush strokes? I've started to doubt. And yes, I love the musical numbers. But how much of a risk was that? Let's take songs everyone already loves and add some flashy choreography.

Glee, prove to me that you're more than a morally confused, wheel-spinning show ripping off the success of other artists. And I hope New Directions kicks butt at sectionals.

1 comment:

Liza said...

I think they started to show Quinn in a different like in the last episode (Like when she sang "Keep me Hangin' On" by Diana Ross) but I have to agree about the romantic plotlines, I've experienced enough infidelity in my life to be disgusted by the idea that Will & Emma are carrying on an emotional affair. But maybe the point of the show is to make us angry and talk about it!