May 25, 2012

Fertility Free Friday: Get Your Glee On!

I have zero fertility related things to blog about, so its a perfect opportunity to take advantage of a meme many of you bloggers follow regularly. And there are so many things I could talk about, but what kept me awake last night was thinking about the show Glee. (Warning: if you watch the show and haven't finished this season, don't read this).

I admit it, I watch Glee. Not religiously - I'm not a "gleek" (worst fan nickname ever. To "gleek" is to produce a projectile spit. Dentists are often accidentally "gleeked" on). I've followed the show since the beginning and the first two seasons were a bit hokey, but so darn cute and the show had so much promise. I loved that all the incidental music was performed by an a capella group. Mr. Schuester wasn't as creepy and obnoxious back then and the story lines were a little less after-school-special than they are now. And yes, I loved the music. I am a musical freak, so Glee is sort of what high school was like in my head. I think its stupid that they cast people as capable as Lea Michelle and then autotune the crap out of them, but what can you do; American Idol is ruining any sense of what *real* vocals sound like.

I don't know when it started going downhill exactly. I mean it was never on top, it was always a quirky, odd-ball show with a niche audience. But something has changed and the quality and trajectory of the show is not what I had hoped for. First of all, it has become *way* too preachy and sanctimonious. Seems like every episode has a Public Service Announcement to make. Remember back in the 90's when family sit-coms ruled network television and now and then there was: A Very Special Episode of Full House/Family Matters/Blossom - Someone would have an eating disorder, or an abusive parent, a drug problem, or engage in *gasp* underage drinking! Imagine if *every single episode* was one of those godawful "very special episodes". That's basically what Glee has devolved into. I can understand wanting to address issues affecting teens, but...the way they are doing it is so preachy and clunky as to lead one to wonder "are these issues that teens are actually talking about or are they issues the writers *think* that teens *aught* to be talking about"? It doesn't feel true, honest, or organic at all. And for some of the PSA plots there's very little lead in for it to seem plausible.

This season the female coach, Ms. Beast, met a man, fell in love, and got married. Every interaction we ever saw with Cooter (where do they come up with these ridiculous names??), he was a sweet, adorable, smitten man. Then about 4 episodes from the end of the season he hauls off and punches Beast because she hadn't done the dishes. Uhhhhhhhhhhh, what? I believe that domestic violence is a very serious issue, no laughing matter, etc. But they made it sound like there is no way in the world to know if the man you are with could ever hurt you. Nice guys can just pop off and beat you one day with no warning. Whaaaaaa?? I'm sorry, but nothing in my 7 years of schooling in psychology and counseling *ever* led me to think that there are no warning signs for men with anger problems and the potential for domestic abuse. But that's how they presented it on the show. And I think that's just plain wrong. Plus that whole plot felt shoe-horned in and completely unnecessary, which does a serious disservice to the cause of domestic violence awareness.

The music has suffered too over the seasons. They used to write a story and then insert music that fit the plot points and emotions of the characters. Now, with many weeks being THEME WEEK on Glee, it feels like they pick the music and write stories to justify the use of that set of songs. Blech! Not to mention when the characters sing now it many times turns into some crappy mini-music video with the singers apparating from the choir room to the auditorium with full lights, costumes, and back up singers. I also finding it HI-larious that whenever New Directions is seen at a competition, their group is fleshed out with background singers who you've never seen before and will never see again.

All of this would be 100% forgiven if the show was just a *little* more self-aware. And that's not to say that it is totally unaware of itself now. Some of the best humor comes from little throw away lines the writers stick in to cheerfully poke fun at themselves. For example, after several episodes in a row where Brittany was seen but given no lines, she says to someone "I didn't talk for a couple weeks" or something like that. It was so funny to see that insider humor. There's little treasures like that scattered sparsely throughout every episode of Glee and its those nuggets of genuine humor that keep me watching. Because I *know* the show is capable of being funny and light-hearted and genuine and meaningful. Its just too bad that 9 times out of 10 they miss the mark completely.

So, any fellow Glee watchers out there? Wanna come out of the shadows and fess up to your guilty pleasure? (pleasure seems like a strong word when I spend half of every episode rolling my eyes or making prolonged "uuuuugh" sounds). Do you think that Glee is just as good as ever (or maybe was never any good at all)? Are you also getting tired of the weekly PSA's? Discuss!


  1. I've watched Glee from the start of the show and I agree that it has definitely gone down hill. In fact after the season finale I'm pretty sure that I am done watching. I have no desire to watch the Rachel Berry show in New York. The only one that really has kept my interest this season is Blaine and I felt that he was seriously short changed lately. Ah well.

    1. Yeah, I'm rather wary of the next season. How many of the graduated class will return and in what way and what new characters will they introduce... I just can't trust them to transition smoothly since they can't get much else right. I just want so badly for the show to actually *be good*!

  2. Hi! I just started reading your blog and I confess -- I'm a Glee fan too. Though I have also lost some interest in recent months. I still watch it and enjoy it, but mostly for the music. The storylines have lost their authenticity and that makes me sad because I think they had such potential to really connect with the younger demographic. Oh, well. I'm hopeful that they may bring in some new talent next season and maybe, by some miracle, it will change everything around.

  3. Oh my lord I love glee. Totally my guilty pleasure and I'm not afraid to admit it!! You make a lot of good points I hadn't thought about. But I agree it gets cheesy, and definitely lots of public service announcements. Regardless, though, I love absolutely everything about it! Just watched the finale and I can't believe it's over! I might have a problem...