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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Sad, Un-Gleeful Reality

Every so often a crisis occurs of such epic proportions that every possible rescue action available has to be mustered to keep the crisis from becoming a full-blown armageddon. Pres. Bush had to agree to supporting TARP to keep our economy from going over the cliff, Lindsey Lohan had to be remanded to six months of rehab to save her life, and now, the show, "Glee" is going to need an all-out rescue effort to keep it from becoming so ridiculous that it literally implodes on itself.

(darren criss)
We've always loved "Glee", and in the past, we've playfully poked fun at the bad writing, although in the same breath we said the uneven writing didn't matter, that the show was all about the music and singing. But after watching last night's episode of "Glee", we're starting to think that the writing has now actually become a serious problem for the show. There doesn't seem to be any logical storyline to follow from week to week, even though the series is supposed to take place along some kind of arc, and whole characters and plotlines come and go at will, with no explanation. But last night, the show really showed itself at a crisis point in the need for competent writing. We've known that Kurt was going to get a boyfriend at some point, and it looked like those doors might have finally opened last night when Kurt visited a rival school to check out that school's glee club and met an openly gay boy, played by actor Darren Criss. And then, suddenly, here were all these straight, masculine teen boys who were not only singing and dancing to Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream, but reveling in it. The non-glee guys in the background fist-pumping and cheering to their male compatriots' rendition of a bad, bubble-gum pop song? Really? Sorry, "Glee" producers, but in what universe are you living? There is no way in god's green earth that that scene would ever occur in the real world. Most guys in real high schools would get beaten up for just knowing who Katy Perry is. And of course, that was the overall theme of the show last night, the "Glee" take on the rash of gay-bullying that's going on in the country. So while it was great to imagine a world where teen boys, especially gay ones, are empowered to express themselves in whatever manner they wish, the scene was just so forced, and so unrealistic, that it was hard to celebrate it; we instead found ourselves squirming in discomfort wishing it would go away.

But wait, the show got worse. The other storyline with Coach Beiste being kissed by Mr. Schu, holy shit, talk about unrealistic... and creepy. Come on, Bieste has never been kissed? In the real world, we've seen people a lot worse looking than Beiste having plenty of sex. Well, actally, on second thought, some of those people had maybe never been kissed, either, but they'd certainly utilized every other orifice on their bodies for sexual gratification. It was also a little strange to think that the whole plotline revolved around the students' feeling bad for making fun of Beiste's appearance, meanwhile the show's producers named a character played by a very large woman, "Beiste"... as in Beast, get it? Because, you know, she's large. Holy shit.

But worst of all last night, the show's song performances weren't very good. The aforementioned "Teenage Dream" was okay, if you could keep from covering your eyes and cringing, and the final song by the boys, a Supremes/En Vogue mash-up was very good, but there were a lot of other song performances that just sucked. It's ironic that the show's main plotline was about "buzz kills" when the entire episode was one big, gigantic, awful killer of any and all buzzes.

(dot jones in the role of coach bieste)
The producers of "Glee" have really got to pull it together. Hire some competent writers, create a season-long arc that actually makes sense, and spend some more time thinking about the song performances for the show. Right now, "Glee" has the unmistakable feel of a show that's thrown together at the last moment week to week, without a singular, strong vision, and trust us, a show that's barely held together each week with spit and glue won't last very long. Is Sue Sylvester very far from strapping on some water skis and heading toward the shark-infested waters of the Pacific Ocean?

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