I’m really glad that TV is back. I missed it while it was gone over the summer. But of all of the shows that I watched last year, at least one that I’m not going to give a second change this season: Glee. I meant to write about my thoughts on the show after the finale last season, but I never got around to it. I got fired up again when it started showing up on my Hulu queue again last month.
I like complaining about my favorite shows. I think it makes me feel like I’ve got a say in what happens with the show. The problem with Glee, and why I don’t actually have any hope that the show will come around, is that the rest of the world seems to think it’s going great. It’s like the more lame the show gets, the more popular it gets.
Also, did you know that this is only Glee’s second season? Despite having a four-month break and a complete gap in continuity, the “Sectionals” episode was apparently not a season finale. It kind of reminds me of how Heroes split their third season into two “volumes”. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both Glee and Heroes are cool shows turned lame. I think the network must keep the two volumes as a single season so that if you want to buy the good half on DVD, you have to pay for the lame half, too.
I really liked the first “volume” of Glee. It had interesting characters that were really well developed to let the audience care about them and their problems. It had an over-arching plot line with parallel stories happening between different characters. It dealt with some important issues that really made you think and that frequently had touching and uplifting moments. And on top of all that, it had some really good music.
Season 1.5 of Glee was like a completely different show that just hung onto the first volume’s gimmick. Not only did it lack the over-arching story line that was so cool in the first half of the season, but it complete ignored the story line that it had developed so far. It did a 180 on the romantic relationships that it had built up, and the two female characters that had driven the plot of the first half of the season, Quinn and Terri, became non-characters until the very end of the season when the writers remembered that Quinn needed to have a baby.
Even the plots of the individual episodes were shallow. The show consistently tried to create the emotionally moving moments that were great in the first half of the season, but it consistently failed to deliver. The problem is that you can’t have a whole episode of cheesy, gimmicky, juvenile moments, and then expect us to take it seriously when you have a single serious moment at the end of an episode. If you want the audience to open their hearts to your show, you really need to earn it. Plus, you need to do a better job if you’re gonna cover a U2 song, because that was seriously awful.
Of course, the second volume did try to have an over-arching plot line. It just didn’t try very hard. It did introduce Jesse and Rachel’s mom, but nothing the writers did with either character made any sense at all. They were inconsistent about the motives of the characters and didn’t develop either of them. I’m pretty sure that the whole sub-plot with Jesse dating Rachel was only in the show as an excuse to cover the song “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. (Which I admit, was awesome, but not really worth wasting my time the rest of the season to build up to single song.)
I know the reason that the writers have abandoned their attempts at making a story line. It’s the same reason that Mama Mia can make an entire show by seeing how many Abba songs they can squeeze in. People just don’t seem to care that there isn’t a plot, and they’re perfectly happy watching a show that doesn’t make any sense if the music is good.
So that’s it. I’m done with Glee. If I end up being wrong in giving up hope, and writers decide they actually do need a plot again, let me know. But I’m not gonna hold my breath.