Stuff I Dislike: “Glee”

Actor Neil Patrick Harris at the Time 100 Gala...

Neil Patrick Harris: Awesome dude. (Image via Wikipedia.)

Now, don’t get me wrong: the music on Glee most of the time, is actually kinda good. I have two songs from the show on my iPod. (However, they both feature guest stars – namely, Neil Patrick Harris with Matthew Morrison on “Dream On” and Idina Menzel with her younger doppelganger Lea Michele on “I Dreamed a Dream,” so I don’t know what that says about how much I enjoy the singing abilities of the actual cast of the show.) But I can’t stand the show for two reasons: first, for when the music isn’t kinda good, and second, for the show’s constantly flimsy and, frankly, boring plot.

First of all, the music on the show is either good or god-awful. I’m talking Kidz Bop god-awful here – completely sanitized, vapid, banal performances. This isn’t a lack of talent – with folks like Morrison, Michele, and Jane Lynch, there’s enough star power to make up for the fact that Kevin McHale was in a boy band before the show began – but, it seems, a lack of heart. The Lady Gaga episode – the episode that I couldn’t get through when I tried to watch the show – and Britney Spears episode exemplified this. For the latter, it was perfectly explainable – the performances, with the exception of the final performance of “Toxic,” were redux performances of Spears’s music videos – but for the former, for me it was confusing. I mean, it’s not like there isn’t a lot to work with regarding Lady Gaga, but they performed the songs as if they were animatronic robots at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

But the fact that these theme episodes actually exists leads to my second point – the plot is second to the musical performances. The plot, to me, was boring – it was silly and campy and I don’t really enjoy either of the two in large amounts, but others do. But more importantly, it’s the musical gone topsy-turvy – instead of the musical performances leading the plot, it’s the plot being conformed to shoe-horn in the music. That’s the reason for the completely stupid “dream sequences” (by far my least-favorite television trope) in the Britney Spears episode. It seems as though it’s a show that’s not sure what it wants to be – a major song-and-dance number after another, or an actual television show with plot and character development. And that’s why I largely dislike it – and, further, the continued plaudits for the show. Sure, teenyboppers enjoy it, and sometimes it’s a fun show, but is that reason to give it a Golden Globe the past two seasons?

(Top 5 and Thursday Trivia later on tonight.)


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