Ugh! Last Night’s Glee

glee12n-5-webLast night’s episode of Glee is pretty much the reason why I’m so ambivalent about this show.  There were 10 minutes in there that were actually pretty good and moving and affecting.  But it was 10 minutes that didn’t really belong to the show.  It felt like 10 minutes that could have been plucked out and put into another, better show about teenagers and worked.  But Glee has lost all good will with me, so instead of being affected or moved, I was just annoyed that the show was trying so hard.

maxresdefault891If Glee weren’t made up of a bunch of caricatures who were more concerned with their racist cats than their boyfriends; If the show didn’t have an “issue of the week” mentality; If the earnestness felt earned and true rather than cloying; If the writers hadn’t worked so hard to create an admirable portrayal of a teenager with Down Syndrome only to pull the rug out from under that portrayal for no real reason except shock value; If Glee was a better, different show, they could have made this episode mean something.  As it stands, they basically shoehorned a “shocking” event in the middle of more ridiculousness and the whole thing failed in my opinion.  This doesn’t even take into consideration the WTF of Bieste suddenly wanting to get with Will and the stupid “catfishing” of Ryder plot.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this show should stop with the earnest, cloying, “lesson of the week” structure and just focus on being about wild, well-rounded characters who burst through stereotypes and cliches to feel real.  Except that this show will never be that.  That would make too much sense.

Wrapping up: The Highs & Lows of the 2011-2012 Television Season

Now that the television season has officially ended, here are the highs & lows of the 2011-2012 season.

The Vampire Diaries wins everything this season.

High: The Vampire Diaries proves that you don’t ever have to have a slump returning for season 3 with fresh ideas, the same quick plotting and awesomeness all around.  The season finale blew my mind and proved that the writers are in complete control of their narrative and writing the show on their own terms.

Low: Despite the presence of Sarah Michelle Gellar Ringer never really seemed to get off the ground, hampered by terrible green-screen effects, slow action and terribly oblivious characters.  It is a blessing that it was cancelled. Continue reading

Fox 2012-13 Schedule

Fox made more scheduling changes than anything else.  Of course, they do only have 2 hours of primetime to schedule so there’s not a lot of room for new shows, but the new shows they have don’t look completely awful.  In fact, a couple of their mid-season shows look kind of good (The Following and The Goodwin Games especially).  They do have a few big changes, but I pretty much agree with them.

#1 The Tuesday night comedy block was something they seemed to be leaning towards this year and have committed to 100% for the fall.  I’m totally on board with this decision.  Especially because new shows Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project actually look both funny and like they will fit well with Raising Hope and New Girl as lead-ins.

#2 Moving Touch to Fridays.  First of all, I think it was actually kind of stupid to give Touch a second season seeing as that show is lame.  However, I think that putting it on Fridays and pairing it with Fringe just makes sense.  And let’s all thank whatever God spoke to Kevin Reilly and convinced him to give Fringe 13 more episodes of awesome.

#3 Outside of the fact that I think that X-Factor is totally noisy and not at all good, it makes total sense to pair it’s result show (and American Idol’s come mid season) with Glee.  I don’t know why no one had done that before.  Glee is kind of on its way out (at least it is if it’s being smart) so it could definitely use the boost of the music competition audience (because even though X-Factor didn’t do as good as was expected, it still held it’s own ratings-wise).

There’s really not too much to say though.  I’m a little disappointed that The Following and The Goodwin Games are being held til midseason but that seems like something a lot of networks are doing now.  And regardless, the Fox Tuesday comedy block is totally going to become a thing – like NBC’s Must-See Thursdays or ABC’s TGIF block from the early 90′s.  I wonder what catchy name they’re going to give it.

When Glee is good, it is very, very good

I often find myself hating Glee.  It is preachy, sugary-sweet, and uses too much auto-tune for a show that is supposedly about good singers.  However, every once in a while it creates these moments – not full blown stories that have beginnings, middles and ends, that would be too much work, but moments – that are kind of magical.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I got chills listening to Amber Riley, Lea Michelle, Chris Colfer and Naya Rivera sing this acapella rendition of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”.

Glee continues its streak of uneven episodes

I wasn't particularly moved by any of the songs last night.

After every episode of Glee I find myself questioning what I actually thought of it.  I suppose that’s a testament to its writers in a way.  I mean, if it can make me think, even a little bit, I guess that means they’re doing their job.  However, I don’t think they really want me to question whether I actually like the show or not.  Usually, I can count on the performances to at least be entertaining and enjoyable, but last night they all fell flat (save for Blain’s “Cough Syrup) and the story lines felt so manipulative that I found myself questioning, once again, what the hell the writers are thinking. Continue reading

Gripes about Glee

Oh Glee, why must you disappoint me so?

Look, I’m a pretty easy going critic when it comes to TV.  I’ll watch, and accept, bad shows for what they are and never ask them to be any different (I think my love for Hart of Dixie attests to that).  However, if a show starts out as something more, something better, and then morphs into something tedious, I will moan and groan that it has become a pale imitation of itself and rue the day I ever started to watch in the first place.  It’s the disappointment that really gets me.  I hate having my hopes raised only to have them destroyed by poor writing, bad characters or preachy speeches.  No show fits this description better than Glee.  Glee started out as something fun and funny with a bit of an edge to it and characters who were different types than we’d had on TV before.  Yet, I seem to hate myself every time I smile or find myself enjoying Glee these days and here’s why: Continue reading

Glee: Santana comes out swinging

I like that the episode started with a bang with this musical number but could not hate the Puck/Shelby relationship more.

Ugh.  Everytime I think I’m out, they pull me back in!  (I feel like I say that a lot about this show)  I was all set to start really writing off Glee and then they had to give me that brilliant “Someone Like You/Rumour Has It” mash up and combine it with a story line that was actually powerful in a lot of ways (not flawless by any means, but still powerful).  I don’t care about Sue and Burt’s campaign for congress or the Rachel/Kurt/Brittany campaign for school president.  I think the Shelby/Puck/Quinn story is borderline irresponsible, but this Santana coming out story is actually totally working for me.  It feels somewhat true to life the way that she is awakening to her sexuality.  It’s not happening overnight and she’s resisting it every step of the way.  Last night’s episode involved her throwing increasingly cruel insults at Finn until he snapped and basically outed her in front of the entire school (to be fair, they were in the middle of the hallway and it didn’t seem like all that many people were paying attention).  Eventually, the declaration made it to one of Sue and Burt’s opponents and when Santana was made aware of his campaign ad that outed her, she lost her cool and slapped Finn. Continue reading

Glee Song Preview: “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You”

I know I’ve been pretty harsh on Glee as of late and when I saw that they were covering Adele (again) during the previews for next week’s episode I was pretty pissed.  Adele is one of my favorite singers and the two songs that we saw snippets of during the preview – “Rumour Has It” and “Someone Like You” – are probably my favorite from her latest album.  I wasn’t all that impressed with the covers they did last year (“Rolling in the Deep” by Rachel and Jesse & “Turning Tables” by Gwyneth Paltrow) and this just felt like overkill; like they were sucking the bones of my favorite album dry.  But, I should have held my opinion until after I saw the performance.  First of all, it’s being done by “The Troubletones” instead of “New Directions” so it’s got fire in its belly – Amber Riley and Naya Rivera both have the roughness and emotion in their voice to really pull it off. Secondly, the dance moves are freaking awesome and I would like to learn this routine. Plus, the mash-up actually works.  Instead of stealing the souls of my favorite songs, it creates something new to love.  That’s how it should be on this show.

Glee: “The First Time” is the worst time

Artie encouraged Blaine (Darren Criss) and Rachel (Lea Michele) to have their own sexual awakenings in order to connect with their characters.

This week’s episode of Glee has gotten a lot of press attention due to the fact that it was announced that both Rachel and Finn and Blaine and Kurt would be having sex for the first time.  Teen sex is a pretty hot button issue when portrayed on TV and I think the writers went a bit too far into the “safe” column in their depiction of this momentous event.  Both couples have been together for a good stretch but while Rachel and Finn have had multiple conversations about sex, this is the first time we’ve heard Kurt and Blaine broach the topic.  I know that the writers wanted to have both couples do the deed in the same episode, but I wish there had been a bit more of a hint of where Kurt and Blaine were in their relationship before it got to this point.  The writers seem to be playing it a little safe with their portrayal of a gay teen relationship – not showing them kissing too often or even touching in a romantic way – so it was a little jarring to see them at this point.  However, in the end, both of these couples sealed the deal in an overly-romanticized, responsible way that just looked a little boring to me. Continue reading

Fox Tuesday Night Returns: New Girl, Raising Hope, Glee

I don't know who the new mulletted bullies are, but I kind of don't mind them.

Glee: I was hoping that the bad aftertaste of “Asian F” would have left my mouth by now, but it appears that it hasn’t because I found last night’s episode totally dull.  Damian McGinty from The Glee Project premiered as Rory, an Irish exchange student living with Brittany and pretending to be a leprechaun in order to win her friendship, but he didn’t really make much of an impression.  Santana and Brittany defected to Mercedes’ new all-girl show choir.  Finn tried to take a leadership role in New Directions while also vying for solos against Blaine. Puck put the moves on Shelby while trying to get closer to Beth (the student-teacher relationship has become a bit played out if you ask me.  Especially now that so many actual teachers have been jailed for having sex with their students).  And Quinn continued her quest to get Beth back by setting Shelby up to look like a bad parent.  Oh, and Kurt’s dad entered the congressional race, running against Sue.  There was a lot packed into this episode and absolutely none of it made an impression, good, bad or otherwise. Continue reading