Diatribe: Missing The Old “Glee”.
I’m afraid that one of my favorite television shows from the last few years, FOX Television’s Glee, has jumped the shark. In its first couple of seasons, I found it wildly entertaining and filled with characters that I could care about facing real problems like actual high school students. Sure, there were fantasy scenes and performances the likes of which might not happen in the average public school and certainly not on any realistic budget, but more often than not each episode brought a lump to my throat or a tear to my eye.
Since the majority of the original cast has graduated from McKinley High, this Gone are the days of the heart-to-heart conversations between Kurt Hummel and his father. The puppy love enjoyed by Rachel and Finn is no more. Even the glorious voice of Mercedes is no longer featured in each episode. The returns of Santana and Mike Chang are convoluted and unbelievable and appear to simply happen so that they can sing in group numbers. Quinn Fabray has mysteriously disappeared.
Some new characters, some charmingly talented and others not-so-much, have been added and a silly subplot taking Rachel and Kurt to New York City does little but allow Kate Hudson to sing and dance. Sue Sylvester has become an unbelievable tyrant who’s real-life alter ego would surely be sent to prison.
For me, this week’s episode hit an all-time low. Featuring the music from Grease, the New Directions focused on relationship closures, Mr. Shue’s farewell and weight problems. One particularly nasty girl, jealous of the female lead, sabotaged the star’s wardrobe so that she would think she was gaining weight. While I’m certain that this plot point was intended to focus on the dangers of eating disorders and, the episode became (in my mind) a How-To-Make-Yourself-Thinner-By-Throwing-Up-And-Taking-Laxatives tutorial. There was a scene that included an actual demonstration of how to stick your fingers down your throat to make yourself vomit. I was appalled.
I miss the days of Quinn and Puckerman … of Kurt and the football team singing “Single Ladies” … the days when the show was about the Glee Club and how a tightly knit group of slushee-faced outcasts could come together in the choir room and be happy, beautiful and talented friends. I fear this particular episode was merely a commercial intended to sell “Glease” music in time for Christmas.
I miss the old Glee … the one that got all the Emmy nominations and awards, inspired young singers across the nation, encouraged families to have frank discussions about uncomfortable topics and made millions of people tune in to see what happens next.
Are you still a Gleek?
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