08 February 2011

Because it was on TV: The Case Against Glee

I don't often get a chance to watch the Teen Choice Award-winning FOX program known as Glee, but enough of a Packers high after the Big Game Sunday night drew me into one of the most terrible shows I've ever seen. This show is so ingratiatingly painful to watch, so frustrating and tepid that I could barely make it through a few minutes (I had a girl over. Also the only way I've gotten through my single episode of Grey's Anatomy). But like a good Pop Culture Rambler (I'm not bold enough to label this blog a Critic's Column) I did feel as though I shouldn't judge a show based on preconceptions, rumours or hearsay. I also don't feel like I should dismiss the program for the sole reason that it's not targeting my specific demographic. There's a fine line here though and I'm not taking excuses. I'm not the demographic for Josie and the Pussycats (2001) either but that movie ruled. It's time to really dig into what makes Glee so awful. If you take my hand on this journey, we can discover together.


Glee is probably the gayest show on television. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But the amount of homosexuality rampant in this show is ludicrous. Everyone is so gay! What kind of high school is this? It does a nice job in a sense shining some light on the plight of the homosexual community, but c'mon - High School Football players get sore because their teammates call them gay for joining Glee Club? Are they really joining Glee Club and not expecting their masculinity to take a hit? If Glee sought to challenge gender standards in an innovative and interesting way that would be one thing, but it seems to me as though the show makes a big deal over something that would very obviously happen and the characters are simply too prideful to deal with harassment effectively or coolly.

Let me peddle out of my corner here because I don't want to appear homophobic. The show just pounds you over the head with this stuff, and much of it is unjustified. There are always assholes in High School, but the characters in Glee just don't deal well with the abuse. It just seems as though all the Glee Club members have this undeserved sense of pride. None of them seem to be in on the ridiculous joke that the Starting Quarterback is also in fucking Glee Club. Instead of inspiring his teammates by rolling through the punches or laughing off the joke, he gets insanely defensive over his fellow Glee Clubbers, which creates further animosity in their High School dynamic rather than easily defusing tension. I can't believe they have that wheelchair kid play football. C'mon. You've got limitations, kid. You will never be this. Sorry.

The fact is that the show magnifies High School problems immensely. I'd rather watch a show like Freaks and Geeks that is more grounded in displaying some of the problems with being unpopular in High School. No one however, really hates the Glee Club because they're nerdy or pathetic. They hate them because they're fucking singing all day when other kids are studying their asses off to pass their Chemistry Exams. They're in everybody's face all the time. It's so irritating. It's also full of dumb sluts, really bitchy goody-two shoes and whatever the hell that is. None of these students are content with just going to class and staying quiet. They're always whining and singing and screaming for attention in everyone's face. What the hell. That's why no one likes you, go sing in the shower or car ashamedly like everyone else.

I also really dislike the format of this show. The songs seem to constantly just cover gaps in plot or fill time, which happens all the time in Musical Films or Shows, but in Glee they tend to be all Pop Songs. Their placement therefore, is really just to sell Popular Albums with little to no context with the actual storylines. The plot isn't advanced through song content, occasionally by tone, but the selections seem ridiculously arbitrary. Every now and then there's a Britney Spears Night or a Michael Jackson Night, what is this, American Idol? It's awful.

Now, you might think I've saved some love for the end, probably Jane Lynch. No way. She does a nice acting job but is far too maniacal to be really believable as a character. You can believe she's a national champion but her irrational hatred for Glee Club and every one else around her doesn't make any sense. No one is reasonable in this show. It's difficult to watch such tremendous egos bounce off each other all day without any retension. I mean, fuck, even the kids on Jersey Shore apologize to each other and make up their differences every now and then (still debating the reality of that show. Wait, no we shouldn't). The characters are cartoons.

So you can watch Glee tonight.8:00 EST. I won't be. I really can't stand this show, tho I wanted to give it a chance and then administer hopefully thoughtful criticism that would dissuade anyone else ever from watching it. I do wish there would be a good Gay Comedy Show on TV that can appeal across Sexuality Lines. Gay people need their Chappelle Show. But would watching it make us Gay? I think that's a lot of people's fear. No one's turning Black from watching Tyler Perry. But too much Glee...be careful, red-blooded America. What a ridiculous country. I still hate Glee.

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