This post is going to be exclusively about the TV show Glee. It’s a little bit bitter. So if you don’t watch the show, or aren’t particularly bitter, then maybe you should skip this one.
Still with me? Yay!
So I watch Glee, quite faithfully, and I even own several of the albums. But the show enrages me, because I cannot stop watching it because I adore the music, but I would like to stop watching it, because the writing SUCKS. Oh, how it sucks.
Glee is one of the top shows on TV, and it’s a major money maker because of the associated CDs and iTunes downloads. But it will never be a really great show, because the writers are doing a terrible job. There are so many dropped threads on this show, I could knit a sweater. The characters change their stripes mid-song. Any opportunity for “wacky hijinks” – which are not so wacky, after all – take the place of any opportunity for genuine punchlines that grow from character interactions.
My dear Ryan Murphy. Fix your show. Here’s what I want from you, character by character.
Rachel: Rachel is supposedly the star of this show, but her character is unlikeable and completely stagnant. You need to inject some heart here, pronto. First of all, STOP IT with the Rachel/Finn makeup/breakup crap. It’s way boring, and every single time they get together and/or break up, it feels completely out of the blue and arbitrary, so there’s no emotional reward. Time to move on.
Instead, let’s grow Rachel as a character. Her best moment all season came when she had the sing-off with potential rival Sunshine in the bathroom in the season opener, to Telephone. I want you to introduce a season-long rival for Rachel, which will both bring out her diva side (humour!) and maybe make her learn something about herself (pathos!). Remember when Rachel had the lead in the school play? And then they just totally dropped that? How about bringing that idea back, and someone else can vie for the lead, and they can compete for it?
Also, isn’t Rachel supposed to be in a million other clubs? Maybe she can have conflict there?
Something else – I want to see Rachel’s fathers become semi-regulars on this show. Although I’d love to see fantastic guest stars in the roles (Wayne Brady and Hugh Jackman!!), it would be better to cast some lesser known actors so they can become part of her everyday home life. Wouldn’t it be funny to see Rachel flounce home, dump her bad day all over her dads, then flounce off to her room, leaving them sitting there wondering what the hell they are raising? Wouldn’t it be heartwarming to see them giving her a standing ovation at every performance she ever does, ever? Wouldn’t it be kick-ass to see them kicking-ass when she runs into conflict at school? Bring them in, Ryan Murphy. Bring them in.
Finn: See above re: move on from the Finn/Rachel horror show. One of the best ideas from last season – poorly executed, but still – was the idea that Finn and Kurt could grow to be like brothers. Are they even still living together? How are they adjusting to their parents being married? I’d love to see some scenes of the two of them hanging out at home, just sharing their thoughts and details about their schools. It would help keep Kurt in the loop and give Finn some personal growth. Also, are they ever going to get back to his potential rivalry with Sam? Now that Finn has broken up with Rachel, is he back to being the most popular guy at school? Is he interested in that anymore?
Kurt: I like Kurt’s new school. Like everyone else in the world, I just adore Blaine. I love the fact that they are taking their time here, letting their relationship grow naturally. I’m not sure if I want to see them date or just sing a whole lot of duets, but either way, it’s going well. SO FAR.
They need to tie Kurt in better with the rest of the cast, though. That’s why it would be great to see him hanging out with Finn more, maybe shopping with Mercedes sometimes. Kurt and Rachel’s voices go together like chocolate and peanut butter and any opportunity for them to sing together more would be so awesome. Ooh! Maybe Rachel’s “lead in a play” storyline could be a community theatre thing instead of a school thing, and Kurt could get a part too! I am amazing.
Quinn: Where has Quinn been this season? She has no storyline and few solos. Do you remember she had a baby last season? Can we hear more from her about that than just stretch mark jokes? Is she relieved, in denial, sad sometimes? Also, is she still living with Mercedes? Or is she living with her mom? Do she and Mercedes still have a sisterhood going on? Can we see them talk to each other sometimes, then?
How is she going to handle having a new boyfriend? Now that she’s a cheerleader again, is she back in with Sue, or are they at each other’s throats? Is she popular, or still an outcast? And didn’t they mention last season that she has a sister? What does her sister think of the baby thing? The singing thing? The boyfriend thing?
SO MANY QUESTIONS. Answer a few. It won’t kill you.
Also, I like her with Sam well enough, and they both have cute voices, so please, more “falling in love” super cute duets for those two.
Mercedes: Is Mercedes still a cheerleader? I loved that storyline – it let Mercedes question who she wanted to be and what her place was in the school. Also, it led to some rocking awesome musical numbers, with Mercedes singing and the Cheerios doing amazing gymnastics in the background. So kindly return to that dropped thread before I have to hurt someone. Also, assuming Mercedes is still cheering, how is her relationship with Sue going? Maybe Mercedes can soften Sue a bit…but also, Sue could harden Mercedes a bit. Show Mercedes how a little conniving could get her ahead in Glee club, or at school in general. Mercedes and Sue in an uneasy alliance – I LOVE IT.
Mister Shue: Oh, how Will has lost his way on this show. The horrible misstep of the fake pregnancy storyline in Season 1 meant that he lost his marriage, which I think was meant to be a major source of ongoing conflict (and “wacky hijinks”) on this show. I think everyone agrees that Emma is better off with The Totally Awesome Carl, so it’s time to move on from that storyline too. Can we get Gwyneth Paltrow to come back and be a regular? No? Sigh.
I really, really want to love Will because he has a voice like pure gold honey, but man, has he ever gotten annoying. Will needs a major new storyline and it should have nothing to do with his love life. You’re writers, you think of something – maybe a professional challenge? Possible promotion to vice principal (which he would, of course, eventually turn down)? Field trip to Spain? Oooh…attractive offer from a rival school to come and teach/Glee there? In the meantime, I want to see him supporting his kids more (I never like Will more than when he’s in the principal’s office defending one of them) and acting like a father figure to them. Oh, and more Bryan Ryan couldn’t hurt, either.
Sue: Just keep on doing what you’re doing.
Puck: Just about the only thing I do like this season is Puck’s “seeing the light” moment, and decision to try to be a nicer person. I want more of that storyline, with LOTS of back sliding. And I just adore Lauren (the new heavy-set girl who has joined the club just so they can make 12 members). I love that she has a thing for Puck, and that she’s totally unafraid to blackmail him into giving her some sugar at every opportunity. It’s actually funny! On Glee! Something makes me chuckle! It really shouldn’t be THIS RARE, people. Anyway, I want a lot more of Puck at Lauren’s mercy. Hee hee.
Beiste: LOVE HER. The more Beiste, the better.
Brittany and Artie: I’m not loving them together, but I’m willing to ride it out for a while as long as you commit to it, writers. None of this on one week, off the next week crap. Make this relationship real and I’ll come around. Treat it like a fake source of “angst” and I’ll CUT YOU.
Santana: I really, really love that she is getting solos and singing more. Love her voice. I’d like to see her get in on the Puck/Lauren action, continue to build her relationship with Mercedes, and most importantly, try to cut Quinn out as head cheerleader at every opportunity. This show needs a bad girl and Santana is so bad, she’s good.
Tina: Poor, poor Tina. Jenna Ushkowitz is too talented to be so wasted in this completely unmemorable part. Her so-called relationship with Mike Chang is a non-starter. She’s such a blank slate that you could really do anything with this character and it would be fine. Maybe she’s having trouble in school, so they want her to cut out all extra-curricular activities, including Glee? Maybe she’s interested in getting the lead in Rachel’s play, creating a Tina/Rachel rivalry? Maybe she also takes dance lessons, and a big competition conflicts with Glee club? I’m sure you can think of something, writers. Well, I’m not sure you can, but do try.
Teri and Emma: Thanks, but you can go now.
Right now, the show is on notice. I’m thisclose to spending each week just fast forwarding to the songs, and not listening to the talking bits. Otherwise, it’s going to turn into an anger-making show for me, and that’s so sad, when I was one of its biggest fans last year.
Here’s what you need to do: tie up the loose threads. Carry storylines on for longer than just one episode. Stay true to your characters at all times. Build unexpected relationships between everyone. It’s time to fix this show for me, guys! It’s worth it.