Reviews: Glee

Enough is enough

I liked Glee season 1. Alright, sure, it got silly halfway through, but it was enjoyable enough on its own merits. However, when season 2 came around, I liked the first few episodes, only for it to get bad real fast. The addition of Blaine only seemed to be thrown in there to pander to the yaoi fangirls, and Kurt became bitchier and bitter more unlikeable. Soon enough the show turned into an emo soap opera. None of the characters suffered appropriate consequences doe their own actions, particularly Finn. Season 3 was just a train wreck from beginning to end with lazy writing and more Murphy masturbating over his own characters.

My biggest problem is its treatment of gay people and other minorities. As a gay man myself, I find that the depiticion of gay people as "pets" and codependent queenie bitches really is disgusting and offensive. I know Murphy is gay, but it if he thinks this is what gay youth is like all the time, he needs to think again. I fit solely into Straight Gay territory and dont't need a man to get me through life, and this is why I can stand Kurt nor Blaine. They both spend the majority of their episodes navel gazing and wanking over each other. And the treatment of disabled people is more offensive. The downs syndrome kid? How she's a "pet" and what not? Really irks me.

Thats not all, though. The show has zero continuity and seems to exist only to pander nowadays. There's plenty of Les Yay between Santana and Brittany but none of it is ever really explored in depth; the show's "topic of the week" format seems forced, and the pushing the gay agenda down people's throats is just unnecessary. Yes, even for gay old me, there's such a thing as "too gay". And the idea that the show used to be centered on the whole cast and now is just the Klaine show really is irritating.

And more importantly, do we really need any seasons outside of the third? They graduated already and the new group of kids seems just unnecessary. Also, watching Colfer and Criss attempt to play high schoolers is becoming just plain creepy when they even look older nowadays. I fear that the show has taken a path that will lead to its eventual demise, and the extraordinarily low ratings of the season as of currenty seem to be a testament to this.

Glee may as well rename itself to Gloop.

Good, Yet Bad

Let me say this first: I do like Glee. I watch it every week, and I do like the music, for the most part. It's nowhere near the worst show on TV, but far from the best.

I'll agree with the majority of fans and say the Season 1 is my favorite. Season 2, I think, started out good, but the plot started to unravel, the characters started to fall apart, and there was way too much anvil dropping. It seems like RIB has seen their mistakes with Season 2 and they're starting to fix them, although I can't say how well I think this is going to go.

One thing that annoys me about the show is that the writers keep pushing aside the underdeveloped, albeit interesting, minor characters, such as Mike, Artie, and Tina, in way of the rather bland Rachel, Finn, Will, Emma, and Sue. Kurt started out a favorite of mine, but I think he's getting way too much screen time. I used to like Mercedes, but her development in Season 3 is just... blargh. Blaine is also one of my favorites, but I think his character's been Flanderized way too much. I mean, it took Mike three seasons just to have a plotline. (And, I will say, it was excellent.)

The music, for the most part, really is pretty good, though some of the song choices I don't agree with. It is good that solos are more distributed now, although Rachel still does get a bit too many. All of the singers are at least decent, and although Cory Monteith probably still is the weakest of the cast, he has improved a lot. I wish there was more variance in the songs, as in choosing some songs that aren't oldies/pop/showtunes, just once.

Also. The GayAesops. I'm sick of them. I mean, I do understand that it's a big issue, but the amount of coverage, honestly, is too much. I also wish they would potray high school a little more realistically. As someone who also comes from a small, conservative town, I can say that high school doesn't usually work that way.

So, overall, Glee is a decent show. Not the worst out there, but really not deserving the amount of love it gets.

I Don't Get The Hype

I remember watching the pilot episode of Glee back in 2009 or so. It was okay, but it didn't say anything like "this will become an inexplicable cultural phenomenon". But here we are, years later, in a society and internet filled to the brim with an obsession with this show. And is it worth the hype? No, it's not.

First off, I could probably like the music if it wasn't just so...lifeless. I mean, you're not just taking mainstream pop songs, you're taking classics and butchering them with unnecessary inflection and sometimes autotune! You could argue that everyone has their own interpretation of a song, but in some cases, they're just being butchered beyond recognition (case in point, Bohemian Rhapsody, an empty shell of the real thing). There are good songs, but those are few and in between.

The characters...okay, I'll admit I haven't seen enough of the show to make an objective judgement about the characters, but I'll admit they have their moments. Mercedes is a real favourite, mainly cause I love sassy black girls in fiction.

What I cannot forgive about this show, however, is its treatment on Tv Tropes. The work page for this show is a disgrace to everything Tv Tropes holds dear - disorganised, filled to the brim with opinion and natter, Square Peg Round Trope EVERYWHERE, Trope Decay (and don't ask for examples, because you all know it's there), and not nearly up to the standards that Tvtropes has come to expect over the past few years. How is a troper supposed to understand what this show is about if I, someone who's actually seen the show, can barely make it past this incomprehensible mess? It looks more like a Live Journal page than something professional like you'd see in any other work on this site.

So I'll admit, I may be a victim of Hype Aversion or something or other. I was open to the premise of the show, but as it got compared to the greatest things in television, I changed my tone. Ryan Murphy's ego is too big (considering how he shit all over the final seasons of Nip Tuck, how the hell can someone make statements like he did to Kings of Leon?) to actually make a show worthy of all the hype. This show is not, and will never be, as good as the press and the internet make it out to be. Be warned.

Seasons 1 & 2: Stereotypes & Flat Characters Galore!

400 words. This will be difficult.

My main problem with the show is that its premise sets it up to be about outcasts, but then it decides to just make it about the beautiful people like every other teen drama. The main characters are football players and cheerleaders. Oh, and Rachel, who gets to be an honorary beautiful person by virtue of her being white, straight and well-abled. She's also the one who gets to have a real personality, and that personality is arrogance coupled with wangst about said arrogance and how it alienates people but she just can't help it and guys like her anyway. The girls are allowed to think she's bitchy because she's straight and therefore can't be paired up with girls.

The show defines its non-beautiful people by stereotypes. Mercedes is fat and sassy and big on R&B. Kurt is high-pitched and fixated on fashion and show-tunes. (Also of note is that Rachel's showbiz-glamor obsession comes from her two gay dads.) Artie...there are no stereotypes about wheelchaired people, so he just complains about his wheelchairness all the time. Also he's a nerd which means he wears square glasses and is on the academic challenge team and stuff. Mike Chang spends season 1 underdeveloped and season 2 fixated on his own Asian-ness. (Puck's Judiasm becomes a defining character trait once we find out he's Jewish, and upon finding out she's a lesbian Satana expresses exasperation at being asked to join the golf team and says she'll cut her hair short later in life. Spotting a trend?) Hell, even the beautiful people aren't exempt—Brittney is blond and dumb as a post.

Sue is shoehorned in and it shows, badly. I was tempted to sympathies with the showrunners, as apparently she was thrust upon them, but Inara of Firefly was also a Fox mandate (space hookers!) and she worked out fine. It's the showrunner's fault for not even trying to make her work, instead making her a cartoonish supervillain who's later added depth make her primary persona make no sense.

I have other complaints about this show, but they tend to be very episode-specific. Can't bitch about the singing, though, autotuned or not. I watch for plot and character and those are sorely lacking, the show is instead loaded with cliches, which it lampshades and then refuses to fix.

Some of those mashups are damn irritating though.

GLEE, it's okay

the jokes are top notch but the singing is my least fave part.

Why Yes This Show Is In Fact Still Awesome (So Stop Bitching Already)

I love this show. I love its mood whiplash, its ability to make me cry and laugh and sit in terror all in the same hour. I love its characters, gross stereotype deconstructions that over time moved into characters as their own right that became more then what they set out to be. I love it's epic music renditions, it's ability to take over the top ballads and trashy pop songs and transform them into something that I don't just listen to, but that I play on my MP 3 player over and over again. I love how it makes me care about these kids lives, how I want Rachel to get her dreams despite all her flaws, how I root for Kurt to find love despite his arrogance and holier-than-thou attitude. I love that people I want to slap upside the head one episode have my heart aching or my fist pumping for them in the next. Just like-wait for it- regular teenagers they can be total jerks, they make mistakes, the fall into classic traps of self esteem and popularity, but I care about their issues anyway, something that shows like Degrassi, Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights, Dawsons Creek, One Tree Hill, and 90210 always fail to do.

Was season 2 redundant, narm filled, and packed with asinine plotlines? Yes

Did I love every second of it anyway? You bet I did.

The show needs work. It started out great and lost steam, steam it's gaining back. Mistakes were made, plotlines that should have stayed dead (Finn/Quinn/Rachel) where kept going while ones that should have been central where ignored (Beth/Puck/Quinn), some just faded into nothingness (Sunshine, Dustin Gloosby) maybe for the better.

But others still shined (The Hudmels, Rachel's Dreams, Shue's and New York, Sue's slow decline from badass to failure and back again, Santana's sexuality, Klaine) while still others where there in the background keeping us grounded in reality and shameless fluff (Mike/Tina) and more tucked at our heartstrings (Kurt's father's coma, Sam's homelessness, Emma's OCD) and other kept us on the edge of our seats (Karofsky. Full Stop).

The fanbase was divided, but I think by this show's nature that will always be the case. But the end is nowhere near in sight, and nothing short of natural disaster will stop me from sitting down with a Sonic slushy in one hand every Tuesday a remote and in the other, and opening up my life to a little more joy and all that comes with it.

Glee, Season 3: Attempting to Redeem Its Mistakes

Let's face it guys: Season 2 of Glee was not as good as the first. While Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer stole the show (as per usual) season 2 was rife with Aesop Amnesia, Character Derailment, and some other things.

I was not going to watch season 3, however my sister told me it was better than season 2. Sat down, watched "The Purple Piano Project" and agreed. The following episodes were a lot better than Season 2. From what I've seen so far, we get character development, and it has stayed this way thus far. There has been no signs of Aesop Amnesia (that I can tell) and of course, we get more Klaine.

However, there are still a few things that annoy me about season 3: 1) Quinn trying to get Beth back. I suppose this was because the writers were trying to come up with a good storyline for Quinn, but Quinn is now legally unable to get Beth back. Will that fact come up? I don't know. But I hope the writers eventually realize this.

2) Mercedes' character derailment. Okay, so maybe Mercedes has gotten tired of playing nice girl, but still, she was definitely acting way OOC. We can perhaps chalk it up to Character Development, but still, it doesn't feel like the Mercedes we know and love.

Overall, Season 3 is better than Season 2, but worse than Season 1, as of yet. It gets 2 and half stars.

I Am So Tired Of This

Honestly, this show has really drained me and I can not pick up season 3. I started watching this show when it first aired as it was my duty as a theatre fan. However, I have since gotten tired of it. I am shocked that it has come this far, and I went through season 2 almost on pure duty alone. The writting is horrible. My god, the writing. Pretty much everything about it screams Cliche Storm with just about every trope from every high school tv show ever made. The show also loves to push the Gay Aesop in our faces like it's going out of style. Kurt is not even likable. Sure he gets many a Woobie scene, but for most of the first season he's an annoying Stalker With A Crush. The second season, he's in a horribly cliched, over the top Will They Or Wont They with Blaine. He's completely ukified in this relationship, even with the predatory gay tendencies he's had up until that point. Despite all of this, Kurt/Blaine is the only thing I can muster myself to care about in the show. Also the Shirtless Scenes. Finn, Mike, Puck and especially Sam are hot, and make the show worth viewing.

The other relationships in this show are also horribly cliched. I no longer care about the on again/off again with Finn/Rachael. It's boring, cliched, and takes up to much of my time. The Show also inexplicably likes to pair up everyone in the show with everyone else. I was semi-interested in the Pair The Spares of Artie/Tina but than the show just decided to break that up and pair Tina/Mike for Asian jokes. I really have no idea why. To further rub the Gay Aesop into our faces, they made Santanna gay, but again, I just couldn't muster up enough strength to care. Sam paired with Mercedes at the end of the season. Why? It makes no sense, comes out of nowhere, and is a desperate attempt at Pair The Spares that just doesn't work.

The characters are not likable for the most part. They have to many What The Hell Hero moments and it just gets tedious.

I was particularly annoyed when Sam didn't turn out to be gay. That plot would have been excellent, especially if they continued with Blaine making a love triangle. Now that would have been worth watching instead of the idiotic crap we get with everyone else's love stories. Also, now that Sam is not on the show, I don't even have his hot shirtless scenes to look forward to. I am so over this show
  • Imp
  • 23rd Oct 11
  • 26

America’s Favorite Cliché Storm

A critic is expected to present certain shades of grey. As a result, modern reviews are filled with weak, almost self-contradictory clauses of “Absolutely golden, with the following flaws” and “Terrible, but not without it’s good points”. This is a show that allows me to, for a brief moment, break that trend. A show that allows for a single pure, unambiguous reaction.

Glee sucks.

Glee sucks unrepentantly. Glee sucks in a manner so flawless and complete that one has to admire the brazenness of it. Glee sucks enough to create a singularity of bad writing and half-assed covers strong enough to pull in the couch potato hivemind. Glee sucks in a way that makes the average teen sitcom's cookie-cutter characters and heavy-handed themes appear more complex than Paradise Lost. Glee is the modern avatar of suck.

This show’s survival in the same timeslot as Lost and Community is nothing short of a dark miracle. I recommend it slightly less than Ebola.

Glee: A sign that bad writing is saved by pretty lights

Glee has everything that will attract viewers and critics: Feel good messages about tolerance and acceptance (even if they're promptly ignored by the characters an episode later), shiny backgrounds and colorful characters, and horrible covers of our greatest songs that somehow manage to sell albums.

Glee is a show that tries too hard to pose itself as a serious drama, but bad writing and cringe worthy acting tend to get in the way of that.

Too often has the show tried to give us a feel good episode (like the Fat episode, or Never Been Kissed), only for it to come off half-assed. I mean, really? The source of comedy for Coach Bieste is that she's a behemoth of a woman and it's HILARIOUS to see her in a feminine context. Then we're supposed to believe WILL of all people (who earlier in the episode outright called her a boner killer) when he tells her she's a beautiful person, no matter what?

The world of Glee is one in which characters and plot don’t need to be developed. It’s all tell and no show. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Coach Bieste because Will tells us to. He also delivers one of the episode’s many useless platitudes to cheer her up: "You are a beautiful, amazing woman whose heart is just too big for most men to stand." And then he kisses her, which is always the best response to bullying.

Also, the Character Derailment in this show is staggering. No character can get an episode to themselves without it being forgotten soon after, no matter how major that episode was to their character development. The worst of this is Sue, who spends most of her time believing Humans Are Bastards, and every time she gets an episode where they attempt to get her to mellow out, the entire episode is retconned out of existence so she can be the principle antagonist again.

I guess you could say that you watch it for the camp factor, but quite frankly, I'm not so easily amused by shiny objects that I'll watch Glee just because it's there. Degrassi it is not.

We go round and round...

Glee seemed like a great idea at the beginning, but since then it's become a trainwreck. Nobody gets any real character development, everyone kneels at the shrine of Kurt and Rachel, who I find utterly irritating and despicable, the side characters with no plots are the most interesting, the music doesn't appeal to me at all (did anyone on the production team ever consider that there are people who like music other than hip-hop, musical theatre, pop and classic rock?), and nobody ever gets called on their crap. Glee is no longer fun, and I don't think it will be unless it gets a drastic rehaul.

Glee! Live in Concert 2011

Today I was lucky enough to see the concert in Dublin. As you can guess from my opening statement this review is going to be of a very positive nature!

First of all the singing was extremely good, for the most part it was incredibly in key. In fact, I did not notice any time where they were not in key, but my sister who is a trained violinist and therefore more knowlegable on these matters said they were out of key only a few times.

The dancing was very well choreographed, and the audience went wild at the encore including Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).

Despite the sometimes unbalanced focus on particular characters in show, the show was great for giving everyone at least one performance to show off their talents!

The various sets they used were a delight; they made brilliant use of the O2 arena. There was lots of special effects including sparks, cannons with streamers in them, throwing slushies filled with (I can't remember the proper word) sparkly things, and shooting out t-shirts into the audience during Born This Way. The sets were varied, which was great. Sometimes they made it look exactly like the show; they even projected the image of the choir room and had non-singing/dancing characters watch the ones centre-stage for some of it.

I loved the little acting bits, such as when Brittany confessed her love to Blaine (obviously for humour), and then Kurt chased her off the stage. I liked the individualised touches for Dublin, such as Kurt then proceeding to drag a bag on stage and claim to Blaine he caught a leprechaun. When Blaine kneels down to look at the bag, Kurt begins to open it and then turns around suddenly and yells "Bah!" at Blaine. See, he was trying to scare... never mind. Also Mercedes' t-shirt in Born This Way said "No ginger weave", and Brittany's said "I'm with Amadan." (Amadan = stupid in Irish)

My only complaint is that I wish it had been longer! It only lasted about an hour and a half, and although there were no intervals, I was still wanting far more! But I guess that's the golden rule of theatre, Always Leave Your Audience Wanting More.

Wangsty Drama Meets Awesome Music

As somebody who grew up watching various high school shows, Glee comes off as something similar to Degrassi or Dawson's Creek. However, the relationship-centered drama is only part of the show. The rest of the show is about the group overcoming their own issues by working together. As Ryan Murphy said, "Glee is a show that shows the importance of arts in education." Music is the catalyst that brings this so-called "ragtag bunch of misfits" together. And when they sing, it's awesome.

There is also a big reality check: winning a choir contest and having good performances doesn't equal instant popularity. The show deconstructs the fantasies of people who may associate Glee with, say, High School Musical. Dating doesn't come easy. Singing out one's feelings won't change anything. In fact, it makes a situation worse. And dreams don't always come true. The biggest reality check, however, is this: High school sucks for everybody! For once, nobody is completely "perfect" or fake. It may be considered an oxymoron, but Glee may just be the most realistic interpretation of what high school is really like. Yes, it sucks, but if you have a group of friends who are all in the same boat as you, it sucks less.

Season Two: "Wait, what?"

To sum it up: I think season two lost a lot of what made the first season uniquely Glee.

The first season, despite numerous cliches and several other extensive problems, played them with the right enough mix of Narm and charm which made the show so likable in the first place. (Okay, maybe the good music helped too.) To put it in the words of a character, Glee lacks emotional depth - it does try, bless its heart, but it just fails a lot of the time - but it's talented, nobody can deny that. The non-peripheral characters in the first season were ultimately well-rounded and down to earth, and that's what made me like them.

Come the second season, all the Aesop Amnesia was rather sickening. The writing became seriously erratic, and so many characters (Finn Hudson especially) became notable for their hypocrisy and character derailment. The plot holes abounded. The continuity seriously suffered. The music was good, even better at times (although I find myself missing the vocal layers of songs like "Somebody to Love and "Don't Stop Believing." It felt the show now just had one eye on the TV ratings and the other on iTunes sales.

It's my personal opinion that season finales are representative of the entire season as a whole. "Journey" was flashy and glitzy but ultimately humane and emotional and a satisfying wrap-up to a satisfying season. "New York," on the other hand, was hit-and-miss, erratic. It had too many high points and two many low points to the point that it was nearly a headache to watch (as if the creators just thought which things would be interesting and threw those in) - which, I think, sums season two rather nicely. There were so many insights that it could be so much more, but it felt like it kept getting distracted. But I won't stop watching (despite being seriously tempted to) to see if the show can redeem itself in its third season.

Guilty Pleasure Done Right

Glee most certainly isn't the smartest show on television, and the characters are definitely aren't the most creative.

And yet, it works. I've heard of Guilty Pleasures before, but this is the first one I ever got attached to. Why? It's bright, exuburant. Something is always happening, and the characters are involved in a rapid moving web of hilarity, heartwarming, and fun.

It's true it's not realistic, and it's not deep or intellegent. But it defintely entertains, and it gets you involved. The show is tailor made to invoke emotions, and trust me, you will feel something, often many things, at the end of each episode.

And if the periods of wangst and drama are too much, don't sweat it. There's always another song to look foward to.

It's Surprisingly Good

When I first saw ads for Glee, I thought "Oh God. This is gonna be some awful trainwreck of Gossip Girl and High School Musical". However, as there haven't been many teen comedies around lately, I gave the show a chance. My predictions on how the show would be turned out to be totally wrong. While the portrayal of high school and it's characters are extremely stereotypical, it manages to make it work. The majority of the characters do have some character development beyond their stereotypes. The dialogue is hilarious and it's pretty easy to get caught up in the drama. Not to mention, the music is WONDERFUL. Even if you hate the show, you may still enjoy the music. There must be something special about the writers and the director of this show, as in the hands of anyone else, a show with the premise of Glee would be a disaster.

The show isn't completely without fault, though. The first season had some issues of leaving storylines unresolved. Like where Finn pretends to be in a wheelchair to get a job. What ever happened to that? And when Finn found out Quinn's baby wasn't his, we don't know where she went to live for several episodes. Thankfully, this hasn't been happening in season two. The show also takes the Five Token Band to near highschool textbook levels, except there's only one cripple.

Overall, Glee is a great show, but it really seems to be a "love it or hate it" type of show. It can appeal to many audiences: those who like comedy, those who like drama, and those who like musicals. Granted, this show is not a musical in the conventional sense, as it mostly uses already existing songs, and the musical numbers will either take place during a performance or in their heads. (sometimes both) The dialogue is funny, the characters, for the most part, are likable, the drama is well-done and unpredictable, and the character development is great. It's a fun show with lots of music, drama, humor, and a very talented cast.

20% Great, 80% Boring

Glee is, in my opinion, an okay show. The acting's not terrific, nor is the writing. It's not very funny and definitely didn't deserve to win an Emmy for Comedy. It's like a fusion of DeGrassi and High School Musical, trying to infuse some serious drama of the former while adding the sheer joyous cheesiness of the latter.

Most of the characters are flat, which over the course of a season could have been handled better. There's also the tendency for the show (which was kind of lampshaded in the episode "Throwdown") to shove all its minority characters to the sidelines, in both the songs and the plots. It's not so much a consolation that the showrunners seem completely aware they're brushing aside the supporting players, several of whom are more talented than the leads (Mercedes has a great set of pipes, and wheelchair-bound Artie is the best singer of all the male kids. And those two football dancers should dance more.)

Then there's the whole pregnancy/fake pregnancy arc to which I responded, "Yawn. Fast forward." Rachel gets torn about multiple boyfriends. Aack! These are some cliched high-school storylines that don't ever pay off.

The Emmy that Glee did deserve was for Jane Lynch playing Sue Sylvester. Without her, this show would be almost completely unwatchable, with a worse ratio of songs to filler than American Idol. There were a few attempts throughout the season to humanize her (boo!) but I felt they did that in order to justify her decisions during the season finale. A second breakout star is Brittany, whose few lines are like Jack Handy quotes ("Dolphins are just gay sharks.")

Finally, the singing. It's fun. It's jubilant. They do a great job with the music despite their music selection being iffy. They devoted entire episodes to Madonna and Lady Gaga, so if you're not a fan of those kinds of singers, it's going to be a tough show to listen to. Lea Michele can sing and is the only one who earns all the songs she gets to sing. The show has also done a good job of bringing in vocally talented guest stars (Neil Patrick Harris, Kristin Chenowith) because they really need the variety.

Overall, it's a show with some bright spots, but really has a lot of issues to resolve.

One hell of a good time.

Glee has numerous problems, all of which are covered extensively elsewhere. None of them stop it from being really, really fun. Yeah, the drama can be contrived, and the characters are somewhat on the flat side — both qualifications, by the way, leave it in the company of almost every sitcom ever — but the music is catchy and it has wonderfully absurd dialogue ("Not everyone has the walnuts to take on a pro-littering stance, but I will not rest until every inch of our fair state is covered in garbage"). For forty-five minutes plus commercials, it's nice to get caught up in some ridiculous conflict, sing along, and laugh. It's well-acted, it's funny, and although I had to learn to suppress my inner music-snob to appreciate this, the songs are awesome.

I watch Mad Men every Sunday, and would gladly sleep with my Joss Whedon DVD box sets under my pillow if I actually had them. In other words, I like soul-crushing depression as much as the next person. But sometimes — say Tuesdays at eight P.M., Eastern Standard Time — you just need a little Glee.