Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Open Dear John Letter to Glee

Dear Glee,

I won't beat around the bush: we're breaking up.

I was so excited for you in the beginning.  I first met you in spring of 2008, I read a script of the pilot courtesy of my friend Bob.  Believe it or not, Sue Sylvester wasn't even a character in it!  Even when Bob didn't get the role, we were still awaiting you with bated breath.  "This show is going to be huge," I said.

And you were.  Despite some decidedly silly plotlines which shall remain nameless (*cough* fakepregnancy *cough*), to paraphrase Damn Yankees, you had heart.  Miles and miles and miles o' heart.  And some things you were hitting on the mark.  A nerdy, insecure girl who wasn't nerdy and insecure because she had glasses and liked math (like every other nerd cliche), but an obsession with musical theatre and a whole lot of other issues.  Two friends of the same sex who admitted they experimented sexually with one another, as many real teens do.  A gay kid struggling with coming out, but not with his rough-around-the-edges father, who loved and accepted him all along.  I'm STILL getting tears in  my eyes thinking about it!

Also, the talent!  Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison, two performers I'd enjoyed for years thanks to OBC's (Original Broadway Cast recordings for the cooler-than-I) and YouTube, finally getting their due in exposure and paychecks way better than the stage could provide.  Dianna Agron, able to handle a difficult pregnancy storyline while always looking gorgeous.  Heather Morris, funny with one-liners and fierce with choreography.  And Mike O'Malley, who'd been languishing in dumb sitcoms, in a dramatic and emotional turn that always, always felt real.

And then season 2 happened.

True to my prediction, you DID become huge, Glee.  Huger than I ever expected, blowing up iTunes, selling DVD's like hotcakes, and going on a tour that was attended by people of every age.  And I think it went to your head.

Granted, there have been some fun episodes this season.  I loved "Duets," and "Sectionals" had a season 1 feel about it, in that it actually cared about the consistency of the characters--plus it showcased players who don't get to sing quite as much.  I also appreciated the additions of Sam and Blaine, in more ways than one.  Dayum.

But the inconsistency!  Oh, the inconsistency!

Just as I had to eventually let go of my ex because I couldn't take the emotional ups-and-downs, I can't invest my time and energy with a show so incredibly frustrating.  To wit: why does Terri only pop up once every seven episodes?  Why is Mr. Schu now just a douche on the sidelines 93% of the time?  Am I really supposed to believe Kurt will go back to McKinley, when I've never known a bullied kid to return to the scene of the bullying once he/she has escaped?  And just when did Rachel change from a relatable chick who, while sometimes annoying, just wanted to be understood to a shrill harpy who sent her rival to a crackhouse?

(Because I still care for you, Glee, we will not begin to discuss the abominable Britney Spears butt-licking, the Rocky Horror that was only rocky-horrifying in that a GIRL played Frank N. Furter, and the terrible, terrible, one-dimensional-even-for-you, looks-like-a-40-year-old-porn-star Santana.  I hate Santana.  Please kill her.  Not the actress, who I'm sure is very nice, but the character.  Ditto Emma Pillsbury and her rage-inducing baby voice.  Though I do like her wardrobe.)

I can't do it, Glee.  Just like I can no longer wait for my ex's infrequent texts, I can't wait by the TV in hopes that you'll go back to the show you used to be.

In the halcyon days of your first season, I wrote a blog post doubling as a love letter to a show encapsulating what I wish high school would have been like for me--not the pregnancy stuff, but the breaking into perfectly choreographed numbers--while also capturing what it WAS like for me, as the ambitious wannabe star who sometimes went too far but got far more crap from her peers than she deserved.

Glee, I can't promise we can be what we once were, but in the interest of your own self-improvement, you might want to reread that postletter.

I wish you well.  But right now, I have to Slushie you.



  1. Agreed SO HARD. I want to love Glee, I really do, but I've given up on it. Because honestly? Sometimes the storylines are just flat-out WEIRD. And the inconsistency has just gotten to be too much - apparently Sue faked a suicide last week? It just seems odd that a show that targets a gay audience would trivialize an issue that's such a huge problem right now. I really don't think it knows what kind of show it wants to be.

  2. So I'm definitely in the minority then, actually liking Santana? She's the only one of them still upholding the first-season 'we're a team but we still hate each other' thing. Now that Puck and Quinn have gone all soft (and it turned out that Brittany was just dumb, not mean)...hell, even Korofsky the football guy has a reason for his bullying...we only have Santana to turn to for the fun bitching that made the show awesome at the beginning. I love that she's a bitch just for the sake of it, that there's no underlying reason for it. Some people are just like that.

    Other than than, I agree wholeheartedly with this post. It feels like a different show each episode these days. One minute it's hilarious, the next it's predictable and awful.

  3. Do I only comment on your posts about Glee? I know I read you more than that, but maybe they're the ones I know something about. ;-) I missed the episode after the Superbowl and this week's, and I don't care. I'll probably watch them at some point, but no big deal if I don't. It seems like they've changed the essence of the characters. While I like the new characters (LOVE Lauren), I don't like the direction the others are going in(Rachel, Mr. Schu). I also hate the themed shows, which happened a lot this go-'round.

    @Meg-- Sue only left a fake suicide note for Emma to find-- although I suppose they shouldn't trivialize that either.

  4. Meg: That's just...wrong. And I agree about many of the plots being flat-out weird. I also don't like when it's obvious they really want to do a certain song. In the earlier episodes, the songs fit with the plot better. And there were actually plots.

    Lorelai: Most of my friends love Santana. I think for me, it's one of those things where I just don't like the actor/character and I can't quite articulate why. Sort of like Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg--I can recognize they are talented, but I just can't stand them. I admit, Naya Rivera has a great voice and I really liked her Sectionals solo. Hell, maybe it's BECAUSE she does a good job that I can't stand her--I just knew too many awful bitches in high school.

    Classbookworm: yes, definitely comment more! :) Lauren is indeed hilarious, and I did like how Puck genuinely LIKED making out with her. It wasn't, "oh ewww, a fat girl!" I too may "cheat" sometimes and watch, especially if they're doing a song I like (I did watch "She's Not There" on the Superbowl ep, because I happen to love that song).

  5. This sums up exactly how I feel about Glee at the moment. It is SO inconsistent. Like, remember when Rachel went into the celibacy club and declared girls want sex just as much as boys, and that was OK - and then stormed out? And now she's their freaking leader?! Man, it makes me so angry to see what they've done to this show. Season two has no central storyline; it jumps all over the place, from themed episode to themed episode, and has been just a big fat mess. I have loved some things - like The Warblers (especially their version of 'Teenage Dream'), but every episode just leaves me disappointed, when in season one they all left me happy.
    But, I just can't quit it yet. What if, the day I stop watching, Glee gets it mojo back? At this point it looks unlikely but I have to remain hopeful.