I am a Gleek and proud of it. I was hooked by the first (pilot) episode and, at the time, asked if Glee had changed the way in which you rediscover music (I am a huge fan of mash-ups now). I had no idea what I was going to do during the wait between seasons 1 and 2 apart from memorising all of Sue Sylvester’s quotes and trying to pass them off as my own. Season 2 and 3 were both just as enjoyable and I thought the incorporation of The Glee Project brought a new dimension to the show and the way in which new characters are introduced
But season 4… what a flop! The main characters have moved on yet they are still there, clinging to their high school days and memories rather than getting on with college or work life. Or is it Ryan Murphy clinging onto the original cast knowing that it would be almost impossible to re-create with new actors? I’ve already considered some of the imbalance on my own blog.
I’m not keen on analysing the series before it has been shown on our screens but I’m slowly losing interest. There is a definite attack of the clones going on and continuity has been shot to pieces. Storylines seem to appear and be dismissed or forgotten about and the song choices are weak – as is the choreography. I’m used to seeing seeing storylines interwoven with song choices that make me gasp and trigger emotions. Any true Gleek will have marvelled at this version of “My Life Would Suck Without You” from mid-way through season 1 simply because it incorporated almost all the dances from popular songs in previous episodes. Engaging and ingenious.
Lets examine the evidence thus far:
- Tina has moved from confident girl to complete bitch. This doesn’t suit her character and makes her unbelievable.
- Lauren, who went out with Puck for a while (remember the “Fat Bottomed Girls” episode?) disappeared and reappeared without explanation.
- Kitty has a mean streak that doesn’t quite make sense however I believe this is explained later in Season 4.
- Marley’s bulemia story appears incomplete. She wasn’t bulimic until Kitty encouraged her to ‘lose weight’ and adjusted her clothes. This plot line has lots of holes.
- The Wade/Unique character is not being tackled properly. The embracing of a transgender storyline was a huge leap even for Glee but there is no continuity with the support between school/home.
- The Shooting Stars episode was a brave choice but had a weak ending. I’d have preferred real gun issues to have been approached rather it be an excuse for a cast member to take a break.
- Mr Piano Man (Brad Ellis) gleefully (see what I did there?) escaping from his personal torture, only to reappear in future episodes as though nothing had ever happened.
There has been a defined “end” to the good stuff from when the original cast went on tour; a genius move in itself, proving that the cast of one of the most popular shows in a long time could actually sing and dance. I also feel that the strongest storylines are those that incorporate the original cast. I love the transformation of Rachel from girl into young woman and the trials and tribulations of moving from school to college, alongside trying to retain friendships built up over the past few years. As previously mentioned, The Glee Project is a bonus spin-off which adds value to the show and give short story arcs and/or recurring appearances to runners-up and auditionees whose personal background fits into one of the show’s themes.
I hope that Glee picks itself back up again, dusts itself off and comes back with gusto. There are shades of the original spark in the episode “Sweet Dreams” but, again, because it refers back to the pilot episode (Season 1), includes a guest appearance from Idina Menzel, referred to the Harlem Shake (an on-trend viral meme) and a classic performance from Finn and Puck with a Beastie Boys number.
What I’m trying to say is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
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