I suppose you could say that I am a semi-closeted Glee fan. I don’t like to readily admit that I watch the show because it is a bit high schoolish and subtracts from the sophistication I feel watching shows like Mad Men brings me. But I do watch Glee regularly. I love Chris Colfer’s portrayal of Kurt and his singing voice. I love the clash between the toddleresque and simultaneously octagenarian Rachel Berry & the Cheerios, Quinn & Santana. I love the sharp tongued and sharp witted Sue Sylvester that no one but Jane Lynch could embody. Glee is fun and silly for the most part, relying heavily on a suspension of reality so that we can believe that in this world, Brittany can be a high school junior and still believe in Santa Claus and that Puck could be attracted to the formidable Lauren Zizes.
That suspension of reality is asking a lot this season though. The story lines have gone beyond just silly and frankly onto completely unbelievable and awkwardly uncomfortable. For starters, what happened between Mercedes & Mr. Shue? They started the season at each other’s throats, for no apparent reason (other than the fact that from episode 1, Mr. Shue has been in a really bad mood) , and their fights culminated in Mercedes defecting to the new Glee club, the Troubletones, led by Shelby Corcoran - aka Rachel Berry’s mom, the former leader of Vocal Adrenaline & the adoptive mother of Quinn & Puck’s baby girl Beth. Wow. That is a lot for one character to shoulder. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Idina Menzel. She is an amazing actress and vocalist. But her story line really wrapped at the end of season one. She is only back now to advance Quinn’s storyline of wanting her baby back (which is ridiculous on so many levels) and to advance the story line of Sugar Motta, the girl faking autism to get away with anything she wants. That storyline needs to be stopped in it’s tracks. For starters, it is far too realistic. I can think of many children whose parents let them get away with all kinds of bratty behaviors because they believe there is something wrong with the child. Secondly, it is just not entertaining - it’s annoying. Ryan Murphy, Glee’s creator, said season 3 would be about reconnecting with the original characters and advancing their storylines in their senior year. Sugar Motta just makes me want to turn off the television.
And then there are the musical numbers. The music in the most recent episode (Pot O’Gold) was the best of the season so far, but that isn’t saying very much. A Katy Perry song and a Kermit the Frog ballad were the most viable of the five songs. I have religiously downloaded the music from Glee over the first two seasons - I even prefer some of the Glee covers to the original songs - but this season I haven’t downloaded a single song. I suppose this could be attributed to the lack of artists willing to let their songs be used for Glee, but there is a ton of music out there. Surely there are better options available than what we’ve been getting.
Not everything is bad this season though. Coach Beiste is back for another season and is being expertly played by Dot-Marie Jones. Burt Hummel is also back and standing up to Sue Sylvester (hey, someone had to) and Blaine is a full member of New Directions, providing some tension for male lead with Finn (which really at this point is the only interesting and viable storyline going on). Plus, according to the rumor mill Chord Overstreet is going to reprise his role as Sam Evans and I for one would still love to see a Sam-Mercedes romance played out like the show hinted at in the season 2 finale. Glee needs to get back to it’s roots - that balance of silly, believability, drama, serious topics and great music that has made Glee a powerhouse show for the last two years. I can’t give up on the show yet and hopefully the month long hiatus will prove helpful to plot lines and musical numbers because I sure do miss my weekly dose of pure Glee.