Boy Meets Reel: Why I Can't Watch Glee

I just can't get into Glee. I don't hate it, and I understand why it's popular, but every time I watch it, I become more and more convinced that the show isn't for me.


My biggest problem with Glee is the melodrama, which consistently kills my appreciation of the show for its amusing segments (even a "hater" like me has to love that scene of Kurt dancing to Beyonce). But the ludicrous and overblown nature of some of the overly dramatic portions of the show destroy my suspension of disbelief. The hysterical pregnancy plotline with Terri put the nail in that coffin. It dragged on so long that it became laughable, with her act being so transparentand thin that even a child could see through it. Every scene that maintained the farce just made me less and less excited about watching the show, and even staunch Glee fans (I refuse to refer to them as "Gleeks" because of its spitting connotations) I talk to are hard-pressed to defend the show's many ridiculous subplots.


There are occasional flashes of real, character-driven drama in the show that I can really sink my teeth into - Kurt and his father are especially interesting - but they get lost in the sea of overblown silliness. But Ryan Murphy's history with Nip/Tuck makes me think that it is only going to go downhill from here, with Glee entering a spiral where every plot line has to outdo the last, making the show progressively more absurd. I dread hearing about what they pull for November Sweeps at this rate.


As an old theater tech hand myself, I'm glad to see more musical theater on TV, but I don't know if Glee is approaching it the right way. I'll check back with you SideReelers at the end of the season, when we can review Glee as a whole and see what worked, what didn't work, and whether or not the whole show is worth watching. Until then, though, I'm going to be left out of a whole lot of lunchtime conversations, because everyone else here at the office is a fan. Maybe I'll come around, but it's not looking great for Glee at the moment.


Next week, on Boy Meets Reel: Dom talks about something he actually likes (maybe).

Comments

7 comments

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Apr 15, 2010 8:20PM EDT

I see where you're coming from, but the whole point of Glee IS the melodrama you speak of. Its very appeal lies in the fact that it's purposely grotesque (much like Nip/Tuck, but in a very different way), and its tongue-in-cheek poking fun at the over-dramatization of silly issues and "yeah right" occurrences in stereotypical musicals and high school dramas nowadays. It doesn't just know it's ridiculous, it strives to be more so. It's like "High School Musical" on steroids, for those of us who've been dying for a "High School Musical" with actual talent that subtly hates on "High School Musical." The funny part is, most "High School Musical" fan-nerds also like Glee, because, well... they don't get the whole satirical part of it. & I guess they wouldn't, would they? ;PI mean... that's just MY take on it. Just sayin'....

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Apr 15, 2010 8:49PM EDT

Glee is, admittedly, RIDICULOUS. As you say, the Terri Schuester fake pregnancy was really insanely badly handled and no-one in their right mind would believe for a second that such a situation would occur. I think the necessary mindset for watching Glee is to take it as seriously as it takes itself in any given moment. The situations range from outrageous to heartbreaking, and it takes a generous amount of flexibility for a thinking person (I'm counting myself here) to not get incredibly annoyed.
If you've watched all the episodes to date and you're not connecting, then don't. It's cool. You'll maybe be the one sane person left on the damn planet. But if you've only watched some, I'd definitely wonder which - because there are several that stand high above and several more that cringe way WAY below.
I wouldn't doom it to its fate yet, though. The thing to remember with the original thirteen episodes is, they were most likely filmed with a constant (and fairly understandable/reasonable) fear that the show could have been an enormous flop and that those first thirteen might have been IT. Now that Glee has way more than a fighting chance to keep on, I'd say that The Best Efforts/Abilities Of Glee vs. The Test Of Time is likely to be a pretty epic battle.

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Apr 16, 2010 1:15AM EDT

I'm a big Glee fan - I don't take the program seriously, so therefore I enjoy it a lot more. It's the kinda program I need after watching all of my other more "hardcore" shows. I can just sit back, listen to some kick-ass songs and giggle at Sue's insults. And some of the episodes have made me, for some reason, feel amazing.
But I will say this, DominicNguyen, I'm impressed you didn't just hate on it, if you get what I mean. People will go out of their way to put all the negative things they think about something, into one review, and not put one positive. You were quite sweet about the fact you dislike it, or rather, you just can't get into it. So, thank you for that :)

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Apr 16, 2010 9:15AM EDT

I think it is a shame they don't allow the 'backing cast' to showcase a bit more - Kurt is a fabulous singer with an amazing voice, but they just persist in doing the Rachel/Finn solos all the time. Frankly it is musically great - but starting to bore with just the same solos all the time. Come on producers. You have some really talented youngsters there - let more of them shine!

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Apr 16, 2010 1:43PM EDT

I get where you're coming from, because my friends who don't like the show have the same issues with it as you do, more or less anyway. And that's valid. It is ridiculous but like someone has pointed out before, it is meant to be ridiculous. It is after all a satire of a high school musical. It's like HSM for adults who still want to be able to have a feel-good show where they can sing and dance to. I try not to think about the plot holes and the ridiculousness, I watch Glee the same way I watch 30 Rock or, more recently, Cougar Town. They don't try to be realistic, at all. It's kinda what's great about those shows. It's a show where you can just kick back, be silly, enjoy the music and get a much-needed escape from your everyday life. It does have its real moments, like the Kurt and his father storyline, and my favorite episode so far is 'Wheels', an episode filled with heartbreakingly sweet "real" moments. Bust mostly, the show loves to be ridiculous, so if it's not your cup of tea, I don't blame you. :-)

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Apr 17, 2010 10:05AM EDT

I totally agree with DominicNguyen . I considered myself quite a fan of the show in its early episodes, and I still watch it every week, but more often than not I'm frustrated by the stupidity of the melodrama. For me the appeal of the show is certainly not the melodrama, there's enough of that on TV as it is. I'm watching for the singing and dancing and Sue Sylvester. Also Kurt and his Dad. And Emma. . . There are so many great characters in this show, but I feel it's being slowly degraded by the absurdity of the melodrama. There are already (in my admittedly cynical opinion) too many shows about teens being angst ridden and taking themselves too seriously, I think this show is at its best when it sets that aside and is legitimately silly, or legitimately serious. I also agree with fudgefase, the main offenders in the melodrama department are Finn and Rachel, and all the episodes and songs that take the focus away from them tend to be excellent!

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May 22, 2010 3:35AM EDT

I'm not an especial fan of Glee either (much to the disappointment of my girlfriend), mostly because I find the main characters (Finn, Rachel, Mr Schu) get rather irritating. I could get past the fact that the tunes aren't always my cup of tea if, as has been said above, the focus wasn't so much on these characters and their silly stories, but cos it is I find it gets kinda tedious. That said, the brilliance of Sue Sylvester makes it easier to forgive the things I find frustrating, as long as I don't overdose on it...

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