Apologies for the later than usual posting, but fear not, this week's Get with the Program has arrived!
Don't totally hate me for making critical statements about Glee, because I am by no means a Glee hater (Gl8ter?). In fact, I love Glee, or at least, I love aspects of Glee.
I've realized - since its return in April especially - that what I love most about Glee are the songs. I have all of the soundtracks; I listen to them at the gym on repeat - don't question my devotion. In fact, the Glee songs are so good that they can stand completely independently from the show - and herein lies the problem. I'm pretty sure that lately the writers have been thinking up the songs first, and the plot later. For a few episodes now, much of the show's content between songs has seemed almost like an afterthought - just filler, until its time for the next song. What's more, much as I love the songs, they are getting kind of...long.
Longer and longer songs again demonstrates to me that Glee's plot has become secondary (to the songs), and while Glee is a musical, the show cannot be entirely about the songs - not if it's going to be great (in my book). There's still 3/4 of every episode that will not involve singing/performing - and lately, I feel like this part of the episodes is being underutilized. At times, I'm starting to find myself bored between songs, or thinking, isn't this pretty much the same as last week? Yeah, it's funny every time Sue makes a crack about Mr. Schuester's hair or Brittany rattles off another one liner, but there's got to be a little more substance.
Please don't read this as my saying that Glee has gotten bad. That's not what I'm saying, and I still enjoy watching the show each week overall. But, until the show finds a happy balance between quality songs and quality plotlines, I find myself unable to get on board the Glee phenomenon quite as enthusiastically as so many others. Yes, the songs are great, but the show itself...can be meh. Some of the earlier episodes had both great plot and great songs. I'm waiting for this to be the case once more; I know they can do it!
Summer TV Doldrums, What?
So you're favorite shows are all having their season finales within the next few weeks. You're going to have so much free time - to watch movies, to see sunlight, to enjoy summer...right? WRONG!
I remember when quality Summer TV was virtually nonexistent - merely a wasteland of reality crap. If reality crap is your thing - fear not - as there is still plenty of that (and who am I kidding - I too love some of that reality crap).
But, a funny thing has happened to Summer TV in recent years; it has gotten...good.
In fact, many of my favorite shows are summer series: We've got True Blood in June, Mad Men in July and Weeds in August. Friday Night Lights just started up again on NBC (LOVE it). And...many other series that, while not favorites, are also quite entertaining, now grace our summer screens:
USA Network has an entire lineup of series that are light and perfect for summer: Psych, White Collar, Burn Notice, Royal Pains - and I'm actually the most excited for new series Covert Affairs. What can I say? I can't resist the spy genre (and Covert Affairs seriously looks like Alias meets Chuck)!
Drop Dead Diva is back on Lifetime on June 6th - and this is one of the new gems that I discovered last summer. Talk about taking a premise that seemed cheesy, cliche and even flat out ridiculous - vapid model is reincarnated in the body of an overweight attorney - and making it work. This series is smart and heartwarming; I love that the legal cases aren't throwaways (unlike the medical cases on shows like Grey's these days...) - they are interesting in and of themselves while also contributing to the larger story.
I've also been a fan of TBS buddy-comedy My Boys for a few seasons now, which returns on July 25th. The show is not groundbreaking television, but the stars are generally charming and the show has a laid-back tone that's fitting for summer. It's looking like this 4th season will be the show's last too(star Jordana Spiro has even just been cast in a new NBC series that has been picked up), so enjoy the show while it lasts.
Which summer series are you most excited for? Does anyone find that they like the summer season more than the regular one?
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