Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Less than GLEE-full

I can't think of two shows more different in style than The Office and Glee, yet this week's Glee gave me exactly that, "Oh s---, I simultaneously wish this wasn't happening and can't stop laughing," feeling that is the Office's stock and trade.

Most of it, especially the Rachel and Mr. Schuester stuff, amused me.

But I have a pet peeve. I really like the character of Mercedes, or at least the potential there, but this week the show asked her to play "sassy, black voice of reason" and it was just obnoxious. First, it was obnoxious because "sassy,black voice of reason" is a ridiculously overused cliche, and this show should not be falling into it this early. But, more importantly, overall, the show's relationship with fatherhood (with the notable exception of Kurt's dad) is ridiculously lacking. I've found the whole "Finn thinks he's the daddy but it's really Puck" thing intriguing, but the idea, as expressed by Mercedes, that Puck "owes it" to Quinn to keep his trap shut about his spermination of her is just... well, backwards, misogynistic bullshit. It takes two people to make a poor sexual decision, and judging by the ridiculous amounts of sparks that still fly when Puck and Quinn are in the same room, I'd say that was a very much so mutual moment of condom-less lust. And Puck has a right to tell Quinn this. He didn't "ruin" her, because this isn't the 1950s, and the whole point of feminism was that women have their own sexual rights and impulses.

Plus, Puck totally loves her. It's not just like he used her for sex and now wants nothing to do with her. He was willing to sell pot cookies for her (that's noble, right?). And he's just so dreamy, he should be given the opportunity to do the right thing.

On top of that, Finn's a damn nice guy. He protected Kurt way before they shared a mutual love for high notes! He sings to sonograms! He gets a job to support his pregnant girlfriend (Admittedly by pretending to be handicapped...)! Mercedes reaction should have been pissed as hell that Quinn was letting Finn give up his whole life for a baby that isn't his, and that Quinn was continually lying to him about the fatherhood of said baby. When the Glee club decided to sing to the two "parents-to-be" I should have felt moved (and I suppose a part of me did), but instead I mostly felt pissed off as hell that the song wasn't "it's not your baby" (which I don't know if that's a real song, but it should be, for just this reason).

It's interesting because I mostly agree with Kelly's theory that the show is sometimes to quick to paint Quinn as a villain, and I greatly prefer the episode's like this week when Quinn is given layers and sympathetic monologues, but it pisses me off that the show is just writing off what a hugely messed up thing she is doing to Finn. Every time I see her berating Finn or letting him make huge life changing decision based around a baby she is planning on giving up for adoption that ISN'T HIS ANYWAY I want to vomit and/or punch my television. I like when characters are complicated, and that means exploring the good with the bad.

Overall, I liked this week's episode a lot more than this monologue would imply. I especially liked the introduction of Finn's mom and the shirt that Puck was wearing in his scene with Mercedes (it helped to make me feel better about how annoying the storyline was, 'kay?). Still I'm looking forward to all the baby-related secrets coming out, because they frustrate me so badly.


Kelly said...

see I think this episode was every bit as bad as your monologue made it out to be. The stories were contrived, they're going backwards on almost all of the character development they've managed over the past couple weeks and the whole premise of the ballad being able to solve things was simply stupid.

I too liked the addition of Finn's mom because I think that solid parent characters make for solid teen characters (though I agree about the ridiculous backwards notions about fatherhood, though kurt's dad is quite the complex hero I think)

Rachel's story was particularly stupid and overdone, though Im always glad to see Sarah Drew on TV.

and, the single biggest thing that still bothers me about glee even though it has nothing to do with storytelling, the songs are SOOOOOO over-dubbed. dont these people realize that if they have their actors sing on set it will have far more intensity and power, and the imperfections that result will only make the singers more endearing?!?! and, to coincide, they have to simplify their orchestrations, if Kurt's playing the piano while Finn sings, there shouldn't be a full orchestra track playing as well, it should just be a piano and the mediocre singing voice of that stupid oaf we're all supposed to like.

Tim said...

thought it was one of the funniest episodes this season. Loved it!

Sometimes reviewers who typically have good taste in television can't just enjoy a show for what it is. Glee has never, will never, be an amazing show about character development. Like Popular, each episode is a distinct story about the character's emotions. They don't need to be consistent. We don't need to delve into the complexity of theses characters, or judge them for making dumb decisions, because at the end of the day this show is about fun. They sing randomly for fun, the characters themselves are not realistic, and the situations are clearly dumb/confusing/not necessarily well-thought out, but not at television needs to be Emmy winning. During a season where nothing is really making me laugh and scripted television is, quite frankly, boring's nice to have at least one show I look forward to week after week.

Kelly said...

why can't it be both?

Popular was funny AND poignant. It didn't talk down to anyone, and it always did the characters justice, even when they were crazy they were sympathetically so.

And Glee was never meant to be stupid. Ryan Murphy doesnt do stupid. It's not supposed to be pure entertainment for frothaholics. It's supposed to have an edge, a dark side, a sense of humanity. You can see week to week that that is what they are striving for, and its our job to point out when they don't achieve that.