Friday, November 5, 2010

What's Wrong with "Glee?"

In terms of message, this season of “Glee” is staying true to itself and urging its viewers to do the same. Musically, however, the show has fallen flat.

When the show began last May and continued in September, it couldn’t decide what it was, but by episode 5, it had hit its stride and the familiar phenomenon had begun. This Tuesday brought episode 5 of season 2 and I’m still unsure where I am as far as feelings on this season. For the most part, I feel its missed the mark. And the problem lies in one word: Themes.

The first 13 episodes of “Glee” had no real musical theme and when they did, it was simple and unnoticeable, like in “Ballads.” When the series returned in April, however, themes seemed to be a more prominent, well, theme. It started off with “Hello” where every song had that in the title and the week after that, “Glee” had its famous, although only slightly better than mediocre, Madonna episode, and it seemed that themes were here to stay. This season, we’ve seen no end of theme episodes since “Britney/Brittany,” which was the worst theme episode yet (an hour of Britney Spears music video remakes and no discernable storyline).

Some themes are better than others. For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed last season’s “Ballads,” “Bad Reputation,” “Dream On,” “Theatricality” and “Journey” as well as this season’s “Duets,” which reminded me of the first real “theme” episode the series ever had, “Ballads.” But when the theme gets too specific, I think “Glee” loses what drew us (or at least me) in to start: how Ryan Murphy and his team were able to transcend the written word and layer on emotion through song. The music of “Glee” used to compliment the story. Now it seems the story is written to compliment the music.

So, what’s wrong with “Glee?” In a word: Themes. Hopefully they’ll get back to the show we love and drop the heavy, themey episodes and get back to the story with music. Otherwise, the show may be jumping the shark sooner than we hoped.

No comments:

Post a Comment