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Glee: Reruns and Memories

So instead of talking about the Rocking Horror Glee Show episode, which was entertaining but inconsequential (quick rundown: “Touch Me” was genius, and Mercedes’ taking the reins as leading lady during her rendition of “Sweet Transvestite” was a treat) I’d like to examine the two reruns that have recently aired and take a little trip down memory lane.

Two things:

1. Remember when Glee was about a bunch of misfits who simultaneously hated and needed each other? In the first rerun from last season, Kurt and Rachel, who are in cut-throat competition not only for the lead of the Glee Club, but also for Finn’s heart, exchange harsh words and—despite both being relative freaks—ruthlessly make fun of each other. In the same vein, Mercedes’ rejection of Quinn’s right to sing soul because she doesn’t have it rough before finally realizing how hard it must be to be pregnant and in high school demonstrates the reflexive animosity the team had to overcome to get themselves to Regionals. The narrative arc of last season was one that involved watching a group of unpopular teens, so used to the harshness of high school life, defensively hurt each other before finally becoming a type of family for one another. The knowledge that eventually these singing adolescents vying for star billing in the Glee Club would come to their senses and recognize that they need to unite against the rest of the world was the driving force of last season, and it was amazingly fun to watch these little dorks try to outdo each other while still trying, however reluctantly, to help each other out for the betterment of the team. But now that they’re all friends and love each other, it leaves me to wonder: How can we expect the show to continue to grow? Besides Sue Sylvester’s constant plot to bring them down, where’s the conflict? Where’s the banter? Brittany’s dimwittedness and Santana’s ego can only get us so far when the team seems to be running perfectly otherwise. Let’s throw a wrench in that dynamic and bring back a little animosity.

2. Remember when the kids used to sing just to sing? The most recent rerun of Glee featured Finn and Puck, working a minimum-wage job at Sheets and Things, singing Beck’s “Loser.” The premise was, of course, a fantasy—Puck and Finn weren’t actually singing—but it was a pleasant surprise to remember how the kids on Glee attempted to express themselves through song, instead of using songs to fit a theme. One of the best moments of last season, and the moment in which I realized the true potential of the show was when Mercedes, pissed off at Kurt’s rejection of her advances, breaks the windshield of his Escalade and sings “Bust Your Windows.” Even Quinn’s selection of “It’s a Man’s World” for her demonstration of the funk genre was rooted in her personal experiences; unlike in the episodes that have dominated this season and the end of last season, the song had meaning, fit with Quinn’s life, and articulated, however shallowly, at least some emotional relevancy.

I realize, however, that this season is only 4 episodes old, that it could take a wonderful and unexpected turn, or that I could just be hesitant to like change. But I also know that I’m not the only one. This is a sign from The Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear:

Now that’s a cause I can get behind.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 3:23 PM |  

    It's unfortunate but unfortunately not that surprising that people have quickly realized Glee is turning into a parody of itself. Ryan Murphy's other shows have also done the same thing in about the same number of episodes as it has taken Glee to do that. When it's on, it's still a pretty charming show, but for the most part, the man knows not what subtlety is, for better or for worse.

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