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Glee: The Home Stretch

My friends and fans have probably noticed that I haven’t written about a few (really wonderful) episodes, for which I extend my most heartfelt apologies. I’m all caught up on Glee, and, with the 90-minute episode coming up tonight featuring the TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF KURT TO NEW DIRECTIONS and a lot hanging in the balance, I’ve decided to take a moment to look ahead to Nationals and the season finale and make a few comments about what’s working and what’s not on the show. Rumors are abounding online (is Blaine moving, too? Is Kristen Chenoweth coming back? Is someone going to DIE?!?) and I just want to make sure that Glee is the best show it can be. So listen up, Ryan Murphy (an avid reader of mine, I’m sure) because here comes some constructive criticism.

What’s Working:

1. Klaine (Blurt?):

While the Blaine/Kurt storyline has been a little annoying at times (like when Blaine thought he was straight), the build-up to this relationship has been so excruciatingly titillating that not even the hottest man-on-man kiss this side of an X rating can sate our appetites more Blurt (some people even find the need to create entire websites devoted to Klaine fan fiction and suggestive Blurt drawings). Blaine is too perfect, of course, with his smile and his dorky dance moves and his (well-founded) self-confidence and the whole relationship will probably get rather old, but for right now it’s wonderful to see the two of them finally together. And, I mean, if the paraplegic wannabe rapper and the resident ditz can make it work, why not the two show-tune-loving gay guys?

2. The dancing Mike Chan:

The dance he performed last week was—besides Mercedes’ incredible rendition of “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin—easily the most entertaining part of the episode. Heather Morris (Brittany) is a professional dancer as well, so why not highlight the other talents the actors have and break up all the GD singing? I know what you’re thinking: “Glee is a show about Show Choir, Sam, and thus must revolve around singing. The dancing is only a garnish, a sprig of parsley atop a massive pile of vocal performance.” But maybe Ryan Murphy should make a show about the high school dance squad, perhaps starring the gratuitous dancer they kicked off the show after last season? Maybe he’ll actually get a name in that series…

3. The Bully:

I’ve been a proponent of the bully story line since it started, and I’m impressed that the show hasn’t let it die yet. Yes, Santana fought him off on behalf of Kurt and Blaine in the last episode, but Karofsky’s bullying is exactly the type that kids like Kurt and Blaine would face: relentless, verging on physical, and absolutely terrifying. I expect no heartwarming resolution to Karofsky’s hatred for Kurt, and I honestly hope that the show doesn’t offer us that satisfaction, painting Kurt as the victim who finally stood up to his bully as opposed to correctly identifying the perpetrator of the threats as the problem. I know Kurt will be back at McKinnley, but I hope this storyline continues without a forced happy ending. But who am I kidding? It’s Glee. They’ll probably end up hugging after an especially poignant Bruno Mars medley or something.

What’s Not Working:

1. Recurring guest stars:

Neil Patrick Harris as Bryan Ryan was hysterical. Kristen Chenoweth as April Rhodes was great and her one-episode return was equally great. Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holiday was also amazing; like a blonde, plastic Mary Poppins, she swept in when Schu was getting annoying or Emma and Carl needed to be broken up, did what needed to be done in her vacuous-Gwyneth-Paltrow way. But when she stopped talking like everyone’s cool uncle and actually developed character traits, the allure was lost. Her relationship with Schu was awkward and unnecessary, and watching her sing that song by Adele at her most depressing turned New Directions’ Mary Poppins into its whiny older sister. Glee’s number one problem is that it doesn’t know when to stop and its writers are just constantly trying to give us too much of good thing (remember all the theme episodes?). And guest stars that overstay their welcome are one way the show tries to forcefully to shove happiness down our throats. So let’s keep a two-show maximum, eh?

2. Terri Strikes Back:

No. Just no. Terri—the most annoying character of last season at the center of the most annoying storyline of last season; the only character without any redemptive qualities; the woman who tried to buy a baby; the suffocating, sadistic, selfish wife; the woman whose very voice makes even the most forgiving person want to gouge his ears out; THE WORST CHARACTER EVER CREATED—is apparently back with a vengeance (literally). No. Just. No. You don’t even love to hate her. You just hate her. This needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. We’re all just willing to pretend it never happened.

3. The Warblers:

As Kurt aptly put it, their name should actually be “Blaine and the Pips”, and having an entire all-male a cappella group on the show solely to back of Kurt and Blaine’s blossoming romance is, at this point, a little excessive. It’s awkward ignoring the fact that none of these other guys have lives or storylines or names or any individual characteristics. And now that the team has lost Regionals, let’s do what we do with all the other uncomfortable baggage on this show (Quinn’s baby, Rachel’s birth mom, Quinn’s family, Santana’s lesbianism) and dispense with it without resolving it. I’m sure Kurt and Blaine eventually will return to McKinnley High (provided they don’t break up first), so let’s not drag on the death of the Warblers. If we just pretend they don’t exist, they’ll go away.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 4:38 PM |  

    I'm so disappointed that they have brought Terri back. You are right that when she was on, she added absolutely nothing to the show and just basically brought things to a screechy, unrealistic, annoying standstill in otherwise solid, entertaining episodes. That actress, Jessalyn Gilsig was delightfully screechy in Nip/Tuck, Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuck's other show, so I feel like they only created her character here to give her a job. I feel your pain, Smarmy Sam.

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