Why I don't get Glee



I guess it’s indicative of the fact that I am a bitter, twisted little man with a blackened soul, but I don’t like Glee. Yes true, it is the latest big thing on TV and is sweeping across the public consciousness like a cancer, but it’s something I just don’t get. I just see it as another sign that I’m a cynical bastard unable to appreciate things which are happy and joyous, but then that’s what working in media will do for you.

Glee from what I can tell is an all singing, all dancing version of High School Musical, but is in episodic format. It’s the epitome of comfort food television, as it indulges people who watch it with sickly sweet kids, simple villains, and pop songs galore to bludgeon them into twee oblivion. The only thing worse would be if Taylor Swift and N*sync formed an alliance.

I have never made it through an entire episode, mainly because the precocious bastards keep singing all the time. “You’ve missed the point!” you may cry, but that is the biggest flaw in the show for me. I just hate shows that sing at me. I don’t know why it is, but I just get really awkward watching any musicals (Disney’s Aladdin seems to be the only exception) – Footloose made me wish dancing really was banned and as for the Rocky Horror Picture show, well I don’t think those emotional scars will ever heal. Maybe it’s that I detest performing arts, but every time one of these teens starts droning into song I break out in a cold sweat and feel the desire to jump out the nearest window. To hell with the fact it may be a two floor drop outside, I just need to escape their horrible grinning stares.

Glee makes this problem ten times worse as it insists on ditching the narrative sometimes to jump into its bewildering show tunes out of context, so that just when you feel safe the characters seem to drop out of the plot to shamelessly rip off a famous music video. You sometimes don’t know when one of the songs is coming. Considering my adverse reaction to musical show tunes this is even more traumatic.

Normally when they DO sing it’s also at the expense of a quite good song. It’s telling that the makers have sensed the opportunity to make a quick buck from their wannabe stars, by getting them into the recording studio so that they can market these remakes, and as yet no bands have denied them the rights. More to the point, who is buying these CDs? You wouldn’t you want a screechy poppy remake of something like Back in Black by AC DC after all, so why a screechy poppy remake of Don’t Stop Believing by Journey? They deserve better than that.

I think the biggest issue is that when these kids perform, they do so with so much bloody spirit it makes me grind my teeth. Their singing is so high pitched and happy it’s like someone is pouring boiling treacle in your ears. Also they gurn, and prance, they strike poses and play on about every other little show-offish trick you could imagine. It’s so hopelessly camp. We’ve had to contend with idiots like this pratting around since the time of Fame, and more recently Britannia High flailing their arms hither and dither; to all intents and purposes screaming “Look at me! Look at meeee! I’m a performer!” and doing it with a big vindictive smile on their smug mugs. Another thing is that one of the boys in the group looks a bit like Rick Astley (in that he’s got beady little eyes and a gingery Tin-Tin style quiff) so I feel like I’m being constantly Rick-rolled.

Whether you like it or not the final episode in the series is tonight at 9, which normally would allow me to take a sigh of relief, that is until I remember Big Brother is still hogging the scheduling.

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