Eight Ways To Fix Glee

Let’s face it. Glee is broken.  Mikey’s post last week that discussed what he referred to as an “alternating crap/great cycle” was a little too kind.  Almost the entire second season has been a revolving cycle of crap/crappier.

I’m guessing that most of Glee‘s fan base is made up of high school kids, women and gays.  Seriously, if you don’t fit into any of those categories, then you better take a long hard look into the mirror.  If you’re over 18, and don’t have a vagina, then surprise! You’re gay.  And although this fan base is probably more likely to be kind and stick around for quite a while longer than your standard male 18-49 year old demographic; we do have our limits.  We will not stand idly by forever.  Glee is broken, and Ryan Murphy, the writers, and 20th Century Fox needs to fix it.  Here’s how:

1. Be More Creative
Every week, Brittany makes dumb asides.  Every week, blond boy Sam takes his shirt off.  And there are thousands of more examples of this.  My suggestion: be more creative.  It’s as if the writers find something that works, and then just dump it on us every week.  Let’s break the repetition a little bit.  Maybe Brittany could shock the glee club by saying something smart for once?  And maybe Sam could take his pants off for a change?

2. Tell Us What’s Going On
I’m sure that Sue does more at the school than coach the Cheerios.  Is she also a gym teacher?  She seems to be a person  of authority at the school — is she a vice principal?  Will is a Spanish teacher … right?  Do the kids ever attend class?  All we ever see are hallway altercations and after-school activities.  Why not fill in a little bit of the rest of the day?

3. Try To Be Just A Little More Realistic
Of course I understand that Glee is a musical, and that musicals tend to lean a little towards the fantastic side of the spectrum, but can we please try to be just a little more realistic?  For example, let’s look at every other glee club that New Directions has ever spied on or competed against.  They’re all filled to the brim with amazingly talented supermodels.  I don’t know about you — but in my high school, our glee club was filled with girls, fatties, gays and outcasts.  Just like on Glee.  Why is every other school in Ohio different?

4. Cool Down The Dating Drama
First Finn dated Quinn who was impregnated by Puck, who occasionally dates Brittany and/or Santana, and also dated Rachel for one episode.  Now Finn dates Rachel and Quinn dates Sam.  Artie used to like Tina but now he’s crushing on Brittany.  Blah blah blah blah blah.  I get that it’s a teen drama, but no teen dates that much.  Especially not the kids in glee club.  Plus they’re all sexing and not sexing all the time.  High school kids don’t get laid (or not laid) that much!  Why does every episode have to revolve around their relationships?

5. Gimme More!
Jane Lynch won awards for last year’s season of Glee.  But lately she’s either been one-dimensional or just completely absent.  Sue Sylvester is the best character on Glee — use her better.  And along the same lines, Dot Jones as Coach Bieste has been fantastic this season.  Please continue to use her, but not just for tear-jerking  story lines that revolve around her being an ugly man-woman.  Let’s meet her sister (who should be played by Susan Boyle) who encourages her to start an adorable romance with the ex-coach, Ken Tanaka (who returns as a lovable janitor and assistant football coach after recovering from his nervous breakdown).  And what about Terri Schuester (Jessalyn Gilsig)?!  She’s a great actress and a great character — find a better place for her on this show!

6. Guest Stars
I look forward to the return of Sunshine Corazon and Dustin Goolsby (Cheyenne Jackson) this season … but smarmy Carl Howell (John Stamos)?  Not so much.  Just get rid of him!  How about a return of Shelby Corcoran (Rachel’s biological mom), or the introduction of Rachel’s two dads.  What about Molly Shannon, who guested as Brenda Castle (the alcoholic astronomy teacher and badminton coach), and clashed with Sue for about two seconds before she disappeared.  Did the writers forget about her?  And Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) who dated Rachel for a while and then… wait!  Kelly asked the question best on last week’s Glee-themed episode of The Office: “What was with Jesse’s sudden turn on Rachel, between ‘Dream On’ and ‘Funk’?”  Like many other TV series, Glee is falling into the guest star trap.  They’re often overutilized, underutilized, unnecessary, or just forgotten.

7. The Bully Thing
Bullying is socially relevant, and I applaud Glee for taking on the ‘Kurt gets bullied’ story line.  But when the bully kisses him in the locker room?  UGH!  Why does the biggest homophobe always turn out to be a self-hating homosexual?  And now Kurt is going to bond with his new boyfriend and consider switching schools?  Is there anyone in the writing room for this show?  Instead, let’s have Kurt grow some balls and go to Principal Figgins, or better yet, call the police next time that asshole slams him into the lockers.  If they don’t do anything about it, let’s have Rachel make her first selfless act and introduce Kurt to her dads — one of them who just happens to be a lawyer that helps him sue the bully, Principal Figgins, the Lima, Ohio Police Department and William McKinley High School for a LOT of money.  After all, isn’t gay bashing considered a HATE CRIME these days?

8. Try Harder
We’re watching your show every week.  We’re obsessed … but we won’t be forever.  We’re your fan base — don’t take us for granted!  Glee is often song-heavy and story-light.  But lately, it’s been even worse than that.  It’s a a whole bunch of songs wrapped up in the cheap wrapping paper of a story.  You know the stuff that you buy at the dollar store, and when you wrap a gift, it’s so thin that you can see right through it?  20th Century Fox, Ryan Murphy, the rest of the writers: I ask that you please try harder.

Those are my suggestions.  Did I hit the Glee nail on the Glee head?  Or am I totally off base.  What do you think of my ideas?  And would you add any to my list?  Auto-tune your mediocre voice and lip-sync a song for me in the comments!

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29 thoughts on “Eight Ways To Fix Glee”

  1. Agreed. I’d add one: more Rachel! I feel like they make her sing less this season cause some dummies complained that she sang too much last season. There’s a reason she gets to sing a lot… She’s the best singer in the club! Stop letting Kurt (and Artie) sing so much!!!

  2. The writers do have a tendency to overplay what works once. That’s where that horrible Britney episode came from. Exploring the rest of the characters’ lives would help them find drama in things other than doing an on again off again or picking names out of a hat and making them hook up.

    South Park vs. The Simpsons show the difference between the right way to handle guest stars vs. the wrong way. Part of the decline of The Simpsons was that it started focusing more on fitting the guest star of the week than on the humor. I’d advise the makers of Glee to accept guest stars only if 1) they can be fit into the storyline in an appropriate way and 2) they are willing to put in the commitment that the character requires.

    I definitely agree with try harder. Make the plots make some sense. Make the characters somewhat consistent. Make the inclusion of the song make at least some sense. I can forgive a lot if the music and humor is good enough, but distractingly bad writing ruins it.

    Somewhat disagree with Enrico. I would like the writers make me care about Rachel. At the moment, she is very unlikeable because her plots have revolved on her getting all of the solos and getting the top-rated Glee guys. While I do think that it is good that they cut back on her solos from last year (we don’t need a Rachel solo and a Rachel/Finn duet every episode), I think they may have cut back a bit too much.

    However, they definitely should not cut back on Kurt. He is awesome.

  3. Those are good points. And funny. Sam taking off his pants? Ugly man-woman? You crack me up.

    I’m with you on less of the romantic hookups. I wouldn’t mind seeing the character’s home lives. And I’m tired of the whole, “we’re outcasts” thing. I doubt that a glee club featuring football players and cheerleaders would be harassed so much in a real high school. And whatever happened to Mercedes? I want more of her. And more Sue. And less Will. He is becoming too much of a condescending lech – the whole scene with Bieste made me squirm – like he’s such a hero for kissing her. He did the same thing with Sue. Smarmy jerk. And I don’t like mash ups. But those glitter cannons were awesome.

  4. LOVED Kelly’s rant about Glee on The Office. So perfect! And it totally summed up my complaints about the show. It really needs to be a bit more consistent with its characters. They’re all over the place.

    Take a show like 90210 (don’t judge!) or any teen drama for that matter. It has about a million and one characters, and yet they still find something to do for everyone every episode and they pack in so much story every hour, it totally puts Glee to shame storywise. How can we go weeks without hearing much from some of our characters? Five 2 minute songs shouldn’t shouldn’t detract from their ability to tell a good story.

    Oh, and it needs to be funnier! It’s supposed to be a comedy right?

  5. I agree, especially about the guest stars. Their phones must be ringing off the hook with agents trying to get their clients on. But just because someone has an Academy Award (I’m looking at you Gwynneth Paltrow) doesn’t mean they’d be good to have on the show. You already have a gazillion viewers, I don’t think she’s going to draw anyone in, it’s all about her expanding her fan base, you aren’t a service to help quasi-obsolete celebs get popular again.

    Definitely more Sue, less Schuster.

  6. Complain about Britney’s funny lines or Sam taking his shirt off??? PFFFt, those are two of the main reasons I watch the show. Which is why I agree with most of what else you said. Seriously, if I’m only excited about those two things, then really, the show’s not doing it’s job, right?

    I totally agree with showing Rachel’s dads. And other characters home life. Does Mercedes even HAVE a family, or does ahe maybe sleep in a box on the corner? WE don’t know cause the writers never TOLD us!

    ” High school kids don’t get laid (or not laid) that much!” Hmm, really? I don’t know about you, Adam, but don’t lump all of us in with your loser high school. 😀

    HUGS….

  7. I have only watched a few minutes of this show in total and this is what I saw:

    John Stamos – not since his Full House days has he looked more like a douch than he did trying to do Rocky Horror.

    Little gay boy confronts the bully and the bully gets turned on – is it just me or does this sound like a very bad porn movie plot, you know I think it was a bad porn movie plot, Polt would you kindly research for me.

    So I have tried but what can I say, I’m sorry Glee, I just don’t get it.

  8. It is absolutely clear that Adam and I should be made head writers and executive producers of this television show. Only the Cocky & Rude team can right this ship.

  9. Spot on, Adam! I might disagree with you on a couple of details — I think John Stamos’s smarm is a great way to keep the whole Shu-Emma thing alive — but overall a very trenchant analysis of all the valid complaints floating around out there.

    So trenchant, in fact, that I now expect you to put on your most earnest anchorperson-with-tragic-news face, sit yourself down in front of a webcam, and kick off what is sure to be the social conscience of 2011: “Glee: It Gets Better”!

  10. @Adam you so wouldn’t be doing this post if i hadn’t gone on my Glee sucks rants last week. I also had the idea to write a Glee post, but was asked to hold my thoughts.

    One thing I think YOU missed entirely is that Glee needs to stop doing Mash-ups. They are getting tired. And frankly they are starting to suck.

  11. And I finally thought of something for the Tam/Polt caption post.

    Tam: I wonder if Enrico will ever post again?
    Polt: I wonder if Craig will ever post again?

  12. I got behind in my viewing and gave it up after the first half of season one. Doesn’t help that I’m fickle about TV shows.

    Anyway, gay-bashing is perfectly okay in Ohio. They even wrote it into their state constitution. In fact, I think it’s a misdemeanor not to bully gays in Ohio. Which is one reason I would never, ever live there. That and the fact that it’s fucking Ohio.

  13. I can agree with you on a handful of the points you make, but I also have to disagree with you on some of the others. Sure, they could definitely use a little more realism, but in the same light, if it’s going to be realistic, there are going to be a lot of kids hooking up and breaking up in high school. It’s high school, after all, and hormones are out of control.
    As for Kurt’s bullying storyline? I was not in the least bothered by the revelation that Karofsky was dealing with his own internalized struggles with his sexuality. It adds a little depth to a character who was otherwise a one-dimensional caricature of another high school stereotype. (I still want to know what his buddy Azimio would have to say on it, though.)
    The idea of Kurt teaming up with Rachel’s lawyer dad to sue the school district seems to me, though, completely ridiculous. I’m all for a touch of realism in my shows, but that’s so gritty it sounds like it would be more appropriate for some kind of crossover episode on Law and Order: SVU. Except Kurt would be dead. And Karofsky would probably still be a closeted gay football player.
    On the same note, while it would be the right thing to do in a real-life situation, it wouldn’t make for very good drama if Kurt got Karofsky arrested and that was the end of that story arc. I’m curious to see where they will end up taking it, though, and that seems like an important part of enjoying any TV show.
    I definitely agree with you on the fact that it would be fantastic if we could see more of Coach Bieste, and I don’t think anyone can claim that it’s not always great to see more of Sue. But, while I always want to have more of the Cheerios coach and her vicious snark, I also love Brittany’s dumb little asides and ridiculous comments, too.
    Again, some of what you have to say I can absolutely agree with, and some of it I am just unwilling to leave uncontested.

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