Thursday, September 10, 2009

Less than Gleeful

Am I the only one who finds the supposedly critically acclaimed new television show Glee painful to watch? Googling the show to find critical writing about it turns up just about nothing, except stories like this one from, full of superlatives that make me feel as though the writer saw a show broadcast from a parallel universe.

I know there was some criticism of the pilot for its stereotypical secondary characters.

Four secondary characters from the glee club
Disappointingly, the show continues to focus on the cute, white, able-bodied boy and girl in the group, while backgrounding the mishmash of other characters, from a bespectacled white boy in a wheelchair to an Asian geek girl to a femmy white boy to a "husky" black girl with a spectacular but somehow unimportant voice.

But what gets me just as much as the stereotypes is the plain old stupidity of the relationship between the main teacher (Will Schuester, played by Matthew Morrison) and his wife.

Teacher Will Schuester and his wife, sharing a speech balloon reading We have nothing in common
As far as I can tell, they have and never had any reason to be married, and the show is dangling a possible romantic connection between Will and the cute-as-a-button neurotic guidance counselor. The wife (whose name I can't even remember) is portrayed as shallow, interested only in her job status at a Bed Bath and Beyond wannabe, crafting and getting pregnant.

The first episode, shown last night, started a plot line based on her having a hysterical pregnancy but continuing to tell her husband "It's a boy!" Wouldn't it be much better dramatically if the two of them had some type of connection and affection, but were falling out of love, and when she found out she wasn't actually pregnant, it made them talk about what the heck they're doing in this relationship?

Or something more complicated and interesting than the show's depiction of a vapid, hysterical, manipulative woman trapping a cute, clueless guy?

Sigh. Maybe I'm asking too much of the show. I'm a fan of high school shows like My So Called Life and Freaks and Geeks, where the writing was as much the star as the actors, and there weren't any musical numbers to distract you from the characters and the dialog.

Guess I can stop watching it if I dislike it so much, huh?

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

I'm also disappointed in "Glee". I find the musical numbers annoying and the characters are all formulaic. I realize that I'm not in the sought-after demographic, but what would that be? Teenagers?
White males 18 to 35? Middle class families? I certainly will not be watching it again!