19 May 2010
This week’s Glee sucked. I don’t know why I had myself convinced that it wouldn’t. Well, no, it’s easy to understand how I did that: Joss Whedon directing Neil Patrick Harris and Idina Menzel… that’s all kinds of good.
But TV is a writerly medium. A brilliant director cannot rescue a terrible script, neither can a standout performer. And that’s what Glee is: brilliant performers suffering at the hands of TERRIBLE writing week in and week out.
This week had some beautiful shots that aren’t usually there (thank you Joss), a fun new character (I love you Neil), some well-needed musical theatre (Les Mis is ALWAYS a good idea), an unexpected/great dance number (innovatively incorporating real footage from Glee‘s famous impromptu mall promo dances) and the resolution of a long-speculated mystery (in the most obvious reveal in the world: Idina Menzel is Rachel’s bio mom!) but it still sucked. It sucked because no matter how many good elements it had, the characters still said obnoxiously stupid things, the theme was pounded into viewers’ brains with a sledge hammer and plot was driven forward by nothing more than plot devices: no character motivation or organic development to speak of. And I’m not saying Glee should be perfect. I’m not saying that it should under any circumstances give up it’s fluffiness. I love fluff! I just ask that it be good fluff, the fun kind that doesn’t make me want to throw things.
In related yet opposite news, tonight’s soon-to-be-iconic “I Dreamed a Dream” duet that paired yesterday’s Broadway legend, Idina Menzel, and tomorrow’s, Lea Michele, was as close to perfection as this show’s ever gotten. For those 2 minutes I was sure I watching greatness. But again, let me stress, ONLY for those 2 minutes. But boy, that pairing, I want them to sing together forever and ever and ever (and Michele HAS to play Menzel’s role of Elphaba when movie execs finally clue in on Wicked).