So they were given the coveted post-Superbowl slot and all the screws came loose.

I could not have been happier about the fact that since the second season premiere (excepting the atrocity that was “Britney/Brittany” and the half brilliant/half horrifying “Grilled Cheesus”), I have either decently enjoyed or really really liked every single episode of Glee. From the pleasant decentness of “Duets” and “Special Education” to the loveliness of “Furt” and “The Substitute” to the true excellence of “Never Been Kissed” and “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”, the fall of 2010 was a season of tremendous growth for my old least-favourite show. The writing got better, they evened out their absurd outsider complex and post-modern ideology, they developed their supporting cast, allowed us to see Sue’s heroic side, downplayed Rachel and rescued the badly-written Kurt. It was an exciting time.

And then there was this. Maybe they were trying too hard and lost their way a bit or maybe it was just the law of averages that eventually Glee‘s gross, predictable, backwards core would reappear. Either way, this week sucked.

Let’s just start with the fact that the show is coming to the zombie party months/years late, but who really cares. Onto the things I super hated:

– “lady chat”?! Kurt just took leaps backwards in development. “Blaine loves football, I love scarves”?!!!!!!!!!!! EWWWWWW. I’m all for the stereotype-defiant Blaine getting new details, but I cannot believe they are putting this swill in Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer’s mouth.

– Oh, and the tremendous anger inspired by the silly feminist statements around the girls volunteering to play football then the undermining “after the snap we’re just going to lie down on the field”! And Tina’s triumphant foray into actual participation? Somehow it unfolded as a display of feminine fragility. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but okay.

– “It’ll be worth it” from Santana was golden after Brittany expressed her fear of death by cheerleading canon, but the fact that those girls quit Cheerios essentially because Finn told them to was just stupid. Santana doesn’t need prompting to make whatever decision she wants to. If she wanted to be doing glee that’s where she would have been the whole time. I’ll grant the peer/Sue pressure issue with Brittany, but if I have to hear one more character tell me how strong Quinn is when she’s already proven it herself I’m going to explode. The girl’s an icy queen bee who has consistently stood up for her ideals- why do we need quarterbacks to validate her all the time?

– “This is the moment of our lives”. Really Puck? It’s a high school football game. Perspective please.

– Why the hell did Karofsky join “Thriller”? Did he just catch boogie fever or something? It was genuinely bizarre (not to mention convenient). If the man really can’t help but dance then glee club would have had him dancing a season and a half ago.

– Even the usually wonderful Warblers couldn’t cheer me up with a silly 90s pop song. They were over-choreographed, somewhat out of character and completely irrelevant to the episode, it was depressing.

– Oh, Beist got lines though! I love it when they give Beist something to do. She is truly excellent. But she’s not enough on her own.

The whole thing seemed like an exercise in formula writing. By the end everyone was left back exactly where they started at the beginning. The plot unfolded as a “here’s a tiny problem+ obstacle+ another obstacle+ 1 more obstacle then climax and solution” situation. No one’s motivations made any sense, arguments we’ve had 8 times already with all these characters were rehashed (“we want to be popular, but oh we love glee so much, whichever shall we choose?!”) and even the musical numbers were more forced than usual (that first song wherein Lea Michele strutted around for 3 minutes of my life was truly painful).

Oh, and really? We’re throwing season one pairings back together? That’s not a cliffhanger, that’s a misdirect. Is there anyone out there who actually cares about Finn’s love life? At all? The only thing that stupid kiss guarantees is more whining from Rachel- YAY!

That sucked. And now my heart hurts.