Haven’t I Seen This Before? – Review of Glee

I’ve been trying. I really have. Nearly everyone I know LOVES Glee and keeps ranting about how good it is. I want to like it, I really do, but I just find it so…unimpressive. To be fair, I didn’t start from the very beginning when the show began. Instead, I started watching a few episodes in when everyone around me was talking about how great it was. So maybe in fact, my opinion was skewed by people over-hyping it from the beginning. 

The problem is, I find the characters annoying and unsympathetic. They are just cartoonish caricatures of movie and television characters that were done before. This is the only show where I openly find myself rooting for the “bad guys” because the “good guys” are so annoying. And exactly in a school that supposed to be diverse, are there no Hispanic or Indian students? Yes, they have the Indian principal, but I can’t stand the guy. That dude’s career is built on mocking Indians in media. I’m betting that in real life he doesn’t have an accent. Although, I’m sure they’re saving the one Indian girl in the school for the Bollywood-centric episode.

So why are nearly ALL these characters to familiar? So let’s dissect.

The Regulars

Rachel Berry
-The bookish girl who would do anything to make sure “resume” looks good and has a plan for life. She knows what she’s gonna do, where she’s gonna do it and who she is going to do it with and no one, not even teachers or fellow classmates can stop her. Sound familiar? Add a blond wig and you have Reese Witherspoon’s Tracy Flick from Election.

Finn Hudson
-Wow, I can’t believe they found a WORSE actor than Chris Klein to essentially replay his “Oz” character from American Pie. The popular jock who learns that he really enjoys the Glee Club, while slowly falling for the girl in the group.

Quinn Fabrey
-I’m sorry that you didn’t get picked for one of the 18 sequels to Bring It On, because you’re essentially playing one of the bad girl characters from it. I know they want her to be the “hot, alpha cheerleader” type, but she’s sorta awkward looking. The other cheerleader characters, who I’m sure don’t really have names on the show, are much hotter. In fact, the “ethnic” cheerleader needs much, much more screen time. And seriously, do the cheerleaders have NO other outfits?

Puck Puckerman
-Finally, we get to the one student character that I like. The guy has well-managed to straddle the line between lovable and asshole. Is he similar to other characters who have straddled the line between badass and sensitive guy? (Pacey from Dawson’s Creek and Zack Morris say, “Hello.”) Of course he does, but there something you can relate to about his ability to point out exactly how insufferable the other characters are. Of course, the show will jump the shark when he loses his mohawk in some November sweeps trick. Actually, this is the only guy that I see have a chance at having a career after the show.

The Adults

Will Schuester
-The Cool Teacher is a tried and true character that every education major in college aspires to be. Yes, we all saw Dangerous Minds, but not all of us are made out to be Michelle Pfeiffer. Plain and simple, this guy is just annoying. Other than a wonderful head of hair, I honestly don’t know what he brings to the show except corniness, skinny ties and a wannabe hipster appeal. Hell, Boston Public made careers out of people trying to portray cool teachers. Speaking of Boston Public

Terri Schuester
-Somebody get this woman a sandwich quick. What happened to her from her Boston Public days? She used to have a cuteness about her, but now she just looks like she’s starving. We all know how she got this role. She essentially played the exact same scheming, conniving character on Nip/Tuck, Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s first break out hit show. Its as thought he’s not even trying to be creative when casting this show.

Emma Pillsbury
-This woman has the largest eyes ever. It’s like she’s a female, human version of ET or maybe even one of the Gremlins. Although, I think this clean freak thing is a little too much. It is as though they wanted to give her some sort of “weirdness”, but couldn’t decide on what to do. X-Ray vision would have made a lot more sense.

Sue Sylvester
-The only likable adult on the show. I openly root for her in her efforts to shut down the Glee club. The character is also well balanced in being good/bad, but what I like is that the other characters don’t really see the good side of her. She’s the most real-life person in that sense. Most of us have a public persona and a private persona and we all do what we can to keep these two separate.

The Second Tier

Kurt
-The token gay guy character isn’t that bad, although he is fairly stereotypical with his expertise in fashion and love for musical theater. But let’s me honest, how distracting is this dude’s nose?!? I’m sorry, I know its shallow of me, but the nose steals every scene its in. I don’t think the costume designers are doing him any favors with the tiny hats he seems to always wear.

Artie
-I feel like this character has potential, but he just seems to be cartoonish in the background. I know there was one Artie-centric episode this season, but it, like he, is quite forgettable. I got it, it just came to me. You know who he reminds me of? The goofy looking, deep voiced guy that was in 98 Degrees. You know who I’m talking about. The ugly guy in the group with a goatee.

Mercedes
-The sassy, big black girl with a soulful voice? Come ON. You’re not even trying to be original. I can almost imagine the casting conversation. “I want someone like Jennifer Hudson, do you think she’ll do the show? No? How about one of the other girls who have been on American Idol? Maybe we can get that girl from School of Rock and make her sassy. SASSY!”

Having said all this, why do I continue to watch the show? Well, to be fair it is like watching a car accident, I just can’t look away. The formula of the show is simple, appeal to all underdogs by portraying nearly every underdog. It falls into the category of TV shows that are early critical darlings, but soon become redundant and trite when celebrity guest starts start appearing. I get quite a feeling that Glee is our next Nip/Tuck, Ugly Betty, Ed, Boston Public and Ally McBeal. For those of you who love the show, I say enjoy it now.

I can nearly guarantee that sometime in the next two years we will have a guest musical star from the 80s, an over-hyped appearance from Rosie O’Donnell, and the unexpected and surprisingly humorous death of one of the characters.

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~ by joysonism on December 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “Haven’t I Seen This Before? – Review of Glee”

  1. I know you know I love this show since I Tweet about it constantly, but I will agree that it’s not necessarily of high quality (especially last week, and I haven’t seen last night’s ep yet). I think the writing and continuity could be a lot better, and I agree that all of the characters are pretty unlikeable. You’d hope the super-stereotypical characters would be used as comments on those stereotypes, but so far that hasn’t happened. So I don’t think you’re wrong, it’s just that some people like it despite all that. The songs are a big reason for me, and Rachel because we look similar, and so is Puck because I’m shallow (he will lose the mohawk by April when the new eps come back, the actor said he couldn’t wait to shave it off when they were done filming these first 13).

    So that was a long comment to say “As usual, Joyson, you’re completely correct.”

  2. I like the show mostly for the music. It will probably lose its touch next season since. My favorite episode so far is “acafellas”.

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