Is It Just Me, Or Was ‘Glee’ Not Terrible This Week?
Having missed this week’s Glee when it originally aired, I was wondering if it was even worth watching it on the DVR, and I’m surprised to say that I’m glad I did. Now, I’ve been let down by this show too many times to believe that this might mean it’s getting back to season one caliber, but could it be a sign that Glee might be slowly finding its way back to the show we fell in love with? Here are some of things about “I Kissed a Girl” that reminded me of Glee‘s glory days in season one…
- Voice-overs – I didn’t realize how much the characters’ voice-over moments added to the show until they were so notably absent. I actually miss listening to Rachel blab on and on about becoming a star, Finn’s clueless inner dialogue about the woes of having a fetus face, and Puck’s shameless self-admiration. Last night’s episode featured voice-over snippets from a variety of characters, and I think it really added a lot. I especially loved hearing some of their thought processes as they cast their votes for student council president, like Quinn’s comment that her father always votes for the candidate who’s the least ethnic.
- Sue’s Journal – Remember when Sue used to write down her innermost thoughts, consisting mostly of creative insults for Mr. Schue’s hair? I know seasons 2 and 3 have been heavy on Sue’s Corner, but it’s just not the same. Here’s a bit of Sue’s journal entry from this week’s episode: “Why would someone assume I’m a friend of Ellen just because I’m mannish and highly aggressive and have short hair and I only wear track suits and I coach a girls’ sport and I married myself? It just doesn’t make sense.” More, please!
- A Strong Emotional Center – Back in season 1, most of the characters were pretty sympathetic, or if they were unsympathetic, they were at least consistently unsympathetic. Season 2 was just a mess of inconsistent character development, and that’s what really turned Glee into a trainwreck. I feel like it lacked an emotional center, like a gravitational pull of warm-and-fuzziness (or even sad-and-mopeyness…I’m not picky! But something other than pettiness and anger would be nice). This week’s episode centered around Santana’s struggle with embracing her sexuality, which provided, a) a relatable and humanizing storyline for Santana, and b) a cause that brought the group together. I also appreciated the moment between Puck and Quinn where he told her that she’s kind of crazy, but at least someone finally noticed that Quinn is really having a difficult time. I’d love for her not to be nuts sometime soon.
- Self-aware Tongue-in-Cheek Humor – This is a musical TV show about a high school glee club. It’s important not to forget that. To quote Rachel in the pilot episode, “There’s nothing ironic about show choir!” What happened to that satirical humor? This week’s episode gave us a glimpse of it when Rachel, at a loss as to how to help Kurt win the student election, made a comment to Finn about how she wished they could just do an impromptu musical number in the cafeteria and win over the hearts of the voters. I think even Rachel realized the slight ridiculousness of her idea, and it’s great to see the show wink at itself once in a while.
- Finn’s Voice – His voice isn’t the best, or the showiest, but I used to really enjoy Finn’s singing back when he was the de facto male lead. Of course, that was before they started auto-tuning every song to the point that you can barely tell who’s singing anyway. I’ve been complaining about the lack of screen time and musical parts for Finn since the beginning of this season, so I was ecstatic to hear Finn sing last night…twice! I’ve been so starved for some Finn action that I even liked his weird, slow version of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.”
Other highlights were Coach Beiste (as always) and her rendition of “Jolene,” Principal Figgins’ explanation of the school board’s view on weaponized slushies, and Puck taking on Melissa Etheridge. So am I the only one who wasn’t disappointed by “I Kissed a Girl”? To the other twelve people who are still watching, what did you think? Could this possibly be the upturn in Glee‘s quality? Is it all thanks to former Buffy scribe Marti Noxon? Leave your thoughts in the comments, or tweet us @PopCultureNexus!