Glee recap: Contrarian Corner
Have you ever felt like you’re different, a misfit, a loner, like you just don’t belong? Come Tuesday nights, when everyone tunes into a certain high-school musical, do you find yourself wondering how we’ve reached a point where Kidz Bop: The Serieshas become a major cultural touchstone? Is there a passion burning deep inside you that you just need to get out, and is that passion the desire to complain about how much you dislike Glee? If so, please take a seat, you’re in the right place. (For those of you hoping to read EW’s regular Glee recap, you can find that here.)
Welcome to the Diss-a-Glee club. This is a safe zone where we can discuss all the things about the show that annoy us, and by “discuss” I mean conversing with words like normal people and not breaking out into licensed showtunes at the drop of a top hat. You may have noticed that EW can sometimes be inundated with a ridiculous overabundance [Ed.] perfectly acceptable amount of Gleecoverage, but you should know that not all of us are necessarily fans. So in conjunction with our Glee-positive recaps written by the openhearted and joyful Abby West, we’ll also be offering these weekly posts written by me, a cynical Scrooge who likes to stomp on children’s sandcastles.
Why even watch the show if we hate it so much? I’m glad you asked, inevitable commenter! Burning hatred is a very powerful motivator, you see, and can help lead to great things. Would Voltaire ever have written Candide if not for his hatred of Leibnizian optimism? Would Michael Bay ever have made Pearl Harbor if not for his hatred of history books?
So, on to the show: I was thisclose to being interested in last night’s episode, the second of the season, primarily because I thought it was going to center around Brittany, who is a fascinating character. By all rights, Brittany should not be alive, since the level of stupidity at which the writers keep her indicates that simple, everyday functions like remembering to breathe or not sticking your face into a weed wacker are beyond her grasp. Plenty of shows have the token stupid character, but Brittany makes Becky, the girl with Down Syndrome, look like Neil deGrasse Tyson. So when it seemed like we’d get to spend some time in the vast echoing cavern that is her mind, I thought it might be interesting. But that was before Kurt sashayed in and absconded with the A-plot like he does in 87 percent of the episodes.
Kurt really wants to play Tony in the upcoming school production of West Side Story, but unfortunately he’s a little too [INSERT ACCEPTABLE EUPHEMISM] for the role. His audition choice of one of Streisand’s sassiest numbers probably didn’t help matters, and so he tries to prove that he can play a virile, heterosexual gang member from the streets of 1950s New York. Usually on Glee when you aren’t immediately successful at something you’ve never tried before it’s because you either don’t believe enough in yourself, others don’t believe enough in you, or you don’t believe enough that others believe in you. But in place of the usual triumphant overcoming of mild adversity, Glee pulled out one of its most dubious morals to date. As Burt explains, Kurt shouldn’t have to adapt himself to roles that are unlike him just because that’s literally the very definition of acting. Instead, he should just demand that people write roles that already closely resemble him. And that’s how Glee, the show on the forefront of introducing gay kids into old people’s living rooms, ended up supporting that Newsweek article everyone booed last year. Really, Glee? You’re going to go with saying that Kurt should just embrace the fact that he’s too gay to play it straight? This is what happens when you just close your eyes and pull out something at random from your Big Sparkly Bedazzled Bag o’ Heartwarming Lessons.
Case in point #2: Quinn has decided she no longer wants to be a part of Glee. She has also decided to dye her hair pink, wear a leather jacket, hang out under the bleachers, and smoke, proving that Glee’s idea of teenage rebellion in 2011 is straight out of an early 1990s episode of Degrassi High. I bet she’s listening to that rock ‘n’ roll music, too! Because she dared to change her look and attitude, her former friends and teachers berate her endlessly, telling her she needs to stop being so different and start being more like them. Essentially, she’s bullied into conforming to their norm—the norm of singing, dancing and being as non-threateningly diverse as the Burger King Kids Club Gang—and when she finally shows up, all blond and frilly, everyone claps and laughs and feels their heart-cockles heating up, completely oblivious to the fact that they completely went against everything that their show is supposed to stand for. Someone really needs to return that Big Sparkly Bedazzled Bag. I hope they kept the receipt.
Do you think babies ever grow up to resent being lazy plot devices?
I’m not sure I believe Puck knew that Napoleon was a pastry but not that he was an historical figure. That’s like saying, “Did you know that a string isn’t just an oscillating component of subatomic particles, but that it’s also a long thing used to tie up newspapers?”
Mr. Schuester says he can’t direct the musical because he’s far too busy concentrating on Nationals. Somewhere there’s a Spanish class filled with skeletons that has been waiting two years to be dismissed.
Are Congressional campaign ads in Ohio really just footage of random students yelling at random teachers filmed by random coaches? That seems like an odd thing to base your politics on.
I’m convinced that there is a running bet in the writer’s room to see who can create the most annoying character on primetime television. Whoever came up with Sugar, you win, now and forever.
Haters gonna hate, so you might as well do it in the comments section. Vent your disdain for Glee below, preferably while punching a kitten and telling a six-year-old that Santa doesn’t exist!