I have always been secure enough to admit to anyone, when the subject of television arises, that I have been a fan of Glee since the early days. I enjoyed the first half of the first season immensely, and when that show went on its Olympics-induced hiatus, I couldn't wait to see the second half, and even purchased the first half of the season on DVD. Yes, I know, it's a little much when you examine my personality, but there you go, I am a man of many parts.
One of the things I enjoyed about the show was the music. The youthful, energetic, well-arranged covers of such perennial favorites like "Don't Stop Believin'", "Somebody to Love", and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" were enough to make sure that an old guy like me could enjoy a show about hormonal teenaged misfits. Making the show even better was the fact that they weren't afraid to venture into music that isn't necessarily the province of white-bread suburbia. Singing songs like "Gold Digger", "Give up the Funk", and "Tell Me Something Good" indicated that the show's producers weren't afraid of doing something different. I enjoyed the music so much, that I can easily confess to having nearly thirty of the shows selection on my IPod (I am listening to "Rehab" as I type this).
By now you should have gotten the idea that I enjoy the music… but I also enjoy the cast. The show is well-written, and not terribly overwrought. The cast is good (almost great), and who doesn't enjoy Jane Lynch's character, Coach Sue Sylvester?
Like millions of other Americans (and people in other countries as well, I am sure), I eagerly waited for the beginning of the new season, and when the first episode arrived I was happy. I enjoyed the season opener, not because it was the best the cast or the producers have ever done, but because of the return of characters and plotlines that I enjoyed. I was also pleased about the introduction of new cast members and the prospects of interesting plots that were projected for the season. Here is where it falls apart.
Glee has become so popular, darn near every A-list (and B & C list) musical performer has been trying to get on the show. Sometimes those guests have been great additions, sometimes not-so-much. Josh Groban made for good laughs, and Neil Patrick Harris was alright, but I have to tell you, "The Madonna Episode" left me cold, as did "The lady Gaga episode". Now in the second week of the second season, I have to say oops, they did it again, with the "Britney Spears Episode". I suppose the fact that I really don't enjoy those particular artists has a lot to do with it, but really, they were lame.
Madonna, I can blow off, because I see her as someone who is a total fame whore who would sell her children into slavery if she thought it would get her name in the papers, and I see Lady Gaga as just a Madonna clone… the only real difference being that Gaga is younger and doesn't have any children yet. Now, the Britney episode… look I know that Spears is (was?) popular, but really, to make her out as a cultural icon is a bit much, isn't it? Maybe the writers were trying to be ironic, but I have to tell you that I thought the music in this episode was awful. Maybe it is my age. Maybe I am just being grumpy. Maybe I'm plain ol' wrong… but I doubt it. The only shining spot in this particular episode was the emergence of Glee Club member Brittany, who had more speaking lines in this episode than she had in the entire first season. I hope that the trend continues.
Don't get me wrong, I still love the show, and I will continue to watch, but here is good ol' Gunfighter keepin' it real, telling the producers that this episode really stunk up the room.