Blame the "Thong Song," or how I lost my glee for "Glee"
Having been behind in my DVR viewing, this only happened Monday night. My wife and I were feeling a little uneasy about "Glee" in recent weeks -- man, Will's not-so-pregnant wife is annoying as crap -- but we decided to keep going because we love Sue Sylvester's (Jane Lynch) sharp barbs and genuinely had interest, maybe even a slight sense of empathy, for characters like Finn and Will.
Then it happened: the moment I had been dreading ever since I decided to give "Glee" a chance. Yeah, its pilot had won me over. And yeah, Lynch is hysterical as a diabolical cheer coach. But once Will (Matthew Morrison) began cheesily rapping to Young MC's "Bust a Move," I knew the writing was on the wall.
Look, I accept that "Glee" is about a high school glee club and therefore is going to have music be an integral part of the show. I can also live with the idea that anyone, at any time, can break into song in over-the-top fashion. When done properly -- you know, with actual plot integration in mind -- it can be quite amusing and clever (see gay Kurt dancing to "Single Ladies" or Will's man-band grooving to Color Me Badd).
But there's also a reason "Cop Rock" is an all-time TV punchline. The idea of watching actors, even highly skilled ones, always gliding effortlessly into song or busting out jazz hands becomes redundant and ridiculous over time. Add novelty songs that no one would ever want to hear again to the mix, and folks, you have a recipe for disaster.
So when, moments after Will finished writhing to Young MC, the suave glee leader busted out a stunningly unwatchable version of Sisqo's "Thong Song" in front of Emma -- wearing a wedding dress ... ugh, don't ask -- I turned to my wife, she turned to me, and we mutually decided that we couldn't, in good conscience, continue on.
And with that, "Glee" was stopped mid-episode, never to return to my DVR list.
Now, part of me gets the joke. "Glee" is so outlandish because, in many ways, it's a parody of high school dramas, musicals and soap operas. I understand that Quinn never takes off her cheerleading uniform. I get that Rachel is supposed to rival the "American Idol" wannabe who really believes that dreams of stardom will come true. And again, I totally get that music is a HUGE part of the show and will help sell countless CDs and spur Gleeks everywhere to make their own YouTube videos.
But as smart and sweet as "Glee" can sometimes be, this show isn't for someone with my discerning taste. The plots are nonsensical (fake pregnancies, secret engagements), the song choices too transparent or intentionally bad. The final nail in the coffin -- Will grinding to "Thong Song," full facial expressions and smoky vocals in tow -- was more embarrassing than watching a bunch of overzealous guests perform a drunken version of "The Electric Slide" at a wedding.
I wanted "Glee" to morph into "Freaks and Geeks" with a few clever music references tossed in, but sadly, it's a song and dance pairing that wasn't meant to be. "Thong Song" made sure of that.
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, firstname.lastname@example.org