“Glee” has stopped at the Daily for its midseason checkup, and the prognosis isn’t looking good. This season has left viewers confused with crisscrossing story arcs, weak subplots and a lack of a true lead.
Despite this, “Glee’s” third season has had some wonderful moments that have been well received by viewers and critics alike while continuing to inspire true “Gleeks.” One of those moments was the gutsy move by Matthew Morrison, director of the “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” episode, to shoot almost fully in black and white. This added a certain air of class and style to a downward spiraling show, grasping for anything to remain afloat. Unfortunately, even this nice touch was marred by Morrison’s green directorial experience, which was accentuated by his shaky and ADD−like camera focus throughout the episode.
McKinley High’s premier all−female show choir group entered the scene with a splash this year, adding some heat to the dying fire of “Glee’s” dramedy. The Troubletones featured strong and passionate lead vocals by Santana, played by the cheeky Naya Rivera, and Mercedes, portrayed by the ever−ebullient Amber Riley. This femme−fatale duo gave viewers the impression that the geniuses behind Glee’s music pulled out all the stops for the mash−ups and songs they performed. Their music rivaled, if not surpassed, that of the “so−last−season” Warblers. And, to put a feather in “Glee’s” cap, a number of songs from the show were once again released on iTunes to positive results.
“Glee” also found success with Santana’s coming out arc and subsequent relationship with Brittany (Heather Morris). While there is something to be said about the way the show portrays them, “Glee” does provide millions of viewers across the country with what may be their only encounters with LGBT relationships.
But with each hit, there are at least twice as many misses, and these flubs continue to hold the show back. The eternal and unanswerable question for “Glee” is, “why is Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) still on the show, and how can he possibly be a teacher?” Since the end of the first season, his character has slowly deteriorated to an increasingly irritating caricature of himself.
Morrison’s talents are wasted on Schuester’s character, thanks to a lack of character development and poor writing. Not even Ricky Martin’s guest appearance could salvage Schuester’s presence on the show. In fact, Martin’s appearance in one episode overshadowed Morrison’s entire season. The actor is not to blame; the writing is.
The development of Sue Sylvester’s (Jane Lynch) character, as well as those of Finn (Corey Monteith) and Rachel (Lea Michele) — “Finchel,” to use the Gleek vernacular — is just as much of a slight. Aside from Sylvester’s desire to become pregnant, the writing completely strips her character of any of the backbone she once had. Her insults even lack the comedic punch of older seasons, leaving Sylvester as a simple silhouette of her former glory.
As for Rachel and Finn, “Glee” fails to adequately represents a typical relationship. Teenagers and even younger kids for some reason look to “Glee” for guidance, and Murphy, along with his co−creators, should respect that and take it into account in their directorial decisions. Finchel just doesn’t strongly represent a high school relationship.
More often than not, audiences are left with questions rather than satisfaction. “Why would they put Quinn through a car crash? Have they run out of ideas? What ever happened to the “Glee” from season one, where did it go?” Unfortunately, this article doesn’t offer answers, but it will offer advice for the slowly nose−diving show, a show that cut its nose to spite its face by aiming for fame and popularity and sacrificing what made it great in the process. The antidote is to go back to the basics.