Glee: Fall's Savior or Lame High School Musical Clone?

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You may have seen over 75,000 posters for tonight's new episode of Glee, or watched the TV ads calling Fox's show "the most loved comedy" of the season. Because 30 Rock we just respect, right? With its clever scripts, incredible characters, and un-condescending tone? Meanwhile, Glee, with its predictable plots, stock characters, and iTunes-ready playlist, is "lovable" because it tends to our last-picked-for-Dodgeball inner child. It just sings! It's the new "Seasons of Love"! How do you measure, measure a year? Hopefully not by setting your clock to this show. Because it's actually embarrassing. An offensive, awkward song clip after the jump.

Here's the cast's rendition of "Gold Digger," which doesn't sound like a casual glee club rehearsal. In fact, it sounds like they're in a recording studio and abandoning the show's homespun vibe entirely. It also sounds like they forgot to mention the word that Kanye rhymed with "digger." Context clues indicate it doesn't strike the right note for "feel good comedy." Get down, white teacher, go on, get down!

This is sad. And that "rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'" was just as cloying and Raffi-fied, though less offensive. The main problem with Glee is that in trying to be more than the series version of High School Musical, it goes to strange, not entirely successful lengths to supersede its obvious ancestor. Reviving four-year-old rap hits with racial slurs omitted? A gym teacher who might molest kids? If Glee is going to live up to the hype it claims it gets, the show needs more than Barney-the-Dinosaur re-recordings of radio singles and jarring character turns. It needs to be funny. Based on the pilot that aired in May, even Jane Lynch isn't providing laughs.



Comments

  • psych101 says:

    Thank you for writing this. This show has been so overhyped all summer and I truly think it's going to be another "Heroes" (circa season 2) - lots of buildup, no follow-through in making the concept clever or original, and stock token characters.
    And - I'm sorry - Jane Lynch isn't funny. She does the same hardass who makes people uncomfortable character in EVERY gig. It's over the top here, and unbearable.

  • stretch65 says:

    Glee hee...
    Didn't anyone learn anything from Cop Rock?!!!

  • stolidog says:

    stick meet ass.

  • hellcat says:

    You give the new Melrose Place a good review but you don't like Glee?
    Who's pocket are you in, anyway?

  • pinkyt says:

    Exactly, HELLCAT. This may not be brain surgery but it is a snarky, cute show, a much better waste of an hour than watching Ashlee Simpson and assorted soap opera rejects attempt to "act" in a rehash of a show that wasn't all that fresh when it first aired.

  • Mikey says:

    It will have its little moment and then be over. And we'll all survive nicely, thank you.

  • bess marvin, girl detective says:

    As a writer, I'm just concerned at how they intend to keep this concept afloat season after season when the goal is pretty much the same (win the glee club championships or whatever it's called)

  • Guy Whitey Corngood says:

    Whoever is rapping Kanye's verses sounds awfully familar to the fellow who mutilated 'Float On' for the Kidz Bop™ kidzs.
    If you've somehow avoided that particular bit of audio-rape - which makes the rappin' granny seem avant garde - well, it's time for a cold dose of reality:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAQKdgFZCGs

  • LizzieLemonic says:

    THANK you, Guy Whitey, for invoking the name of Kidz Bop, it was obviously missing from the text above.
    I think it clever that they knew their pilot kicked ass, so they put that out there on its own to build anticipation...it really worked. But it's reckoning day.
    At least HSM had original songs and Kenny freaking Ortega directing...who can make brilliance out of next to nigh-marish-material (hello, Newsies).

  • Lowbrow says:

    The Rappin' Granny is avant-garde.

  • John M says:

    I'm just curious how they'll keep it going past this season, when all these high schoolers already look like they're in their early to mid-twenties.
    In any case, this has helped me pinpoint my new least favorite genre: the satirical musical.

  • Lowbrow says:

    I, for one, was less than convinced to holler "we want prenup."

  • Strepsi says:

    Louis and you commenters are so shallow and jaded you are missing the real joy of Glee: Matthew Morrison's adorable smile and spectacular chest! Are y'all blind?

  • hyperboloholic says:

    Despite some flaws that I hope they'll shake out pretty soon, I think this show has definite potential and I'm delighted it's on the air, and hope it actually gains popularity. I'm a sucker for any show with this much gay / geek energy in it, and am willing to cut it some slack as it gets its footing. They really have to move away from having super one dimensional "bad guys" though, that is gonna get old really fast. Except Jane Lynch, she can stay just how she is.

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