[Before I begin, it should probably go without saying that I’ll be discussing recent plot points from Glee. If you’re behind and plan to catch up without spoilers, stop here.]
When it debuted two seasons ago, Glee was the most aptly-named show on television. It was a delight. It was fun and goofy and had lots of novel musical numbers featuring a very talented cast. It was sweet without being cloying, and quirky without being twee. The scene where Kurt tells his dad that he’s gay was absolutely pitch-perfect, and truly touching. I was hooked.
Since then, the show has slid inexorably from mediocre to confusing to completely incoherent. There are so many laughably implausible plotlines going that one wonders if they really have hired a roomful of monkeys to hammer away at the script, and just go with whatever they churn out. In this way it reminds me of Ally McBeal, that amusing trifle of a show that took its title character’s idiosyncrasies and cranked them to 11, rendering her not so much charming as outright schizophrenic. What the writers seemingly fail to understand is that what makes musicals successful is the insertion of song and dance into a drama that is appealing in its own right. Most of the new plotlines make no sense. Sue Sylvester running for Congress on an “I hate show choir” platform? Really?
Nowhere is this more evident than in the aforementioned character of Kurt, who had been providing the moral touchstone for the series as the gay kid struggling to be accepted in school on his own terms. The show made several missteps with him, most egregiously his creepily inappropriate pursuit of the put-upon and obviously uninterested Finn, but managed to acknowledge and correct some of them. But they’ve decided that the best way to keep his story interesting is to make him an utter moron. Apparently he is only capable of singing showtunes made famous by women, despite it always working against him. He cannot, it seems, recognize the merit in demonstrating some range as a performer, and merely throws tantrums about being true to himself instead of trying to broaden his repertoire. Enough already. Gay doesn’t have to mean clueless.
Despite its decreasing quality, the show has thrown in just enough exuberant flash mobs and emotionally moving scenes to keep me watching up until now. But this past week they introduced the plotline that’s making me change my DVR settings. I have zero interest in watching a contrived and insulting narrative about Quinn trying to get back custody of the baby she surrendered for adoption. There are already too many things that make me yell at my TV for me to volunteer to watch this one.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am the proud parent of an adopted son. I know all about the adoption process, including the part where the adoption is finalized. Any adoptive parent will tell you that it’s a wonderful day when it happens, capping a long, nerve-wracking, tense and tedious process. Thankfully, once it’s done, it’s done forever.
Perhaps Glee‘s showrunners know this. Maybe Quinn will learn presently that the adoption of her biological daughter has been finalized, and that her adoptive mother is her mother in the eyes of the law, full stop. It seems much more likely, however, that they wouldn’t have bothered to introduce this storyline if they didn’t plan to milk it. Picture melodramatic scenes where Quinn and the Idina Menzel character (whose name escapes me) have tearful battles over who is the “real” mother. The idea of watching as the process by which families like mine come together is sensationalized beyond all recognition makes me want to punch Ryan Murphy in the nose. No thanks.
If the show were otherwise as enjoyable as it once was, maybe I’d be willing to suffer through this new development. But it isn’t, so I’m not. Dedicated viewers, please feel free to tell me if I’m missing something. For my part, I’ll probably fill the time by watching Jeeves & Wooster DVDs.