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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By Mina Asayesh-Brown, movie/tv critic
The last time I wrote about Fox’s musical comedy (if you can call it that) Glee, I was wrapped up in my hatred of the show, full of resentment for all its wasted potential. That was back when puffy-lipped Sam was still dating Quinn, Blaine wasn’t 100 percent gay and Gwyneth Paltrow was making questionable guest appearances.
Now, things have changed: Finn and Rachel are getting married, Sue is pregnant and Quinn might have died in a car accident. Needless to say, the writers have miraculously upped the drama. My feelings about Glee have also changed: After watching this week’s episode (the first since the midseason cliffhanger in February), I realized I no longer despise the show I once gave four stars. Rather, I pity it, because Glee has truly devolved into such tripe I can’t even understand it anymore.
This latest episode (one of eight left in the third season) tidied up the mess from where it left off in minutes, revealing the fate of Quinn (Dianna Agron) and jumping to a new story line before the opening credits even had a chance to roll. It’s an uncharacteristic move for the show, which usually milks every dramatic moment for all its worth. Creator-head writer Ryan Murphy throws all the buildup out the window and instead focuses on his handsome guest star, White Collar’s Matt Bomer, who plays Blaine’s (Darren Criss) famous but disapproving older brother. The two duel out their feelings in song, though the music sounds so produced it’s hard to tell if Bomer can actually sing or if a synthesizer and a computer are composing his voice. Meanwhile, Finn (Cory Monteith) and Rachel (Lea Michele) have trouble in paradise as they discuss Finn’s future in New York, a conversation you’d think would have come up before they decided to get hitched. Luckily, they’ve postponed the wedding in the wake of Quinn’s accident. Sue (Jane Lynch) is still floating around in bitchy limbo, caught between abusing the Glee Club and giving out hugs.
The sad thing is, none of it matters. In this episode especially, the plot points only exist to serve as feeble attempts at framework for the musical numbers, which are more random and over the top than ever. Murphy should really pursue what appears to be his true calling: directing cheesy, exaggerated music videos. Then he wouldn’t have to bother with the dialogue in between.
Bomer’s guest bit is comical but predictably sappy, as he and Blaine struggle to find balance in their relationship (this involves a strangely sexual but admittedly excellent rendition of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know, the highlight of the episode). The supporting cast of characters is surprisingly scarce in this episode, which focuses on Bomer and Blaine and Artie, who plays a key role in the aftermath of Quinn’s crash. The plus side (for me) is this means minimal screen time for Will Schuester, my least favorite character.
Glee still suffers from the same problems it developed when it jumped the shark long ago, but to a harsher degree. The lines are cornier, the songs have even less reason and the political correctness is out the wazoo. The show has become a star-studded public service announcement. But as I said, I no longer hate Glee for what it is; I’ve grown accustomed to expecting so little that I can’t be disappointed. But my opinion doesn’t matter, Gleeks, because the nightmare is far from over. Glee was just renewed for a fourth season. Please, just hit me in the face with a Slushee.
Mina Asayesh-Brown is an IB senior at St. Petersburg High.