Glee: Emphasis on the “Rocky”

Man, I’m worried this show is starting to suffer from Heroes syndrome. You know, where after a great first season, it starts to tank in the second, going into a tailspin it can’t recover from.

As I said earlier on, Glee’s second season has not been good in my eyes. Very iffy. Very…rocky.

And the latest episode has another tribute thing, this time for Rocky Horror (NFB know how to make appropriate post titles!)

And man…I dunno.

See, this is the first episode of the new season where I thought all the songs were great. Especially “Whatever happened to Saturday Night?” (one of those great sing along songs) “Damnit Janet” and “Touch-a, touch-a, touch-a touch me”. Even their rendition of “Time Warp”, which I’ve noticed a lot of others criticise, was alright as far as I was concerned. Maybe its just because I’m not that familiar with Rocky Horror but I thought the showpiece was fine.

But.

Everything other than the music (and, of course, one Sue Sylvester) was just terrible. The plot, the character development, the script.

The AV Club (with a header image that exemplifies everything wrong with this episode) makes an excellent point: What has happened to Will Schuester? Remember the character who started the Glee club to get some self-esteem back and ended up crying in his car when it looked like his kids wouldn’t get the chance to compete in regionals?

Now, he uses the Glee club in a fiendish plot to ruin a relationship, so he can get a girl he promised he’d back off from. In so doing, he forces the students into an awkward situation performing a risque show, and gives several characters a body image problem. And, as the Principal spells out for him (in an actually quite powerful moment) he puts the whole club on the line to do it.

It’s a bizarre change of pace for the character. Moreover the whole episode has a bunch of incredibly obvious flaws that spoil the whole thing. Firstly, no American High School in their right minds would allow a performance of “Rocky Horror”. A performance that’s apparently being financed, practised, cast and put on within a week.

Another thing. John Stamos character complains that he doesn’t want to spend his time on stage “rubbing up against the teenagers” (something Schuester has no problem with apparently). But then, he proceeds to do just that, including some borderline creepy stuff with the cheerleaders, in his big practice dance number.

The kids are given the most stereotyped roles possible initially, with Schuester going to far as to directly give the character of the transvestite to the openly gay kid. He can’t foresee any problem with that? Jeez.

Sue does everything she can to make sure that Will goes through with the show, then reveals her plan…while Scheuster still has time to cancel the show. What?

For a tribute show, it isn’t much of tribute. They don’t really talk about the musical ita plot or its characters that much, and the smattering of songs, all of a kinda random genre, don’t help either.

And the episode was slow starting, dragged in the middle and only really came to life in the last third.

The tribute shows, since the first one, really just don’t work anymore, not as tributes, not as Glee episodes.

Sue’s big message towards the end was the saving grace of the whole thing, and the character made a good point about art that exists solely for the purpose of pushing the envelope usually being quite bad. But man, songs aside, it was fairly brutal.

This show’s already got a third season confirmed and ratings remain high (though they are dropping). I wonder if the writers have gotten into a position that’s a little to comfortable, where they don’t feel compelled to give more of the excellent stuff from Season One.

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