There was a time when I loved Glee, and even this season there are moments when I’m reminded of how great it can be. I thought “Grilled Cheesus” was extraordinary from top to bottom. But after watching “Furt,” the big Glee wedding episode, I have a sour taste in my mouth.
I hated it. I hated almost everything about it. In fact, the only positive thing I can say about the episode is that it included a Dark Crystal reference (Kurt resembling a gelfling). While my colleague Jen Harper raved about “Furt,” I couldn’t disagree more. Here are just 10 of my problems, both major and minor, with the episode.
A Quickie Wedding
I know it’s TV, but did the show really have to rush the wedding between Kurt’s dad and Finn’s mom? Nobody gets married just a few short days after proposing, and instead of being romantic, it felt rushed, not to mention the fact that, no matter how good he is, there’s no way Kurt could’ve put that whole wedding together in a few days.
The Lady-Girl Hypocrisy
Early in the episode Kurt called out Sue for calling him “Lady” as a form of bullying. I’ll accept that, though I think calling that bullying diminishes the impact of genuine bullying. However, later in the episode, Finn and New Directions sang a song dedicated to Kurt which included the line “Girl, you’re amazing just the way you are.” How is that any different from what Sue did? It’s not, so Glee is guilty of bullying as well. The show is selective about what it considers bullying, which is hypocritical and muddies whatever message it’s trying to make.
Dancing Down the Aisle
Ever since that stupid YouTube video, people think dancing down the aisle is cool. It was already lame and outdated when the employees of Dunder-Mifflin did it at Jim and Pam’s wedding more than a year ago, so I’m not giving Glee a pass.
Will at the Wedding Reception
This is minor, but I’m so over Will and his singing. His performance during the first dance at the reception was too showy and all about him.
Kurt Getting Into Dalton
So Dalton is an exclusive private school, yet they let Kurt enter in the middle of a semester? Isn’t there some sort of waiting list? And what happens after the honeymoon money runs out? It would seem that Kurt’s dad can only afford one semester, which makes this an unbelievably ridiculous and idiotic plot twist.
The Whole Bully Storyline
I have serious problems with this whole Karofsky bullying storyline, which was put front and center this week. To me, Glee is a fantasy, a hyper-realistic comedy. So when the show tries to address real-life issues in a straight-forward and serious manner, it rings false to me. The closeted gay jock and the death threats are all too contrived and it feels like it came out of nowhere this season.
Except it didn’t. It came out of the recent news stories about gay bullying and it came out of Glee‘s desire to capitalize on this trend by forcing a story into the series to show off how tolerant and politically aware the show is. It feels inauthentic and untrue to what the show used to be, which was a care-free, fun and silly musical comedy. Just because you have a platform to address these issues doesn’t inherently make it a good idea.
Solutions That Solve Nothing
So Kurt left the school, but Karofsky is still there and he’ll still be there whenever Kurt comes back (which we all know he will). And Sue stepped down as principal to help Kurt, only to have him leave school. Both of these solutions to major plot problems are not solutions at all because the underlying problems remain. Perhaps I’m analyzing the structure and plotting of the series too closely, but that’s just how I watch TV.
Sam’s Character (or Lack Thereof)
Who is Sam Evans? Last week he didn’t know how to tie his shoelaces and this week he’s in love with Quinn and wants to be the most popular kid in school. I’d say that the writers are committing character assassination, but he never had any character to begin with. The show has screwed the pooch with Sam by refusing to give him any sort of consistency.
Wasting Carol Burnett
When you get Carol Burnett as a guest star, you’d better give her something interesting to do. Instead she was wasted in a pointless subplot about Sue marrying herself while delivering the same weak jokes about being a Nazi hunter. It reminds me of how the show totally wasted Broadway actor Victor Garber as Will’s dad. I hate it when shows shoe-horn in big guest stars without having a substantive enough role to warrant the star.
The Lack of Songs
The thing I love most about Glee is the music, so with just four songs, I was sorely disappointed, especially since one was Will and another was Sue and her mom. I want a big group number where Lea Michele kills it and Amber Riley rocks out a big solo with a few thousand runs. The show owes almost all of its success to the songs and the millions and millions of iTunes downloads, so Glee should start paying a lot more attention to that part of the show.
Maybe some of these are minor and trivial complaints, but when combined, they create a very unsatisfying episode of television. I’m not giving up on Glee, but I would like the show to return to its former glory. To do that, they need to stop making every episode about Kurt being gay and start focusing more on the rest of New Directions.
(Image courtesy of FOX)