If you watch How I Met Your Mother, you know that the gang is fond of doing interventions on each other for whatever silly fad they’re obsessed with. Well, I’m calling a Glee Intervention.
According to Vulture, the upcoming season 2 prom episode will feature Artie, Sam and Puck performing “Friday,” Rebecca Black’s Internet sensation (and by “sensation,” I mean the burning kind you sometimes get in your special place).
To use a second HIMYM reference, when I heard this news, I responded like Robin did when she thought Ted was proposing to her. “No. No, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No. No. No, no. No. No, no, no, no. No. No. No.”
Seriously? Is this some kind of cruel, belated April Fool’s Day joke? There’s always a chance this is just an out-of-control rumor that will eventually be struck down, but if not, I’m disgusted. I know the song is a cultural phenomenon, currently boasting more than 100 million YouTube views, but that’s no excuse for Glee to do it.
So I’m calling an Intervention on Glee doing songs not because they’re relevant to the story, but because they happen to be the cool flavor-of-the-week. I’m looking at you, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Ke-Dollar Sign-Ha, Katy Perry, Cee Lo or the upcoming SECOND Lady Gaga episode. I know that kids today have the musical attention span of a goldfish, but that doesn’t mean the show can only cover songs released in the last three months.
However, at least those are all legitimate singers. Rebecca Black’s song comes from a mass production conglomerate which churns out generic pop songs like widgets in a cartoon factory.
By covering the auto-tuned sign of the end of music as we knew it, Glee is waving the white flag on any musical credibility and embracing the fact that the show’s own bland, tween-friendly covers are as destructive to actual music as the popularity of Rebecca Black. Glee isn’t daring or original, it’s jumping on a bandwagon that will be dated and ridiculous by the time this episode and the Glee cover of “Friday” finally see the light of day. It’s like when Kathy Griffin showed up on Glee to make references to that Republican witch lady whose name has already slipped from my mind because her 15 minutes ended a long time.
But my Intervention isn’t limited to Glee‘s lame musical choices, it also goes to its storylines. Back in the fall Ryan Murphy and his fellow creators jumped on the “gay bullying” trend as soon as they could with Kurt’s storyline, but here were are a few months later and the whole issue of gay bullying has vanished from the cultural debate. Did Hollywood cure the problem? No. The media got bored with the fake story that they made up to boost ratings and moved on.
I’m not saying gay kids weren’t being bullied, but I am saying that, when everyone was talking about it in the fall, it was no more a problem than it had ever been before or will ever be in the future. It’s not like gay bullying just came out of nowhere (does anyone remember the tragic story of Matthew Shepard?). But the media blew it up, Glee latched onto it, and as soon as it left the headlines, Glee was stuck with an obnoxious storyline that, like the Iraq War, seems to have no viable exit strategy. It briefly reappeared in the Super Bowl episode, but after pretending that Karofsky and the football players learned a valuable lesson about tolerance, everything went back to the way it was before.
That’s what happens when Glee rushes to attach itself to some big media trend. It becomes dated, pointless and only distracts from the fact that the writers don’t actually have an original idea anymore, they just take whatever happens in the real world and turn it into a script, like Law and Order’s ripped-from-the-headlines episodes.
This may seem like I’m taking Rebecca Black’s “Friday” being performed on Glee too seriously, and maybe I am, but it’s only because I don’t want to see Glee turn into a silly pop culture show that only adds pointless stars or songs for the sake of hitting a Twitter Trending Topic.
Glee can do better than “Friday,” and we should expect better from Glee. But I guess for now I should just be glad that Glee didn’t decide to cover “Chocolate Rain” or “Jizz in My Pants” from Saturday Night Live. Though if “Friday” is a hit, I fear those might be next.
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(Image courtesy of FOX)