Question: To say I was disappointed by the Glee season finale is an understatement. I was insulted. I’m usually willing to look past the show’s ridiculous “plot” developments, because it is at least fresh and fun, and the songs are good. But in the finale, I think I laughed only once, and even the music was lame. From the pointless cameo of Patti LuPone to the blatant product placement for Wicked, the episode was a sad and (cardinal sin) boring mess. This is one former fan who has thrown in the towel. Is it just me, or do you think the emperor has lost his clothes? — Duncan
Matt Roush: The garments are a bit tattered, but I’m not giving up on Glee yet — though it’s hardly gotten a free critical ride during this second season. So many of the big episodes, including this oddly anticlimactic New York outing, got pretty well beat up, and for good reason. The show’s inconsistencies are chronic, and the less said about Sue this season the better — surely someone from Modern Family will be seen as more worthy of an Emmy this season (no slight on Jane Lynch, who I adore; it’s the character, not her) — but for all of its faults, there’s still something special about Glee, and I would like to think with a chance to pause between seasons, the powers that be will take stock of what worked (the music mostly, though going back to original songs for Nationals backfired) and what didn’t and try to return the show to its sweet, goofy, exuberant core. Of course, this kind of optimism could be akin to Charlie Brown trusting Lucy with that football. We’ll have to see. Until then, I have my downloads on the iPod to get me through the summer. (Final note: I was in a bar over Memorial Day weekend that played the Kurt-Rachel “Defying Gravity” duet on the big screen, and I’ve decided I’m OK with that particular product placement. Wicked almost feels part of Glee’s DNA. Sometimes you’ve just got to cut this show a little slack.)
Personally I hadn’t thought of Wicked as a product placement. As a person who was once a huge musical theatre nerd in high school, I was equally obsessed with Les Mis and Phantom and Miss Saigon as these kids are with Wicked and Rent. Different generation, but for my graduation present, I got to go see Miss Saigon, and that was no product placement, just a huge big deal, in my life. Singing on the Wicked stage (while obviously not something most kids will get to do) is just the kind of thing that these kids legitimately dream of. Most of us only got the sheet music and piano lessons.
And yes, Sue — oh Sue. She used to be hilarious. She also used to have a job at McKinley. But now her Cheerios are gone and she seems to be doing nothing but coaching the opposing school’s glee club and doing weird things like marrying herself (I didn’t find that in the least bit funny and I love LOVE Carol Burnett) and threatening to torture a kid with dental implements. They really need to reign her character in and get back to the awesome one-liners that made her a favourite in the first place.
Also, I want to clear up one huge inconsistency (I’ve decided to let the ages of the characters go, for now). Santana Lopez. From Lima Heights Adjascent. Where “bad things” happen. With the father who’s a “real doctor”. Is Dr Dad a deadbeat? Let’s figure this out, because I’m betting we’re going to see a lot more of Santana (and, actually, Blaine) in Season 3. So hopefully we’ll get backstory galore.