Sue Sylvester, twerking, these were the beginnings of birth pains. But then along came….
3.The Quarterback episode
Now, before everyone starts screaming for my blood, just hear me out! This is not an attack on Cory Monteith’s tragic death. I was very saddened by what happened, because I was a fan. I’m merely critiquing how Glee handled his death with the episode “The Quarterback”. I strongly disliked this episode for several reasons:
a) Not Providing an Explanation
First of all, I think it was a mistake to not specify how Finn died on the show. I understand that they didn’t want to draw attention to how Cory died in real life. But here’s my argument: they didn’t necessarily have to make Finn, as in the character, die of a drug overdose. There are other ways to explain his loss. By having literally no explanation, all you do is leave a gaping hole and there is no closure in that, which I think the fans of the show probably needed.
One of the most quoted lines to this argument is Kurt quipping “Everyone wants to talk about how he died, too….but I care more about how he lived,” All well and good, but there’s a gigantic chasm in those words. Not once on the episode did they celebrate his life. Ever.
b) “The last thing we should do is make a self-serving spectacle of our own sadness”
And that, Glee, is exactly what you did in this episode. There was barely a moment where you could smile. For all the “how he lived is more important than how he died” (which is VERY true), there was no hope. Nothing uplifting or celebratory about this episode. It was misery, misery, misery from start to finish and I don’t wonder that people sobbed the whole time.
c) “There’s no lesson here, there’s no happy ending. There’s just nothing. He’s just gone,”
Well, isn’t that just the most wonderful thing to say to an audience of vulnerable sad teenagers, many of whom have probably never had to deal with death before and therefore don’t know how to feel. Bieste even says “He’s dead, and all we have left is his voice in our heads,” Will says he doesn’t know how anyone can move forward. These are all natural responses, but was there seriously nothing hopeful that could have been inserted into the dialogue? The entire episode was scene after scene of people crying and saying how they couldn’t go on….it was such a depressing thing to watch, and frankly, exhausting!
d) THE JACKET
I was feeling depressed and disappointed with the episode, but no aspect of the episode made me angry….until Finn’s jacket was stolen and the culprit was revealed as Mr Schue. Suddenly I felt a fireball of pure rage.
There is no nice way of putting it. Mr Schue, plain and simple, stole from the dead.
I don’t care that it’s a fictional show. He stole a dead person’s jacket from a family member and there is absolutely no way to justify such a thing. No way at all.
But by far the most terrible thing Mr Schue did in all this was letting Puck take the blame. Everyone is shouting at Puck, demanding him to return the jacket and Mr Schue says “Well, if you took it, you should really give it back,”
HOLD ON A SECOND! YOU TOOK THE F****** JACKET! WHY ARE YOU LETTING AN INNOCENT VICTIM TAKE THE BLAME? AND YOU HAVE THE BALLS TO LECTURE HIM ON WHAT THE RIGHT THING TO DO IS!??! You are a terrible, terrible human being.
So he steals Finn’s jacket from Kurt and Santana, allows Puck take the fall, and we’re supposed to be completely fine with this because he sits there crying over it at the end.
Heaven shoot me, I wanted to throw something at this point. I’m sorry, I don’t mess around with this sort of thing. I do not care in the slightest about how sad he is. I do not care what people may tell themselves to make it alright. I think I speak for every moral person in existence, past, present or future, when I say that stealing from the dead is one of the worst things a human can do and for Glee to portray this as acceptable makes me physically sick.
With all that being said, credit must go where it is due. The songs were all beautifully performed. I was impressed with the performances of the cast, and one or two scenes were done well, such as Finn’s mother and Santana breaking down in what I thought were very accurate portrayals of what true grief can do to people. But the rest of the episode was absolutely horrible, taught terrible morals and was possibly the most depressing hour of television I have ever seen.
I was desperately hoping for and expecting a much more uplifting portrayal of Finn. But I turned off the TV feeling hollow. If they’d done a tribute to Cory by showing his finest moments or if all the cast members had talked about what he meant to them, that would have been great. Not this self-indulgent, exploitative, immoral piece of trash.
Rest In Peace Cory. Heaven knows you deserve it, and this episode didn’t do you many favours.
4. The unrealistic portrayal of Rachel on Broadway
Rachel graduates and goes off to NYADA, despite failing several auditions and harassing the woman who runs the place. Because of course that would get you what you want, right? Another wonderful lesson from Glee. When you screw up and don’t get what you want, demand it more. You’re entitled to these things! Go right ahead and stalk the dean of the school you so desperately want to attend. That will absolutely guarantee you special attention, even though the person you are annoying makes it clear that you don’t deserve special attention. There are other people in the world besides you, Rachel.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Rachel ends up being cast in the Broadway revival of the classic musical Funny Girl, apparently beating Sutton freaking Foster AND Barbara Streisand’s niece.
Do I even need to say what’s wrong with that?!?
Well, I’m going to. Rachel is not even one year out of high school. She hasn’t graduated from or is even close to completing her studies at NYADA. There is absolutely no way on God’s green earth that Broadway would cast someone with no experience whatsoever in a revival of one of the most iconic musicals of all time, beating out a Broadway legend. Also, Broadway is one of the most union-run organisations in the world. You HAVE to be a member of Actor’s Equity to even get an audition. Rachel clearly doesn’t have that or an agent, so they wouldn’t even let her in the door. AND SHE’S NOT GOING TO BE CHOSEN OVER SUTTON FOSTER! Even if she was, by some stretch of the imagination, supposedly better than Sutton Foster, marketing and publicity would go completely out the window. Now, if she was cast in the ensemble or even the understudy, I might believe it more. Speaking of which….
5. Santana’s audition for Funny Girl.
Glee officially jumped the shark here. I’m not going to write the miniature essay that this abomination deserves. Instead:
1. There is never a band in an audition situation. Ever. It is simply a piano.
2. There is no way, no way in hell that they would allow you to sing Don’t Rain on My Parade at an initial audition. That is the most basic rule of auditioning. You don’t ever sing a song from the show! Songs from the show is for the callbacks, and I don’t remember callbacks even being mentioned.
3. Santana would never be allowed to remix the song into a rock version. It’s butchering a classic. Just….no.
4. Rachel would NEVER be on the audition panel unless she was a producer. And she is not.
5. There are some songs you don’t change the key of. Don’t Rain on My Parade is one of them. Why on earth would you be cast if you can’t sing one of the most famous, iconic songs ever written in the original key? You wouldn’t be. You’d be laughed out of the room.
6. Santana is not ethnically correct for the role (no racism, just stating the facts. Fanny Brice was white).
7. Rachel’s lack of a character arc. After all these years, she still hasn’t learned to be happy for her friends? Rachel (allegedly) beat Sutton Foster for the role. How is Santana going to steal her thunder?
8. It’s a nitpick, but you’d never start an audition from outside the room. You always walk in, give your music to the accompanist and introduce yourself and your song to the audition panel.
9. Santana, in spite of all of this, actually gets the understudy role. Now usually, she’d be given a small supporting role in the ensemble. Nope. Also, Glee showed the rehearsal process as being Rachel and Santana taking turns to rehearse the scenes.
Uh, sorry Glee, but that’s not how it works. Generally speaking, understudies are expected to learn the part by watching. They don’t have specific rehearsal time.
10. Santana didn’t talk through her song with the accompanist. Again, basic auditioning 101.
There was not one element of this scene or song done right, and neither is New York. The whole thing about Rachel and Santana going to Broadway is utterly ridiculous and unrealistic. You don’t just move to New York and instantly get the lead in a huge revival. You don’t just have everything handed to you. It doesn’t matter who you are. Harassing and practically stalking people because you didn’t get what you want is NOT, I repeat, NOT going to get you anywhere. Just because you were the star in high school, it’s highly unlikely you will continue to be so in the real world. Life does not work that way.
If you want to see a more accurate portrayal of showbiz, I recommend checking out Smash. As for Glee?
After the second season showed signs of wearing out, it was really and truly time for Glee to finish and let us at least have the memories of the first season. But no. The greed of the network executives, as per usual led to mediocre and downright terrible episodes being churned out, sucking every last cent they could out of the franchise that’s losing fans at a rapid pace. The last few years of unbelievably stupid, desperate attempts at plots such as Sue having a baby, Will and Emma trying to get pregnant at work, twerking (I mean REALLY?!?!), Funny Girl (yes, I’m still on that too!), the song covers being even more generic and full of auto-tune and the characters becoming unlikeable shadows of their former selves, I for one was glad to hear that season 6 will be the last.
Oh, I’m sure the final few episodes will be awful. They’ll be like The Quarterback; sappy, self-indulgent and milking it for all it’s worth, which honestly is now very little. Glee’s reign on the television is over. It’s done. The time has come for the choir room to well and truly be closed, something that should have happened years ago.