By Rachel Krueger
It’s the middle of October, 2009, and I don’t think it’s too soon to ask the ultimate question: Has Fox’s “Glee” jumped the shark? Eight episodes in?
Because if the pilot seemed to be telling us anything, it was that this was a Regular school with Regular kids who lived Regular, socially striated lives and occasionally burst into song. Just like life! The major drama stemmed from the basketball player who also wanted to be in the high school musical . . . wait. That was a different show. But it was something like that.
But since then we’ve had Glee coach Mr. Schuester make LONGING AND PERPETUAL COW’S EYES at a woman not his wife for eight episodes (despite her being engaged to his pal, and his wife being pregnant [but not really; this pregnancy is False]), head cheerleader Quinn actually pregnant by her quarterback boyfriend (except that not really, because it was his best friend who knocked her up [this pregnancy is Real but it is a Secret]), straight girls falling for gay boys, the entire cast getting hopped up on cold pills, and Josh Groban.
I kept silent through all these zany daytime-soap antics because swallowable plot is the last reason anyone watches the show. Ditto the writing. With the exception of some unexpectedly punchy lines from cheer coach Sue Silverman and the inherent hilariousness of Principal Figgins, “Glee” isn’t near as much of a “biting comedy” as IMDB would have you believe. But last week’s wtf-ery between Hot Jock Noah Puckerman and Hot(tish) Nerd Rachel Berry — where they dated for two-thirds of the episode and she sponged Slurpee from his hair — was too much of a stretch character-wise and too short of a stretch chronologically for me.
Which, ok, this may be displaced angst having more to do with the general dearth of choral numbers of late. I mean, the hell are you up to, Show That Everyone Likes? Whither all your zany choreographed delights? What for is all this Mr-Schuester-rapping?
“Glee” lives and dies on its musical numbers. Droves tune in every week for the jazz hands and harmonies, not for the ZOMG LOVE TRIANGLEZZZ! But last week was comprised entirely of American-Idol-esque solo bits, with the rest of the group maybe busting a move in the background. I’m not here to see a middle-aging man sing The Thong Song.
I come for the singing, and I don’t hate the show. But if “Glee” is going to continue to pull plot lines out of a hamster wheel and throw relationships together to see if they stick, then they need to reward me with more improbable impromptu dancing. Or at least more Sue Sylvester.