5 Reasons to start watching Glee again.
By Melissa Presti (Book Publisher)
Maybe it's actually the fourth time that is the charm? I admitted not too long ago that Glee had downward spiraled to ground zero and had capital "F" Failed. The storylines had become nonsensical and incoherent over time, the characters annoying and stagnant, the songs were chosen based on projected iTunes profit, and guest stars were herded in to maintain viewership.
One hungover Saturday, out of boredom, I succumbed to the forbidden land of auto-tuned show choirs. And after 4 episodes I thought, what. the. Glee?
Did Ryan Murphy fire/kill/waterboard his writers?
What is so new and refreshingly awesome?
1. The music choices, in my opinion, have improved ten-fold. It's cool to include the requisite chart toppers like Call Me Maybe, but we're hearing classics from No Doubt, Coldplay, Adele, and Duncan Sheik. And it only took 3 years to use a song from the queen of teenage heartache and angst herself, Taylor Swift (my guess is she charged $10 million in royalties plus the human sacrifice of Dianna Agron).
2. New characters! Jacob Artist (as Jake) and Melissa Benoist (as Marley; also star of Kerrigan-Lowdermilk's Goodspeed production of The Unauthorized Biography of Samantha Brown) are the new Finn and Rachel, but like, way better. The old familiar faces appropriately enter and exit as necessary, but the focus is definitely on the newbies.
This Britney/Aerosmith mash-up is the reason why some songs should still be mashed up. In fact, the entire Britney 2.0 episode was pure brilliance with every reinvention of her classics.
3. New Finn, aka Brody, aka Dean Geyer - second runner-up in Australian Idol. If all you gleaned from that is that he's Australian, shame on you. He's actually South African.
4. NYC vs. Ohio. The Adventures of Kurt and Rachel (hell, I'd watch a spin-off of this) juxtaposed with the ever-struggling high school gang of misfits strikes the right balance. Sure, in reality West Harlem is home to most aspiring Broadway actors, not Anthropologie-furnished lofts in Bushwick, but it's forgiveable.
5. The emotions! They're (mine) real and self-evident through seamless transitions from dialogue to singing, and they feel true to the natural progressions of relationships, and life in general. For once the songs are enhancing the scenes, and not vice versa. Things make sense again.
At the end of the day, these are still weird teenagers and New Yorkers who break out into song at random (totally normal for the latter) but dammit I feel the magic of Glee again!