Why I dislike Glee Part 1: Character Arcs and Character/Plot Development

Back in September 2009 I was being tested for a sleeping disorder (I have sleep apnea! fun!) and while the nurse was plugging me up to a million wires and putting this disgusting stuff in my hair I was watching this relatively unknown show called Glee. And it was amazing and fun and SINGING! ALL OF THE SINGING! The first episode had premiered back in May, and my sister was telling me about it because Matthew Morrison stars in it, and we were obsessed with him– he was the original Link Larkin in Broadway’s Hairspray. I was also a huge Lea Michelle fan from her days in Spring Awakening. Needless to say, this show was going to be good. And it was……until it wasn’t.

The first half of the season had spunk and heart and relatively good story lines. Yeah, the writing was a bit shaky and there was no real depth to the characters. But we had the rest of the season! It could only get better from there. OR SO I THOUGHT. I’ve been avoiding writing this post because I can’t really pinpoint what it is exactly that I dislike about the show; it is mainly just a lot of smaller things. But let’s begin with, to me, the biggest disappointment of the show in what I call Why I dislike Glee, Part 1: Character arcs and character/plot development.

I completely understand how the Glee kids find Rachel annoying. But, I mean, COME ON. We are going into the third season and they are still major hating on her. At the beginning it was because she was shallow and stole/hogged the spotlight and was a diva, but in my mind her character has changed…somewhat. She is still an attention hog (she sent a girl to a fracking crack house because she was jealous) but she has become less selfish, even if it is minor. And they still treat her like crap. Finn throws her emotions around, always pitting her against Quinn. I could understand them hating her for the entire first season but seriously, they like her for about ten minutes at the end of an episode and then are back to hating her. Ryan and Marissa’s relationships lasted longer than the Glee club’s friendship with Rachel, and that’s saying something.

Along with that, the other characters are just as shallow as they make Rachel out to be. I would even argue that Mercedes is more of a diva than Rachel. I see that she is upset Rachel gets a lot/the majority of the solos in the first season, but that has changed. Mercedes has been given a lot more spotlight recently and 1) does not seem appreciative at all and 2) still whines about Rachel getting everything. What about Tina? What about Quinn? What have they gotten in terms of solos? Why not give them more than a few bars in a group song? (I really, really dislike Mercedes.)

But even more than Mercedes, I hate, loath, and despise everything that Lauren Zizes is. If I could actually kill a television character, I would choose her- no thought about it no questions asked. She is a horrible, horrible character. I know she is supposed to be on the “evil” side, maybe even a softer villain than Sue. But that does not excuse what she really is: a bully. There is no other way to describe her. She is a bully. And for a group of kids who are constantly being picked on by others, being called losers, etc. they sure are quick to let someone in that continuously feeds into the hate, gossip, and bullying of the Glee club. She starts fights and disagreements, she enables Mercedes to be a diva (and charges her for it), and completely humiliates Quinn. I teach high school students and sadly, I have come across bullying in my own classroom. It was terrible and I saw my own student cry and shut down in class, which only propelled the teasing. Everything Lauren does, I have seen a small form of and the fact that she is supposed to be…helping Puck? Yeah. Right. [And I believe that most of this applies to Santana as well.]

I think most of the adult characters are simply astonishing, and not in a good or positive way. As previously stated, I am a teacher. I’ve been training for the past five years about what to and what not to do in the classroom. We would actually have discussions in my seminar classes about how terrible Will is, and how he would have been fired (if not taken away by the cops) by now. Yes, he does some redeeming things like helping Emma start to recognize/treat her disorder but I just don’t think he is right to be the Glee club sponsor/teacher. For as much “good” as he does, he does far more bad. And Sue is the villain of the show, I get it, and while she has quite a few funny moments, I just don’t even understand how she gets away with saying over half the stuff she says. Yes, I know, this is a television show and there are going to be unrealistic elements and I should just get over it, but Sue is mean. Although she does pleasantly surprise me through her relationship with her sister, and she has shown moments of sincerity and general niceness, so I am definitely willing to give her that.

The other characters who have not been mentioned here I don’t really have too much trouble liking. I’m on the fence about Kurt (please stop screaming at me) because yes, he has had difficulties with people accepting his sexuality, but Kurt is relatively mean to a large majority of people. I’m not saying you should change who you are to please others, and I’m not saying that Kurt should stop being who he is [though what I’m about to say is going to be misinterpreted/attacked by someone I’m sure] but Kurt throws his sexuality in people’s faces, and then gets mad when they don’t immediately love him regardless. Take the prom episode. I was pretty shocked at the results of prom king/queen, and yes, that was horrible. But when getting ready, Kurt wore an outfit that clearly made Blain uncomfortable. He didn’t care- he wanted shock, he wanted wow, and he wanted to be bold. Again, you shouldn’t change who you are to please others, but for Kurt getting mad about others apparently shoving God or religion in his face (like when his father was in the hospital) the same can be said about Kurt shoving issues such as homosexuality and whatnot in other characters’ faces.

As far as plot development, let’s first look at Quinn. She spends the whole first season pregnant and then gives away the baby and then acts like nothing ever happened. Yeah, she references the pregnancy thing here and there, but for building up such a huge story line, even bringing in Idina Menzel (don’t worry- we will come back to her in a later post) to actually adopt the baby, it kind of just fizzled out. Rather upsetting really. There is no way Quinn is that fine after being ridiculed and teased so much whilst pregnant.

Quite a few plot lines last for four or five episodes, but everything sort of drops off. I don’t feel like there has been much continuity. (If you disagree, compare plot lines, continuity, and character development of season one of The O.C. to season one of Glee.) Actually, the only story to have any sort of arc and continuity would be Kurt’s story line and honestly, that has been done to death. I mean, the poor kid cried in almost every episode. Rightfully so, but they’ve focused on one story arc so much that it has lost its luster for me. Time for something new and fresh. My Twitter friend Heather (find her here) agrees with me. She said, “I think the idea of Glee is cool–following a HS glee club that nobody thought could make it as they defied odds, etc. However, there is SUCH a huge focus on the music that there’s not much time left for character development, which does little for plot development as well. If characters can’t grow, neither can the story. What’s left is a flat image of flat characters that sing. And it’s good singing, but if there were no songs, the show would tank.” And I completely agree with her. If there was no music, I would not watch Glee. At all. In fact, that is really the only reason I’ve stuck around (though, to be honest, I’ve never finished the last two episodes of season two).

Overall, Heather has done a nice job at summarizing part one of my posts about Glee. I do really, really like the music which makes it hard to stop watching Glee (therefore making me feel like a hypocrite for watching it). But like I said, without the music I would have stopped watching a long time ago.

I look forward to your comments, but please keep it civil. We may have differing opinions but that is no need to be nasty. And keep a lookout for post two coming soon!

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the great white way

This past weekend I went to see Catch Me if You Can, and it was seriously one of the best musicals I’ve seen. Definitely in my top three. That got me thinking about all of the musicals and plays I’ve seen– both on and off Broadway. Not nearly as many as I would like, but I’ve put together a list of everything I have ever seen (that I can remember). I think sometime soon I will go through and state my favorite song and whatnot, but for now…a simple list.

Let’s start with the musicals:

On Broadway

Catch Me if You Can

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Chicago

Beauty and the Beast

The Lion King

Mary Poppins

The Producers

.

West End

Hairspray

Spamalot (x2)

The Sound of Music

Wicked

.

Toronto

The Phantom of the Opera

.

National Tours

Wicked (x2)

The Phantom of the Opera (x4)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (x2)

Rent

Fiddler on the Roof

Evita

Cats

Oliver

.

High school/University Performances

The Last Five Years

Urinetown

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

And then we have the plays:

NYC—Broadway/Off Broadway

Is He Dead (Broadway)

Through a Glass Darkly (Off Broadway)

.

West End

Hamlet

Rain Man

.

The Globe Theater

Midsummer’s Night Dream

Timon of Athens

.

National Tours/Festivals/Etc.

Peter Pan

Romeo and Juliet (x2)

A Christmas Carol

Hamlet

Two Gentlemen of Verona OR Merchant of Venice  [I can’t remember which one]

.

High school/University Performances

The Importance of Being Earnest

Arsenic and Old Lace

Much Ado about Nothing

Little Women

And lastly, miscellaneous performances:

Broadway

The Rockettes

Blue Man Group

.

National Tours

Blue Man Group

The Nutcracker

Hercules

.

University Performances

Cosi fan Tutte (Opera)

.

I have many on my wish list so hopefully I can update this quite soon!

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Ohhhhhh Mexico.

So it is currently 12:40something in the morning and I simply can’t fall asleep. I have no idea why, well maybe I do but it isn’t important. I’ve been missing my travels today; especially England. I’ll do or say something and it will take me right back to 2008 and I will get intensely sad and then I just tell myself to get over it. But rather than bore you with a post on that, I set a challenge for myself: to choose seven pictures of somewhere I’ve been and post them here.

A couple of years ago my family went on a cruise to Mexico. I chose seven of my favorite pictures that I took, and I’m going to post them below. Please note: all of these images are my own personal images. I took all of them and they have only been slightly edited (in terms of sharpness, etc.)

In case you are wondering, I shoot my pictures with an SLR Nikon D60. I have two lenses I use: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor and 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIkkor. To see the full set of pictures, here is a link to my never updated flikr.

Click on any image below for a larger view.

A Mexican Sunset

Contrasting Skies

 

Shadows

Lovebirds

A giant chess board in the middle of the ship

My horse Captain

My brother, the giant

 

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There Once Was a Boy Named Harry, Destined to be a Star…

So my darling family and I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter. It was so amazing and lovely and the best night everr! I made a few new friends (we are facebook friends so it is pretty legit). I dressed up as Bellatrix, my sister dressed as Professor Trelawney, and my mum dressed up as Professor Umbridge. My dad went as a muggle. Everyone loved our costumes– they kept telling us over and over again! A few girls even asked if they could take their pictures with us, and it turned into taking pictures with everyone in costumes. My favorite pictures are at the end of the post.

Now for SPOILERS.

As far as my thoughts and concerns with the film: I really enjoyed it. I think it is a great adaptation for the portion of the book that was primarily filled avec war-related things. I am extremely sad that Fred’s full death was not in the movie (though I hear through many an internet rumor that it is going to be on the deleted scenes) and OH MY GOSH WHAT THE ACTUAL  FRICK! LAVENDER BROWN! EATEN BY A WEREWOLF! (Which I thought was Greyback but I’m not certain. Guess I will just have to go see it AGAIN. Darn.)

There wasn’t too much I remember being changed from the book. Except for the whole Harry grabbing Voldy by the neck and throwing themselves off the bridge. That made me slightly laugh just a little (most things Voldemort do). I am quite certain that when I reread the book I will find other things that were left out, but honestly I knew this is what was going to happen– I mean there is just no way that they would be able to have such a faithful adaptation concerning all these battles and whanot. But this was definitely much better played out on the big screen than it was in my head whilst reading the book. So mad props for that.

ALAN RICKMAN FOR ALL THE AWARDS. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM.

I did like all of the humor that was added in, especially anything McGonagall and the awkward hug between Draco and Voldemort. I also love all the little Ron moments (“that’s my girlfriend you numpty” and “frankie first year” etc) and of course the kiss that everyone has been waiting for. Our audience cheered!

And of course there was the BADASSMOFO NEVILLE LONGFREAKINGBOTTOM. That’s all that needs to be said on that.

And lastly the best line of the night: “NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH” Our audience also cheered for that one.

And things I did not like so much: the epilogue. Like, the entire thing. And Harry was supposed to FIX HIS ORIGINAL WAND WITH THE ELDER WAND AND THEN DESTROY IT AND THEN DESTROY IT NOT NOT NOT NOOOOOOOTTTTTT DESTROY THE WAND WITHOUT FIXING THE ORIGINAL WAND booooooo writers.

Other than that slight error, it was fantastic. And I’m going to see it again this weekend. Yay!!!!!

Bella-trix-not-swan

The girls who asked to take our picture

Baby Her-me-on-ee

More costumers

Dumblydoor photobomb

secret lovers

The most AMAZING Dumbledor EVERRR

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 6- Favorite Professor

For favorite professor, I am going to have to go with Horace Slughorn. For these challenges I’ve been trying to strictly stay with the books and not let the movies influence my opinions, but I have to break that rule with this one. I adored Slughorn in the books and while he wasn’t as…..”plump” as I would have liked, the movie version of Slughorn is one of my favorite portrayals of any character. I mean, he is such an outrageous man, clearly collecting and showing off favorite students, and an awesome potions teacher (from love potion to Draught of Living Death on the first day of class! wowza!). Can you see Snape teaching the students to make a love potion? Me neither. Living Death? Yiz. Let’s not forget the funeral for Aragog and the kind words he spoke….before taking his venom and most likely selling it in Knockturn Alley.

Despite accidentally teaching Tom Riddle about horcruxes, Horace steps up to the plate and helps in the final battle of Hogwarts. Fav-o-rite.

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 5- Favorite Book Cover

Alrighty this will be a short one. Favorite book cover!

USA Version:

I remember first getting this book— I loved the green and the swirls and the mysterious glow coming from that column thing.

UK Version:

I’m not really attached to any of the UK covers, so choosing a favorite cover was…interesting. They sort of all just made me laugh a little. So I chose Half Blood Prince for the UK version as well. I think the scene portrayed on the front of the book is such a pivotal scene, and look at all that fire! Dumblydore you be hawt.

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 4- Favorite Villain

[This is part of an ongoing series. To see previous posts, click here.]

If anyone really knows me at all, you won’t have to guess at what my answer to favorite villain will be. (And I have a lot to say, so be prepared.)

Draco Malfoy (surprise, surprise).

Okay so you have this kid, this tiny little eleven year-old whose father is a death eater, mother is a nasty witch, and aunt who not only is a death eater, but completely and utterly in love with he-who-must-not-be-named. No wonder he turns out the way he does. But here is why he is my favorite. Draco is from a wealthy, not to mention powerful, family. They get what they want, and they are— at least in the beginning of the novels— accepted by the dark lord. Yes, Draco is a spoiled little brat (as seen in the shop when being fitted for his robes) but if you really look at it, Draco was never really horrible to Harry until Harry declined his friendship. In the robe shop Draco was civil, and on the first day of school Draco, who is used to being the center of attention has to battle egos with the famous Harry Potter. So what does he do? Extends a hand of friendship. He wants to team up with the boy who lived. Who wouldn’t?

Sure, he goes about it the mean way, insulting the Weasley family, but it is ultimately Harry who rejects the offer of friendship thus creating a rivalry between the two. And Draco, who is forced to follow in his family’s footsteps to please h-w-m-n-b-n, and gets assigned the task of killing Dumbledore. But he can’t. JKR narrates that he begins to lower his wand before Snape comes in a finishes the task; Draco himself says he has to do it, he has no other choice. The entire sixth book he is struggling with pleasing his family and doing what is right. And then of course we come to the seventh book in which Draco is forced to perform acts for Voldy. And we musn’t forget the scene at Malfoy Manor when he is supposed to identify Harry. Anyone who went to Hogwarts during that time would know that when there is a Ron and Hermione, there has to be a Harry Potter nearby. But he doesn’t identify him in front of Bellatrix. He simply states “It might be.”

All in all, I think Draco is a seriously misunderstood villain and while he does boarder on villain-turned-good, I do think there is too much hate and malice in him to be anything other than mildly civil to the golden trio. Aaaaand that is why he is my favorite.

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