After watching Glee‘s jam-packed winter finale plagued by a plethora of subpar musical performances (and a few disappointing episodes leading up to it), I’m left with so many opinions about ways to improve the teen musical dramedy to its former glory that I simply cannot keep it to myself.
Let’s start off with that ridiculous cliffhanger, which ended with something we all saw coming a mile away: Quinn’s texting and driving car accident on her way to Finchel’s last-minute wedding. Once I saw Quinn driving when she received Rachel’s first text I knew that it would not end well for the Yale-bound Cheerio whose life finally seemed almost too perfect. Now, Glee is a great platform to show teens that texting and driving is extremely dangerous and even fatal, but this was not the right time because that episode was already dealing with the very sensitive issue of teen suicide as a result of bullying. Earlier that episode, we saw Kurt’s former bully Dave Karofsky outed in the locker room and, in a twist of fate for how he tormented Kurt, bullied in person and on social networking sites for being gay. Unable to cope with his “damaged” reputation and all the pain that comes with it, Karofsky put on a suit and hung himself, but luckily his father found him in time and he survived. Karofsky’s suicide attempt was also anti-climactic since it was quite obvious the former bully felt he could no longer bear to live from the montage leading up to it. (Sidebar: producers what is up with these anti-climactic surprises? Surprising tragedies should be shocking and unforeseen, take note.) Now this very serious issue was enough for the ENTIRE episode, or even better a few episodes, to revolve around it but instead it was mostly a catalyst for Finchel’s wedding and Kurt’s new friendship with Karofsky. While I applaud Glee for tackling two very serious issues facing teenagers these days, both fatal epidemics each deserve more attention to address the concerns and emotions these tragedies bring up. Needless to say, Quinn and Karofsky’s tragedies in conjunction with Regionals and Finchel’s wedding was beyond excessive for one episode.
On a completely separate note, it is time to address the big elephant in the room: the extremely unfortunate song choices for this episode and Regionals in particular. And while we’re on that topic let’s go back a few episodes and do an overall analysis of who should and should not be singing leads on a regular basis because as much as equal opportunity is great and all, I just want to hear some good singing especially when it’s a song I really like and the performance is not as great as it could have been if they had a stronger lead vocal.
Rachel is the best singer so I was disappointed she had such an underwhelming song as a solo: Halestorm’s “Here To Us”…seriously? I’m not the biggest fan of “Don’t Rain On My Parade” but damn if I didn’t think Berry sang the hell out of it at Sectionals in season one. The Troubletones’ cover of “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” was strangely weak with Mercedes hiding in the background most of the time. Santana and Mercedes have done great duets in the past but Mercedes fell flat on this one. I love Santana’s voice, she needs a solo in every episode because she has great soul and style. Overall, Santana and Blaine need more solos and Mercedes and Sam need more duets (together their voices’ sound amazing but separately they are normally just good i.e. “Summer Nights” and “Human Nature”). Furthermore, Artie should not be singing any leads (the MJ episode was overkill and very painful to me…personally), I don’t care if he was in some unheard-of boy band back in the day, his vocals are only worthy of being part of the chorus or a short rap verse, no more. The “Moves Like Jagger” mash-up had the potential to be phenomenal if Blaine was the only lead but Artie’s vocals made it downright unfortunate. Leave all the real singing to Blaine, Artie simply cannot pull it off. Basically, if Darren Criss is singing its a win so stop fighting it and give me more Blaine, he’s a star! The Warblers need another lead singer, Sebastian’s voice isn’t strong enough for him to do all the lead vocals, it has made them a significantly weaker team and therefore not a formidable opponent for New Directions. I almost wish Blaine would go back to Dalton so we can get more great Blaine/Warblers performances (I’m looking for “Teenage Dream” glory people!). And with all the fighting in previous episodes about which of the teams would do MJ for Regionals the fact that neither did it was downright shameful.
That’s my take, what do you think of the performances and how the show handled the sensitive issues?