Please Don't Stop The Music: Love & Hate For Glee


Tomorrow, Glee returns, which means everyone will be talking about how much they love it, or how much they hate it. The Fox TV show invokes strong feelings, and there’s no middle ground.

According to the AP, the show is “doing more for music” than American Idol. USA Today reports that Glee “has made the uncool cool.” In a piece for the New York Times, Alessandra Stanley writes that Glee is “funny,” “maudlin and self-mocking, cheesy and mordantly modern, a shameless rip-off of almost every classic teen movie and also original” and has “subversive wit and cynicism.”

But New York magazine is predicting the “inevitable” Glee backlash. And in Jon Caramanica’s article for the Times, he calls the musical numbers in Glee “outright liabilities, deflating whatever emotional good will the rest of the show has built up.” Plus:

“Glee” may love music, but often it abuses it, with performances wholly lacking grit. In each episode a handful of songs receive similar treatment: antiseptically elated, heavily doctored recordings, with no line between the truly affecting and the genuinely off-putting.

Yet the music is the real success story for Glee: almost 5 million song downloads, two gold soundtracks, a sold-out nationwide tour and lots of buzz for the Madonna episode. Matt Morrison, aka Mr. Shu, is recording a solo album. And it’s the music that drew me in, and remains what I like about the show. I may not be thrilled with the depiction of female characters, or the nerds vs. cool kids storylines, but so help me, I love the tunes. Watching people have fun singing — from MGM musicals to karaoke to American Idol — is one of the great American pasttimes. As Jane Lynch, aka Sue Sylvester, tells USA Today:

“It’s tapped into part of us that lives in the shadows, that we don’t let people see, that’s wanting to lift our voice in song and make a joyful noise.”

Exclusive: Glee Rocks Madonna! [TV Guide]
‘Glee’ A Musical Success As Much As A Cult Success [AP]
Hit Show ‘Glee’ Sings To Anyone Who Ever Felt Like An Outsider [USA Today]
‘Glee’: It’s The Attitude That’s The Showstopper [NY Times]
We Predict The Timeline Of The Inevitable Glee Backlash [New York Mag]
‘Glee’: Attitude, Yes, but Without a Song in Its Heart [NY Times]
“Glee” Gone Wild: The New Issue of Rolling Stone [Rolling Stone]

Earlier: Sing It, Sister: Why I Hate Glee

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