Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Pacing and What's Wrong with Glee?

Sinead and I have been talking about pacing in great YA novels and I think we both agree that it's one of the main keys for success.

Of course, I love fast pacing in novels written for any age group, but I do think that teen readers, in general, have less patience for the slow build.

To segue to a moderately related topic, the other day, Molly raised, as a topic of Drunk Writer Talk discussion, "Why does Glee suck this season?" Or maybe it was Sinead who asked the question first. Whoever did, they were right.

And tonight, I decided that amongst other things, Glee sucks this season because of pacing. There's too much singing and not enough story. Not enough focus on the characters. And too many songs destroys the pacing.

Yes, last night's episode had its emotional moments (I do confess to tearing up a little when Kurt sang I Wanna Hold Your Hand -- that song is so great as a sad ballad, as first proved in movie, Across The Universe), but mostly this season has seemed like a series of songs strung together. It's like their main objective is making sure that they have enough material to put out a new CD every second episode. And I'm sorry, but the heart attack seemed less about let's-make-things-tough-on-Kurt and more about let's-find-an-excuse-to-talk-about-religion for an episode. Who wants to bet that Kurt's dad makes a full recovery next episode? I hope I'm wrong and they actually go somewhere with that story. Not that I want Kurt's dad to die... I'll just be pissed if he's in a coma one episode and miraculously recovered the next.

But back to too many songs.

Last season the songs were tied into the overall story arc. They were about the choir improving and the competition. Or they were about rehearsals, or distracting a football team, or doing a commercial for a mattress king. In a word, they were relevant.

Now, I like a good musical where people burst into song for no good reason as much as the next gal, but I'm getting bored of Glee. It's lost its edge. It's like the writers have stopped trying.

Am I the only one who feels this way?


16 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

I couldn't agree with you more about Glee! I was just thinking about this the other day. After watching the season premiere, I was like...why were people so hyped up about this show again?

Haven't watched last night's episode. It's on my DVR, but I don't know if I have the energy.

Ken Woychesko said...

I bet you're right about this (cuz you so smart and you gots that book-learnin'), but I couldn't make it through the whole season premiere, so I wouldn't know about the other eps. The premiere made me angry, and not in a this-is-amazing-writing-and-is-really-provoking-an-emotion-in-me kind of angry, more of a why-did-you-just-pull-this-ep-from-your-aaaannyways. I thought it was forced, with characters being over-the-top and acting out-of-character.

Over-use-of-hyphens should be moderated.

Love,
Ken

P.S. Todays CAPTCHA word for this post is "trylowla". L-O-W-L-A Looowwwla!

Bev Katz Rosenbaum said...

I think this season beats the second half of last season, but agree, the new shows still don't reach the heights of last season's first half. The teens in my life loooved the Britney ep (my daughter grew up with Britney, and her whole dorm watched it en masse!), and I thought last night's ep featured some great writing and hilarious references/sendups. The show defs had some flaws, but all in all, as I said, it was miles better than the last few shows of last season!

Karen W said...

I'm still enjoying Glee, though I do agree that if Kurt's dad is miraculously well next week, I'm gonna be PO'd.

Chevy Stevens said...

I didn't like last night's episode as much either and started watching another show. I flipped back and forth but it was SLOW. Hey have you been watching Battle of the Blades?

Stephanie Doyle said...

I've also been hit or miss with Glee. I keep forgetting it's on - so it falls to my DRV list. Then I'm like ooh... Glee. That's right I like this show.

But I'm in a TV funk right now.

1. Tired of Jillian yelling at fat people.
2. Tired of all the Glee singing.
3. Tired of Michael Scott
4. Boycotting Bones.

Right now Modern Family is the only show still holding my attention. The season premeire was "stiff" - but they got their grove back after that.

If it wasn't for re-runs of FNL - I'm not sure what I would be watching.

Where is that great new show? The one that gets me excited? The one that has the great chemistry, writing, etc.

I'm not loving Boardwalk Empire (it's okay).

HELP HBO, JJ Abrams, Aaron Sorkin.... I need you!

Maureen McGowan said...

Bev, it's interesting that kids liked that Britney episode. I have to say I did like seeing that blonde dancer perform. She's becoming one of my favorite characters. But the device for getting them all into those fantasies was plain dumb and had nothing to do with any real plot line. Now, if he'd been drugging the kids to get information on Will or Emma... that might have been interesting.

Chevy, I haven't seen Battle of the Blades this season and only watched about one episode last season. But I do like the premise of that show... Will DVR it.

Steph, nothing has captured my interest yet, either. I am watching The Event and am kind of interested, but mostly because I have a WIP where aliens were being secretly held prisoners for generations... It's not that good.

Kind of excited about The Walking Dead, starting on AMC soon. Is it a zombie show?

Eileen said...

You know, I was a little bored watching the last couple shows and wasn't sure why. Haven't seen last night's episode yet, but will probably get to it this weekend. It might get bumped off our DVR list, though. I'm perfectly willing to ditch a series of the first season.

For the next great show . . . are you all watching The Good Wife? If not, go catch up on the first season and then dive into the second. I love the political intrigue both with her husband's campaign and internally in the law firm. I love the depth and complexity of the personal relationships. I love the Issue of the Week legal battles. I just love it.

Maureen McGowan said...

Eileen, I bought the first season but haven't had a chance to watch, yet. I should have been DVRing the second season... Will I get messed up if I start watching the second season first? It might be on my on-demand channel, but those episodes usually disappear after a few weeks, so I'd better check soon...

Eileen said...

I think you have to watch Season One. My guess is that most episodes stand alone okay because of the Issue of the Week part of the show, but the relationship with her husband and her boss and her children would be lost.

Plus some of that first season was amazing. Especially the stuff with her husband.

Maureen McGowan said...

I'll definitely watch the first season... I'm just afraid that I'll need to wait a year to see the second season if I don't start now. Wish I'd remembered to DVR it from the start.

Karen W said...

How I Met Your Mother is a show that is consistantly good and funny.

I also like Rules of Engagement.

But both of those are short sitcoms.

Lie to Me and The Mentalist are decent, though the season premiers were flat this time.

I loved, loved, loved Flashpoint, but I'm guessing that was a summer show. I'm hoping it comes back though.

I have watched both episodes of The Event, but it was very confusing and hard to follow.

Steph, the only thing redeeming Bones is that Booth's new girlfriend is fantastic - and exactly like him, so it's easy to see why it's not going to work out.

Modern Family seemed kind of flat on the Premier too. I've also taken to watching Cougar Town,which is meh, ok.

Anyone else? What show am I missing?

Sinead M said...

I enjoyed last night's show, and it was a huge improvement over last week, but it seems the mix is off. Almost as though they've been listening to audience reaction.
someone said, my favourite parts are the songs and so they ramped up the songs, at the expense of everything else, and now we don't even enjoy the songs as much.

That's my theory anyway.


I'm looking forward to the Zombie show as well...

MJFredrick said...

What Sinead said :)

I liked last night's episode more than the last two, and will buy some of the music. I like that they're giving songs to more people than just Rachel, but it is seeming forced. As much as I like Puck, his song was abrupt.

I love Big Bang Theory, Supernatural and Hawaii Five-0.

out of the wordwork said...

I'm getting a little concerned myself after the last episode of Glee. I'll still be watching but that little worry of seeing a 'sophmore slump' happening will be lurking too.

The only other show I was really looking forward to seeing was Dexter but I'm also worried that after the mega high it ended with last season is almost impossible to top. So far, it too seems to be dragging...
Nelsa

Molly O'Keefe said...

I have to agree the song/story ratio is all off. And this last episode was a mess - Kurt whom I adore more than almost any other character on TV (except Tim Riggins - Steph your post makes me delirious) had some serious highs and quite a few lows.

My problem is that the characters/actors are asked to do so much - and I'[m not just talking about singing and dancing they all do that - but there has to be this sort undercurrent of awareness or the total opposite. Britney - total opposite she gets to be dumb and ridiculous. Kurt - totally self-aware. For Me Matthew Morrison who is pretty to look at and a great song dance man - he doesn't have that - as Sinead says - wink at the audience. he's too earnest and what he's asked to do sometimes is too ridiculous - seduce Sue, dance to britney with the group etc... that's my beef - but I'm still watching.

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