When Glee came on the scene in 2009, it ushered in a new TV business model, one predicated on mega iTunes, merchandise, and concert ticket sales. During the initial media blitz Fox said it hoped to keep the show’s original, quirky feel, and four seasons later it’s easy to see how that turned out. When the shiny parts recede into the background, when we snap out of Blaine Warbler’s entrancing rendition of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” it’s difficult to defend what the show’s become (empty, sloppy, and just way too big).
That said, Dexter’s recent late-in-the game surge reminded us it’s not impossible to turn things around, and in Glee’s defense it’s markedly improved from last season. Last week’s “Break Up” showed guts and delivered an emotionally satisfying conclusion to some pretty big story arcs. The show’s clearly made some positive changes, and if it can tighten up, remember some fundamentals from its incredible first season, and still move forward, we think it could get its mojo back. Below we’ve outlined some ideas to save the once beloved (and great) show, because as Mr. Schue taught us from day one, Glee Club is all about reinvention.
1. If you’re gonna phone in “Call Me Maybe,” just don’t do it all
We understand the marketing/sales angle, but does every hit song (especially those we heard a bajillion times this summer) need to be on the show? We can’t believe we’re saying this, but the Harvard baseball team had more heart. We’re definitely not opposed to covers of fun, zeitgeisty songs, but we request they serve a purpose, meaning they fit into the storyline and/or have some flair — like Season 2′s Singin’ in the Rain and Rihanna mashup. It was kind of weird, but pretty neat too for its homage to Gene Kelly’s original number.