Contrarian Corner takes on 'Glee': 'I Am Unicorn' and I am vomiting rainbows


Image Credit: Fox

Have you ever felt like you’re different, a misfit, a loner, like you just don’t belong? Come Tuesday nights, when everyone tunes into a certain high-school musical, do you find yourself wondering how we’ve reached a point where Kidz Bop: The Series has become a major cultural touchstone? Is there a passion burning deep inside you that you just need to get out, and is that passion the desire to complain about how much you dislike Glee? If so, please take a seat, you’re in the right place. (For those of you hoping to read EW’s regular Glee recap, you can find that here.)

Welcome to the Diss-a-Glee club. This is a safe zone where we can discuss all the things about the show that annoy us, and by “discuss” I mean conversing with words like normal people and not breaking out into licensed showtunes at the drop of a top hat. You may have noticed that EW can sometimes be inundated with a ridiculous overabundance [Ed.] perfectly acceptable amount of Glee coverage, but you should know that not all of us are necessarily fans. So in conjunction with our Glee-positive recaps written by the openhearted and joyful Abby West, we’ll also be offering these weekly posts written by me, a cynical Scrooge who likes to stomp on children’s sandcastles.

Why even watch the show if we hate it so much? I’m glad you asked, inevitable commenter! Burning hatred is a very powerful motivator, you see, and can help lead to great things. Would Voltaire ever have written Candide if not for his hatred of Leibnizian optimism? Would Michael Bay ever have made Pearl Harbor if not for his hatred of history books?

So, on to the show: I was thisclose to being interested in last night’s episode, the second of the season, primarily because I thought it was going to center around Brittany, who is a fascinating character. By all rights, Brittany should not be alive, since the level of stupidity at which the writers keep her indicates that simple, everyday functions like remembering to breathe or not sticking your face into a weed wacker are beyond her grasp. Plenty of shows have the token stupid character, but Brittany makes Becky, the girl with Down Syndrome, look like Neil deGrasse Tyson. So when it seemed like we’d get to spend some time in the vast echoing cavern that is her mind, I thought it might be interesting. But that was before Kurt sashayed in and absconded with the A-plot like he does in 87 percent of the episodes.

Kurt really wants to play Tony in the upcoming school production of West Side Story, but unfortunately he’s a little too [INSERT ACCEPTABLE EUPHEMISM] for the role. His audition choice of one of Streisand’s sassiest numbers probably didn’t help matters, and so he tries to prove that he can play a virile, heterosexual gang member from the streets of 1950s New York. Usually on Glee when you aren’t immediately successful at something you’ve never tried before it’s because you either don’t believe enough in yourself, others don’t believe enough in you, or you don’t believe enough that others believe in you. But in place of the usual triumphant overcoming of mild adversity, Glee pulled out one of its most dubious morals to date. As Burt explains, Kurt shouldn’t have to adapt himself to roles that are unlike him just because that’s literally the very definition of acting. Instead, he should just demand that people write roles that already closely resemble him. And that’s how Glee, the show on the forefront of introducing gay kids into old people’s living rooms, ended up supporting that Newsweek article everyone booed last year. Really, Glee? You’re going to go with saying that Kurt should just embrace the fact that he’s too gay to play it straight? This is what happens when you just close your eyes and pull out something at random from your Big Sparkly Bedazzled Bag o’ Heartwarming Lessons.

Case in point #2: Quinn has decided she no longer wants to be a part of Glee. She has also decided to dye her hair pink, wear a leather jacket, hang out under the bleachers, and smoke, proving that Glee’s idea of teenage rebellion in 2011 is straight out of an early 1990s episode of Degrassi High. I bet she’s listening to that rock ‘n’ roll music, too! Because she dared to change her look and attitude, her former friends and teachers berate her endlessly, telling her she needs to stop being so different and start being more like them. Essentially, she’s bullied into conforming to their norm—the norm of singing, dancing and being as non-threateningly diverse as the Burger King Kids Club Gang—and when she finally shows up, all blond and frilly, everyone claps and laughs and feels their heart-cockles heating up, completely oblivious to the fact that they completely went against everything that their show is supposed to stand for. Someone really needs to return that Big Sparkly Bedazzled Bag. I hope they kept the receipt.

Random thoughts:

Do you think babies ever grow up to resent being lazy plot devices?

I’m not sure I believe Puck knew that Napoleon was a pastry but not that he was an historical figure. That’s like saying, “Did you know that a string isn’t just an oscillating component of subatomic particles, but that it’s also a long thing used to tie up newspapers?”

Mr. Schuester says he can’t direct the musical because he’s far too busy concentrating on Nationals. Somewhere there’s a Spanish class filled with skeletons that has been waiting two years to be dismissed.

Are Congressional campaign ads in Ohio really just footage of random students yelling at random teachers filmed by random coaches? That seems like an odd thing to base your politics on.

I’m convinced that there is a running bet in the writer’s room to see who can create the most annoying character on primetime television. Whoever came up with Sugar, you win, now and forever.

Haters gonna hate, so you might as well do it in the comments section. Vent your disdain for Glee below, preferably while punching a kitten and telling a six-year-old that Santa doesn’t exist!

Comments (231 total) Add your comment
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  • David

    So you’re all going to gather together and watch a show you don’t like, then talk about how much you don’t like it? That makes you idiots. How about watching something else, or reading a book, or going outside? All preferable activities to watching a show you don’t like.

    • Eric

      I couldn’t agree more. They will inevitably reply that it is a free country. The bottom line is they just want to rain on other peoples parades. The best thing to do is find something they enjoy and crap all over it.

      • Flame

        I do NOT watch the show and all I wish for it is that it will leave me alone. Unfortunately, that show is continually raining in on MY parade by forcing me to listen to their ninth-rate “singing” at a rate of 2 “songs” per week when I just want to listen to the UK Top 40. So anybody bashing that “show” is VERY welcome in my book.

        I cannot understand the attraction at all, and until now I just heard of HUGE plotholes. Hell, even the “actors” in the Triple-X-Parody are singing WAY better than the original cast, which is kinda sad if you think about it.

      • Monty

        Personally, I dislike where the show has gone since the first 13 episodes. I keep watching because I’m hoping that the writers will eventually catch on and get back to what made the show great before. That being said, I was surprised that the show actually had a character act how I would imagine a normal human being would act in Quinn. The whole ‘skanks’ plotline was trash, but it looks like it only stood the purpose of a jumping off point for her to want her baby back. With all of the off the wall plotlines, random 180 degree character shifts, and recycled plotlines, i finally can at least see 1 story that may be interesting. I think its just too little too late. At least they aren’t singing 10 top 40 radio songs a week now, and writing hits songs to perform a day before nationals…

      • mlb

        Sorry Flame, your complaint has no merit. If you hate the show, you don’t have to watch it, or read articles about it. I can’t stand Harry Potter or Twilight, and when those movies come out the coverage is everywhere. Guess what? I turn the channel, don’t read the articles and ignore it. This article is ridiculous. When I don’t enjoy something I DON’T WATCH IT. TV shows are for entertainment value only, and if you’re not entertained, turn the channel and don’t waste your time.

      • Ames

        I don’t watch Glee, but I totally understand the idea of watching a show you don’t like, and I’ve done it several times in the past. When a show is very popular, but I think it’s stupid, I feel like the kid yelling “the Emperor has no clothes!” But everyone keeps on saying they like his clothes, so I wonder did I miss something? So I have to watch again. Nope, still naked. Then I keep watching like I’m a pop-cultural scientist collecting evidence to show others how bad this show really does suck. It’s hard to accept defeat when you know you’re right.

      • lisa g.

        I just wanted to say high school 20/20 hindsight is over-rated

    • Justin

      Third paragraph: “Why even watch the show if we hate it so much? I’m glad you asked, inevitable commenter! ” And then it happened…awesome

      • Eric

        It happened because his reasoning was lacking.

      • henry

        trust me, its not. I watch glee because I used to like it. It’s like seeing a beautiful car, and watching it pass by in awe, and then the car gets into a never ending crash, but you can’t look away, because you need to see what happens.

      • Snsetblaze

        He did forget the most important reason – he is paid to do so. I’d be ok watching something I hate if I was paid to do so.

      • Ru

        1. I watch it because I used to like it, and part of me hopes it gets good again.

        2. I watch it for the same reason I watch Jersey Shore – to revel in the terribleness.

        3. I watch it because my roommate has already called dibs on our TV for Tuesday nights.

        Is that enough analysis for you?

      • jps

        what henry said.

      • @henry

        Exactly. Part of my philosophy is that I can’t complain about something, be it a movie, TV show, etc., if I haven’t actually seen it. It’s a car crash you know you shouldn’t be looking at, but you can’t help yourself. It’s almost fascinating to see how low they can go.

    • Jeannine

      why? you’re reading an article that you knew you weren’t going to like (hint: it tells you in the title!). do you see the hypocrisy? do you? i think the author is dead on. i used to like and support the show even through its fits and starts , but i’ve pretty much given up glee. and for the reasons stated so well above. i think they should just cancel it when the kids graduate and call it a day. it’s just gonna get worse.

      • Dih

        It tool 60 seconds to read the article. For me, at least. How long did it take you to watch a show you hate, read the article and comment? This is an unnecessary column fueling hate for no real reason. I would say the same if if was about any show. Why glee? I hate NCis and csi and all those crap shows. So guess what? I don’t watch them! I don’t read recaps or articles about them. What a sad waste of time.

      • Frustrated Glee Fan

        @Jeannine: Perhaps it will improve when the writers are forced to come up with plotlines for characters other than Rachel, Finn, and Kurt? A girl can dream…

    • Diane

      Trust me-The producers, actors, writers, advertisors, network and everyone else making money off of the show is happy if people come to snark the show. They’re now making money off of the snarkers as well as the fans

      • Snsetblaze

        I agree. What is the old saying: bad press is better than no press.

        Personally, the series does annoy me but I still like it. I laughed at this article because it said many things I was thinking.

      • matt

        “the series does annoy me but I still like it. I laughed at this article because it said many things I was thinking.”
        And THERE”S the reason for this article.

    • kahuna

      They should call this the Haterz Blog. so stupid.

      • Courtney

        Have you ever noticed that people like to throw around the word “hater” or even better “haterz” as though it’s the most insulting thing to say about someone, when in fact the one using the term is also hating? At worst I feel bad for a while but then I just smile :)

    • Bob R

      I have no interest in the show, so I don’t watch. I don’t mind reading an article by someone who wants to spend his time that way though

      • Queequeg

        I’m with Bob ^^^. The article was hilarious, and this line was genius:
        Would Michael Bay ever have made Pearl Harbor if not for his hatred of history books?

      • kate middleton

        Loved this article – it’s SO true. I cannot stand Glee, but somehow I can’t yet bring myself to delete it from my DVR. Not sure why. Too much time on my hands I guess. Perhaps I can how just read this article and be free to delete Glee!

      • Lisa Simpson

        Yeah, I have no intention of ever watching an episode again, but I will read these dissing recaps. I get all the inanity of the show without having to listen to the atrocious singing.

    • Cygnus

      One of my biggest problems is the show’s gay creator trying to convince young gay viewers that it’s ok for them to be loud and proud and stick their heads out, when he himself has probably spent a lifetime of laying low, and has probably had his add beat a few times in life. THAT’s REALITY. Don’t teach kids that life will be Streisand and Roses for gays, no more than blacks, hispanics, or women convince their like children that they have an advantage in life. It’s just not a good survival strategy for youth to live by if they are gay.

      • tina

        Maybe he wants a better life for today’s young gay viewers than the one he had for himself?

        We don’t watch TV because it’s realistic. We watch it to escape the crap we deal with every day.

    • Cate

      Hahahahaha! I love you David.

    • Like

      I thought this was pretty funny myself. Its humor. I dont watch glee anymore, but I found the jabs to be amusing.

      I also dont watch the political debates, but I enjoy watching Jon Stewart taking shots at them.

      This is really not any different than any joke or parody SNL, Letterman, Conan or any other comedy show/writer does about politics or jersey shore or whatever.

      Glee is so sacred no one is alowed to make a few jokes about its flaws?

    • ewen

      I love the actors of this show. I think Lea, Cory, Chris and Naya are especially fantastic. But their characters make me so frustrated! ok Naya still has it good. Santana is still relatively free from flaws, for a character on Glee. But Rachel, Finn and Kurt should all jump in the lake together and free Lea, Cory and Chris from the clutches of the Troll whose initials are RM.

    • MM

      It’s fun to diss, because it can so bad. The characters can be do ridiculous. It happens all the time with pop culture.

      I don’t watch the show, but I like reading the Diss-a-Glee article while I’m bored at work. Fun stuff!

    • gg

      And getting so passionate about people’s dislike of a tv show makes you…?

    • @@kim in kentucky

      And yet you’re wasting time on this board commenting on how dumb we are. Pot, meet kettle.

    • Courtney

      Does the fact that EW has now added negative reviews of this show tell you anything? If you write it, they will come, and HERE WE ARE!! This is America and haters are free to be too, especially the ones who love to hate Glee!!! I can’t stand the show and honestly, who doesn’t love to read about other people who hate the same things they do? Thanks EW!!!

    • Angela

      So, it’s a crime to dislike something and want to talk to other people about it? I have friends who still like Glee, so I spent a lot of last season trying to hold in my rants and passionate anger at what they’ve done to a once promising and enjoyable show.

  • Suse

    Kurt was auditioning for Tony, who is the former leader of the American street gang (the Jets), not the latino street gang (the Sharks).

    • Keith Staskiewicz

      Nice catch, Officer Krupke!

      • Jeannine


      • Snsetblaze

        Thanks Keith – now I have an earwig in my head – the lyrics to the song Officer Krupke.

  • Nic

    I will tune into this column every week.

    • Churble

      As will I. I love it. I watch this show every week, and every week when it’s over I wonder why in the world I’m watching this show, knowing fully that I’ll be watching again next week. I love reading someone else who feels the same way I do about the ridiculousness of it, this was by far the best and funniest recap I’ve read.

      • I Heart Slezak

        Dead-on, Chubie. Fantastic recap, and I had the exact same reaction as Keith to the Napoleon line (absent the awesome string-theory analogy). And as much as I love Kurt’s dad, yeah, I did squirm a bit at his speech’s similarity to the Newsweek article that caused me to cancel my subscription. All in all, just a fantastic recap for those who hate Glee, those who love it, those who love to hate it, and those who hate to love it…..

  • Jess

    Hilarious (and spot-on) recap!

  • kristin

    I love this! I’ve seen this show, perhaps 3x & cannot understand the draw. Jane Lynch is a wonderful actress in everything she does but even she can’t do anything for this garbage. I still find it amusing that there was an uproar b/c of a magazine cover that was supposedly too racy of the lead female! The cover was nothing & this woman(who is playing a teenager)is hardly well endowed. But let’s face it, we live in a world where ppl enjoy watching 3yr olds in bikinis & eyeshadow. Glee reminds me of a combo of “Grease” & “Footloose” w/2x the saccharin & 2x the teen angst, less the talent. Of course, just my little ol’ opinion.

  • Mandy

    Hahaa! I had some serious problems with Glee this week. First of all, Quinn’s makeover was hot. Sure, she was acting like a b***** and a bully and could afford to clean up her act, but she was expressing her feelings and venting her rage and that is cool. It was lame that the show made it seem like she should be perfect little princess in order to be a good person. LAME.
    But, it is good that they are addressing the adoption, because I thought it was weird that everyone was just so over it. Also, the scene with Puck and the baby was friggin adorable!

  • Dave

    Man, where to start… The whole “I want to get my baby back!” plotline reeks of stupid and impossible. It’s been over a year, there is no state in the US that lets you get your baby back after that time period. You signed legal papers? I’m glad they’ve decided to stop making it “Rachel, Finn, Kurt and Friends” by giving other people story lines, but still so much Kurt! We get it, Ryan Murphy! This is the gay childhood you wish you had. Kurt is cool, I guess, but stop. I want a kurt free episode. We’ve dialed down the Rachel and that’s awesome, but still too much Kurt!

    • anonymous

      I think Kurt could pull off an amazing Judy Garland impersonation myself. He has got the looks.

  • l

    you were doing really well! i was fine with getting to see two different viewpoints about Glee… then you had to disparage Santa AND punch a kitten…. BAD Keith!! BAD!! *smacks him with Brittany’s ponytail*

  • Steven

    I actually really like Glee but i loved this! I havent seen this episode yet but I can agree with just about everything. Kurt is my least favorite character, he always whines and all of his storylines are based on him being gay. not every problem us gays have are because we’re gay! and everyone in Glee club is a hypocrite at somepoint and changes their tune every week. its a good show but doesn’t deserve the hype or recognition its gotten over much better television.

  • Eric

    This whole recap was high larious, but probably in the way that you intended. I know that when EW finds a television show they really enjoy or are excited about they latch onto it like a dog with a brand new chew toy and by the time they are done it is lying shredded on the floor stuffing everywhere. I don’t think that this is the way to deal with that. Maybe focus on a weekly TV recap and the occasional casting announcement. Problem solved. Instead, you’ve decided to write an anti recap. I mean, anyone could do that with any one of shows that you recap. Vampires aren’t real!! A chemistry teacher who makes meth? Please. Reality TV is stupid, those aren’t stars. But why do that? There have been plenty of shows that I didn’t like, Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds, any of the CSIs, but after I realize I didn’t like them I didn’t continue watching them and then spew vitriol about the plot contrivances and the supposed bad character development to everyone who did watch the show, either in person or on an online blog post. I mean, it is cool that you want to do that. It is a free country and you can watch what you want and say what you want about them, but you need to be aware of what that makes you. A douche.

    • Eli

      Wow. Did you get it all out mate? Wouldn’t want you to get sick with anger now….
      Seriously, lighten up, grow a sense of humor (or adopt one). Shows with bad writing and/or ridiculous plot(hole)s always get made fun of, even on EW.
      It was about time somebody targeted Glee. I actually enjoy some aspects of Glee, but also get annoyed every episode with how much potential is wasted by Ryan Murphy and co.
      PS: Anyone who says “high larious” is by definition a douche.

      • Eric

        Really? If that makes me a douche then your definition is pretty broad. I just don’t think that guy was very funny. Forgive me. Just like Keith and you Eli I have the right to my opinion and the right to express it on a public forum. Also let’s test your sensr of humor. You tell me your favorite show, I will watch the newest episode and I will write a blog post filled with derogatory comments about everything about it and we will see how you and other fans of the show react.

      • Eli

        My favorite show that is on right now is either Parenthood or The Good Wife, you can pick one or do both. I look forward to it :)

      • jj

        oh, eric. as if your definition of “douche” isn’t significantly broad? oh the hypocrisy!

      • Molly

        Umm.. If someone had an hate column about my favorite show I wouldn’t read it…….that was easy:)

    • Jewsy

      Please don’t cry, Eric. Please?

    • Lyndsey

      I’m sorry but are you actually claiming that puffed-up tripe like Glee is better than Breaking Bad???!!! Seriously?

      • Eric

        Oh Jewsy, I don’t plan on crying and I hope that you really are Jewish, because if you’re not that name is horribly offensive. Also, Lyndsey I am not claiming that Glee is better than Breaking Bad or vice versa, I am just making a point that you could do this column with any television show and that it irks me. It irks me that people watch something or read something and then tear it down only because other people like it. That’s all. You all can try to defend it all you want. You can tell me not to cry, call me a hypocrite, it doesn’t really matter. There is no defending this. It is just people being needlessly snarky and cruel. I mean, it is basically what the internet was made for so cowards can rail against things anonymously and I know that I am not going to change it, but I wanted to say something about it and I did. I am satisfied with that.

      • Molly

        Eric… Trust me, there are people saying much more horrible things on the Internet then insulting a freaking TV show…if THIS upset you much, I don’t know what you do when you see youtube or yahoo comments…

        unless racist & sexist comment don’t annoy you as much as someone not loving you favorite TV show.

      • Lyndsey

        Eric, it’s a TV show. Why would you care what other people think about it? If you enjoy it isn’t that all that matters? I could understand getting upset if people were making bigoted comments about it but that’s not the case in this article. You can’t take things like this so personally or seriously. Life’s far too short for that!!!

      • Sandra

        Eric…I want to thank you. I can occasionally get upset when people online insult my show or a character but you’re reaction to this things makes me see how idiotic I was being caring what a bunch of strangers think.

      • @Eric

        We don’t dislike it because other people like it. We dislike it because it’s so flawed in the most fundamental ways. I think I could write the show better than they do. I like to imagine that, at some point, they’ll actually listen to the complaints and attempt to address them, but I doubt it. If you genuinely like a show, you shouldn’t care about what other people say, but a little critical thinking also never hurt anyone

  • Flyer

    I have a real love-hate relationship with Glee. I love the actors and a lot of the music. And for the sake of the fun, I’m totally willing to suspend my disbelief regarding the magically appearing student musicians and obviously pre-recorded music. But there are just SO MANY huge plot holes and ridiculous situations, that the realist in me thanks you, Keith, for your hysterically snarky & spot-on assessment of the show. I took HUGE issue with both points you mentioned for this episode. Glee was actually suggesting that an actor would be considered “too gay” to play a straight role? (And will this have any negative effect on Chris Colfer’s real-life acting ambitions?) And apparently you can’t be a good person AND still have an individual look? (I actually really LIKED Quinn’s pink hair. I nearly choked when she appeared in her virginal-white summer dress.) And what’s this about trying to take the baby back from Shelby? Why not a mature story about Quinn & Puck learning to be a part of their baby’s life while STILL letting the kid grow up with the mom with whom she’s bonded and who’s in a better position to provide for her? I really hope Glee doesn’t go further down this road, because this kind of child-custody battle isn’t a game. When this kind of “plot” plays out in real-life, the results are BRUTAL on all parties.

    • Eli

      You just wrote down my exact feelings about this episode and the above article.
      Also, Diana Agron is beautiful with any kind of hair, but the pink hair at least made her stand out more, which is hard enough in this show.

      • Rory

        I agree with everything you said about last night’s episode. It’s very tiresome to go into a custody battle plotline, just to give characters something to do. On another note, I find the Down Syndrome comment in this article more offensive than anything that was on Glee last night.

    • Snsetblaze

      You said my thoughts exactly. But also with regard to the Quinn plot – its all about what she wants – she doesn’t even think about Puck. And he seems to realize what is best for the baby (although is Shelby’s decision to let the two into the baby’s life really what is best for the child?)

  • Moderation

    The music sucks.

  • McNulty

    Glee is so horrendous that it has me rooting for Jonah Hill. See what you’ve done, Glee?!?!

    • Shannon

      Hehe. While I was watching last night’s episode, I kept thinking, “This could really use some Jonah Hill”.

  • Rick Deckard

    Re: burning hatred.

    Would Fleetwood Mac ever have recorded Rumours were it not for the vicious in-fighting?

    And would Glee ever have done a Fleetwood Mac themed episode if they didn’t hate music and want to ruin that band for a whole generation?

  • Scogge

    All I want to know is when will Brittany & Santana lock lips and seal the deal?
    It’s kinda hilarious that Brittana is the only couple that I can belive in considering how little screentime they get.

    • Angela

      I’ve never liked Santana, and Brittany was better, IMO, when she was kept to the supporting role where she just slipped in funny one-liners every now and then. Their storyline is actually one of my least favorite. But to each his own, I guess.

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