Here at EW, we’re starting a new weekly series in which we — and readers — weigh in on ways to rehab much-maligned characters on some of our favorite shows.
Even Glee’s biggest fans would likely agree that season 4 of the show was fairly up and down: For every stellar moment — like the breakup episode or Rachel’s beautiful callback audition — there were parts that were painfully unrealistic or, even worse, boring. And many of the moments that made us groan came back to McKinley’s new mean girl: Kitty Wilde. But Kitty’s not going anywhere anytime soon (the actress, Becca Tobin, along with the actors who portray Marley, Jake, Ryder, and Unique were all recently promoted to series regulars for the new season).
At the risk of being the girl clinging to the past like the lady who’s still hoping Drake will return to Degrassi, let me preface this by saying I understand the show clearly isn’t going to refocus solely on “The Olds,” however much many viewers were hoping for an all-NYC show. We’re going to keep getting McKinley High stories, so my intention here is to think under what circumstances those plotlines — that for me personally were the weakest spot in Glee’s fourth season — can get better and more entertaining in season 5 (not to mention an already-confirmed season 6). While all the new characters have some moments that could be improved, an intervention is most necessary for Kitty, a.k.a. “A young Quinn Fabray.”
Kitty was clearly brought in to be the new sassy, popular cheerleader when she joined the show at the beginning of this season, but right now, the role is too cartoonish-ly overblown. As viewers, there has to be something that we can either relate to or (barring that) at least understand about a character’s motivation. For most of season 4, Kitty didn’t have that background; she was just a pile of racist, hateful remarks with a side of teen girl jealousy. It got a bit better when she confessed to Ryder she was molested a few years back (Side note: Boom! The show went there!), but that storyline was instantly dropped. Tobin is clearly talented — just check out her performance with Jake during “Everybody Talks” — but her character needs some work for more viewers to be engaged with her on the next season of the musical dramedy. Here’s how to make the girl who once declared, “I am like a bad Carrie Underwood song once I get going” more compelling … and maybe even downright likable (or, at least, like-to-hate-able).
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