We pride ourselves on our honesty, and it should be obvious to all of you regular readers that we’re never ones to pull our punches when it comes to reviewing. We’re not going to start now. This week’s Glee – the FOX hit’s season finale! – completely underwhelmed. That may even be an understatement. Is there a word that goes even further to show a total lack of impact that underwhelmed? Because that’s the one we want to use.
The episode itself wasn’t terrible. The body of it moved at a fair clip, there were a few laughs, some decent numbers, a few resolved stories. It was by no means surprising or unpredictable, but we judge Glee on a new metric now and if it doesn’t make us want to throw our laptop at the wall it’s a total coup. So what was our problem with it? It wasn’t the lackluster musical numbers, or the over-reliance on old jokes (Brittany’s dumb, but successful because other people are dumb too), or even the constant preaching. It was simply that each and every big plot point was dealt with with so much meh that the entire episode made us, if possible, more apathetic about the future of Glee than we had thought humanly possibly.
Sue’s baby daddy? Revealed with so little pomp (and so little thought) that it glided by in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it vignette that we don’t care about forgetting. Michael Bolton? We should care, why? The reveal of Ryder’s catfish, so hyped and built up and yet so disappointing in execution, surprised us not one whit. Ryder’s apparent indignation was relatively impotent. We couldn’t even tell if he was pissed at Unique (retroactive Spoiler!) because he’s vaguely homophobic or because Unique felt the need to lie. All that we gleaned from this whole thing was ‘don’t trust people on the internet’ and Ryan Murphy has difficulty thinking up reasons for characters to leave the show (Blake Jenner’s Glee Project-won contract has come to an end).
Even the twists in the story were so minimal that we barely noticed them happening. Brittany’s early admission to MIT? Clearly a quickly thought up (and not at all thought out) plot to give Heather Morris some maternity leave next season, though her farewell speech may have had us welling up, just a little. Interesting us far more are the ins and outs of the “unusual proposition” that the MIT math department had for her – something that wasn’t even mentioned again during the episode. The surprise Mr Schu and Miss Pilsbury wedding was almost too low-key to function. And the final shot of Blaine cradling an engagement ring box is perhaps the least exciting or eventful final scene in this season of underwhelming finale cliffhangers. The fact that Rachel hasn’t heard back about her Funny Girl audition is a far more compelling cliffhanger, but Murphy et al failed to give it the time needed to really drive the suspense home.
So what can we expect from next season? Well, first of all, probably our predicted continuation of this year. A neat way to keep Tina, Artie, and whoever else is in their senior year around for another season. We wish they had thought of this when they were working with the cast we actually liked. We can also probably expect a (very) few scenes of Brittany sitting behind desks and holding big bags. We can expect a Klaine proposal and the announcement of Rachel’s Broadway fate. We can expect the return of Finn. Most of all, though, we would like to be expecting a serious uptick in quality. Glee is currently holding a very tenuous position in our hearts (and, we suspect, in those of many of its long-term viewers). The writers should tread very carefully. – K
Quoteworthy: “Tonight’s guests are two sworn enemies who became friends, then became enemies again, then became friends again, then enemies, and then everybody stopped caring.” – Brittany, on Schu and Sue
Stand out performance:
– Icona Pop’s “I Love It”. Great vocals, simple routine, well executed.
– Honorable mention for New Directions’ performance of The Script ft. Will.i.am’s “Hall of Fame”. It was great to see the boys getting the vocal lead for once – that’s something that rarely happens when the Glee kids go to comp. This would have been our performance of the week had we felt that they devoted enough time to getting the routine down. The dancing was all over the place.
– Second honorable mention for Frida Romero’s (Jessica Sanchez) rendition of Little Mix’s “Wings”. The vocals were amazing, but the background work was nothing we hadn’t seen a million times before. The choreographers need to step up their game and get back to some of the back-breakingly impressive routines trotted out for Vocal Adrenaline.