I’ll admit I was down with Glee when it first debuted. It was a dark comedy about a Midwest high school with some campy songs thrown in. Then, very surprisingly, the show became immensely popular. The songs rocketed to the top of iTunes, millions of soundtracks were sold and teens everywhere thought it was cool to be “Gleeks.” Less surprising was the music industry’s vulture-like reaction to the show’s success. Viewership equals downloads equal money and if you haven’t notice, the fucks who run the major record labels are struggling to keep their monopolies afloat. Madonna and Lady Gaga theme shows soon followed and the proverbial shark was back flipped.
The tail now wags the dog. Rather than creating a great show and fitting appropriate songs to the plot, Glee is structuring the show around whatever songs they get the permission to remix. Take the season premiere: “Telephone” and “Billionaire.” Absolutely no relation to the storyline, but producers squeezed them in because Ryan Seacrest plays them twelve times a day on the radio. There’s going to be a Britney Spears episode this season, Billy Joel gave his approval, and other bands are lining up to have their songs Glee-i-fied so they can cash some more iTunes royalty checks. The idea that show-choir covers of lame pop hits are the biggest sellers and most popular songs in the country makes me sick. It makes me want to give up. Have our musical tastes really fallen this far? Do kids really think this is how high school choir functions? Are artists really that desperate to gain exposure?
I understand the market, but I guess I just had a little more faith in creator Ryan Murphy. Glee once had promise, but now it’s just another well-oiled money making marketing machine. The show tried to address the haters in the first scene of the season two premiere, but the second I heard three white actors rapping “New York State of Mind,” I knew it was a wrap for Glee.