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Glee - Season 5 Midseason Review/Evaluation

First off, I’d like to apologize for not getting the reviews out for the last couple of episodes. Life in October and November was pretty much a blur, there was so much going on. And to be quite honest, my reviews would not have been pretty. (I’m not even going to discuss that horrible thing that they attempted to pass off as a Christmas episode). But, since life has finally calmed back down and we have a fairly long winter hiatus to sit through, I thought we could kill some time by doing a midseason (well, sort of midseason) evaluation for this season of Glee. I’m going to start off by discussing some of the things that I think are working this season followed by the things that aren’t really working. I’ll finish things up by looking forward to the back half of the season and what I’d like to see from it.

What’s Working:
“The Quarterback” and the handling of Cory Monteith’s Passing: Glee has handled the passing of Cory amazingly well thus far. “The Quarterback” was a very touching tribute to both the actor and Finn. You could tell just how much love, time, and consideration the writing staff put into that episode and, at many times, I felt like I was watching the actor’s grieve just as much as the characters. And don’t even get me started on Lea’s performance. Even after that episode, the writers have continued to show some of the characters struggle to get back to a sense of normalcy and honor his memory, things that you would expect from his family, friends, and love.

New York: On the whole, I haven’t hated the storylines in New York. I think we all knew that Rachel would get the Funny Girl part, and I’m excited to see what it brings. I’ve also liked what I’ve seen of Dani and Elliot up to this point. At the end of the day, it just boils down to the fact that I’m still much more invested in the New York storylines and characters.

Sue as principal: I loved Sue in season 1. She was a perfect foil to Will. I even enjoyed seeing that she had some depth and extra layers. But, starting in season 2 (and especially last season), it seemed like Glee had a much harder time balancing the different aspects of her character and making her still seem like a believable (and not ridiculous) foil for the glee club. I liked that we’ve seen her segue into principal (I’m going to ignore the plot of HOW she became principal though). Being principal gives her a new avenue to work through and a freshness as the “villain” that she desperately needed. Has it all been perfect? Not at all, but it was something the show needed to do to not completely waste Jane Lynch’s talents. And it hasn’t been a disaster.

What’s Not Working:
The Split Storylines: This has pretty much been my chief complaint since the start of season 4. Splitting the time between Lima and New York just isn’t working. Storylines cannot be properly developed when you are giving yourself half the time in order to do so and developing plotlines has never been Glee’s strongest point.

Almost every episode since “The Quarterback”: The puppets, making me have to hear “The Fox”, that joke of a thing they deemed to call a Christmas episode…. The episodes since “The Quarterback” have left A LOT to be desired. While I understand that a lot of plotlines needed to be scraped or adjusted and the writers only had so much time to address these things at the point these episodes filmed, this last string of episodes has been some of the worst in the show’s history.

The complete abandonment and/or forgetting of storylines:
This has always been something that Glee has done that’s bugged me, but this season has been the absolute worst for it. They seemed to completely forget that last season ended with Ryder quitting the Glee club because of Unique’s catfishing. This season, he’s there, happy, and willing to beat people up to defend her honor. I would have been completely okay if there had been any mention of it or resolution to the storyline, but there has been nothing. Becky’s storyline stemming from last season’s “Shooting Star” was basically dropped as well. They had an opportunity to really do a meaningful storyline but it seemed like they had no intention of touching the storyline again until there was a lot of outrage over it so they put a band-aid over it to try and appease the viewers. I don’t expect perfection, but a little continuity never hurt anyone.

What I Hope to See in The Second Half of the Season:
Focus on one Location: With the rest of the originals graduating very shortly, I think it’s high time that Glee reevaluates things and focuses on one location and group of characters. And as I’ve been typing this out, this has become a reality, so I will move on to my next point. :-)

Don’t Try and Bring Everyone to NY: The number of McKinley alums in NYC is already a little on the unrealistic side. We know Artie (unless they forgot about this plot point) got accepted to a film school in NYC so he’ll at least be in the city, and Blaine plans to head there as of now. Do we really need to see even MORE McKinley alums travel there as well? It would be absolutely ridiculous for the entire glee club to end up in NY. Why not expand the social circles of some of the characters?

Have a clear end game in mind: Glee is now in possession of something that most shows don’t get the luxury of having: a clear end date. We know the show will end next season. There is no bubble status to worry about. Ryan has stated that, prior to Cory’s death, he knew how he wanted the show to end. That ending is obviously not in the cards anymore, but there is still ample time to craft an appropriate ending to the show. I don’t want to see the show go out on some rushed plotline, so why not take the opportunity you’ve been given and properly plant all the seeds now?

Keep up the Realistic Portrayal of Cory/Finn’s passing:
Everyone grieves in different ways and the timeframe for the grieving period is different for everyone as well. I don’t expect the show to have everyone in a funk for the remainder of the season/series, but, I don’t want everyone to be completely peachy-keen overnight either. Let them have some hard days here and there, let them remember him at appropriate times, and maybe check in on Carol and Burt every once in a while.

So with that, I turn this discussion over to you guys. What have you thought about the first part of the season? What parts have you enjoyed? What parts have left a lot to be desired? Am I being too harsh or will I need a bigger boat to fit all of you that feel the same about this season as me? Hit the comments and let me know.

About the Author - Caitlin Rice Anderson
Caitlin is an avid TV watcher. Her all time favorite shows are Buffy, Angel, and Veronica Mars. Her current TV obsessions are New Girl, Once Upon a Time, Hannibal, and Sleepy Hollow. Outside of watching and discussing TV, she can be found pursuing her doctorate and impatiently waiting for the return of college football.

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