Glee: Season Two, Volume One

Glee: Season Two, Volume One
Now, I think it's great that the placated, errand-running, breeding stock, majority portion of the population has embraced the world of music through various evening Fox programs, watching them religiously and discussing them with fervour around the water cooler the next morning with typically apathetic, rule-abiding colleagues. I truly do; I just wish the music on these programs wasn't so canned and vacuous, and that the vapid little teenagers singing these broad pop hits didn't do so with such an abrasive and unnecessarily shrill vibrato. Fortunately, Glee uses Auto-Tune when doling out recognizable trash like "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Umbrella," so the higher notes are subdued while the cast twirl around, preaching whatever issue is on the agenda for the week. This is the only fortunate thing about Glee, a show that's ostensibly a gay remake of Ryan Murphy's Popular, featuring the exact same storylines and characters, with the same pious, soapbox template of inclusion and acceptance without any actual real world applications of this purported idealism. It exists in a Xanadu vacuum where people change overnight and high school jocks worry about hurting the gay kid's feelings. And where season one attempted to broaden storylines beyond homophobia and calling fat people "beautiful" in an inadvertently patronizing manner, this season has no interest in appeasing anyone outside of its outspoken, naïve protester-type box. It dedicates the majority of these first ten episodes to the much-ballyhooed issue of gay bullying, with Kurt (Chris Colfer) crying about never being kissed while a closeted, self-hating gay jock pushes him around and threatens him daily. While there is nothing necessarily "wrong" with this manufactured notion of awareness, the overly precious manner in which its handled, along with the awkward conversations between Kurt and understanding redneck father Burt (Mike O'Malley), which come off like the "I love my dead gay son" scene in Heathers, only without irony, leave an unsavoury sense of being manipulated. Furthermore, the "Grilled Cheesus" episode, wherein the entire Glee gang force spirituality and religion onto the gay kid, citing, "Life is just too hard to live without belief in a higher power" is quite possibly the most abhorrent, ignorant thing to grace television screens in 2010. But at least they sing Rocky Horror Picture Show songs and Gwyneth Paltrow does the censored version of Cee-Lo's widely overplayed "Fuck You." The DVD set includes a "Glee Music Jukebox" on each disc, along with some supplements on Jane Lynch getting a wax sculpture made at Comic-Con. They also seem to recognize that beyond Jane Lynch's occasional inappropriate funny joke about rednecks trying to impregnate the tailpipes of off-road vehicles, Brittany's occasional dippy one-liners stand out, dedicating a featurette entirely to her "wit." "What's a duet?" "A blanket." (Fox)