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TV Fanatic Mid-Season Report Card: Glee 12/23/2010

by at . Comments

With our favorite prime time shows on hiatus, TV Fanatic is taking a look back at some buzzed-about programs and grading their performance this fall, with a look toward 2011.

Earlier, we examined House. Up now: Glee.

Best episode: "The Substitute." Gwyneth Paltrow simply radiated excitement and energy throughout this hour. The one drawback? It made me wish Holly Holiday was the leader of New Directions instead of Will. But it also showcased Glee at its best: great songs, funny lines and sheer fun.

Sectionals Song

Worst episode: "Britney/Brittany." This wasn't a showcase for storylines or characters. It just served as an excuse to feature a few Britney Spears songs. It came across like a shallow, paid advertisement for the pop star.

Best character: Brittany. She's done the impossible, out Sue Sylvestering Sue Sylvester in terms of the best one-liners from the season. Aside from cracking us up with her belief that "adultery" means acting like "a dolt," though, Brittany also caused us to tear up with her adorable sensitivity, as best evidenced in the Christmas episode.

Worst character: Will Schuester. It's hard to see where they're really going with Will. He creeped us out with his quasi stalking of Emma and he spends every episode lecturing the students. But can you blame them for not always listening to someone whose own life is such a mess?

Best performance: It's too difficult to choose between so many incredibly-sung renditions ("Teenage Dream" and "Le Jazz" would likely top that list), so gonna go with "Valerie" from Sectionals here. Seriously, I could watch Brittany and Asia Mike dance around on stage for hours.

Best cast addition: Sam and Blaine (tie). Sorry, can't choose between these stud muffins. All I can say is that their presence makes me hopeful that all will be okay when various characters graduate in 2012.

Hopes for 2011: Fewer societal messages, more focus on relationship developments. When Glee tackles an issue such as religion or homosexuality within the context of well-written, planned-out storylines, it can have an affect like no show on television.

But when it tries too hard to hammer certain points home (e.g. bullying), it comes across like a PSA that doesn't ever treat characters as human beings, but just as message-delivering props.

Overall grade: B.

Agree or disagree with our assessment? Sound off now in our Glee forum!

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I truly wish for no more Will - Emma drama. Every week's theme of the group is focused on what Emma said at the beginning of the show and how is Will potraying it.. Seriously - bring a new love interest for Will!
Oh, and for Rachel as well - I don't like how's Rachel constantly apologizing and Finn's constantly turning her down..

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@JS Morris I agree with nearly everything you said (except the best episode). They need to mix up the cast a bit, they've become caricatures of themselves (particuarly Santana who has no other purpose on the show but to be cruel and nasty, such a 1D character these days).
I hope they get rid of the potential Mercades dad being a homeless man plot. What we know of her family explains why she is what she is (a strong, kind, positive, confident young lady) and to suddenly make her dad homeless (I'm presuming he'll not be with her mother then or the rest of the family including Mercades would be homeless too) and so seemingly having great difficulties ruins her character's arc. I love that she has a happy, supportive, traditional, untainted family unit as well as the show's variations like the Hummels, Berrys etc. as it shows that even with different family units they all produce kids with similar dreams/aspirations and shows they are all as valid and the norm as each other. There doesn't seem to be a need to mess with her family as far as I can see.
I'd rather see Puckleberry these days, and I couldn't abide it last season (mostly cos of his stupid haircut), but Finn is jsut becoming a sanctimonious martyr. Boo hoo, Rachel kissed Puck. So what he lies to her, doesn't defend her, lets others mock and humilate her and doesn't even feel bad about it. At least Puck cares about her.
It would be nice to see more ethnically diverse characters too, who could maybe bring a new flavour to the songs and performances (Sam is simply Finn mark II with slightly more braincells, but not much).

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Final comment. It isn't Matthew Morrison's fault that Will is so lackluster: it's the writing. He gets to screw up and apologize profoundly every episode, he can't manage his personal life, and other than that, he gets to grimace and tear up a lot. "I owe you guys an apology. I made a mistake, you guys. I'm really, really sorry. I was wrong. I am so sorry." Hey, Ryan: could we just have a moratorium on those words for a while, not just for Will, but for everyone? Okay, everything is off my chest, at least for now. Obviously, I do love the show otherwise.

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My pet peeve is with Sam, seems everyone agrees about that. Why wasn't a strong male black performer brought in instead? The high schools in Lima, OH, are over half black! I cringe every time Will tries to sing rap or hip-hop or dance funky. I don't even like rap or hip-hop or funk, but I'm the mother of 5 young adults & I know what kids today like. It isn't old white guys. (I'm white and Jewish, so I don't feel underrepresented.) 1 more thing: whatever you do, don't cast Mercedes father as a homeless man! He's a dentist, remember? She comes from the only traditional family in the group. Leave it that way. Now, Puck's father - we all know he's a loser. About Sam:he looks like a surfer boy; he would be very popular in any high school, not an underdog, he can't sing, and his relationship with Quinn is too sweet. Hint to Ryan Murphy: if you don't want to be thought of as High School Musical IV, don't write or cast like you do.

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Showing my age, I thought The Substitute was the best show this season, Duets was second. Finchel has gotten really boring. Puck (Mark Salling) is a way better singer and dancer than Finn or Sam. I think a kinder gentler more mature Puck should date and sing with Rachel I thought Furt was boring in every way. I like that the scenes with Kurt are so well-written; I just wish the writing was as good for some of the other kids and their parents. Surely Santana, Mercedes,Tina, and Mike have interesting back stories. Baby, It's Cold Out There is adorable, and Jane Lynch's Grinch will "steal" the Emmys!

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Best episode: Grilled Cheesus. I know everyone has been giving this episode crap, but come on, it was amazing. Glee did such a great job handling the question of God. Worst Episode: Brittany/Britney. Seriously, what was the plot? Best Character: Kurt. Blah blah with everyone complaining about the gay problems. He's gay in a mostly straight school, of course he's going to have issues! He's by far the only relatable character on there. And Chris does such an amazing job at the emotional scenes. Worst: Hard choice, this season there are so many bad characters. Gwen P's character was painful at points. Will has just been a mess. Even Rachel has had her moments. Best Performace: Teenage Dream. Darren Criss is totally awesome. Worst Performance: Umbrella/Singing in the Rain. Awful combination. Best New Character: Darren Criss. He's super-mega-foxy-awesome-hot. How can anyone not fall madly in love with him. He's a great contrast to Kurt and just amazing all around. Hopes: Come on, I know that Glee wants to cover some great hits. But there are some really good songs that aren't pop hits. Let's bring back the joy and playfulness that was in the very first episode. Stop focusing on the guest stars when they come in. They should be just that, guest stars, not to take away from the stars. Go back to how it was with Idina. BRING JESSE BACK. PLEASE.

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Best episode: Grilled Cheesus. I know everyone has been giving this episode crap, but come on, it was amazing. Glee did such a great job handling the question of God. Worst Episode: Brittany/Britney. Seriously, what was the plot? Best Character: Kurt. Blah blah with everyone complaining about the gay problems. He's gay in a mostly straight school, of course he's going to have issues! He's by far the only relatable character on there. And Chris does such an amazing job at the emotional scenes. Worst: Hard choice, this season there are so many bad characters. Gwen P's character was painful at points. Will has just been a mess. Even Rachel has had her moments. Best Performace: Teenage Dream. Darren Criss is totally awesome. Worst Performance: Umbrella/Singing in the Rain. Awful combination. Best New Character: Darren Criss. He's super-mega-foxy-awesome-hot. How can anyone not fall madly in love with him. He's a great contrast to Kurt and just amazing all around. Hopes: Come on, I know that Glee wants to cover some great hits. But there are some really good songs that aren't pop hits. Let's bring back the joy and playfulness that was in the very first episode. Stop focusing on the guest stars when they come in. They should be just that, guest stars, not to take away from the stars. Go back to how it was with Idina. BRING JESSE BACK. PLEASE.

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Should have added for my hopes for 2011, I want Artie and Mercades to duet at regionals. Their voices go so well together and they rarely get to duet. Just because they're not a couple shouldn't matter.
Everyone's so obsessed with Finnchel or Quam and they've both had a go now. Time to go with someone new who can deliver (I adore Rachel/Lea but I would love someone else to have a go too).
I think an Artie/Mercades duet at regionals could top the others!

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I forgot to say Best Cast Addition. To me Best Cast Addition is Sam.

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Best Episode: The Rocky Horror Glee Show, The Substitute, Furt.
Wort Episode: Grilled Cheesus, I liked it. But not that much. I felt bad for Kurt because his dad had a Heart Attack.
Best Character: Sue, Kurt, Britney. One of them.
Worst Character: Will. I like Will, but sometimes he can be a bit boring.
Best Performance: Teenage Dream
Hopes for 2011: Rachel and Finn getting back together, and I dont know what else.

Glee Quotes

Yes, I am back in glee club. In lieu of flowers, please send all donations to a socially conscious charity of your choice.

Rachel

I just want somebody to love me.

Quinn