UPDATE: Ratings for this week were up 13%, from last week’s 20% crash, suggesting most users came back and much of the drop came from young people going home for the holidays.
ORIGINAL: If the first season of Fox’s hit show Glee kept Kurt Hummel in the background for some, this season’s most recent episodes have brought him front and center. In the culmination of a story arc on bullying spanning several episodes, the latest Glee rallied the cast in defense of our embattled hero: the girls unleashed their boyfriends on Dave the bully, Mike Chang and Sam roughed Dave up, Sue Sylvester expelled him, while Finn and the rest of the gang lifted Kurt’s spirits with song.
All in all, it was pretty amazing television and Chris Colfer continued to prove himself one of the show’s breakout stars.
So why did the episode seem to start a trickle of haterade from the blogosphere, complete with calls that the show had “jumped the shark” and lost its mojo?
The complaints about Glee have been varied and not all crazy, and nearly all of them implicate the show’s Kurt-heavy episode arc as symptomatic of bigger problems.
Brian Moylan over at Gawker blames Kurt explicitly, saying the show has “canonized” our bullied gay teen and that Kurt is still a pretty cool and strong guy, but we don’t have to keep going on and on about it. Constantly extolling his virtues (and there are many) is making him the most unlikable person on the show.”
TV Guide takes the Kurt saga as evidence the show has, somehow, lost focus: “This show used to be about an idealistic teacher trying to help a group of misfits find their voice through show choir. Now it’s all about a kid who is bullied at a school where there are a few less-important misfits in a show choir that never seems to rehearse for the upcoming sectionals, and an annoying teacher with the worst boundaries on the planet. The glee has given way to gloom.”
Other critics, like The Vancouver Sun’s Shelley Fralic, expand the critique to one about the tone of the show: from campy and fun to sappy and overwrought. Writes Fralic, “How did the Fox network singing and dancing Glee club sensation of a series … become so formulaic and cringe-worthy, so preachy and unwatchable that even its campiness can’t save it?”
Full post at AfterElton.