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From glee to glum: the steady decline of Fox's "Glee"

By Nicole Knoebel
On September 20, 2012

  • A poster for Glee.

   "Glee doesn't have fans, it has prisoners." This is the grumbling many a "Glee" fan can find on Internet fan sites about the Fox show that shined so brightly its first season, only to slowly crumble into a melodramatic, sappy-storyline mess that fans only keep watching in the hopes of a return to its freshman season glory.

   The first season of "Glee," served as an example of the potential certain network television shows could reach. The show artfully switched from high school "dramedy" to choreographed musical numbers while serving as a platform for social issues facing today's high school students. It was after this near perfect debut season, however, that the decline began. Storylines became more outrageous and sensationalized, from Quinn's miracle recovery after a paralyzing texting-while-driving accident to Rachel and Finn's senior year engagement. Fans became incensed by the introduction of interesting plotlines and characters that were consequently dropped and forgotten about in following episodes, like Quinn and Puck rarely mentioning the baby girl they gave up in the season one finale. Another frequent complaint was the constant tribute episodes and guest stars that failed to advance the plot, ultimately exposing a corporate scheme for higher ratings.

   "The plotlines of the second and third seasons, in my opinion, were very overdone. They were trying to live up to what was presented in the first season. But they came across as trying too hard to get more viewers," sophomore Alexandra Mormile said on the decline of "Glee."

   Despite the many complaints, fans keep tuning in in the hope that the show can return to form. Last season ended with Rachel and Finn breaking up, many characters graduating, and Rachel getting her shot at her Broadway dreams by moving to New York. The set up made fans cautiously optimistic about the show's future by allowing for insight into character's lives outside the McKinley High choir room.

   And the fourth season premiere episode proved to be...promising. The change in setting was well over due. Watching Rachel struggle to prove herself under the disdaining eye of a brutal dance teacher, skillfully performed by Kate Hudson, and the rest of the glee gang in Ohio try to rebuild after losing graduates is refreshing and most importantly, entertaining. Kurt and Rachel's reunion in New York at the episode's conclusion leads to a renewed hope for the future of the show. Marist "Glee"fans appear to agree.

   "I'm really excited to see the development of the new characters because they don't seem like dead ends, they seem like they have a bright future in the coming seasons," sophomore Anna Durkin said.

   "Even though the show is the same, they did a good job of incorporating the New York City storyline and they have gone back to how "Glee"was in the first season," sophomore Nicole Musto added.

   Only time will tell if "Glee"can hold onto its newfound shine. 

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