Not so Gleeful.

Like millions of others, I welcomed the “Glee” Pilot as a breath of exciting, talented, exuberant fresh air. Is it just me or has it become almost incoherent this season? I know it continues to gobble up awards and polls like a Diva Juggernaut, but …really?

Hasn’t it just become a directionless, rambling self-important self-parody? Characters swap personalities and moods quicker than a chameleon can change color: trite, painfully condescending “shout-outs” to various handicapped or disadvantaged minorities seem to be thrown in willy-nilly whenever the show needs some “emotional quotient” in an otherwise barren landscape, even the trademark production numbers seem bloated and, somehow, disconnected. It still presents one of the most talented casts on TV, but the writers seem to have lost interest in them and that’s a pity because it won’t be long before we all follow suit.

Remember my friends . . . Only Connect!

Charles Shaughnessy


71 thoughts on “Not so Gleeful.

  1. Don’t bash my GLEE!!!! I think ratings speak volumes but mb it is a generational thing. I’m not a child but I love watching it. Brings back days of musical theater and honestly I just like to be entertained 🙂

  2. G’day, Charlie. When I saw the title, “Not so Gleeful” I thought, “Oh no, you’re not sick again!” It pays not to assume.
    I live with two “gleeks” – my teenage daughters – the youngest of whom started to tear up the page I printed for her to read. “Well, now I know what you think of Charlie’s opinion”, I said. While I tend to agree with you, Charlie – it has lost its appeal – we have only just seen the 4th episode of the 2nd season here in Australia and I am not sure how far we are behind you.
    My point is that you, me and everyone else that replied to your blog are giving subjective opinions (oops, sorry opinions aren’t usually objective) from an adult point of view; seeing it through adult “eyes” with an adult mind. It is interesting to read the critics who “bag” the children’s movies but in the school holidays the cinema is usually full with children and parents. In our house we never paid much attention to the adult critics that reviewed children’s movies! When my daughter was much younger she asked me why they never ask children to review children’s movies because “We think differently, Mummy”. It would be interesting to ask the million or so teenage viewers what they think of Glee. Does your daughter share your opinion, Charlie?

    I agree with you JoAnn – some of the best shows are on BBC. Have you seen Primeval or Spooks?

    • No Deb, I haven’t seen those…not really my “genre”. I adored “Downton Abbey” though! Can’t go wrong when Dame Maggie has a part. Historical period pieces are more my thing(and Monty Python…LOL).

      • Am I perpetuating a myth when I say, I thought Americans didn’t like or understand British humour? Perhaps the only reason you know and like Monty Python is because Charlie introduced you to them through Spamalot!! John Cleese also stars in a very funny British TV series – Faulty Towers. I’m a Monty Python fan too but Aussies usually find British humour funnier than American humour – must be because of our British “convict” background!! Hope you’re not offended by this – I just felt like “stirring” someone today and I’m a “cheeky stirrer” from wayback…

        • Yes and no to perpetuating the myth. Some Americans (aka Yanks) like me do appreciate British humor. Monty Python is just the tip of the iceberg; for me, Stephen Fry is a hoot, and I loved “Are You Being Served” when they aired it on our local PBS station. We just sometimes wonder why there is an extra letter in some words (humour instead of humor, colour instead of color)–perhaps Noah Webster was just trying to save ink when he developed the American English dictionary–and why people drive on the other side of the road in Mother England (I do know why we drive on the right side of the road here in the States).

          And I’m with JoAnn about the historical period pieces, although mine are more 18th century (curse of the profession–or, rather, curse of the period I study/research/write about).

          • I wondered if I’d “get a bite”. Thanks for replying. I enjoy reading what both of you, Karen and JoAnn, write. Unfortunately because of the time zone difference I’m always a day behind. Actually, technically, I’m in the future because I’m a day ahead!!!
            Karen, I totally agree with you about Stephen Fry and “Are You Being Served”. I also love Peter Sellers in anything but especially the original Pink Panther movies before Steve Martin did them. I love Steve Martin’s movies but I’m a “purist” so have never seen him in Pink Panther. Also “The Goons” a radio show my Dad used to listen to starring Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. Spike Milligan, an incredibly funny man, also wrote about 80 books, some for children; did some of his best acting/writing when he was manic! Yes, he was a manic depressive – now called bipolar. The Goons were around in the 1950’s, before my time, but John Cleese says they were an inspiration to him and a forerunner to M Python.
            For good or bad, I’m not sure, but Americans are taking over the scientific world of spellling as well!!! In chemistry we were told the official, international, correct way to now spell the element “sulphur” is “sulfur” according to the IUPAC (International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry). OMG – “What is the world coming to”, I say with tongue in cheek!!! . . . and my sister just married a Yank so now we have the merging of two cultures in our family!
            Just to bore you with trivia – countries that drive on the left side of the road – England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa. I can’t think of any more. By the way why do Yanks drive on the right side of the road and when are you going to change to the Metric system like the rest of the world?
            I actually went to primary school in Rochester, New York so do remember some American history – Boston Tea Party/Paul Revere/American Independence.
            Life is too serious and depressing sometimes (especially watching the evening world news) which is why my favourite entertainment is comedy, some science fiction and adventure but only because it’s fantasy. I can thoroughly relate to memorising and repeating M Python, JoAnn.
            By the way Aussies do laugh at some American humour – MASH, The Nanny, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, surprisingly The Big Bang Theory just to name a few.
            Anyway, I’ve written too much. Isn’t the point of Charlie’s blog to reply to Charlie and not engage in our own conversations? Oh well, sorry Charlie but it’s been fun.

            • I was hoping someone would bite on this. Yanks drive on the right side of the road because of the Conestoga wagon. The driver would have a team of horses or oxen pulling the wagon, and he sat on the right side of the wagon to control them (usually on something like a bench–for those who have seen it, think of Pa Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie). So–when another wagon approached on the road, it was easiest for him to lead the horses or oxen to the right, so the other wagon could pass. The roads in the 18th century weren’t quite as well developed as they are today, and they usually were quite narrow–slightly more than the width of one wagon, and not quite the width of two. So as the driver steered the team to the right, he would go slightly off the road. This continued when transportation shifted from Conestoga wagon (which was mostly used for hauling cargo, not people–think Mack truck instead of SUV) to motor vehicles. People were so used to driving on the right side with their wagons, stagecoaches, etc. that when we shifted to cars, trucks, buses, etc. they just stayed to the right–except the roads got a bit wider to handle more traffic.

              And that’s the history lesson for today. About your other questions, Deb: I have no idea when (or if) the U.S. will convert to the metric system. I have a suspicion that we are waiting for the rest of the world to join us with the English system of measurement. And I don’t think Charlie really minds if we start engaging in our own conversations. I know he hasn’t stopped me before–and with my “history lessons” my comments can go off onto some rather bizarre tangents at times. As long as we keep “connecting” and don’t attack each other on a personal level, I don’t think he minds–and I know Charlie will correct me if I’m wrong about this (and won’t say a word if I’m right).

        • Well, yes some Americans( husband…cough) don’t like/”get” that classic British humor that usually involves really ugly men wearing a dress and carrying a handbag 😉 MP and the Holy Grail is a love/hate thing in America…either you hate it and can’t understand a word they’re saying and don’t find it funny…or you have the bloody thing memorized and start laughing when you SEE the castle, because you know the Taunting Frenchman is coming next. I would be in the latter group.
          I saw “Grail” when I was in high school, when it first came out in the theaters, then watched it endlessly when it came on this new fangled technology “HBO”(they would show one movie over and over, all day long). Being blessed to be able to see Charlie perform in Spamalot was just a wonderful combination of 2 of my favorite things.

  3. The one exception I have found, is I love watching the Nanny, as I’m sure does everyone else. It cheers me up, and I’ve watched it so many times I can tell you word for word what is going to happen. When I’ve been down, that is where I go!! This is one of the best things you ever did! )Hank-you Charlie! I work in the industry and I hope someday I will benefit people the way you have with this show!

    • I’m right there with you. Word for word I could tell you what is going to happen. Needless to say, this annoys my friends, but oh well! I own the first 3 seasons. They need to come out with the last three, already, though. And, yes. Thank you Charlie.

      • I annoy my friends too, but mostly my family. When we are having a conversation, I always tell them, “This reminds me of an episode from ‘The Nanny'”. One day a friend posted on my FB profiile, “This is more serious than I thought–it looks like it’s cracked.” I immediately wrote back, “The Nanny”, episode 4.9 “The Tattoo” aka “The Ping Pong Game”. It’s now a game and people try to stump me. I find it to be funny, but I wonder how many people think it’s pathetic–I know my mother does. I don’t care, though. It’s kept me laughing through hard times and it is a great relief at times from working on complex math problems.

        • Jeannie, I do the same thing. However, my friend Talia has begun to do it too. So now, our friends just get mad at both of us. Like, earlier today, I was hanging out with friends and had some music playing. The song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds came on and I immediately said “This reminds me of an episode of the Nanny in season 2.” I then proceeded to play the clip from the episode Material Fran. Oddly enough, Mellow Yellow by Donovan came on my Itunes shortly after, where as I made another reference to the same episode. 🙂

        • I’ve learned not to do it around my mother–she hates the show (sometimes, I wonder if I was adopted). The hardest part is when a student asks me a question in class–and the way the question is phrased reminds me of an episode. Of course, in my one class right now I could use The Nanny references and get away with it…

          Jeannie, I agree that the show is a great relief from daily challenges (in your case, solving complex math problems; in my case, dealing with university faculty and administrators who in some cases never had a job in the “real world”). Good writing, good acting, and scenes you can remember long after the show has ended.

  4. I loved all of the shows of the 70’s and 80’s. My parents gave us the benefit of every type of training, so we do tend to notice when someone is off pitch or not quite towing as they should, but that comes from having parents who were perfectionists. The shows we watched back then had good music, now they use Rap and call it music , I have a hard time relating. I try to relate to all but I’m used to my generation. The 80’s.

  5. This is going to be bad, but quite frankly most network tv shows bore me to death. While I understand the economic reasons for commercials and do appreciate them, there are way too many of them. I usually never see a complete show because I end up switching channels. I do of course because I support you Charlie, watch anything that you are in. My other issue is because I work 3p-11p which is prime viewing time. If I like a show I may dvr it or buy the whole season later, like NCIS or the West Wing. I can remember as a kid loving most of the network shows and making sure I was home during certain times to watch them. I sure miss those days when the shows could keep me interested enough to watch them to the end. Maybe it is me but in those days I really thought that those shows were quality. Yes, I agree there are some shows with quality content today but for the most part there aren’t.

  6. If you want to know what I think is wrong with television today—if anything, there is too much choice. I’m old enough to remember when we only had four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS) and one or two independent stations that were hidden on UHF (and there was a separate dial on the television for UHF stations). Producers didn’t really have to worry about “target demographics” and what the 18-49 year olds wanted to watch—and now that I’m out of that demographic, I find it a bit odd that advertisers target that age group, when us old fogeys are the ones who have the discretionary income to buy stuff.

    Anyway, wandering off into another rabbit hole—part of the problem is that those of us who remember the 70s know what good comedy was (All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Maude, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart), and we really don’t see that today. I remember a while back Thursday night was “must see TV” on NBC with Cosby, Family Ties, etc. Now, I don’t see a lot of nights when it’s “must see TV,” because there are a lot of shows that have horrid storylines, poor acting, and well, just really aren’t that appealing. Maybe it’s because of what I’ve become, but I’m more likely to enjoy a show that makes me think, rather than one that is mindless drivel. Give me Murder, She Wrote any day over a lot of what’s out there right now. Cable networks have taken the lead on a lot of quality programming (Mad Men is a prime example), and reality programming really does show the changing mindset of the populace. When I was growing up (back in the dark ages, when there were antenna on the television sets that often were inside a piece of furniture), “reality programming” was Candid Camera. Of course, that was BC—before cable. Now, it’s almost like people want to make fools of themselves to have their 15+ minutes of fame (I still have a problem grasping the concept of a Snooki).

    I guess the main point that I’m trying to make is that the proverbial “boob tube” doesn’t hold as much attraction to me as it used to. Now, when I teach a night class—I really don’t pay attention to what shows I might be missing (partly because I can watch them online). Back in the 1990s—well, I consistently set the VCR to record two shows if I taught those nights: Murphy Brown and The Nanny. At least I wasn’t as bad as my one roommate when I was an undergraduate, who changed her major because the one required course met at the same time as General Hospital (it was back when Luke and Laura were first getting together).

    • Great comment as usual. You always make me laugh and cool to remember all those great shows. And put some foil on those rabbit ears. lol Bill Cosby was one of the greats. I too used to love “murder she wrote”. Maybe that is it, that we just have too many channels and they have to fill them with something. TV has changed quite a bit. To much blood, violence, & gore (including CSI) if you ask me. Right, A&E is a good network. How do you feel about the history channel? lol

      • It would be nice if the History Channel showed more history programming (although I know a few students who love Pawn Stars). And when it does–it’s mostly World War II, although I suspect this weekend we might see some presidents stuff (they did a really good series on The Presidents a few years ago). It would be nice if they showed some history movies on that channel occasionally, or more stuff on historic sites (like touring historic homes or living history museums like Old Sturbridge Village or Colonial Williamsburg). Overall, it’s not bad, but as someone whose concentration is early American history, I have a hard time accepting World War II as history. Everything after 1800 is sort of current events to me.

        • Presidents stuff on pawn stars would be neat. I hope so. Yes, historical sites would be a good thing to watch on the history channel. My son loves the “ancient aliens” one. He is always talking about it for like an hour every time he watches. It is a good channel for teens i think. Oh, i forgot to mention “american pickers”. It pretty interesting, although i no nothing of antiques. Hope you have seen it. We in the south love visiting saint Augustine, Savannah, and Charleston. I highly recommend the beach also when visiting Saint Augustine. WWII stuff is very neat. My grandma used to tell me stories of how life was during that time period.

    • Karen, I’m not a history buff–my worst subject in high school which is something I regret. Now I am interested in it, but don’t know much about it. I spent too much time on my real love, mathematics and sciences. Unfortunately, there’s not many opportunities to talk with people about advanced math. However, we must have something in common because I loved the shows you mentioned. I remember being a young child watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob New Hart Show on Saturday nights. I remember crying at the series finale of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and this past Christmas my parents got me the DVD set of The Bob New Hart Show. M*A*S*H was another one I loved. I still remember vividly watching the gang get the news of the helicopter crash that killed Lt. Col. Blake–I thought it was a mistake. Later we did have Cosby and then even “Everybody Loves Raymond”, there were also a few special ones in between, but right now I can’t think of a sitcom that even comes close to these. I’ve often thought that maybe it is a generational thing rather than the actual quality of TV, but then we have people like Kristen pipe in who tell us how much even the college age kids love these shows from the past. I watch “The Nanny” on my computer and my 17 year old son sneaks up behind me to watch it. He doesn’t want to admit that he likes it, but he really does love it. USA had some good shows. “Monk” was really funny and “Psyche” is pretty good too–it is my sons favorite. But both of these are a 1 hour combination of humor and crime solving.
      I don’t know, maybe I should just finish taking my last two math classes, stop watching TV, and start reading more history. Of course, I would have to have somebody alert me as to when Charles will be appearing on TV so I wouldn’t miss it. Maybe it is true that the quantity of TV choices have gone up, but the quality has gone down. Yet, I know there are still some really creative people out there and I’m sure we’ll see some turn around at some point.

      • Jeannie, And I admire people who understand higher level math. I was okay at math in high school and even briefly considered having it as a second major when I was an undergrad (until Calculus II, when I realized because math came so easy in high school I never learned how to study for a math test, and, well, integration with the civil rights movement is different than when it’s related to differentiation). History always was my first love, but I knew that if I wanted to teach in secondary schools I needed a back up because my first name wasn’t Coach (this was in Texas, and they required two majors for secondary certification–I ended up changing to Spanish and studied quite a bit of Latin American history as a result). Of course, I taught one year–and realized that wasn’t the type of classroom where I belonged.

        Anyway, after the first time, hearing about Henry Blake’s helicopter crash didn’t faze me. But when Radar goes home and leaves his teddy bear on Hawkeye’s cot…I’m gone. With Everybody Loves Raymond–my favorite is the Halloween episode when Frank dresses like Frankenstein and Marie is the Bride of Frankenstein (nice nod to Peter Boyle playing the monster in Young Frankenstein). And, well, there were the “colored candy coins” that Frank and Marie handed out to the Trick-or-Treaters…

        PS–Look up Charlie on It includes a TV schedule listing when he will be on. Right now, it’s just episodes of The Nanny on Nick-at-Nite and TV Land, but it will also include his appearances on other shows when they are airing. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to send you an alert (at least I haven’t found one).

        • Wow! calculus II. That is smart. I only made it as far as Trig. Everyone loves Raymond is a good and funny. I missed that halloween episode, sounds like a good one. The final episode of MASH was the most watched episode in tv history. At least up until the finale episode of Seinfeld. I used to watch the trio of Dallas, dynasty, and falcon crest on cbs Friday nights. Who is with me? Who shot Jr? lol

    • After seeing what Charlie is doing on the 19th, I have to comment about “Meeting of Minds.” It was a PBS series hosted by Steve Allen from 1977-1981; it only lasted four seasons (and only had about 24 episodes total, all of them two-parters). It was smart, intellectual (yes, there is a difference between the two), extremely clever–just imagine getting three or four historical figures together to chat over the dinner table and talk about stuff–and fun to watch. Steve Allen was a genius in creating this show; too bad it was hidden on PBS and didn’t get a lot of viewers (although it was critically acclaimed and did win awards). It truly is a hidden gem, because only a couple of episodes ever made it to VHS, and they are not available on DVD (or even on YouTube). From what I recall, the actors spoke the actual words written by the historical figures–and the show was well-researched and well-written. The only drawback was that a lot of the female historical characters were played by Jayne Meadows Allen, and sometimes she really wasn’t the best choice for the part (although her Catherine the Great was a hoot). Try to imagine a talk show hosted by Steve Allen, and the guests could include such an eclectic mix as Francis Bacon, Socrates, Emiliano Zapata, and Susan B. Anthony (using the characters in the performance on the 19th)–none of whom ever met in person. Tempers would flare, characters would be on the verge of fisticuffs–and I would be roaring with laughter. This was a show that made you think, and it was one that when you saw it in repeats you always noticed something that you had missed before. We need a show like this again; the procedurals are becoming too formulaic, and only one comedy really makes me want to watch it more than once (in my mind, the sign of a good show).

  7. Just checked out clips of the show on hula. The music parts were pretty good and this one part was funny where the Mohawk boy was in love with the fat girl. Looks like it was a pretty neat show thus far. Reminds me a little of Grease (less motorcycles & cars). Even if they fix the bad writing, just can’t give up my NCSI time slot. Must watch.. Addicted fan. Perhaps i will add Glee to my on demand. Sure hope it gets better for you guys. A different kind of show and we need that now and again.

    • Prime time shows are not what they used to be period. Except a few, and I hope all this reality crap is just a phase in television history. What happened to the sitcom? Do we have to wait for Charlie Sheen to get his act together? I’m really glad they cancelled the Sarah Palin Show on TLC. NOBODY cares about how her family lives in Alaska, and she can get on my nerves with her one sided, narrow minded views. When I was in high school in the 90’s we had Home Improvement, Roseanne, and The Nanny. Now, we have very few choices for good t.v. because of reality television. I get enough reality at home, and why do we watch t.v? To temporarily escape the stress we might be going through. I do recommend “Justified” on FX, and “Fairly Legal” on USA. They aren’t the 30 minute comedies we miss, but they are hour long drama, action packed, well written stories. Unfortunately, good shows are few and far between now when speaking of Television. There are supposed to be new ones on TV Land, and I hope they do well. Hot in Cleveland is pretty good with Betty White, but once again these are just a few good t.v. shows we have left. Even Dancing with the Stars is kind of boring now, I absolutely cannot stand “The Amazing Race” and what about “Survivor”. It’s been running way past its time. It was running when O.J. was on trial the first time. So to television producers of prime time television on major networks I would say…we are getting bored, and what your doing isn’t working.

      • I hear you. And we sure do have enough drama at home. lol We need more good shows and less reality shows. Yes, i used to love survivor too but i am so bored with it. I turn it on and end up doing something else like calling someone. I wish charlie sheen would hurry up and get straight so we can watch more too. Heck, is a comedy. Just let him drink on the show as long as he don’t bring hookers. lol Only thing that we don’t have in common here is i still love amazing race. But maybe only one of the few left who still do. Me and my husband always fantasize about being on it and we love adventure type stuff. We used to get in the car on fridays and just drive to see where we would end up and what stuff we can get into for the weekend. It was alot of fun. But, after having three kids (or just getting older) we have slowed down a whole lot and more cautious of stuff going on or happening.
        Anyway, i love “idiot abroad”. Is funny but maybe not nice to make fun of other cultures. Hot in cleveland does look good. I will have to tune in and check that out. The reality dating shows? omg like flavor flave and finding mrs. or mr. right. Sick of them. And how about big brother? I was so ready for it to get off the air. Seems like when i was growing up it was all game shows during the day and detective shows at night. but, we only had like 5 channels.
        I do like some reality stuff like teen mom on mtv, i am addicted. Maybe that is just me reminiscing. idk. I love “my big redneck wedding” because i can’t stop laughing. My husband and son love “pawn stars”, bizarre foods, dawg the bounty hunter, survivor man, (i can stand to see him eat any more gross stuff) lock down, that mini-storage wars show, tosh point o and repo man. But perhaps it is a television phase. It seems either you like the reality show or nearly hate it.

      • Some of us are old enough to remember the really good “Classic Comedies”…All in the Family(and the spinoffs), Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Carol Burnett Show, MASH, etc. There are only 2 shows that can make me laugh not loud today…”Hot in Cleveland” and “Modern Family”. Those 2, along with NCIS and Mad Men are all I watch. The best stuff is on BBC.

        • I never missed an episode of MASH, well me and my parents. Also, the dukes of hazzard. lol Can’t hardly watch the duke boys now, it is so boring. Tastes change sometimes i reckon.

        • What I find amazing is, being a college student, how many people my age actually still watch those shows. Myself included in that statement. I know the Nanny is real big with college students because 1) it’s a good show and 2) it’s on at a time when most college kids are up doing nothing. Golden Girls is another show that’s popular among college kids. And, actually, most of the shows on TVLand seem to be pretty popular, as well. I Love Lucy, Bewitched, Mash, all of those.

          • Kristen, I ♥ “I love Lucy!”. That is my absolute all-time favorite show. It is such an oldie-but-a-goodie classic.That is just one of the many reasons why I have really enjoyed watching The Nanny, I think. Fran Drescher’s comedic antics combined with her amazing acting skills remind me so much of Lucille Ball. I truly DO “love Lucy”. I have to agree with everyone here that the old shows really are much better to watch than these new ones they have on now (except for The Office…Steve Carell makes me laugh so hard). Some other of my favorites, just to name a few, are: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Leave It To Beaver, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, I Dream of Jeannie, The Andy Griffith Show, Brady Bunch, Get Smart, Green Acres, and the list goes on.

            • Valerie, “I Love Lucy” and “The Nanny” are my two favorite television shows. (Oddly enough, I am watching I Love Lucy as I type this.) And I have to agree with you. Fran Drescher’s comedic antics remind me very much of Lucille Ball. That was one of the things that I noticed when I first saw that show.
              As for television today, I agree that the old shows are better to watch than most of the new ones. The office and 30 rock being two of the exceptions. When I do watch television, I’m either watching TVLand or the Hallmark channel which tends to play the older shows, as well. (I have also learned that on Saturday mornings the Hallmark channel plays The Nanny till noon.) 🙂

            • Yes, Fran is definitely one of a kind. Much like Lucile Ball. I think that is why she is so appealing. Plus, she is always getting into some trouble. Stepping out to try and be yourself is a bold first step, either folks like you or not. Thinking it takes some guts to lay it all on the line. Such as Johnny Cash or Conway Twitty. They have their own signature style. It makes it so easy to love her character as well as the other characters on the Nanny. They are all witty and funny. When you love the characters you can’t wait to watch the show again. And Steve Carell, he is a riot. Did everyone see Evan Almighty & I Spy? Pretty funny. I was in total shock though when he kissed the Rock at the end.

        • JoAnn, you are certainly bringing back some great childhood memories! The Carol Burnett Show was absolutely hilarious. “The Gone WithThe Wind” episode has to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen (with the curtain rod…hahahaha). I remember sneaking out of bed late at night to watch “All in the Family” reruns (my parents were quite strict—I wasn’t even allowed to watch Family Ties because they thought the kids were disrespectful). I had to do some major fancy footwork to orchestrate getting to watch “Welcome Back Kotter,” reruns but Vinny Barbarino was well worth any punishment my parents could hand down. As far as current “laugh out loud” shows, “The Office” is the only one that gets me every time (with “Hot in Cleveland” coming in a close second).

          • Thanks for the reminder about Welcome Back, Kotter. That show actually prepared me a bit for the one group of students I taught back in 1987-88; they were sort of like the Sweathogs (at least they were perceived to be that way because of their presumed mental ability) and were a bit mischievous (but it wasn’t a true recreation, because I wasn’t teaching at a school I had attended). I even had one student try to attract attention like Arnold Horshack when he wanted to answer a question. They were a really great group of kids, and they were the first class to sort of give me a nickname (they couldn’t pronounce my last name, so I was just Ms. G–now I’m Dr. G to my college students).

            And “Went With The Wind”–one of the classic LOL episodes of any show. The dress with the curtain rod…not just using the drapes like in the movie, but keeping the rod. You don’t see moments like that on TV any more.

            • Also at the top of the list of classic LOL episodes has to be WKRP in Cincinnati’s “The Great Turkey Drop.” Mr. Carlson (covered in feathers) saying “As God as my witness I thought turkeys could fly.” Sheer greatness! I’m a sucker for 70’s sitcoms with Barney Miller, Taxi and WKRP leading the pack.

              “Cheers” was my favorite 80’s sitcom. I didn’t watch much television in the 90’s (three kids, four restaurants and working on BA…although I did catch some riveting episodes of Barney & Friends) but toward the end of the decade “Spin City” was one I tried to catch as often as possible. God bless Nick at Nite/TVLand for allowing me the opportunity to get acquainted with The Nanny, which has turned out to be my favorite sit-com of the 90’s!

              I never have figured out how Arrested Development only lasted three seasons (2003-2006), as it was one of the funniest shows of the decade. It was produced by Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment and had all-star cast of comedic geniuses: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia De Rossi, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walters.

  8. Charlie,
    Sounds like great analysis of the show’s problems. I have nothing to add. I saw 10 minutes of one episode last season and about 5 minutes of the one following the recent Super Bowl. All I could stand. And (some time ago) I taught high school music, with even a little pop and jazz!! Yes, they are handing out multiple awards to the show and sitcoms have apparently morphed these days. Maybe I’m a little too into PBS, Mad Men, Rubicon, Boardwalk Empire, etc., but as far as comedy goes, I’ll take Hot in Cleveland, Retired at 35, and The Nanny reruns. (When time permits.) Too bad The Nanny doesn’t have a sequel.

  9. Writers of a major TV show like Glee need to have inspiration and excitement about writing the show. I think the writers of Glee need to come up with different songs and different guest stars. For example, the writers could have Charles Shaughnessy as a father or the principal of the school. This example could be more interesting then it is right now.

  10. And so my rant begins.
    Thank goodness I am not the only one who sees this! My best friend, Ethan, and I have been discussing this since season 2 began. Now, I didn’t start watching Glee immediately. I’m not quite sure why considering I absolutely love musicals. I started watching towards the end of season 1. (Of course, getting caught up by watching the missed episodes online.) There seemed to be a fairly decent story line. Then season 2 started and boy oh boy! The lack of a continuous story line is just ridiculous! Each episode seems to have it’s own little story, and that’s good. But there is hardly anything connecting one episode to another. The writer’d are really starting to fail here.
    As for the Emmy they won, I don’t believe they should have won that. The other shows they were up against are much better shows.
    And Jane Lynch is somebody that I adore. Yes, she is funny, but ever time I see her she seems to be playing the same type of character (minus Julie and Julia). So, her character on Glee can’t be that much of a stretch from the previous characters she has played.
    There have, however, been some good song selections this season. Except for the Rocky Horror episode. And, man! I could rant about that episode for a very long time. The short version– Don’t do a Rocky Horror episode if 1) you need to change the words and 2) you have a female play Dr. Frankenfurter. That shouldn’t happen. Also, the Singin’ In The Rain episode. Singin’ in the Rain (and Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor) happens to be my favorite. (Well, that, The Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady.) Yes, they attempted Donald O’Connor’s fabulous choreography, but to claim that the song ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is outdated!? I was furious. They mixed it with Rhianna’s ‘Umbrella’ and I hated every minute of it. I swear, Gene Kelly rolled over in his grave.
    Anyway….where was I?
    Oh yeah! Lack of story. Like I said, there is nothing connecting these episodes. Nothing real worth while, anyway. Fans wise, I fear that the fans of the show will stick by it till the end. They firmly believe that it is the greatest thing ever. I suppose I should be happy that they are bringing certain musicals back to people’s attention. Musical’s like Funny Girl and Singin’ in the Rain. But I just hate the idea that they are watching these, not because they enjoy the “Golden age of musical” like I do, but because they heard Lea Michele singing “Don’t Rain on my Parade”.
    Alright. That’s enough for now. 🙂

    • Oh my Kristen, we are kindred spirits(and I know Valerie is too). I just ADORE musicals. I’ve had people express shock that I’m not a “Gleek”, because at that age band, drum corps, choir and thespian society were my whole world. I just never started watching it, and now I’m guess I’m glad I haven’t. “Singing in the Rain’ is too old?! What kind of false doctrine is THAT?! And they had a woman play the Tim Curry role? Kind of loses that whole “Sweet Transvestite” theme, no? I thought, too, that the show would be introducing a new generation to those wonderful classic musicals that are so dear to my heart.
      I do agree with Laura, also…that the little fits and spurts I’ve seen and read about Glee, tell me they are forcing an agenda. I do appreciate that they have REAL girls with REAL figures, and are giving them a chance to showcase singing talent.

      • People are surprised all the time that I’m not a “gleek” for the same reason they are surprised you aren’t. My senior year of high school, I was involved in all 3 show choirs my school had and the drama guild. So music and musical theater were my life.
        And as for a woman playing the Tim Curry role, they changed the words to “Sweet Transvestite.” I believe they changed it to “I’m just a sweet transvestite from sensational Transylvania”. I was quite upset. They also changed the words to “Touch me.” I don’t even understand why they even attempted to do that song considering how many young girls watch it.

        • Can’t send private messages like we could on the other blogs :(. Kristen, can you find me on Charlie’s facebook page? My last name begins with an S.

          • Thanks!! And how much of a dinosaur am I, that I thought I was ‘being private’ by just sharing the first letter of last name? LOL!!!

    • If it has a great cast then is a sad fact indeed that they won’t hire some new writers or fix things quickly before the faithful viewers jump ship.

  11. This is why I don’t watch TV too much. Honestly…I watch a bit of History, HBO if there’s a movie I want to see, but for the most part George Lopez, and of course The Nanny on Nick, when I go to bed, and out by 12:30. My husband and I watched Glee the night of the Superbowl and enjoyed that episode, but I guess it was because we watched it without expectation.

  12. See that’s exactly what happened when the writers lost interest in writing for our beloved characters on DOOL so sad because if you have good writing you KEEP your viewers don’t fix what aint broke people!

  13. I’m like Karen in that I’ve never watched a full episode of Glee, although I have seen some clips. Some of my children watch it and I have had discussions with them about it. My daughter is very musical both in voice (perfect pitch) and on the piano, so she is quite the critic when it comes to music. Often, she is not even very impressed with the musical performances on Glee. I almost feel sorry for her, because I can listen to music and be so moved by it and think how beautiful it is, while she is thinking they were flat at this part and sharp at that part. She actually is not a critical person at all in other things, but she has such a fine ear for music that I sometimes wonder if takes away the beauty. Anyway, I know she also first liked the show, but is slowly losing interest.

    About the “shout-outs” as Charlie calls them, I know enough about Glee to know at least some of to what he is referring. I think it is all a part of an agenda to promote tolerance. Now, I don’t have a problem with promoting tolerance. I think most of us can benefit from learning more tolerance for others, but sometimes it’s just not entertaining. It seems rather forced. When you watch a show like “Glee” you want it to be gleeful and as Charlie said it is getting to be less so (as per my daughter and him).

    @Karen, your comment about a child falling asleep in self-defense of a lullaby song, made me immediately think of “The Nanny” episode 3.10 “Having His Baby”–remember Fran babysitting a toddler and when she sang to him he would cry and when she would stop singing he would relax.

  14. Despite all I am going to say, I have to admit that I am a weekly follower of this show. I don’t know, I guess it has that bitterness that keeps me hooked.
    But it is true and have always thought that same thing. Even the first season could sometimes make no sense at all. I mean, I can get that 16 year old over hormone thing going on, but…seriously!, they trade boyfriends and girlfriends as long with some other things faster than I can get ready for work! So maybe the writers know that, maybe because is that bizarre show that nobody was expecting to be a success on tv, they are operating that way, maybe they will keep making it so rare and senseless because, frankly, even with the lip-sync., they sure know they do a really impressive and amazing job! And I am afraid…audience knows that too!

    And that is how I “C” it… 😉

  15. Okay, Charlie. You have finally found a topic that I know nothing about. I’ve heard of the show; I know people who watch it; but on Tuesdays at 8:00, I’m hanging out with Gibbs, Ducky, Abby, DiNozzo, McGee and Ziva on NCIS (and I know I have left out a few characters)–and I’m probably one of the few people on the blog who doesn’t have a DVR (and the VCR stopped recording a few years ago). The show never really appealed to me, probably because I knew from a young age that I would not be part of a Glee club (unfortunately, I inherited my grandmothers’ singing voices, which are the kind in which small children fall asleep in self-defense when a lullaby is sung). Now if you are talking about a show that is a more accurate portrayal of what high school is like (based on what I have seen when observing student teachers)–then Friday Night Lights does a much better job, even if it is an inaccurate and unrealistic portrayal of the football culture in Texas.

    • I am with you on this one Karen. Yes, NCSI rocks. Sorry, not familiar with this show either. Is it like american idol? Will try to check it out to see what all the hubbub is.

    • Karen, I hope he wasn’t purposefully trying to find a topic that you know nothing about. With as smart as you are, that would be a difficult challenge and he will be gloating if he accomplished it. We can’t have a gloating Charlie!

      • Jeannie, I seriously doubt that Charlie was purposely trying to find a topic I know nothing about–after all, there is an awful lot out there I don’t know about, so it wouldn’t be that difficult. Different people have different tastes in television programs, and it doesn’t surprise me that Charlie would watch something like Glee. I just happen to prefer dramas/procedurals, with an occasional comedy (like Hot in Cleveland)–and musicals on television never really had much attraction for me because I can’t sing (by the way, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy musical theater–far from it, since one of my favorite plays/films is “1776”). And yes, I know that my comment about my singing ability sounds a lot like episode 3.10 of The Nanny. It’s funny–I can’t carry a tune to save my life (although I can change my vocal pitch), but I can tell when someone is playing the piano and hits the wrong key.

    • As one with a son who is currently involved in a Texas high school football program, I will say that FNL is actually not that far off. Texans are FANATICS about high school football!

      • And, as someone who went to high school in Texas (and briefly was a jock), I know that Texans are fanatics about high school football (just like most high school history teachers there answer to “Coach”). It’s just not like it was when I was in high school, that’s all. But I am willing to admit that the times have changed since the mid to late 1970s. One problem is that I read the book “Friday Night Lights” (and the book was a lot better than the feature film)–and I just can’t get past the idea that the book and the TV show might have the same title, but they aren’t even close to the same thing.

  16. There are three different writers who take turns writing for Glee, and you can tell. It’s probably a problem of collaboration somewhere they aren’t on the same page. However, the performance with Gwyneth Paltrow rocked on Glee. Anyone see the Grammy’s?

    • I usually watch them but i missed them this time. All i heard so far was about lady gaga and the egg. lol She is great but an odd one. Was she dressed at least this time? Need to check out and see who all won. You live in Tennessee? that is neat. We lived in Churchill for 6 months. Hate that i missed the performances.

  17. I agree. I watched the pilot and actually lost interest because there was so much time between it and the start of the rest of the series. I only watch it occasionally now when I hear that they are going to sing the songs of someone I like (example: Michael Jackson). However, it is sad that they resort to ploys like that to get viewers. The storylines revolve around the songs, yet it should be the other way around. Like I said, I only watch it occasionally so I am not sure what you are exactly referring to about all shout-outs to minorities. However, I did hear that they included a mentally-challenged girl as Sue’s sidekick and that she really has no purpose in the show. But, do you not think it is nice that one of the main characters is in a wheelchair? Not only that, but he is treated the same as everyone else and participates in all of their performances. I think that is very nice.

  18. Couldn’t agree more! Especially when the writers have lost interest in their characters…it won’t be long before everyone is forming a Conga line to the next hot show! Ahhh, The Daily Douglas!! Now that’s HOT!! Someone que the music, I’m forming a line…who’s behind me?? 🙂

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