Thursday, August 30, 2012

Black Sheep does TV: GLEE Season 3


Do you know what I like most about watching an entire season of GLEE from start to finish on Blu-ray? It’s simple really. It is so much easier to enjoy this grand production of a television series in sequence rather than week to week and with giant gaps between episodes. When it airs on television, there is so much pressure for GLEE to deliver to its audience the way it did when it first aired. It’s time for Gleeks everywhere to just accept that this is never going to happen. And while the glory days of GLEE may be behind them, the show has found a comfortable stride by bringing on staff writers this season, which allowed for almost every character to grow in unexpected ways.

Gone are the days of fake pregnancies and scandalous inter-glee club mix and mingling. New Directions is now three years old and many of the crew will graduate at the end of the school year. While graduation calculatedly divides the kids for the future of the series, it does also provide many an opportunity for the seniors to contemplate their lofty and ambiguous futures. Allow me to assure you that these futures are not easily attained for any single one of them, whether that’s because some of them are flunking or whether that’s because some of them genuinely have no idea what to do with their lives. They may break out into song at many random moments but graduation allowed GLEE to get very real this year.

One of the major contributing factors to GLEE’s successful turnaround (after a widely disliked second season) is the elimination of the constant bickering between the kids. Everybody more or less gets along this year and subsequently have their own individual journeys to follow. Without the petty fighting to distract them, they found their focus in a common goal - winning nationals, of course. Even when a chunk of the female glee kids defected and formed a competing glee club, everyone still more or less got along. It’s a maturity I didn’t expect from GLEE and, by the time the season ends, and all the kids are faced with their own personal new directions in life, it is easy to see how much the creators respect their characters and want to see them enter the world.

The third season of GLEE tackles topics as varied as losing your virginity (“The First Time”), parental career pressure (“Asian F”) and the dangers of texting and driving (“On My Way”). These are all topics that apply directly to teenagers and I commend GLEE for dealing with issues that these kids would really face. It may not be as sensational or scandalous as it once was but this new approach bodes much better for GLEE’s own future. Now all they have to do is knock off all those tribute episodes. I mean, “Saturday Night Glee-ver”? C’mon now.

My addiction to buying every single GLEE song released subsided this year and I became much more selective but that doesn’t mean there weren’t plenty of numbers worth celebrating. I ask you to indulge my own inner gleek right now as I present my personal playlist of my favorite songs from GLEE Season 3 ...

GLEE Season 3 is now available on DVD & Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

1 comment:

BlahJoe said...

Very nice review; I've always thought that Season 1 of Glee was fantastic, the musical numbers were mostly small but sweet with the odd big, grand one which I liked. Season 2 was awful, the writing was terrible and as you said, the bickering begun to get out of hand which was thankfully eliminated from Season 3. I still feel that Glee is best to cover OLD songs because they often open myself (and hopefully others) to older songs. Though I rarely like the originals, I always love the Glee covers but when they cover a NEW song, they usually add too much autotune!

Season 3 was a huge improvement on 2 and totally agree that watching it in one go is far more entertaining. I may just do that for Season 4!