I have to admit I’m not a fan of the show Glee. I’ve seen a few episodes, and while there is talent in the cast (this is the show that got Jane Lynch much-overdue mainstream recognition) and I admire them for putting certain issues in the forefront, the simple problem I have with the show is that it’s just not very good. The writing is inconsistent, the characters aren’t particularly likable (which is more a problem if it’s not deliberate), and the whole thing seems like it only exists to move compilations of cover versions of songs.
I was thinking, though, it would be entertaining to see those kids do some music that’s so horrifically inappropriate for a high school environment. But at the same time, it has to fit the Glee aesthetic. It wouldn’t work with covers of death metal. But what band fits the melodic aesthetic the show has while having incredibly dark, inappropriate-for-school lyrics and subject matter?
The answer is clear: Steely Dan.
But they wouldn’t stick to “Do It Again”. Too easy. ”Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” is a cop-out. ”Any World (That I’m Welcome To)” would actually be thematically appropriate for the show, but not any fun. No. I want the songs that Sue Sylvester could use as ammo to gave the Glee club shut down once and for all:
The episode ends with all the students expelled and Mr. Shu being led out of the building in handcuffs.
Confession time: I used to watch Full House religiously as a kid. At least, until I hit the age where I could understand just how completely inane and awful the show actually was. I think I was about 11 or 12…maybe that’s a little old. Even when watching the show before that, I have to admit something about it just bugged me sometimes. Maybe it was the whole principle of “familiarity breeds contempt”, but even then the nauseating treacle started to get to me after a while. Once I outgrew the show, I just avoided it like the plague afterwards. I still can’t actually watch more than a minute of it.
However, I can’t help but enjoy reading the discussion thread about the show at Television Without Pity, or Full House Reviewed. Mainly because both these sites articulate a few of the major problems with the show. In addition to bad writing and sugary moralizing, the characters themselves are largely awful and / or distubing. If rebooted like other old series, it could actually work as a cautionary tale of the effects of incompetent parenting. Special scorn goes to two characters: the majority goes towards Michelle, an entitled budding sociopath who has a creepy co-dependent relationship with her Uncle Jesse and inconceivably holds the balance of power in major family decisions despite being noticeably dim for her age. The other character who gets as much hate is Joey Gladstone. If you think about it, Joey is a pretty disturbing character once you realize there’s really no reason for an unemployed adult child with a questionable stand-up career and a compulsion to do cartoon voices to be there. Maybe the whole Dave Coulier / Alanis Morissette thing has something to do with the dark undercurrent that Joey has. The family’s tendency to hate on Kimmy Gibbler is also a little disturbing when you realize that she ‘s a minor and not a particularly bad kid. It would have been more apparently nasty if Danny, Jesse and Joey ganging up on her fazed her in the slightest.
Maybe that’s how the show should have ended: Gibbler finally breaks after the family gangs up on her, and after her family’s cruelty is dismissed by D.J., Gibbler reports the family to social services. The authorities discover Danny Tanner’s declining mental state and crippling OCD, have suspicions about Joey’s proximity to three underage girls, and Jesse and Becky’s weird attic apartment with Buster Bluths-in-the-making Nicky and Alex. Stephanie is starting fires but nobody cares, because the adults in the house think D.J. is selling drugs when she’s really spearheading a community initiative. At first, the authorities recommend that the men only just discipline Michelle once in a while, but when they see Danny, Joey and Jesse have another complete mental collapse upon Michelle reacting badly to it, they order them all to live separately or lose custody of the children. The family finds out about Gibbler’s complaint and disproportionately punishes D.J. Then, out of nowhere, one of the social services agents gives a heartwarming moral (with sappy background music) about how sometimes growth means doing painful things, and the family agrees it’s time for them to move into separate quarters. D.J. and Gibbler are still on the outs for a while after this, until magically (like so many other Full House resolutions), D.J. realizes that her family really was messed up and Gibbler indirectly fixed a problem they didn’t know they had.
They all have a party celebrating the new chapter of their lives, with a sing-along that fades into a really bad cover of a Beatles song. Fade to black.