How much reality can “Glee” actually handle?
It’s a legitimate question, and one the show has never really gotten a handle on. Remember way back when Terri was faking her pregnancy, and it was really freaking terrible and stupid and soapy, but then Will found out, and then sh$t got REALLY REAL for about thirty seconds? Those were thirty seconds of menace, with violence dripping in the air, and Matthew Morrison and Jessalyn Gilsig sold the living hell out of that half-minute. But it was a half-minute rolled up inside the greater context of “Glee,” which made that scene more problematic as a part of a whole. Ryan Murphy seems to not care about the whole so long as things work in the moment, but television isn’t a series of independent moments strung together sequentially. It works as the sum of its parts, and for three seasons, the various parts of “Glee” have been at war with each other.
Such a conflict is problematic but normally nothing to get actually truly mad about. The frustration that comes from a show which pinballs between characters, motives, motifs, and moods is fuel for Twitter snark and animated GIFs. We can laugh off Will desperately wanting his students to be at his wedding while Quinn simultaneously wonders if she can ever walk again as Teen Jesus sports an erection while helping her with physical therapy. Those things don’t really have a place in the same episode, season, or even universe, but the uneasily coexist all the same on a weekly basis on “Glee”. Still, the show creates pockets of unexpectedly powerful or funny moments on a semi-regular basis, with only the weakest episodes devoid of either. Honestly, the worst crime an episode of “Glee” can commit is being boring.
Or so I thought.