When I first watched “Glee” with its series premiere, I was in love with the show. The songs, the music, everything. Lately, I’ve been wondering why I still watch it, because none of what I loved about the show is really there anymore. It also seems more like a daytime soap than the dramedy it originally was. Everyone is sleeping with everyone else. As if everyone’s bedroom has a revolving door and are interconnected. Sure there are still songs, but they seem mediocre at best – not the showstoppers they originally had. Then I think, well, they can’t hit them all out of the ballpark, can they?
With the latest episode, “Shooting Star,” I wonder if the show has finally “jumped the shark.” If you’re not familiar with the term or have heard it but not quite sure what it means, “Jump the shark” is that point in a television series where the show has degraded to the point where there is no returning to its former glory. It’s lost its freshness and verve and probably plenty of viewers, to boot. The phrase is born from the 70s series “Happy Days” when the Fonz (played by Henry Winkler – “The Waterboy,” “Childrens Hospital”) literally jumped a shark on water skis during their fifth season.
On this “very special episode of Glee,” the Glee kids are in the choir room when gunshots are heard. Coach Beiste and Mr. Schuester quickly instruct the kids to get down and hide while they shut off the lights and lock the doors. Tension builds. What’s going on out in the halls? Who has a gun? Who shot J.R.? (Oops, that’s another show). Let’s make a video and tell each other our deepest darkest secrets.
Later, when Sue confesses to having a gun and explains that it went off accidentally, Figgins has no choice but to fire her and she goes quietly. This is so unlike the character that you immediately know she’s covering up for someone, but who? That is also easy to surmise because Becky, a cheerleader with Down Syndrome was just lamenting to Brittany about not wanting to leave high school because she wasn’t ready for the change. So, one can put two and two together to figure out that Sue was covering for Becky so she wouldn’t be expelled. Of course, “Glee” being “Glee” and all the characters live in that fantasyland they call television, absolutely no one is hurt.
But was it appropriate for the writers to write such an episode with the Newtown incident still so fresh in our minds? Or was it just downright tacky? Newtown residents were furious they weren’t informed about the episode beforehand so that they could decide whether or not they wanted their families to watch it.
When I asked friends on Facebook if they thought “Glee” had jumped the shark, one friend’s comment said it all.
“They Fonzied that three years ago.”
What did you think of the episode? Do you think the show has jumped the shark? Are you still watching “Glee”?