Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can you abort a fake baby?

Or rather, can you abort a storyline about a fake baby? Because tonight is Glee night, friends, and the story about Terri Schuester's fake baby is a four ton anchor strapped to the wings of a candy coated Concorde trying to soar into the skies.

Glee is unlike anything on TV today. An over the top melodrama-musical-hourlong sitcom filled with wafer thin characters and plot holes bigger than Kanye's ego that succeeds in spite of all of this, because it's a big box of fun wrapped up in a sparkly joie de vivre paper and topped with a huge bow of wit, placed under the Nasty Tree for opening on Sarcasm Day. The characters are broadly sketched, yes, but so capably and endearingly performed (dramatically, comedically and musically) that Glee overcomes almost all of its foibles. And of course, the incomparable Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester simply PWNS every scene she's in.

So what's the problem, you ask?

Well, it's the FAKE FUCKING BABY.

Look, I normally hate kids on my shows -- especially babies. I just don't have the patience for it. Have no interest in it. Don't care about the struggles and don't go "awwwww" every time a character gets all schmoopy about motherhood, fatherhood, or the miracle of life. But that's not it. No, it's the utter unbelievability of the FAKE FUCKING BABY as a storyline. (And this is from a show that features Mercedes not realizing Kurt is gay and falling in love with him. That features Emma deciding to marry the coach even though she's in love with Will. That features Terri getting hired (for a day) as a school nurse without any applicable background. That features a skeevy possible pedophile getting hired back into the school district. That features a lead character so dumb and naive that he thinks he impregnated his girlfriend via his sperm doing the backstroke in a hot tub). Every time the FAKE FUCKING BABY comes up, I shudder and reach to change the channel. It takes me right out of the giddy trance the rest of the show has put me in.

I mean, it's not like I can't accept some weird, otherworldy or preposterous situations on my favorite shows. For example, many of the programs on the top of my TiVo season pass showcase:
  • People that are wiped clean mentally via computer and assume the personality and skills of ninjas, mothers, hookers, social workers, dead people and assassins.
  • An island that travels in time and disappears, and has a smoke monster and polar bears on it.
  • Police departments and government organizations that week after week allow fake psychics, OCD detectives, pulp thriller authors, facial lie detection experts, twitchy mad scientists, mathematicians and convicted criminals to help them solve crimes.
  • Pill popping, snarky doctors that offend everyone around them and consistently violate the laws of man, decorum and the land to treat patients and stay gainfully employed.
  • A serial killer, who works for the police force and moonlights as a married father of three, all while butchering only other really bad people.
  • A world where everyone blacked out for a couple of minutes and had a vision of the future, and all the related issues are trying to be solved by a couple of folks and a website.
  • Two brothers, destined to be the meat puppet vessels of the angel Michael and Satan himself, who drive around the countryside killing demons and helping people with their supernatural problems while trying to avert the coming apocalypse.
  • A kickass government agent and high efficiency killing machine who regularly stays up for 24 hours straight, without eating, taking a shit or having his cell phone battery go dead.
You get the picture. My suspension of disbelief goes a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way.


Even though they worked in a half-assed plot thread last week about "staging" an ultrasound, how in the blue hell is this thing supposed to work?

First, you're telling me that Will, no matter how many late nights he spends trying to find another song for the Glee Club to perform or sharing hand sanitizer with the moon-eyed Emma, doesn't ever see his wife without her shirt on? Never catches her in the shower? Never sees her changing clothes? Doesn't snuggle up to her at night? And from TV (and thankfully, no personal experience), I've learned that dads want to actually touch the gestating bundle of expense, mess and noise growing in their partner's belly. None of this has happened? Really?

And second, I know Terri is written as being a bit dim and desperate, but what the hell is her final plan? Quinn goes into labor at the exact same time that Terri does? And they are in the same hospital? And Will isn't allowed in the delivery room? And no one else is either, except for the doctor she's bought off/blackmailed into helping her? And as soon as Quinn squirts out her little bundle of joy (also in a delivery room with no one else present), someone (maybe Terri's sister) swaddles it up, takes it away, and places it inches from Terri's vagina and declares "oh lookee what I found!?" And Terri tosses her fake belly in the delivery room trash can? And Quinn and her family and everyone else just assumes the magically disappearing baby ran straight from her uterus to a worthy adopting family, with zero post-birth medical care nor any official records? And the hospital staff doesn't catch on to this? And no one else notices this? Not even when the baby turns out to be sporting a mohawk?

Really, Glee? REALLY?

Where the hell can we go from here? Personally, I think Jessalyn Gilsig is a fine actress, and doing absolutely all she can with the worst major series plotline since a "sketch comedy show" spent untold eye-rolling hours dealing with a hostage crisis and a soldier STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN! Obviously, Terri's lies need to unravel, and unravel quickly for the show to have any shred of believability, even in a gleefully heightened reality like the one on the show.

So how do you feel about the FAKE FUCKING BABY, TNRLMers? (choose as many answers as applicable, and sound off in the comments if you like)


  1. Since I am a big Nip/Tuck fan (though it has kinda gone downhill the last couple of seasons) I really tried to like Glee. I tried 3 episdoes but I could not hack it. I hate musicals of all kinds so the singing and dancing were too much for me. Speaking of fast foward I tried that on the singing and dancing but still no go. Too much other TV goodenss to be found elsewhere.

  2. I, too, was a big N/T fan and hate how they've shorted the characters' natural development and arcs instead of cheap thrills and stunts. Again, I can roll with some theatrics (drug dealers, tranny cougars, the Carver, etc.) but lately, all the nonsense seems at the expense of the characters, instead of happening around them and having them react to it. Sigh. Since we're in the home stretch, I'll stick it out to the end.

    Hey, musicals aren't for everyone. Sometimes I love 'em, sometimes I hate 'em. I wish I had hard and fast "rules" to judge it (like I'm okay with "performed" music, but it takes me out of it when characters sing their dialogue or feelings) but I like some from each camp. Glee, as much or more than any show on TV right now, is probably a love it or hate it proposition. And without the music, it probably has limited appeal as a "dramatic or comedic" narrative. (Although someone should start a "Sue Sylvester Youtube Channel," because everything that comes out of her mouth makes me giggle.

  3. I watched this week's episdoe of Nip/Tuck last night and it proved every point you made about it. I too will stick with it through this last season out of loyalty but it is nothing like what it used to be. A friend of mine said this season was suppose to return some of the quirky humor that use to lighten the heavy moments but when is that going to happen? This week's episode was totally depressing and somewhat unbelievable. (The diner girl-really Sean, really?)

  4. I hate the FFB with a fiery passion, even though I like JG and her performance. There's no way Terri can pull that shit off in the long run, so I expect it to be resolved/revealed this season -- HOPEFULLY before the official hiatus/back nine.

    Also, the adults are the least interesting characters and have the most boring storylines on this show. (Except for Sue. Sue rocks my world.) When I re-watch the episodes (And I do. A lot. Like, the way I re-watch Buffy a lot.), I fast forward right through the adult stuff and skip right to the kids.

    That said, I love this show so, so, so much. I don't know how I'm going to make it through the official hiatus.

  5. I'm with you on both counts (FFB and the adults), though I do like Emma quite a bit and find her to be funny more often than the other adults, albeit in a dry way. Of course, that's adults in the NSSD (Non Sue Sylvester Division). Of the things I really look forward to each week and have to watch virtually live, Glee is definitely on the short list (along with Dollhouse, Supernatural, Fringe and Sons of Anarchy).