I’ll admit, I may have watched a few episodes of Glee
over the past few years. I may even admit that I have actually enjoyed some
of what I’ve watched. I’ve mentioned on the blog that my oldest goes to an arts high school near where we live, and this particular high school is the same school that Matthew Morrison (Mr. Will Shuester) attended. Matthew is a gracious alumni to the school, and so we’ve checked out the show a few times. It’s a very big deal that one of their alumni has done so well, and the school is very proud. I might even have Matthew’s solo album on hand here as well, because I’m nothing if not supportive of the kids who have gone to my daughter’s school, right?
I’ve been hearing a horrible, nasty rumor for months now that Glee is going to do a Duran Duran song or medley. I won’t lie, shivers went down my spine when I first read the rumor, and no, they weren’t good ones. I felt a terrible sense of foreboding, and so it took deep mental preparation (as well as the preparation of a reasonably large vodka martini) before the show began last night.
For the uninitiated, Glee is about a high school “Show” choir. This isn’t the choir of our generation where kids wear robes and stand on risers as they compete or sing concerts. No, Show Choir is a completely different animal. Show choir is as much about the theatrics as it is the singing – it’s similar to a musical but without dialogue and plenty of dancing. Naturally, the television take is that these kids are supposed to be the nerds of the school, but somehow because they are all together – they transcend the labels that come with participating in such a group, and they seem like the cool kids, even though they still get plenty of “slushie” tossed in their faces by the football team. The premise of the show isn’t horrible, but the execution is downright cheesy, and in my expert opinion as the closet marching band nerd I really am under this “super cool adult blogger” exterior – it’s gotten worse over the years the show has been on the air and at this point is an embarrassment. The saving grace of the entire show (the ONLY reason to watch at all in my opinion) are the well-executed musical numbers. A select of the performances I’ve seen are outstanding and even go the distance to upgrade the original song to a better level. Most of the numbers are great. Then there are the stinky few that make you wonder why they bothered at all.
So before the show even began last night, I was hearing horrific rumors that the songs they’d chosen were Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf. Of course they’d choose those songs. To begin with, the entire world is apparently on some sort of mission to make sure a single day never goes by that I don’t hear HLTW. I can be at the grocery store, minding my own business and it’ll come on. I heard it at the gas station the other day as I was filling my tank. The winery I visited over the weekend had it playing outside as I was enjoying a glass of wine with my husband. I’ll have you all know that song even played when I was giving birth to my youngest, and it wasn’t a particularly easy birth – I literally flatlined on the table and that was the song I heard as I was coming back “to”. (I am so not kidding about this. I thought I was arriving in hell!) So sure, why wouldn’t it be on Glee? As for Rio – it’s pretty much a given, as that’s the main Duran Duran song outside of the aforementioned HLTW that every American citizen has to know. I think it must be some sort of preschool graduation requirement at this point. The truly frightening thing was that I’d read they were going to mash the songs together. I still get chills when I think about it.
Promptly at 8pm I took my spot on the couch next to my daughter, called the bartender for my martini, and prepared to face-palm my way through the show. As it turns out, I didn’t have to wait long. I really wish I’d had my husband take video of my response, because I just don’t think I can properly describe the type of horror that went through my body as my eyes and ears were assaulted by witnessing HLTW and Rio being smooshed together. I really can’t go on enough about how truly awful the entire idea to force those songs together really was – and I wondered why they’d even be so mean to even do that. Did someone on their staff feel as though Rio and HLTW personally attacked them at some point and this was their chance for revenge?? I know that Glee does song medleys quite often, and I know they do like to put new spins on songs so that they can showcase more than just one song by any particular artist. My problem is that there shouldn’t ever be a time when I hear Rio with “I smell like I sound” in the background. (Although in this case, I didn’t even have to be in the same room with the singer to know that what he was singing was indeed truthful.) If the singing weren’t enough, we were treated to dance moves that not even Simon LeBon could replicate. I watch this show regularly enough to know that these kids really can dance, although some better than others. Let’s just say that I couldn’t decide if they were trying to do an impression a la Simon LeBon, or if they just didn’t know the dance. It didn’t help the song at all when the camera panned to show that Jane Lynch was singing right along (I love her character with all of my heart, but not even that could save this mess), or that Matthew Morrison genuinely looked happy to have someone singing Rio in his classroom. I’ll say it again – nothing was able to save this train wreck. It was as though whomever thought up this mess felt that Duran Duran was the cheesiest 80’s band out there, and this was that person’s way of making it even worse so it matched the cheesy-ness of the show. If that was the goal, it worked brilliantly. I can honestly say that this ranked right up there with the Jonas Brothers singing Rio completely off key for me. Even my daughter, after she was finished laughing hysterically, agreed that it was truly awful in every way. To make matters worse, I watched the entire show, and the very last song of the show was Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know. It was done beautifully. It’s a shame they couldn’t have afforded Duran Duran the same luxury and dignity.
At 9pm, I promptly switched the channel and took to Facebook and Twitter to see what others thought. There are actually fans out there that thought it was great. I give those fans full credit for seeing the good in what I believe ranks up there with one of the worst Glee performances to date.
For those of you who thought you’d escape, fear not. The video is up on YouTube and I have brought it here for your pleasure. Misery loves company.
For those who think I’m being harsh, watch what they did with Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know.
I’ve searched and searched, but I can’t seem to find Rockapella’s medley of Duran Duran on YouTube or anywhere online for that matter. If you have the inclination, you should do a search and find it, because that is what could have easily been done by the cast of Glee, and it would have been a perfect way to do the band proper justice.
**I feel the need to edit this post due to a large amount of comments I’ve gotten elsewhere in a relatively short period of time about this blog.
This is just a REVIEW. This isn’t about me being a fan of Duran Duran, or even about Duran Duran songs. It’s a critique of a performance that took place on a show. However, to constantly remind that we should all be thankful that a show is recognizing Duran Duran has absolutely nothing to do with a review. I’d like someone to show me a review where a critic takes into account that a particular band or show has taken the time to create another album. That simply doesn’t enter into the picture, and I wouldn’t be doing my job as a writer if I just allowed myself to be in full fan mode all of the time, even when our readers insist otherwise.
Secondly, this is one blog. One person’s view. There are thousands of fans out there. I’m sure many of you enjoyed the song. That is OK. I don’t worry about that – nor should anyone else. My review should be read for the comedic benefit, and just realize that it’s not rocket science. It’s a television show, and it was one two minute portion of the show at that.