Since the first season, I’ve been indecisive about Glee; the writing is inconsistent, the episodes are uneven, and enjoying Glee always raises questions about whether or not the show is good or simply a shiny object. But now, in the show’s second season, the cracks in Glee’s construction are becoming more apparent. While season one tried to juggle the desires to be both a snarky critique of high school and a musical, season two has become about the set list, with obvious, underdeveloped vignettes disguised as plot to pad the hour. Character development, consistency, and pushing boundaries seem to have been sidelined in some unnamed quest to become a candy-coated crowd pleaser that throws a mildly risqué wisecrack in the mix to remind us that it’s clever.
The weak moments related to the show’s infrastructure could probably be ignored if they didn’t emphasize what’s arguably the most troubling aspect of Glee: the struggle to figure out what to do with Will Scheuster’s character. As the episodes increasingly focus on big performances and simple stories, the problem of developing the show’s central adult character has created a troubling, strange relationship between the students of New Directions and their advisor.