Here we are again, on a dark Thursday night, watching one of the most frustrating musical Dramadies in history unfold. It is time for Glee! We have the NYC set — with Rachel and Kurt fleshing out their new lives. We also have the Lima, Ohio crowd — forging forward with their meaningless Midwest lives. And they manage to do it all while singing, dancing and running around in absurdly high heeled boots. After 60 full minutes, I had a few questions, like, “why is the show still on the air?” and “when will Rachel become a Special Victim?” We here at By That You Mean have the privilege of sitting down with a member of the Glee creative team to provide us with some answers.
Thanks for once again taking the time to talk to us.Today we were subjected to songs like “Celebrity Skin” and “A Change Would Do You Good.” Do you think that your time could be better spent picking more memorable songs for the show?
Again, I have to say thank you for having me. I’m not going to completely answer your question, but I’m going to say something that I think will help elaborate on the direction we are taking the show, as well probably your follow-up questions.Glee the show is now obviously two shows in one. We have the original Lima, Ohio setting with most of the original cast, and then we have the new edgy New York setting, and there is very little overlap between. The New York story was supposed to be its own spin-off, but when Fox didn’t pick up “The Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel Fun Hour” we had to scale back and integrate those elements into the standard one hour Gleeepisodes. The trouble (and might I add genius) of the New York elements is that they are the true realization of what we had originally intended since the beginning — to put American musical greatness in prime time.
The New York stories eschew realism in much the same vein as we always do, but they attain something greater. When SJP catches Kurt breaking into the Conde Naste offices, with security in tow, instead of realistically firing him on the spot, she embraces the idea of the musical makeover he emotionally espouses. This is a classic musical conceit wrapped in a the artifice of an existing broadcast television comedy. The logic of getting from point A to B needs to be only as solvent as the motivation to further the loose exposition but more importantly song development. Notice how we barely had any musical routines until this moment, and it was very obviously where we spent our budget for this week? There was a reason for that.
Kurt is my favorite character, and I love when he succeeds, but even I know that a nobody from Lima, Ohio does not just show up in New York City and get an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker at Vogue.com. Can you help explain this without mentioning the hippo broach?
To elaborate on what I mentioned earlier, we (the writers) aren’t wasting our chance with these New York-based scenes to really push the envelope of what mainstream American audiences will tolerate on primetime television. The goal in introducing a flamboyantly gay, ever-snarky, confident, incredibly fashion-forward character was never to make a case for realism. Rather, we wanted to implant Kurt in the collective consciousness. Kurt is indeed our greatest creation. He is at times naive, boastful, humorous, energetic, alone, and so on. Sadly, the only realistic story we can tell about him and Blaine is of continued distancing.
As usual, the guest star gets a lot of screen time and a full back-story. This week Sarah Jessica Parker plays a former fashionista. What would prompt her to have a total breakdown in front an employee that she just met?
Ryan Murphy is friends with tons of legit famous people, and Glee is by now a legit major cultural behemoth, so it wasn’t so super unusual to get SJP for this project. I will freely brag that she was excellent casting on our part, much like Kate Hudson in episodes previous. Can you think of a more appropriate established female actress to play the role of an aged yet bordering on trendy rouge executive at Vogue? But you’re right, Kurt would have never gotten into the building, much less landed an interview with such a person.
As far as the pairing of the blondes is concerned, well, they are blonde. The carpet matches the drapes. But seriously, what else is there for us to talk about? Schue and his haircut? Actually, he is kind of hot.
Well, what is there to say, really? As we concentrate on the spin-off that could be in New York, the Lima crew continues to spin its wheels. Another year at school brings another election episode. It is natural and logical and like clockwork. Which isn’t to say it was our proudest hour, certainly not. But what would bloggers like you do but point out if we hadn’t addressed the yearly election?
This week, Finn shows up in Bushwick! It was not until I saw new New York hottie Brody and old hottie Finn in the same shot was it obvious they are at least fraternal twins. Was it a conscious decision in casting?
You would think that, but as it turns out there is an abundance of dope-eyed, muscle-bound, whispery 20-something actors available for television. The actor who portrays Rachel’s paramour didn’t have much to do after his V character was offed last season. Also, have you seen his abs? And of course we couldn’t waste Rachel’s “incredible” makeover [see: wearing all black and caring about your hair and face, per all New Yorkers]. Letting Finn go at the end of last season was one of the hardest things we’ve had to do. … AH HA HA HAH HA! Just kidding! We fucking hated that twerp and were so glad Ryan allowed us to send him to Iraq. Not figuratively. Literally. It was in his contract. He is in Fallujah.