As the episodes of Glee plod forward, sometimes I forget that it was once an original and highly entertaining show. Now, with Ryan Murphy balls-deep into American Horror Story, the show has been slipping away and leaving a lot of questions in its wake. We had the opportunity to sit down with a writer/producer from the show to provide the important answers.
We opened this week on the auditions for Grease. Other than the mirrored high school drama, what was it about this musical that spoke to the writers?
What stood out for me personally was how unrecognizable the vast majority of Grease songs are, or more to the point, how they for the most part haven’t been driven into the ground beyond the point of having any significance. In other words, we needed a musical, and rather than choose something daring, current, and meta like Spring Awakening we went with a title that would appeal to a wide swath of our demographic. That none of these characters would have any real familiarity with Grease in its original incarnation is obviously of no concern. I mean did not you witness the ridiculous prancy mess that was “The Hand Jive?” It was like a really good poop.
It’s interesting you bring this up, because we actually are avid readers of By That You Mean and borrowed the idea of Finn being crushed to death from your fantastic writing team. When Ryan Murphy declined that idea, we had to find something to do with Corey Monteith since he was already contracted for six episodes. Similarly, we had already stated that Mike Chang and Mercedes would make reappearances, so we thought it best to make them co-producers of the musical. Obviously they have plenty of time and money on their hands, what with being just out of high school. Plus, the kids from The Glee Project didn’t quite take hold with our viewers yet.
Do the producers make a conscious effort to make Coach Beiste look as awful as possible? She appears to have blotchy skin and greasy hair, it is almost like the make-up department was given instructions to apply only bright lipstick and then send her out on to the set. Is this a way to make me search for inner beauty in the characters on this show?
That’s your biggest concern about Coach Beiste? It’s not that we totally glossed over her character arc? You don’t remember how we last left off with her not leaving her abusive relationship with Cooter? These are obviously rhetorical questions; we don’t seriously think our viewers can remember things that happened weeks prior.
Did you like the P!nk (please note correct spelling) song, though? I thought it was the episode’s funnest and most dynamic. But to answer your question, I think what you’re getting at is that it seems like the characters all fit into the same basic matrix, only with slight details changed, but still retaining the overall combination of demographics. That’s making it soundway smarter than it really is. To tell you the truth, we have a few of those 12-sided Dungeons and Dragons die that we just roll and see what combinations come up. I will disagree with you on the statement that Unique has more range. More…vocal and jazz hands range? Sure. But more…acting and facial range? Absolutely not. After 26 takes of the scene where Finn has a heart-to-heart with Unique, this is the one we went with? Yes.
I like the 1980’s as much as any red-blooded american, but how in the crap does an 18-year-old kid with a dead dad learn the lyrics to an awful song like “Juke Box Hero?” No amount of back story or cute boys will make that song good.
Ah ha ha ha! You think we care if the songs are good? You vastly misunderstand the premise of Glee. We’re here to do two things: 1) Jam Ryan Murphy’s liberal agenda down the throats and cooters of America’s population ages 16 to 42, and 2) Sell a shit-ton of songs on iTunes. In a distance 3rd place, include as many non sequiturs as possible. Fifty Shades of Gravy. Gilmore Girls Box Set. Nut Whiff. Strawberry Hugecake. Tara’s Mom from True Blood…and I just came.
Well, we haven’t decided. It’ll either be a totally throwaway line explaining the baby’s absence, or we’ll have Matthew Broderick guest star in a 14-episode run as the baby’s sperm donor. Look for lots more boy on boy, man on boy, and Blaine on tears one-on-ones in that series of very special shows.
SPOILER ALERT: It’ll be revealed that Glee was an elaborate hallucination in Will’s mind, and when he finally arrives in Washington it’ll actually be the first time he comes out of a coma in the real world. Sue was really his nurse. Emma was really his sister. Finn was really his son. And Blaine was really his hair.