Since I watched the Rocky Horror episode of Glee, I've been trying to figure out why the show doesn't seem as enchanting to me this season as it did last.
I think I've got it.
It's all in the characterization. As a writer, I have to think about my characters, live in their heads a bit, get to know them on an intimate level. I have to ask myself, Is this really what he/she would do? And if it's not, I better figure out what he/she would do - otherwise, I lose credibility.
Now, don't get me wrong, I think Glee has awesome writers - they take a rather large cast of characters and show them to the viewer in ways that help you understand their motivations, desires, dreams, and jealousies. But what happens when one of those characters no longer seems to be in-character?
I'm talking Mr. Schue - Will Schuester.
In season one, Mr. Schue was all about the kids. He took his love of his students, and this feeling of being honor-bound to help them succeed, to an extreme. He ignored his marriage in order to give the kids his best (granted, the marriage wasn't spectacular). He stood up to Sue and Figgins to defend his students. He was, in short, a model teacher - unimpeachable in his job, really - and we needed him to be that way. He was the responsible one, the one who saved the students from themselves, the one who made (mostly) mature decisions in guiding them.
We could have a Sue Sylvester on the other end of the spectrum because we had a Will Schuster. (And isn't Jane Lynch spectacular as Sue? Very much deserved Emmy win).
Fast forward to the Fall 2010 season, and in... what?... five episodes we've seen Mr. Schue team up with Sue to bully the new football coach, sing/dance with the students at a pep rally to a sexy Brittney Spears song, convince the students to do a musical that's really not suited to high school, expect one male student to wear nothing but skimpy shorts onstage and a male and female student to perform in their underwear, and get hot-heavy-partially-naked with Emma in the school.
Hmmmmm... doesn't quite sound like the same character, at least not to me.
I'm not judging this on morality - I could really care less about the moral issues of the show - I enjoy it for the writing, the humor, the edge. I'm only looking at this as watching a character slip out of character. Would season one Will even recognize season two Will? I don't know. Can we use the excuse that he's going a little wild after his divorce or because he lost Emma? I don't think so. Sure, we all know people who, after a divorce or upon hitting 'middle age', go a little nuts - but don't we usually see that in them, at least a hint, before? Does someone who holds high standards and ideals fall so quickly because of a divorce? I have a hard time believing it.
I'll keep watching Glee, of course I will, but now I'm watching it with a more critical eye, waiting to see what Mr. Schue will do next, and if I'll really buy it.