By Sasha Debevec-McKenney
If you’re the kind of person who wished that those “Kidz Bop” commercials were 45 minutes long, then you probably love “Glee.” Because that’s what it is: “Kidz Bop” with plot. Not a compelling plot, but a plot nonetheless. I’ll admit it—I’ve seen some of the first season. I’m not proud of it. I never really liked it, but I figured because it was becoming this huge cultural sensation that I’d feel left out if I didn’t watch it. After about six episodes, I realized that even feeling like a cultural outsider wasn’t worth the pain that “Glee” brought me. “Glee” is probably the worst television show I have ever seen, and the fact that it has millions of loyal followers who don’t realize how bad it is makes it even worse. The writing is inexcusable and the characters are absurd clichés.
I have enjoyed one episode of “Glee” ever: the Madonna-themed episode. The reason I enjoyed it? Because I was on an 18-hour train ride home and my train had just run over a human being. I kind of needed something light and fluffy to brighten the whole death-and-dying-mood. “Glee’s” silliness has only ever seemed acceptable me at that point in my life. I know what it’s like to be bullied in high school, and not once did I ever think singing would make me feel better. People wouldn’t have started being nice to me just because I could sing, either. Although fans might say that “Glee” is supposed to be a satire of high school, satires are supposed to be smart, and this show has never been that.
Parks and Recreation:
If you only think of “Parks and Recreation” as a rip-off of “The Office” then you’re wrong. “The Office” was a rip-off of the British “Office,” so shut up. Like the American “Office,” “Parks and Recreation” truly gets great in its second season. I have come to love “Parks and Rec.” in a way I could never love “The Office”—and that’s because the former actually has likeable characters. Leslie Knope, played to absolute perfection by the-otherwise-uninteresting-to-me-Amy Poehler, is kind of a good role model. She is intelligent, funny, has real relationships, and is actually good at her job. “Parks and Rec.” is truly an ensemble piece—every character has his or her moments, and in those moments they are always remarkably funny. From the mustachioed boss Ron Swanson, lover of dark-haired women and breakfast food, to moody college intern April Ludgate, whose boyfriend has a boyfriend, none of the “Parks and Rec.” characters are boring. Both seasons are on Netflix, but I would skip the first season and watch it after you’re already addicted to the second. By the second season of “Parks and Rec.” the cleverness of the writing has caught up to the solid acting. You literally have no excuse to not be watching this show.