Finding Glee

With the announcement of Glee securing a season five and season six, I wonder what the writers have in store for fans in the future. Season four of Glee is almost at the finale mark with a lot of angry fans up in arms over what a disaster it has been. They're wary of tuning in to two more seasons of a show, which is the shadow of its inception that made fans fall in love with the cast and uplifting story lines. It's not the upbeat, inspirational program that first enamored fans. Even though the next two seasons are a long way off, I have a few tough love ideas on how to save the show that seems to have jumped the shark one too many times.

It's all about one central location. Dual locations of Lima and New York made Glee seem stagnant, and using both flipped between two places that never connected. Each stood on its own and, honestly, most of the time I cared more about what happened at McKinley High than New York. McKinley High is where the core cast of characters started their journey and to have episodes focused solely on New York felt like Glee cared more about telling story lines for specific people than an ensemble cast. Pick one location and let the characters live in or surround that area. Also, make the show once again center around a group of characters with one shared experience. The original Glee Club had six teenagers going through everyday struggles with the same common denominator: they had to navigate high school and figure out who they were. When Glee shifted to New York it strayed so far from that central denominator that it seemed viewers hardly knew the show and characters. Suddenly it was more about standout stars Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) rather than a cohesive group dynamic. The show revolved around these two and their new lives in a new city and Rachel's ego became a character in itself. What made Glee sparkle to begin with was a group that had shared feelings and experiences, and to turn the show into a focus on one or two rather than a group, felt like fans were not watching the show they fell in love with four years ago.

Next is to lose some of the dead weight that's holding Glee back. I'm talking about an overly large cast with too many characters that get almost no focus, or many times don't need focus. Specifically I'm talking about Sam, Joe, Unique, Kitty, Tina and Artie. Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Artie (Kevin McHale) have basically been left out since season two of Glee. They've had no central story line that would propel fan interest in them for two more seasons. I love Alex Newell as Unique and Becca Tobin as Kitty, but the drama of Glee hasn't brought any grit to their characters. Kitty's character is stuck in the trite high-school-cheerleader-bitch loop. The writers started to give Unique's character a focus when she was going to play Rizzo in Grease, but then quickly took that away. Joe (Samuel Larsen) has had no storyline this season and I can't recall when he was last on the show. Sam (Chord Overstreet) used to be funny and sweet. Now his character has been dumbed down and become neurotic. They've also paired him with Brittany (Heather Morris) and their relationship has gone at warp speed this season. Now they it's as if they're in two different places in life going two different directions. And if the rumors are true about Morris being pregnant, it may be time for her to matriculate on to a new stage in her own life.

Remember Glee's other heavyweights beyond Kurt and Rachel? Season four of Glee has also been all about Naya Rivera. The writers didn't provide her much to work with, but Lord does this lady know how to give her all when she is! Season three's story arc of her character Santana coming out as a lesbian to the Glee Club and her family was heartbreaking and triumphant. This year, after all of that, Santana was reduced to breaking up with Brittany who she fought so hard for in the past. Santana seemed angry and bitter, and Rachel and Kurt seemed to treat her as a throwaway. Rivera is powerful, poignant, and deserves a storyline that can showcase her full talents again. The same with Dianna Agron's character Quinn. Quinn's struggle in the first two seasons with pregnancy and her family abandoning her was harrowing and relatable. Season four had Quinn allowing another man to define her by having her character sleep with a professor at her college and another time hooking up with Santana. The latter is definitely out of character for Quinn, and it shocked many viewers. These two ladies need more screen time in seasons five and six, and even with Dianna shooting mostly movies these days, there's still more stories to tell for Quinn.

Humor and humility reeled viewers in throughout season one and that's since been lost. Humor needs to take top priority! Instead of making the show a weekly soap opera, Glee needs to be the light after a heavy week. Since the show moved from Tuesdays to Thursdays, it has a duty to carry fans into an uplifting weekend -- not be the depression on top of a bleak mountain of troubles. Glee was meant for viewers to unwind, relax and find humor outside of the monotony and hardships of day in and out troubles. School shootings, male prostitutes and bulimia story lines don't fit that mold. Give fans comedy back, the show's heart, and let them find levity at the end of an arduous week.

Return Glee to the gift to fans it was when the show originated. Give fans a reason to root for their favorite characters again and let them have storylines that are real. Let fans find Glee.