'Glee' Gets Another Guest Star: Why This Won't Help Anything
That's more originality than could sometimes be credited to the writing of the show on its own.
The Hollywood Reporter announced Thursday that midway into the fourth "Glee" season, "Idol" Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez will join the acclaimed musical-comedy for a multi-episode arc. Sanchez came up second last season against inspiring, sentimental-favorite guitar player Phillip Phillips.
She's the third notorious name to sign on for the fourth season, though details are kept scarce right now. Previously, word broke that Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson would both be spinning their own stories over several episodes each. The star power can only help, as "Glee" abandons its friendly Tuesday home for the first time in September to be paired with the 12th season of "Idol."
Sanchez, 16, will first be finishing up dates on the requisite live "American Idol" concert tour this summer.
That being said, the marquee names are great sizzle, but here's hoping that "Glee" finds the steak again this season.
The third season boasted its bright spots. Certain tribute episodes were excellent - especially the Michael Jackson outing - but by that point, the show had already lost so much steam with a dull early-season arc surrounding the production of "West Side Story" that unfortunately hamstrung the storytelling to show tunes instead of infectious pop covers. When it did transition back to popular faire, it unfortunately did so while showing that it's a show that's strictly about pushing the iTunes chart positions at the expense of storytelling. By this point, recognizable songs and inspired guest performances (such as those from Ricky Martin and Matt Bomer) are no longer overshadowing that Ryan Murphy's idea of "character development" is amplifying every possible gay-character stereotype and cliché and testing into how much finer a paste he can beat the "don't be a bully" dead horse.
Guest stars are great, but nothing beats inspired writing like what the first season and half the second boasted.
At those points, the warning signs were evident that the show was headed for Cliché Hell, despite some memorable moments. Chris Colfer's moments amid the storyline chronicling his exile from and eventual return to McKinley and all he faced along the way was often powerful, and a treat to watch. But it's become so heavy-handed by now, that it's as if every single episode was patterned to have the motifs of ever "very special" episode of "Saved By The Bell" ever made.
Honestly, this is why I'd really rather watch "Smash" these days. Granted, one is far, far more camp than the other - if I have to explain which, you've clearly never seen "Smash." But "Smash" is the better storyteller, and pulls it off mostly with its main cast alone. "Glee" sometimes doesn't feel strong enough to stand on its own two feet without some special "hook" to each episode, be it an artist tribute or guest star.
It'll make nice promotional copy, but it would really make waves if the writing and agenda-pushing wasn't so damned ham-fisted as to make the bad writing's cover-up obvious.