Abba Caused 'Glee'; 'Glee' Ruins Everything

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Glee, apparently, is a Fox dramedy, now in its second season, about a group of telegenic high school students who burst into song all the time. (We have never watched Glee, but our 13-year-old cousin really likes it.) Some people are big fans of Glee, like Bruce Springsteen. Other people feel less warmly about it, like the editors of Newsweek, probably.

Jim Shelley belongs in the latter camp. Writing in The Guardian this week, Shelley torpedoes a recent episode of Glee, or, as he says it should be called, Horror, because "that's what it fills me with." (Hey, why don't we call it Everybody Hates Raymond?) Shelley goes on to list some offenses committed by Glee during the hour he watched. None of these mean anything to us, but we offer them in the hopes that someone, somewhere, might understand them:

  • The episode Shelley watched was built around "the sort of simplistic plot even Friends would have frowned upon," and involved a religious visitation via a grilled cheese sandwich.

  • Another plot point hinged on whether a "Rachel" would let a "Finn" touch her boobs. "And lo!" Shelley writes. "She did place his hand on her boobs, and they were good. 'Awesome' in fact."

  • The show has certain philosophical problems in common with "Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City," all programs that "purport to be about 'strong' women -- who are coincidentally obsessed with men, love shopping and have Lovely Hair."

Shelley also isolates the musical and cultural DNA at the heart of the Glee genome. "I blame Abba," he writes. "If they hadn't retired, the whole mania for tribute bands would never have become so big." Jeez, dude. Somebody's forgotten the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.