So it's been less than two months and we've already broken our own pact . Yes, we did it, we went and watched Glee again. Had to be done! It was a Michael Jackson-themed episode and we were just too curious about how much they would screw it up. On that front, we were not unsatisfied.
Meaning: It was not good. It was really not good. Chiefly for the reason that whenever Glee, in its strange and awkward third year of adolescence, tries to do a big theme episode, the results are always clunky and half-baked. The writers, in this case Ryan Murphy himself, are forced to create a story in service to songs, rather than the other way around, and trying to shoehorn that into the season at large usually proves a virtually impossible task (not that any episode of this show, themed or not, is ever terribly concerned with what came before or what's coming next). This Michael Jackson episode was no exception.
Only it was more unpleasant because it was Michael Jackson, that totem of both awe and dismayed revulsion, that Peter Pan who died. It felt awkward, icky even, that a young generation (the show's audience, we mean, not the our-age actors) should be served Michael Jackson this way. The man was a dark, troubled (maybe irredeemably so) genius, someone whose bright flares and wisps (we got mostly wisps last night) of pop could stand beautifully on their own if only we were able to untangle the mysterious man from the music. But we're not, at least not so soon (yeah it's been a couple years, but still, so soon) after his strangely inevitable-seeming death. It just didn't sit right. Glee is far too uncomplicated a show to deal with Michael Jackson in any real way.