So, did you guys watch Glee last night? We thought it was pretty spectacular, particularly by pilot-episode standards, and especially considering it comes from Ryan Murphy, the twisted mind behind FX’s Nip/Tuck. It certainly doesn’t hurt that we’re suckers for dramedies set within the walls of high school, but the way that this show mashes up elements of Fame, Freaks and Geeks, and Election has us more than a little bummed that we have to wait until late August or early September to watch the next episode. That said, there was one moment from the show that had us cringing on our couches in a mixture of embarrassment and dismay: Can we all agree that there should be at least a ten-year moratorium on any further usage of the Journey classic “Don’t Stop Believing”?
While we have our doubts that Cory Monteith was the right casting choice to play the very Zac Efron–esque role of the student who’s torn between his jock friends and his passion to SING (he really reminds us of Dustin Milligan, who just got fired from 90210), our biggest beef with the show was the decision to close the episode with the students belting out “Don’t Stop Believing.” Not only did the Glee version suffer because it was about a third as good as Petra Haden’s genius a cappella cover, but I think we can all agree that song crossed the point of overexposure approximately two years ago, in the wake of the Sopranos finale. Since then, we have heard the song used umpteen times in terrible televised parodies of David Chase’s brilliant series closer, which cover the gamut from the Celebrity Apprentice to that goofy Hillary Clinton campaign spot. Proving its ubiquity, it’s also prominently featured in the Broadway play Rock of Ages. And while we have no issues belting this song out at 3 in the morning when we’re karaoke-ing, we think Ryan Murphy’s decision to use the song smacks of both bad judgment and directorial hubris.
Sure, you could make an argument that this is exactly the kind of song that high-school glee clubs all across the country are using in their performances, but we would counter that by saying that this isn’t a documentary. This is a glitzy Hollywood production that was rumored to cost over $3 million; people are paid good money not just to ape what they see high-school kids doing. If we really wanted to watch Made, we would’ve flipped over to MTV, you know?
So, what do you say, people? Can we all agree that (a) Glee is a good to very-good show but also that (b) While “Don’t Stop Believing” is a tremendously triumphant song and one that we’ll always sing along to when it comes on the jukebox at a bar, we never want to see/hear it in another television series or movie for at least another ten years? And if you have any suggestions for possible replacement songs, well, you know where to leave them.