Dear ‘Glee’: I Love You, But I Think We Need to Break Up

Dear Glee,

There’s no easy way to say this. We’ve had some wonderful times together. But I can’t kid myself anymore. I’m the only one in this relationship putting in any effort. And two years is a long time to feel that way. So I’m breaking up with you.

Of course, things were amazing at the beginning. I admit it, I was completely infatuated. I was into the littlest things about you — things that other people found irritating. Your contrived plotting. Your weirdly motiveless supporting characters. I found it all charming.

I defended you to my friends when they said you weren’t smart enough for me. I argued with them, told them they didn’t understand you. If they watched you like I watched you, they’d see. I told them you were using popular music and stilted storylines to disguise really smart, subversive material. I said it so often that I believed it. But was it actually true? I’m not so sure. I mean, really: A kissing-booth episode? What are you, Happy Days?

(“So?” I hear you saying. “The O.C. had a kissing booth episode. Saved by the Bell had one. You loved those shows.” Well, I knew Zack Morris, and you, sir, are no Zack Morris.)

I’m not saying you’re stupid. You have flashes of brilliance, and lord knows you’re smarter than most of the shows vying for my viewing affection. But like pretty much every “lesson” Mr. Schuester teaches his kids, you’re just not as smart as you think you are. Unwarranted smugness? Not an attractive quality.

And I’ve just been feeling wrung out by your treatment of me lately. Most days you just seem to decide where you want to end up and do whatever you need to do to get there, without considering me or my needs at all. Damn all consistency or continuity; if it’s convenient for you, you’ll throw the rules of narrative by the wayside. Hell, you don’t seem to recall conversations we’ve had from one week to the next. Remember that whole episode about unhealthy eating? Apparently not, because a month later you gave us one about body image issues, and nobody noticed we’d just had several of those conversations already. Santana’s a closeted lesbian? Funny, just a little while ago she was a proud pansexual. (“I made out with a mannequin. I even had a sex dream about a shrub that was just in the shape of a person.”)

Yes, you’ve tried to make it up to me, giving me little presents when I least expect it. The increased focus on the confidently large Lauren Zizes was a particularly lovely gift. And every scene with Burt Hummel, America’s favorite dad, is like a whispered endearment in the night, reminding you why I fell for you in the first place. But they’re too little too late.

In the end, I just can’t shake the feeling that we have very different ideas of what this relationship is really about. You seemed to believe that last week’s episode was something very special, a beautiful time when we talked about our deep feelings. All I saw was a cheesy attempt at profundity: you held my hand, looked deep into my eyes and told me about how death is really sad and stuff, especially when the dead person is handicapped. Or that — and unless I am very mistaken, this seemed to be the entire point of the episode — it’s better to be nice than to be mean. Seriously. That was the profound truth you wanted to tell me, that made it so important to have an almost completely joke-free episode?

By the time you read this letter, you will have had your season finale — probably some huge romantic gesture meant to recapture my interest. I’m sure Rachel sang something show-stopping. I’m sure the costumes and the choreography were stunning. I’m sure Sue did something mind-bogglingly awful.

But I’m not going to be there. You probably won’t notice: You’ve got so many lovers, and most of them will stay with you no matter what happens, so long as you keep singing those silly love songs. The songs were fun — especially that awesome Thriller/Heads Will Roll mashup — but let’s be honest: they were never enough, on their own, to carry all your other baggage.

Will I miss you? Of course I will. Every once in a while: I’ll be flipping through the channels and see a promo for your next season. Or I’ll catch myself singing REO Speedwagon in the shower. And at the end of the night at a karaoke bar, when the DJ finally decides to let someone sing “Don’t Stop Believing” and we all join in, I might even get a little misty. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be coming running back. I’ve given you too many last chances. It’s time for me to go my own way, to learn who I am without you, between the hours of 9 and 10 p.m. on Wednesdays (8 to 9 p.m. Central). Goodbye.


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    • Kim

      I feel exactly the same and it will be easier to ‘break up’ with Glee as Sky has snatched it from E4. (I’m over in the UK.) This action like so many others seems to prove that Glee is made without an audience in mind. It was going so well, even I was buying the Itunes and proudly playing them. It was a cheesy feel good show but that just isn’t enough any more. I really enjoyed this letter.

    • Sarah H

      I also need to break up with Glee… I feel REALLY bad for half of the talented actors on the show who have had very successful Broadway careers and are now singing top 40 hits and getting auto-tuned… it does have its moments though.

    • Katie

      The season finale was even worse than the penultimate episode (bonus points for Sam and Mercedes, but poorly done). Who wrote “Grilled Cheesus” and last season’s finale? Bring him/her back!

    • Rachel

      This really sums up everything I have hated about Glee this season. The characters were so inconsistent and the writing staff basically gave up, resting on their “but we’re so popular” laurels. I gave up on it at that awful wedding episode, that was really when the show jumped the shark for me.
      Yes Katie I agree, “Grilled Cheesus” and the last season’s finale were amazing, and I wish those writers would return (and remove Ryan Murphy from the room). I’m giving Glee one more chance though … Rachel and Finn just got back together and I really have hope for those two crazy kids. But if Glee breaks their hearts again, hey will loose mine. For good.

    • Steph

      I think the kids are pretty talented, and they obviously work really hard. But the writing is just piss-poor and there’s really no excuse for that at all. I keep track of continuity better than the people writing the show, and it’s not even my job. Come on, somebody’s slacking.