I would like nothing more than to stop feeling an obligation to watching Glee, which I think is the most overrated show on television. But apparently, one of the most popular scripted shows in the country is also about to become the only show on television about arts policy. Sue Sylvester is going to start her campaign for Congress as a hardcore anti-immigration reformer, but when that doesn’t garner her the support she expects, she starts campaigning on an arts education platform.
I don’t expect that this will be thoughtful, or anything: it’s not as if that’s any sort of logical, or even logically manipulative, political evolution. Ohio is actually fairly good on public support for the arts—the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies projects that the funding for the state’s arts agency will go up 15.3 percent next year.
But the show was best in its first season when there was a real struggle to keep the glee club alive because McKinley’s budget was so stressed because the efforts people made over it illustrated the extent to which the club was important to them. Will has only ever been an interesting character when he’s faced realistic struggles with money and his relationship with Terri, which is motivated more by money than the weird sexual tango he has with Emma, who he wants to get over her issues so he can sleep with her. Glee could have been a great show about the recession, an idea Ryan Murphy’s largely abandoned except for randomly having Sam’s family lose their home. I don’t expect that this development will rectify the enormous flaws the show’s developed over the last two years. But it shows some awareness of what made the show initially watchable and engaging.