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May 19, 2010

Glee's Inexplicable Timing

TV: Glee

(Now that I think about it, Glee has rather inexplicable pacing as well, but that's a different subject for, perhaps, a different post.)

The third album of music from Glee was released yesterday. Now, I understand why FOX wants to put out as much Glee stuff as possible, and I will obligingly buy most of it. But I don't understand why they chose to release this album so early. Upfront week? Neil Patrick Harris buzz? Unless there's some compelling reason I'm not thinking of, it just doesn't make sense. There are twenty songs on the album; twelve of them were from episodes that aired over the past few weeks. Three appeared last night - hours after millions of fans already had the album - and five have yet to show up on the show. This does a disservice to both the show and the album.

For me, at least, part of the pleasure of listening to the Glee albums is remembering the characters and situations that were taking place on the show as the songs were being sung. When the songs appear on an album before the show, it all feels very disconnected, and it's way less exciting to hear them. I mean, from listening to the album, I can say that sure, the Lady GaGa episode sounds like it will be interesting - but I could have guessed that anyway. This "Beth" song, on the other hand - well, I don't know what it's doing, although I'm sure it will make sense once the episode airs.

Perhaps the bigger problem is that hearing the music in advance takes something away from watching the show. Yes, song lists often leak, but they don't include many details, so it's still interesting to find out who will be singing which song and what they'll do with it, musically. Now that level of interest is gone for these songs, and they're something like Chekhov's gun - we'll be watching the episodes and trying to figure out which events are building up in such a way as to lead to these songs we know are coming.

Overall, I feel like Glee just handed us a photo album from a vacation without actually letting us take the trip first. Now, no matter how great the trip ends up being, it will be something of a letdown.

Posted by Kat at May 19, 2010 05:00 PM
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