Don't Drink the Koolaid: Glee returns to television tonight, much to our chagrin

The most inexplicably popular show on television returns with the second half of season one tonight. The episode is called "Hell-O" because all the songs they sing have either Hell or Hello in the title. Get it?

In general, we're open-minded about mass culture, but on this one we agree with Jeff Winger: We just don't understand the appeal at all. Just when you thought there could be no more contrived and unoriginal a way to create pop music than American Idol, along came Glee.

Glee's all obvious pop hits airbrushed to oblivion by empty vocal talent, yet the soundtracks have sold a zillion copies . Most of the positive reviews come in along the lines of "so appallingly cheesy it's fun," but we're not biting.

Our protestations might prove unnecessary -- the burden of expectation might sink this ship anyway. In the intervening months since the show went on hiatus, Glee went from sugary diversion to some sort of wide-eyed cult.

The cast performed (poorly) at the White House on Easter, which is ridiculous. People are taking this show seriously as an integral part of the pop landscape, and now it has to back that status up.

Most likely, however, it won't matter what the show does. There's probably no stopping this crap now. But the least we can do is try. So please: Don't drink the Glee flavored Koolaid. It's a High School Musical ripoff, only cheesier.

Read that last sentence again and ask yourself if that sounds like a winning formula.

Yes, Jane Lynch is a well-documented bright spot, but she's only on screen for something like five minutes of an hour-long show.

It's a beautiful day. Go ride a bike, or light up a barbeque and listen to this song over and over. If you must watch TV, make it Justified. Now there's a show.

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky