Over/Underrated 2014 – Part Six

6 Jan

Ok, so technically we are done with the over and underrated portion of this year’s trip down memory line, but for consistency’s sake we’re going to stick with the same title formatting. We’ve had a fabulous time discussing the overrated and underrated pop culture happenings of 2014, but it’s time to move on to what was truly On Pointe this past year, and what really was Off the Mark. Enjoy!

On Pointe

The XXII Olympic Winter Games


My name is Brook, and I am an unapologetic Olympics lover.

There. I said it.

The best part about being unemployed for the first six months of 2014 was that I was able to spend every waking moment (and some of the sleeping moments, too) watching the Sochi games unfold, and not feel the slightest bit guilty about it.

From Sage Kotsenburg winning the US’ first gold medal of the games in slopestyle snowboarding, to the shoddy hotel accommodations chronicled on every media outlet; Julia Lipnitskaya, the tiny, amazing Russian figure skater and the hoax wolf. I ate it up like Mama June eating sketti after a month-long fast.

OK. Maybe not the best mental image, but it adequately conveys how nutty I get every two years.

I don’t know if my parents know this, but when I was a kid, after everyone had gone to bed, and mom and dad were in bed watching TV, I would creep out of my room, walk ever so silently (which meant I was loud as all hell) down the hall, and sit on the floor just outside their bedroom door and watch TV with them. They probably knew, but they never busted me for it.

In 1996, at the Atlanta Summer Games, I saw Kerri Strug stick her second landing, and clinch another gold for the US, from my (probably not so) secret spot. I felt that I had just witnessed something magical. I liked the Olympics before that. I was obsessed forever after.

And I think other people feel the magic, too.

To the haters, the Olympics may seem like a hokey song and dance, only to come about like a biennial groundhog, filled with cheering for athletes they’ve never heard of, competing in sports they don’t care about.

Call me naive, but that’s exactly what I love about the Olympics. It’s a relatively innocent spectacle compared to other large sporting events. It’s nations on parade, putting their best foot forward (or in Russia’s case, *a* foot forward) for the world to see. It’s normal people doing awe-inspiring things with their bodies, becoming mega celebrities for about two weeks, then going back into relative obscurity. It’s a feeling of “oneness” as we pull together to root for this person or that person.

I dare you to try and tell me your heart didn’t swell with American pride during TJ Oshie’s shootout against the Russians (men’s Olympic hockey: ending cold wars since 1980).

You guys, I can’t freaking wait for Rio.


Off the Mark



I used to love Glee. Then for awhile I liked Glee. For a good couple of years after that I was bored by it. In 2013 my boredom turned to disappointment, and the television show I once loved for its unique concept and sharp writing made its first appearance on our Off the Mark list. I wish I could say that Glee rebounded in its penultimate year, but, well, here we are.

While it didn’t help that I was still recovering from that whole Stripping Santa thing when Glee aired its first episode of 2014, I did my best to go into the second half of Glee’s fifth season with an open mind. Sure I had no fucks left to give about Marley, Jake, Ryder or any of the other member of the second-string ensemble, but with Rachel and Kurt still around, that meant there was still potential.

Sadly, it only took one month for the writers of Glee to have the New Directions lose at nationals, to disband the Glee Club, and to write off the Lima High storyline altogether. No more Coach Sylvester, no more Mr. Schue, and no more Glee Club. I tried to tell myself that this was a good thing, seeing as how I was fresh out of fucks about Marley et al., but I couldn’t help but feel cheated. What the hell did I spend two years watching Marley’s bulimia/Ryder’s dyslexia/Jake’s dancing for if I wasn’t even going to get any sort of resolution for these characters?

Still, I had Rachel. I had Kurt. That meant Glee had potential.

As far as I could tell, when the writers of Glee decided to ixnay the actual Glee Club, they also decided to ixnay any sense of continuity in character development or plausibility in plot. Any remaining storylines moved to New York where Rachel Berry was fulfilling her dream job of performing on Broadway whilst working full time at a diner whilst attending NYADA, her performing arts college, full time. Meanwhile Santana is still Santana, Kurt is still Kurt and SURPRISE Blaine, Arti, Sam and Mercedes are all there too for perfectly legitimate reasons. (Sense the sarcasm.)

While basically every storyline from that point on is complete horseshit, I only have so many minutes to write this, so I’m going to focus this rant on Rachel Berry. Rachel decides to quit NYADA, the school she tried for a complete season to get into, to focus on her Broadway career. THEN, she decides that performing the same show night after night is too beneath her, so she quits her Broadway gig in Funny Girl, her dream role BTW, to pursue a television career.

Let me be clear. There is not even a minuscule chance that the Rachel Berry who auditioned for Glee Club in 2009 would quit Broadway. Not. A. Chance. Apparently I was not the only Glee fan to realize this, because the season finale ratings were a paltry 1.87 million viewers. To understand how truly abysmal this is, the finale of Glee‘s first season was watched by 10.92 million.

What’s truly frustrating is that I still don’t understand why the writers of Glee jumped the shark. And then jumped it again. And again. And again. The writers had Rachel. They had Kurt. They had so much potential to work with. Sadly, that potential remained untapped.



One Response to “Over/Underrated 2014 – Part Six”

  1. innomin January 7, 2015 at 8:51 am #


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