Thursday, November 25, 2010

7 reasons The Sing-Off is better than Glee

Last winter, I tuned in to NBC's The Sing-Off, for the same reason I do most television ridicule it mercilessly. I was met, however, with a surprisingly good competition show that struck a chord (pun fully intended) with that high-school version of me that used to sing with my friends in the hallways of our school.

Likewise, I am constantly told by some of those same friends that my hatred for the show Glee is just my way of covering up that part of my youth as if I am ashamed of it or something.

So, in order to set the record straight, and do my part to promote a fun show, I present:

7 Reasons That The Sing-Off is Better Than Glee

1) No Over-Production - It's just vocals. Recorded live. No invisible instruments. No phantom background tracks. No "studio-produced" vocal tracks that make everything creepily and unnaturally perfect. The kids on Glee are talented. But, the contestants on The Sing-Off don't get the benefit of Taylor Swift-like post-production to make them sound great.

2) Ben Folds - He makes everything awesome. If he ever actually did an episode of Glee, I would probably have to watch it in its entirety. I pray to God that never happens. Plus, he knows a thing or two about a cappella music.

3) It's About The Singing - I have long maintained that Glee would be great if it were reduced to a 1/2 hour variety show. Lose the stereotypical characters. Forget about the tired and "topical" storylines (see #5 below). Just focus on the singing. 80% of the people who watch Glee will openly admit they only watch for the songs. So, why do the producers keep shilling out the other crap? Because they have to fill the gaps between songs and Jane Lynch punchlines with something. The Sing-Off is just the songs. Those gaps don't exist. It is simply...what Glee should be.

4) No Stereotypes/Gimmicks - The first season of The Sing-Off celebrated diversity. Like REAL diversity. Not the "I'm free to be myself as long as 'myself' is an outcast of some sort or another" type, but real, honest to goodness, variation in humanity. Honestly, I would rather pay attention to the ladies of Maxx Factor (right) or winners (and Puerto Rico natives) Nota (above) than ANY combination of blonde cheerleader, mis- understood drama queen and overly-effeminate gay kid.

5) No Mundane/Forced Storylines - No one on The Sing-Off would ever need to dance like Beyonce to kick a football. I think that about sums it up.

6) The Swan Song - The Sing-Off is smart enough to know when to walk away. The first season was only 4 episodes. Admittedly, that's probably because the producers had no idea if the idea would fly. This season is 8 episodes. The perfect number if you ask me. Get in. Crown a winner. Move on. Leave the audience wanting more. As opposed to, say, coming up with more and more superfluous scenarios, themed episodes and guest stars to throw at the audience to fill 22 shows a year. Come on, Glee. Even the worst offender of all time, Will and Grace, waited a couple of full seasons before it started down that long and winding red-carpet of shame.

7) Sloppy Seconds - Arguably, the best part about Glee this entire season has been the introduction of a new rival school, Dalton Academy....whose background vocals are actually performed by the runners-up from last year's The Sing-Off. So, Glee owes the success of its most interesting current attraction to 4 episodes of a legit talent show from last December.

So, there you have it. Tune in tonight on NBC to see clever arrangements, true group dynamics and, above all, great talent, the way it should be.

Slurpees not included.


Anonymous justdave said...

I pretty much agree with all your points (but of course I still love Glee).

I have a sort of man-crush on Ben Folds. Not only is he talented musically, but his insight on that show is actually musically relevant (vs what the judges on all other music contest shows deliver). The dude is just amazing. And the talent on that show this season was unreal. When do we get the group back together?

7:53 PM  

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