Que lastima, Glee. Que lastima.
I haven’t been this disappointed in Glee in quite some time. I’ve been waiting for Ryan Murphy to capitalize on the show’s huge Hispanic fan-base since the latter half of the first season. What happened tonight was not merely a poorly executed episode, but a lost opportunity to expose Glee fans to true latin music. Taking American music and swapping out some lyrics for Spanish, does not Latin music make. I mean…Madonna? Elvis? LMFAO? (Although I will let this one slide because Ricky Martin rocked that song!) But, really? The plot was weak and the message seemed a last-ditch effort to save the flop they must have known they were producing. They could have taken the episode in a completely different direction (plot-wise) with a much more positive outcome and for heaven’s sake, better music.
As a latina, I took offense to this episode; not in the grandiose sense that they have given our culture a bad name but rather, they chose to completely avoid introducing their fans to true Latin music. Ricky Martin was a feeble attempt to make the episode authentic. I’ve been in love with Ricky Martin since I was about 13 years old and while I believe that he gave an excellent performance, not even he could save this episode. I’m not saying that I expected all-out Spanish language songs that an American audience would never be able to relate to but are the writers of Glee so out of touch with pop music that they failed to recognize the numerous crossover artists that exist today? Or the bi-lingual songs that still exist? The closest they came to giving their audience some real Spanish music was in the song, Bamboleo/Hero. And while I appreciated Mercedes’ version of Gloria Estefan’s “Don’t Wanna Lose You,” the song was geared towards American audiences even in 1989. Perhaps it was that these were the only artists who would allow their music to be covered by Glee. Shame on all of you Latin artists out there, if that is the case!
You have people like Pitbull, Shakira, JLo and Marc Anthony for god’s sake! Don’t pretend you didn’t have mainstream options, Glee! And how about American artists who paired with Latin artists? Alicia Keys performed “Looking for Paradise” with Alejandro Sanz, a rather beautiful song I might add. Usher just released a single paring up with the King of Bachata, Romeo Santos, “Promise Me”. Or better yet, dual-language songs like Christina Aguilera’s “Infatuation” or Prince Royce’s “Stand By Me (Bachata).” I could write a better episode with the songs/artists mentioned above right now. Why don’t I give it a go?
Actually, how about an outline? It’s 1am and I have work tomorrow. Dialogue would just take too long at this point. (I’m going very basic here and just listing what songs could tie into certain plot points. Again, I’m tired. If you like the idea, let me know and I will actually take the time to write a spec script for you.)
Marc Anthony- “My Baby You”- This could easily tie into Rachel and Finn’s newly established engagement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3jzinThGoc
Christina Aguilera- “Infatuation”- Everyone in that classroom, men and women alike, had a crush on Ricky Martin…may as well sing a song about that lust and attraction (towards a Boricua no less!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2FxmKjNo8k&feature=related
Alicia Keys & Alejandro Sanz- “Looking for Paradise”- This is such a beautiful song about finding happiness. This could really relate to anyone in the Glee club because each and everyone of them is struggling with one angsty issue or another. Everyone can relate to this song, characters and audience. We all want to find a place where we belong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIg7Bo_g-dA
Pitbull- “I know You Want Me”- You could pretty much throw in any Pitbull song and I’m pretty sure it would work. It gives you that taste of reggaeton/rap that some people like. For this song in particular, I could see Puck trying to get this message across. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2tMV96xULk&ob=av2e
Carlos Santana- “Smooth”- How can you leave out Santana?? Sam could have sung this song to Mercedes and it would have served to show his feelings towards her, but I can’t hate on his version of Hero. So I don’t mind if we leave that one in there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXp413NynFk&feature=related
Santana’s insightful monologue that lead to the climax of the episode did indeed hit the nail on the head, but couldn’t we have started with that realization after Mr. Shu’s awful rendition of La Cucaracha? Then we could have continued the episode with music by true Spanish artists. Why did we have to suffer through such lackluster, no-spice music?
On a lighter note, I was pleasantly surprised with how well everyone handled singing in Spanish. Except of course for Santana, ironically enough, who makes me cringe ever time she opens her boca (mouth). As the girl who is so adamant about correctly representing latin culture, she struggles with each Spanish word. I don’t mean to bash the actress at all. I happen to like Naya Rivera as Santana and I accept that she is the token hot-blooded latina but I just can’t take her seriously with that accent.
Perhaps that was enough Glee bashing for the night. I love this show and I think the risks they take are fantastic and boundary breaking, but why couldn’t they take a risk and show America how great latin music really is? I find it insulting that the best they could do was choose American music and add some Spanish words. Latin music is so easy to find yourself getting lost in. There is so much more to us than just Pitbull and Shakira!
P.S- Who else thought it was ludicrous that Mr. Shu is just now learning Spanish? That was just too dumb to be funny. Okay, I’m sorry, that was my last jab. Tonight’s episode just really irked me. I could go on forever but as it is, I’m going to fall asleep at work tomorrow.
Buenas noches a todos!