So Glee may or may not have stolen a plotline from Cory Monteith superfan and Florida teenager Teresa Musumeci. As the Channel 7 WSVN story goes, Musemeci convinced her momma to take her to NYC to view a Glee Live and In Concert and On Ice and Other Stuff at Radio City Music Hall. Musemeci hand delivered a piece of Monteith fanmail to a security guard who delivered it Monteith who read the piece of fan mail which included fan mail-y info like how Musemeci wanted to create a web series on YouTube called Fondue for Two.
Fast forward a couple months, one Glee scene featuring a Brittany Pierce YouTube show called (you guessed it!) Fondue for Two, and an amazing you-absolutely-must-watch-this-dramatization-because-it-will-make-you-love-local-news-stations later, and a primetime show from a national broadcast network is in trouble for stealing an idea from a teenage fangirl.
Showbusiness! Amiright? Regardless, that borrowing of ideas and thanking the people you borrowed the idea from with a copy of a script signed by the cast is not what this article is about. This article is about the web show within the television show. Fondue for Two doesn’t really work. Here’s why.
Do you ever watch a show like Royal Pains with an actual doctor? It’s interesting! In the first 15 minutes or so every episode, a real life board certified physician will explain to you the myriad different ways fictional board certified physician Hank Lawson would have already lost his board certification. That’s what I was all like when I saw this:
Brittany Pierce’s “internet talk show,” which combines two of the things she likes most (hot cheese and talking to people), opens like it’s the after school project of a high school film club, which is to say, it looks pretty good! There are mediocre graphics and a 90’s cartoon theme song. That’s not such a terrible start and belies some sense of production experience and technological knowhow. But then comes the 80-second impromptu gossip fest over fondue. Two shaky, handheld cameras catch the unscripted, unedited action, which belies very little production experience or technological knowhow. But then you realize it’s shot more like an episode of The Office than a bedroom video blog, and you notice how the the action is edited because the camera angles constantly change. That belies a helluva lot of production experience and technological knowhow.
All of which leaves me talking to the computer and/or TV screen, saying “Ya know, a show like that would never really exist,” and has me thinking shaky camera is Semiotics 101 for “amateur YouTube” (even though most amateur YouTubers would just use unshaky webcams). If Glee were to actually screen an amateur web show that the character Brittany Pierce could conceivably produce, it would most certainly be way too amateur to air on actual television. So, instead of a Brittany Peirce iteration of lonelygirl, we get the web series equivalent of TV ugly.
I guess the morals of the story are don’t tell idols your ideas unless you’re comfortable with them using those ideas and don’t watch a television show featuring a scene about a web series with someone who writes about web series unless you want to be subject to a 500+ word exegesis on the whole thing.