I’m not a “gleek.” I didn’t approach Glee the Concert from the perspective of a fan. In fact, the main reason I wanted to check it out is because I couldn’t quite believe it was even released theatrically. I have watched Glee from time to time and I have absolutely no problem with it. I don’t quite get the mass appeal, but it seems like inoffensive, lightweight entertainment. If that sounds a little condescending, so be it – it’s not my intention. My point is, I know there are rabid Glee fans as well as those who despise the show. I fall into neither camp. I watched the Blu-ray release of Glee the Concert out of curiosity. Does this truly work as a feature film, especially for anyone not already a fan?
Judging by the movie’s paltry $11.8 million box office take, not even all the fans felt like shelling out for Glee’s greatest hits live. Minus Jane Lynch, the primary cast took to the stage – in character – to perform songs featured on the show. This makes Glee the Concert feel more like a novelty than a worthwhile concert film. The running time of 84 minutes already feels a bit short, but the concert is padded with fan interviews and backstage material. In fact, this material feels considerably intrusive as it interrupts the flow of the concert.
One recurring fan segment follows a little person who happens to be a high school cheerleader. She goes to her prom with a standard-sized guy. This stuff is fine for what it is, and I understand that the show Glee is very empowering for many people who consider themselves outcasts for whatever reason. But in the context of a live concert, it feels like someone dropped in segments from MTV’s Made. It makes it hard to get a feel for what the actual concert experience was like. And the fan interviews recorded outside the arena are mostly unnecessary and inconsequential. In a way, the film’s producers seem to be pandering to the most emotionally troubled amongst the show’s fan base.