Continuity and logic haven’t been the biggest factors in “Glee’s” television success. Only recently have story line and character development begun to outweigh the archetype characters and gimmicky themes that once propelled the show. As a result, blatant contradictions and logical errors show up in practically every episode. Some flubs are exposed online and can sometimes take a little nit-picking to spot; others, however, are too blatant to miss.
The Club’s Budget. Since Season 1, audiences were led to believe the New Directions was very tight on cash, having faced several budget cuts and threats of being disbanded. Nevertheless, each episode features highly elaborate rehearsal scenes with live bands, extravagant costumes and remarkable special effects. Audiences have seen the cast literally singing in the rain and walking in a winter wonderland, just for rehearsals. Despite the amount of money it would take to purchase, maintain and operate the props, lights and pyrotechnics needed to make the rehearsals happen, the club seems to struggle to find money for the smallest of things, from Christmas decorations to handicap-accessible transportation for Artie to attend Sectionals.
The Omnipresent Musician(s). Speaking of money, how much does it cost to pay the sometimes professional musicians that follow the club members around? Brad the pianist (composer Brad Ellis), seems to be ever-present throughout the series’ run. When a character wants to spontaneously serenade a lover or simply sing a ditty to him or herself, Brad is there to “take it away” on the keys. No one knows if he’s a teacher, a hired pianist or just a figment of the casts’ imagine. Nonetheless, it seems highly unlikely that anyone would have the time, strength or energy to do what he does for the glee club-at least not at the rates the New Directions can, or should only be able to, afford.
Magical Music Abilities. While Brad’s omnipresence is nothing short of miraculous, what’s more astounding is the glee club’s amazing ability to recall the lyrics, vocal registers and harmonies of practically any Top 40 song, even when they didn’t know they’d have to sing it. This happens when someone in the group announces to the others that, for one reason or another, they’ll perform a song for them. Sometimes, this person acknowledges that other members have helped them with the number. Other times, having not known what the song would be, the remaining members join the performance, flawlessly filling every musical mark required. Even more amazing is their ability to stay in tune the whole time, sometimes even managing to make a group of roughly 10 students sound like a 20-man choir. This is in addition to whatever in the room gives the kids the power to collectively project, sans microphones, and somehow autotune their vocal chords at will.
Still, fans have reached a silent agreement with producers to accept the fallacies, choosing instead to focus on the show’s novelty, cleverness and social commentary. The fact that EVERY scene begins with an annoying school bell that no one seems to acknowledge, or that class elections are held halfway through senior year, are minor trade-offs for some. Then again, such reoccurring flaws and inconsistencies, unexplained in the Glee diegesis, just may explain the show’s decline in ratings.