'Glee' Needs More New Jack: An Open Letter


Dear Glee Writing Staff,

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After grimacing through one too many Schuester "raps," and brushing the surface of what treasures rest in the rich mine of the early 1990s with "I Wanna Sex You Up" and "Poison," it's about time that you get out your shovels and start digging deeper into that glorious trove called New Jack Swing. Considering your awe-inspiring genuflection to Madonna last week, an icon who dipped into New Jack at the height of its popularity, we know you're open to the possibility. It's just about taking the next step.

Since it's been established that Mercedes appreciates more soulful music ("Hate On Me," "Bust Your Windows"), you could also give her a more prominent story line that features New Jack and doesn't fall back on the fact that she is often underutilized. You know, despite its truth. Give her a prom arc or something.

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Open with a sass and bang moment in which she's dealing with all the other Glee Club members flaunting their prom plans and have her respond with some Bobby Brown, "My Prerogative" to get them out of her business. Later, she could be dishing with Kurt about her crush on the "other Asian" kid. (Sidebar: Is he really nameless? Good moment to give him one.) During this scene there could be a montage set to SWV's "I'm So Into You." Then Kurk gets jealous because he thought that they would go to prom together, as they are always the dynamic duo of unrequited love, and he goes off on some TLC "What About Your Friends" tangent just as Mercedes gets the nerve to approach "other Asian."

Twist! "Other Asian" digs Mercedes, too. And there's some "Best Things in Life Are Free" by Luther Vandross and Janet excitement as they fawn over one another in anticipation of The Big Dance. (This could also tie in other characters, Tina, Artie and the lead characters plus whatever pairings they're in at the time.) Kurt pouts and Mercedes asks him to be happy for her. He's still bitter. She sings him Shanice's "I Love Your Smile" and by the end of the song they're singing to one another, mending the relationship. He agrees to help dress her for the dance, obviously.

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Really, writers of Glee, there are many ways to spin the incorporation of more New Jack into your narratives. This is but one example. Remember, this music was hugely popular in its heyday and resonates with a few of the generations that enjoy your program.

Thanks,

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A Fan

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