Where Did My Love For Glee’s Lea Michele Go?

The Paley Center Honors Ryan Murphy With Inaugural PaleyFest Icon Award

I used to absolutely adore Lea Michele, but something has happened since she shot to stardom — she’s become really, really annoying.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think she’s got one of the best musical theater voices in the world, but when I read in this morning’s The New York Times that the Glee star will write a book to be released next spring for the Harmony Books imprint of Random House’s Crown Publishing Group, I literally rolled my eyes. Rolled. My. Eyes.

The “part memoir, part how-to and part style-guide” will be titled Brunette Ambition (cue another eye roll) and will follow Michele’s journey “from normal Bronx-born schoolgirl to Broadway child star to lead actress in one of the most popular shows on television.” Oh Lea. Oh, oh Lea. Do you have no self awareness at all?

When Glee first began airing, I was totally rooting for her. I had loved her performance in Spring Awakening, and on Fox’s musical comedy she was funny, sweet, self-deprecating and had tons of opportunities to show off her killer pipes. But in interviews it quickly became clear that she was starting to drink her own kool-aid.  As she became a fixture on red carpets, her look changed (those bangs!), and she developed a holier-than-thou air that became seriously off-putting. (You must watch Modern Family star Sarah Hyland’s impression of Michele’s red carpet pose here.)

Her performance on the show has continued to be (mostly) winning, but I’ve found her offscreen presence increasingly tiresome. With an Emmy nomination and countless magazine covers under her belt, she is a star, no doubt, but the problem is that she presents herself as a star, without humor or irony, and it’s incredibly unattractive. And this latest news confirms my suspicions that she is full of herself — let’s just say, writing a memoir/how-to/style guide at the ripe old age of 26 does not demonstrate tons of humility.

At least she has that voice, right? Michele is also currently working on her debut album, and though her voice is one thing I could never fault, I have serious reservations about how her pop music career is going to turn out. During her time on Glee we’ve probably heard her sing more than 50 solos, including some of the most iconic pop music and musical theater songs in the canon. Most true fans have probably downloaded many of these tunes, and already have their own makeshift Lea Michele albums in the form of Glee playlists. The music on this album will have to be pretty killer to compete with some of the songs she’s covered on the show. Will there be another “Don’t Rain on My Parade” or “Don’t Stop Believing” or songs that rival hits by Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears or Pink? Is her voice too musical theater-y for her original songs to get radio airplay? If you like hearing Michele sing, chances are you’ve had your opportunity, and with the show picked up for two more seasons, you’ll have plenty more opportunity to do so. I don’t have high hopes for the albums commercial success.

Lea. Oh Lea. I want to root for you. I want to want you to succeed. Just help me a little bit, okay? Make some good choices. Play to your strengths. Maybe a small Off-Broadway musical during your hiatus? The memoir can wait…until you’re at least 30.

What do you think? Are you still on board the Lea Michele train? Will you buy her book? Her album? Let me know.

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About allinsparetime

Thoughts on TV, movies, theater, books and more from an opinionated pop culture addict
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10 Responses to Where Did My Love For Glee’s Lea Michele Go?

  1. Sarah Noonan says:

    I know how you feel! I think at the end of the day, Lea’s a good, talented person, but I’m getting a little fatigued of the Glee cast in general. I used to see them as a charming group of friends and castmates, but as they specialize in their solo projects, which I completely understand their wanting to do, some of that original appeal has waned. I don’t resent them for taking advantage of opportunities available to them, but I’m not exactly jumping for joy for them either.

  2. Sarah Noonan says:

    Reblogged this on Mug for Thought and commented:
    Interesting comments on the potentially negative reactions to any celebrity’s overexposure.

  3. I know what you mean. I can’t say I totally agree, but I get what you mean. She has changed and she’s trying to do it all.
    As for her book, I’ll read it, of course. Same with her album, I’ll listen. But we’ll have to see if I love them. I love her voice, but I’m not a huuuuuge fan of showtunes so we’ll see what kind of songs she’ll have.

  4. JudahMacAbee says:

    Despite constant references to her Broadway background, Lea is relatively greater as both a singer and actress in the more intimate mediums of pop and screen than live belting on the stage. The point of her all-original pop album (and certain accompanying video) is to get air play and expand her audience beyond Glee, so her previous Glee performances are irrelevant.

  5. Sam says:

    On my people love to find things to criticize. She is on fixture on red carpet cause she was nominated, 9 out of 10 events she goes to are Fox/glee related. She doesn’t going to every red carpet event out there. She is having songs written for her voice pop doesn’t always mean bubble gum pop.

    You are wanting her to make the choices you want for her. Those choices may not be what she is being presented. You say a b-way stint maybe she hasn’t had a good offer to do that. I’ve heard people say she should do a b-way album well guess what the record label isn’t going to back that. She should do movies but maybe she is only being offered the same thing a singer or maybe she isn’t being offered anything decent.

    This book isn’t a “true” memoir it will probably have some anecdotes about her life but it isn’t like my life from 0-26.

    You all are so good at making decision for her but without any of the information she has.

    Sorry I am getting tired of fans pretending they know what is best for her or even that they really know her how she is now or was in the past.

    PS. You bring up the Hyland thing show you may not have really been on Lea’s side, cause Lea ignored that whole thing, like she has 99.9% of all gossip/stories about herself. A person made fun of her for just posing, like she is suppose to on the red carpet and some how she was wrong.

  6. Driven says:

    Couldn’t agree more… Now that she’s made a name for herself she’s acting like she owns the world. There’s definitely a noticeable change in her tone in the show and real life. She’s a bit too pretentious considering she’s really not all that. My girlfriend agrees she’s turned into an annoying hoe too…

  7. I’ve never been aboard the train. Her character on Glee is every girl I ever hated in high school and her voice is nasally and unpleasant. I think she’s highly overrated.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I think she’s amazing. & i agree with the comment about saying you guys are making a label of her & stuff. here’s what i think. she SHOULD be thinking she’s amazing, because she simply is. not saying she should be full of herself, because she’s not. in my opinion she is a very down to earth person. just watch her interviews with ellen or jimmy kimmel, or basically anyone. sorry if i’m not making sense, but with all this stuff you’re saying, you just don’t know lea like you think you do.

  9. Joyce says:

    I won’t buy the book but then again, I never buy celebrity bios. I will buy her CD! I love Lea’s voice and think many of the covers she’s done are better than the originals! As for her attitude…she’s still very young and being inundated with attention so some of that is to be expected. Now that she has suffered through the death of Cory Montieth I think we can expect to see some big changes in Lea Michele because that kind of loss causes permanent change.

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