I’m thinking a lot of you are going to disagree with this assessment, maybe in some cases violently, but for all of my troubles with “Glee,” particularly since the hiatus, all was temporarily forgiven when Mr. Schuester broke into Vanilla Ice last night. It was awesomely gay, and maybe only those of us who experienced Cool as Ice could truly appreciate it. But man: I had no idea that you could completely de-fang the already fang-less “Ice Ice Baby.” Mr. Schuester actually suggested that “Ice Ice Baby,” had to have its “bad-boy reputation rehabilitated,” Danny Zuko’d that motherfucker, and then had the audacity to exclaim, “This song has been officially paroled!”
That’s “Glee” at its paradoxical best. It sells you a line of pixie-stick dust and tells you its cocaine, but we’ll snort that sugar-smack right off the mirror and convince ourselves we’re high while we’re pulling apart our nostrils.
Last night’s episode of “Glee,” also turned the focus on show’s two favorites: Sue Sylvester and Puck. The “Glee” kids unearthed a video of Sue performing Olivia Newton John’s “Physical,” and uploaded it onto YouTube where it went viral, making Sue — temporarily — the object of much slow-motion laughter. It also elicited a few gems from new drunk teacher Molly Shannon (who I hope sticks around for the rest of the season). It was kind of cool to see a more vulnerable side of Sue, although there’s no real way to address the mentally disabled sister element without sounding tacky. It worked, to some extent, once to show Sue’s humanity, but I guess it feels a little exploitative now. Maybe that’s not a fair thing to say. At any rate, Sue’s subplot eventually lead to that music video with the actual Olivia Newton John, which allowed Ryan Murphy to strut out a lot of beefcake. The dichotomy between Olivia Newton John’s real voice and Sue’s auto-tuned singing was also a little surreal, but where Jane Lynch is concerned, most can be forgiven.
Achieving a bad rep was the theme of last night’s episode, and the members of “Glee” went about it in a typical Glee Club fashion. Kurt, Mercedes, et. al, thought they could accomplish such a thing by “getting their Glee on in the stacks” of the library, and by that, I mean: Doing a Glee Club rendition of M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” replete with Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em attire. All I’m saying is: You should never follow up “Ice Ice Baby,” with “Can’t Touch This.” Expectedly, they were unable to dirty their reps.
Meanwhile, Rachel — in response to the “Glist,” a list of the purportedly most slutty members of Glee that Quinn had put together — attempted to whore herself up, eventually with a rendition of a terrible, terrible, terrible song, “Run Joey Run,” in which she intimated that she was simultaneously sleeping with Puck, Finn, and Jesse St. James, to the displeasure of all three, who weren’t happy about being played off of one another. That resulted in her break up with Jesse and a surprisingly decent “Total Eclipse of the Heart” finale. I kind of loathe that song, if only because it’s been done to death in high-school talent competitions, karaoke bars, and jokey movie montages for two decades plus. Rachel Berry miraculously, however, managed to breathe a little life into the song by “making it her own,” as any “American Idol” judge would say. Better still, Lea Michele needs no auto-tuning, nor does Jonathan Groff, so it made for one of the show’s few authentic-sounding songs of late (except where Finn butted in).
Finally, as I anticipated last week, Mr. Schuester’s lack of credibility when it comes to his heterosexuality came into play thisweek, as we were expected to believe that Schuester was supposed to be a “man-whore” who was sleeping around on the ginger. Emma had a pretty good moment standing up to Will (and the elderly lady with the recently deceased husband), but the only way anyone could believe that Will Schuester was a man-slut is via the theory of Glee Club relativity. But I suppose in a Universe where “Ice Ice Baby” could be considered a bad boy song, Schuester’s promiscuity seems a little less far fetched.
It’s not a world I’d want to be judged. That’s all I’m saying.