By Katelyn Anne | TV | December 2, 2010 |
By Katelyn Anne | TV | December 2, 2010 |
Watching “Glee” is like putting a bunch of glitter and piñatas in a blender and hitting frappe. Sure there’s sparkles and bright colors and the wonderfully whirring noise of total chaos, but at the end of the experience you just feel a little dizzy and pissed that you have to clean up the mess. There was a lot about this episode that was great and a ton of it that was a big cluster. The thing about “Glee” is that it’s hard to sum up in relative terms of “good” or “bad,” every week I try, but this episode left me more flabbergasted than ever. There were ridiculous competition results and bizarre couple blow ups this week, but if one constant remains, it’s that Will Schuester still pisses me off.
Part of my contempt for Will stems from my increasingly complicated feelings for Rachel. Sometimes it feels as though she relishes the torment from her peers as though she’s already mapped out her sniffling Barbara Walters interview in which she remembers the way other students cruelly responded to her overwhelming talent. I was in high school drama club, I knew students like that, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Rachel did want that kind of attention, but this week was a little over the top. At this point the irony of Kurt leaving because of the violence threatened against him, while the other students constantly threaten harm against Rachel is just ridiculous, but by far the worst offender this week was Will. What the hell, dude, you’re a teacher. Will is constantly under the delusion that he’s less these students supervisor and more their best friend, but lines need to be drawn. The fact that he yelled at Rachel in front of the rest of the class, not once, but twice, is inexcusable. Yes, she was being an insufferable brat (especially with the taped mouth stunt), but he needed to have a conversation with her in private. Any other educator would probably have been reprimanded for that behavior and under the former dictatorship of Sue it may have happened, but alas, Will gets a free pass. And by far the issue that was most upsetting was the fact that Will was yelling at her for making everything about her. The man who orchestrated an entire musical to win back Emma and who constantly brings up his divorce/crazy ex-wife as an analogy for the issues high school students are facing is complaining about someone else trying to take the spotlight? If Will is frustrated with Rachel it probably has less to do with her not wanting to be a team player and more to do with the fact that she’s not constantly trying to be a cheerleader for his greatness.
But despite the fact that it was shocking to watch a teacher yell at Rachel like that, she still doesn’t quite get a pass. She cheated on Finn, with Puck, the guy that cheated with Finn’s first girlfriend. I don’t blame Rachel for being upset that Finn lied to her, but she didn’t need to cheat on him. Of course, I’m over the whole Finn/Rachel thing anyway, (despite how amazing their creepy cat faced calendar is) so if the two never get back together it’s no skin off my nose. But the whole blow up in the green room felt almost forced. Maybe it’s because I was so tired of Finn and Rachel at that point that I was just ready for the club to perform and get it over with. The problem with a show like this is that conflicts like the backstage fight end up having a predictable outcome. Just like Rachel sending the new girl to a crack house (don’t think we forgot, sweetie), the club will get over it at some point and couple up in some formation and everyone will sing. In some respect the conflict was certainly character driven because it makes complete sense that it would upset Rachel and that Santana would tell her just to manipulate things, but on the other hand it feels entirely too manufactured that it happened right before sectionals.
Speaking of manufactured, the Artie/Brittany and Tina/Mike cheating scandal was unnecessary. While it was cute in a sad way that Brittany believed in the magic comb, it was just a weird plot point that had Mike and Brittany hooking up. Of course if there’s one thing we learned it’s that Brittany seems to really appreciate being in a relationship where someone actually cares for her, which makes me reconsider my initial assessment of her feelings for Santana. Brittany is actually kind of craving someone who gives her emotional and romantic support and it would make sense that she would confuse Santana’s hooking up with more since the two are such good friends (most of the time). It will be interesting to see where they take the Artie/Brittany relationship over the future now that he’s slightly less of a jerk than he was at the beginning of the season.
Of course the relationship I’m looking forward to seeing more of is Puck and Lauren. Lauren had one of my favorite lines of the night: “I’m not nervous, do you know why? Because show choir is stupid.” She and Puck would make an awesome power couple and she needs to continue to be a fixture of the club, despite Rachel’s insistence that she’s just a warm body for sectionals. I also appreciate that they’re giving her more time as opposed to of the other background characters (that Jacob reporter kid could never show his sweaty naked self on the show again and I’d be happy). Any woman who can make Puckerman her bitch deserves some more respect and screen time.
The other duo that was enjoyable to see again was Kurt and Rachel. Rachel is generally more tolerable when she’s partnered with someone who actually seems to challenge her, which could be why she’s less than appealing with Finn. Kurt and Rachel are both extremely talented and when they work together they have a lot of chemistry. It’s always appreciated when non-romantic couples get to flourish together on screen; some of my favorite TV pairings end up being two friends who click well and Rachel and Kurt have a nice report. It was different to see Kurt get the biggest ego boost from Rachel, however, as opposed to the cold response he got from the Warblers. While it was not wholly unexpected that Kurt would be expected to be part of a more cohesive group, it was a little surprising that the Warblers were unwilling to utilize Kurt’s very different voice. Generally, with all male vocal groups, it’s rare that they have a vocalist with such a mastery of the higher registers, so those performers are often given solos to allow for a little more depth of song range for the group. Of course, we’ve only been given a look at Blaine’s abilities for solo work, so they could have gobs of boys with Kurt’s vocal range. It’s clear that Kurt is already feeling stifled in the private school, which allows for a greener grass conflict. Poor Kurt, he’s either at a school where he has to fit in but claims to accept him for who he is, or a school where he can be himself, but runs the risk of being assaulted for it. Things seem to be shaping up to indicate that Kurt will be dealing with these conflicts for a while.
There was a lot of music in this episode, which, as opposed to the normal, most of it actually fit within the story. “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” was lovely, but pretty standard for both Kurt and Rachel. As mentioned before, the two work well when they’re working together, rather than against one another. The most disappointing part of the song was that Rachel got to relish in her moment (even getting a balcony), while Kurt was stifled. Some of the best Kurt performance moments are when he gets to really ham it up, but he toned it way down for the audition and then afterwards was asked to not try that hard. Dalton Academy, while it may be a safe place, doesn’t seem to be a place that appreciates unique gifts and refuses to cultivate a less than uniform image.
The Warblers did a great job a sectionals and it looks like their shtick is a capella and probably won’t be changing. I’m a fan of a capella when it’s done well and Darren Criss and the rest of the guys certainly performed “Hey Soul Sister,” nicely and gave it a fresh take considering how over-played it’s been this year, but it wasn’t the best performance in the show that night. But the guys deserve a lot of credit for their tight harmonies and vocal percussion work. The Hipsters were just ok and I really wanted them to be incredible, since I’m such a huge fan of the documentary Young @ Heart. But it’s hard to recreate that kind of magic especially when the song (“The Living Years”) was cut so short, had the background singers been given more time to perform and really tug at the audience’s heart strings it could have been phenomenal.
Barbie and Ken had an underwhelming performance of “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” which was almost shocking considering how charming their first duet together was. The biggest offense was the fact that it was almost exactly the same choreography that Finn and Rachel did at regionals. As a note to Glee clubers, when you lose a competition one year, it’s probably not the best move to do an exact copy of that performance the next go around.
Thank God for Santana, Brittany and Mike. She rocked the hell out of the performance of “Valerie” and reminded us once again why that girl should be given more pop songs over Rachel, who has an incredible voice suited best for show tunes and ballads. And I really could watch Brittany and Mike dance for a whole show, those two are so incredibly talented and it was nice to see them get to perform. Based on that number alone, I thought it’d be no competition for the winner, but leave it up to the show to shock me with a completely undeserved tie. While the Warblers presumably sang another song we weren’t privy to, I find it really hard to believe that it was as good as glee club’s “Valerie” number, especially considering how stiff the Warbler’s first performance was. Maybe New Direction’s poor first performance knocked them down a peg, though, but I really felt the tie was a total cop out meant to heighten tensions later.
Any cover of “Dog Days Are Over” will never be as good as the original, let’s just get that out of the way now. It’s a great song that’s hard to even take a swing at, but I thought Mercedes and Tina did a good job with it. Considering all the emotional mess that was swirling around this episode, it was surprising that they didn’t give the song a little more poignancy, but as with any closing number in “Glee” it just turned out to be a happy go-lucky singfest with only a few forlorn glances towards a locker decoupage thrown in.
Oh! And Emma got married to the hottest dentist ever. If I thought they paid little to no service to the weddings last week, this development barely got a foot note in the script. And who wouldn’t have loved to have seen just a few shots from two Rocky Horror Show freaks’ impromptu Vegas wedding. I bet there were corsets and adorable coats. Unfortunately though, “Glee” decided to pay less attention to a wedding and the interesting fact that Emma seems to do a lot of crazy decision-making when she’s faced with conflict and more about how bummed out it made Will Schuester. Despite all of the belly-aching about what a snotty little brat Rachel can be, it’s Schue who’s the real diva on the show. Next week I bet he ends up declaring himself Santa Claus while still managing to run around shirtless in the school.