By Katelyn Anne | TV | May 12, 2011 |
By Katelyn Anne | TV | May 12, 2011 |
Like many teen centered shows before it, “Glee” gave us its prom episode this week. While it seems necessary that a show centered around high schoolers would inevitably have similar themes as its predecessors, it seems like Glee could have done something a little bit more original.
To be fair to “Glee,” it’s really hard to reinvent the prom night episode. There’s the girl who’s worried about getting asked (Mercedes), the couple who’s only in it for the crown (Quinn and Finn), the people trying to win exes back (Artie and Jesse St. James) and the kid who can’t afford to make it to prom (Sam). Perhaps the only new dynamic they really explored was the complexity of the budding relationship between Kurt and Karofsky. It’s pretty impressive of Kurt to just feel sorry for Karofsky and to accept his way of apologizing by letting Karofsky be his body guard. However, Kurt’s constant pressuring for Karofsky to come out is extremely unfair. It’s obvious that Kurt is mature enough to recognize when someone should be pitied rather than villainized, but forcing Karofsky to come out when he’s only beginning to understand his own feelings (he still hasn’t admitted to himself that he’s gay, stating that he’s still not sure how he feels one way or the other, when he and Kurt spoke in Figgins’ office) is really cruel. Karofsky is not in a place, mentally or emotionally, to be making declaration he’s still unsteady with and would leave him unprepared for the response afterwards. Part of the process of coming out for Karofsky will be his own ability to accept who he is, so that when he comes out to others, he can be ready for anything that the world may throw at him. Right now, it seems less like Kurt is trying to get Karofsky to come out for his own sake and more for the “greater good” of people seeing that homosexuality isn’t a big deal. Kurt doesn’t seem to understand that to Karofsky his sexuality is still undiscovered territory and it’s unrealistic to make him an example for the rest of the student body. Probably the best advice that Kurt could give Karofsky now would be to speak with a counselor or a family member so that he can work things out. Karofsky’s dad is one of the few parents we’ve actually met on the show and he seems almost as understanding and support as Kurt’s dad. Kurt’s being a truly stand up guy by maintaining Karofsky’s secret, but he should help him find support for it, rather than force him to admit it.
The big moment of the show came when Kurt was announced prom queen and he ran from the auditorium. I’m willing to suspend my disbelief for the show most of the time, but there is no justifiable reason for Figgins to have read Kurt’s name if he knew it was only going to humiliate him. Figgins has done his best so far to curtail bullying as much as possible and it seems so out of character for him to have just said the name, rather than give the crown to someone else. Regardless, Kurt dusts off his kilt after Blaine gives him a pep talk and he accepts the crown with a joke about Kate Middleton. Then to top it all off, Figgins says the traditional dance needs to happen and so Karofsky runs off after Kurt starts chiding him to take that exact moment to come out to everyone. Max Adler and Chris Colfer played both of their scenes extremely well (at the lockers and at the prom), but I wanted to scream when I saw that stage whisper going on. It was so ridiculous of Kurt to think that he should catapult Karofsky into that moment right then and there. Had Kurt and Karofsky just danced and played it off, Karofsky probably would have felt more comfortable about the situation, but instead he left. Luckily, Blaine steps up and asks Kurt to dance and everyone finishes out the show with a playful montage with balloons and cameras.
This show’s ability to completely diffuse a situation and have everyone act like nothing happen will never cease to amaze me. Rachel completely blew off the fact that Quinn slapped her with a quip about how she liked the drama of it and Quinn apologized and they danced it off. Considering the fact that Quinn has been plotting a win for prom queen her entire life, it seems like she would have taken the loss a lot harder. Maybe she remembered that it’s just junior prom and she has all of senior year to try and win again? Quinn blamed her loss on Rachel though when she told her that no one would vote for her and Finn because they all knew Finn still loved Rachel. Really? I had the distinct impression that no one outside of glee club cared about anything that went on with the glee club folks. And even though I’ve been watching this show for almost two years, I don’t care about Finn and Rachel. They are one of the least likable couples on a show filled with terrible couples.
It’s a shame, too, because Jesse and Rachel have really amazing chemistry together and it truly puts Finn to shame. It still pisses me off that Jesse had about nine 180s that finally led him to throwing eggs at Rachel when they could have played his character in a more devious way (he was prone to being completely manipulative and two-faced, eggs in a parking lot just seems too obvious). Thankfully, it seems that Jesse is back to swindling once again. He was kicked out of college and now he’s bumming around high schools looking for work, which is only half as creepy as it sounds. As much as Jesse can be a jerk and entirely too full of himself, he and Rachel seemed compatible, at least more compatible then her and Finn. But the dumbassery that is “Finnchel” keeps chugging along and Finn got into a fight with Jesse about how he treated Rachel and they were both kicked out of the prom. Finn used to have a bit of charm to him, but now he’s just an ass. He asked Rachel for help with corsages and she tells him to pick out one with a ribbon that matches Quinn’s eyes, which was kind of creepy of Rachel but she seems to have a bit of an obsession with Quinn’s looks, so it’s not so off the wall. Then Finn proceeds to insist that Rachel can’t go out with Jesse and then throws swings at the prom, he doesn’t actually land any blows because Jesse dodged it hilariously. I’d really appreciate it if they stopped trying to make Finn just act like a total neanderthal around Rachel. The two of them are not good together and they are impossible to root for, knock it off, Ryan Murphy.
Even Artie, who has been an even bigger douche at times than Finn, is more likable then he is at this point. Despite a terrible song choice, Artie seemed genuine about wanting to get back with Brittany and heartbroken when she said no. Artie then had a really dumb interlude where he spiked the punch with lemonade and was interrogated about it. That whole scene was ridiculous and practically pointless, but it did allow for some continuity for the Puck and Artie friendship, which the show had forgotten about for weeks. Brittany did reject Artie, but they ended up snapping a picture together in the “Everything is totally alright and not even remotely awkward” montage at prom. She also had one of the best declarations of independence I’ve heard on the show. She told Artie no after his prom proposal and explained that she wanted to work on herself. And after Santana started freaking out about losing prom queen, rather than tell Santana she wanted to be with her, Brittany reminded Santana that she needs to work on being herself so that everyone will love her. Unfortunately, the Brittany character is almost ruined for any and all maturity they try and give her. It’s really hard to have the character that still believes in Santa Claus express some of the most insightful emotional depth. Brittany hasn’t earned the right to be so mature and wise about her feelings because they keep writing her into a corner. The show’s biggest problem has always been character consistency, so it’s not unexpected, but character development is a gradual process. The audience has to feel like a character’s growth came from a real place and not like she was leap frogging around to different personalities to fit the writer’s mood.
Santana was growing and developing, but nothing really happened in this episode except the fantastic look she gave the other hussy at the prom wearing the same dress. She once again expressed how conflicted she is about coming out and how she doesn’t know what to do about it. At this point, Santana has made this speech almost every week it seems. A show shouldn’t always feel the need to check in on the emotional state of a character if nothing is changing. As fierce as Santana is, they can’t keep stalling her. My biggest question about Santana for this episode is why she was asking Kurt for fashion advice. I’m sorry but that kid is not a good dresser. Bedazzling white jackets and wearing a camo shirt and tie vest ensemble does not make you fashion forward, it makes you tacky. Probably the only other notable thing about the episode was how cute Mercedes and Sam were together. Considering the fact that Sam could handle the over the top attitudes of both Santana and Quinn, Mercedes might actually be a good match for him.
Musically, the episode was nothing to write home about. Apparently, a lot of people liked Jesse and Rachel’s “Rolling in the Deep” but I cringed every time Jesse did that scream growl thing. Part of the beauty of that song is how strong and smooth Adele’s voice is. Yes, there are many different versions of a song, but it just didn’t live up to the original. “Isn’t She Lovely?” was a really cute song, but yes, Mercedes, it is about a baby. I couldn’t get over how inappropriate that song was for a prom proposal. Maybe if Puck had sung it to Quinn it would have been more on point. Get it? Because she had a baby with Puck. That no one ever talks about ever. Ever.
Rachel performed “Jar of Hearts” and considering that it’s a song about a bastard who ripped the girl’s heart out in a break up and then wants her back, it’s a really weird slow dance choice for a prom song. But, Rachel had to make it all about her and use that as a moment to stare wistfully at Quinn and Finn. She sang it well enough, but the looks she kept giving Quinn and Finn and then the look Quinn shot her towards the end, well, I thought somebody’s bunny was gonna get boiled. “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You” and “Friday” were actually really appropriate prom songs. Extremely poppy and with a decent dance beat. As grating as “Friday” was initially, it is catchy as hell, and all of the guys can sing the hell out of a pop song. “Dancing Queen,” while decent, was just a little too on the nose, even for Glee.
There were a few pretty good moments overall, but nothing really felt that different from what “Glee” has done before. Clearly, they’re stalling in some character development points because the season finale is in two episodes, but I hate when shows don’t give us enough to be amped up for the end. Hopefully the next two weeks will give a decent send off, but as for right now everything feels like the same old thing.