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This Week On “Glee”: We all Learn a Nooner is a Delicious Dessert

By Katelyn Anne | TV | March 10, 2011 |

By Katelyn Anne | TV | March 10, 2011 |

One of the least sexy things I can imagine is the sad stench of desperation. I’ve gotten on Will Schuester and Rachel about this before, but this week it’s return guest star Gwyneth Paltrow I need to chastise. Holly Holiday was less of the spunky go getter with a passion for trying just a smidge too hard and more of a caterwauling Real Housewife not quite interesting enough to care about. At first, Holly was a dorky substitute teacher trying to prove that she had gumption, but now it just all seems so forced. Her sex talks, her singing, her dancing, her drooling over Will, it was such a mess. And whoever thought it’d be a good idea to have Paltrow trying to act like a sexy rockstar while grinding her hips next to Santana and Brittany must have missed Amy Poehler’s character in Mean Girls. It is always awkward when an adult tries to be “sexy” next to high school kids, a memo Will Schuester might wanna read, as well.

To make matters worse with the whole Holly situation, she has to hook up with Will. The hook-up scene was probably worse for the high school band members they started making out in front of, though. Those poor children. Will and Holly had a back and forth through the entire episode that just felt annoying. We get it: Schue will try and slobber on any adult woman he stands next to and it’s embarrassing. What’s worse is that it’s mostly the other women he works with. And had Holly not been trying so hard this episode, the pairing may not have felt so forced, but no, subtlety is not sexy in the “Glee” universe. It’s either “take me now” or ice queen and there’s hardly an in between.

And now a note to the gods of the “Glee” universe in question. I appreciated that, at least initially, you wanted to make a statement about sex education and how it’s important to give kid’s information about all of their options because teenagers are naturally curious about sex, but there was something I took serious. You maintained the idea that, anyone practicing celibacy was probably frigid and uptight. Yes, plenty of high schoolers are having sex and plenty of them who aren’t having sex want to, but there are also high schoolers (kids, mind you) that aren’t yet comfortable with it and it has nothing to do with being frigid. Not having sex doesn’t mean you’re not comfortable with you’re own sexuality, especially kids and especially minors. I know it’s an age of exploration for a lot of people, but the mentality that you can only preach an abstinence or non-abstinence stance is ridiculous. Many young people are watching this show and being influenced by the statements the show makes. I’m glad the show doesn’t slut-shame anyone, but it also shouldn’t virgin-shame anyone, either. Although, to be fair, very few people on the show have a healthy relationship with sex. They either seem to be afraid of it (Emma, Rachel, Kurt) or they use it as a means to manipulate or get attention (Santana, Puck, Quinn). I can’t remember one couple that didn’t eventually get a side-piece or start out as a side-piece on this show. Obviously, the kids are still trying to figure things out, but the adults are just as bad. I know happy couples aren’t really dynamic on TV, but the could still show a couple the explored sex as a natural extension of their emotional intimacy. That may be an example of where I look for too much with this show, though.

Speaking of healthy relationships, what is up with Emma and Carl? Those two, in addition to having great chemistry, readily admitted to being huge Rocky Horror fans and had no problem kissing and touching in the first half of the season. Now that they’re married we’re supposed to believe that Emma is incapable of letting him touch her? She was in love with him through the first part of the school year and even last season when we discovered she was a virgin, it was because she’d never felt comfortable with anyone enough to be intimate with them. During the first half of this season, she talked about how Carl was helping her be more comfortable about everything, she was letting lose with her OCD tendencies and getting more relaxed. I know there’s a problem with continuity in this show, but Emma never seemed so unnerved by Carl, at least no where near as much as she was with Coach Ken. Even in the last episode, when Emma heard Will talking about riding her like a bull, she had no fears about his hose monster and Dr. Carl is way more interesting and attractive and better for her than Will. But, to be fair, I’d have a hard time wanting to have sex with someone who thought our relationship problems could be solved by going to a meeting with a substitute high school sex education teacher. Bad form, Dr. Uncle Jesse, bad form. Those two obviously need professional help, but I guess it was the only way for the writers to somehow bring up the fact that Emma is still in love with Will Schuester, which is gross. Will and Emma should not happen. But I guess I have to accept the fact that it is going to happen no matter how ridiculous it is at this point. It’s probably the most disappointing because the two of them seemed to work well in the first season and then everything went to hell.

However, there is a couple I want to work better than they currently do and that’s Brittany and Santana. After Santana’s emotional reveal, there was a moment where I only wanted the best for the two girls, but then I remembered how terribly Santana has treated Brittany. To be fair, Brittany’s boyfriend, Artie, has had his tool moments, but he’s never been outright cruel to her (I’m genuinely hoping that Artie decided to maintain the Santa myth because that’s what his parents wanted and not because he likes hooking up with someone with the mental capacity of a toddler). Santana has consistently brought Brittany down about their relationship and when Brittany initially wanted something more from her friend, Santana shoved her off and invalidated her feelings. Brittany’s relationship with Artie started off as a byproduct of her rejection from Santana and while it’s not really perfect, I have to admire Brittany for admitting that she does love Artie and wants to be with him, at least for now, but I have to wonder where the Brittany and Santana relationship will go. Santana did admit that part of her bitchiness stemmed from being afraid of what people might say about her and Brittany, but if Santana is not willing to cool it with criticizing Brittany at every turn, Brittany may be better off without her, despite how obvious her affections are for Santana. The other thing I worry about is the fact that Brittany had that levelheaded conversation after admitting that she believes that babies come from storks (which no one has informed her otherwise and despite the fact that all of the Glee club was there when Quinn had her baby) and after saying that she had no idea how she feels because Santana won’t talk about it. The way they’ve portrayed Brittany’s mental state is worrying, occasionally she’ll say things that are mostly sound, but most of the time the show makes her almost too dumb to function. Sometimes, just occasionally, I worry about Brittany being with either Artie or Santana, since the two of them will sometimes exploit her lack of intelligence. Unfortunately, I think that the show has written themselves into a bit of a corner with the Brittany character; obviously, she’s more than just a ditzy blonde, but the show doesn’t want to deal with the repercussions of admitting she has the mental capacity of a hamster.

As if all of that relationship drama wasn’t enough, there were even more subplots going on. After Sue checks in on Blaine and Kurt, Blaine realizes the Warblers need to be sexier. Sexier in Blaine’s mind means getting some girls into a warehouse and turning on a bubble machine, which, I’m pretty sure at least one criminal from “Law & Order: SVU” thinks is sexy as well. Children of the internets, nothing good can come from hanging out in an abandoned warehouse. After the bubble warehouse extravaganza, Blaine has a discussion with Kurt about how unsexy his sexy faces are and Kurt admits that he doesn’t really like talking about sex. Blaine then goes to Kurt’s dad and oversteps every boundary in their nonexistent relationship (so far the only time Burt and Blaine had seen each other was when Blaine was rolling out of Kurt’s bed with a hangover) and tells him to have the sex talk with his son. Even if he was crossing the line, Blaine was right and Burt decides to be an awesome dad for the nine billionth time. Burt has one of the best sex talks I’ve seen on TV and Mike O’Malley was fantastic. He managed to show the character’s awkwardness and compassion about the discussion and it felt genuine, proving that Burt is probably the best dad on TV.

Unfortunately, “Glee” decided to go back to its old ways of piling more on to an already busy episode. In addition to everything else there was a Lauren and Puck sex type subplot. Ok, now I’m convinced, they are playing this relationship solely for a joke and that’s just frustrating. However, they did manage to put in a good point about how that would be consider child pornography, which would get them both arrested. Terribly enough, this is actually a real problem with kids today and I appreciated them mentioning it even if they only gave it a passing notice. The problem with having one episode called “Sexy” trying to shove in as much stuff about sex as possible is that the important moments don’t get time to breathe and arcs that also have merit are barely given enough screen time to register with the audience. And to top the whole thing off, Quinn and Finn were making out, because, sure, why not?

The worst song of the night had to go to Paltrow’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yea).” It was just so awkward. To be fair, it wasn’t nearly as confusing as her performance with Cee Lo, but it certainly wasn’t sexy. Probably the only good thing that will come of that song are all the reaction shots for the PedoWill meme. Even Paltrow’s singing was flat and it just looked so ridiculous. Her jazzercising routine had more sex appeal and she was rocking a side ponytail in that scene.

“Kiss” wasn’t that great, either. Schue said he was turning the song into a tango and he didn’t turn it into much of anything. I guess it was neat, though, that Prince let them film that scene in his foyer. The other song with a weird set, “Animal,” well performed well was pretty useless to the story. I really wish the show would quit adding a Warbler’s song when the episode doesn’t need one. Also unnecessary to the show was Holly singing “Landslide.” The song sounded beautiful and it was nice to see Santana be vulnerable, but it should have been just a moment between Santana and Brittany. The vulnerability and sweetness 0f the song was almost lost because it was a group number and not a duet. It was a very lovely song, though, I just wish Holly had less to do with it.

Hands down “Afternoon Delight” was one of the funniest performances this show has done. The total unawareness from Emma and the reactions from the rest of the club reminded me of the first assembly performance the club did. “Glee” used to be a lot better about using songs to tell jokes. From the outfits to the pictures of pies in the background, the number had me giggling the whole time.

Another episode gone by and another episode filled with moments of potential that just felt a wasted. It wasn’t the worst episode of the season, but I worry about the creators shoving in 6 different storylines in one episode. They had been doing so well up until now, though, I’m willing to cut the group some slack. Next week, we’ll see how the show does with their original song. If it’s not a follow up to Rachel’s hairband, I’ll be pretty disappointed.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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