By Katelyn Anne | TV | October 28, 2010 |
By Katelyn Anne | TV | October 28, 2010 |
For all intents and purposes, “Glee” doing The Rocky Horror Picture Show made sense. Will pretty much nailed it: Rocky Horror is a show for outcasts as much as “Glee” is a club for outcasts. But just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it works. The episode was fun and had a lot of the requisite elements for a good send up, but there were just a few missing pieces. Maybe it has to do less with what was missing and more to do with what the focus of the episode was.
Will is desperate. Again. Refusing to get over Emma makes him look so damn dumb. Emma, for her part, is doing fantastically. It must be all that dental work Carl is giving her. She’s shedding some of her more obsessive tendencies, but still maintains a strong sense of self; by all accounts she’s healthy and in a great relationship with a sexy dentist. But because Will isn’t getting the attention he wants, he decides he needs to try and weasel his way back into Emma’s heart once again. After mentioning that she loves The Rocky Horror Picture Show and how much fun she’s having with Carl, Will gets a light bulb and remembers that, Aha!, he’s decided to do the show for the school musical. God bless Jayma Mays for playing the look right; her mouth said, “Oh neat,” but her eyes said, “Bitch, please.” So Will decides that his master plan of winning back his woman who doesn’t want to be won will work out fine and runs off to tell his Gleers that they’ll be doing Rocky Horror for the musical.
By making the conflict about the Will/Emma/Carl love triangle, the episode was weakened. There were more interesting subplots (the Sue sabotage and the boys’ insecurity issues) that were used sparingly, but may have worked better as the main conflict. Even working with the public outrage that was alluded to would have been a more interesting option. But instead, we’re forced to remember that Will craves affection and will orchestrate a damn musical to get it. This has to be the biggest issue with the episode. Will is an unsympathetic character since he’s gone from divorcee to sad sack stalker guy and yet we’re supposed to root for him as he tries to steal away a woman in a healthy relationship.
Of course, the upside to watching Will play lothario is getting to see Emma’s beloved dentist in action. John Stamos is killing it with his Carl character. He’s fun, emotionally mature and sexy. Basically, Carl is the man Will wishes he was, which causes Will to pout and harrumph his way through Carl’s smiles and dance numbers. Hell, missed cues or not, Stamos owns the character and certainly fills the hole that needs filling. Apparently, Emma thinks so, too, because in spite of Will’s shirtless dancing and pleading glances, she’s sticking with Carl. It’s unfortunate to think that the central conflict was so easily wrapped up: Will wants Emma, Emma’s still with Carl, stop the musical. It seems like Will has made the “If I love you, I must let you be,” speech a hundred times already and it makes the Will and Emma relationship appear less “will they/won’t they” and more “will they please shut up?”
Since the main plot seemed to suck the wind out of the sails, the subplots were largely unexplored. Finn finds out that he’ll be appearing in his underwear on stage and promptly becomes the most self-conscious person in existence. Upon finding no real sympathy from Rachel and getting flack about his sloppy joe habits, Finn goes to Sam for fitness advice. First, it’s extremely hard to believe that any football player would be clueless about fitness, especially the quarterback who’s life revolves around sports. And secondly, I’m a little worried about Sam. Yes, his non-existent flab grab was in jest, but that could be a sign of body dysmorphic disorder. Sam is this show’s Taylor Lautner with his contractual bare-chested antics and yet he admits to hating himself after eating a hot dog? Obviously, eating disorders and body image complexes aren’t as prevalent in young men as it is with young women, but the joke was still strange. Boys are seeing the way girls swoon for the hunky meatheads and are starting to develop the same body issues that young girls develop. It was funny to see Finn walk down the hallway in his skivvies in an attempt to gain confidence, but hopefully the character conflict of struggling with body issues won’t be dropped and will be explored further. Sam and Finn were much more complex when they were discussing their worries and frustrations and it would be a shame to see that detail wasted.
The other subplot involved the school’s most impressive pumpkin carver, Sue Sylvester. She met with Meat Loaf and the original Brad to discuss sabotaging the show with an op/ed expose on the horrors of letting a public school do Rocky Horror. With the guarantee of a local Emmy, Sue accepts and joins the Glee club to help out with the production. The Sue’s Corner piece was never aired, though, after Will confronted Sue about it after Becky showed him the tape. Sue, acted as the voice of reason, asking Will why he was pushing the kids to do something so risque when kid’s should not be used as a tool to fight artistic and cultural boundaries. Will admitted his wrong doing and made amends by cancelling the show and only letting the Glee club kids perform for themselves.
Perhaps the line is too tenuous, but considering how recent the GQ spread came out it almost felt like there was a bit of a mea culpa in this episode. Between the boys being worried about their bodies being too exposed and Sue calling out Will for exploiting kids to gain attention, the show’s actions seemed to be saying “Let kids be kids! Don’t expose them to too much, regardless of whether or not they’ll find it on their own.” Of course, that being said, one would have to assume that there was a carefully timed publicity motive in releasing panty shots right before an episode involving corsets and “heavy sweating” and goodness knows shenanigans like that would never happen.
Even if the plot was weak and seemed a little too conveniently tied to the drama surrounding the show, the best part of this week was the music. Santana kicked off the night with her performance of “Science Fiction/Double Feature.” It wasn’t my favorite number of the show, but I really enjoyed it and thought it set the precedent for the approach to the musical numbers. The sequence was a direct copy of the iconic scene and indicated that the show was going to do its best to be faithful to the numbers.
Next was an interrupted performance of “There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place).” This is where Lea Michele’s talent really shines, she’s best at the vocals in stage numbers and I thought she was a good fit for Janet alongside Finn/Brad. This number also allowed the whole chorus to sing and have fun with the song. As nice as it is to hear some of the better performers belt out some solos, New Directions works great as an ensemble.
“Dammit, Janet,” was another great number. Finn waffles between being charming and obnoxious and in this episode he was charming. His dopey but sincere character worked well as Finn and it was nice to see him have fun with a song rather than just let Rachel tell him what songs they will be singing. Along the lines of fun and goofy, “Hot Patootie” was great. Stamos feels like an honest casting endeavor now that he’s gotten to show off his musical talents and character a bit. The fact that Carl isn’t just being used as eye candy, but also ear candy is great.
The funny element was lost a bit with “Sweet Transvestite.” Mercedes belted that song with a capital “b” and I enjoyed listening to her, but the song still felt off. It was a shame that Mike Chang was forbidden to play the part, because it would have been fun to see him perform it, but without the gender bending aspect of the character, Frank-n-Furter fell really flat. Part of the issue may have been the styling though, if Mercedes had come down the elevator in a teased out afro wig and strong makeup that styled her to look a little more angular, it may have worked, but instead of getting a girl playing a man playing a woman playing a scientist, we got a girl in a corset and so it didn’t quite work. However, I couldn’t begrudge Mercedes for wanting to claim a lead and she should be proud of herself. She’s no dummy and knows that most of the leads will go to Rachel and so she decided to grab her opportunity.
Loved Emma’s “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me,” because she owned that song. Emma’s character is basically Janet and it’s always great to see a mousy little character like that get her freak on. Plus, she sang it very well. Hated the Will pop-up of “Creature of the Night!” I knew it was coming, but his face coming out of nowhere scared the crap out of me. But his strangeness was worth it to see Santana and Brittany be the voyeurs Magenta and Columbia, respectively.
Best number was “Time Warp,” but then again “Time Warp” will always be the best number. It’s a great song and the New Directions group did a great job with it and I really enjoyed the performance. Chris Colfer was a fantastic Riff Raff and set the whole theme for the performance.
The music may have been some of the strongest for a whole episode, but the main plot felt off because it focused so heavily on Schuester. The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t about chasing after someone who’s rejected you, it’s about owning your inner freak and embracing who you dream to be. Hopefully, after another week hiatus, the show will get back on track and go back to ignoring Will Schuester.