Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thoughts On The Past 3 Episodes of "Glee"

I love writing about my favorite show - "Glee". Here are my thoughts on the past 3 episodes...

1. Duets -

The obvious homoeroticism. So – Kurt digs the new guy, which worries Finn because Kurt comes on a little strong (like stalker strong). The scene with Sam in the locker room in a towel – presumably nothing underneath - then slowly becoming less naked while Finn tries to talk him out of doing a duet with Kurt was supposed to be ironic right? The absurdity of the situation made me laugh out loud (it’s ok for Finn to watch Sam get dressed because Finn is straight, but for Sam to sing with a gay guy now that would be social suicide). If the intent was in fact irony, it is pure genius. I do appreciate that Finn still stuck up for what he said to Kurt last season (while acknowledging that he used a negative, hurtful word – he still rightfully felt uncomfortable with Kurt’s unwanted advances). I love that Burt Hummel is always the voice of reason and I am glad they circled back to what occurred last season. Now we can move on.

The obvious bi-curiousness. No, I am not referring to the scissoring that was apparently done by Brittany and Santana off-screen. I am talking about the fact that Brittany (poor naive Brittany) actually seems to have feelings for Santana – as can be seen by her choice for a duet song Melissa Etheridge’s "Come to my Window"….hilarious. She genuinely seems jealous that Santana would choose Mercedes to sing a duet with – or maybe I am reading more in to their BFF relationship than is intended. I’m not saying that Brittany is a lesbian but I think that her sexuality is a definitely a grey area – which is another genius move by the Glee creators.

The highlights. Lots of little stuff - Finn's response to Puck being in Juvie ("We need his voice. And his bad boy stage presence"). I love Mike Chang!!! He actually had a scene with lines and everything. And a song! (which ultimately was a mistake – he can not sing…). Santana calling Mercedes “Wheesy”. The gangs love for Breadstix – an Olive Garden type restaurant, which ultimately is pretty sad but a reminder of how they live in “middle America” where the Olive Garden is seen as a fancy restaurant (I apologize if I seem like a snob – but the Olive Garden is fake Italian food with an over-abundance of cheese added to every dish – if this is your idea of Italian food then you need to get outside of the bubble you live in). Santana using the term “vocal masturbation”.

The Lowlights. The songs (all BORING! – For real – "Don’t Go Breaking my Heart"?? The only song that was enjoyable was the Mercedes/Santana duet and that is only because of Santana’s ass shaking…and the way Mike and Sam check her out – but that was quickly ruined by Mr. Shue’s pervy laugh). Finn and Rachel need to be a little less attached at the hip (although I loved their fist bump! Super adorable). Artie & Brittany – I am not a fan of that relationship. I actually don’t like Artie (and I love that I don’t like him – they definitely don’t cater to the fact that he is in a wheelchair therefore we should all feel bad for him) – he is usually an ass (although...boy can move – one of my top 10 favorite Glee performances is "The Safety Dance"). Why should Brittany treat him any different than the other boy toys she’s used just because he is disabled?

2. Rocky Horror Glee Show

The theme. I am not the biggest Rocky Horror fan – but I was excited to see this episode. I even brushed up on my Rocky knowledge by watching it conveniently on my Netflix instant a few weeks before – just to ensure that I was prepared. While I understand the negative reactions to the episode – I for one highly enjoyed it. I think the series has a nice balance of “small” episodes like Duets and huge theme episodes like this one. If you ignore the fact that it’s sort of a “throw away” episode (i.e it doesn’t push the plot forward at all) and just watch it for what it is – an amazingly entertaining hour of t.v, I guarantee you will end up smiling more than once during the hour. I think the episode’s biggest flaw is that it didn’t make the story accessible to it’s audience – to assume that everyone has seen this film that was released in the 70’s, considering that most of Glee’s audience wasn’t even born then is just plain ignorant. I think it would have served the episode better to give some sort of background to the film – a few sentences explaining the plot- otherwise a great deal of the audience is left just as confused as Finn (not in that cool Inception kind of way…).

The objectification of men. Finally!!! It is actually an interesting and completely realistic topic for Glee to handle. From the beginning of the episode we see Finn getting a tad uncomfortable (i.e jealous- which I totally predicted from the Audition episode) when Sam is picked to play Rocky (which in case you didn’t know – is supposed to be a perfect “creature” hand made by Dr. Frankenfurter). Sam seems perfectly comfortable gloating that it will be “ab-ulous”. Of course, as the episode progresses we see that he isn’t as confident as he pretends and instead he is rather obsessive about his looks – in order to get his “perfect” body he barely eats anything and has a ridiculous exercise regimen that makes me feel sad for him (and anyone that does this to themselves). I am sort of wishing for this to progress into something bigger (like an episode where they confront him about his obvious Body Dismorphic Disorder). Meanwhile Finn isn’t exactly happy with his body but learns the all important message that “being confident is sexy”. The obvious upside to this episode is that we get to see some hot guys with barely any clothing, the downside is that it is sort of ridiculous to have someone as hot as Cory Monteith described as having a “hot mess” under his shirt. And comparing him to the “Pillsbury dough boy” – he clearly has defined abs he is just a larger guy in general (which not to be crude – in theory would describe …other areas…ahem.). I don’t think having two equally hot guys feeling down about their bodies sends the right message to guys – but hey that message is shoved in my face consistently (as proven by Rachel when she says her body isn’t like Santana or Brittany – um because it’s better? I don’t get it – all three of them have pretty much the same body type…skinny) – so, I guess it kind of kicks ass to have this negative message sent to the other gender. On a side-note – what happened to Finn’s “tighty whitey’s”? Total false advertising.

The highlights. The music. I never really got in to the music of the original film before but suddenly found myself switching between “Toucha Toucha Touch Me” and “The Time Warp” for a whole week (seriously annoying). I even bought "The Time Warp" on itunes - which is the first time I have purchased a Glee cast song. I think this episode features Cory’s best singing yet (his dancing…still needs some work but is totally endearing). Plus, I usually am not a Quinn fan (her voice is the weakest of the group) but she did quite a good job and I actually think she would have made a better Janet than Rachel did. Can Uncle Jesse become a series regular? Loove him...and love how Santana is mentally undressing him in every scene. Becky’s Halloween costume was genius as was her actually becoming a mini Sue. She had my favorite quote of the episode - “Give me some chocolate or I will cut you”.

The low lights. Last season I completely rooted for Will and Emma (although I do love his wife…), but Will has been completely annoying and absurd this season – Emma can do better (and yes, Uncle Jesse is soooo much better). And what was with Rachel’s facial expressions – the cross eyed awkwardness? I don’t remember Susan Surandon doing that in Rocky Horror. As much as I enjoy Mercedes and her amazing voice it would have been groundbreaking(for this type of series) to have a guy play Frankenfurter (as intended) – but I can imagine the backlash that would have followed. Puck would have been perfect. I didn’t miss him in the last episode – but I totally felt his absence in this one – especially with all of the shirtless action.

3. Never Been Kissed –

Kurt. Oh Kurt, how do you continuously embody the most heartbreaking, irresistible, sarcastically witty and endearing character on television? You’re facial expressions alone can reduce me to tears within seconds. This episode we get to see Kurt finally succumbing to the bullying he endures on a daily basis. It is obviously a “timely” plot line but it also felt relevant to the story of Glee. From the very first episode we see Kurt getting thrown in a dumpster. It was inevitable that all of the hate would start to get to him. I love that they show the reality of most high school faculty reactions to bullying (which is the clear problem in our society). Described by the new kid, Blaine, as the “Hey, if you’re gay – your life is just going to be miserable – nothing we can do about it attitude”. We, as a society, are sympathetic but do we have zero tolerance? No. Unfortunately we don’t - something we all need to contemplate. I also am delighted that Kurt “refuses to be the victim”. Instead, he chooses to fight back instead of transferring to another school (like Blaine did – he let the bullies win and regrets it). I have to ask – did anyone not see that kiss coming? I think it was pretty predictable that Karovsky is a self-hating, closeted gay. However, I am excited to see how they handle that in future episodes.

Puck & Artie. I am loving their new bromance! Although I find Artie incredibly irritating and Puck was a little over the top with his attitude this episode – I think in the future they will bring out the best in each other. Pucks outburst about how no one cares about him was surprisingly moving and true – did any of his Glee-mates go visit him? (And on another note has Finn fully forgiven him for sleeping with Quinn? They kind of dropped that whole story all together. I would appreciate some closure). The only problem I had with this plot was the idea that treating a girl badly will make her like you. That isn’t exactly a great message to send to high school boys.

The highlights. I like that this episode was very plot heavy (something that has been missing this season), yet I only have 2 highlights…Finn (although severely underused and getting way too skinny!!) still made me smile the most with his conversation with Sam in the beginning. How did we find the only 2 girls in high school that won’t put out? And I love that they brought back him thinking about almost killing the mail man – I die every time. (p.s – who had tubs in high school? I honestly have never heard of such a thing). The second is Sue’s confetti canyons and her describing Sam as a “Macaulay Culkin stunt double.”

The lowlights. Oh there are sooo many (overall, this is one of my least favorite episodes). First of all – the disappearance of Rachel (both in weight and plot). Dear Lea Michele – you are absolutely beautiful. Don’t succumb to the pressures of Hollywood! Please stop losing weight – you’re face is sinking it and it is aging you. Anyway, where is Rachel? She hasn’t had a major plot line this whole season. Her character is fantastic and hilarious…I miss her! Also, I think there is a huge missed opportunity with her dads and Kurt. Kurt is not the only gay in the village (Little Britain reference. Anyone?) – I know Rachels dads are obvi older, but likely wiser. I am sure they would have good advice for our dear Kurt. Second, the music was booooring. I enjoyed Puck and Artie singing One Love. And how Puck bullied people in to giving them money, but it is not a performance that I will remember. The girl mash-up was awkward and they were not very good at pulling off being bad ass rocker chicks. The boys mash-up was better…but nothing spectacular (I loved last years boys vs. girls mash-ups…). I didn’t mind the all boys school's rendition of Teenage Dream - I really liked that they did an A Capella version, however the song is dreadful. The biggest disappointment of all was the whole Coach Beiste story line. Dumbest plot ever…and why would Will tell her what was going on after he specifically said “Coach Beiste can never know about this”? Just plain ridiculous.

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