Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thoughts On The Past 2 Episodes of 'Glee'

1. Sexy –

The Return of Holly Holiday – I enjoyed Gwyneth as Holly Holiday and was happy for her return. However, this time it did feel that her character was little too forced - it was sort of repetitive and her energy was a little too in your face. I still enjoyed her presence simply because this time she got to interact with Emma and Will more. Holly is at McKinley to sub for the “health & wellness” teacher, which means she gets to teach the kids about sex. Once she informs Will that his Glee club kids are clueless about sex (was he surprised by this? Finn thought he knocked Quinn up via hot tub and Quinn said that her method of birth control was “trust me”) he lets her “slip in” some sex education during Glee club practice. She yells her apparent catch phrase “hit it” before singing a completely inappropriate song- "Do you Want to Touch Me”. I didn’t like this performance that much – her voice was painful to listen to and she didn’t seem as natural as she did with “Forget You”. I did laugh at all the shirts ripping open and Will’s note “too much?” The answer - Yes – Too much of Holly! She was practically in every scene. This is what Glee consistently gets soo wrong – they find something good and they keep pushing it until we get sick of it (they are doing the same thing with The Warblers – Is it necessary for us to see them perform in every other episode? I love Kurt and Blaine but I am over The Warblers. I want to fast forward through all numbers now and this episode featured their very worst performance of all – ‘Animal’. The auto tuning of Kurt’s voice was so obvious and unnecessary). I hope the next episode that features Holly doesn’t make me hate her. I really like Will and Holly as a couple – so I don’t want them to over-expose her character too much. Their performance of “kiss” was kinda disturbing in the beginning but it did get a little better as it went on. I don’t really think the tango dance went with the song and it wasn’t as sexy as I think they were hoping for. The best part of Holly in this episode was the hilarious lines she was given – some of the best of the season:

"I’m off to have a craaazy sex…because I’m craaaazy informed about it".
"Sex. It’s just like hugging only wetter".
"And everybody’s got a random".
"My Lips are sealed. Just like your legs".

The Return of the Celibacy Club – The whole episode was focused on sex – again a realistic topic for Glee to handle but I am getting a little worried about the “topic of the week” type episodes. I like when the episodes are about the characters and not a “topic”. In general, I think they handled the whole sex education thing well. School boards and parents are always up in arms about what should be taught at schools regarding sex. I think it is clear that Glee presents “sex ed” as “the more you know the better”. They mock abstinence and glorify sex which of course will piss a lot of people off. But let’s be honest- kids have sex in high school and kids are….how do I put this nicely….dumb. (need proof?: A few years ago I had a chat with three 16 year old girls who told me that they were virgins (and planned to stay that way until marriage) but that they gave their boyfriends oral sex. I found that interesting so I pressed them for more info only to be horrified at my discovery - all 3 never used protection and never had their boyfriends reciprocate that act which is obviously severely affecting their self-esteem but more disturbing is that they had no idea that HIV can spread that way. Seriously – they were all in shock when I told them). So when you really think about it – wouldn’t you want your 16 year daughter having sex responsibly instead of irresponsibly giving blow jobs while naively “saving herself”? It seems pretty logical to me. Anyway, the celibacy club scenes last season were always my favorite (when they try to not pop the balloons – hilarious) but this year they seemed to take it a bit more seriously maybe because they have a teacher leading the club – the one and only Emma!! It is dumb that it’s only 2 members in the beginning are Rachel & Quinn – Rachel, who laughed at the Celibacy club last year and declared that it wasn’t realistic and Quinn, who is obviously not celibate (proof that they are just mocking the club). But then Puck joins (why? Because he almost committed child porn by making a sex tape with Lauren. A great issue to bring up – but they should have also brought up the whole “sexting” issue that kids are dealing with now as well) and they do a hilarious performance of “Afternoon Delight” which I guess can be misconstrued as a song about the wonders of dessert – but exactly how is a it a song to “promote celibacy”? Rachel was so great at the cheesiness though – she is soo good that even when she is put in the background she still outshines most of the cast. I was glad that they capped the episode with a serious sex talk between Burt and Kurt. First, because it places the responsibility on the parent and second, because it was spot on – sure you can get all the information you need about sex on the Internet but no one tells you the emotional implications that sex has on impressionable young people. I love that Burt is such a great father – I am sure that this father/gay son interaction is almost non-existent in real life so I feel like this scene effected a lot of gay teenagers that were watching that have never had “the talk” with their own parents. It was a beautiful way to tell gay teens that they matter and that they are worth something. It was obviously a very different talk than the one he would have with a straight son (ahem Finn ahem….now that is a scene I want to see) and in a way that is problematic but it was still really well done.

The Return of Brittana – Naya Rivera stole this episode. Her emotional breakdown after exploring her sexuality was really beautiful. I think it was a hard transition for her character – going from the school slut who is a complete bitch to someone who is completely broken and confused. It is usually hard for actors to change their character soo drastically while still remaining true to the character. I really loved it and I hope they continue with this story line. I don’t really understand why it was necessary to have Holly sing “Landslide” with them. She should have just played the guitar and kept her mouth shut. Although I would say that this was Gwyneth’s best performance of the episode – but Naya could sing circles around her and I would have preferred a true Brittana duet. I’m honestly probably the only person in the world that doesn’t like this song but it fit the episode nicely. I didn’t really understand why Brittany forced Santana into a conversation about their relationship if she wasn’t ready to be with Santana anyway. That seemed kind of mean. Brittany says that she is in love with Artie and I admit they do make a cute couple – but I am rooting for Brittana. Am I the only one that was distracted by Naya’s cheeks? It looks like she had some sort of cheek implant or something. Weird.

The Highlights – “Wait. Cucumbers can give you AIDS?” – Finn spouting the best line of the episode. He wasn’t in much of the episode but he is always a highlight. Did anyone else have to rewind him using the word “dubious”? Did Rachel give him a word of the day calendar or something? I go back and forth with the whole Finn/Quinn fiasco. If they wanted us to root for them then they should have made it so that Quinn is remorseful and that she is ready to be in a relationship that is not about gaining popularity. Instead they turned Quinn back to her pre-baby ways and she is once again using Finn to her advantage. The poor boy is obviously going to be broken when he realizes this. I hate that he went back to her so easily but their interaction on Quinn’s bed did make for some good t.v (naturally, I love any scene that involves Cory laying down on a bed. Plus I laughed out loud because Cory is so gigantic you don’t even see Dianna until she lifts her head up). So I put some thought into why the writers would do this to Finn…again. It hit me that maybe….just maybe he already knows she is an evil bitch but is just going along with it – then just when Quinn thinks they are in prom king & queen heaven he breaks her. Wouldn’t that be a nice twist? Maybe the whole thing is some extravagant revenge plot that Finn has been planning from the moment that he found out Puck was the baby daddy. I realize this is a long shot but I am just hoping that the writers have some master plan behind the whole thing that will make sense. Please? Anyway…on to the other highlights: Emma referring to a penis as the “hose monster” – I thought I was going to die. Brittany thinks she has a “bun in the oven” because a stork built a nest on her garage. Totally unrealistic but hilarious (Hey, I guess if she still believes in Santa – she can believe in the stork…right?). Rachel’s expression during this scene was once again priceless. Holly’s jazzercise class was completely unnecessary but extremely funny. I also loved that Will was “Finn-proofing” the choreography for Regionals.

The Lowlights – Besides the horrifying performance by The Warblers, the other low points were Carl & Emma going to Holly for marriage counseling. That is just flat out dumb – she is a high school substitute- not exactly qualified for this subject matter. The worst part of the whole episode was learning that Emma is 30! Not Cool Glee – making me feel old. No offense to Jayma Mays but I thought she was much older than me (It prompted me to check IMDB for Jayma Mays age and she is only 32 – now I am officially depressed).

2. Original Song -

The Original Songs – while I appreciate that Glee is doing something out of the norm – I was really nervous for them write their own songs. When I heard the 2 songs released last week (“Loser Like Me” and “Get it Right”), I became even more nervous. They are both really cheesy and immature – but the real problem with these songs is that in context with the show they are both really great songs they are just not songs that should be considered for radio play. They are supposed to feel like they are written by high school kids and that is exactly what they sound like. “Get it Right” is actually really beautiful in the context of Rachel’s story-plus Lea Michele's voice and passion when she sings literally brings me to tears on most occasions. “Loser Like Me” was indeed cheesy & immature but the performance was super adorable (bonus points for the confetti slushie’s at the end). I have to say that the songs that the kids were coming up with were pure genius (my favorite is still “my headband”- I am pretty sure nothing will ever be as epic.) but Santana’s “Trouty Mouth” was absolutely hilarious (plus she sounded fantastic) as was Puck’s “Big-Ass Heart”. I admit that Mercedes belting out “Hell to the No” was actually really entertaining and I can totally see getting that song stuck in my head for days. P.s - As I write this post – the Glee cast has 6 songs from this episode on the itunes top 10 singles and “Loser Like Me” is number one (or as Puck would say “number wah”). That is pretty impressive.

The Warblers – When this episode first started – I thought to myself "OMG not again , I can not take any more of The Warblers". Yes, they sound fantastic singing “Misery” but it just is getting so stale. I did like that they were a little more free-style than usual and the rhythmic pounding on the table was so impressive but I am still over it. But then something really entertaining happened - it was like Kurt took the words right out of my mouth “Been there done that” which proves that the writers of the show know exactly what their audience is thinking. I never understood why Blaine was the only Warbler who had any solo’s because according to the episode where Kurt tries out for a solo – The Warblers look down on people who try to stand out. I like that they (the writers) are almost admitting that they completely contradicted themselves. Blaine is a show-off and it is about time someone else in that group gets to shine. Kurt sounded amazing singing “Blackbird” after Pavarotti died but in all honestly his voice does not mesh well with the rest of The Warblers. Their Regionals performance was not good at all. Although I enjoyed “Raise Your Glass” it didn’t exactly feel fresh. The obvious highlight of all of The Warbler scenes is the Kurt & Blaine interactions – they are super adorable and we finally get to see them not only kiss but have a strong emotional connection.

Regionals – I don’t know much about Glee club competitions - but it doesn’t exactly make much sense that they are not up against the amazing Glee club Vocal Intensity (their last years competition). Especially because they will inevitably go up against them in Nationals (but if VI was in their same region last year they would likely be this year too…). It was also very obvious that they would win Regionals only because they have been talking about how Nationals are in NYC since episode 1 (they even foreshadowed the end of the season by singing “New York” in the season premiere). It is interesting that they lost at Regionals last year but assumed that they would make it all the way to Nationals this year, right? They seemed a little too confident in my opinion. So besides, the obvious inaccuracies of the show – I think Regionals kind of sucked (and last year’s was much better – just like last years sectionals was better as well). And can someone explain to me how they thought wearing turquoise sequined dresses with leggings and combat boots was an appropriate outfit for Regionals? I did love Kathy Griffin (as a former Tea Party candidate) and Loretta Devine (as a nun who is a former exotic dancer) as judges – but they were both underutilized.

Highlights – I like the dynamic that they are creating between Rachel & Quinn. It sort of allowed the audience to understand Quinn’s motives a little bit better – and I think it is sort of sad that she has such limited expectations for her life and realizes that Rachel is destined for better things. I just hate that Quinn wants to bring Finn down with her – I am sure taking over Burt’s auto shop is not exactly his dream job. This kind of put a nail in the Finn/Quinn coffin for me. Everyone deserves to be with someone who will push you to be the best version of yourself that you can be. Rachel and Finn would do that for each other. I loved when Rachel hands Finn tissues in case he wants to cry with her song “Only Child”. Finn’s reaction to the song was surprisingly perceptive – informing Rachel she is only writing about the “easy pain”. The other highlights for me came from Brittany. I almost died when the dirt came flying out of Brittany & Santana’s locker (put in there by Sue) – Brittany’s response: “I don’t even remember putting that in there”. Plus, Brittany’s response to what her favorite song ever is? “My Headband”. Me too Brit, me too. Oh and the scene when Sue threw sticks at Mercedes – hilarious.

Lowlights – Besides too much of The Warblers and my ongoing hatred of Dianna Agron’s acting– I can’t really think of anything. Quinn's inner monologue in the beginning was almost painful to listen to. Her voice is so monotone and her timing was off. Plus she looked like she aged 20 years in this episode with her hair pulled back and feathered like that – it was just so unflattering. The episode was also a little lacking on the comedy side but made up for it with the heavy plot developments.

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