This week has sucked, so thank you, Ryan Murphy, for a Glee episode that was a bright spot in an otherwise pus-filled, infected and possibly cancerous tumor of a week. It was also flattered to see that Ryan Murphy has obviously been reading this blog, because he provided what I’ve been missing in Glee – the awesome, but upbeat – episode. He also apparently thought that my dig at Puck’s song last week was an accusation that the character is superfluous, which is not true, so I hope Puck gets out of juvie soon.
The episode started a little slow, and I geared up to write about the same issues that plague the show every week, but upon further reflection, I started to wonder if perhaps the bulk of my complaints stem from the writers’ realistic representation of high school students who are, by definitely, terrible people. I seriously want to punch every one of these bitches in the face during at least one point in every episode.
That said, Rachel did have a rare, albeit brief moment of self-awareness which led to a performance that was less hilariously awkward and more awkwardly weird. But Rachel should really only be allowed to sing duets… it tempers her and keeps her performances from being overwhelming.
I thought this episode dealt really well with some serious and legitimate high school issues – Artie losing his virginity, Quinn “getting back out there,” Kurt’s relationship with Finn and Finn’s concern about Ben’s “street cred.” You have to give credit to Glee for tackling these issues head-on and dealing with them in a more-or-less realistic way. I was impressed when Finn made the distinction that his reaction to Kurt’s advances was less about his discomfort with Kurt’s homosexuality and more about Kurt’s aggression. And taking the Glee universe as it is, Finn was absolutely right – Ben would’ve been teased mercilessly and if he’s really as concerned with his reputation and with fitting in at a new school, it would’ve likely been the end of Ben’s Glee club adventure. But we got to see another side of Ben this week, and maybe he’s not as wrapped up in the drama as we thought.
If I may digress for a minute, I read the Twilight books, and before you start throwing tomatoes, I want to confirm what everyone has said about Stephenie Meyer creating a fantasy world essentially for herself and inventing the teenage life she wishes she’d had. But I think Ryan Murphy is doing much of the same here with Glee… you get the same “underdog” tones with the understanding that outside of the construct, no one is really siding with the slushee-throwing football players.
Whether that’s true or not, the bottom line is, most of the time, Glee manages to walk the line between being mindless fun and being meaningful television, and this episode was a perfect example of that balance.
How much fun was the Mercedes/Santana duet? And Mike Chang and Tina? I love when you get chill bumps listening to these songs and immediately log on to download the original versions and the Glee versions, though, if we’re being honest, it’s almost always the Glee version I end up listening to more often.
Moments of Win:
- Mercedes voting for herself and “Satan.”
- Brittany moving the meatball with her nose.
No shoehorned-into-the-plot song this week. Within the context of the duets contest, everything made good sense. It was a fun episode, and it looks like next week is going to be even more enjoyable.