When the episode started with the Rocky Horror lips, I was hopeful. If Glee did a relatively faithful recreation of the original story in the context of putting on a school performance, I was going to be pleased, and that seemed to be the direction we were heading. Unfortunately, like Janet and Brad, the night took a bizarre turn.
What should have been a Glee version of Rocky Horror was instead a typical Glee episode constructed around a Rocky Horror plot device, and the result was something disjointed and weak and extremely awkward. First of all, Schu is a terrible teacher (and kind of a terrible person), and each week, I’m having a more difficult time finding any sympathy for his struggle to keep the Glee club above water and for his quest to break up a functional and happy relationship. Seriously, what a douche. It’s one thing to use your personal baggage to influence your teaching lessons – it’s another to mask it as a lesson about the arts “pushing boundaries and taking risks.” Second of all, Figgins is a terrible principal. You’re suspended and have to go to summer school! No, just kidding – it’s fine, just a warning.
Good television is like good writing – showing, not telling. Do the writers think the audience is so stupid that we can’t figure out that Schu is doing Rocky Horror under false pretenses and solely out of his obsession with Emma? Do we have to have Schu, Figgins and Sue all spell it out to us multiple times? And this week’s Very Important Lesson was about body image, but omigod, whatatwist – they’re talking about male body image issues instead of female body image issues. I guess I buy it – I can’t imagine even the most confident high school guy getting excited about baring almost-all in front of the whole school. But it was a more powerful statement about body image that Mercedes worked those fishnets and that bustier than all the exposition between Finn and Sam about Cool Ranch Doritos and egg whites. This element of storyline wasn’t a complete stretch, and it gave us shirtless Finn, Sam and Schu, so, hey – I’m not complaining.
Anyway, once I finished objectifying the guys, was still asking myself – what was the point? What was the point of the Sue’s Corner about fear being the true meaning of Halloween? Just an excuse to trot out that fan favorite device and give Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf their cameos? What was the point of Mike volunteering for the role of Frank N. Furter, only to have his parents reject it, then Mercedes’ emotional declaration that it’s her dream to play a lead role and that’s why she wants to play the Frank N. Furter part? Couldn’t we have skipped that part and had her volunteer for the part in the first place? It’s not that these issues take time away from the plot, but they set the audience up to think some kind of revelation is coming for those characters only to have them shoved into the background. I would’ve loved to see Mike Chang kick ass as Frank, and even though watching Mercedes own it like she owns everything, it didn’t have a payoff equivalent to the set-up since, in the end, she was the lead in a show that didn’t get produced.
Speaking of owning – Chris Colfer continues to be a high point of this show. He was flawless as Riff Raff. Same with Diana Agron as Magenta and Brittany as Columbia – loved it. I can’t say that I loved the episode as a whole, though. It had high points, for sure, but it was more wasted potential than anything else.
- The horribly distracting autotuning of Emma and Finn.
- Baby Huey? No one under thirty got that reference.
- Sue being right, rational and reasonable. Am I alone here, or are they deliberately making her a more believable protagonist than Schu?
- The “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” scene – perfect example of rolling your eyes because it’s so ridiculous while tapping your feet because it’s so fun.
- Less sociopathic Rachel!
- “Give me some chocolate or I will cut you.”
- The final performance of “Time Warp” – exactly what this whole episode should’ve been.
Because of the heavily themed episode, Glee gets another pass on the shoehorned-into-the-plot designation, but only barely. Dr. Carl’s performance of “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul” was underwhelming, and there are other great Rocky Horror performances I would’ve liked to see instead.