Glee: I wish Gwyneth Would Be My “Subsitute”

So if you haven’t already found it 7,000 places on the web, last night Gwyneth Paltrow showed up on Glee to fill in for Will Schuester. The better part? The episode was fantastic. Not flawless, but a marked improvement over the last episode.

Let’s use this episode to talk about what Glee does right or wrong.

  • Will did not rap! Instead he sang something in Matthew Morrison’s broadway wheel house, “Make ‘Em Laugh” which was a pleasure to watch. (Artie still rapped, but that’s not quite as bad)
  • They took a plot line from the previous episode and continued it! Maybe not every plot line, but they did not shy away from bringing back Kurt’s trauma with resident bully Dave, and his new friendship with the Marion Cotillard obsessed Blaine.
  • They used their guest star well. This is actually Glee’s forte. All of their big name stars have been well-used and phenomenal. From Neil Patrick Harris to John Stamos to Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee knows how to showcase a special star.
  • Every character was represented… mostly. So what that Tina, Quinn, and Sam didn’t have lines until the last 3 minutes? They had lines. That’s better than most episodes. We had a return of Terri, but no Emma. So this episode almost succeeded here.
  • Sue Sylvester is back to terrorizing Will. The hair comments were in full force and she took her antics to new levels.
  • The made fun of itself. It doesn’t do this too often, but the show at its core is kind of a dark comedy. We laugh at Brittany, not with her. The show usually ignores the absurd, but this episode embraced it and turned it back on the characters. A good example? Blaine always wears his uniform even when not at school… JUST LIKE THE CHEERIOS!

And now let’s dive into the Gwyneth.

By the end of the week I’m going to create a For Your Consideration page for movies or television shows that should be nominated for respective awards.  The reason? Gwyneth. Fucking. Paltrow.

A brief history of The Gwyn: In the mid 90s she was America’s darling right up until she won Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love and the Oscar curse set in. She was soon found wooden and morose, only taking awful or depressing roles. Then she became this icon for pretention. Her Goop blog is the pinnacle of pretentious blog about very delicious restaurants in Barcelona that you can’t afford. So I was worried and excited for what Glee would do.

Thank goodness that Gwyneth rocked it. First she sang a surprisingly energetic and honest version of Cee-lo Green’s “Forget You.” Her next serenade was a kind of awkward dance number with Rachel to “Nowadays” from Chicago. This song was nice because it let Rachel do what Lea Michele does best, a nice honking broadway tune. And Rachel rocked the dancing even though she was still sore from “Gangsta Rap musical chairs.” It ended with a duet to a mashup of “Umbrella” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” The mashup was subpar and clunky, but the umbrellas looked and the rain looked cool! And yes, your high school can do it too! It’s not that difficult.

But the best moments from Gwyneth’s Holly Holliday were the teaching moments. She burst on to screen by being the funniest Spanish teacher, enumerating the times Lindsay Lohan has been to rehab. Then there was the “Conjunction Junction” jazz routine, which was beautiful. And THEN she ended things with the downright best history lesson about Mary Todd Lincoln ever.

I can only praise this episode for its wonderfulness and has Glee currently batting 3 for 7 good episodes for the second season.

And let’s get one more thing straight. Did anyone else think Will and Holly should get together? All of Will’s main love interests so far have not been musical and let’s face it, he needs a singer in his life. And she’s a teacher and she complements him really well. Fortunately there’s room for Gwyneth returning, but the chance of a star that big returning for good is virtually nil. But I can dream…

Top 10 Quotes from this episode.

Will: “I thought we were friends?” Sue: “Eh. That got boring.”

Kurt: “You smell homeless, Brett. Homeless”

Puck: (After Rachel slips on butter) “Yes! It works!” Rachel: “At least I didn’t fall and break my talent.”

Will: “Come on guys! There’s gotta be a Journey song we haven’t done yet.”

Holly: “Hoarders and red wine. I’m buzZzZzed!”

Sue: (holding up broccoli) “Do you know what this is?” Mercedes: “Toilet Brush.” Sue: “It’s broccoli. When I showed this to Brittany she began to whimper thinking I had cut down a small tree where a family of Gummi Bears lived.”

Kurt: “On the count of three, name your favorite 2010 Vogue magazine cover. 1, 2, 3! MARION COTILLARD!”

Sue: “You make the underflaps of my breasts burn like when I rub them with posion sumac.”

Brittany: “Mr. Schuester taught me the second half of the alphabet. I though M and N were too similar and I got frustrated.”

Holly Holliday: “Mary Todd Lincoln in the house! My husband was probably gay and I’m bipolar which makes me yell things like, ‘That teapot’s spreading lies about me!’ or ‘That can’t be my baby because I don’t love it!'”

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