Who here was “Thrilled” by Glee?

So the post Super Bowl Glee finally came. I think FOX advertised it as “the moment you’ve all been waiting for.” For me, an out and proud Glee Skeptic, I kind of was actually waiting for it. The last few episodes before the midseason hiatus were great. I’m talking “Duets”, “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”, “The Substiute“, “Furt”, “Special Education”, and “A Very Glee Christmas.” All super formidable episodes. So when Glee did end up securing the post Super Bowl spot, I was getting ready for another great episode.

Well, I might have gotten my hopes up a little too much. This episode, which might also be called “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle” focused around the big championship football game and big championship cheerleading championship. So the episode started out big… ish. After Sue correctly chides the Cheerios for a boring routine, she goes haywire and buys a cannon to launch a cheerleader out of. I’m gonna stop myself right here and say Sue was on fire this episode! I think I might have to expand my favorite quotes section just to include her from this one. Jane Lynch is pure genius.

Some might say this “Cheer Cannon” was a little far-fetched. But to them I say, “Have you seen the musical numbers?” This show, should be, at its core, an unrealistic, dark comedy about a high school glee club, football team, and cheerleaders. That is how the songs will work, that is how the unending “we’re all losers” motif will work, and that is how these larger than life characters will be allowed to exist. So people cannons from carnies? HELL YES! That’s the exact step this show needed to take.

The A plot was not Sue’s Cannon, but the story revolving around the football jocks not getting along with the Glee club. Pretty standard territory. But they did kind of hit us heavy with it this time. I believe there were no less than 7 unique conversations were the dialogue could have been paraphrased, thusly:

“Who would ever want to join Glee club? It’s for losers.”

“You’re the loser for not having tolerance and respect for others, meanie. And you’re probably gay, too!”

“What?!? I hate dancing! Glee sucks.”

This conversation usually happened between Finn and Dave (the really mean, and for any new viewers who don’t have a working brain, secretly gay jock). However, it was also had between Finn and Quinn, Puck and Dave, and Sue and Schue.

But I’m in a good mood. I’m going to forgive Glee for its over use of one of its main conceits. This episode, in prime location after the Super Bowl, was meant to attract new viewers. It had to act like a season premiere. It had to set up relationships, long term struggles, and most importantly people had to know what they were getting into. And I think Glee succeeded 95%. Persuaded viewers might get a little more showtunes than they bargained for in future episodes, but besides that it was a relationship centric, Sue filled, big numbers football, cheerleaders, high school Glee episode. Extra Crispy.

So let’s look at our 5 songs:

“California Gurls” – I thought the Cheerios have easily had better dance routines, and would ALMOST say that that was the point, but this was opening up the show. It should have been phenomenal. A lot of good fire gags and stuff, but it ultimately didn’t do it for me. And horrible editing on cutting out a verse. It was completely jarring. Overall Score: C+ Necessity to Narrative: A- Plausibility: B+

“Need You Now” – When this was the song choice of Puck and Rachel to prove what Glee club does, I first thought that this IS exactly what Glee club does. They sand and sing and sway and we’re all happy. But that’s not what the football jocks would be doing… Anyway, both Mark Salling and Lea Michele were quite good, as always. Overall Score: A- Necessity to Narrative: B Plausibility: A.

“She’s Not There” – I wasn’t familiar with this song before Glee, but you bet I will be now! The whole cast did an awesome job. Harry Shum’s (Mike Chang) zombie was inspired and artful, Cory Monteith has never sounded so smooth and confident, and the choreography was extremely clever and not over the top. It was quirky and zombie spastic. This was easily my favorite song of the episode. I’m only led to the question of whether our culture has reached zombie saturation yet. Overall Score: A+ Necessity to Narrative: B- (It does lose a lot of points as a warm up song?) Plausibility: A-

“Bills, Bills, Bills” – Those Warblers (read: Tuft’s Beelzebubs) really do know how to sing! They sounded wonderful in this episode. Darren Criss has a voice that is made to do Destiny’s Child covers and the a cappella arrangement was truly inspired. There was only the tiniest hint of autotone on the texture, but it was an extremely solid, 100% a cappella song. I will say that this song’s placement was only servicing the show 75%. It was reminding us that Kurt and the Dalton Warbler’s exist, so we shouldn’t forget about them in future episodes. This is a big step for Glee. If this same episode were on Season 1, we would not this song. Glee has come a long way in balancing characters. But it didn’t actually serve any purpose in the narrative. Overall Score: A- Necessity to Narrative: C+ Plausibility: A-

“Thriller/Heads Will Roll” – The best part of this song was that Artie got to sing a real song. Poor Kevin McHale never gets the real songs. This was great for him. The routine also worked well as an extremely fun mashup, a great halftime show, an inspired zombie number, and a stylized Glee performance. Although a hip hop beats section is a new addition to a marching band… On a side note, what if you went to a high school where the football team was awful, but the halftime shows were this good. Would you sit through the first half of the game to see just the one song? Things to consider: It’s cold and it’s always sad being on the losing end of a football game. Overall: A Necessity to Narrative: A Plausibility: B+

I guess we'll have to settle for this boring, average picture of Monteith...

I did want to mention a couple more things that didn’t really have a place elsewhere. I did think it was kind of silly to have the girls play football, but everyone got a couple of good moments out of it – even if Tina’s was forced, Rachel was so adorable when she walked on to the field. And how sexy did Finn look in zombie makeup? He should do that more often. Also, I loved Katie Couric on this episode. Her bit was awesome, she played it well, and her little news segment was great.

This episode only left out 2 recurring characters (Terri and Emma) and one of them is only a regular in spirit now, so well done? Oh! And where the heck is Charice? Wasn’t she supposed to come back eventually?

The Top 17 Quotes:

17) “The utter silence of my ninja poops” – Sue

16) “Blaine and I love football. Well, Blaine loves football. I love scarves.” – Kurt

15) (To Katie Couric) “I hate you, Diane Sawyer.” – Sue

14) “Bring It!” – Sam “BRUNG!” – Finn

13) “I thought this was the 10 most fascinating?”- Sue “That’s Barbara Walters” – Katie Couric

12) “If I have to sing, I’m not singing no show tunes. That is the music of my oppressors!” – Azimio

11) “Football Team! Football Team! High Five Teammates!” – Rachel

10) “Even things I used to think were hilarious… Case in point: Sandbags. Slap yourself with a chicken cutlet.” (Santana slaps herself with the cutlet) “Now, slap Brittany.” (Santana slaps Brittany with the cutlet) “See? Not even a chuckle.” – Sue

9) (Sam and Finn are fighting) “This is kinda hot, actually” – Quinn

8) “Dear Journal, I am in crisis. Not even the ‘Can’t Lose’ combination of boobs and fire can get me going anymore. Is it that raccoon hormone my new doctor gave me? Maybe. But here I am, 31, and already a legend. What do I do as a second act? I am simply at a loss.” – Sue

7) “I don’t wanna die yet. At least not until ‘One Tree Hill’ gets cancelled.” – Brittany

6) “Punch and Judy on one!” – Finn

5) “You don’t climb in that cannon and that routine will be all boom boom and no pow, and that Brittany, is so two thousand and late.” – Sue

4) “In the voting, you beat out the following losers: The economy, Mel Gibson, the housing market, Dina Lohan, Wall Street, Tiger Woods, The Dallas Cowboys, Brett Favre’s cellphone, 9% Unemployment, and Sparky Lohan, who is Dina Lohan’s dog, and apparently, also a loser. How do you cope with that?” – Katie Couric “I’ve been drinking a lot of bleach.” – Sue

3) “I’m gonna die.” – Brittany “It’ll be worth it.” – Santana

2) “I’m torn” – Quinn “I’m not.” – Santana “I’m Brittany” – Brittany

1) “And as you ponder your decision, I ask that you remember that cannon has two little baby twin cannons at home, and one more on the way, and if you refuse to sign this, well, those little baby cannons might just go hungry.” – Sue “Baby cannons?” – Brittany “And the Mama Cannon has fibromyalgia, so she can’t work!” – Sue

 

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