Tag Archives: Artie Abrams

Oops, they did it again – A (Very Late) Mini-cap of Glee’s “Britney 2.0”

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Oh, my dear Gleeks . . . it’s that time again . . . you know . . . the time when McKinley High School makes its annual pilgrimage to Spearsylvania.

And why not?  Spearsylvania is a happy place . . . a place where every song is about That Boy You Boned, and popping your bubble gum, while thrusting your hip out suggestively, is the Language of Love.

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Except, this time around, it appears that something is VERY rotten in Spearsylvania . . .

OMG!  What’s a Gleek to do?

Can the Glee kids save their Happy Place from becoming a world filled with bald heads, bad relationships, and Cheetos binge sessions?  Tune in to this mini-cap to find out . . .

Tough Love is a B*TCH!

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Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the whole concept of “tough love,” or “brutal honesty.”  I’ve always kind of viewed it as an excuse for your friends and loved ones to say obnoxious and hurtful things to you, under the guise of “caring” and “concern.”

Call me crazy.  But when I’m feeling blue, I’d much prefer my friends to lie to me about how awesome I am, and how great everything is going to turn out, even if I know, deep down, that they are just blowing smoke up my ass.

Given my opinion on this subject, I found myself 100% relating to Rachel’s frustration with Finn’s idea of “giving her space” . . .

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. . . and her annoyance with Cassie July’s notion of “student motivation” . . .

I also wasn’t necessarily on board with Sue Sylvester’s “brilliant” idea to kick Brittany off the Cheerios squad for failing ONE test during her second senior year, considering that Girlfriend has most likely failed EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY TEST she has ever taken since kindergarten . . .

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You would think (given her own family history) that if anyone should understand that Brittany’s learning problems go way beyond laziness, and a much-too-tight high ponytail constricting blood flow to her brain, it would be Sue Sylvester.

But . . . as it turns out . . . not-so-much . . .

And yet, Brittany and Rachel aren’t the characters I’m most concerned about right now on Glee.  You know who’s worrying me most?  THIS GUY . . .

What’s going on with you, Lord Tubbington?  Suddenly, you’re self-medicating?

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(Somehow, I don’t think she’s talking about cigarettes . . .)

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And hanging out with a “bad crowd?”

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Now, you can’t tell me these aren’t loud meows for help!  In other tough love news . . .

They are sexy, and they know it!

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In true Glee fashion, Unique and Tina use a song to gently break the news to new girl, Marley, that new boy, Jake, is probably “just not that into her,” because he’s already been inside everyone else, if you catch my drift . . .

Musically, the number wasn’t one of my favorites.  However, I did enjoy the choreography, and the way Jake’s Army of Scorned Females grew throughout the song, until the triumphant finale, in which they filled an ENTIRE GYM!  Now, that’s impressive!  Be honest, Puck . . . you’re just a little bit proud of your baby bro for that one . . .

Speaking of Puck, guess who flew all the way in from LA, just to have a two-minute conversation with his baby long lost brother?  (Guess his Pool Cleaning Business has a Frequent Flyer Program?)  In what was probably the most random scene in the entire episode, the Sexy Mohawk-wearing Man convinced his Mini-Me to join Glee club, simply by revealing that he (Puck) had engaged in his first threesome at the ripe old age of seven . . . wait . . . WHAT?

Yeah, it didn’t make any sense at all, and . . . to be honest . . . was a bit disturbing.  But hey, the guy still looks gooood .  . .

You can clean MY pool anytime, Puckerman . . .

Speaking of things that don’t make any sense, how about a gay man singing this to a lesbian . . .

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I know . . . I know . . . Brittany is technically bisexual.  But still, it was a little weird.  And yet, not quite as weird as a SUPER religious Christian guy singing about “threesomes” and “living in sin,” without adding the words “will get you a first class ticket to HELL,” to the end of the song.

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That said, of all the Britney covers in this episode, “3” was probably my favorite.

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One of viewers’ main complaints about the first Britney tribute episode, was that each of the songs featured was little more than a color-by-numbers cover performance . . . the sound, the costumes, the dance moves . . . each performance came off like a less vibrant copy of the original Britney Spears music video on which it was based.  This time around, Glee seemed to take that criticism to heart, gamely reinterpreting Britney’s iconic (and some less-than-iconic) songs through mash-ups, different interpretations of the lyrics, and, in this case . . . actually going acoustic.

I don’t know about you guys, but I actually like this version of “3” better than the original . . .

Since we are on the subject of sex, it seems a certain dance teacher doesn’t think Rachel is sexy enough to dance the tango . . .

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NO ONE calls THE RACHEL BERRY un-sexy . . .especially not a has-been, whose Broadway career ended ten years ago, because she made an ass of herself on YouTube . . .

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So, Rachel does what any of us would do in this situation.  She hires her hot older friend . . .

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 . . .to perform a “dance number” with her, that basically involves her grabbing her crotch a lot, while said “hot older friend” repeatedly paws at her boobs and straddles her.

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Oh Rachel, you naughty minx!  No wonder you’ve got your dance teacher suddenly asking you to help her with her “stretching exercises” . . .

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 . . . and your “hot older friend,” giving you orchids and getting a massive boner thinking about kissing you, every time he sees you . . .

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Uh oh Finn!  It looks like someone might want to reconsider that whole “space” thing, if HE doesn’t want to end up being permanently replaced . . . both on that stupid painted-over apartment wall (Seriously?  Who does that?) and in Rachel’s heart . . .

Elsewhere in Love Triangle Land . . .

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They’ve only known one another for two episodes.  And yet, when it comes to Olympic Eye F*&king, Jake and Marley are already gold medalists . . .

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She looks great in his leather jacket!  And they make beautiful Britney Spears / Aerosmith mash-ups together!

It’s a match made in TV Shipper Heaven!  Except . . . welllll . . . there’s one teeny tiny problem.  Stop me if you’ve heard this one before . . .

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BAD KITTY!  You’ve gone and made this storyline even more of a cliche!  No toy mice for you!

Why don’t you go join Lord Tubbington’s gang, and leave Jarley alone?

But wait!  Isn’t this episode supposed to be about Brittany?

You’re right!  I almost forgot!  So many subplots, so little time . . .

Anywhoo . . . when we last left Brittany, she had just been kicked off the Cheerios, leaving her not only without a high ponytail, but also without any clothing.  (You know . . . since all cheerleaders have only one item of clothing their closet . . . their uniform . . . which they wear to school every day . . . and, sometimes, even on weekends.)

Fortunately for Brit-Brit, someone’s fat grandma likes to hang out at McKinley High, where she, occasionally performs strip teases for fun.  This stroke of luck allowed Brittany access to this super fashionable t-shirt, which she plucked out of the Lost and Found . . .

Also in the Lost and Found? A razor . . .

 . . . and a rather large green umbrella . . . perfect for beating the crap out of one Jacob Ben Israel in the hallway, and NOT getting suspended for it . . . you know . . . like Santana did, for lightly tapping Golden Boy Finn on the face for OUTING HER TO THE ENTIRE TOWN, last season

Deserves a hug . . .

Deserves EXPULSION!

Interestingly enough, none of these actions . . . not wearing Fat Grandma Clothes . . . nor carrying deadly weapons to school . . . nor brutally beating her classmates with rain gear . . . were considered loud enough cries of help from Brittany to get the attention she so direly deserved.

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No . . . for Brittany to earn the help of one William Schuester, she had to do something far worse.  She had to LIP SYNC!

OH THE HUMANITY!  Brittany has gone TOO FAR now!  SHE MUST BE STOPPED!  It’s time to take drastic measures.  It’s time to SEND IN  . . . THE OTHER BLONDE  . . .

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Don’t worry, Brit-Brit!  Sam understands your pain.  He doesn’t know how to spell either . . .

Together you two beautifully unintellectual people will stage a Britney Spears-inspired comeback like the world has never known . . . one President Mistaken for an Oscar-Award Winning Actress at a time . . .

Worry not, my fellow Gleeks!  Spearsylvania shall be SAVED!

And that’s what you missed on Glee!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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To Glee or Not to Glee . . . – Some Thoughts on Glee’s Season 4 and “The New Rachel”

Eventually, everybody graduates . . .

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. .  . well, almost everybody . . .

It’s a fact of life faced by every television show that centers around a high-school aged cast of characters.

I mean, sure, you can make time stand still for a little while . . . waving that magic TV Land Wand that converts three years into one REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LONG YEAR.  You could never show a summer vacation . . . put that “Prom Episode” off indefinitely . . . cover up your perpetually 17-year old male character’s increasingly receding hairline, by giving him a sudden fondness for hats.  But, just like death and taxes, it’s inevitable . . . EVERYBODY GRADUATES . . .

So, what’s a show to do?

Well, as a television producer, you have three options really.  Option 1:  You bow out gracefully . . . end on a high note, with your cast of characters triumphantly tossing their graduation caps into the air . . . play a mildly wistful Top 40 tune about memories, as you quickly run through a montage of some of your show’s best moments . . . then fade to black as your television show shuffles off to that increasingly populated High School TV Graveyard in the sky . . .

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Option 2: You attempt to tackle the Dreaded College Years . . . the ones that . . . let’s be honest . . . for most of us, were about TEN TIMES BETTER than high school, in real life, but, for whatever reason, never seem to translate all that well on the small screen.  You try to explain away haphazardly, the reasons why your school valedictorian is attending the same four-year university as the Kid Who Almost Flunked his Junior Year, because he still quite hasn’t managed to master the art of “reading,” and the One Who Spent a Good Portion of his Senior Year in jail . . .

Well, OF COURSE, he’d go to the same college as certified genius, Veronica Mars!

You introduce a few new characters . . . but not too many . . . because everyone knows that nobody ever really likes the “New Characters” in shows about “The College Years,” anyway.  And besides, in TV Land, everyone is always meant to live happily ever after with their High School Sweetheart . . . right?

Option 3: You go the “Next Generation” route.  You give a couple of your most popular characters, long lost little sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces, and nephews they never knew they had.  You bring in an almost entirely new troop of actors .  . . ones who could actually still pass for 16, even if you aren’t filming them from across a really, really long hallway.  You basically create an entirely new series . . . except it’s not actually a new series, because each of the supposedly New Characters seems almost eerily similar to one of the Old Characters, who just graduated.

Unless, you’re Glee . . . in which case, you will proudly choose Option 4  . . . All of the Above . . .

That’s right, Gleeks.  In a move that will either end up being touted as ingenious, or derailed as ridiculous, the Glee writers have (1) ended their third season, in a way that could have easily been construed as a series finale; (2) created a College Years Show-with-in-a-Show for it’s lead ingenue, and a few of her most popular pals; and (3) returned to McKinley High to tackle the “Next Generation” of New Directions .  . . complete with a Long Lost Brother from Another Mother . . .

. . . and a “New Rachel” . . .

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I’ll be honest, when I first read that this was Ryan Murphy’s vision for Glee‘s future, I thought the idea was, at best, overly ambitious, and, at worst, just plain awful.  So, color me surprised, when I watched the season premiere and found myself enjoying it more than I’ve enjoyed an episode of Glee in quite some time.

By now, if you’re like me, you’ve probably already read about 25 recaps of “The New Rachel.”  So, I’m not going to bore you with another one.  Let’s just “The Good, The Bad, the U-GLEE” it, shall we?

The Good . . .

Cassandra, Jake, Marley, Brody . . .’s abs . . .

OMG!  I like most of the new characters on Glee . . .  like really them  . . .  I may even like them better than some of the old characters on Glee . . . though, I’m not going to mention any names . . .

In a world where teachers tend to be cartoonish . . .

. . . ineffectual . . .

. . . or downright irksome  . . .

I like that Cassandra July is a brand of teacher we haven’t seen on this show before . . . BITTER, EDGY, and KIND OF HOT, in a bitter . . . edgy, Lindsay Lohan Trainwreck, kind of way . . .

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Here’s the thing . . . I’ve never really been a huge fan of Kate Hudson’s.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I think she’s a fine actress, and that she has really enviable bone structure.  I just always had trouble buying her as the Lead in a Romantic Comedy, Who Everyone is Supposed to Hope and Pray Gets the Guy in the End.  I don’t why . . . I think it has something to do with the fact that underneath those
“charming smiles,” and “witty one-liners,” she always seems SO MEAN . . .

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Enter Cassandra July . . .

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In my eyes, this is the role Kate Hudson was always meant to play.  And I just, hands down, loved her in it . . .Plus, I mean, who hasn’t wanted to pull the prissy, self-entitled, Rachel Berry down a peg or two, at least once or twice, throughout the course of this series?

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You know who else I love? MARLEY!

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I mean, sure, she doesn’t quite have Rachel Berry’s pipes, and that ridiculous cap she was wearing throughout the episode was like something straight out of a Dickens’ novel.  And yet, in a world, where every single character is LOUD, BIG, and OVER THE TOP, Marley has something truly special that you just don’t see anymore on this show . . . understated charm . . .

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Then, there’s Jake . . .

Boy, was I skeptical about him . . .

Puck’s Long Lost Brother?  The “Chip on His Shoulder?”  He “throws tantrums” . . . turns down help from the Teacher Man?  I mean, why not just paint a sign on his back that says, “I will be filling the role of Bad Boy with the Heart of Gold, thank you very much.”

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But, I don’t know . . . there’s something about this guy that I really like . . . something that screams potential . . .

Plus, I started shipping him with Marley, the minute they exchanged that WAYYY too obvious Slow-Motion-Longing-Look in the hallway, during the show’s second half hour . . .

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And then, there is Brody’s Abs . . .  Let’s just take a few moments to enjoy these, shall we?

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In addition to THESE new characters, I’m also enjoying Rachel’s and Kurt’s new journey.  For a show that’s often touted as being painfully unrealistic, I thought Rachel Berry’s homesickness, loneliness, and new-found fear of failure, coupled with the need to pretend with her old friends and family that everything was “cool,” touchingly real.

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I mean, who didn’t feel precisely like this, their first few weeks away at college?

And while Kurt’s “Glory Days,” storyline, definitely had a bit of a “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” kind of quality, who out there didn’t get teary, when Burt Hummel told his son that he could always come back home from New York, but that he knew he wouldn’t?

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Speaking of Glee moments that made my Ugly Cry tears of joy . . . this happened . . .

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The Bad . . .

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but was I the only one who wasn’t bowled over by the musical numbers from this episode?

The cover of “Call Me, Maybe” was “cute,” but a bit trite for my taste.

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I found the “Chasing Pavements” cover kind of forgettable.  And though I loved Darren Criss’ interpretation of Imagine Dragon’s “It’s Time,” the musical number itself was something we’ve seen about a million times before, on Glee . . .

Conversely, while I adored “Unique’s” performance of “Boogie Shoes,” last season, I’m still not quite sold on the character of Wade / Unique, who kind of reminds me of Every Bad Drag Queen Impersonation I’ve Seen in Every Movie Ever . . .

Kitty . . . meh?

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I think I liked her better, when her name was Regina George, or, better yet . . . Santana Lopez . . .

And though I do love me some Brody abdominal action, the character himself seemed a bit milque-toasty, and too-good-to-be-true for me, which kind of makes me hope Ryan Murphy surprises me, by giving the character a sleazy underbelly . . . but I’m suspecting he won’t . .  .

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Finally . . .

The U-Glee . . .

Slushee?  That is not a slushee . . .

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They used to at least look like slushees, back in Season 1 . . .

And while we are on the subject of icky, if I have to spend an entire season listening to Sue Sylvester make Baby Poop, and Menopausal Mommy jokes, I think I’m going to hurl.  I don’t care how cute that baby is . . . CRAP IS CRAP!

All-in-all . . . though?  I think New Glee got itself off to a great start.  Intriguing characters . . . interesting storylines . . . newly shippable couples . . . and have I mentioned Brody’s abs?

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Until next time, Gleeks!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Blaine-y are you OK? Are you OK, Blaine-y? – A Recap of Glee’s “Michael”

BLAINE:  “Ummmm . . .  Kurt, what are you doing?”

KURT: “I’m taking your pulse, to make sure that evil slushie didn’t kill you.”

BLAINE: “Last time I checked, I didn’t have a pulse in my ass . . .” 

Greetings, fellow Gleeks!  This week, Glee paid homage to the King of Pop, through a series of MJ-inspired ballads and dance numbers.  Also this week, we experienced our first-ever slushie maiming, three college acceptance announcements (I’m sorry . . . one acceptance . . . two “finalists.”), two couples’ reunion-via-duet, and one Crazy Cellist War.  So, gulp down your Rock Salt Slushie, slap a tape recorder onto your under boob, grab your crotch, and yell, “HEE-HEEEE,” because it’s time for another Gleecap . . .

Because the school library is the absolute best place to spontaneously break out in song

Santana and the rest of the Troubletones are talking about how bummed out they are that, unlike the rest of their New Directions buddies, they never got to perform a Michael Jackson song for a crowd.  So, Blaine, the kind soul that he is, decides to make it up to them, by singing MJ’s classic “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” mainly by himself, while the rest of the gang dances around him, and sings backup.  (Hmmm . . . correct me if I’m wrong here, but wasn’t THIS precisely why the Troubletones defected from the New Directions in the first place . . . because they were ALWAYS singing backup to the likes of folks like Rachel and Blaine?)

Nice going, Mr. Sexy Pants!

Anyway, Blaine takes his little crotch-grabbing conga line through the library, where he picks up the rest of the Glee kids en route to the auditorium.  There things get super cutesy, with the name “Michael” in lights, magically appearing on stage behind them, and every Glee kid clad in iconic Michael Jackson wear, from various periods in his life.

By now we’ve seen Glee do the whole “fashion tribute” thing, a few times during it’s “artist themed” episodes.  But I think it works particularly well here, because Michael Jackson was surprisingly fashion iconic for a dude.  He’s also been a mainstay in the music world for roughly forty years.  So, these costumes function as a sort of history lesson for some of us, and a trip down memory lane, for others . . .

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In fact, dare I say it, but I almost found the costumes in this musical number more memorable than the performance itself?  Check it out . .  .

Sexy Blaine is “too high to get over” and “too low to get under.”  So, it looks like we are going to have to *clears throat* go right through him, if you catch my drift  . . .

The Ring 4 – A Horror Love Story

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Oh dear, sweet, NAIVE, Finchel!  Last week, we found our stalwart Finn Hudson in a bit of a teen-life crisis.  Everything he thought he knew and loved about his life, was in danger of slipping through his fingers.  The FUTURE was looming, large and terrifying, over his potato-shaped head.  And try as he might, he couldn’t run from it.  So, instead, he grabbed tightly to the only piece of his crumbling world that still made sense.  In a moment of romantic impulsivity, mixed with just a twinge of desperation, Finn Hudson proposed to Rachel Berry . . .

And Rachel said . . . .

 . . . well, apparently, she said absolutely nothing . . . ZERO, ZILCH, ZIPPO.  (In fact, this is probably the first time in Rachel’s entire life, that she was left speechless . . . sans monologue and/or power ballad.)

To this cavernous Void of Speech and Song, Finn apparently responded (in a male version of the voice of that creepy girl from The Ring movies) “THREE DAYS.”  *shivers*

For those who aren’t horror movie fans, in The Ring movies, if you watch a certain video tape in which a creepy chick crawls out of a well, once that video is over, that same chick calls you to tell you you are going to die in seven days.  Annnd . . . then she kills you.

In the Finchel version, Rachel has three days to respond to Finn’s proposal, or he will make her choke on the engagement ring . . . never to sing again.  JUST KIDDING!  He just needs an answer, thank you very much.  Unfortunately for him, Rachel’s still not quite ready to respond.

Golly, I wonder why?  It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that she is seventeen, has minimal dating experience, and wants to be FAMOUS, now could it?  “You don’t need to marry me to keep me from straying,” Rachel promises him.  “There is only you, until I go to college, and meet the next Ryan Gosling.  Then, all bets are off.”

Finn agrees to call off the creepy chick from The Ring, and give Rachel some more time to decide her entire future.  That’s very generous of him .  . .

No More Mr. Nice Gay!

Now, the Glee kids are hanging out at the Only Coffee Shop in Lima talking about . . . wait for it . . . Michael Jackson.  They decide to go around in a circle, and share their favorite MJ memories, which, considering they were all still in the womb, during most of the guy’s career, should be an impressive batch of stories.  Rachel admits that she doesn’t “get” Michael Jackson, bascially, because he doesn’t sing show tunes.  So, the rest of the Glee club promptly proceed to browbeat her for this admission.  No sense, angering MJ’s estate, when they so kindly offered Ryan Murphy and Co., MJ’s entire song catalogue, right?

This Michael Jackson Informercial is interrupted by Big Bad Sebastian Warbler.  Remember him?  The Lobster from The Little Mermaid?

 The guy who seemed to have a big ole crush on Blaine, and wasn’t afraid to bulldoze right over Poor Kurt, in order to show it?  Well, the Lobster’s motives for this little flirtation are now being severely called into question.

We are told that Sebastian learned of New Directions plans to do another Michael Jackson medley, by calling Blaine, under the guise of his needing help getting a wine stain out of his jacket.  (I don’t know, Kurt.   It sounds like phone sex to me . . . Jackets were definitely removed, at least.)  I loved Blaine’s sheepish facial expression, after being called out on this.  You would think that a guy who looks like Darren Criss would be used to the constant flirtations of men and women.  But Blaine was clearly so taken aback by Sebastian’s faux show of interest in him, that it led him to miss ALL the red flags about this guy.

I haven’t decided yet, if I find this charming, or just really, really stupid . .  .

Anywhoo, now Sebastian says that the WARBLERS will also be doing an MJ medley.  This, of course, prompts Santana to go a little Lima Heights Adjacent on the Lobster’s ass.

 So, the Lobster retorts by making a comment about all of Santana’s relatives in prison.

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At first, I found this piece of dialogue to be a little racist.  Then, I realized (based on Santana’s reaction) that her family members actually are supposed to be in prison.  And I’m still not sure, if that made the joke more racist, or less . . .

Anywhoo . . . Sebastian says that he’s captain of the Warblers now, and is tired of playing nice.  Then, he butt wiggles toward the exit, while the rest of the Glee kids, even the typically unflappable Santana, watch him go, open-mouthed, and more than a bit frightened.  And now, we are probably NEVER going to learn how to get wine stains out of suit jackets.  DAMMIT!

Two Glee Clubs, both alike in dignity . . .

The Glee kids decide to settle their score with the Warbler’s like adults . . . or, rather, like gang leaders and / or people who spend way too much time watching West Side Story.  They decide to meet their nemeses in an abandoned parking lot.  (Yeah, because THAT’s a safe place to play!)  Clad in leather jackets and scowls, the Glee kids, duel dance and sing, against the Warblers, in an approximate recreation of the music video for Michael Jackson’s “Bad.”

Toward the end of the song, the groups broke off into pairs of two.  And from that point on, I couldn’t stop watching Sebastian and Santana, who were paired off against one another.  I know their character’s are gay.  But I just can’t get over the sexual chemistry Naya Rivera and Grant Gustin have with one another.  It’s positively electric, and it emanates from them, every time they share a scene together.  (More on that, later.)

Speaking of Santana, I was happy to see her get a solo in this number, since “Bad” is oddly well-suited to her voice.  My one gripe about the number, is that Puck wasn’t given more to do.  You know . . . the former bully, who wears a mohawk, and spent time in juvie.  Wouldn’t you think this whole “gang homage” would have been right up his alley?

Additionally, I’m always of fan of Glee putting it’s own spin on popular songs, as opposed to merely recreating them.  And I think that the inclusion of Mark Salling’s raspy baritone into this number, could have made “Bad” something really special.

It’s not until the end of the song that things start to go really . . . for lack of a better term . . . bad.  We see one of the Warblers hand Sebastian a brown paper bag containing an orange slushie.  Sebastian aims to throw it at Kurt, but Blaine dives in the way.  Instantly he crumbles on the floor, yelping and screaming, as the rest of the Warblers slink away.

Like, I suspect, many of you, at first, I found Blaine’s dramatic response to having his leather jacket and face dirtied, a bit over-the-top.  I even recall laughing at him, a bit.  Then, I found out the slushie actually scratched his cornea.  So, I felt like crap.  Thanks Glee!

Artie CAN WALK (and wear REALLY tight pants)!

You know who else felt like crap about Blaine’s eye injury?  Artie.  He’s tired of being pushed around by bullies, and rich kids wearing Hogwarts uniforms.  He wants justice, dammit.  He wants to crack some SKULLS AND SOME CORNEAS!

But Schue says, NO!  Better to roll over and play dead . . . you know, kind of like Mr. Schue does himself, whenever he’s brow-beaten by his ex wife, or Sue Sylvester, or Principal Figgins, or the six year old who sells him girl scout cookies, or the neighbor’s chihuahua . . .

Artie is just SO MAD that he GETS UP AND STORMS OFF, with Mike Chang, close behind him . . .

Wait . . . WHAT????!!!!

Ooooh . . .  now I get it . . . it’s a DAYDREAM SEQUENCE, also known as a near perfect visual recreation of Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream,” with Artie playing Michael, and Mike, oddly enough, playing Janet . . . even down to the hairdo.

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For those familiar with the video, seeing it recreated in this way was really cool.  (Though, I suspect those who weren’t familiar with the original video, it just looked . . . weird.)  That said, I love that they gave Harry Shum, Jr. a solo in this one.  His voice has improved by leaps and bounds, since the series began.  I just wish the producers strayed from the original video, a bit more, to allow him to do more of his trademark dancing . . .

So, I guess Quinn’s . . . like smart . . . or something.

While lurking through the Glee message boards, I noticed that the pairing of Rachel Berry and Quinn Febray is extremely popular among a segment of the fandom.

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And those shippers were undoubtedly squealing with joy, when Rachel met Quinn in the ladies room, in order to get advice about that whole “Finn proposed to me,” thing.

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Now, I’ve gotta say, this wasn’t exactly Rachel’s most thoughtful moment.  I mean, correct me, if I’m wrong, but didn’t Finn LEAVE Quinn for Rachel MULTIPLE TIMES . . . the last one occuring very recently.  Didn’t she worry that hearing this might . . . I don’t know . . .  hurt Quinn’s feelings, a little bit.

After all, it’s one thing for your first love to move on, and fall in love with someone else.  It’s quite another for him to MARRY that someone else . . . And that brand of heartache is certainly not something one expects to have to deal with, while still in high school.  Then again, it could be argued that no one should have to deal with pregnancy in high school either, and yet many young women do every year, including Quinn  . . .

That said, Quinn was surprisingly SUPER adult about the whole thing . . . more adult than I suspect I would be.  Rather than calling Rachel out for her insensitivity, Quinn kindly and gently, but firmly, offers her some pretty sound advice.  “You have an amazing life ahead of you,” she tells her frenemy.  “You can finally get what you want, what you always dreamed of.  Don’t throw it away.”

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She also tells her to DUMP Finn, and leave high school completely behind.  Well . . . that might be a bit like throwing the Finn baby out with the bathwater.  But in terms of the marriage proposal, I think Quinn’s got a point.  If Rachel sacrifices her own dreams to be with Finn, she will eventually come to resent him for it.

Quinn then announces to Rachel (and, eventually, the rest of the Glee club) that she got into Yale.  Wow, I remember, a few episodes back, when Quinn mentioned she was applying to Yale (but only because she felt she wasn’t a good enough singer to get into NYATA (also known as the Glee equivalent of whereever it was the kids from the original 90210 went to college), I actually started laughing, because the character never struck me as being particularly smart.

Sorry!

But apparently, the whole time Quinn was getting (1) knocked up, (2) kicked out of her house, (3) giving birth, (4) trying to steal her baby, and (5) hanging out in the bathroom with a group of girls called “The Skanks” she was also getting Straight A’s.

Who knew?

Quinn’s solo this week “Never Can Say Goodbye” . . .

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 . . .  which she sings to Rachel, and, of course, to all the Glee men she’s boned in the past.

I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite number of the episode (or even my favorite Dianna Agron performance).  But, hey, at least she looked really pretty doing it!

Goodbye Quinn!  We sure will miss your sometimes-crazy ass!

I LOVE BURT HUMMEL! 

Burt Hummel is PURE awesomesauce!  He came all the way down to McKinley High, in the middle of the day, just to give Kurt his mail.  That’s right, Kiddies, the NYATA admissions letters are FINALLY HERE.  And Kurt’s is REALLY SMALL, which, many college hopefuls can tell you, tends not to be a good sign.  While he was opening that letter, I was so worried that  you would think it was me about to get my dreams crushed, not him.

But wait . . . it’s not a rejection at all.  He’s a NYATA finalist!  Kurt’s ecstatic, of course.  But Burt seems even more thrilled.  “They hurt you, and tried to bring you down, but you beat them all,” Burt tells his son, while choked up with pride.  “I’m so proud to be your dad.  They can never take this away from you.  You won.”

And . . . now my mascara is running all over my face.  Thanks Burt!  (What can I say, I’m always a big sucker for those father / son moments . . .

Speaking of winning . . .

Sam SCORES!

Continuing on his quest to get back inside Mercedes panties, Sam gets her to meet him in the auditorium, where he ropes her into singing, MJ’s soft, sweet, and sensual, “Human Nature.”

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The performance itself was a fairly bare-bones one.  But I was impressed by how nicely Chord Overstreet’s and Amber Riley’s voices complemented one another.  The duet also highlighted the couple’s romantic chemistry.  And Sam must have been doing something right, because this number ended in a much-more-than-friendly kiss.

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Sorry Shane!  It looks like your guest star days as Mercedes’ arm candy are numbered . . .

“Gee, sorry about your eye, Blaine.  Let me sing you a song about this rat I know . . .”

Meanwhile, at Blaine’s house, he’s in bed, rocking an eye patch (and awaiting the surgery that took his character conveniently out of commission, while Darren Criss starred in “How to Succeed in Business” on Broadway).  Blaine looks like a really cute gay pirate, but you can tell he’s seriously bummed about it.  Cue the entrance of Finchel and Kurt to lift his spirits, by singing him a song about how they Blaine him, no matter what he looks like . . . even if he just so happens to look like a garbage-eating, subway crawling, disease-infested rat.

OK . . . this rat is actually kind of cute.  But still! 

That’s right, folks.  Michael Jackson wrote the song “Ben” about a rat.  And now Kurt is singing it to his boyfriend . . .

2Cellos or Not 2Cellos . . .

Meanwhile, Santana has broken into La Casa de Warbler, home of Blaine’s former friends, who have since turned on him, like a bunch of . . . dare I say it . . . rats.  She confronts Sebastian for round two of their hot hate sex, disguised as dancing and singing angry duel for Blaine’s honor.  Sebastian excuses his fellow Warblers, telling them he doesn’t want them to see him make a girl cry.  But we all know it’s really because he doesn’t want them to see him cry in pure orgasmic ecstasy.

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In a room filled with a maze of chairs, fueled by the sounds of the two super talented, but-so-intense-they-are-a-bit-scary, cellists from the group 2Cellos, Sebastian and Santana tease and taunt one another, as they chase eachother around the room to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.”  Like, I suspect, many of you, I watched this number on YouTube, long before I saw it, in the actual episode.  And yet, it still remains, by far, my favorite musical number of the hour.

For starters, the performance a truly original take on MJ’s original song, bolstered by the sultry intensity of Naya Rivera’s vocals.  But, more importantly (for me, anyway), the complex and heated subtext between Sebastian and Santana, as they joust in more ways then one, pulling and prodding one another to the song’s ecstatic crescendo, adds layers to both the music and MJ’s words that I didn’t even know existed.

Did I mention that Sebastian openly admits to Santana that he put rock salt in that ill-fated slushie that ended up in Blaine’s corneas.

ROCK SALT!  (That’s really awful.  And it makes me feel even worse for laughing at Blaine, when he first went down, early on in the episode.)  Considering that Dalton Academy was a school to which Kurt originally transferred, largely for it’s “no tolerance for violence” policy, POURING ROCK SALT IN SOMEONE’S FACE, just so they can’t compete in a SINGING COMPETITION sure seems like  it would grounds for expulsion, don’t you think?   (Possibly even jail time.)

And though Sebastian seems to have absolutely no remorse for nearly blinding his almost-boyfriend, ultimately, it’s Santana, who has the last laugh.  Why?  Because she got the whole thing on tape, by attaching a bug . . . to her “underboob” . . . naturally . . .

Don’t want Finchel to get married?  Blame Rachel’s mailman . . .

“Dear USPS . . . YOU SUCK!  I’d send this letter to you by mail, but, knowing you guys, you will probably never ever receive it” 

Poor Rachel has become a victim of a government bureaucracy she can’t control.  It seems that everyone in the world has gotten their college acceptance letters, except for her.  So, of course, she assumes the worst.  “I have no idea what I’m doing,” Rachel cries to bestie Kurt, in the locker area, when she learns his good news about NYATA.  “Everyone has a plan, but me.”

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Well, Rachel . . . not everyone . . .

So, of course, Rachel goes to find Finn.

He gets an orchestra to accompany the two of them, as they sing, “Can’t Stop Loving You.”  It’s a gorgeous rendition . . . if you are a big fan of mushy ballads.  Rachel sure seems genuinely in love, when she finally gives Finn the “yes,” he’s been waiting for since last week.

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But, as much as I believe Rachel loves Finn, I can’t help but think that — at least, at this very moment — she sees marrying him as a sort of consolation prize.

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And when Rachel DOES ultimately receive her “Finalist” letter from NYATA . . .

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 . . .  that deer-in-headlights look she gets in her eyes, when Kurt asks if she told Finn the good news, definitely seems to confirm my suspicions . . .

“Gulp.” 

Because singing loudly at somebody, is the perfect revenge for their RAPING OF YOUR EYEBALL .  . .

So, I bet you were wondering what Santana ended up doing with that CRIMINAL CONFESSION of Sebastians.  As it turns out, she GAVE IT BACK TO HIM.

That’s right, kiddies.  Apparently, New Directions idea of “taking the high road,” means avenging their friend’s injury by PERFORMING FOR THEIR ENEMIES  . . .

My sentiments exactly!  But perform they do, to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Black and White,” complete with the video’s trademark Scary Face Morphing Technology.  The rest of the Warblers (except for Sebastian) join in the fun.  Of course, Blaine can’t play along . . . you know . . . BECAUSE HE ONLY HAS ONE EYE!!!!!!

But hey, it’s all about “teaching the villain” a lesson in goodness, right?

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Yeah, I didn’t think so, either . . . So, that was “Michael,” in a nutshell.  Did you likey?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Glee

What’s on TV This Week? (1/29 – 2/4) – Spoilery Sneak Peeks from Once Upon a Time, Gossip Girl, PLL, Glee, and TVD

[ Gossip Girl’s “G.G.” and PLL’s “A Kiss Before Lying” recaps are both on their way!  I wanted to take a little extra time with these. Gossip Girl just celebrated it’s 100th episode, after all.  (That just doesn’t happen every day!)  Check back for both recaps within the next 24 hours . . .]

Greetings TV fans!  One of my absolute favorite new TV Trends is the Episode Sneak Peek, i.e. the Web Clip.  More and more lately, networks are releasing key scenes from their upcoming television episodes, a week early, in hopes of generating buzz about their shows, and, possibly, increasing ratings.

The way I see it, this is a win-win situation for both the network and spoiler-loving TV viewers like myself.  From the network’s perspective, it gives the corporate suits the opportunity to control which spoilers are leaked about their upcoming episode, while still giving impatient fans something to chew on, while they wait for the actual episode to air.

From the fan’s perspective, we sort of get to feel like we’re “cheating” the system, by getting the early scoop on select parts of upcoming episodes that only the most spoiler savvy of viewers get to see . . .

“Beating the system .  . . one YouTube video at a time . . .” 

This week, was particuarly exciting for me, because I managed to find webclips for nearly EVERY show I watch!  And these aren’t just throwaway scenes, either!  Some of the sneak peeks I found offer up some genuine hints as to what these shows’ upcoming episodes have in store for us.

From a torrid fairytale affair . . . to a royal wedding that positively NO ONE wants to happen  .  . . to a heart-wrenching betrayal . . . to a Michael Jackson-inspired sing-off . . . to an out-and-out war between two sets of vampire brothers, something tells me that this week’s television fare is going to be setting the internet a-blaze with heated discussions for weeks to come . . .

So, without further adieu, I proudly bring to you, This Week’s Collection of Spoilery Sneak Peaks . . .

Once Upon a Time

“I see youuuuu!” 

Episode 11 – Fruit from the Poisonous Tree

Airs: Sunday, January, 28th, 8.p.m. EST on ABC

Though I was initially drawn to this fairytale fantasy, due to it’s uniquely original concept, and wealthy of unabashedly nerdy literary nods . . . the complex, and suprisingly dark, love story between Snow White, Prince Charming, and their respective Storybrook counterparts, is one of the main reasons I keep returning, after week.

How much of a role should amorphous concepts like fate, instinct, and chemistry play in one’s pursuit of happiness?  Is it acceptable in life to hurt and betray others, in the name of True Love?  These intriguing questions are central to Once Upon a Time, in general, and Mary Margaret’s (i.e. Snow White’s) and David’s (i.e. Prince Charming’s) story, specifically.

In this first webclip from the upcoming episode, David and Mary Margaret sneak off for a romantic forest picnic, of which their fairytale counterparts — who memorably met one another in, more or less, these same woods — would most definitely approve.  And yet the happiness of this romantic reunion is shadowed by the fact that David is married to another woman, one who has been doing everything in her power to make their ailing marriage work . . .

What’s so interesting about this couple is how many complex emotions they bring about in the viewer’s subconscious.  On one hand, everybody knows that Prince Charming and Snow White belong together.  This is something we’ve taken for granted, since we were kids.  No one else will ever be quite as right for these two individuals, as they are for one another . . .

And yet, as far Mary Margaret and David are concerned, their life is not a fairytale.  They aren’t princes and princesses, but, rather, real people, with real responsibilities . .  both of whom (while, generally, still loveable) have some genuine character flaws.  And this raises a  difficult question: Does the fact that, in alternate universe, these two individuals lived Happily Ever After, justify what they are doing in this universe?

I guess that’s really up to the viewer to decide . . .

Our second webclip introduces us to the plot that I suspect will take up the bulk of the episode.  We know him as Sidney Glass, once-editor of The Mirror (Storybrooke’s local paper), and, up until this point, one of the malevolent Mayor’s strongest allies.

But in Fairytale land, he was the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror.  And judging by the below scene, in both worlds, his tendency to portray the world exactly as he sees it, might end up leaving him shattered . . .

Anytime Once Upon a Time focuses an entire hour on one of its minor characters, it takes a risk of alienating fans who are watching the show, more or less, just for it’s leads (i.e. Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and the Mayor).  Some minor character episodes have been highly successful, at least in my humble opinion.  In fact “The Price of Gold” (which featured Cinderella’s story), and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (which featured the now-dearly departed Sheriff Graham / The Hunter) were actually among my favorites of the entire series.  And yet, other minor character episodes, like “That Still Small Voice” (about Shrink Archie Hopper, i.e. Jiminey Cricket), and “True North” (about Nicholas and Eva, i.e. Hansel and Gretel) felt a bit flat to me.

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Having always been a sucker for characters who don’t always necessarily walk on the “straight and narrow,” but who, deep down, have a good heart, I found myself intrigued by Sidney Glass, ever since we met the character, early on in the series.  Even though he’s definitely a minor character, I think his story has a lot of potential, particularly, if it’s written in a way that illustrates him as a darkly complex character and morally ambiguous, as opposed to just another schlub the Wicked Mayor managed to buy off . . .

Oh, and The Stranger . . . he’s TOTALLY one of the Brothers’ Grimm, looking to rewrite fairytale history.  It’s SO obvious!

Gossip Girl

Episode 100, “GG”

Airs: Monday, Janury 30th at 9 pm. EST on the CW

As hit or miss as Gossip Girl has been lately, there was a time, not too long ago, when it was one of the best things on television.  The clothes were eviably hipper than most of us could afford.  The couplings and sexcapades were WHITE hot . . .

The plot lines ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to jaw-droppingly, OMFG, scandalous.  And there were enough snappy, snarky quotable lines in each self-contained hour to . . . for lack of a better phrase .  . .  fill a book . . .

It’s for this reason that I am SOOOO incredibly excited about this episode’s 100th episode extravaganza.  If the rumors are true, this hour of television will be jam-packed with homages to GG’s raunchiest moments, eye-popping blot twists, and most deliciously evil schemes and insults.

In short, it will be like Season 1, all over again.  And I, for one, can’t wait to celebrate the show that taught me, once and for all, that “tights are NOT pants!”

Of course, there’s that little unavoidable matter of Blair’s sham of a wedding to that cyborg Price of Dull, Louis-bot . . .

Ahhh . . . Chuck Bass . . . the only man who can cross his legs, and still look masculine doing it.  And that voice . . . I could listen to that voice reading a Depends commercial, and still get turned on.

Don’t worry, Chuck.  Blair CANNOT go through this wedding . . .  It would be positively un-holy for her to do so . . .

That said, you may want to get that adorably toned little butt of yours, over to the church, stat!  Because it looks like she’s actually made her way down the aisle, without angry GG fans tackling her, in protest . . .

Pretty Little Liars

Episode 18 – “A Kiss Before Lying”

Airs: Monday, January 30th, 8.p.m. on ABC Family

When you are being stalked by the mysterious “A,” who literally knows your every move, and can ruin your life for the slightest infraction, lying is pretty much part of your “job description.”

Throughout two seasons, we’ve seen the Rosewood foursome lie to practically everybody they know about something . . . their parents, their significant others, their siblings, even the police.  But when it’s revealed that one of the girls might be starting to crack under the pressure, and her boyfriend just might have the key to bringing down “A,” once and for all, the Pretty Little Liars find themselves in the unique predicament of actually having to lie to eachother . . .

Honestly, as far as webclips go, these were kind of disappointing.  After all, we already knew coming in to this episode, that the rest of the PLL girls were working with Caleb to continue hacking into A’s cell phone, and that they had all controversially decided to leave Hanna out of it.

That said, the show’s Season Finale is not too far away.  And with it will come the much-awaited reveal of “A’s” identity . . . Now, that we know this story actually has an endgame, the probability that the writers will drop important clues into upcoming episodes, like this one, is increasingly high . . . .

Glee

Episode 11 – “Wanna Be Startin Somethin'”

Airs: Tuesday, January 31st at 8 p.m., EST on Fox

After last week’s Yes/No episode, Gleeks were talking more about whether or not Rachel would accept Finn’s proposal of marriage, and less about the musical performances that dominated the hour.

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I suspect that for this week’s episode, which will feature a homage to the works of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the opposite will be true . . .

Truth be told, in the past Glee’s artist-centric episodes haven’t been among their best received.   Both the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes were harshly panned by the critics.  And, for me, Glee’s Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Rumors” stands out as one of the worst episodes in Glee history.  Only the Lady Gaga-inspired episodes, “Theatricality” and “Born this Way,” seemed to manage to stay above the fray . . .

Well . . . almost . . . 

All negativity aside, I actually think “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”  has the opportunity to become a Glee classic.  For one thing, Michael Jackson’s soleful and diverse catalogue of music . . . combined with his flare for flamboyant costumes, and seamlessly choreographed numbers . . . seems to dovetail really well with the things that Glee does best.

Plus, whereas the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes’ so-called plotlines were eye-roll inducing in their ridiculousness.  (Laughing gas induced fantasy sequences?  Seriously?), the reason why all these Glee-kids are suddenly all hopped up on MJ, despite having been infants through most of his heyday actually makes sense . . .

And it’s all explained, quite succinctly, here . . .

How I adore this clip, let me count the ways . . .  For one thing, I’m thrilled to see New Directions actually THINKING about their Regionals set list, ahead of time, for a change, as opposed to . . . oh, I don’t know, coming up with it five minutes before the episode actually airs?

I was also a big fan of Artie actually admitting that he was just a year old, when Michael Jackson moonwalked.  (In truth, he was actually not even born yet, but  I digress.)  So, many times, I’ve wondered how the Glee kids’ music taste often vastly pre-dated my own (see Fleetwood Mac episode).  In this case, at least the writers are inserting some recognition of that disconnect.

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And I hate to say it, but I’m REALLY digging Sebastian as Glee‘s new super villain.   After all, Sue Sylvester can only try to bring down Glee club so many times.  And not since Jesse St. James stint with Vocal Adrenaline has the New Directions really had a worthy adversary, who wasn’t afraid to “fight dirty” to win the competition.

Speaking of worthy adversaries, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about watching Sebastian go to head-to-head with Santana.  They say “Greed is Good.”  But I say “Mean is Better.”

And these two have that down, in spades.   Plus, dare I say it, for two gay characters, these two have an astounding amount of sexual chemistry. Don’t believe me?  Check out this musical sing-off to MJ’s iconic “Smooth Criminal” . . .

(By the way, did anybody else find the cello players oddly constipated looking facial expressions during the number a bit disturbing?)

And, of course, no Glee artist-centric episode would be complete without an ensemble number in which every cast member dresses up in one of the artist-in-question’s most memorable outfits . . .

(I think Blaine is supposed to be Michael Jackson from the beginning of the Thriller video.  Am I wrong?)

The Vampire Diaries

Episode 312 “Bringing Out the Dead”

Airs: Thursday, February 2nd,  8 p.m. EST on the CW

TVD webclips are notoriously heavy on Damon snark and Eye Thing, while frustratingly light on actual plot points . . .

I suspect this has to do with head writer Julie Plec being a bit of a spoilerphobe.  But with good reason!  After all, apart from the immensely attractive cast, and interminable shipper wars, it’s really this show’s game-changing plot twists that keep us tuning in, week after week.

This week’s webclip features a shirtless Stefan (Haven’t seen that one, in a while!) . . .

 . . .  and a rather smug “I kissed Elena, and you can’t take that away from me” Damon . . .

 . . .  doing what they do best, bickering and scheming  . . .

Just to be clear, Damon and Stefan were TOTALLY eye-f*&king in this scene, weren’t they?  Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed that . . .

One of the things TVD does best . . . apart from it’s unimaginably erotic and unbelievably addictive love triangles, of course . . . is it’s parallels and role reversals. Last season, Elena un-daggered Elijah, in hopes of finding a way to eliminate Klaus as a threat, without hurting the people she loved.

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Stefan dutifully went along with her plan.  While Damon was angrily outspoken about his mistrust for the Original Vampire (with good reason, as it turns out), and ended up taking matters into his own hands, in a way that neither Elena nor Stefan approved . . .

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Now, less than a year later, Damon is the one who has un-daggered Elijah . . .  (CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?)

 . . . and is now looking to him for a possible alliance.  And Stefan is the mistrustful one, who’d prefer to take matters into his own hands . . .

But, of course, the parallels don’t end there.  There’s also the little matter of Damon locking lips with the girl Stefan always presumed was his own . . . despite the fact that his recent behavior has made a reunion between the two former lovebirds nearly impossible.

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And though, on the surface, these two brothers are fighting about vampire wars, and the efficacy of “old-fashioned” sitdowns, just beneath that surface lies a slow burn of love for the same woman, and with it, decades of jealousy, betrayal, and heartbreak . . .

That’s a whole lot of angst and complexity for one minute and 21 seconds, isn’t it?  You can imagine then, how intense the rest of the hour will be . . .

And there you have it, an entire week’s worth of juicy television, condensed down into a few short webclips.  I know I’ll definitely be tuning in . . . Will you?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Glee, Gossip Girl, Once Upon a Time, Pretty Little Liars, Spoilers and Sneak Peeks, The Vampire Diaries

Be Young, Have Fun, WIN SECTIONALS – A Recap of Glee’s “Hold on to Sixteen”

Greetings Gleeks!  You know, after a few weeks of super angsty Glee installments, it was nice, for a change, to enjoy an hour of television that was all sweetness, light, and underage strippers. 😉

Shall we undress the episode? 😉

The Return of White Chocolate

Explain something to me, Gleeks.  Why must the New Directions kids always wait until the last possible minute to choose their competition songs?  That’s just irresponsible . . . WILL SCHUESTER.

FOR SHAME!

Anywhoo, at the beginning of “Hold on to Sixteen,” the New Direction kids find themselves both songless, and Rachel-free, with just days to go, before the Main Event . . .

 

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Fortunately, our clever Gleeks have a plan:  Let’s go kidnap Trouty Mouth from Kentucky!

“Let me guess . . . you want me to eat the competition?’ 

I loved the sort of Meta-aspect of the Glee kids deciding that they needed Sam back as their “secret weapon” to win Sectionals, just as the Glee producers decided they needed Sam back, because he’s one of the few characters left that on the show that isn’t playing a graduating senior . . .

He also has great abs . . .  

Finn and Rachel take a little road trip down to the place where Sam works, in order to do the recruiting, themselves.  (Of course, I’m not quite sure how they figured out where he worked, considering Sam hasn’t told his parents, and, therefore, probably wouldn’t post that information on Facebook, out of fear of getting caught.  But I digress.)  When Finn and Rachel arrive at the “restaurant,” they see that it’s filled with old ladies, each bearing wads of cash in their fists.  Rachel immediately assumes that Sam works at “dinner theater.”  Clearly, Rachel didn’t watch the promo for this week’s episode.  And why not?  We all know how much grannys love their dinner theater!

Or not? 

Ultimately, Rachel is right.  Sam DOES perform dinner theater . . . more or less.  It’s just that the “part” he happens to play in said “theater” is a private one  is a stripper named White Chocolate (?), who wiggles his hips at grandmas, until they shove dollar bills down his pants . . .

Rachel asks Finn for a dollar, so that she can join the fun . . . thus proving that it’s not really cheating, as long as money is involved . . .

After getting a good solid glimpse of Sam’s  . . . er . . . assets, Finn and Rachel follow him to his dressing room. There he explains that he needs the job to make ends meet.  After all, it pays WAY better than the local Dairy Queen, where his parents think he’s working.  Plus, the uniform is much less binding. 

Rachel and Finn eventually tell Sam that he should come back to McKinley  High, and, more importantly, New Directions.  (He can stay at Kurt’s and Finn’s house . . . everybody else does!)  Sam readily agrees, and takes the pair back home with him, so that he can give his parents the random   ridiculous  nonsensical fabulous news . . .

Sam’s parents are “The Dad from Smallville” and “Some Blonde Actress I Don’t Recognize.”

Sam basically tells them that the reason he wants to go back to McKinley High, because he misses being a teenager.  Also, he’s tired of having 70 year old ladies, and some men, tug on his jock strap, and try to throw quarters inside.  Blonde Actress I Don’t Recognize immediately starts to cry . . . not because she feels guilty about making Sam grow up poor . . . but because, when Sam’s in Ohio, she will miss his Trouty Mouth face . . .  you know the one the “local Dairy Queen” always makes him cover with glitter . . .

Mere moments later, Sam is back at McKinley singing an uber appropriate song about alcoholism and underage drinking, called “Red Solo Cup.”  (Originally sung by country songster, Toby Keith.)

The rest of the New Directions crew joins in, while pretending to get wasted on Sparkling Cider . . . except for Kurt, who’s always been more of a juice box and sippy cup, kind of guy . . .

You can catch the Ode to Cheap Keg Beer, here, as well as Santana’s Absolutely Brilliant Ode to Trouty Mouth, which follows immediately thereafter.

Girlfriend should seriously consider a career in stand-up . . .

By the way, was I the only one who thought Sam’s “Red Solo Cup” sounded suspiciously similar to Brittany’s “My Cup” song, from last season?  (I guess Glee kids really like cups . . .)

Will Schuester, of course, sees nothing at all with his students singing songs about boozing at school.  Everybody does it!

Once he’s gotten his friends all thoroughly fake-drunk on cider, Sam informs them that the only way this mostly male group can win Sectionals is basically by ‘shaking what their mama gave them.’  He then proceeds to teach them all his Sripper Moves.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love me some White Chocolate Gyrations as much as the next girl.  BUT . . .

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  . . . they remind me just a bit too much of Sam’s Vanilla “Justin Bieber Moves” from last season . . .

Blaine is NOT FOR SALE, PEOPLE! 

My own personal opinions aside, you know who’s TOTALLY NOT down with Sam’s stripper moves?  THIS GUY!

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Our former Warbler is simply appalled by the notion of using sex to win a Glee club competition!  “I am NOT for sale,” he shouts, before stomping off in a huff . . .

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We find Blaine in the gym, a few moments later, getting all hot and sweaty with one VERY LUCKY punching bag.  Mommy like . . . A LOT!

*casually wipes drool from keyboard* 

When Finn comes to visit, Blaine admits that he’s not just mad at Sam for trying to make the Glee club slutty, he’s also mad at Finn, for being a total asshat to him, ever since he transferred to McKinley . . .

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ROAR!  Angry, Hoodie-wearing, Blaine is the BOMB DIGGITY! 

Finn basically agrees with Kurt about the whole “asshat” thing.  But hey, he’s only been acting that way because he’s SUPER jealous of Blaine’s hot bod, and mad dancing skills!  (Honestly can you blame him?)

This . . .

Versus this . . .

Ultimately, the two put aside their differences, and decide to work together to ensure that New Directions brings home a win at Sectionals.  They seal their agreement with a kiss  manly fist pound . . .

(Though, personally, I would have preferred a Gay High Five . . .)

Speaking of Blaine . . .

“You smell like Craigslist.”

Kurt has come face-to-face with his enemy.  And that enemy has CW hair . . .

. . .  and smells like Craigslist.  (Hmm . . . what do you all think Craigslist smells like?  I’m thinking dirty socks, with a hint of cheap cologne, intermingled with an old couch covered in cat hair. No offense to Craigslist, of course.)

Kurt is just minding his own business, and having a nice cup of coffee with his boyfriend, when in comes that lobster from The Little Mermaid, Sebastian.

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Kudos to Grant Gustin, who’s mastered just the right balance of slimy, stalkerish,  and decidedly evil, yet oddly charming and sexy, in his portrayal of Sebastian.  I’m already loving to hate him.  Sebastian claims he just “happened” to see Blaine getting coffee, and decided to stop by.  But there’s something about the way he says it, that makes you think, “I’ve been sitting outside the coffee shop for hours, waiting for you to come.”   *insert super villain laugh here*

Blaine must pick up on this.  Because immediately becomes super uncomfortable, and escapes to the counter to pick up his Cup O’ Joe.  With the mutual object of their affection out of the way, Kurt and Sebastian can drop all pretenses of being civil.  This is when things start to get really fun, with Kurt pointedly telling Sebastian he doesn’t like him, and Sebastian returning the favor, by telling Kurt he has a serious case of “Gay Face.”

 Something tells me these two are in for a serious, balls to the wall, hair pulling cat fight, in the upcoming weeks.  It’s a good thing Blaine took those boxing lessons.  After all, he’s probably going to be the one who ends up having to break it up .  . .

“It’s not easy looking this good . . .” 

Speaking of the always intriguing game of Love Roulette .  . .

Sam and his Women  . . .

Remember when Sam and Quinn were the BLONDEST COUPLE EVER  . . .

Well, apparently, Quinn does too.  And she wants another piece of that White Chocolate . . . in her pants!  Unfortunately, Quinnipoo’s recent trip to Crazytown has rendered her temporarily incapable of successfully hitting on men.  Instead, she tells Sam he should date her, because he’s “great with kids,” which means he’ll be really good with Beth, after she steals her away from her current mother.

 Um, Quinn?  I hate to break it to you, but, as far as pickup lines go, that one was about as sexy as syphillis . . .

Sam tries to let her down easy though, by telling her she has “rich white girl problems,” and that she should “hold on to sixteen, as long as [she] can,” like the couple from that song, Jack and Diane.  (I smell an Episode Title!)  Come to think of it, he didn’t let her down easy at all!  That was super harsh . . .

Then again, I guess Tough Love is in order for this self-destructive diva.  After all, if she doesn’t change her ways, she will most certainly end up like Charlize Theron’s character in that new movie, Young Adult . . . 

I actually kind of see a resemblance . . .

 . . . or worse, her character from that old movie, Monster.

However, having been out of town for  quite some time, Sam doesn’t really know just how big of a bullet he dodged, by deciding NOT to start dating Quinn again.  Instead, it seems the main reason, he rejected the popular blonde, was that he was much more interested in winning back his other ex, the sassy brunette . . .

Ahhh . . . Samcedes . . . the ship that almost was . . .  This just so happened to be one of those storylines that was unceremoniously dumped, upon Chord Overstreet’s departure from the show, at the end of last season.  However, Sam would have us believe that the sexy summer courtship these two shared was EPIC, with a capital “E.”  Mercedes doesn’t seem quite as certain as Sam of their everlasting love . . .

However, she does seem fairly aroused by Sam’s shameless flirting, and no-holds-barred willingness to win her back,  despite the fact that Mercedes’ current boyfriend looks like he eats monster trucks for breakfast . . .

“Nom-nom, that freshman tasted goooood.”

My advice to Sam?  Wear a helmet . . .

In parental unit news . . .

“This is your path.  You must follow it.”

Ahhh  . . . Mike Chang . . . sweet, adorable, awesome, Mike Chang.  Somehow you have gone from being That Random Dancing Dude to The Guy with the Great Abs . . .

. . . to one of my FAVORITE CHARACTERS ON THIS SHOW . . .

On one hand, when you really think about it, Mike Chang’s storyline in “Hold on to Sixteen” was more or less a Cliff Notes’ reprise of his storyline in “Asian F.”  I mean, think about it.  You’ve got Mike getting pressure from his father to pursue a career in medicine, while his girlfriend convinces him to follow his dreams, and become a professional dancer.  Then, ultimately, upon seeing Mike perform, his dad realizes just how talented his son is, realizes the error of his ways, and agrees to support him in his artistic endeavors.

However, thanks to some tremendous acting on the parts of Harry Shum, Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, and Keong Sim, who plays Mike’s dad, this recycled storyline was somehow made to seem shiny and new, and even offered up enough heartwarming poignant moments to make me a little teary-eyed . . .

It all started when Mike admitted to his girlfriend that he was planning on applying to medical schools, as opposed to dancing schools, because he wanted his father back in his life.  Finding this patently unacceptable, especially given the extent of Mike’s talent and passion for performing, Tina shows herself to have balls of steel, by visiting Mike’s father at his office, knowing full well that the latter does not approve of the pair’s romantic relationship  .  . .

At first, Mike’s dad seems annoyed at Tina for wasting his time, and has some pretty harsh things to say to her about her own chances at success in the performing world.  Douchey Daddy even goes as far as to say that Tina’s parents are deluding her, by supporting her dreams, since she’s pretty much destined to fail.  But Tina’s no dummy.  She knows exactly how to get through to Mr. Chang.  “You’re always talking about honor,” she tells him.  “Help your son to honor his gift.”

“I also added in a hint of vampire compulsion.”

Though it’s Tina’s choice words that convince Douchey Daddy to get off his stubborn ass,  and watch his son perform at Sectionals.  It’s Mike’s talents that ultimately win over the doctor, making him ever-so-slightly less douchey than before . . .

“Son, can you teach me how to Dougie?” 

“This is your path.  You must follow it,” instructs Obi-wan-Chang, in a “wise man” voice, that would make even Yoda proud . . .

“Strong in you, the force is.  Though douchey, you still sometimes are.” 

Then we find out, that, even though Mike missed his dance school application deadlines, Tina applied on his behalf.

And they all lived “danc-ily ever after”  . . .

Speaking of people who became slightly-less-evil for the sake of their children . . .

Quinn, we’d like to reintroduce you to your Soul.  Soul . . . meet Quinn . . . again.

“Ummm . . . Quinn?  Boardwalk Empire called.  It wants that old ass hat back . . . 

Thank the Lord of Dance for ending this RIDICULOUS BABY KNAPPING STORYLINE!!!!

This week, Quinn’s all ready to rat out Shelby for f*&king Puck.  (Hey, that rhymes!)  So, that the Troubletones can get disqualified from Sectionals, Shelby can be fired, and Quinn can have another shot at adopting back her spawn, Beth . . .

Rachel begs Quinn to reconsider, telling her that she knows what it’s like to do the wrong thing (i.e. fixing the class election), and it feels awful if you get caught.   Well, Rachel, this might be true for YOU.  But Quinn’s been doing the Wrong Thing for Two Seasons straight now, and it still hasn’t changed a thing.

But you still get an “A” for effort, Sweetie! 

Though Rachel’s words plant the seeds of reform in Quinn’s mind, oddly enough, it’s Shelby that really sends her on the path toward redemption.  “You may be young, and pretty now.  But, one day, you are going to be a forty year old, who needs to have sex with 18 year olds who look 30 in order to feel better about yourself.  So, you might as well enjoy being a teenager, while you still can,” says Shelby, more or less.  (How’s that for a pep talk?)

This discussion ultimately “scares Quinn  straight” so to speak.  And she decides NOT to rat out Shelby for her temporary lapse into cougardom.  She even gets to share her newfound wisdom with her fellow Gleeks.  But, more on that later . . .  It’s time for SECTIONALS!

Wherein the New Directions Get to Perform Eight Minutes Longer Than Everybody Else . . .

RACHEL: “But that’s not fair!”

KURT: “Shhhh . . . maybe no one will notice.”

It’s time for the main event.  The Troubletones versus the New Directions versus . . . a whole bunch of other teams we never get to see, and don’t really care about (with the exception of one that we DO get to see, and STILL don’t care about).  Before they head to the auditorium, The Troubletones “graciously” invite the members of New Directions to join them, if and when they win.

Finn finds the offer extremely rude even though, they ultimately end up making the SAME offer to the Troubletones, at the end of the episode.  “No, we’re being nice,” corrected Santana.  “It would be rude if I followed you around, and, everytime you took a step, I played a note on the tuba.”

Actually, that would be HILARIOUS . . . (Anyone got a tuba I could borrow?)

Aside from our McKinley based rivals, the only other group we get to hear during the Sectionals competition is the ridiculously named UNITARDS . . .

.  . . who are led by, the uber obnoxious Harmony (a.k.a. that OTHER Glee Project winner), who we met, during the season premiere.  They preform the song “Buenos Aires” from Evita.  And it’s OK . . . I guess .  . .

In case you are curious, you can watch the performance here:

The Unitards ultimately end up coming in third place, which, hopefully means, we won’t have to see them again, at least, for another season . . .

Next up are The Troubletones, with a fun little  mashup of Gloria Gaynor’s classic wedding ditty “I Will Survive,” and Destiny Child’s Dumped Girl Anthem, “Survivor.”  (Apparently, the Glee writers, heard the complaints of us snarky recappers.  In a surprise showing of continuity, BOTH the Troubletones and New Directions added in enough random extras to have the twelve-member troupes that were so important to the competition in previous episodes.)

As for this performance, it was sassy, sexy, well-harmonized, and expertly choreographed, basically, everything we’ve come to expect from this all-girl troupe.  Yet still, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if they performed their Adele mashup, from a few weeks prior, instead of this one.   Am I the only one who thinks they probably would have won?

Regarding the New Directions, there’s was a three-part tribute to the Jackson family.  In a seemingly bold move — especially considering past performances — the tribute allowed EACH member of the club to shine, with his or her own solo . . .  as opposed to having one or two Gleeks hog the stage, while the others rocked back and forth in the background . . .

*clears throat*

First, Tina, Kurt, and yes, boys and girls, Mike Chang(!) took the lead on the Jackson Five’s peppy, ABC, which was by far my favorite of the three numbers . . .

Next came Finn, Artie, and Puck crooning to Michael Jackson’s own soulful ode to self-discovery, Man in the Mirror . . .

Finally, Quinn and Blaine took over for my last favorite performance of the three to Janet Jackson’s “Control.”  In the New Direction’s defense, I’d simply never heard the song before, and didn’t like it very much.  They did their best with what they were given, though . . .  (And Quinn’s ” taking control,” speech at the beginning was TOTALLY terrifying.  So, if that was the point of it, mission accomplished.)

Given that we are only half way through the season, the fact that New Directions ended up winning the competition (with the Troubletones coming in a close second) should be no surprise to you.  But still, it was nice to see Quinn, of all people, be the one to finally extend an olive branch to her competitors, by inviting them to rejoin the WINNING team.  She even got Rachel to agree to let the girl group perform its own solo number in each successive competition, which should be fun to see . . .

Did I mention that Quinn decided she wants to go to Yale?  Yeah, because THAT’S an easy thing to accomplish!

Then again, her whole Baby Napping Storyline should make for a really nifty Ivy League College Application Essay . . .

The episode ends on a super cheery note, with the Glee kids all together at last for a big impromptu finale sing-a-long to the song “We are young.”  What I liked best about this number was, not necessarily the performance itself (I mean, there was virtually no choreography at all), but how much fun the Glee kids seemed to be having during it.  I mean, these guys genuinely seem to enjoy one another’s company, and chemistry like that is pretty hard to fake.  See for yourself . . .

And that’s all she wrote for this week’s episode of Glee.   Be sure to tune in next week, for the guaranteed cheese-fest that is the show’s annual holiday-themed episode . . .

I’m sorry.  Was that too Grinchy of me?  What I mean to say is, be sure to tune in next week for the SUPER EXCITING Christmas installment of Glee . . .

See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Nice Knowing Ya’ CLOSET! – A Recap of Glee’s “I Kissed a Girl”

Greetings Gleeks!  You know one of the benefits of writing a late Gleecap, as I’m often inclined to do, is having the hindsight of having already read a few message boards on the subject.  And boy, did this episode make a whole lot of people angry, for a variety of reasons . . .

Some of you were put off by how the writers handled Finn’s outing of Santana.

Others were frustrated by the sheer lack of Brittana, throughout the hour, thereby making the title of this episode, somewhat of a misnomer . . . if you catch my drift.

Still others of you were annoyed at how the episode brushed off Santana’s actual coming out to her parents.

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And, finally, a whole boatload of you were TOTALLY GROSSED out by the Puck / Quinn / Shelby storyline.

But, hey, at least it’s not half as bad as Puck’s storylines with that Lauren Zizes chick.  Right?  RIGHT??

Who knew a show about singing and dancing high schoolers could be so divisive?  Let’s Gleecap, shall we?

The Slap Heard Round the World School

Last week’s Gleeky installment ended with Santana (or, according to her, her alter ego, “Snicks”) clocking Finn (a.k.a. Fetus Face, a.k.a. Hamburglar) in the face for inadvertently outing her to all of Lima, Ohio.

I know I posted it before, but it bears repeating . . . 😉 

This week, Santana’s facing down suspension, not to mention a big fat “NO” to competing in Sectionals.  Finn shocks his erstwhile nemesis by claiming the entire slapping debacle to be nothing more than a little impromptu acting.

Apparently, Finn is a much better actor than he is a dancer  . . .

“It was fake.  HAHA!  Just kidding!  LOL and such!” He says, though his face currently bears a big red handprint on it, with the words “Santana was here, B*TCHES,” written in a mixture blood and lipstick across his cheek.”  (Not really . . . but there should have been.)

No one’s more shocked by this than Santana, herself.  So, she confronts Finn outside the principal’s office to slap him again, only this time in the ass find out what sort of evil plan he has up his sleeve.  Now, here’s where things got a bit messy in the Glee fandom . . .

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Finn says a whole lot of pretty schmoopy stuff to Santana, about why he’s so intent on helping her more fully “de-closet herself.”  He says SO MUCH schmoopy stuff in fact, that part of me kept waiting for the DRAMATIC BUT SAD violin to provide backup music for his speech.

Unfortunately, Violin is still in the closet, but only because no one has outed her yet.  Finn?

He tells her she’s awesome . . . and that by hiding her Gay, she’s hiding some of her awesomeness, right along with it.  It also makes her act like a bit of a tool.  Finn also claims that he cares about Santana deeply, since her’s was the first bun to accept his hot dog . . .

Finally,  he claims he doesn’t want her to kill herself, like the kid he recently read about in the news.  But through all these sweet,  if slightly patronizing, words, Finn fails to say the one thing Santana fans really want to hear: I’M SORRY I OUTED YOU, BEFORE YOU WERE READY TO COME OUT ON YOUR OWN.

DOH! 

Because, the fact remains that the REAL reason Santana has to come out of the closet now is because Finn THREW her out of it, albeit inadvertently so.  Therefore, whether Finn believes that Santana SHOULD come out of the closet,  is really beside the point.  By not apologizing to Santana for what he did, it could be argued that Finn feels justified in outing her, simply because the ends satisfy the means.  If this wasn’t the writers’ intention, they probably should have shown a bit less Preachy McPreacherson, and a bit more remorse, from our male lead .  . .

Going Girly . . .

The next step in Finn’s Let’s Blow Up Santana’s Closet plan is to have both the New Directions kids and the Troubletones sing what he terms “Lady Music,” i.e. songs by girls, about girls.  Finn hopes that this will show Santana just how much support she has from her Glee social circle.

First up to sing are Kurt and Blaine, who launch into a slightly subdued version of Pink’s “Perfect.”  It was a sweet rendition.  Though, I must admit, I found myself a bit distracted during it by Kurt’s bizarre HALF sweater.

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Specifically, I couldn’t help but wonder whether Blaine might have ripped the other half off of him, during . . . ahem . . . rehearsal.

Then, of course, there was Santana’s reaction . . .

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Awww, Santana!  Kurt SACRIFICED A HIDEOUSLY UGLY SWEATER for YOU!  Show some respect!

You can check out the entire performance of “Perfect” here:

Meanwhile . . .

Puck Gets Lucky . . .

Puck’s Lady Song is “I’m the Only One,” by Melissa Etheridge.  Like many of Puck’s solos,  this song is well-suited for the character’s gravelly sex voice, preference for guitar accompaniment, sheer love of repeated pelvis grinding, and overwhelming desire to dedicate whatever song he sings to his current love interest / conquest.  Everytime I watch Puck do one of these songs, I worry that he might impregnate me through the television screen . . .

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As many of you know, I’m a HUGE Puck fan.  So, of course, I enjoyed this performance.  I did have two complaints, however.  (1) Puck’s shameless eyef*cking of Shelby came across as a bit creepy to me .  . . I’m not quite sure why.

(2) At some point, during the past two weeks, Puck’s Mohawk seems to have morphed into a furry woodland creature, named Spanks.

Keeping a  furry woodland creature on your head, during the act of eyesex constitutes animal cruelty, in my book . . .

Animal cruelty aside, Shelby calls Puck during school, when Baby Beth falls and cuts her lip open.  Puck successfully takes charge of the situation.  And, as a reward, wins SEX.  HOORAY!

How convenient of Shelby to wait until Puck had already “helped her” in more ways than one, to decide, “this is immoral .  . . We can’t do this.”  On second thought, maybe what Shelby did was kind.  After all, at least Puck won’t have to worry about these .  . .

 . . . unlike, say, somebody else  we know at McKinley High who has to wear them ALL THE TIME .  . .

Prior to this, Quinn had, more or less, offered Puck “sure thing sex.”  But Puck, shockingly enough, turned her down because . . .  well, because she’s been a wackadoo, baby stealing, ASSHAT, for pretty much, this entire season  .  . . THAT’S WHY.  Actually, I believe his words were, “I’d rather raw dog a beehive.”  Now, THAT’S something I’d like to see . . .

All that aside, since he’s a 29 year old  teenager with Super Sex Stamina, who still has a few rounds left in him, after his one-time romp with Rachel’s bio mom (ICK!), after being rejected by Shelby, Quackers Quinn starts to look pretty darn tasty . . .

“Try no to be too alarmed, if I yell out the name “Shelby” during our Big Moment . . . um . . . it’s my dog’s name.  Yeah, that’s it!” 

Hate Sex is hot, isn’t it?  Unless, of course, you lack a condom, and your sperm have already shown themselves to be expert swimmers . . .

“Not to worry,” says Quinn (more or less), “teen pregnancy is awesome.  And I would know .  . .”

Apparently, Quinn has given up the notion of stealing Beth from Shelby, because .  . . wait for it . . . she’s decided to make another Baby.

Seriously?   Someone get this girl a strait-jacket, PLEASE!

 Fortunately, for Quinn (and us), Puck doesn’t want to play these baby-making games.  He tells her how lost she’s become, since her first baby.  And yet he knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she will safely escape the HELL that is Lima, and go on to do something great with her life like marry a billionaire and/or make a famous sex tape that earns her a reality TV show, and millions of dollars in endorsements.  Clearly, this is precisely what Quinn needed to hear.  And, for about two seconds, all seems good with the world.

So, why then, did Puck feel the need to poop on all that progress,  by confessing his affair with Shelby to Quinn.

Personally, I think Spanks made him do it.  DAMN YOU, SPANKS!

Elsewhere, in SueTown . . .

Everybody Loves Cooter . . .

“Why would someone assume I’m a friend of Ellen just because I’m mannish and highly aggressive and have short hair and I only wear track suits and I coach a girl’s sport and I married myself? It just doesn’t make sense.” Sue writes in her faithful diary, during one of the funniest bits of dialogue, in the entire episode . . .

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Did you know Sue has a Black Booty Call book, that’s annotated with helpful reminders of certain celebrities’ prowess between the sheets?  Personally, I’m hoping Fox decides to sell this one on Ebay.  Surely, many of us fellow star-screwers can benefit from knowing that Dan Quayle is “too needy,” Matt Lauer is “a crier,” and Oliver North is “a biter.”

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Of course, for the present, Sue only has one man in mind to help her combat gay rumors, and win the congressional election.  And that man’s name start’s with a “C” and is a derogatory name for a woman’s body part.  (NO!  Not THAT name . . . the other one . . . Callalily.  (Just kidding.  It’s Cooter.)

“But wait!”  You say.  “Unacceptable!  He belongs to the Beiste!”

Well, that’s what she thought too . . . until she was picking up her usual chickeny dinner (I thought Breadsticks delivered?) . . . and ran into the Old Coot on a date with a certain Congressional Candidate.  Poor Beiste is devastated.  And, what’s worse, Cooter admits that he’s dating Sue, because Beiste isn’t .  . . um . . . curing his Man Pain.  Yep, apparently someone on this show still hasn’t cashed in that shiny V card.  Unfortunately, for Beiste, night time weightlifting sessions (NOT a euphemism for sex), do not equal a “romantic relationship,” as far as Cooter is concerned.

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It looks like SOMEONE has just been punted into the dreaded Friend Zone.  I smell a solo song number.  Don’t you?

I hereby present to you “Jolene.”

Ultimately,  Sue ends up losing the Congressional Election to Burt Hummel.   But will she lose her Cooter to the Turducken loving Beiste, who has decided to battle for his love, one chicken breast at a time?  Only the writers know for sure . . .

I’m Coming Out (I Want the World to Know)

Finn’s tribute to Santana is a slow, sultry, and oddly poignant version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”  It came as a pleasant surprise for me, because I’m not usually a huge fan of Finn’s voice.  I also always tend to prefer Glee songs that offer a unique take on an already popular song, as opposed to merely covering it, karaoke style.  So, this really worked for me.  Santana must have felt the same way, since her the iceberg around her heart melted enough by the end of the performance, to offer Finn both a hug and heartfelt thanks.

All together now . . . “Awwwww.”

You can catch the performance, in it’s entirety, here:

Outside by the lockers, some douchebag leers at Santana, and decides to make her his “personal challenge.”  This prompts the rest of the Glee girls, to systematically rip him a new one, in a show of sisterly solidarity.  Then, back to the Glee room they go, to perform YET ANOTHER Katy Perry song.  This time it’s the titular “I Kissed the Girl.”  And while none of the girls actually kiss during it, there is a whole lot of ass grabbing . . . You know, if you’re into that sort of thing . . .

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Check it out . . .

We never get to see Santana actually come out to her parents, though we are told that they are “fine with it.”  Wait . . . what?  I thought that seeing Santana come out to her parents and make out with Brittany was supposed to be the WHOLE POINT OF THIS EPISODE?

Santana did come out to her grandma, though . . . That didn’t go so well . . .  “I want you to know me . . . who I really am,” Santana says to this woman, who she’s loved dearly and admired her entire life.

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So, of course that evil wench has to go, and squash her heart like a bug . . .

How dare Santana make her asshat grandma uncomfortable, by telling her what’s in her heart?  She should have kept it a secret, and maintained the lie of their relationship . . . that would be MUCH better.  It’s interesting (and sad) how Grandma seems more willing to accept that her daughter might be pregnant, while still in high school, than gay.  Eventually, Grandma kicks a tearful Santana out of her house, and tells her never to return.

Then, as soon as Santana leaves, the Glee fandom knocks down the old lady’s door, and proceeds to beat the crap out of her homophobic ass.  Good times! 🙂

Santana returns to school the next day, subdued, but determined to keep on fighting for her own happiness.  She sings k.d. lang’s “Constant Craving,” while Puck and Shelby stare moodily at one another, and Crazy Quinn plots the teacher’s untimely death.  Other than that awkwardness, the performance serves as a poignant finale to the journey Santana underwent, during the episode . . .

In other news . . .

When Stuffing a Ballot Box, Don’t Forget to Count the Ballots . . .

Sue wasn’t the only person to lose an election this week, Kurt lost one too . . . but for lack of cheating trying.  It’s student election time at McKinley and Kurt is convinced that he is going to lose to Brittany, because, unlike her, he refuses to go topless on Tuesdays.  (Can we get Blaine to go topless on Tuesday’s instead?   Or Puck,  for that matter?)

Convinced that an election loss will kill his chances of getting into NYATA college, Kurt contemplates stuffing the ballot box.   But Rachel, Blaine and Finn convince him to “be good.” The ballots are secret, but, the benefit of this being a TV show is that we get to see who everyone votes for.  Santana and Quinn show Cheerios spirit (and a little Lebanese Lady Love, respectively) by voting for their Britt . . .

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 . . . while most of the other Gleeks seem to support Kurt.

However, when Kurt ends up winning the election by 190 more votes than there are actually STUDENTS IN THE SCHOOL, Principal Figgins cries foul.   This is the worst election scandal since Bush v. Gore!  Kurt is called in for questioning, and threatened with suspension.  There’s only one problem .  . . he didn’t do it.

You know who did?   Rachel . . . . you know, because she needs her Gay Best Friend for college nights on the town, and stuff.  (Who doesn’t?)

Of course, Brittany ends up winning the election, fair and square.   (HOORAY for Pixie Sticks and Public Nudity!)  Kurt concedes graciously,  telling Brittany to “rule awesomely,” even though he’s quite certain now that he won’t get into college now, and will be forced to spend the rest of his life in Lima,  singing oldies songs for tips at the local Johnny Rockets . . .

And here’s the kicker . . . Rachel might not get into NYATA now either.  Her election rigging is going on her permanent record.  She’s suspended from school for a week, and . . . wait for it . . . she’s BANNED FROM COMPETING IN SECTIONALS!!

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This is terrible.  The New Directions are probably going to have to have that little leprechaun kid do all the solos now . . .

Next week on Glee, SHIRTLESS SAM is back, and . . .

Yeah, I missed everything else, after I saw that.  It’s a girl thing.  What can I tell you?  Anywhoo, feel free to check out the trailer for next week’s Glee installment, entitled “Hold on to Sixteen” here:

So . . . tell me . . . what did you think of “I Kissed a Girl?” 😉

Until next time, Gleeks . . .

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Dodging the Bully – A Recap of Glee’s “Mash Off”

[Fashionably Late . . . Again?  (I’m afraid this is becoming a habit.)  The Recap for Gossip Girl’s “All the Pretty Sources” is well under way.  Wondering when you can expect it?  I’d say most probably before midnight (EST), tomorrow, Tuesday, November 22nd.  My sincere apologies for my recent lack of timeliness.  (Chuck got me very drunk last night . . . just like Dan.)]

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Greetings Gleeks!  This Very Special Episode of Glee was all about the unintended consequences of bullying.  But lest you think the entire episode was a TOTAL downer .  . . there was also a sizeable portion of it that was about Puck’s weiner.

Get it?  A sizeable portion . . . because Puck’s wei  . . . nevermind.

Let’s recap, shall we?

Pucker up, for the Puck-ster

It’s a weekday, which means Puck must be in love with a new woman.  At least, this time, it’s not that annoying asshat, Lauren Zizes . . .

“What the f*&k was I thinking?” 

As Puck and the show’s writers go to great lengths to remind us, he’s EIGHTEEN now.  So, it’s TOTALLY OK for him to want to taste the forbidden fruit that is adopted mother-of-his child / substitute teacher / rival Glee club director, Shelby Corcoran . . .  I smell a musical moment, don’t you?

Though not necessarily the best sounding cover song Glee has ever done, “Hot for Teacher,” was definitely good for a few laughs . . . with Puck gyrating to the rhythm of his old school guitar, and crooning / yelling in that sexy, scratchy voice of his.  Meanwhile, Blaine and Mike Chang repeatedly grabbed their grotches, wiggled their hips, and awkwardly waved their hands behind him, in an odd little cross between the original Van Halen music video on which this was based, and . . . a rousing game of Simon Says?

Oh, and, of course, Finn was making his classic, “I’m on the drums” face, the whole time . . .

He didn’t participate in any of the dancing though . . . (Gee, I wonder why?)

Feel free to check out the original “Hot for Teacher” below, and compare the two for yourself . . .

Anywhoo, Puck attempts to win Shelby’s heart by giving her a baby pumpkin, instead of the usual “apple for the teacher” type deal.  Have any of you out there ever actually eaten a baby pumpkin?  Do they taste like regular pumpkins?  I don’t know . . .  They are more interesting than apples though . . . because, really, anybody can get you an apple.  Baby pumpkins, on the other hand, are only available when they are in-season.

But I digress . . .

Puck proceeds to make his plea for Shelby’s love by (1)  reminding Shelby how hot they both are . . .

Well . . . I agree with half of that statement. 😉 

(2) listing all the May / December celebrity romances that have worked . . . like Ashton and Demi for example . . .

WHOOPS.  Nevermind!  It looks like the script for this show was written a few weeks too early.  Indiana Jones and Ally McBeal ARE still together though, last time I checked.  So, he got that one right . . . at least.

(3) And offering to be a REAL father to Baby Beth . . .

But perhaps the most controversial thing Puck did to win Shelby’s love was to out Quinn for all those awful things she did to get Baby Beth taken away from Shelby by Child Services.

Now, assuming Puck did this, because he thought Shelby had the right to know, and not just as a ploy to get into her thong (which is debatable), I’m all for it.  However, something tells me that Quinn isn’t going to feel the same way as I do, when SHE inevitably finds out . . .

I’d say the sweetest part of this storyline was when Puck told Shelby that she was meant to be Beth’s mom, even going as far as to say that’s why Puck and Quinn got drunk and boned one another about a year a so ago, unprotected, and against their better judgment.  Well, that’s ONE way of looking at it . . .

“Come on, let me stick it in, ya!  It’s for a GOOD CAUSE!” 

Things We Never Knew About Burt Hummel . . .

“I’m a better dancer than my son-in-law . . . though, admittedly, that’s not saying much.” 

Did you know Burt Hummel has a baboon heart?

Did you know he married a donkey?  Well, now you do!  Thanks, Sue Sylvester!

I know . . . I know . . . neither are these things are true.  But I honestly think Sue Sylvester’s so-called negative advertising campaigns against State Congressional hopeful, Burt Hummel, were some of the funniest moments of this episode.  And while I’m 100% against bestiality and donkey / human marriages, I think there is entirely too much prejudice nowadays against people with animal parts . . . Just sayin’.

“Is this what having a stroke feels like?”

Brittany said the above line to compliment the mash-up / duet rival Glee club directors Will Schuester and Shelby Corcoran performed to two songs (both named “You and I”).  The performance was meant to  convince the two groups to get along with one another long enough to compete in one giant Mash Off, before they find themselves competing against one another, for real, during Sectionals.  Nevermind the fact that, as was mentioned last season, neither musical group appears to have the minimum number of participants required for a team to enter into the competition.

Well, I was definitely twitching after the song was over.  So, maybe Brittany was on to something there.  While this was definitely not my favorite musical number of the episode, I did appreciate the creativity of combining a popular Lady Gaga song with an old 80’s country song that most Glee viewers (myself included) had probably never heard before.  The lyrics of the two songs dovetailed surprisingly well with one another, and the resulting song sounded a lot better than you would think it would .  . . but not much.

That didn’t stop me from twitching though . . . maybe it’s a Schuester thing.  He bugs me sometimes, what can I say!

Sorry, Schue!  It’s true!

Santana’s got balls (and she’s not afraid to throw them)

Upcoming Mash-off competition aside, it seems the New Directions and the Troubletones weren’t satisfied having only ONE opportunity to kick eachother’s asses.  And so evolved the brilliant idea that the two groups should meet up in the gym, and pelt eachother with their balls .  . .

 . . . dodgeballs that is.

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The Mash-up of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” and “One Way or Another,” provided a perfect soundtrack for the surprisingly intense game.  Plus, the action shots of Gleeks playing dodgeball made for some of the best choreography we’ve seen on the show, in quite some time.  For example, did you guys know Blaine can fly?

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“Weeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Kurt likey . . . A LOT! 

Now, while Kurt might have SERIOUSLY enjoyed watching his boyfriend soar over his head, in those uber short and much-too-tight gym shorts, he definitely was NOT a fan of the Troubletones decision to mercilessly pelt Little New Guy Rory with dodgeballs, long AFTER they had already won the game.  Kurt scolded his opponents for their bad form, as he dragged a bloody Rory off the battlefield, while throwing a SERIOUS “I’m judging you” face in his former friends’ direction.

Mommy Dearest (and not so Dearest)

I have to say, I respect Rachel Berry a whole lot more, now that I know she writes her own college recommendations, so that all her “recommenders” have to do is sign them.  (For all you prospective college applicants out there, it really is the best way to go!)  Of course, there is one other big thing that Rachel did during this hour to make me respect her.  But, more on that later . . .

“While we are on the subject, MOM, I am also looking for a surrogate, to carry my baby in her belly for nine months, in exchange for $20,000.  Would you be interested?” 

Given the disappointing way in which Shelby’s Season 2 run-in with bio-daughter Rachel ended, it’s nice to see these two working toward forming a genuine relationship with one another, this Season . . .  When Rachel comes to Shelby, to get her to sign a pre-written college application, the latter surprises her bio daughter with plenty of kind words, encouragement, and the type of pride only a real mother, can show for her daughter.  She even offers to writer Rachel a college recommendation BY HERSELF.  HOORAY!

But then Shelby inadvertently makes Rachel feel like crap, by telling her daughter that, because she’s so friggin perfect, less-than-perfect people who are applying to performing arts school against her (like say . . . Kurt), don’t have a shot in hell of getting in, and, will, therefore, probably end up flipping burgers for the rest of their lives. . .

Dear Kurt, Sorry I ruined your life.  And yes, I would like fries with that.  Love, Rachel. 

Putting that aside though, it was a  Genuinely Touching Moment . . .

If looks could kill . . . 

On the other end of the parental unit relationship spectrum are Quinn and Shelby.  Shelby never exactly seemed to be Quinn’s biggest fan, anyway.  But now that she knows about the whole Baby-napping Scheme, she’s REALLY Anti-Quinn.  Eventually, a confrontation ensues, in which  Quinn calls Shelby out for “whoring out” Baby Berry, back when she was a teen (OUCH!).

And Shelby calls Quinn out for . . . um . . . well, basically, just being an incredibly sh*tty human being.  (QUADRUPLE OUCH!)

Shelby also tells Quinn that she doesn’t trust her around Baby Beth, anymore.  Sorry Quinn!  Perhaps, you should have gone with a different tactic . . . like making out with Shelby, and giving her baby pumpkins . . . Better luck, next illegitimate child!

Topless Tuesdays and Other Campaign Promises . . .

It’s campaign speech time, at McKinley High.  And just like in real government, all the candidates seem to be making promises they can’t keep.  That weird, mullet-wearing, red headed guy from the hockey team says he promises that all students will be able to boss around their teachers from now on.

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Brittany wants to protect high school students in Lima from tornadoes, and promises to go topless every Tuesday.  Way to give back to your community, Brittany!

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Rachel promises to withdraw from the race, and get everyone to vote for Kurt . . .   Wait, WHAT?  Rachel is going to give up an opportunity to be the best?  I must have walked into someone’s alternate universe Kachel fanfiction!

In all seriousness though, I think Rachel took to heart Shelby’s words about how the Type A, overachiever, ALREADY has the resume to get into the college of her dreams, while Kurt does not.  It was a super sweet, suprisingly un-Rachel like thing to do.  And Kurt was just as shocked as the rest of us . . .

As for Kurt, his campaign speech is kind of a downer.  I mean, fighting against childhood obesity, and bullying is great . . . but eliminating dodgeball?  Seriously?  Wouldn’t it be easier to just use softer balls, like Kurt’s those squishy ones that Nerf makes?  My personal opinions aside, I loved Kurt’s speech, simply because Blaine’s “Supportive Face,” while he was making said speech was SUPER hot.  And we wouldn’t have had the chance to see it, otherwise . . .

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After the speeches, Kurt and Rachel FINALLY ended their seemingly interminable election-based fight.  Not only was the reunion scene between the pair extremely touching, I’m just thrilled that these two characters will finally be able to regularly interact again.  After all, Rachel’s and Kurt’s friendship is my favorite completely platonic relationship on this show . . . heck, it might actually be the only completely platonic relationship on this show . . .

Reunited and it feels SO GOOD! 

Out and Not So Proud . . .

Oh, Santana.  As a character, I adore you to pieces . . . most of the time.  You are hilariously funny.  You constantly make fun of Finn.  You have a spectacular singing voice.  And you are one of the most complex, and consistently written, characters on this show.  But if I REALLY knew you, or, worse, attended high school with you, I’m pretty sure, I would hate your guts .  . . and keep a voodoo doll of you in my locker, to stab at, whenever I was having a particularly bad day.

Throughout the episode, we watched Santana be mercilessly evil to Finn, and his new sidekick Rory.

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It eventually got to the point where even her fellow Troubletones were begging her to stop.  But she continued, with what was probably the meanest, most underhanded,  apology ever.  And that’s when Finn snapped, outing Santana as a lesbian in front of the whole school.  Whether intentionally, or unintentionally done . . . whether provoked or unprovoked  . . . whether he thought Santana’s sexual preference was a secret or common knowledge, what Finn did was VERY, VERY wrong.  And it ended up producing some pretty serious consequences for Santana . . .

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As it turns out, one of Burt’s and Sue’s congressional opponents has a daughter who attends McKinley High, and that daughter recorded Finn’s and Santana’s conversation.  Ultimately, Santana’s secret ended up being used by this opponent in a negative campaign advertisement against Sue, in order to imply that the Cheerios coach was ALSO a lesbian.  In a surprisingly poignant moment, the usually ascerbic Sue, Burt Hummel, and Will Schuester call Santana into Sue’s office to show her the advertisement, and offer her their support.

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Santana, understandably, is inconsolate.  “This can’t be happening to me,” she cries, as she makes a mad dash down the hallway  “I haven’t even come out to my parents yet.”

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And the Winner of the Mash Off of 2011 is . . .

The Mash Off Competition takes place before Santana really has time to heal, or process the many ways in which her life is about to change.  The New Directions are up first, and SURPRISE, it’s another 80’s music mash-up.  (Way to be HIP, Mr. Schue!)  This one is a mixture of the songs “I Can’t Go For That,” and “You Make My Dreams.”  It was a fun performance, for sure.  But, for me at least, the best part about it, by far, were the ridiculous curly wigs, weird heavily shoulder padded suit jackets, and over abundance of pink all the guys wore during the musical number.  Hysterical, with a capital H!

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Oh, and did youu catch the befuddled facial expressions of all the females in the audience.  PRICELESS!  As for the women, they all vaguely resembled Pebbles Flintstone . . . though, I’m not exactly sure why . . .

See, for yourself . . .

But the winners of this competition, hands down, just like in the dodgeball competition that preceded it, were the Troubletones.

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With Santana and Mercedes at the helm, the group’s mashup of Adele’s “Rumor Has It” and “Someone Like You,” was breathtakingly beautiful, and enchantingly mesmerizing, with just a smidgeon of slit-your-wrist, depressing.

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Naya Rivera expertly portrayed, all of the angst, sadness, and inner turmoil of her character’s unfortunate outing, in every word she sang, and every expression that crossed her face.

Then, when the performance was over, and Santana leapt off the stage, to slap Finn extra hard, right across the mouth, for the inadvertent role he played in her embarrassment and discomfort, I had genuine tears in my eyes . . .

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In the next installment of Glee, if the promos are any indication, Santana will come out to her parents, and the rest of the cast will get laid.  Can I get a HELL YEAH!  You can check out the promo for “I Kissed a Girl,” here . . .

 So, tell me  . . .  what did you think of “Mash Off?”

Did you enjoy the Adele number as much as I did?  Do you agree with me that the Troubletones kicked New Direction’s ASS this week, in every way possible?  Are you shipping Shelby / Puck . . .  or do they make you want to upchuck?

 Are you pro or anti-dodgeball?  And, most importantly, Team Santana, or Team Finn?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section . . .

Annnnd . . . that’s what you missed, ON GLEE!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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