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Would you like some wine with your cheesy? – A Recap of Glee’s Mid-Season Finale “A Very Glee Christmas”

“Is that an elf in your pants, Santa, or are you just happy to see me?”

Ahhhhh, Christmas.  It’s a holiday seeped in tradtion: the presents, the mistletoe, the egg nog, those ugly Christmas sweaters, the Yule Log, those ridiculous old made-for-tv movies on Lifetime and ABC Family . . .

It’s enough to nauseate warm even the coldest of hearts . . .

This week’s pre-hiatus Glee episode was all about the Holiday of Giving.  And it offered up enough Christmas Cheer and Yueltide Cheese to keep you in Sugar Shock, well past New Year’s (which I guess — considering that new episodes of Glee won’t air until February 2011 — is a good thing). 

Poor Will!  Based on the way things ended for him this episode, it doesn’t look like he’s going to be getting LAID, until after the Superbowl, either . . .

Let’s recap, shall we?

Secret Santas Got a Brand New Bag

When the episode opens, Emma — who has experienced some major coldness from the MAN WHO IS NOT-SO-SECRETLY IN LOVE WITH HER, ever since she announced to him that she ran off with Jesse from Full House Dr. Carl Howell for a Plot Device Vegas Wedding  — invites Will to a Christmas party at the Tanner Household La Casa de Carl.

“Have MERCY!”

Understandably, Will looks like he would rather stab an ice pick through his heart, than spend Christmas watching Emma and Carl PDA and “Santa Baby” on the “Most Wonderful Night of the Year.”  (Can you blame him?)

Fortunately, Will’s Sulkfest 2010 is interrupted by a Beiste Bearing Gifts . . . well actually . . . more like a Beiste bearing names, as the faculty at McKinley High plans to exchange Secret Santa gifts this year.  Will gets THIS NAME . . .

 . . . which makes him do this .  . . again.

We later learn that Sue Sylvester has actually rigged the Secret Santa so that EVERYONE pulls her name.  In the words of Stephanie Tanner from Full House,  HOW RUUUUUUUUDE!

Meanwhile .  . .

I Saw Someone Still Believing in Santa Claus . . .

When Artie learns that his “Very Special” girlfriend, Brittany, still believes in Santa Claus, he becomes determined to preserve the Magic of Christmas for her.  But he ultimately ends up shooting himself in the foot (wow that was inappropriate on SO many levels), when he takes Brittany to Santa Land at the mall.

While the rest of the Glee kids ask “Santa” for reasonable things like “bling” (Santana), “Puck’s Love” ( me Lauren Zizes), or for Channing Tatum to star in less stuff (Mike) . . .

(I think its an “abs” thing.  Some guys just don’t know how to handle a little competition . . .)

(Coincidentally, you can catch Channing Tatum in the upcoming film The Dilemma, starting January 14, 2011.)

 . . . Brittany asks for Artie to be able to walk, which reminded me of the time when he DANCED . . .

But, seeing how that was just a dream sequence . . . yeah . . . Artie is kind of screwed.

Would you rather be slusheed, or hit in the head with a designer shoe?

While Brittany has no trouble keeping herself in the Christmas spirit, the rest of the Glee kids are feeling a bit more Scroogey.  After all, they are STILL getting slusheed in the hallways (though now the slushees are in festive Christmas colors!).  And, when they try to sing “Need a Little Christmas” to classes around the school, in order to collect money for a charitable holiday class trip . . .

 . . . they get heckled and hit in the head with Christmas boots.  Bah Humbug!  Decorating the Glee choir room and singing “Welcome Christmas” does little to lift the kids spirits.  Although THIS helps some . . .

Speaking of sporting a little Christmas Wood . . .

Blaine and Kurt heat things up, while singing about the cold . . .

In my absolute favorite performance of the evening (even though plotwise, it didn’t really fit in with the rest of the episode, AT ALL), Blaine finds Kurt studying alone in the lounge at Dalton Academy, and asks him for a sexual favor.  You see, Blaine was selected to sing “Baby it’s Cold Outside” at some random Christmas pageant, and simply can’t play with himself practice alone. 

And so, the duo launch into a modern take on the classic song.  The result is fun and adorable enough to warm the cockles of even my cold, cold heart.   Those of you who haven’t seen it yet, can enjoy it here:

After the solo, Will randomly shows up at Dalton Academy — a school that not only has a “No Tolerance for Violence” policy, but, apparently, also has NO SECURITY WHATSOEVER.  You would think that the Spanish-teacher-who-hasn’t-spoken-a-lick-of-Espanol-since-the-pilot-episode was there to wish Kurt a Merry Christmas, or give him advice of some sort.  But NOOOOOOO . . . this visit was all about Will, and his problems!  (What else is new?)

You said it, Sista!

Here’s Kurt, suffering the slings and arrows of unrequited luuuuuuuuuve, and all Will wants to do is bitch about how can’t figure out what to get Sue for her Secret Santa gift.  Selfish much?

OOPS!

Will’s only gift ideas so far have been a Robot Dog and a Soul.  Now, I don’t know about that whole “Soul” thing, but a Robot Dog would be an AWESOME Christmas present . . . (hint, hint Mom .  . . if you are reading this)

(My cat would never be without a companion!)

Kurt suggests a fur-lined tracksuit, instead . . . and I, for one, am hoping he meant faux-fur . . .  At least, with the Robo Dog, you can be sure that no living creatures were harmed in its making . . .

Though some might beg to differ with that assessment . . .

You’re a Mean One, Sue the Grinch

Coincidentally, this is exactly what I look like, after eating bad cafeteria food . . .

On Secret Santa exchange day, Emma and the rest of the teachers quickly discover that Sue rigged the Name Pot (Name Jar?), in order to get all the presents for herself . . .

“You a regular Agatha Christie, except even more sexless,” Sue says of Emma, when the latter reveals Sue’s devious plan to the rest of the faculty.

The teachers stomp off in a collective huff, as Sue, along with her new minion, Becky, sort through all her new Christmas gifts with sadistic glee . . .

Not surprisingly, about six different people got her The Shake Weight . . .

Teachers and Late Night Infomercials — It’s a Match Made in Heaven (plus tax)

Eventually, Will returns to take all Sue’s gifts back.  He claims she has no legal right to them (which, I guess is true, but, then again, neither does he).  Will plans to take the undeserved gifts to the underprivileged children in a nearby district.  Though honestly, I’m not sure what a bunch of kids would do with an adult fur-lined track suit, a blender, and six shake weights . . .)

Sue, of course, is APPALLED . . .

“I’m appalled.”

And so, she decides to get revenge, by inexplicably painting her face Grinch Green (riiiiight, because no one will recognize her NOW!), and heading to the choir room — along with her trusty Reindog Becky — to steal back the gifts, and ruin Christmas for Will and the Glee kids . . .

While Sue and Becky snatched presents, smashed ornaments, tore tinsel, slashed mistle toe, and cut down the Glee tree, a voice in the background eerily broke into a rendition of Sue the Grinch.  I later learned that voice belonged — not to anyone in the Glee cast — but, instead, to K.D. Lang .  . .

Ummmm  . . . yeah . . . because that’s not random at all.

At the end of the song, Brittany arrives, decked out in her best Cindy Lou Who attire . . .

(By the way Gossip Girl fans, I bet you will never guess who played Cindy Lou Who in the movie version of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas . . .  I’ll give you a hint, her name starts with a Raccoon and ends with a Zombie.)

Meet Cindy Lou Who, also known as Little J / Taylor Momsen.  Poor Dr. Seuss must be rolling over in his grave right about now . . .

Anywho . . . Brittany mistakes Sue for Santa (Other things Brittany mistakes for Santa: tomatos, bananas, Stop Signs, Soap Scum on her shower.).  Not seeming the least concerned that Santa is “green” and “ruining Christmas,” Brittany joyfully admits to the Grinch herself, that the presents under the tree are for the homeless.  Brittany’s innocence and sheer honesty, in the face of such evil, makes Sue turn a little green . . .

. . . but it doesn’t make her feel bad enough to clean up her mess . . .

The next day, the Glee kids enter the choir room to find THIS . . .

Determined to save Christmas for his fellow Gleeks (it is his favorite holiday, after all), Finn offers to go pick out another tree for the choir room.  And Rachel (seeking entrance back into The Finn Hudson Pantalones) offers to come along for the ride.  After all, her first bid to win back Finn’s heart — which involved, you guessed it, her SINGING (lamest . . . Christmas gift . . . ever . . . Cheapskate) — failed miserably.  So, she really had nothing to lose!

“Merry Christmas, Darling.  Please enjoy the Gift of My Voice to make up for the fact that you are no longer entitled to the Gift of My Virginity . . .”

At the Christmas Tree Farm, Finn and Rachel sing a duet of the song Last Christmas . . .

When the song is over, Rachel, who has rubbed herself in car air freshener, for the occasion . . .

The best little roll-on perfume $2.50 can buy!

 . . . makes her second play of the hour for Finn’s fickle heart.  “Last year for Christmas, I asked Santa to give me you even though I am Jewish, and don’t celebrate Christmas and he did!  It’s time for you to forgive me,” she said matter-of-factly, offering him a big wet and slobbery tongue kiss, as proof of the veracity of her statement.

But Finn, who is a self-righteous asshat (WOW!  I can’t believe I am actually taking Rachel’s side on this one), runs away like the whiny b*tch he is.   In doing so, the bastard completely forgets about his lofty plans to “Save Christmas,” and leaves Rachel to smell like the inside of a car, all by her lonesome . . .  (Then again, maybe smelling Pine Fresh, will make it easier for Rachel to hitch a ride home with a Lonely Trucker or Hairy Mountain Man.)

“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, and the very next day, you gave me a fart . . .”

Meanwhile, back in the Better Plotline . . .

Brittany, Meet Santa Claus . . .

The Glee kids beg the increasingly adorable Shannon Beiste to be “Santa” at Brittany’s house, because she “has the right body type.”  (Yeah . . . because THAT’S not insulting at all!)  Artie hopes that “Santa” can kindly break the news to Brittany that “he” will not be able to get Brittany her requested gift of A Walking Artie . . .

That night, Brittany is thrilled to see Santa Beiste doing a “Christmas Dry Run,” right in her own living room!

However, her face falls, when “Santa” explains to her that she must instead give Brittany the gift of patience, instead of what she asked for, as “fixing Artie’s legs” is not a present that can be delivered overnight.  To support her position, Beiste tells Brittany the story of a husky young girl who wished that Santa would make her look like all the other girls for Christmas.  But, instead, Santa gave her the gift of “patience,” allowing her the time to eventually realize that she didn’t really WANT to look like all the other girls after all!

Gee, I wonder who that “Little Girl” could be?

“Was it Ricki Lake?”  Brittany asks.

(You’ve gotta love when the writers of this show have the Glee kids making totally age inappropriate pop culture references.)

Though Brittany feigns a polite perkiness with Santa Beiste, the next day, Artie finds his girlfriend at her locker, looking completely crestfallen.  “I used to believe that Santa could do anything. If Santa isn’t magical, I don’t even know if I want to believe anymore,” she mutters.

In a move that makes me LOVE this couple even more than I did last week (Sorry Team Artina, I am 100% Team Bartie now!), Artie rushes Brittany home, to help her cope with her newfound crisis of faith.  Once there, however, Brittany finds a very special gift under her tree . . .

It’s called a Re-Walk, and its experimental technology allows people, heretofore bound to wheelchairs, temporary use of their limbs.  (Believe it or not, Re-Walk technology is very real.  You can read more about it here.)  Artie brought his Re-Walk back to school, to share it with the rest of the Gleeks.  Seeing her Christmas wish come true literally brought tears of joy to Brittany’s usually vacant eyes . . .

And, all cheese aside, if this Glee moment didn’t melt your heart, just the slightest bit, you are simply not human . . .

No offense!

Speaking of melted hearts . . .

How Sue Saved Christmas . . .

Desperate times call for Desperate Measures, and when Will finds the Glee kids, going all Gift of the Magi on themselves, to raise money for their trip to see the underprivileged kids, he is impressed and disturbed at the same time.  (The boys gave up their watches, while the girls were prepared to chop off their hair.  Umm . . .  does that sound like an unfair trade off to anyone else?) 

Fortunately, Will has a money-making idea that will allow the girls to keep their luscious locks, and the boys to still always know when its time for sex lunch.

In the next scene, the Glee kids sing in front of a group, for the second time this hour.  This time. however, the audience is made up of teachers.  So, the kids won’t have to worry about getting shoes thrown at them again . . .

Well . . . maybe they have to worry a little bit.

The song the kids sang, as their coffers filled with faculty donations, was “Welcome Christmas,” a song with which, I’ll admit, I was completely unfamiliar, before this episode.   And yet, one line of the song really stood out for me:  “Christmas time it will always be, just as long as we have Glee Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on Fox”  Now how’s THAT for product placement?

Conveniently, at the last moment, Sue walks in on the “caroling,” and immediately vomits is touched with the Christmas spirit.   By the time the kids return to the choir room, all the Shake Weights are back under the tree, and everything is as it should be.

But wait!  There’s MORE!  Sue also convinces the Glee kids to go to WILL’S house, so that he doesn’t have to spend Christmas alone.  (What’s the matter Glee kids?  Do none of you have parents?)  Will is touched by the gesture, and shocked that it was Sue who orchestrated it.  “I thought you hated the holidays,” says Will incredulously.

“No, I just hate you,” Sue replies.

Did I mention that Sue bought Will a Christmas gift too?

It’s a razor!  So, Will can shave his HEAD!  Get it?  Well . . . I guess some things never change.  (And yet . . . now that Sue mentions it, Will would look kind of hot with a crew cut . . . kind of like Channing Tatum . . .)

Sorry Mike!

The last moments of this very Yuletidey mid-season finale feature the Glee kids celebrating Christmas together at Will’s house . . .

It’s a schmaltzy, but sweet, end, to a schmaltzy, but sweet, Glee episode.  Well, that’s all I’ve got, folks.  So, Merry Gleestmas to all, and to all a Good Night! 

(Oh, and see you next year, my fellow Gleekys!)

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Can’t We All Just Get Along? – A Recap of Glee’s “Special Education”

Last year’s Sectionals brought our Glee kids together, in a really big way, by forcing them to pull an ENTIRE set list out of their collective butts, in the last few seconds before showtime.  (If you recall, during that episode, New Directions’ original set list had been stolen by both of their competitors, thanks to one, very naughty, Sue Sylvester.)  This year, however, that same competition seemed to drive a wedge between our Glee kids, the likes of which we haven’t seen before . . .

It seemed as though Kurt’s absence from McKinley High and the Glee club had cast a dark pall over all of our characters, as well as over the episode, in general.  It was enough to make me wish that SOMEONE would stick a “warbler” up Karofsky’s ASS, so Kurt could come back to New Directions where he BELONGS, and things could go back to normal again . . .

To save Glee, this brave warbler is willing to BOLDLY go where no bird has gone before . . .

Pucker up those cheeks, Karofsky . . . and not the ones you used to kiss Kurt, either!

And yet, amidst all that darkness were some seriously sweet scenes between new couples (Artie and Brittany / Sam and Quinn), best frenemies (Kurt and Rachel), and prospective future couples (?) (Blurt and Puckleberry).  Let’s recap, shall we?

“I feel like punching you, everytime you open your mouth.”

Woah, Quinn!  Why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel?

When Emma nervously suggested to Mr. Schuester, during the episode’s opening, that he too often relied on Finn, Rachel and Mercedes during New Directions’ public performances, at the expense of the rest of the Glee club, even the biggest Finchel fans out there had to admit the woman had a point.  Lately, the Rachel/Finn Opening Ballad, and Mercedes Song-Ending Beltfest have become almost as common in Glee episodes as mash-ups, show-tunes, and Journey songs . . .

Here they go again . . . and again . . . and again . . .

However, when Will announced to the club that the solos typically performed by Finn, Rachel, and Mercedes would go to Sam, Quinn, and Santana, during this year’s Sectionals (with a little Mike and Brittany dance number thrown in for good measure), Finn whined like a little b*tch, and Rachel carried on, as though she had just been stabbed by her best friends in front of the Capitol Building, a la Julius Caesar . . .

*insert tragic Death Music here*

Rachel’s Lament seriously offends those Glee kids who actually HAVE been given solos, for once.  And yet, no one is MORE offended than Santana, who chooses this precise moment to drop the bomb on Rachel regarding her illicit lovefest with Finn, during Season 1.   “But we were ON A BREAK!”  You can almost hear Finn argue in his head, though, at the time, he actually says very little in his own defense.

For what it’s worth, Finn.  Ross Geller from Friends feels your pain.

Later, at “couples counseling,” Emma (riiiiiiight, because, clearly, Emma is a Relationship Expert) suggests Finn and Rachel sing Eagles songs to one another to work out their problems.  However, Rachel would much prefer slapping Finn in the face.  (What’s with all the violence this week, Glee ladies  Make LOVE, not WAR!)  And so, Emma suggests that Rachel “storm out” instead, thereby accomplishing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

“I never advocate Face Slapping amongst students.  Faces, especially Teenage Boy faces, tend to be extremely germy and capable of spreading pestilence.  Just thinking about it makes me want to wash my hands 35 times.”

“Just Be Yourself” (Unless “yourself” is at all different from the rest of us, in which case . . . DON’T)

If Kurt had sent a “canary” in before him, to test the environment at Dalton Academy, that sweet little yellow song bird would have suffocated, moments after breathing the same air as those stuffy Warblers . . .  Last week, like Kurt, most of us assumed that the reason there is NO bullying at Dalton, is because of its “general atmosphere of acceptance,” and its “No Tolerance” policy for any form of violence.  This week, however, we learned that the actual reason Dalton is Bully Free, is that being a “Bully” requires a level of individuality and personality (albeit a BAD personality), which the stuffy Dalton-ites simply don’t possess.

“This place sucks ASS!  Once I get Blaine to swipe my V-card, I am SO out of here!”

Although the Dalton Academy Warblers initially seem to welcome new student, Kurt, into their ranks with open arms, when the teen has the GALL to offer some of his ideas for a Sectionals song list, the boys all start looking at him, as though he murdered all their family members, and ate them, one by one. 

So, when Kurt is given the opportunity to audition for a solo, he recognizes immediately, that he is going to need a lot of help, if he wants a shot at getting the part.  And so, he turns to the World’s Most Unlikely Ally EVER!

Though initially reluctant to help out her “competition,” Rachel ultimately relents, providing Kurt with what seems like the perfect song for him to use during the audition:  namely, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from the musical, Evita.  At the audition, Kurt really seems to knock the song out of the park — though a concerned Blaine, continually motions for him to stop waving his arms, and using dramatic gestures, while he sings. 

When Kurt loses the part, Blaine accuses him of “trying too hard.”  Apparently, at Dalton Academy, when you want to “fit in,” you also have to “blend in.”  And, as we know, “blending” is not exactly Kurt’s strong suit . . .

One Magic Comb to Rule them All

Thanks, Gleeky Tumblr!

I’ll be the first to admit that I was TOTALLY skeptical of the idea of a Brittany / Artie coupling, when the idea was first introduced a few episodes back.  I thought to myself, “How could these two POSSIBLY have any chemistry, with one another?” 

BOY, WAS I WRONG!   This week, Artie and Brittany may have even surpassed Quinn and Puck, as my favorite Glee couple . . .

Don’t worry, Puckster!  I still love YOU the most!

It all started when Artie found a terrified Brittany in the lounge, completely freaking out over her Sectionals dancing solo, with Mike Chang.  Though confident in her dancing abilities, Brittany worries about having the entire team’s hopes and dreams about winning Sectionals resting on her small shoulders.  Fortunately, Artie has an idea . . .

He tells Brittany that he owns a Magic Comb, and that, if she brushes her hair with it, they are GUARANTEED to win Sectionals.  “You are the best boyfriend ever,” says a very excited Brittany, before treating Artie to a chaste hug and lip smooch.

But then Mike and Brittany start spending a heck of a lot of time together, practicing their dance for Sectionals.  A jealous Tina begins planting doubts in Artie’s head, arguing that Mike has a thing for cheerleaders, and has started to smell like Lipsmackers (which, apparently, Brittany wears and Tina would know this, because she makes out with Brittany all the time)  Therefore, Mike and Brittany MUST be screwing . . .

Artie tries to deny to himself that his new girlfriend would ever cheat on him.  But when Brittany starts acting really coldly to Artie, and ditching him to hang out with Mike, Artie can’t help but wonder whether what Tina is saying is true.  Then, shortly before Sectionals, Artie accuses Brittany of adultery and she . . . admits to it.

Except, Brittany never actually CHEATED with Mike.

She just lost Artie’s Magic Comb!  You see, Brittany confused “adultery” with “being a dolt,” and assumed that Artie was just mad at her, about losing the comb!  But, as it turns out, the Magic Comb wasn’t really magic!  (SURPRISE!)  It was just something Artie found on the floor, and used to make Brittany not nervous anymore.  “YOU are magic,” Artie tells Brittany, before treating her to a FIERCE little tongue kiss.

And they all live Happily Ever After . . . well . . . at least these two do . . . (and I guess Tina and Mike do too).  But I can’t really say the same for everybody else . . .

“You stuffed Puck in a Port-a-Potty!  You Bastards!”

If it weren’t for the whole “being stuck in a STINKY Port-a-Potty for 24-hours” thing, Puck would have had the best episode EVER!  After all, he acted heroically, not once, but TWICE, during the hour.  First, Puck REFUSED to screw Rachel, to help her get revenge on Finn for sleeping with Santana, even though he seemed to REALLY want to make sweet, sweet Puckleberry Love to the girl .  .  . even going as far as to admit out loud that he “kind of liked” her.  Way to have self-control, Puckster!

Second, Puck LITERALLY took one for the team, this week, when Schue told him to find a new Glee club member to stand in Kurt’s place for Sectionals.  Puck approached his football team first, in the Men’s Locker Room, about the opportunity, but got shoved in the stinky potty, as a result. 

Kiss ME, PUCKSTER!

 (Ummm, where were Finn, Sam and Mike, during this ordeal, may I ask?  Aren’t they on the team too?)

Rotting away in Stinkville, Puck begins to worry that all hope is lost, until Wrestler Lauren Zizes comes to his rescue.  So, Puck asks HER to go to Sectionals with him. 

Lauren agrees, provided that Puck “makes out” with her.  And guess what?   Lauren ROCKS PUCKS WORLD!

She also, despite thinking that show choir is “lame,” happens to be a pretty good singer.  So, when you think about it, Puck’s puckery lips really saved Sectionals!

Honeymoon in Vegas

“Don’t hate me Wemma Fans!  I swear I didn’t mean it!”

Remember last year’s Sectionals when Emma had randomly rushed into marrying Ken Tanaka? (Ken ended up calling off the wedding, because she was so clearly in love with Will.)  Well, it looks like the woman is at it again!  (Maybe it’s an “OCD Thing.”)  First, we learn that Dr. Carl won’t let Emma go to Sectionals with Will, because the last time the two of them hung out, they did this . . .

Then, Emma admits to Will, that, instead of going to Sectionals, she and Carl GOT MARRIED IN VEGAS!

(Now, I hate to be a cynical about this . . . but I’m kind of thinking that this happened so quickly, only because Uncle Jesse Carl convinced himself that Emma was a “wait until marriage” kind of virgin, instead of a “just haven’t gotten around to it yet,” virgin. And, having dated Emma for quite a few episodes now, the dude just REALLY NEEDED TO GET LAID.)

“Have MERCY!”

Although, Will tries to politely congratulate Emma on her nuptials,  you can tell he’s pretty torn up about the whole thing . . .

Awww, don’t worry, Mr. Schue!  We all know it won’t last!  John Stamos is only guest starring for a few more episodes!

It’s Sectionals, Baby!

At Sectionals, the first performance comes from a group of aging GED candidates called the Hipsters.  They sing Mike and the Mechanics’ “In the Living Years.”  It’s a decent performance, but, given that none of the Hipsters appears to be under the age of 70, the song choice seems a bit morbid, if you catch my drift.  They end up coming in Third Place . . .

“Dammit!  I knew we should have sang, MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This,’ instead!”

Before Kurt goes on to sing with the Warblers, he and Rachel share a sweet moment, during which they admit they believed one another to be their only true competition at McKinley, and admit how much they miss one another, now that they aren’t going to the same school. 

Perhaps, because of this shared moment, while the Warblers, led by Blaine, sing Train’s “Soul Sister” . . .

 . . . a supportive Rachel reminds a very uncomfortable-looking Kurt to SMILE!

Thanks hiyoritic tumblr!

(By the way, did anyone else love how Blaine condescendingly told Kurt how important it was to “blend in” to the Warblers, and not show-off, when the during Sectionals, showing off and standing out were precisely what Blaine appeared to be doing?  Just sayin . . .)

After the competition, Blaine assures a nervous Kurt, that he and his new bird (All the Warblers, apparently, have to care for REAL warblers, during their time on the team), are just “changing their feathers,” and will end up fitting into Dalton just fine. 

Admittedly, it was a nice moment for the pair.  But, am I the only one hoping Blaine will be WRONG?  I don’t want Kurt to “change his feathers.”  His “New Directions feathers” suited him just fine, in my opinion.

Speaking of New Directions, they are up next . . .

Our Glee kids open with Dirty Dancing‘s “I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” with Sam and Quinn taking on the Eye-F*&cking on Stage while Singing roles, typically reserved for Finn and Rachel.  Next up is Santana, who performs a rousing rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” . . .

 . . . while Mike and Brittany dance, and throw one another around a bit . . .

When it comes time to announce the winner of Sectionals . . . SURPRISE . . . it’s BOTH the Warblers AND New Directions.  As it turns out, they will BOTH be performing at Regionals against Vocal Adrenaline!  How convenient!

It’s a pretty jubilant moment . . . until Rachel ruins it, by admitting to Finn that she tried to sleep with Puck, to get back at him for screwing Santana . . .

They break up over this.   And it’s kind of depressing . . .

But, just in case things were getting too sad for you, the episode ends with Mercedes and Tina singing Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over.”  And we get to watch the Glee kids run around the stage like lunatics, during it . . .

But, I think my favorite part of the whole number, was when Rachel made this face . . .

(Don’t worry, Rachel!  You keep making faces like that, and Finn will come crawling back to you, in no time.  It’s a well known fact that no teenage boy can resist a good “O Face” . . .)

And, just in case that O Face wasn’t enough to put a smile back on your face, next week it’s CHRISTMAS!  (Well . . . not really . . . but at least on Glee, it will be!)

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

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Fresh Faces, Altered Alliances, Same Sue! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Premiere “Audition”

Your pals at New Directions would like to wish you a Big Ole’ “WELCOME BACK!”

Tonight’s season premiere of Glee offered us a number of things we thought would NEVER happen at McKinley High!  Artie, a Football Jock?  Finn, a Cheerleader?  Will and Sue, best buddies / Partners in Crime?  Rachel, dethroned as Queen Diva of New Directions?  WHAT THE GLEEK?

“What is the world coming to?  Oh, the HUMANITY!”

Perhaps, now would be a good time to backtrack and explain  . . .

Glee’s Big Gay Summer

According to Jacob Ben Israel’s video blog, a lot has happened to our favorite Glee kids during those warm hot summer months.  Finn and Rachel became a couple . . .

 . . . despite the fact that Finn still thinks Rachel is “control-ist.”

Tina dumped Artie . . .

. . .  because he and her just don’t share the same interests, anymore.  For example, lately, Tina has become very interested in Mike Chang’s abs .  . .

 . . . which are AWESOME, by the way!  Who knew?

I don’t know about you, but I smell another Love Triangle in our future . . .

(Speaking of abs, check out these new pics of Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester on Glee.)

Holy, PECTORALS, Batman!

Also, Puck . . .

 . . . got a VASECTOMY??????

Presumably, this means that, never again, will another unsuspecting teen be forced to carry a Little Puckerman in their belly for nine months . . .

 He can still give them crabs, though . . .

Perhaps, most importantly, whatever “esteemed status” our Glee kids may have gained last year (read: no status at all), was lost the moment New Directions failed to place at Sectionals, last year.

Without a trophy on the mantel to justify their existence as a school club, New Directions’ ever tenuous funding is now on shakier footing than ever.  It certainly doesn’t help that Principal Figgins has hired a new football coach, Ms. Beist (played by Dot Jones).

The result of this “new hire” is that the Glee Club’s already anorexic budget has been cut by an additional ten percent.  But, here’s the kicker . . . so has the budget for SUE SYLVESTER’S CHEERIOS!

Understandably, this does not make Sue a Happy Camper . . .

Sue and Will: BFF?

With the Beist breathing down their necks, and snagging a big chunk of each of their club’s cash, Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester find themselves in a rather unusual situation.  They are both  .  . . ON THE SAME SIDE!

Clearly, the Apocalypse has arrived.  In order to recover the lost budgets for their respective clubs, Sue and Will decide to team up to topple the Beist.  Their Evil Genius Plan?  Operation Mean Girls . . .

An Expert Bully, Sue knows a High School Geek when she sees one: “She’s oversized, humorless, and refers to herself in the third person, as an animal (a Panther, to be exact),” Sue says of the Beist.  Sue figures that the best way to eliminate this beastly nemesis would be to capitalize on her insecurities and permanent outsider status.  For their first order of business, Sue and Schue order 25 pizzas, to be delivered to the Boy’s Locker room, precisely, when the first football practice of the Season is about to begin . . .

All right . . . now who gets the Sausage?

To Beist’s credit, she doesn’t appear to be at all fazed by the prank.  And when the new football coach learns that, if the pizzas are not paid for, the delivery boy won’t be able to afford to buy his kid Pampers . . .

 . . . Beist gallantly pays for the entire order.  She then offers all of her football players pizza, forcing them each to eat four slices prior to football tryouts.  “The first person who pukes, is cut!”  She barks.

Well, played Beist (or should I say, Panther)!

Then, in the faculty lounge (where Guidance Counselor Emma is no where to be found, by the way) . . .

Missing in Action

 .  . . Will and Sue sit at different lunch tables, both of which are otherwise empty.  However, when Beist tries to sit at both of them, the “mature educators” instruct her that she can’t, because the seats are already taken by their “imaginary friends.”

“Everyone said that Sue was the school bully, and you were really cool,” Beist says to Will, as she exits the faculty lounge.  “I guess they got that last part wrong.”

She sure showed him, didn’t she?

Then, Sue takes things one step further, by commandeering Brittany to claim that the Beist touched her boobies.  Using a doll that looks suspiciously similar to McKinley High’s Most Scholarly Cheerio (down to the vacant expression in its eyes), Brittany demonstrates to Principal Figgins the inappropriate conduct that she purportedly suffered at the hands of the Beist.  “She touched me here,” says Brittany emotionlessly, her thin fingers poking Little Brittany’s cotton-stuffed knockers . . .

Realizing that Operation Mean Girls has gone too far, Will begs Brittany to tell the truth about her “traumatic experience.”  Almost instantly, the Blonde Cheerleader cracks under interrogation.

“OK.  I lied.  Ms. Beist didn’t touch my boobs.  In fact, I really wanted to touch her boobs,” mumbles the not-so-closeted bisexual.

Later, when Sue tries to get Beist to eat cookies made of dog poop (“They’re organic!”), Will FINALLY intervenes on Beist’s behalf.  Later, he apologizes to the female football coach.  “Losing Sectionals forced me to realize that New Directions is still an Outsider at this school, and that’s how I made you feel.  I’m sorry,” offers McKinley High’s Most Recently Redeemed Bad Boy.

Awwww, it seems our Little Schuester has FINALLY grown up!  The question is, for how long?

A Little Sunshine can go a LONG way . . .

Still smarting from their Sectionals loss, and down one Glee Club member  .  . .

(Oh, Matt, we barely knew thee . . . and never even really learned what your voice sounded like)

 .  . . New Directions is going to need some new blood, if it wants to have a shot at attending Nationals in New York City this year.  To drum up interest in the club, and to show the school they aren’t just about “80’s music and show tunes” (which, lets face it, up until this episode . . . they kind of were), our favorite Glee kids decide to put on a show for their high school classmates at lunch.  Clad in the kind of vastly overpriced NYC t-shirts you might find at an illegally operated bodega in Times Square, the crew performs a fairly stripped-down, but still quite funky, rendition of Jay Z and Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind.

And . . . basically, everybody ignores them . . .

 . . . well . . . everybody, except for THIS girl . . .

Rachel finds new foreign exchange student, Sunshine Corazone (played by Filipino pop sensation, Charise), in the ladies’ restroom.  In typical Rachel-fashion, New Directions Queen Diva immediately suggests that Sunshine join the Glee club, in a manner that is both patronizing and more than a little bit racist.  “Ah, I can see you don’t speak English,” Rachel begins sweetly.  “I . . . en-cour-age . . . you . . . to join Glee.  We need people who can stand in back of me, waving a fan, and looking on ado-ring-ly, while I sing.  Waving . . . a . .  .  flag . . . fun . . . Glee . . .  is fun.”

(Now, I am not a violent person, by nature.  But I wanted to slap Rachel so hard during this scene, that my fist very nearly detached itself from my body, and flew into the television screen . . .)

To her credit, Sunshine DIDN’T punch Rachel.  Instead, she started rocking out to her iPod, and singing along (extremely well, I might add), to the Beyonce and Lady Gaga song “Telephone.”

Impressed, and more than a bit threatened, Rachel begins to sing the song as well.  Soon, the two diminutive girls are engaged in a full on sing-off, circling one another like wrestlers at a WWF title match.

Then, Sue comes in to the bathroom, and catches wind of the whole exchange.  “SHUT UP!” She exclaims, stopping the girls’ right in the middle of their Glass Breaking Belt-fest.

You’ve gotta love Sue . . .

“That was fun!  I would love to join your club.  When are auditions?”  Sunshine inquires, with faux innocence.  (Clearly, this girl isn’t as naive as she appears .  . .)

Worried that Sunshine will upstage her during Glee Club performances will mess up the “team dynamic,” Rachel tries to convince the other Glee Club members not to allow Sunshine to audition.  And when her initial attempts at Sunshine Sabotage are unsuccessful, Rachel REALLY turns to the Dark Side . . .

“RACHEL . . . I am one of your two Gay Fathers!”

“Here are specific directions to the Glee Club auditions,” Rachel says sweetly to Sunshine, providing her with a slip of paper, that looks as though it says a hell of a lot more than, “Turn left at the girl’s bathroom, and enter the auditiorium, on your right.”

Little did Poor Sunshine know that Evil Rachel had just provided her with directions to a Crack House . . .

And if anyone would know where all the good crack houses are in Ohio, its Rachel!  After all, she practically grew up in Crack Den!

“Crack is WACK!”

When the other Glee Club members find out what Rachel did to Sunshine they are furious, particularly Tina and Mike (The Asian community is VERY tight, after all)!  And so, with her tail between her legs, Rachel must apologize to the now Partly Cloudy, Sunshine.  “They took my sheet music and used it for toilet paper,” whines Sunshine, when Rachel offers her condolences.

Ultimately, however, Sunshine agrees to audition for the Glee club, for real, this time.  On stage, she performs a rendition of Dreamgirls’ “Listen” that literally blows everybody away. 

Immediately, upon the song’s completion, Will offers Sunshine a position in the club.  Unfortunately, for Will, and the rest of New Directions, however, Sunshine has other plans.  And when Will arrives at Sunshine’s locker to personally hand her a practice schedule, he finds her being coddled by none other than THIS GUY . . .

He can “coddle” ME, anytime!

It’s the New Vocal Adrenaline Coach, Dustin Goldsberry (played by Cheyenne Jackson)!  Dustin has just waltzed into McKinley High to pick up Vocal Adrenaline’s newest star singer.  (Seriously?  Is there NO security in this high school?  I hope they have good insurance . . .) 

“They gave my mom and me a condo and a greencard,” Sunshine tells Will, excitedly. 

 (And this is all supposedly coming from a Public School?  I don’t think so, Glee Writers . . .)

Sunshine admits to Will, that she would have stayed with New Directions, had it not been for Rachel’s intimidation tactics.  “I just don’t think I could work with her, after she sent me to a Crack House” Sunshine explains, apologetically. 

With Sunshine’s Hello Kitty backpack, hugging his shoulders . . .

Bookbag of Champions

  .  . . Diego puts his arm creepily around Sunshine, and the two walk off into the Sunset (no pun intended), taking Will Schuester’s dreams of a slam dunk Sectional win, right along with them.

Apparently, Vocal Adrenaline’s new coach was tipped off to Sunshine’s incredible talents, by none other than Sue Sylvester . . .

 . . . who, if you recall, heard Sunshine sing in the bathroom, earlier in the episode.  So, much for the short-lived alliance between Sue and Will!  Perhaps, next time Mr. Schuester will think twice before turning down Poop Cookies . . .

The Downside of Big Boobs  . . .

Speaking of Sue Sylvester, apparently, she has decided to make little change to the Cheerios roster. 

Not only has she reluctantly allowed Quinn back on the squad, post-Baby Debacle . . .

. . . she has also reappointed her as Head Cheerleader, forcing Santana to give up her golden pom-poms, and relocate to the bottom of the proverbial Cheer Pyramid.

The reason for this change?  Santana’s new boobs!

Apparently, “having Massively Large Fake Tatas” and “Cheerleading” do not mix, at least, as far as Sue is concerned.

“Take your juicy vine-ripened chest fruit, and GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE!”  Sue yells at the recently dethroned Santana.

Sayonara, Suckers!

Santana responds to her demotion, by engaging in a full on catfight with Quinn, who has once again returned to her high-ponytail wearing, tiny uniform-flaunting glory.

So, much for the Glee kids being “One Big Happy Family” . . .

The Outsiders

You know who else is NEVER going to be Head Cheerleader?  THIS GUY . . .

Unfortuntely, after this episode, he might not be Quarterback, either . . .

No stranger to being on the losing end of a love triangle, himself, Finn sympathized with Artie’s desire to be “cool,” in order to win Tina back . . . as well as Artie’s desire to “have abs” . . .

Honestly, can you blame Quinn for “Pucking” this guy, over Finn?

And so, when Artie expressed a desire to join the football team, not only did Finn see an opportunity to help out a friend, he also saw a chance to utilize Artie’s wheelchair as a very unique weapon on the football field — a “human cannonball” of sorts.  (Ummm, Finn?  I’m not really sure that kind of thing is ALLOWED in high school football.  But, hey, what do I know?)

However, when Coach Beist hears Finn’s idea about letting Artie on the team, she becomes CONVINCED the idea is just another stunt of Sue’s and Will’s to make her look insensitive to physically challenged students, like Artie.  And so, “the Panther” lashes out, and THROWS FINN OFF THE FOOTBALL TEAM!

This results in Finn trying out for the Cheerios, in a hilarious audition, that reminded me a bit of that iconic scene from Napoleon Dynamite . . .

It also resulted in New Student Sam, despite his penchant for singing Poison’s “Every Rose has its Thorn” in the shower . . .

. . . and rocking out on the guitar to Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” . . .

. . .  to ditch Glee club auditions, out of fear of catching the virulent contagion that is Finn’s new “OUTSIDER” status.  Did I forget to mention that Sam is also McKinley High’s newest Quarterback?

The episode ends with a very sweet scene between Finn and Rachel . . .

. . . during which they accept one another’s faults and mutual outsider status, and agree never to dump one another at least, until someone better comes along.  After the pair share an admittedly sweet, and, surprisingly not too nauseating, kiss, a dejected Rachel heads off by herself to sing a rousing, if slightly maudlin, rendition of “What I Did For Love.” 

Admittedly, when I first heard the song, I was certain it was another Streisand ditty.  (We all know how much Rachel LOVES those!)  However, upon doing a little research, I quickly learned that the song is actually from the Broadway show “A Chorus Line.”

Shows how much I know . . .

 (Seriously, Glee?  What happened to Will’s promise of LESS show tunes?  It’s only the first episode back, and we already had two . . . just saying.)

Certain mundane song choices aside, I was quite impressed with “Audition.”  The episode offered some solid development of veteran characters, like Rachel and Finn, as well as introduced some promising new ones, like Sunshine, Sam, and Coach Beist. 

I am also excited by some of the new plotlines that were teased out during the hour, and the questions raised by those plotlines.  For example: How long will Finn and Rachel manage to keep it together as a couple, before someone ELSE — most likely, Quinn or Puck — gets in the way?  Is Finn really off the football team for good?  Is Sunshine destined to be the next Jesse St. James?  What grand gesture will Artie inevitably plan to win back Tina’s heart?

And that was this week’s installment of Glee, in a nutshell . . .

So, now that you know my thoughts on the subject, how did YOU like the Glee premiere?  Did it deserve a standing ovation?  Or did you find some of the new storylines and characters a bit “pitchy?”

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Shut up and SING! It’s almost time for Season 2 of Glee!

 

If last Sunday’s Gleek-tastic Emmy opener put you in the mood to watch your favorite show about singing and dancing teens, Glee, well then you’ve come to the right blog post.  Unfortunately, I don’t have quite enough clout in the entertainment world (read: “no clout at all”) to show you episodes from the show’s groundbreaking Second Season, which is set to premiere Tuesday, September 21st, at 8 p.m. on Fox.

However, I DO have plenty of mildly spoilerish intel about the new season, complete with a few pretty pictures, and some relevant YouTube videos. These should tide you over, while you eagerly await the season premiere.

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s get GLEEK-Y!

For starters, here’s the new promo for the show, which aired just a few days ago on Fox. 

Pretty cool, right?  Now, let’s breakdown what we’ve learned about Season 2 so far . . .

The Episodes

Season 2 of Glee is slated to have 22 episodes.  The first few episodes will air on Tuesday at 8 p.m on Fox.  These early episodes will culminate in a SPECIAL extended episode, which will air following Superbowl XLV.

Following that episode, Glee will move to the much coveted Wednesday at 9 p.m. timeslot.  And, you know what that means?  More sex, drugs, and violence ALLOWED by the censors!

Yes, PLEASE!

So far, the producers of Glee have released titles for the first THREE episodes of Season 2, along with brief synopses of each.  In the first episode, entitled Audition, New Directions will be forced, due to more budget cuts, to bring on additional members — a task that will cause tension between on-again, off-again couple, Rachel and Finn.

Two auditioners likely to “make the cut,” are foreign exchange student Sunshine Corzan, played by YouTube sensation and master songstress of the Philippines, Charice (more on her later)  . . .

 Newbie Sunshine duking it out with Rachel Berry in the school bathroom, to the tune of Beyonce and Lady Gaga’s Telephone.

. . . and transfer student / football jock, Sam Evans (played by Chord Overstreet) . . .

Just like another one of our favorite Gleeks, it appears that Sam’s “talents” will be discovered in the shower.  How convenient for those of us scouring the net for shirtless shots of the actor to use in future recaps.  Just saying . . .

Sam is described by producers as being a protege and eventual rival of Finn’s.  It is also rumored that he may be an upcoming MAJOR love interest for one Kurt Hummel.

The second episode is entitled “Britney / Brittany.”  This one will obviously be the much talked about “Britney Spears-themed episode,” comprised entirely of songs by the aforementioned artist, and featuring a cameo appearance by Spears herself.

Heather Morris (as Brittany) posing with Britney Spears — I can see a resemblance.  Can’t you?

The show’s third episode, entitled “Faith,” will be religous-themed, and feature songs including R.E.M’s “Losing my Religion” . . .

 . . . and Barbara Streisand’s “Papa Can You Hear Me.”

Other episodes airing this Season will include a Rocky Horror Picture Show – themed episode .  . .

 .  . . during which the cast of New Directions will undoubtedly perform the Time Warp dance.

Another episode will feature the cast singing entirely ORIGINAL songs.  There will also be a second Madonna-themed episode.

In the Season 2 finale, the cast will head to  New York City, to compete in the national Glee club competition.  There, they will most likely perform Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ anthem to the Big Apple, “Empire State of Mind.”

“New Directions” for our original Gleeks

If the scoop about Kurt’s new love interest enticed you, there is plenty more where that came from!  Speaking of Kurt, Mike O’Malley, who warmed everybody’s hearts with his performance as Kurt’s Dad, Burt Hummel, has been upgraded to season regular status . . .

. . . as have our two favorite “mean girl” Cheerios (and possible lovers?) Heather Morris (Brittany) and Naya Rivera (Santana) . . .

Our favorite love square, starring Rachel, Finn,  Quinn and Puck, is said to be in full effect next year.  However, a NEW love TRIANGLE will ALSO invade the Glee club.   This one will star, the loveable Artie, quirky goth, Tina, and awesome dancer, Mike Chang.

Sources say that when the season opens, Tina will be dating MIKE, having dumped Artie, due to his poor social skills and frequently rude comments.

New Cast Members and Guest Stars

Earlier in this article, I mentioned the cast additions of Chord Overstreet . . .

 . . . and Charice.

What I DIDN’T mention was that Charice’s character’s singing voice will be SO impressive, that it will enable her to make a play for Rachel Berry’s crown as Queen Bee of New Directions.  Listen to her sing this rather impressive cover of Beyonce’s “Halo” (a song which just so happened to be performed on the show, by Lea Michele’s Rachel Berry last season), and compare for yourself.

Another addition to the cast will be John Stamos . . .

John will be playing that dentist boyfriend of Emma Pillsbury, Carl Howell, who was briefly mentioned last season.

Although I sincerely doubt John will be singing on the show, fans of the oh-so-cheesetastic 90’s sitcom Full House, will likely remember that he CAN, in fact, sing.  This will become evident in the VERY retro clip, below.

Also featured in Season 2 will be Cheyenne Jackson, who’s character will replace Idina Menzel’s Shelby Corcoran as the coach for New Directions’ rivals, Vocal Adrenaline.  Since I am nothing without my journalistic integrity, I’ve decided it is absolutely imperative that I provide you with a picture of Cheyenne in his underwear . . .

You’re welcome.

I will not, however, be providing you with an equally scantily clad photograph of our next new cast member.  Dot Jones will appear as McKinley High’s new football coach, and rival to BOTH Sue and Will Schuester, Shannon Beiste.

Beware of THE BEISTE!

Other Glee guest stars will include Carol Burnett . . .

. . . who will play Mommy to, none other than, Sue Sylvester . . .

Speaking of Sue, Javier Bardem will guest star as one of her exes.

Woah!  Maybe I should start wearing track suits.

Susan Boyle will also guest star as the Singing Lunch Lady.

New Music

Look for songs by Billy Joel . . .

. . . Coldplay . . .

 . . . Paul McCartney . . .

 . . . Courtney Love . . .

 . . .  and Led Zeppelin . . .

. . . to be featured on the show.

Oh, and just in case you CAN’T wait until September 21st to get your Glee fix, the Complete First Season of Glee DVD set will be available for purchase on September 14th.  

You can preorder it (at reduced cost) here.

Of course, September 14th is still over a week away.  Is that too many Glee-less days, for you?  If so, worry not.  Glee: The Beginning, a young adult novel said to function as a prequel for the series, is available in stores, RIGHT NOW!

You can order it, by clicking here.

Not much of a reader?   Low on cash?  That’s OK.  I’ve got something for you too.  To conclude this Glee-themed post, I have provided, for your viewing pleasure, a video of that fabulous Journey Medley, performed by the New Directions, during the Season 1 finale.  And, just in case, you didn’t see it when it first aired, you can find a picturesque recap of the entire episode right here.

Well, that’s all I’ve got, for now.  See you on September 21st!  Until then, happy Gleek-ing out!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Don’t Cry for Me, Sue Sylvester!: A Recap of Glee’s “Home”

  

Glad to see my girl, Mercedes, happy and smiling again!

This week’s installment of Glee might not have been the show’s most GLEE-FUL (Everyone was CRYING during it!), but it was certainly its most heartfelt.  As you can probably gather from the title, the episode’s theme was “home” (and just in case you didn’t get the theme from the title, the entire cast hit you on the head with it, sledgehammer style, by using the word, about every 5 minutes).

The “home” in question, referred to a house, in the literal sense, like the one Mr. Schuester was trying to sublet, pending his divorce.  It also referred to “home” in the more abstract sense, like the inner peace Mercedes had to regain, regarding her body.

“All this talk about HOME is making me HOMESICK, Toto!”

Let’s revisit, shall we? 

There’s No Place Like Inside Will Schuester’s Pants . . .

When the episode begins, the Glee club is homeless, due to Sue Sylvester’s commandeering of the auditorium for use by her Cheerios (of which, by now, half of the Glee kids just so happen to be members).  Ummm . . . to be honest, I’m not sure why this was such an issue.  I always thought the Gleeks held their practice sessions in the music room, you know, the one we always see them practicing in.  Anyway, as a result of this plot device unfortunate circumstance, Mr. Schuester (a.k.a Will) is forced to search for a temporary “home” for his Glee club, and randomly decides that the 1980’s would be a perfect place for them to go (last week, after all, was the Madonna episode). 

So, our favorite Glee coach travels back in time . . . to a roller rink . . . and to a previous episode of the show, guest starring Kristin Chenoweth . . .

Yes, boys and girls, you probably remember Kristin’s guest starring role on Glee, during the first half of the season, as the boozy songstress, April.  Well, now, apparently, April is back, and conveniently in charge of the roller rink that constitutes the “only possible” place for our Gleeks to practice (aside from the music room, of course).  April gallantly lets Will use the roller rink as Glee Club practice space.  She’s also willing to prospectively help him find a subletter for his home.  Why, you ask?  Because April is a girl, and everyone knows that all GIRLS on Glee (except for maybe, Sue Sylvester)desire a coveted spot inside the Schuester pantalones (a spot which is becoming increasingly less exclusive as the weeks progress)!

“Come on inside, ladies.  There’s room in here for EVERYBODY!”

April swings by Will’s place, ostensibly to check out the apartment, but ends up spending the night.  Surprisingly, these two don’t actually do it!

I know, Mr. Monkey, I was shocked too!

However, they did sing a couple of rousing show tunes together, about how lonely they both were.  And nothing says foreplay like SHOW TUNES!

After the foreplay show tunes singing, Will goes into Daddy mode, and self-righteously lectures April on how crappy her life is right now.  (Right, because YOU are the epitome of healthy living, Man Slut Will).  And to his credit, Will Schuester must be REALLY good at singing show tunes, because one talk with him is all it takes for April to decide to clean up her life and head out of town, but not before she buys the Glee club its auditorium, of course .  . .

Our Parents are Dating Eachother, So We Should TOTALLY Date TOO . . .

“You’re so TENSE future step-brother.  Maybe a full body massage would help.”

Speaking of pantalones, I’m not exactly sure what gave Kurt the brilliant idea that, if you have a crush on someone, becoming related to them is the PERFECT way to get them to do it with you (particularly if that person is straight, and you are gay)!  And yet, that was precisely our boy Kurt’s dastardly plan at the beginning of this episode.  We watch as Kurt deftly orchestrates the coupling of his widower father (played by Mike O’Malley) with Finn’s widowed mom.  And, wouldn’t you know it, these two fall completely in love, during the course of a SINGLE EPISODE!

Finn, who sees any “moving on” he and his mother might do, as a direct betrayal of his deceased dad, is not too happy with this new state of affairs.  And he lets both Finn and his mother know it, in no uncertain terms.  I love how when a very hurt Kurt sings “A House is Not a Home” directly to Finn during Glee practice, Puck mouths to Finn “Are you gay?”  (It might have been wise for Kurt to ask Finn this same question, before he started going through all this trouble!)

To further complicate matters, when Kurt and Finn, and their respective parents, all go out to eat together, Kurt’s dad starts talking football with Finn, which makes Kurt, who has always desired a closer relationship with his “man’s man” father, extremely jealous.  But . . . wait . . . isn’t Kurt on the football team too?

Did Kurt not WIN a football game for his school, by distracting the opposing team with his hypnotic “Single Ladies” dance, just a few months ago?

I mean that’s gotta count for something, right?  During the episode, Kurt comes to terms with his relationship with his father, while Finn comes to terms with the loss of his.  Ultimately, Finn allows Kurt’s dad to sit in his father’s sacred chair, while the two bond over a college football game.  Kurt looks on wistfully, but with a new understanding of the situation.

What it takes to be Beautiful . . .

“Just for cheering, not for EATING!”

Poor Mercedes!  The minute Sue Sylvester calls her and Kurt into her office, we just know she’s in for some trouble.   “How do you two not have a show on Bravo?”  Sue inquires, as the spunky pair banters with one another, just seconds before Sue rips their hearts out.  (And, she’s RIGHT!  I would TOTALLY watch a Bravo show starring these two!)

Check out Kurt and Mercedes in Bravo’s new hit show “Girl Talk,” on Thursday nights (right after Project Runway)

In preparation from an upcoming interview with a premiere journalist, Sue Sylvester has given her newest Cheerio an ultimatum: “Lose ten pounds, or you’re off the squad.”

To her credit, Mercedes initially goes about losing the weight the right way, by ordering a healthy lo-cal lunch at the cafeteria.  Unfortunately, Mercedes’ “friends” intervene, giving her “advice,” ranging from the bad to the downright insulting.

“Don’t ruin this for me!” Kurt says.

“Would you rather feel bad and look good, or feel good and look bad?”  Santana asks, after suggesting that Mercedes drink a “meal replacement” shake, that will cause her to instantly regurgitate all her food.

“We like you no matter what you look like,” says Artie (good sentiment, poor delivery)

“I’m pretty sure my cat has been reading my diary,” says Brittany.

(LOVE this girl!  I’m so glad they’ve decided to upgrade her to series regular status.  She totally deserves it.)

 . . . and so does her cat. 

Mercedes soon begins starving herself, to the point where she faints in the lunchroom.  Surprisingly, the only person with anything remotely supportive to say to Mercedes throughout this entire ordeal is Quinn.

In a very touching scene, Quinn visits Mercedes in the nurse’s office, offers her a granola bar, and tells her she is beautiful.  “You’ve always been at home in your body.  I admired that about you,” Quinn counsels.

Having had body issues in the past, and having gained a new understanding about healthy eating, as a result of her pregnancy, Quinn is able to commiserate with Mercedes, and provide her with some good advice.  I love the journey the writers have taken with Quinn this season.  She has certainly come along way from the shallow self-righteous girl we knew from the pilot. 

At the pep rally, Mercedes surprises everyone by giving a heart-warming speech about the importance of feeling comfortable in your own skin.  She then asks the entire student body to join her in a rendition of Christina Aquilera’s Beautiful, that, in my opinion, was by far, the best performance of the evening.  (Then again, maybe that’s just because I’m not a big fan of show tunes.)  You can hear Mercedes, in all her glory, here:

After the performance, a nervous Sue Sylvester . . .

 . . . meets with the journalist, who she is convinced will berate her for the impromptu performance.  And, initially, it seems as though he will do just that.  “The minute I met you, I instantly disliked you . . . Twice you called me Rerun, and I was also beginning to think you were a little racist.”

NOT the journalist!

While the journalist initially had plans to expose Sue for her bad behavior, he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw during the pep rally.  Assuming that Sue had orchestrated the whole thing, he calls her a visionary, and promises to “open doors for her,” by writing a highly laudatory article about the cheerleading coach.  To Sue’s credit, she ACTUALLY looks like she feels kind of guilty about all the undeserved praise she is receiving.  But just like the other few times us viewers have been made privy to Sue’s softer side, I’m sure it won’t last very long . . .

  • That’s all folks.  It was definitely not my favorite Glee episode, but it had some good moments.  What did you think?  Are you excited about the prospect of Kurt and Finn as step-brothers?  Were you as shocked as I was that Jesse St. James had NO lines during this episode, and Rachel only had one?  Would you watch a Bravo show starring Mercedes and Kurt?  If you were Brittany’s cat, would you read her diary too?

 

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Fraternizing with the Enemy – A Recap of Glee’s “Hell-o”

Well HELLO there, fellow Gleeks!  Welcome to my very first Glee recap, or, perhaps, more appropriately, Gleecap.  Last night’s return to McKinley High, after a WAY TOO LONG hiatus, was jam-packed with: head-bopping tunes, oodles of teen angst, love triangles, and rivalries, with a heaping helping of track suit-wearing, rufie slipping, vogue-ing  SUE SYLVESTER thrown in for good measure!

So, tie on those dancing shoes, put that “L” symbol on your forehead, and give yourself a triple slushie facial, because we are about to get started . . .

The More Things Change . . .

So, when we last left our Glee kids, they had just won Sectionals, and had seemingly been elevated to “cool status,” as a result.  Finn and Rachel were dating.  And Sue Sylvester had been suspended for repeatedly trying to sabatoge the efforts of Glee coach, Will Schuester.  It only took about 10 minutes for the writers to undo ALL OF THAT!  First, the Glee kids got slushied . . .

 . . . then Sue Sylvester got reinstated at the school, by putting a rufie in the Principal’s drink, thereby causing THIS to happen . . .

(I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.)

Now, the Glee kids MUST win Regionals or they LOSE their club.  (Sound familiar?)

To further complicate matters, Finn (having recently been emasculated by Pregnant Quinn, who is now dating Baby Daddy Puck) is feeling smothered by New GF Rachel.  He also seems to have lost his Mojo.

The good news?  Mr. Schuester helps Finn get his Mojo back, by having him sing a song!   Hello, I Love You, by the Doors, to be exact.

The bad news?  This new-found confidence, along with the receipt of some puppy dog eyes from the scheming Brittany and Santana . . .

 . . . cause Finn to dump poor Rachel. 

But fear not, Gleeks, because when Rachel is dissed, she doesn’t get mad, she gets SINGY.  And what does our girl decide to sing?  None other than my favorite Angst Anthem, of course!  (The song  is a frequent companion of mine during late night elliptical workouts.)  It’s All American Reject’s Gives You Hell!

And while I can’t show you this awesomely cathartic vent-fest in its entirety (The clip is not yet on YouTube), I CAN let you bask in the fabulousness of the SONG portion . . .

This is a LIBRARY, NOT CARNEGIE HALL!

Unfortunately, Mr. Schuester clearly didn’t love this rendition as much as I did, because he sent Rachel back to the drawing board, in search of a more “appropriate” song for Regionals.  Rachel heads to the library, where she encounters Jesse St. James, the star songster of Vocal Adrenaline, i.e. New Directions’ main competition in the event.  (Interestingly enough, St. James, is played by none other than Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele’s costar in the musical Spring Awakening). 

St. James kind of comes off as a condescending prick – a guy who speaks only in dramatic monologues, and “gives impromptu concerts to the homeless.”  And yet, the chemistry between these two is pretty palpable, particularly when they randomly decide to sing a duet together right there in the LIBRARY!

 . . . complete with violin accompaniment!

I should mention that Lionel Richie’s Hello was a song I always hated.  Mainly because the video for  it featured that really creepy ceramic Lionel Richie HEAD . . .

But to Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff’s credit, their rendition TOTALLY ROCKED!

St. James then asks Rachel out on a date.  So, when the wishy-washy Finn . . .

I see the resemblance.  Don’t you?

 . . . decides he wants Rachel back, she has a good excuse to say, “NO!”

Unfortunately for Rachel, Finn is a total Gossip Girl . . .

 . . . and blabs to everyone about Rachel “singing with the enemy.”  So, the rest of the bitchy Glee clubbers, give her an ultimatum: Dump St. James or you’re OUT OF THE CLUB!

Rachel rushes to St. James to tell him its over, but soon gets caught up in another super sexy moment with him.  After Jesse promises to keep their relationship a secret, the pair share a firey kiss.  And then firey turns SERIOUSLY DISTURBING, when we see that, unbeknownst to Rachel, Vocal Adrenaline’s EEVIL Glee Coach, Ms. Corcoran (played by Rent’s Idina Menzel) . . .

 is watching the pair and spurring St. James on, with the verve and intensity of a handicapper at a horse race!

Virgin Girls, Slutty Boys, and Recycled Songs

Speaking of horses, Mr. Schuester must be HUNG like one (bad transition, I know) because he was just drawing in the ladies from all over the place this week!

First, there was his new girlfriend, OCD Emma . . .

 . . . who Will macked on immediately after deciding to end his marriage, in the mid-season finale episode.  It turns out that Emma never quite got around to cashing in her V card. (I bet you can guess who’s going to be singing Like a Virgin in next week’s Madonna-themed episode!)  Will grudgingly agrees to “take things slow.”  However, a few minutes later he is seen getting all hot and heavy with Ms. Corcoran, his competition, and a woman he JUST MET!

Perhaps this was because, Vocal Adrenaline’s fan-tabulous rendition of Highway to Hell, got Mr. Schuester all hot, bothered, and ready to sin.

To further complicate matters, EEVIL Terri . . .

. . . intruded on Emma’s preparations for a romantic evening with Will to inform her that their New Couple’s song, previously belonged to the Old Couple.  Specifically, Neil Diamond’s Hello also happened to be Terri and Will’s prom song.

(OK, I GET that “hello” was the theme of this episode.  But did they really have to include this LAME ASS song in it, just to prove that point?  There have GOT to be better HELLO songs out there!  SERIOUSLY!)  

 Apparently, despite Will being a former Glee Club Member and a current Glee Coach, the dude has the World’s Dullest Taste in Music!  (Then again, what do you expect from a guy whose ENTIRE movie collection consists of only TWO movies, one of which is Armageddon?)

Bad taste in movies, bad taste in music, bad taste in WIVES, and a cheater (though Emma doesn’t know that, yet) – these are all GREAT reasons to dump a Dude.  But Emma ACTUALLY dumps Will, because she feels he needs the opportunity to learn what it is like to be single for a change.  I agree!

Appropriately, this Hello- themed episode of Glee concluded with a song entitled Hello, Goodbye.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

As a sly way to promote next-week’s Madonna-themed epi, after the credits rolled, we were treated to an “interesting” video featuring Sue Sylvester, paying homage to the Queen of Pop, by vogue-ing.

And while Jane Lynch was certainly amusing here, the FUNNIEST part of the video, for me, anyway, were the confused and mocking looks on the Glee kids’ (who were also in the video) faces, as Lynch hammed it up for the camera . . .

OK, now I must REALLY say goodbye to Hell-o!  Until next week, Gleeks!

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