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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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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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Who’s YOUR Next Gleek? – A Peek at Oxygen’s New Reality Show “The Glee Project”

Have nightmares about the future of your favorite musical comedy show kept you up nights? 

Did Rachel’s and Kurt’s conversation about the “c” word, during the Season 2 Glee finale, send shivers up your spine?  (I’m talking about “college,” obviously.  Get your mind out of the gutter!) 

Have you spent the past few summer hiatus weeks writing long “fan letters” to Ryan Murphy, in which you plot out, in great detail, scenarios that will enable your favorite McKinley High characters to get left back another year, just so that you can maintain your own sanity?

If so, then you are a TOTAL NUTBALL!  then “The Glee Project” is the summer series for you!  Starting this week, every Sunday at 9 p.m. on the Oxygen channel, twelve (well . . . now, eleven) hopeful late teens and early twenty-somethings will duke it out for the chance to win a seven-episode arc on the most popular musical program on Fox that isn’t American Idol.  And as teen drama fans know, A LOT can happen in seven episodes.  (If you recall, Darren Criss’s Blaine Anderson was upgraded to a series regular on Glee, after appearing in half that amount.)

Entertainment industry nerds like me will undoubtedly appreciate the “behind the curtain” peek that this show offers at what the casting process for a successful prime time program actually looks like.  (Well . . . at least you get a peek at what casting for a successful prime time program WOULD look like, if it was done through a reality television show.)  Acting as both mentors and judges of the prospective new Gleeks’ are Robert Ulrich (Glee’s casting director) Zach Woodlee (the show’s choreographer), and Nikki Anders (a vocal coach for the series).

Ryan Murphy, himself, will also be on hand to make the final elimination decisions . . .

As if that wasn’t enough, each episode will also feature a REAL GLEE CAST MEMBER, who will basically be there to stand around, smile, look pretty, and collect his or her hiatus paycheck.   This week’s lucky guest star was the sexy Darren Criss.

Next week, we get Idina Menzel, who played Rachel bio’s mom, and former Vocal Adrenaline coach, Shelby Corcoran, during the show’s first season.

But I have to say that my FAVORITE Glee cast inclusion into The Glee Project was the “celebrity” who appeared during the “audition” episode.  Of course, I’m referring to THIS GUY  . . .

Brad Ellis, i.e. “The Random Dude at the Piano” is just the Captain of Cool, as far as I am concerned . . .

Even those of you who AREN’T Entertainment Industry Geeks, will likely get a kick out of observing the various contestants, and trying to pinpoint precisely what type of character each would play, if he or she was lucky enough to make it onto the show.  After all, stereotyping people, and making snap judgments about them, based solely on a picture and under ten minutes of screen time per episode, is what Glee is all about, right?

 Yes, that was meant to be sarcastic. 🙂 

Let’s put it a nicer way.  The Glee Project gives fans of Glee the opportunity to “play” casting director, and try to envision the future of the show.  So, what are we waiting for?  Let the stereotyping casting begin! 

(By the way, if you are interested in learning more about the show, or any of the cast members you see here, feel free to check out Oxygen’s surprisingly comprehensive show website, which features, among other things, cast bios, photographs, and audition tapes.)

In case you haven’t seen this yet, here is a photograph featuring all twelve Glee Project contestants . . .

Please note that this article WILL contain spoilers from the first episode of the show.  In other words, I plan to mention that a certain Glee hopeful has already been eliminated from the running.  So, if you don’t want to be spoiled, you may want to stop here, until you’ve actually seen episode 1.

Now that I’ve gotten that little disclaimer out of the way, allow me to introduce the twelve cast members of The Glee Project.

First up, we have Damian . . .

Damian kind of seems to have a Young Hugh Grant thing going for him . . .

First off, he’s got the accent (though HIS is an Irish Broque, as opposed to Grant’s British lilt).  This will work immediately in his favor, I suspect, as chicks tend to dig accents, BIG TIME.  Damian also has a baby face, and a sort of goofy, self-deprecating charm, that makes him instantly likeable.  Cons for Damian include his dorky dancing (Finn!  You have company!), and a quiet singing voice, that might find itself overpowered by Glee’s current cast of “belters.”

I can envision Damian playing an Artie-type character, someone who is generally liked by everybody, and doesn’t make too many waves.  In terms of romantic interests, it might be fun to see Damian paired with Rachel, since his low-key, easy-going, nature might balance out her Type-A intensity and diva-like ways.

Next up is Bryce . . .

I’m actually a tad surprised, and a smidge disappointed, that this guy was eliminated so early in the competition, as he’s someone I can definitely see on the show, as a friend / rival to Puck.  Just like a certain Mohawk-sporting sexpot we all know and love .  . .

. . . Bryce has the body of an athlete, the style of a rebel, and the confident swagger of a guy who SEEMS like a conceited jerk on the surface, but who hides hidden depths.  Had Bryce won the competition, I could definitely have envisioned him as being a fun love interest for Mercedes (if the whole “Sam” thing doesn’t work out) and/or for Quinn.

Then, there’s Samuel . . .

I must say that this guy is one of my early favorites.  I already love his voice, his style, and his maturity.  (Though, admittedly, I suspect this actor, in particular, might have some difficulty passing for a 16-year old.)  If Samuel wins this competition, he could bring an element to New Directions that we haven’t seen yet, that of the “sensitive hippie.”  I can envision Samuel’s character intially butting heads with either Rachel or Quinn, and, eventually developing a love/hate relationship with either female. 

Love/hate relationships are always my favorites on teen dramas, as I tend to find them SO INSANELY HOT!  It’s high time they put one of those types of relationships on Glee.  And that is yet another reason, why I am rooting for Samuel to take it all in this competition.

My other favorite to win The Glee Project is Cameron . . .

This guy is the epitome of Geek Chic.  Sure, he’s skinny, and a bit clumsy, when it comes to “fancy foot work,” but there is something undeniably sexy about Cameron.  He plays guitar, and has a sweet mellow voice and singing style that evokes comparisons to artists like Jack Johnson or Bruno Mars.  Personally, I would love to hear Cameron sing a duet with either Mark Salling (Puck) or Kevin McHale (Artie), as I think those two voices would compliment his quite well. 

In terms of love interests, no one really sticks out for me just yet, who would be a good match for Cameron.  However, in terms of social networking, I do think a character like this could become fast friends with Artie, Sam, or even Mike Chang.

Another early fan favorite to take this competition is Lindsay . . .

The first thing that struck me about this contestant is how much she looks like a Young Carla Gugino .  . .

The cool thing about Lindsay, in terms of character development, is that she seems pretty versatile.  She’s obviously pretty enough to play a cheerleader / Queen Bee type, like Quinn.  And yet, she also has the style, and relatability, to play a more Earthy / Do-Gooder type.  Romantically, I could see Lindsay paired with any of the main male characters on the show, with the most obvious candidates for her affection being Puck and Finn.

One of the more unique casting choices on the show would be Ellis . .  .

Ellis is kind of a dichotomy, in that she looks and dresses like a middle-schooler, but has the sad soulful eyes, and singing voice of a thirty-something.  I can picture Ellis playing one of those child-prodigy types, who skipped a few grades to get into McKinley High.  Her character would be precocious, and very serious, verging on dour.  Depending on HOW much younger this character would be than the rest of the cast, I could potentially see her as a love interest for Artie.

Next up, we have Hannah . . . 

Having been voted Class Clown in her own high school, Hannah demonstrates the perkiness of Rachel Berry, the humor of Lauren Zizes, and the powerful voice and dancing skills of Mercedes Jones.  On the surface, this would seem to make her the ideal candidate to be a character on Glee

And yet, I wonder whether these positive attributes will ultimately end up working against her.  Specifically, I fear that the casting directors might have difficulty envisioning for Hannah a place within the Glee cast that is not already inhabited by other characters.

Another Gleeky hopeful who might experience the same problem as Hannah is Marissa . . .

. . . with her confident attitude, perfect figure, and Pantene Pro-V hair, Marissa seems primed to play a Mean Girl.  She would also make a rather sexy romantic pairing with Puck.  But with Quinn and Santana already constantly battling one another for Queen Bee status, does McKinley High really need another Alpha Female?

Speaking of characters who would undoubtedly but heads with Santana, check out Emily . . .

Since Emily struck me as a perkier (some might say, more annoying) version of Santana, I could envision her playing either Santana’s younger sister, or her scheming neighbor, over in Lima Heights Adjacent . . .

Other viewers have suggested that Emily would make a good love interest for Santana.  But, personally, I don’t see it.  I think these two are WAY too much alike to mesh well as a couple.  In fact, it’s their similarities that may work against Emily in this competition.

Another character who may be too much like a pre-existing one on the show is Alex . . .

. . . this sweet and rather flamboyant teen, with a love for all things fashion, and a high voice, perfect for belting out show tunes is . . . let’s face it . . . the African American version of Kurt Hummel . . . and I mean that in the nicest way possible. 🙂

One type of voice Glee has genuinely lacked in the first two seasons is that of a country singer.  And, though I am not necessarily a fan of country music, myself, the need for that kind of voice on Glee was what intrigued me most about McKyleigh . . .

This Texas’ natives love of all things country definitely makes her stand out in a crowd.  In fact, I suspect the character SHE would play on Glee would be much like the person she is in real life.  It would be fun to watch McKyleigh and Mercedes interact with one another, in particular, as the two couldn’t have more different tastes and styles. 

And hey, why not take that one step further, and have McKyleigh show some romantic interest in Sam?  A little love triangle never hurt ANY show!

Daddy LIKE!

Finally, last, but certainly not least, we have the adorably diminutive Brazilian native, Matheus . . .

Of all the cast members, this was probably the one who got the most screentime in Episode 1 of The Glee Project.  There are a couple of reasons for this: (1) he has the most uplifting personal story of the group, having taught himself English just months after emigrating to the United States, and having survived a near fatal accident, that almost deprived him of the use of his limbs; (2) he won the first “homework” challenge on the show, giving him an early lead amongst his competitors; and (3) everything about Matheus is just so DARN likeable, from his short stature, to his kind eyes, to his brace-faced smile, to his surprisingly cut abdominals (which he gladly flashed to the cameras . . . TWICE), to his unfailingly upbeat outlook on life.

Though I honestly don’t have a clear picture of what role Matheus would play on Glee, he definitely seems like he would be a stellar addition to the cast, one that would immediately resonate with fans.  Oh yeah, and he has an amazing voice too!

So, there you have it, a brief glimpse into the twelve prospective Gleek hopefuls who will be competing this summer on The Glee Project.  Which one is YOUR favorite?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Bite into that BIG Apple! It’s Time for Nationals! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Finale “New York”

“Man, it is really hard to find a bathroom in this city!  Every place you try to go, they say you have to buy something first.  No wonder there is so much public urination in the Big Apple!’

Greetings Gleeks!  After weeks of speculation, the moment we’ve been waiting for all season, has finally come and gone.  The Glee kids came, saw, and conquered New York City . . . or at least a squeaky clean, sparkly, neutered version of it.  Speaking of neutered . . .

“Where the heck did my balls go?  I know I had them earlier in the season, back when I was in JUVIE.  Is it possible that when I was taking a shower in the communal . . . ?  Uh oh!”

Times Square:  The One Place Where You Can Still Buy Tickets to See Cats

“These tickets all say ‘SUCKER’ on them.  Ooh, maybe that’s one of the Cats’ Names!”

The episode begins with the Glee kids arriving in the usually bustling (and sometimes pretty scary) Times Square.  Although Times Square is typically, by far, the busiest part of Manhattan, the Glee kids find the area eerily void of humanity (AND DIRT!).  Seeing this reminded me of the opening dream sequence of that Really Bad Tom Cruise Movie (well . . . at least I thought it was really bad).  You know  . . . the one where he goes to Times Square, and learns that he’s the Only Man Left on Earth.  Talk about a HORROR FILM!

“L. Ron Hubbard predicted this would happen.”

Anyway, the Glee kids all start belting out “New York, New York,” on the steps near the TKTS Broadway ticket booth.  And I cringe inwardly, waiting for one of them to get mugged.  Then Rachel actually DOES . . . well, sort of.  Standing in front of the rest of the Glee Club, Little Miss Barbra Streisand 2.0 excitedly informs her pals that she got them all tickets to see “Broadway’s Longest Running Show . . . Cats.”  It is then up to Quinn, of all people, to break it to Rachel that the show has actually been off Broadway for ELEVEN YEARS!

 

“Oh, Febray!  Say it ain’t so!”

(By the way, was anybody else bugged by the fact that RACHEL, the Human Broadway Show Encyclopedia — who usually spends at least 5 minutes per episode spouting out useless facts about the Great White Way — DIDN’T know Cats was dunzo, but QUINN did?)

Anyway, the kids quickly head to the hotel, where Cheapskate Mr. Schue only manages to secure them TWO ROOMS (which has GOT to make the Bathroom Situation an absolute NIGHTMARE!).   Oh, and I’m pretty sure the “self-sacrificing teacher” somehow managed to get a room all to himself. (Real nice, right?)

“Well, if I roomed with the kids, I couldn’t watch 8 hours of hotel porn, now could I?”

I have to giggle a little bit when Puck and Zizes try to get served at the hotel bar (They order a Manhattan, har de har har.), and the bartender actually QUESTIONS whether these two are of drinking age.  This, of course, is despite the fact that both Puck and Lauren each look about 35-years old, and, by Glee’s timeline, have probably been chugging back shots of tequilla, since they were twelve . . .

PUCK:  “Hey Sweet Cheeks, what time are you getting off from work?  I’m sharing a hotel room (and two double beds) with five other guys.   We can show you a REAL good time . . . and my girlfriend can watch.”

As if Mr. Schue hasn’t already proved himself to be the Worst Chaperone EVER, he then decides to lock the Glee kids in a SINGLE hotel room, so that THEY can pen the songs they SHOULD have come up with weeks ago for the National Competition, which is less than 24 hours away.  Meanwhile, HE goes off to promote Matthew Morrison’s upcoming album pursue his Broadway Dreams . . .

“On stage, we call this an ‘Inspired Performance.’  In the potty, we call this a Bad Bout of Constipation.”

 A Stagehand happens to catch Will Schuester performing “Matthew Morrison’s Hit Single ‘We’ve Got Tonight'”  on an empty stage, in the theater where April Rhodes’ CrossRhodes (not to be confused with the terrible Britney Spears film of the same name) is set to debut.  Stagehand is quick to compliment Will on his “obvious talent.”  He then tries to sell Schue some leftover tickets to Cats . . .

“They say there’s a sucker born every minute.  When’s your birthday?”

Nothing Says Loving Like a Street-side Serenade Outside Sardi’s

ARTIE:  “Just think, at this time last night, real, honest to goodness, hookers could have been occupying this very spot.”

SAM:  “Hey Puck!  Put down the friggin accordion!  You’re TOTALLY destroying our game!”

PUCK:  “What?  I want the ladies to know I’m good with my fingers!”

Cooped up in the hotel room, Artie and Brittany offer up THEIR suggestion for an Original Song the Glee kids can sing at Nationals.  It’s called “My Cup.” 

I can’t be the only viewer who found this song a little dirty, right?  I mean, come on . . . “In the middle of the night, I’m in bed alone.  Don’t care if you’re paper, glass, or Styrofoam” ????

Santana TOTALLY gets it!

You can listen to this masterpiece (emphasis on the “master”) in its entirety, HERE:

Though Britney and Artie are the first ones to suggest an actual song, it’s QUINN  . . .

(She of the “Last week, I said I was going to do something evil to Finn, and ruin Nationals for the Glee kids, when all I actually did was cut my hair short and scowl a lot.”)

 . . . who comes up with the most INSPIRED performance idea.  Bad Apple Quinn easily convinces the Glee kids to disobey Will’s wishes and spend the night running rampant around the city, instead of working on their Original Songs.  “We don’t have to write Original Songs,” says Quinn.  “New York City will write them for us.” 

(You know, I hate to break this to you, Quinn, but I’ve been trying to get New York City to write my next novel, for about a year now.  The City is just too damn lazy!)

Reality Checks notwithstanding, the Glee kids frolic around Central Park, while rocking out to an inspired “I Love New York / New York, New York” Mashup.

(Just out of curiosity, does anybody else agree with me that THIS mashup, along with Kurt’s and Rachel’s later duet from Wicked, would have, ultimately, been better choices, as Nationals performance numbers, than the songs the Glee kids actually ended up singing?)

Back in the boys’ hotel room, Finn, once again, suggests that Rachel and him singing a duet together would be a great strategy for getting in Rachel’s panties winning Nationals.  The rest of the boys agree, and egg Finn on to invite Rachel out on a romantic New York Date .  “You know, like the ones in those romantic comedies, that make men grow a vagina, if they watch them all the way through,” Puck adds.

Did Puck just really say “vagina” on Fox?  (And did I just type it . . . twice.)

 (Taking this statement into consideration, one can’t help but wonder whether this is what happened to Puck, after he went on his first date with Lauren Zizes to see “Something Borrowed,” starring Kate Hudson.) 

Speaking of girly movies, when Finn texts Rachel to ask her out on their Romantic Date, she looks like she’s trapped in the “Girl Bonding Montage” of a Chick Flick, herself . . .

Source

RACHEL: “If one of you ends up getting a Makeover to Increase Your Self Esteem, I’m SO jumping off the Empire State Building . . . Oh, wait . . . Quinn actually DOES that, in the next scene?  Just kidding!”

Finn takes Rachel out to explore the sights of New York.

“I guess going skinny dipping is out of the question, huh?”

The pair end up at Sardi’s for dinner, causing me to wonder what kind of High Class Paper Route Finn runs at home, because that place is NOT CHEAP!

“I hope you like washing dishes.  Because that’s how I’ve arranged to pay for this meal.”

“Seriously?  Now, instead of having Jazz Hands on stage tomorrow, I’m going to have Dish Pan Ones!”

At Sardi’s, Rachel encounters her idol, Barbra Streisand Patti Lupone (I guess Barbra was busy?).  Lo and behold, Patti has some Sage Advice for Rachel.  She tells her to . . . wait for it . . . “Follow [Her] Dreams.”

Oh my goodness!  I have never heard such inspiring words before.  My life will never be the same again.  Thank you, Glee!

Outside Sardi’s, Rachel tells Finn that the only thing that would make this night more perfect, would be if the pair were serenaded.  So, of course, Finn’s posse magically appears, and starts singing “Bella Notte” to the Happy Couple . . .

 You can LISTEN to the song, in its entirety, here:

Personally, I would have liked the scene much better, if the Boys started singing the Lady and the Tramp Song, back at Sardi’s, while Rachel and Finn were playing meatball hockey with their noses, and accidentally making out with one another, thanks to one Very Mischevious Strand of Spaghetti . . .

 Speaking of making out, while the Boys are still singing, Finn tries to plant a wet one on Rachel.  But, alas, Finn’s Love Interest of the Week runs away, because she ate some bad Chicken Carbonara has to go “Follow Her Dreams” . . . or something.  And because they have NO TACT WHATSOEVER, Finn’s boys actually continue to serenade him, even after he’s been FLAT OUT REJECTED . . .

AW-KWARD!

(Needless to say, at the exact same moment when this is happening, about 200 men, forced to watch Glee at home with their girlfriends, spontaneously sprout vaginas . . .)

 A Stagehand Saves the Day: Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

“We’re not in Lima, anymore, Toto . . . er . . . I mean, Rachel.”

Kurt wakes Rachel up the following morning, so that the pair can have Breakfast at Tiffany’s (or, perhaps, more accurately, breakfast OUTSIDE of Tiffany’s).  The aforementioned exchange made me wonder if Mr. Schue had followed the concierge’s advice, and assigned rooms based on “sexual orientation,” after all . . .

(Then again, had he done that, Santana would have been sleeping with the guys . . .)

Anyway, Rachel confesses to Kurt that she and Finn love eachother.  However, she knows she’s destined to go to school in NYC and be on Broadway, and blah, blah, blah, Boyfriend Emergency, blah. 

So, Kurt comes up with the “inspired idea” of breaking into the theater where the pair’s favorite Broadway Show, Wicked (Remember when they sang the duet to “Defying Gravity” together?  Ah, memories!), is performed.  This way, Rachel can see what she might end up missing in the long run, if she starts dating the Finn-ster  and actually ends up dating him for longer than a two-week period, this time . . . 

“But we’ll get in trouble,” Rachel squeaks.

Have no fear, Little Berry, SUPER STAGEHAND is here to let you Live Out Your Broadway Dreams (provided your dreams only last fifteen minutes) . . .

“Ta-da!”

With Super Stagehand’s permission, Kurt and Rachel perform a GORGEOUS duet to Wicked’s “For Good,” with the set of the play, flanking them on all sides . . .

“Woah, Kurt, how much hair product did you use this morning?  I’m worried your Snookie Poof will set this set on fire!”

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

You can watch Kurt’s and Rachel’s impromptu performance, here:

At the end of the duet, Rachel seems to have made her  “Sophie’s Choice” . . .

 Meanwhile  . . .

Quinn Cuts Her Hair, Will Cuts the Chord . . . on his Dreams

Back in the hotel room, Quinn has a mini freakout, because her, Santana and Brittany “don’t have a chance at true love.”  Umm  . . . Quinn?  You’ve been single for LESS ONE EPISODE.  You are act like a heinous bitch, about 95% of the time  Please allow me to serenade you, with my tiny violin, regarding your Tragic Lack of True Love . . .

 As for Brittany and Santana “not having love,” well, the former just dumped her boyfriend for calling her “stupid.”  And the latter is faux-dating her fellow beard, Karofsky . . .

So, take that QUINN! 

My personal annoyance with Quinn, notwithstanding, Brittany and Santana are surprisingly sensitive to their erstwhile-pal.  They even attempt to bolster her foul mood, by treating her to a ridiculously overpriced New York haircut.  And, as much as I dislike Quinn, I have to say, girlfriend looks quite fierce in her new do’ . . .

 

Downstairs at the hotel bar, Mr. Schue meets up with Vocal Adrenaline coach, Dustin Ghoulsby . . .

. . . (who, unfortunately, is wearing a bit more clothes in the scene, than he is in the above picture).  Dustin has conveniently heard through the grapevine that Schue plans to leave teaching to pursue his Broadway Dreams.  Dustin thinks that’s a fab idea, remarking how much HE would love to stop teaching Show Choir, considering how much he DESPISES his students.  “But I love my students,” Will remarks, as I throw up a bit in my mouth.

Insert shallow attempt at humor here  (I’ve got nothing.)

Will’s undying love for his underage students notwithstanding (See how I just made something Sickeningly Sweet and Innocent sound Disgustingly Inappropriate?), Dustin immediately rushes to go rat out Will to his students. 

However, when Will arrives at the hotel room to collect the Glee kids for the Nationals competition, rather than bitch him out for NOT GIVING TWO CRAPS ABOUT THEM, THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE NEW YORK TRIP, they actually encourage Will to give Broadway a try.  And yet, Will (who has clearly never met Patti Lupone) is not about to give up his  love of teens for something as insignificant as a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity at Fame and Fortune.  Andhe  tells his kids as much. 

(So, much for leaving us with a Cliffhanger, Glee writers!)

Happy to have their Steadfast Mr. Schue for at least one more season, the Glee kids join their teacher in a Big Fat Group Hug.  Puck enters the embrace first . . . because he has a vagina.  (Ummm . . . yeah, I’ve used this word WAY too many times in this recap.  It’s starting to make me feel uncomfortable, to be honest.)

Anywhoo enough about vaginas (DAMN!  I did it again.), it’s NATIONALS TIME!

The Big Kiss . . . and The Even Bigger Kiss Off . . .

RACHEL:  “Finn, is that GUM, in your mouth?  How many times have I told you not to chew GUM on stage?  It’s unprofessional.”

FINN: *blows bubble in Rachel’s mouth*

 At the Nationals Competition, Some Random Girls’ Choir, wearing short slutty dresses, performs Usher’s 2004 hit, “Yeah.”  And while their singing is “OK,” the dancing is ridiculous, and reminds me a bit of the Glee kids’ bizarre lunchroom dance to Salt n’ Pepa’s “Push It,” back in Season 1 . . .

You can listen to the song, here:

In the bathroom at Lincoln Center, Rachel and Sunshine Corazon come full circle from their Season 2, Episode 1, Potty Sing Off . . .

.  . . when Rachel, upon hearing Sunshine RALPH in the toilet, finally apologizes for sending her to a crackhouse for Glee club auditions. When Rachel learns that Sunshine HATES Vocal Adrenaline, and is petrified of performing in front of the crowd(Can I smell a transfer BACK to New Directions for Sunshine in Season 3), the newly reformed diva even goes so far as to offer to give Sunshine the “thumbs up sign” when she’s on stage, so the youngun won’t be nervous.   “But don’t you want to win?”  Sunshine inquires, without the snarky edge she COULD have used with that line . . .

“How was the old crackhouse, by the way?  I’ve been meaning to get back there for a refill, but I’ve been so busy not preparing for Nationals, that I haven’t really had the chance.”

“Guys like us have to stick together,” Rachel replies, pulling Sunshine in for a hug.  (All together now, “AWWWWW!”)

Sunshine performs an original song entitled “As Long as You’re There.”  And, while her voice is amazing, I must admit, I was mighty underwhelmed by herVocal Adrenaline backup dancers, who basically did the same dance to this WILDLY DIFFERENT number, as they did last year to “Bohemian Rhapsody during Regionals. 

But don’t take my word for it.  Watch the performance here, and judge for yourself . . .

During New Direction’s performance, a Smouldering Jesse St. Douchey-But -Still-Hot-James arrives, sneaking into a conveniently empty seat next to Schue to watch the show. 

“I’m here to collect my payment for hitting on Rachel, and not helping you prepare for Nationals at all.”

Though Jesse claims to be only interested in the performance, it’s pretty obvious he’s there, because he’s still in love with Rachel.  And Schue glibly calls him on that fact. 

(So, am I the only one that’s still kind of rooting for Jesse?  What can I say?  I have a thing for Raging Asshats!)

Asshat Lovin’ = Good Lovin’

The first New Directions Number is an Original Song written by Finn, called “Pretending.”  Not surprisingly, it’s a Finchel Duet. 

“Pretending” sounds and looks pretty much like every other Finchel Duet we’ve seen since Season 1, from the “Walking Slowly Toward One Another from Opposite Sides of the Room” Bit to the “Staring Intently Into One Another’s Eyes While Holding Hands, and Making Teary Constipated Facial Expressions at Eachother” Bit.  The only difference HERE is the ending, in which Finn (despite Rachel having reiterated her “I’ve got to follow my dreams” dumping of him, prior to the start of the performance) abruptly shoves his tongue down Rachel’s throat.

The audience is stunned into silence. (probably because they skipped last week’s episode, and thought Finn was still dating Quinn).  After a few moments of uncomfortable awkwardness, Schue offers the couple a tepid Slow Clap off the stage.  Poor Jesse looks heartbroken.  But hey, that’s what you get for making breakfast on your girlfriend’s head in Season 1 . . .

Watch “Pretending” and the Controversial Kiss that Ended it All here:

“Pretending” was followed up by another Original Song.  This one was entitled “Light Up The World.”  And, while it was peppier, and definitely more fun to watch, than “Pretending,” I didn’t find the song itself particularly memorable, or the dancing that accompanied the song all that different from what we saw at Regionals with “Loser Like Me.” 

You can check out “Light Up The World,” here:

The Big Shock of the Evening (though, considering the meh performances, it actually didn’t seem all that shocking) is that New Directions doesn’t end up placing in the Top Ten at Nationals.  (It comes in twelfth.) 

Oh, the humanity!

Though everyone is pretty bummed about the loss, no one takes it harder than Santana.  The former Cheerio has a little Lima Heights Adjacent Style Freakout in the dressing room.

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Once she is back home from New York, Santana even goes as far as to create a Yellow Cardigan- wearing-Rachel Voodoo Doll to torture.  (Many of the Glee kids, Santana included, blame the loss on how mediocre they performed the inappropriateness of the on-stage Finchel Kiss.)

So, of course, it is up to Brittany to cheer Santana up.  During a very sweet little locker scene, Brittany tells Santana how much she loves her (but just as a friend .  . . for now, at least), and how lucky the two of them are to have found “family” in their fellow Glee clubbers.  Brittany’s surprisingly wise words do wonders for Santana’s spirits.  And Santana tells Brittany as much . . .

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I, for one, adore these two togther, and very much look forward to the mature progression of their relationship in Season 3. 

Speaking of couples I adore, Kurt and Blaine finally exchanged “I LOVE YOU’S,” this week!

As dramatic as the multiple Finchel Moments were in this episode, I loved the quiet sweetness of this single Klaine moment.  No over-acted overtures, extravagant gestures, or big speeches were necessary.  This was just another day for Kurt and Blaine. 

The couple was just having coffee together, sharing stories, and enjoying one another’s company.  And then, seemingly out of no where, Blaine said it . . . the three words that Kurt undoubtedly has been wanting to hear, since he first met the guy, earlier this season. 

It was perfect!  Kudos to Darren Criss and Chris Colfer for the understated elegance of this memorable moment.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot, Finn and Rachel got back together.  (SUPRISE!)  After all that hemming and hawing about “following her dreams,” it turns out Rachel has an ENTIRE YEAR LEFT OF HIGH SCHOOL, before she even has to think of applying to NYU.  Talk about an hour’s worth of unnecessary drama! 

That being said, the couple’s second kiss on the floor of the library was way more adorable and genuine, than their overblown stage one, at least, in my opinion . . .

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Speaking of couples, you know who else is secretly dating in Glee Club World because heaven forbid any of these folks date someone who isn’t remotely involved in the show choir ? SAMCEDES!

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Hmmm . . .  it could work! 🙂 

And, there you have it folks!  Two seasons of Glee down, and hopefully, at least a few more to go.  So . . . how did you like the finale?  Did you think the Glee kids deserved to win Nationals?  Are you down with Samcedes?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section below . . . 

Have a great summer, my Gleekies!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Judge Not, Lest GLEE be Judged! – A Recap of Glee’s “The Funeral”

WILL:  “Just so you know, I’m not wearing any pants under here . . .”

Nothing says “glee-ful,” like a funeral, right?  This week, Fox’s most peppy prime time program, took a turn for the teary, when it focused on the untimely death of the most beloved relative of McKinley High’s LEAST beloved coach . . .

Oops!  I don’t think she liked that remark.

And yet, the episode wasn’t an ENTIRE cryfest.  We also got to experience, a few tour de force musical numbers, a sentimental tribute to Will Schuester’s impressive sweater vest collection . . .

Hopefully, now that he’s given all of his clothing away, we’ll get to see more of THIS Mr. Schue . . .

 . . . and, perhaps, most importantly, we got to watch Jesse St. James metaphorically make breakfast on the heads of all the Glee club members that AREN’T Rachel Berry . . .

“I already got MINE, guys!  Now it’s your turn!”

So, wipe that egg off your face, and keep some Kleenex on hand for a good cry, because it’s time for your weekly Gleecap!

New Directions, New Villains and Zombies Who Like to Poop . . .

Any guesses as to how many innocent bottles of hairstyling gel were harmed in the making of this photo still?

It’s almost time for Nationals, Gleeks!  And you know what that means!  It’s time for the Glee kids to fight with one another over who gets a solo!  (YAY!) 

For reasons that completely defy the imagination, Will decides to use his perpetually miniscule budget to hire a “show choir consultant” to help New Directions succeed in its upcoming competition.  And who better for the job, then the college dropout, who broke Rachel’s heart, and completely screwed over the club last year, by pretending to be one of its members, and ditching them at the very last minute, to sing for the enemy?

How could you not trust THIS face?

That’s right, boys and girls!  It’s Jesse St. Jack Ass, reporting for duty!  And if he wasn’t so friggin hot, I’m sure I’d have lots more bad stuff to say about him . . .

Jesse informs Will and Will mindlessly agrees, because he apparently packed his brain and soul in the same box as his sweater vests that the ONLY way for New Directions to win Nationals, is if they focus their entire performance around the club’s “best” singer.  In Jesse’s defense, this DOES seem to be the strategy most commonly employed by McKinley High’s most formidable opponents.  Take, for example, Vocal Adrenaline . . .

. . . and, of course, who could forget, The Warblers . . .

Of course, Finn, the humble soul that he is, suggests that he and Rachel lead the club in a duet.  At which point Quinn (who would rather give birth to another illegitamate child, than see Rachel and her boyfriend eye f*&king eachother on stage) “kindly” reminds her “honey” that this was precisely the strategy that lost New Directions the Regional competition to Vocal Adrenaline last year.

“Don’t make me go all Lucy Caboosey on your ass!”

Adding insult to injury is St. Jackass, who tells Finn that the latter is not particularly talented at singing OR dancing.  Oh, also, according to Jesse, when Finn performs, he looks like a “zombie who likes to poop.”  This, of course, begs the question of what, exactly, a “Pooping Zombie” looks like . . .  I’m going to guess that it looks something like this . . .

 

 . . . combined with THIS .  . .

 . . . and mixed with a little of THIS . . .

(Mean or not . . . you’ve got to admit, the Jackass has a point) . . .

So, Will decides to hold “auditions” for his Glee kids to determine which of them gets to be the New Directions’ equivalent of Blaine Warbler . . .

So . . . pretty . . . cannot . . . look . . . away.

Try a Lack of Tenderness . . .

“The competition is ON, like Donkey Kong!”

Under normal circumstances, I suspect that the ENTIRE Glee club would have auditioned for the solo role at Nationals.  However, since Finn was busy perfecting his Defecating Dead Guy Face . . .

 . . . and since half of the episode was spent on Sue’s storyline the rest of the cast was . . . ummmm . . . washing their hair that day, the only ones who actually auditioned for the spot were Rachel (SURPRISE!), Kurt (SHOCKER!), Santana, and Mercedes . . .

  First up was Santana, who sang Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”

Her performance was pretty darn awesome.  And the fact that she did it stone cold SOBER unlike the REAL Amy Winehouse was majorly impressive.  She was also wearing an adorable outfit during her performance, which certainly doesn’t hurt (See above – I WANT THIS!).  Though, I must say, given Santana’s usual “take no prisoners” personality, I was a bit disappointed that when singing the line, “He kept his _______ wet,” she replaced the word “dick” with the, significantly less naughty (and, therefore, much less fun), “lips.”

What exactly do you have against ‘dicks’, Santana?” 😉

You can check out Santana’s entire performance, by clicking the internal link below . . .

Though Will thought this performance was “fabulous,” Jesse was underwhelmed, claiming that Santana missed the “emotion of the song.”  Personally, I think Jesse was just offended by the lack of “dick” in the number.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Then explain this to me:  Why did Jesse draw a picture of a puss . . . er . . . I mean . . . a cat, in his notepad, while Santana was singing? 

What’s new, Pussy Cat? 

Let that be a lesson to you, Santana:  Censorship is BAD!

Next up was Kurt.  He sang “Some People” from the Broadway Play Gypsy.  And it was. . . well . . . very . . . KURT-y.  That’s probably the best way to describe it . . .

I think part of the problem with the performance for me, was that my mind kept wandering during it.  I kept getting distracted by those bizarre skull and crossbone flare pants Kurt wore on stage, coupled with hisweird “tied in the back like a paint smock” vest.  Seriously, who DRESSES this kid?  Edward Scissorhands?

One thing that can be said for Kurt though, he is VERY FLEXIBLE!  Check out this move he managed to do, at the end of the musical number . . .

Blaine APPROVES!

But you know who DOESN’T approve of Kurt?  Jesse!  He wonders if Kurt is aware that “Some People” is a “Girl Song.”  “I make my living singing “Girl Songs” Kurt explains.  Point well taken, Kurt.  But that still doesn’t explain those ridiculous pants . . .

You can check out Kurt’s performance by clicking on the link below:

Third up was Mercedes.  She sang Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness,” which, if you are an afficionado of cheesy 80’s movies like me, you will remember as the song Jon Cryer’s Duckie absolutely KILLED (in a good way), during the film, Pretty in Pink . . .

If Santana’s and Kurt’s performances were good, Mercedes was AMAZING!  (Though, admittedly, her dancing abilities are nowhere near up to par with those of the Duckster!)  Even Jesse St. Jackass let out a “WOW,” when Mercedes belted out the song’s extremely challenging refrain.

This one is going on my ipod, FOR SURE!  You can check the performance out, for yourself, below . . .

And yet, despite being obviously impressed by Mercedes vocal range, Saint Jackass still had little nice to say about McKinley High’s most unapologetic diva.  He even went as far as to call the poor girl, of all things . . . LAZY!

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After Mercedes kindly offered to allow Jesse to “taste her fist,” Rachel took the stage with, you guessed it, her 85,000th Barbra Streisand song.

Now, I know . . . “Babs” is supposed to be Rachel’s “idol” and all . . . but COME ON!  Enough is enough!  There ARE other singers on this planet besides Barbra, that sing ballads, you know!

Anyway, Rachel sang a song called “My Man.”  Believe it or not, I had actually never heard the song, before the episode aired.  And I don’t particularly want to hear it again. 

Performance-wise, Rachel, as usual, did a fine job . . . well . . . except for two things: (1) she kept picturing Finn throughout the number, which was . . . nauseating annoying, to say the least; and (2) she made these weird, sort of constipated, facial expressions throughout the number.  Perhaps, Rachel’s Great Love for Finn is starting to make her emote like he does . . .

If you are a Rachel fan, and/or a Barbra Streisand fan, you will definitely want to check out the link below . .  .

You know who’s a HUGE Rachel fan?  Jesse St. Jackass!

OK . . . so, he might not have been such a big fan, back then.  But he’s definitely one now!  And because he really wants to touch Rachel’s Berries admires her work, St. Jackass has absolutely nothing bad at all to say about his ex girlfriend’s performance.  In fact, he thinks the Glee club’s Nationals’ performance should revolve around her . . . again.

Despite Jesse’s endorsement, however, Will ultimately decides that, rather than award ANY ONE GLEE KID a solo, the ENTIRE Glee club will sing original songs TOGETHER at Nationals . . . thereby making this entire audition process a whole load of poo.

“Haha!  Jokes on YOU, Gleeks!”

The audition process wasn’t a TOTAL loss, however.  It DID help Saint Jackass move one step closer to popping Rachel Berry’s cherries!

“Stop staring at my boobs, ya perv!”

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In other news . . .

A Farewell to Arms Sweater Vests

Will Schuester, this is your ‘What Not to Wear’ Fasion Intervention.”

So, remember a few weeks back, when April invited Will to be in her lame ass Broadway show with her?  Well, it turns out he’s going!  In doing so, he’s leaving EVERYONE and EVERYTHING behind him, including the Glee kids, Emma, and those HIDEOUS sweater vests.  Of course, Will hasn’t told his students this yet, because we need some sort of cliffhanger in the season finale he doesn’t want to distract them from winning Nationals. 

While at Will’s house helping him pack, Emma tells Will that she remembers the sweater vest he wore when they first met.  I can’t decide whether I think that is really sweet, or incredibly disturbing.  So, the next day, Emma shows up at school WEARING THAT VEST . .  .

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(OK .  . . I’ve made my decision, now . . . I’m going to go with “incredibly disturbing.”  Thank you very much.)

Hmmm . . . let’s see, what else happened this week? . . . Oh yeah . . . the funeral.

Pure Imagination

It started like any other episode, with Sue and Terri trying to foil the Glee club’s plans to fly to New York, by rerouting their plane to Libya.  (Libya?  Really?)  But then we learned that Sue had kicked Becky off of the Cheerios.  And things got pretty maudlin, pretty fast . . .

When Will finds out about this, he confronts Sue about her incredible lack of sensitivity.  Sue surprises Will by explaining that she kicked Becky off the Cheerios, because Becky reminds her too much of her older sister, Jean, who died of pneumonia in her sleep the night before.  As is often the case in these type of situations, Sue blames herself for not being there for Jean, during her final moments.

Will informs the Glee kids of Sue’s loss.  And, despite their extremely contentious relationship with the cheerleading coach, the kids arrive at her office, flowers and stuffed animals in hand, to pay their respects . . .

Finn and Kurt, both of whom know personally what it is like to lose a close family member, are particularly sympathetic to Sue, when she explains that she is too emotionally overwrought to sort through Jean’s personal items at the nursing home, or plan her funeral.  So, the pair (who have already planned a FABULOUS wedding for their parents – remember?) commandeer the Glee club to help out an Enemy in Need. 

Upon learning that Jean loved the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Glee kids decorate the funeral home, with the film in mind, adorning Jean’s coffin with extra large lollipops, gumdrops, candycanes, and, of course, Everlasting Gobstoppers. 

Now, no offense to Jean (may she rest in peace), but, am I the only one who finds the Willy Wonka movie POSITIVELY TERRIFYING?  I mean, think about it, this is a story about kids that, as a result of some pretty minor infractions, turned blue and obese, drowned in chocolate, got shrunk to ant size, were attacked by squirrels, and got dropped down loooong trash chutes. 

Just sayin’

Poorly-selected theme aside, the funeral was a truly beautiful one.  It featured, among other things, Sue’s heart-tugging speech about her sister (which Will kindly read for the typically-stone cold educator, when she became too choked up to continue), uplifting videos of the deceased, during happier times . . .

. . . and the Glee kids tear-jerking performance of the song “Pure Imagination,” which was featured in the original film. 

Oddly enough, the event inspired Finn to break up with Quinn, in the parking lot outside the funeral home.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Quinn fan, at all!  And I never particularly cared for Finn and Quinn as a couple.  But SERIOUSLY?  Talk about BAD TIMING!  I mean, how insensitive can you get?

“Are you friggin kidding me, Poopy Zombie?”

Of course, any sympathy I may have had for Quinn was lost, the moment she told Finn that she didn’t mind if he continued to have feelings for Rachel, provided he dated Quinn through next year, so that the pair had another shot of winning Prom King and Queen.

Obviously, a girl who makes THIS kind of request of the boyfriend, who is clearly trying to dump her for SOMEONE ELSE, is either extremely shallow, or has pitifully low self esteem.  (Maybe a little bit of both?)  That being said, Quinn’s emotional exit from the car following the Big Dump, illustrated that the Wanna-Be Prom Queen’s feelings for Finn may, in fact, be deeper than she would like the casual onlooker to believe . . . 

Oh, and she also threatened to do something naughty to Finn at Nationals.  Hmmm . . . I wonder what she’s planning . . .

Hide your bunnies and your balls, Finn!

The question is: now, that Finn has FINALLY made up his mind until he inevitably changes it again, can he win back Rachel, before she falls headfirst into the ass of Jesse St. Jackass?  Do we really care? 

Only time will tell . . .

In other potential Character Redemption News, by way of saying “Thanks for the funeral,”  Sue has decided that she no longer wants to send the Glee kids to their certain deaths in Libya.  (PROGRESS!) She’d much rather . . . run for a seat in the House of Representatives?

You’ve really gotta love a Random Plot Point, like this one!

Oh, and she let Becky back into the Cheerios, even going as far as to offer the loveable teen the position of Captain, for the following year. 

When the tightly-knit pair hugged one another, toward the end of the episode, I must admit, I got a little misty-eyed .  . .

Did I mention that Will’s ridiculously annoying ex Terri (she of the fake pregnancies, and such) is moving to Miami to become manager of the Bed, Bath and Beyond Sheetz n’ Things store, down there? 

Sayonara Sucka!

Or that this SAME woman randomly decided to get the ENTIRE GLEE CLUB first class tickets to New York for Nationals?  (The “Sheetz” in Lima must pay REALLY WELL!)  Yeah . . . I thought it was totally random too. 

But, instead of talking about side characters, who I DON’T care about very much, let’s talk about ones that I actually LIKE . . . who were totally missing from this episode . . .

Where’s the Beiste?

And the Sunshine?

And why the F*&K didn’t PUCK have any lines or shirtless scenes this week?

Next week, is Glee season finale!  (Can you believe this show has been on  for two full seasons already?) In honor of the Big Event, the entire cast will be heading to New York City for the National competition! 

You can check out the promo for this Sure-to-Be-Epic episode HERE:

So, my fellow Gleeks, the time has come for you to make your predictions:  Will New Directions  beat out Sunshine Corazon and her Vocal Adrenaline teammates, this year?  Or are they destined for yet another crushing defeat?  You’ll have to tune in next week, in order to find out.  See ya then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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