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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s recap, shall we?

Secret Santas Got a Brand New Bag

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

“Have MERCY!”

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile .  . .

I Saw Someone Still Believing in Santa Claus . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking of sporting a little Christmas Wood . . .

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

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

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

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

You said it, Sista!

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

OOPS!

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

(My cat would never be without a companion!)

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

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

You’re a Mean One, Sue the Grinch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sue, of course, is APPALLED . . .

“I’m appalled.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, back in the Better Plotline . . .

Brittany, Meet Santa Claus . . .

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

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

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

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

“Was it Ricki Lake?”  Brittany asks.

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

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

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

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

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

No offense!

Speaking of melted hearts . . .

How Sue Saved Christmas . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, I just hate you,” Sue replies.

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

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

Sorry Mike!

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*insert tragic Death Music here*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Magic Comb to Rule them All

Thanks, Gleeky Tumblr!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Except, Brittany never actually CHEATED with Mike.

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

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

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

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

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

Kiss ME, PUCKSTER!

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

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

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

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

Honeymoon in Vegas

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

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

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

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

“Have MERCY!”

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

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

It’s Sectionals, Baby!

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks hiyoritic tumblr!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

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It’s a Nice Day for a Blue Tracksuit Dress Wedding! – A Recap of Glee’s “Furt”

Is it just me, or would Sue’s “wedding dress” look fabulous with a pair of those sneakers Steve Martin made for his daughter in that “Father of the Bride” movie?

 

Do you LOVE weddings?  Does the mere sight of taffeta and lace make you go gooey?  Do you weep with joy, every time you receive a calligraphy-adorned envelope in the mail, with your name on it?  If so, this was the Glee episode for YOU!  After all, this week’s installment of Glee offered not one, but TWO weddings!

Despite the episode’s title suggesting otherwise, Kurt and Finn didn’t actually marry one another, during Furt 😦 . . .  

Well . . . actually .  . . one wedding, and one rehearsal.  But still, you’ve got to admit, that’s a whole lot of HOLY NUPTIAL for a single hour of television!

As for those of you who HATE weddings . . . well, at least you got to watch a couple of guys beat the crap out of one another . . .

I mean, that’s gotta count for something, right?

And so, without further adieu, what do you say we strap on those high heels, pick up that bouquet, and get ready for that long slow saunter down the aisle?  (But since it’s a Glee Wedding, that “long slow saunter” will be more like a cheesy skip-hop, performed while waving streamers in the air, to the tune of a Bruno Mars song.)

Wheeeeeeeee!

An Indecent Proposal

“Ohhhh, Indecent!  Sounds kinky!”‘

Question:  What is the LEAST romantic location for a marriage proposal? 

If you answered in a high school classroom that reeks of chalk and body odor, you are clearly not part of the Hummel family!  The episode begins with Kurt’s Super-Adorable-I-Just-Want-To-Pinch-His-Cheeks-Every-Time-He’s-On-Screen Daddy, and Finn’s Ridculously Sweet Mommy invading McKinley High.

 (Is there no security at McKinley High?  So, basically, anybody could just waltz into this school, without so much as a “full body scan” or a groin-groping pat down?)

Principal Sylvester FAIL!

Anyway, Happy Couple, Burt and Carol, arrive at school to share some good news with Kurt and Finn.  Apparently, Burt just proposed to Carol in the SAME SCHOOL CLASSROOM WHERE THEY FIRST MET!  How lame romantic!  As luck would have it, the duo need to be married by the end of the week.  (Did anybody else get a whiff of Shotgun Wedding from this scene?  Because I did!)

Mini Kurt: Coming Soon to a Glee near you?

Since Burt has already spent  his life savings satisfying Kurt’s endless requests for Barbara Streisand tickets and designer hats, the couple wants to “save their money for  the honeymoon,” Burt and Carol cannot afford a wedding planner or a real band.  And, so, they hire the next best things . . .

Wedding Planner Kurt . . .

and . . .

Wedding Band, New Directions.

Upon hearing  that he has been given the opportunity to create the Poor Person’s Version of Wedding of his Childhood Dreams, Kurt becomes so ecstatic, that he stops spitting out little pink purses every time he speaks . . .

 . . . and starts puking veils, rings, and something blue?

Marital Masturbation?

There is a difference between “loving yourself,” and “LOVING YOURSELF,” if you catch my drift  . . .

When we first see Sue, she has just learned that her ex-boyfriend, Smarmy News Anchor, Rod Randall, is going to marry his Prissy-80’s hair wearing co-anchor.  “You are going to die alone,” 80’s Hair sweetly tells Sue.

 

80’s Hair’s comment about the prospect of Sue dying alone clearly impacts the Cheerios’ coach.  And so, our favorite track-suit wearing diva decides to take action . . . by doing something that will ABSOLUTELY ensure that her rival’s prediction will come true.  (Hey, if you can’t beat em,’ join em’ right?).  Sue makes a proposal of marriage to the ONLY person genetically capable of putting up with her unique brand of Crazy.  HERSELF!

Like Burt and Carol before her, Sue seems to be in a major rush to get herself to the altar.  Invitations are hastily drafted, and sent out into the world . . .

One of those invitations goes to Sue’s mother, a woman named Doris, who looks suspiciously like Carol Burnett.

The resemblance is uncanny . . .

Apparently, Doris has been so busy “Nazi” hunting, that she hasn’t had time to do insignificant little things like . . . oh . . .  raising her two daughters.  And so, because this is Glee, Mama Sylvester does what every cast member on this show does, when they want to justify being an MAJOR A**hole to the people around them  . . . she sings about it. 

The only difference is that, rather than sing a cool song, Mama Sylvester sings a lame one entitled  “Ohio,” with Sue chiming in for the two-part harmony. Personally,  I would have preferred something a little snappier like “Mama Mia,” or “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” or “She’s a Bad Mama Jama,” or “Mama Said Knock You Out,” or . . . well . . . any song aside from “Ohio.”  But, hey, you can’t get everything you want in this world, right?

At the “wedding rehearsal,” a very unsupportive Doris says so many AWFUL things about Sue, and her life choices, that Sue actually ends up disinviting her from the wedding!  Now Sue will not only be the bride, groom, and officiant at her own wedding, she will also have to be the MOTHER OF THE BRIDE!  Gee, I wonder who’s going to end up catching the bouquet?  Sue?  Sue?  Or Sue?

This is Sue Sylvester’s world.  The rest of us are just living in it . . .

Well, Bully for YOU!

Sue wasn’t the only cast member coping with a MAJOR A**hole this week.  Kurt barely had time to rejoice over the fact that he was FINALLY, after 16 long years, going to get to be . . .

 . . . when that Mean Ole Bastard, Karofsky, is all up in his grill, and snatching his bride and groom cake toppers right out of his hand, just because he can.

Will, who witnesses the Great Cake Topper Massacre firsthand, accompanies a clearly traumatized Kurt to Principal Sue’s office, where she does a surprisingly good job playing the role of school administrator.

I KNOW!  Crazy, right?

As it turns out, Sue, was also bullied quite a bit, back when she was in high school.  So, she is surprisingly sympathetic to Kurt’s plight.  And yet without proof that Karofsky has committed any actual physical violence to Kurt (beyond just pushing him into a locker and raping his face, with gross slobbery Neanderthal kisses), Sue’s hands are tied.  However, the new principal promises Kurt that the minute Karofsky lays a hand on Kurt, or anyone else at the school, for that matter,, he will be immediately expelled. 

On the way out of the meeting, Kurt callls issue with Sue’s repeated insistence on calling him “lady.”  “That’s bullying too,” Kurt explains matter-of-factly.

“A Bully?  Moi?”

 “As an apology, I’ll allow you to choose from the following nicknames: Gelfling, Porcelain or Tickle-Me-Doughface,” Sue concedes. 

(Yeah, I didn’t know what the f*ck a Gelfling was either.  But, according to Google images, they look like this . . .)

Kurt ultimately decides to go with Porcelain.  Although I, like Sue, would have much preferred “Tickle-Me Doughface.”

Clearly, Tickle Me Elmo agrees .  . .

Behind Every Great Man there’s an Even Greater (and sometimes much more annoying) Woman . . .

Upon hearing about the HORROR that was Great Cake Topper Massacre, Rachel commandeers Quinn, Brittany, and Tina to help Kurt.  “All of us have boyfriends on the football team,” Rachel explains.

Wait . . . Mike Chang is on the football team?  Brittany is ACTUALLY dating Artie?  How did I not know ANY of this?

Rachel’s master plan is for the girls to deny their “boyfriends” sex, until they agree to beat up Karofsky on Kurt’s behalf.  The only problem is that Rachel doesn’t put out.  So, her boyfriend, Finn, sits back and gets his toenails done while, “Rising Star of Popularity” Sam, along with Mike and Artie, do the dirty work, in the coolest, most disturbing, and unintentionally hilarious Boys Locker Room Fight Scene Ever!

Mike (apparently he IS on the football team!) Chang and Artie are up first.  They defend Kurt’s honor, by exchanging constipated facial expressions with Karofsky.  But then Karofsky PUSHES OVER ARTIE’S WHEELCHAIR!

OK .  . . now that’s just friggin EVIL!

So, in steps Alpha Male Macaulay Culkin Sam to SAVE THE DAY, by kicking Karofsky’s closeted ASS!

Oh, don’t worry, Macauley!  Your doppelganger is OK.  He just got a black eye.

And besides, Quinn found out what Sam did for Kurt, and she’s actually wearing his promise ring now . . .

You know what that means, don’t you?  Sam is TOTALLY going to get laid NOW!

EXPULSION!

Burt Hummel is at the school again (see what I mean about the lack of security!), taking wedding dance lessons from Kurt and Terrible Dancer Finn, when Karofsky pops by and “limp wrists” Kurt.  Burt sees this happen, and quickly figures out that Kurt is being bullied by this D-bag.  So, Burt PUSHES KAROFSKY INTO A LOCKER AND THREATENS TO BEAT THE STUFFING OUT OF HIM!

Then, Karofsky’s dad, Doc Arzt from Lost I thought he died in a plane crash! is called to the school to explain his son’s bullying ways.

“The smoke monster made him do it.”

Arzt admits that Karofsky’s been acting out a bit of late.  And when Sue expels the Douche for terrorizing Kurt and BEATING UP ON POOR ARTIE, Arzt seems to accept his son’s fate, at least at first . . .

“Marry YOU!”

Burt and Carol’s nuptials had EVERYTHING a Wedding Fangirl could ask for:  tear-jerking speeches, dancing, glitz and glam – THE WORKS! 

The wedding featured not one .  . . not two . . . but THREE musical numbers!  The first was a dance down the aisle to the Glee kids cover of “Marry You.”  The cover, though admittedly cheesy (I could have done without the bad down-the-aisle YouTube video inspired dancing and the streamers), was pretty awesome! 

Next came Will Schuester’s cover of Michael Buble’s version of that classic pre-sex song, “Sway.”  Although, it wasn’t the best version of the song I’ve seen, how could you not LOVE the image of a Pre-Sex Schuester?

But it was the third song that REALLY put the icing on the Wedding Cake that was this episode.  In it, Finn pays tribute to his new brother, Kurt.  In doing so, he officially forms the new holy union of “Furt” — a union that will hereby join the “Power Couple” ranks of Finchel, Puckleberry, Squinn, Mina, Bartie, and whatever other random couple Glee decides to make up in the future! 

 “No one has showed me, as much as you, what it means to be a man.  From now on, I’ve got your back,”  explains a teary-eyed Finn.  It’s about damn time, You Lazy Stepbrother, YOU!  Finn then breaks into yet another Bruno Mars hit.  This one is the super sweet, “Just the Way You Are.”

Speaking of Finn, did I mention he loves Rachel too much to tell her he actually DID have sex with Santana, while the pair was on a break — even though doing so might make him more popular?

Oh yeah, that decision is going to TOTALLY end up biting him in the ass later . . .

Kurt abandons McKinley, heads to Hogwarts Dalton

Back at school, Kurt is about to receive some bad news from Principal Sue.  As it turns out, the school board dismissed her decision to expel Karofsky.  (She has resigned in protest.  Welcome back, Principal Figgins.)

“Come on!  Don’t act surprised!  You guys knew it was only a matter of time . . . I’m still on contract with Glee for 8 more episodes!”

But with Karofsky still at the school, ready to terrorize Kurt at a moments notice , Kurt no longer feels safe at McKinley.  And so, conveniently, just in time for next week’s Sectionals Extravaganza.  Kurt’s Pa and Step Ma use all their “Honeymoon Money” That must have been one HUGE HONEYMOON they were planning, because private schools are FRIGGIN EXPENSIVE  to transfer Kurt to a school, where there is a No Tolerance Against Bullying Policy — a school where boys don’t use their fist; they proudly sing, prance, and play with wands . . . Hogwarts School of Wizardry Dalton Academy!

Killing Voldemort, one show tune at a time . . .

(Note: Kurt STILL hasn’t outed Karofsky for kissing him, which he REALLY SHOULD, especially since he isn’t planning on returning to the school.   It would serve that closeted Asshat RIGHT!)

You know what this means, don’t you?  Kurt is going to be a Dalton Academy WARBLER!  And the Warbler’s are AGAINST New Directions at sectionals!

Be afraid, fellow Gleeks!  Be VERY AFRAID!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Will Sing (and Dance) for Tater Tots – A Recap of Glee’s “The Substitute”

Question:  Which actress’ name first comes to mind, when you hear the words “tater tots?”

If your answer wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow, you probably didn’t watch last night’s episode of Glee.  Kind of ironic isn’t it?  Here’s an actress that probably never ATE a tater tot in her life.  And now, she will be forever associated with a food that Sue Sylvester says looks like Deep Fried Deer Poop . . .

Bambi would not approve . . .

“My poop is WAY prettier than that!”

But enough about deer poop, let’s talk about “The Substitute!”

The Trouble with Monkey Flu . . .

“Hey!  What are you looking at ME for?  I didn’t do it!”

When the episode first opens, Poor Will Schuester is just minding his own business, and heading off to class.  Little does he know, that he is about to have the WORST DAY EVER!  It all starts, when Sue Sylvester announces that she has become interim principal of McKinley High School .  . .

Why, you ask?  Well, apparently, Principal Figgins has caught the monkey flu, because some student carrying the virus, sneezed on him, at Sue’s behest.

I’m guessing that McKinley High spends so much money on the Cheerios, that it can’t afford to hire a Vice Principal, for when these sort of situations occur . . .  Also, Sue conveniently has a “Principal Clause” in her “Cheerios Coach Contract.”  Whatever that means . . .

So, about five seconds later, this same girl sneezes on Will.  And then about five minutes minutes after that (or maybe it’s the next day . . . it’s always really hard to mark time passage on this show), Will is showing signs of “monkey flu sickness,” himself.

One second, his Glee Club looks normal (well, normal for them at least . . .)

The next second, they look like this . . .

I kind of like most of them better this way, actually . . .

Next thing you know, Will is home sick in bed.  Catering to Sick Will’s needs is . . . HIS EVIL PREGNANCY-FAKING SHREW OF AN EX WIFE, TERRI?

Except . . . Terri’s actually being kind of nice.  She’s doing things for Will, like feeding him soup . . .

 . . . and bringing him his favorite DVD to watch while he’s sick (Singing in the Rain), and rubbing menthol on his back, and . . . HAVING SEX WITH HIM?

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I like a Shirtless Schuester just as much as the next girl.   But there’s just something about watching a sick, hallucinatory, feverish Will, screwing that disgustingly horrible witch Terri, that makes me throw up in my mouth a little . . .

My sentiments exactly, Emma . . .

When Will is not busy screwing The Evil One, he keeps his sick self busy, by watching Singing in the Rain.  As a result, he has a dream that he and Mike Chang are starring in the classic musical . . .

In the dream sequence, the pair sing and dance to that INSANELY OLD song, “Make EM’ Laugh.”  (Well, actually Will sings, and Mike just dances, which is what Mike does best, anyway.)  I’ve been told by those significantly more educated in show tunes than myself, that the number was an almost frame-by-frame replica of the performance in the film.  I don’t know if that’s true or not . . .

All I know, is that I really liked the part in it where they did flips off the wall.  That was very cool!

 Meanwhile . . .

Glee Club Gets a New Look . . .

In Mr. Schuester’s absence, Rachel tries to take over Glee Club . . .

But . . . basically, nobody likes Rachel not even most fans of Glee.  So Kurt, commandeers substitute teacher, Holly Holliday (a.k.a. SPECIAL GUEST STAR Gwyneth Paltrow) to run the club instead.  We know Holly is a “fun” teacher, because she teaches her Spanish class about how many times Lindsay Lohan was in rehab (It was five, in case you were wondering . . .) . . .

“I RULE!”

 . . . and sings Conjunction Junction (from School House Rock) to her English class  . . .

Right . . . because there are SO many high school students, who don’t know their “ands” from their “buts” . . .

Ms. Holliday’s manner of teaching Glee Club is also a bit untraditional.  Unlike Will, who can be rather set in his ways (“Come on!  There’s gotta be a Journey song we haven’t done yet?”),  Holly’s all about being “loose,” and going with the flow.  (“Let’s go to Taco Bell, and toke up!”)  She even goes so far as to  . . .  ask the kids what songs THEY want to sing for Sectionals.

Shocking, right?

Puck is the first to volunteer a song.

He suggests, “that new song from Cee Lo, ‘Forget You.'”

At which point, the ENTIRE Glee Club (except Rachel, because she’s lame), yells back, “The song’s called F*&K YOU . . .  MOTHERF*&Ker!”  (Or, at least they would have said that, had they been REAL HIGH SCHOOL KIDS, and not actors on a “family show” airing on Fox at 8 p.m.) 

(Come on!  I would expect “title neutering” from other Glee kids — like Rachel, for example — but NOT PUCK!  No wonder those kids in juvie kicked his ass . . .)

Puck’s Faux Pas aside, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by Gwyneth and the Glee kids’ “Family / Female Oriented” (She switched all the “he’s” to “she’s” and vice-versa.) version of Cee Lo’s iconic song.

Sure, the removal of the explicit lyrics took away a bit of the original song’s edge, but Gwyneth’s interpretation was fun and funky, in its own way.  But for me, it was the kids’ dancing that really made the number for me.  Brittany’s Robot Moves, in particular, cracked me up . . .

from the Vegemaryam Tumblr

Rachel didn’t seem to enjoy it, as much as I did, however . . .

“Kurt, have you been putting garlic on your tater tots again.  Your breath stinks!”

Later, when Rachel spies Holly and Sue bonding over “Animal Hoarders (?)” and red wine . . .

 . . . she quickly becomes worried that someone ELSE might actually get a friggin solo at Sectionals Holly will permanently usurp Will’s role as Glee Club coach.  So, of course, she rushes to Will’s home to tell him as much. 

As it turns out, Rachel’s fears were well-founded.  Because, when Will returns to the school, Sue DOES actually FIRE HIM!

And if you believe this firing is going to last, I have a Grilled Cheesus I’m selling on E-Bay for $20,000.

Buy it as a Christmas Gift for your loved one!

Sue Gets Humiliated by The Beiste / Takes it out on THE TOTS

Firing Will wasn’t the only change “Principal Sue” tried to make at McKinley High in Figgins’ absence.  She also tried to ban chairs?  (Yeah, I didn’t get it either.) 

 However, the poo REALLY hit the fan, when Sue tries, once again, to oust her other nemesis (aside from Will), Coach Beiste, by disbanding the football team.

“Who are your Cheerios going to cheer for, then?”  Beiste inquires calmly.

Honestly, there were ANY NUMBER of things Sue could have said in response to this.  But the most obvious replies are:

(1) There are other sports teams at this school, aside from your STINKIN’ football team; and

(2) We are a NATIONALLY RANKED Cheerleading squad.  We compete in NATIONAL COMPETITIONS.  Haven’t you ever seen Bring it On, or any of its 85,000 straight-to-DVD sequels?

And yet Sue, the Queen of the One Liners, was suddenly at a loss for words?  (What’s a matter Sue.   Karofsky got your tongue?)

Anyway, Sue is so EMBARRASSED (as she should be) about being bested by The Beiste, that she decides to rile up the student population by REMOVING TATER TOTS FROM THE LUNCH MENU.

Mercedes — who has been having a hard enough time coping with the fact that her BFF Kurt has started “seeing” Harry Potter Blaine, and now he only wants to hang out with him, and talk about “gay stuff” . . .

Gleeks tumblr

“Oh my gosh!  Every time I open my mouth, a little pink purse comes out!”

 . . . is CRAZY PISSED about the whole “No Tots” thing.  And so, she confronts, Sue about it.  Sue responds by showing Mercedes this . . .

And, just in case you are curious, that thing that Sue is holding in her hand is neither a toilet brush (as Mercedes suggests) . . .

 . . . nor, is it part of the tree where the Gummi Bears used to live, in that adorable cartoon from the late 80’s / early 90’s . . .

 . . . as Brittany suggests.   It’s broccoli. 

(Actually, I’d have to agree with Mercedes on this one.  Although, not about the toilet brush thing.  She’s on her own, on that one.  As far as vegetables go, broccoli is one of the lamer ones.  It’s got a mealy consistency, and ALWAYS gets stuck in your teeth. )

Did I mention that when Mercedes comes to Sue’s office, the New Principal calls her “Jackee?”

“Oh HELL, NO!”

And yet, despite Mercedes starting of a Tot Riot, Sue’s ban on the “Deep Fried Deer Poop” stays.  In fact, so many parents like the idea of their kids eating healthy, they petition for Sue to become principal PERMANENTLY.  

Can they do that?  I’m not really sure they can do that . . . Wait, why am I pretending like this show is at all RATIONAL?

Holly Tells Rachel that She Sucks.  The World Nods in Agreement

Well, that Holly is damn near perfect, isn’t she?  When Rachel starts bitching to her about how the “gangsta rap” they did in class earlier, hurt her back, Holly responds by saying, “Rachel, you suck!”

Then Rachel proves precisely just how much she sucks, when Holly tries to win the girl over, by allowing the Diva to perform the song of her choice.  “I was thinking of something fun, upbeat and glamorous with a good dance beat,” says Rachel.

So what “fun, upbeat and glamorous” song does Rachel pick to perform with Holly?  You guessed it . . . another show tune . . .

The song chosen one of the lesser known numbers from the musical Chicago.  (“Hot Honey Rag”?)  And what I recall most about it, was Rachel’s not-so-hot-honey-rag attempt at doing a cartwheel.  (Don’t worry, Rachel.  I can’t do them either.)  The Glee Kids really seemed to like it, though . . .

Then again, they like EVERYTHING .  . .

Well . . . ALMOST everything.

Holly Gets Fired / Kurt Gets Threatened / Mercedes Gets Made to Feel Like Deep Fried Deer Poop

Back to that weird Tater Tots Storyline . . . apparently, with Holly’s OK, Mercedes stuck tater tots in the tail pipe of Sue’s car.  As a result, Mercedes got suspended, and Holly got fired.  Then, to add insult to injury, Kurt tells Mercedes that because she (1) eats tater tots; and (2) has a gay best friend,  she MUST really be hungry for a man . . . specifically, THIS MAN . . .

WAY better looking than Tater Tots . . .

Now, while I’d LOVE to see Mercedes date that sexy stud pictured above, as much as the next gal . . .  I have to say, I’m not really digging the message this storyline sends to overweight teens (or teens with gay best friends, for that matter). 

Contrary to popular belief, not EVERY high school girl needs a boyfriend to be happy.  And not every girl who occasionally indulges in unhealthy foods is “eating her feelings.”  Whatever happened to the days (Season 1), when Mercedes tried to starve herself, but ultimatelylearned to love her body, and sang “Beautiful” to the school auditorium?  Seriously!

Then again . . . I’d probably sacrifice a few tater tots for THIS GUY. . .

Actually, I hate tater tots.  So, the decision would be a fairly easy one.

But you know who I WOULDN’T give up tots for .  . .

Talk about mixed signals!  One second, Karofsky is creepily winking at Kurt, and shouting out, “Hey Homo,” the next he’s even more creepily threatening his life.  What gives, Scary Bully Dude?

Will’s Return / Holly’s Story / Yet Another Musical Interlude

Later in the episode, Sue gives Will back his job, after all the Glee kids come to her office, “singing” his praises.  My favorite “praise,” however, came from Brittany who says:  “Will taught me the second half of the alphabet.  M and N seemed so similar that I got frustrated, and stopped.”

You know . . . she kind of has a point.

Later, Holly visits Will at his home, to apologize for trying to steal his job.   She also explains to him (and us) why she’s been a substitute teacher for 10 years, rather than seeking out more permanent employment. 

(10 years?  Either substitute teachers get paid A LOT of dough in “Lima,” or Holly’s been eating A LOT of cat food, this past decade . . .) 

As it turns out, some student named Cameo, who, according to Holly, looked like “an attractive Biggie Smalls.”

For the record, Biggie, I always thought you were MAD studly . . . RIP Dude. 

 . . . punched her in the face?  Weird . . . 

When Holly’s and Will’s romantic(?) interlude is interrupted by the EVVVVVVILLLL Terri, Holly makes me like her yet AGAIN, by telling Will, “Your wife is kind of a b*tch!”  (You got THAT right, sister!) 

Then Will kicks Terri out, telling her the Monkey Flu Sex was a mistake.  (Good call, Mr. Man Slut.)

It’s a damn good thing you’re pretty, Will . . . Because you kind of suck at life.

The episode concludes with Holly inexplicably wearing a Mary Todd Lincoln costume . . .

 . . . which she THANKFULLY changes out of to perform a mashup of “Singing in the Rain” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella” with Will and the Glee kids . . .

And while I am Hella, Hella, Hella sick of the Umbrella, ella, ella song, I did enjoy all the “puddle jumping” the Glee kids did on stage.  It reminded me of playing in the rain, when I was young.  Although . . . you’ve really gotta wonder about the McKinley High School budget, when they can’t even afford to plug up the leaky pipes in the auditorium . . . That water bill must be INSANE!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Unleash Your Inner “Beiste” – A Recap of Glee’s “Never Been Kissed”

That’s right, Sue Sylvester.  Nobody said “Releasing the Beiste” would be easy!  For example, sometimes it involves seeing things you don’t necessarily want to see . .  .

“Sam Finds His ‘Mailman’ . . . Quinn Gets Revenge!”

Because it wouldn’t be a Season 2 Glee episode, if it didn’t have at least ONE shot of Chord Overstreet in his birthday suit, the episode begins with Finn and Sam in the personal training room, taking baths together . . .

OK . . . that’s not exactly true.  Finn was in a hot bath, and Sam was in an ice cold one.  According to Sam, this was because he wasn’t getting any “somethin-somethin” from his girlfriend, Quinn. 

Correction:  Sam was getting “something,” just not “somethin-somethin,” if you catch my drift .  . .

Therefore, Sam needed the cold bath, in order to “chill out.”

Fortunately for Sam, Finn (who is also getting “something,” but not “somethin-somethin” from Rachel) . . .

 . . . has a slightly less painful method of “chilling out” that he’d like to share with Sam.

Rather than sitting an ice bath, Finn “chills out,” while hooking up with Rachel, by imagining himself mowing down a mailman with his car.

(It’s important to note that when I said it would be “less painful” I meant for Sam, NOT for the Poor Imaginary Mailman .  . .)

Unlike Finn, Sam’s not down with the senseless assault of Imaginary Civil Servants.  He is, however, down for this . . .

Yeah, I didn’t get it either . . .

So, the next time him and Quinn are going at it, Sam starts picturing his football coach, Shannon Beiste, wearing the ONLY outfit his girlfriend has worn, more or less ALL SEASON (except when she’s in a Glee-themed costume).

Seriously!  When are those girls going to take off their uniforms?  Do you know how bad they must smell, by now?

Suddenly, Sam can makeout with his girlfriend for HOURS, without even thinking about sex.  (And that’s pretty darn impressive for a teenage boy!)

The only problem is that, now, Sam has fallen into the habit of calling out the Beiste’s name during Hookup Time with Quinn. 

“Oooooh SAM!  You are in TROUBLE!”

So Quinn — rather than logically assuming that Sam is (1) calling her a “Beast Beneath the Sheets,” or (2) “beast,” as in a synonym for “awesome” — immediately determines that Sam is crushing on his coach.  And so, she turns to Sue Sylvester for help . . .

After getting over the initial shock of imagining a high school boy crushing on her nemesis, Sue comes up with an “ingenious” (and by “ingenious,” I mean, “bizarre and kind of evil”) plan to get rid of Beiste, once in for all.  This plan will “send that Macauley Culkin stunt double back into your waiting arms,” Sue promises Quinn.

Now that you mention it, Sue . . . I do kind of see a resemblance.

They’ve even got that “Shower Thing” in common . . . scary.

Sue’s “Evil Master Plan” is for Quinn to somehow start a rumor that Beiste and Sam are “doing it” . . .

. . . so that Beiste will get fired.

Meanwhile, Tina has been using the “Beiste Technique,” as well, to “cool down,” during her lunch hour Sexy Times with Mike, and his INSANE abs.

You know what?  Just LOOKING at this picture makes me need to cool down . . .

I’m better now . . .

Now, suddenly, Quinn is calling out Beiste in the middle of the hallway for having an affair with her boyfriend, while Mike Chang is telling Beiste to stay away from his girlfriend.  “You crap on my leg, I will cut it off,” retorts the Beiste to her angry detractors!

Huh?

Schue Screws Up Again  (Surprise!)

“Man, I really need to get laid!”

When Mr. Schuester finds out that his kids have been using R-rated mental images of Coach Beiste to cure these . . .

. . . he is appalled!  After all, picturing your teacher in “compromising positions” is just WRONG!

If Beiste found out, her feelings could be REALLY HURT!  Besides, when these kids need “cooling off,” they should do what Will does . . . spank the monkey.

And yet, despite Will’s BIG TALK about how Beiste CAN’T find out about this whole “picturing her during foreplay” thing, because it will “hurt her feelings too much,” what does Will do, the first chance he gets?  He tells Beiste EVERYTHING!

“Oooh, apparently, my Monkey is not the only part of me that’s in serious need of a SPANKING!”

Being an insensitive MORON, Will tries to make everything “all better” for his colleague, by telling her to “not take it personally.”  (Really, Will?  Really?  Because I kind of think it doesn’t get much more personal than THIS.)

WILL:  “Awww, Beiste!  You seem REALLY upset about this!  You need to cool off.  Might I suggest picturing yourself wearing a tutu . . .”

Later, Will learns from a VERY celebratory Sue that Coach Beiste quit McKinley High . . .

“I am Queen of the World School, once again!  Huzzah!”

So, what does Will do?  Well, he blames HIS STUDENTS, of course!

“Well, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle an a**hole!”

Initially, Will demands that his students find away to convince Beiste to come back to McKinley.  However, he then pulls his head out of his ass, and realizes that he is completely partly to blame for her departure.  And so, Will goes to visit Beiste, while she is packing up her things . . .

Beiste Gets Her First Kiss . . .  and her First Serenade . . .

Will begs Beiste not to leave McKinley, because the students “like and respect her.”  Beiste calmly explains to Will that his “compliment,” is the equivalent of telling a girl — who just asked you, if you she think she is pretty — that she has a “really nice personality.”  Beiste further reveals the extent to which she was often teased by her classmates, when she was in highschool.

“All of us are scarred by high school,” insists Will.  “We’re just the only ones stupid enough to come back here.”

Actually “Will,” if this picture is any indication, you were probably pretty popular in high school.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that the only thing that could have “scarred” you there, was, possibly, an excess use of hair gel . . .

On second thought . . .

However, when Beiste admits that she is 40-years old, and has never been kissed, Will COMPLETELY redeems himself, in my eyes, at least, by telling Beiste that she is “beautiful both inside and out.”  He then plants a chaste wet one on her lips.  “And now you’ve been kissed,” he whispers sweetly.

The pair share a heart-warming hug, and then head back to the choir room, where the guys have a special performance prepared for Miss Beiste — one that they hope will convince her to stay at McKinley.  Introducing the performance is Puck . . .

And if THAT doesn’t make you want to stay in school, I don’t know WHAT WILL!

Puck tells Beiste that she is like a Nougat . . .

 .  . . hard and crunchy on the outside, yet soft and sweet on the inside.  In honor of the Beiste, the guys choose to perform a mash-up which possesses those same qualities.  “And we hope that it makes you smile.  Because when you smile, you look so pretty, and it lights up the room,” explains Puck.

Welcome back, Puck!  BOY, have we missed YOU!

The boys belt out a mash-up of the sappy sweet and very old school Stop in the Name of Love, by the Supremes, with the edgier and slightly less old school Free Your Mind, by En Vogue.  The combination of two songs, (which, on the surface, seemed completely mismatched) was actually pretty cool.  And the guys’ performed the hell out of them!  (Even The Beiste seemed touched by the gesture.)

My only minor complaint was with their costume choice.  I might have gone with something a bit more “rock-and-roll,” than the “Jersey Boys Chic” look they ultimately chose.

That’s not “Nougat,” that’s Fluffer Nutter!

The girls’ offered up a rousing mash-up this week too!  Their’s was a combination of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer, and The Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up.  The result was a performance that was everything an Ode to the 80’s Rock Anthem should be . . . complete with big hair, leather, lots of dark eye makeup, and even a REAL Fog Machine . . .

While the guys’ offering this week, may have won out in the “heart” department, the girls totally had them beat, in terms of soul . . .

Speaking of Soul . . .

 . . . a re-Mohawked Puck returned to Glee this week.

McKinley High’s Favorite Bad Boy wasted no time reclaiming his rebel status, through his awe-inspiring tales of weightlifting, ass-kicking and food reclaiming.  (“I told him, ‘Leggo, My Eggo . . . So, he did!”)  He also found a new companion in Artie, who he planned to “help be cool” in order to “fulfill his community service requirement.”

Puck’s master plan begins with him and Artie performing a GORGEOUS rendition of Bob Marley’s “One Love,” outside during lunch.  The performance earns Puck and Artie $300 of cold hard cash, which their fellow students generously “donated” to Puck’s guitar case. 

(OK . . . I’m sorry . . . but I have to call B.S. here.  In my four years of high school, the ONLY time I ever gave cash to a fellow student was to buy a candy bar.  NO BROKE HIGH SCHOOL kid parts with their money that easily!  Then again . . . NO ONE in my high school looked like this . . .)

I stand corrected.  Here, Puck, take my credit cards too .. .

The next item of “Community Service” for Puck, involved him helping Artie get back together with Tina Brittany.

Oh yeah . . . did I mention that Artie is in love with Brittany now?  A night of meaningless sex will do that to a guy . . .

Puck and Artie win Santana’s and Brittany’s hearts by taking them to Olive Garden Breadsticks, and basically treating them like dirt.  (I’d love to say that doesn’t actually work.  But I’m afraid it does, particularly with shallow high school girls, like Brittany and Santana.)  Then Puck convinces Santana and Brittany to “dine-and-dash” with him, leaving Poor Artie with the check . . .

“It’s times like these when I wish my wheelchair had a faster motor.  I’d run those b*tches down SO FAST. . .”

Eventually, however, Puck’s probation officer discovers his lack of “real community service.”  Suddenly, our resident Bad Boy is threatened with the prospect of “highway trash pickup” or a “return to juvie.” The poor guy flips out!  As it turns out, Puck wasn’t quite the Big Cheese in juvie that he would have his classmates believe him to be.  “They kept taking my waffles,” pouts Puck adorably.

Leggo Puck’s Eggo, or I’ll CUT YOU! 

(Awesome little photo brought to you by frothygirlz.com )

But, just when a very frightened Puck is about to skip town AGAIN, Artie comes to his rescue.  The little guy offers to return Puck’s kind gesture of “community service” by (1) accompanying him, while he cleans up trash on the highway; and (2) tutoring him in Geometry.  A very grateful Puck takes Artie up on his offer. 

And they all live HAPPILY EVER AFTER . . . especially those folks who happen to be driving along the public roads, while Puck is “picking up trash” . . .

Community service, INDEED!

Kurt Vistis Hogwarts The Dalton School / Gets Face Raped

“Some of these guys look like they have pretty big  . . . wands.”

 When the episode begins, Kurt is having pretty much the WORST DAY EVER!  For starters, that Mean Ole Bully, Karofsky, keeps pushing him into his locker.

“I didn’t mean to do it.  It’s just that I tend to have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time.”

Then, Kurt is not allowed to perform with the girls, like he usually does, in the weekly Glee Club competition.  The truth of the matter is, Kurt is just plain tired of the way rampant homophobia and bullying are accepted at his school.  As the only openly gay male at McKinley, Kurt feels ostracized, and unappreciated.  So, when his classmates suggest he scope out New Directions’ competition for Sectionals (an all-boy singing group called The Warblers, from the all-boy school, Dalton) Kurt jumps at the chance.

(By the way, if anyone caught Mr. Schue’s lame but plot convenient explanation as to why this year’s Sectional competitors are different from last year’s, please pass that information along to me, because I totally missed it.  I mean, don’t “Sections” always stay the same, for competitions like these?)

When Kurt arrives at Dalton he realizes, to his chagrin, that all the students are in uniform, making it particularly difficult for him to “blend in” and “spy” on his enemies.  Fortunately, however, Kurt dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween this past year.   And, apparently, he has kept his costume in his book bag since that time.  So, all hope was not lost . . .

After being led by the hand into the school auditorium by a very sexy Blaine (played by Darren Criss), Kurt witnesses the Wizards Warblers perform a SUPER FABULOUS and HIGHLY HOMOEROTIC rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”

Coincidentally, this is EXACTLY what happened in Kurt’s Teenage Wet Dream, just this morning!

After the performance, the Warblers take pity on Kurt for his obviously hand-me down Gryffindor robes, and take him out for coffee.  Never one to beat around the bush, Kurt immediately asks the group whether they are ALL GAY?  Most of them are not, but Sexy Beast Blaine sure is!

Not that it matters, really.  Because this private school is completely accepting of people of all-sexual preferences.  “Hogwarts has always been TOTALLY cool with the gays.  Just ask Dumbledore!”  Later, when Kurt confides in Blaine that he has been the victim of bullying in school, Blaine instructs him to confront his enemy.  “I ran away [from public school bullying and homophobia], but you don’t have to,” Blaine concludes.

(WOAH!  This just in . . . I just found out that Darren Criss actually played Harry Potter in the fanmade “A Very Potter Musical.”  So all those thinly veiled Potter references the Glee writers made in the above-described scene?   TOTALLY INTENTIONAL!  Check him out . . .)

Anyway, throughout the rest of the day, like a good Gryffindor Wizard friend, Blaine keeps texting Kurt the word “courage.”  And it is this word that finally helps Kurt to confront the Evil Karofsky.   He REALLY lets this bully have it! 

Kurt tells Karofsky that he never has to worry about Kurt making a pass at him, because he is not Kurt’s type.  He further explains why.  “You are ugly, and sweaty, and will probably be bald by the time you are thirty.”

“Don’t push me.  You can’t push the gay out of me . . . You are just a scared little boy, who can’t face how ordinary you really are,” Kurt concludes.

And then this happens . . .

It was actually much less like a kiss, and more like Face Rape — particularly since Poor Kurt was a Boy-Kissing Virgin, at the time.  You’ve really got to hand it to Karofsky though, almost out of high school, and he’s still managed to maintain that First-Graders Philosophy on Dating, namely, “When a Boy teases or insults, you, it’s only because he likes you.”

And if that’s the case, than Karofsky must REALLY like Kurt, because he keeps beating on him, even AFTER the Face Rape occurs.  The dude even goes so far as to beat up on Blaine, when Blaine tries to confront Karofsky, regarding his sexuality, on Kurt’s behalf.  “Well, he’s not coming out of the closet anytime soon!”  Blaine snarks.

(By the way, kudos to Max Adler, the actor who plays Karofsky, for doing such a brilliant job with these super intense scenes!  You can check out his performance here . . .)

At the end of the episode, we see a newer, more confident Kurt peeking inside his locker for “courage.”  And, honestly, who wouldn’t be more “courageous,” after looking at THIS GUY’S FACE?

You’re welcome.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Christ on a Cracker! – A Recap of Glee’s “Grilled Cheesus”

“I don’t know . . . it still just looks like burnt toast to me.”

I’m going to level with you guys.  I struggled a lot over whether to write this recap.  For one thing, my parents always told me that, in order to make friends and influence people, two topics I should definitely NOT talk about were politics and religion.  

Now, I’ll admit, I often fail miserably on that first part.  After all, when it comes to politics, I can be a bit opinionated, at times . . .

However, the second part I’ve stuck to pretty rigidly, since I was a kid.  So, why stop now?

Second, having endured the exact same thing that happened to Kurt during my high school years (and, I suspect, with less happy results, than the character will experience), this was a particularly tough episode for me, personally, to watch and critique in a non-biased fashion.

Third, and this is probably the most obvious reason.  This episode was, for the most part, NOT FUNNY!  It was more “Glum” than “Glee.”  And, the “Grilled Cheesus” aside, the topics dealt with here were deadly serious.  Someone’s father being in a coma, is not exactly the type of thing you can . . .

YIPPEE!

BOO!

OMG!

or Ugly Cry Face . . .

 . . . your way around. 

(Although . . .  I would certainly be willing to try . . . :)).

And yet, all that aside, this was a well-written, extraordinarily acted, and insightful episode of Glee, one that featured  remarkable musical performances, and tackled some very controversial issues with class and dignity.  So, in that sense, I thought it was at least worth my recapping time.

That being said, I’m going to try to make this one as painless as possible . . .

A Lean Mean Lord Making Machine . . .

Coincidentally, Finn made this face twice during the episode.  First, when he initially discovered the Grilled Cheesus.  And second, when he discovered his girlfriend Rachel’s supposedly “not so great” boobs were actually “pretty awesome.”

Glee has never been a show averse to product placement.  After all, what are “artist-themed” episodes, if not a half-hour long commercial for the artist in question’s music catalogue . . .

And who doesn’t get a little Brain Freezey for a Slushee . . .

 . . . after feasting their eyes on an advertising campaign like this?

But this week .  . . the Glee advertising department REALLY outdid itself.  And it was all for a man named George Foreman, and his little Grill that Could . . .

After all, can YOU think of a better advertisement for a product, than the implication that if you buy it, it will make food that includes within it a direct line to the Man (or Woman) Upstairs?

I should know.  I bought THREE George Foreman Grills — each in a different sizes and colors — during the first commercial break.  (No . . .actually, I really didn’t . . . but I almost did.  And that has to count for something . . .)

Anyway, we have Finn making his Grilled Cheese sandwich at the top of the episode, when out from it pops a familiar face . . .

.  . . only he looks more like this.

But you’ve really gotta hand it to Finn.  He doesn’t try to sell it on Ebay, like some other crackpots in his position have done before him.  Nor does he end up phoning one of those creepy religious talk shows you often find on television at 3 a.m. to share the “great wonder of it all.”  Instead, Finn asks the Cheesus to grant him three wishes . . .

“Mr. Finn Hudson, sir, have a wish, or two, or three.  I’m in the mood, to help you, dude.  You ain’t never had a friend like J.C.!”

Here were his wishes:

(1) For his team FINALLY to win a football game;

2) to FINALLY get to squeeze his girlfriend, Rachel’s . . . ummm . . .  melons; and

3) to be Quarterback of the football team again . . . FINALLY (even though he only lost the position last week).

Lo and behold, all THREE of Finn’s wishes come TRUE!

YIPP . . . well, I guess we can’t really cheer about that Sam kid dislocating his shoulder.  That would be EVIL.  And we can’t be “EVIL” in front of the “Grilled Cheesus,” can we?

That would be a “No.”

Suddenly, Finn is “shaken to his core.”  He’s “born again.”  He’s “down with J.C.”  (at least, as long as he keeps giving him everything he asks for). 

Finn’s newfound religious fervor (not to mention his egomaniacal self-absorption) causes him to suggest that the episode’s Glee club’s “theme of the week” be spirituality.

While we’re on the subject of the “theme of the week,” I wanted to run something by you guys.  Do you think that EVERY Glee Club member performs a song each week – – and that the Glee writers only SHOW us the main characters’ performances?  Or, are you of the mindset that performing each week is entirely voluntary for the Glee Kids.  So, that SOME members of the club choose to perform EVERY SINGLE WEEK . . .

 . . . while others are just LAZY ASS SLACKERS . . .

Yes, I’m looking at YOU, Mike Chang!

Anyway, Finn’s suggestion causes the Glee club to get into a discussion about spirituality.  Mercedes is down with it . . .

 . . . so is Quinn . . .

 . . . Kurt decries what he sees as most organized religions’ complete failure to include homosexuals and women within their circle.

Every time Brittany prays, she falls asleep.

Puck thinks about the Man (or Woman) Upstairs every time he touches a woman’s  .  . . um . . . melons.

(Coincidentally, we think about the Man (or Woman) Upstairs every time we see Puck with his shirt off . . .)

Oh my LORD!

Puck’s aforementioned religious proclamation, and his strong desire to be faithful to his “Jewish Singer” roots, inspire him to PERFORM FOR THE CLASS.

*Coughs loudly, clears throat, and glares in Mike Chang’s direction*

  . . . sorry.    Puck PERFORMS Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young.” And it is so AWESOME, and INCREDIBLY SEXY, that watching it, I felt like I had . . . (excuse the religious imagery .  . . but this is, after all, the “Grilled Cheesus” episode) DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN. 

Can we get this guy a record deal and accompanying solo album?  Seriously?

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  See for yourself . . .

By the way, another recapper (although I can’t for the life of me recall which one) compared the Glee kids dorky dancing during Puck’s performance to that of the Peanuts kids in the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  Upon further consideration of this argument, I am inclined to agree .  . . 

Observe and compare . . .

But this storyline isn’t about Puck (unfortunately).  It’s about Finn.  And through all the turmoil Kurt is experiencing  with his father (which I will discuss in just a bit), Finn begins to feel  a wee bit guilty about the good luck he has been experiencing — which he believes could be attributed solely to the “Grilled Cheesus” .  . .

. . .  and, of course, the George Foreman Grill . . .

But then, school therapist, Emma Killjoy . . .

 . . . provides him with logical explanations for all the wishes “Grilled Cheesus” purportedly granted him, thereby peeing on his godlike dreams . . .

So, of course, Finn does what any self-respecting manly man does, when his dreams have just been peed on .  . . he sings.

Specifically, he sings R.E.M’S “Losing My Religion,” which would be really poignant . . . if he wasn’t singing about a by-now-very stale piece of bread . . .

Speaking of that stale bread . . . Finn ultimately eats it . . .

 . . . which, depending on how you look at it, could either be considered Communion or Indigestion.  Take your pick.

Give Me Something to Believe In

*Takes deep breath*  OK.  I guess I can’t put it off any longer.  So, here goes.  The episode opens with Kurt and his father having a conversation about their weekly Friday night dinners, which Kurt has been canceling out on lately.

We know things are about to go very badly for these two when (1) Kurt tells his dad to start eating healthier (never a good sign on a television show); and (2) Burt tells Kurt he is “very disappointed” in him (an EVEN WORSE sign).  The next time we see Burt, he is experiencing serious chest pains, while helping a client.  He eventually keels over from a heart attack.

To make matters worse, Kurt’s mother died when Kurt was a little kid, so he doesn’t really have any family members to support him during his time of need.  Thus, it falls to his favorite teacher, Will, and guidance counselor, Emma, to break the news to Kurt about his father’s accident, and accompany him to the hospital.

At the hospital, Kurt learns from the doctor that his father has survived the heart attack, but lost a lot of oxygen to his brain in the process.  As a result, he has fallen into a coma.  In his first moments alone at his father’s bedside, we see Kurt repeatedly asking his father to squeeze his hand.  This request and gesture will become important later . . .

At school, the Glee kids rally around Kurt, trying to support him in any way they can.  Brittany offers him a book report she wrote on Heart Attacks, which she wants him to give to the doctor working on his father . . . of course.

Forget Gray’s AnatomyBrittany’s Anatomy is the ultimate medical resource on all things heart attack . . . and it’s written entirely in crayon!

However, most of the group attempt to offer Kurt solace through prayer.  His Bestie, Mercedes (along with Quinn and Tina), even dedicates Whitney Houston’s “I Look to You” to him.

Kurt is honored by his friend’s gesture, but clearly uncomfortable with its spiritual undertones.  After all, as mentioned earlier, he is a staunch atheist. “Your voice is stunning, but I don’t believe in God,” he tells Mercedes, matter-of-factly.

Kurt cannot reconcile the existence of a higher power with all the strife he has had to endure during his few years on earth:  his mother’s death, his struggles with homosexuality, and now, his father’s heart attack.  “I appreciate your thoughts, but I don’t want your prayers,” he concludes, before exiting the room.

Little did Kurt know that his little speech had an audience beyond that of his fellow Glee club members, namely approximately 13 million television viewers Sue Sylvester.

One might expect Sue, at this point in the story, to come up with some nefarious plot to bring down Will Schuester and the rest of the Glee kids.  (It is Tuesday, after all.)  However, it appears that Sue actually sympathizes with Kurt in this situation, and genuinely wants to help him.

You see, Sue is an atheist as well.  She “lost her religion,” back when she was a child, and the power of prayer wasn’t strong enough to allow her older sister Genie to “be cured” of Down Syndrome.  So, Sue calls Kurt into her office . . .

“I want to be your champion,” she tells Kurt, encouraging him to rat out the Glee club for discussing religion behind school walls.

When Kurt complies with her request, Will and Emma, are brought before the Useless Principal Figgins . . .

Sue, of course, is there to plead her case.  “Our country is not a monarchy, believe me, I’ve tried,” she explains.

“If your students want to praise God, I suggest they enroll in Sweet Holy Mother of God Academy on Jesus Street,” she adds.

Later, Emma confronts Sue about her behavior, asking the latter to keep her beliefs regarding organized religion to herself.  “I realize you are only half orangutan, but I am still allergic to your lustrous ginger mane,” Sue explains.

Well, they do share the same haircolor and range of facial expressions . . .

But then Sue gets serious.  “To ask someone to believe in something that is pure fantasy, is just plain cruel.  That boy’s father could die at any moment now.  I suggest you start preparing him for that.”

Later, in a surprisingly sweet scene, Sue’s sister Genie causes Sue to soften her hardline stance on religion, by admitting, that she, herself, does believe in God, despite all of the strife and difficulties she has experienced living with Down Syndrome.

Meanwhile, Rachel . . .

 . . . has somehow found a way to make Kurt’s father’s medical troubles all about her . . .

I know . . . I’m surprised too.  *snorts*  After commandeering Finn into agreeing to raise their future kids Jewish, and letting him touch her boobies, Rachel sets up some candles outdoors and serenades him with some Barbara Streisand.  But hey, it’s “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” so, I guess it’s mildly appropriate.

Ohhhhh!  This song was from that movie Yentl!  The whole “candles” thing makes a lot more sense now . . .

Rachel’s solo singing party is moved to Kurt’s Dad’s bedside, at a hospital that apparently has the most LAX VISITING HOUR RULES EVER!  In that cramped hospital room are Rachel, Quinn, Mercedes, Finn, and Finn’s mom.  Mind you, NONE of these people are Burt Hummel’s immediate relatives, and NONE of these people were approved as visitors by Kurt.

But I digress . . . Kurt arrives and finds all these people . . . surprise, surprise, praying over Burt.  “We are all different denominations (and Finn worships cheese), so we figured one of us has to be right,” explains Mercedes.

Kurt is PISSED!  He kicks all the visitors out, in favor of giving Burt some accupuncture.  (Apparently, Kurt, while not so down with J.C., is loving the Eastern Medicine.  Go figure!)

The next day at Band Camp Glee club, in probably the most touching part of the entire episode, Kurt shares with the Glee kids how his father was always there for him, during times of trouble, and whenever he felt lonely.  He dedicates a soleful cover of the Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to Burt, that doesn’t leave a dry eye in the house.  You can watch it here:

(And while you are watching, be sure to check out Little Kurt in the flashback scenes.  Sources tell me that kid is NOT ACTUALLY RELATED TO KURT.  I can’t believe it!  Never have I seen two actors, who weren’t identical twins, look more alike in my life.  No joke!)

Later, Mercedes once again confronts Kurt about his lack of religiosity.  She claims he is closing himself off to many of life’s possibilities.  Kurt, in turn, apologizes for pushing his friends away, and agrees to come to church with Mercedes, if only to see all the awesome hats purportedly there.  In fact, just to prove that his presence is, in fact, all about the hats, and NOT about the J.C., Kurt arrives at church wearing a GIANT TARANTULA on his head . . .

At church, along with her church choir, Mercedes dedicates a rousing rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to Kurt.  Even Kurt seemed moved by the gesture (then again, maybe it was just that the Tarantula Hat was swaying in time with the music.)

BTW . . . I love how Mercedes addresses her entire geriatric congregation with the words, “Hi Church!”  (Very cool!)

That night, at the hospital, Kurt squeezes his father’s hand, once again, telling him, that, while he might not believe in God, he believes in his father, and the love that the two of them share with one another.  And then . . . it happens . . . Kurt’s father squeezes his hand back.

At the conclusion of the episode, the Glee kids return to their usual “finale spot” on the auditorium stage, decked out in angelic white.  They sing a cover of Joan Osborne’s “What if God was One of Us,” which I can honestly say was about ten times better than the original version. 

Of course, the fact that Jenna Ushkowitz’s Tina got the (increasingly rare for her character), opportunity for a nice solo in it, definitely increased the performance’s likeability for me.

Hear for yourself:

But, OH NO!  Someone heard the Glee kids singing about *gasp* religion!

It was SUE SYLVESTER!

But she LET THEM DO IT, without ratting them out to . . .well . . . it’s not like Useless Principal Figgins would stop them anyway . . . but still . . .

So, there you have it, a Very Special, Rather Depressing, Moderately Religious, Well Acted, and Surprisingly Objective Under the Circumstances episode of Glee . . . about burnt toast.  Did it make a Believer out of YOU?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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How Britney Spears saved the world (well . . . at least McKinley High) – A Recap of Glee’s “Britney / Brittany”

First, let me start by saying how INSANELY happy I am that Glee has made it cool, again (at least, temporarily), to listen to Britney Spears music!  Because . . . and I’m going to come out and say it right now . . . I’m a BIG FAN!  You know, people can say whatever they want about Britney.  For example, they might comment on her poor taste in men . . .

. . . uninspired fashion choices . . .

. . . or her “Toxic” relationship with the media . . .

But, even the HATERS have to admit, her music gets toes tapping and pelvis’ gyrating, like nobody’s business! 

When I first heard that Glee was doing a Britney-themed episode, I was so excited, that I took the liberty of jotting down some song ideas for the cast.  Some of those songs actually ended up in the episode. 

Others did not. 

Here are a few that, for whatever reason, didn’t make the cut.

1) Womanizer

Premise: Now that she’s baby-free and single, Puck wants back in the Febray Pantalones, pronto.  However, Quinn’s seen the way her former beau acts around the women who’s pools he cleans . . .

. . . and she’s not quite convinced he has the “staying power” for a long-term relationship.

2) Lucky

Premise: Quinn Febray and Santana Lopez — every girl wants to be them, and every guy wants to do them.  But not even popularity can cure a lonely heart.

3) Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

Premise: Emma comes to clean to new beau, Carl Howell, about her Energizer Bunny-esque virgin status . . .

4) Circus

Premise: It’s Sue Sylvester’s world.  The rest of us just live in it . . .

5) If You Seek Amy . . .

Premise: Brittany’s hidden feelings for Coach Beiste cause her to explore the true nature of her sexuality.

6) Oops, I did it again . . .

Premise: Despite being involved in a very serious relationship with Mike Chang, Tina comes to the conclusion that she may have unwittingly been leading on her ex-beau, Artie.

7) Drive Me Crazy

Premise: See explanation above.

So, now that we’ve covered some of the Britney songs we DIDN’T hear on this week’s Glee, let’s talk about the ones we did.  When the episode opens, Mr. Schuester is leading the kids in a discussion about what he would like this week’s theme to be:  Easy Listening Music.  (Ugh!  What a lame episode THAT would be . . .).  Not quite down with his Kenny G or Michael Bolton, Kurt . . .

 . . . has a better idea.  He suggests the crew perform a Britney Spears song at the homecoming pep rally.  Will says, “Absolutely NOT!”

Will considers Britney to be a “bad influence,” just because she “shaved her head” and “tried to bash in the headlights of a car with an umbrella.”  (Seriously, lighten up, Will.  I mean, who HASN’T done that, at least once.  Right?)  Most of the Glee kids bitch and moan about Wet Blanket Will’s Anti- Britney proclamation.  However, to everyone’s surprise, Brittany agrees with his decision.

Apparently, having the name “Brittany S. Pearce” has given our girl quite the inferiority complex.  No matter how many times, she’s propositioned K-Fed for sex, shaved her head, or called Matt Lauer for an “exclusive interview,” Brittany has just never quite been able to live up to the legacy of the songstress with whom she shares her name.  I feel your pain Britney.  My name used to be Maddy O. Na . . .

Meanwhile, for reasons that didn’t quite make sense to me, Will invited Emma’s new dentist boyfriend Carl Howell (John Stamos) to talk to his Glee clubbers about the importance of dental hygiene.

An impromptu teeth investigation, reveals that SOME Glee kids have been SERIOUSLY neglecting their chompers.  The worst of these offenders, by far, is Brittany, who “never brushes her teeth” and “gargles soda after every meal because she thinks Dr. Pepper is a real doctor.”  It’s a wonder this girl has any teeth left at all!

Because Crest is for weenies . . .

Over at Dr. Howell’s office, America’s Sexiest Dentist demonstrates preferences for (1) knocking out ALL of his patients with anesthesia (even if they are just having their cavities filled, or getting a “killer” bleach job); and (2) rocking out to Britney Spears, while he works.  Under the influence of  some pretty heavy drugs, Brittany fantasizes herself right into a Britney Spears’ video . . . or should I say a “Brittany S. Pearce” video.  In the video, Brittany sings “Slave 4 u” (Who knew actress Heather Morris had such amazing pipes?  Why hasn’t she been given a solo sooner?), while rocking some of her namesake’s choicest outfits . . .

 . . . or lack thereof.

When Brittany awakens from her stupor, she has a few less cavities, and a completely altered outlook on life.  “Are you a cat?”  She asks Uncle Jesse from Full House.

“How could she possibly find out my secret?  I’ve never told ANYONE!”

Later, Brittany returns to the dentist with Santana, who, despite having perfect teeth, insists on being put under, so that she too can have a Britney Spears-themed hallucination.  Dr. Howell, who is starting to eerily resemble Michael Jackson’s Doctor Conrad Murray,  more and more, with every second of airtime (R.I.P. MJ!), reluctantly complies.  The two besties, SHARE a fantasy, in which they both perform Me Against the Music.  Santana takes on the Madonna role . . .

. . . with Brittany, of course, filling the Britney Spears part . . .

Fans who were hoping for a MTV Movie Awards-style smooch between the two young ingenues . . .

 . . . ended up being sorely disappointed here.

However, the fantasy did end with a nice cameo appearance from Britney Spears, herself, in which she told Brittany that the cheerleader was sweet, and (despite NEVER BRUSHING HER TEETH) actually had really good breath.

“Pssst, I’m only saying that to get my Dr. Pepper endorsement money.”

The next day at Glee Club, a newly confident Brittany announces that she is more talented than Britney Spears (and Rachel Berry). Therefore, she now wishes to sing ALL the club’s solos.

Kurt notes wryly, that Britney Spears music has given Brittany the confidence she needed to wake up from her dimwitted, seemingly lifelong, haze.  But Will STILL refuses to let the Glee kids perform a Spears song at Homecoming.  In his trademark diva fashion, Kurt overdramatically accuses Will of being too “friggin uptight” .  . .

As a result of his outburst, Kurt gets sent to Useless Principal Figgins’ office.

“Hey!  At least I didn’t (1) cut your funding; (2) threaten to cancel Glee club; or (3) take Sue’s side in an argument against you, this week.”

Unfortunately for Will, Dentist / Wanna Be Shrink, Dr. Carl  TOTALLY agrees with Kurt, about the whole “being too uptight” thing.

Carl can tell just how tightly wound Will is, by how much he grinds his teeth.  His “loosening up” advice to Will?  Eat lots of sugary candy, and buy a fast sports car you can’t afford.  (OK.  I’m going to say it.  This guy is officially the WORST DENTIST EVER!)

Now, given his estimated age (early 30’s?), Will should, theoretically, still be about a decade away from a proper Mid-Life Crisis.  However, that doesn’t stop our favorite teacher from purchasing the same “rad sports car” his dentist has, and using it to try to win back Emma.  Unfortunately for him, she is unimpressed . . .

To make matter’s worse, Will’s ex-wife / permanent cock block, Terri .  . .

. . . randomly stops by to warn Will that, if he keeps this up, he won’t be able to afford the weekly support payment he’s required to mail her by law.  And this BIATCH still thinks she’s getting Will back?  Man, I hope Mr. Schuester is not that massive of a MORON . . . However,  I fear he might be.

Sorry, Schue!  You know I meant that in the nicest way possible.  Don’t you?

Meanwhile, Finn is stressing over the fact that having been kicked off the football team, makes him officially “uncool.”

But Rachel, who has always been uncool, thinks this is GREAT NEWS.  “I want to be the only thing that makes you happy.  You know the two of us can only work out, if we are both losers . . . Now, I won’t have to decide what song to sing at your bedside, when you are in a coma.”

Ahhh, such romantic words!  It’s a wonder, Finn doesn’t bone her right there in the hallway!

During her turn in the dentist chair, Rachel has a vision of herself as the Sweet, but Secretly Slutty, school girl in Spears’ debut video Hit Me Baby, One More Time.  “Is this real life?”  Rachel slurs woozily, upon awakening from her anesthetized haze . . .

Apparently, in “real life,” McKinley High School has NO DRESS CODE, whatsover.  Because, the next day, Rachel decides to wear the outfit in question, FOR REAL.

The whole school ADORES Rachel’s new look.  And Finn, though obviously titillated, is also more than a bit jealous of the attention his girlfriend is receiving, as a result.  “This isn’t like that time I dressed all ‘Sad Clown’ Sandy from Grease,” insists Rachel.

Really?  Because it seemed EXACTLY like that, to me.

Rachel explains that Britany Spears has finally helped her to realize that she is beautiful, and can, therefore, dress like a whore, without repercussions.

Now that everyone thinks Rachel is a TOTAL Ho-bag, she is suddenly very popular.  Therefore, she finds it totally OK for Finn to rejoin the football team . . . if he can.

Later that day, Sue Sylvester contacts Will to warn him of the dangers posed by teens’ excessive consumption of Britney Spears.

“Oops . .  . I . . . did it again — made a weird ‘O’ face at the camera”

Sue then recounts the depraved tale of Jacob  . . .

Sorry!  Wrong one . . .

 That’s him!

. . . whose intense lust over the newly slutty Rachel, resulted in him sitting naked in the school library, fantasizing about her.

 . . . and, while it was a funny scene, the description of the “naked butt sweat stain” Jacob left on Sue’s office chair, was just a bit much . . . I think .  . .

Meanwhile, Artie’s dentist chair-fueled hallucination, which featured him as a football player, alternatingly lifting weights and glaring at Tina, while singing Britney’s iconic song “Stronger”  . . .

 . . . somehow resulted in his and Finn being invited by Coach Beiste to join (and in Finn’s case, rejoin) the football team.

I know.  It didn’t make sense to me either.  The song was fun, though!

Upon hearing the news, Rachel — who has since shifted back to wearing Grandma clothes, and fears that Finn’s refound popularity will be the death knell for their relationship — offers Finn an ultimatum.  Football or her!

I’m still waiting for the episode where Rachel tries to become a cheerleader and / or a football player.  Everyone else in the club has . . .

This time, when Kurt makes his umpteenth speech about how Britney Spears is a positive influence on the Glee clubbers, Will surprises them all by saying “Yes,” to his request that they perform a Britney song at Homecoming . . .

Did I mention that WILL will be performing the number WITH THEM?

In a performance that’s very cool, but a bit creepy, in the “Will sort of fondles his underage students” kind of way, the Glee kids (“fresh off their last place finish at sectionals”) perform Toxic, at the pep rally.

The performance drives the teenybopper crowd SO wild,  that Sue is forced to pull the fire alarm.  Her impulsive move ends up only resulting in more chaos.  Sue, gets trampled and sprains her neck.  Meanwhile, Jacob grabs some guy’s ass and gets punched in the face.  When its all over, Sue, now sporting a neckbrace, threatens to sue Will for his part in the “School Sex Riot,” using her new lawyer, the ubiquitous, Gloria Allred.

Do I smell another Very Special Guest Star?

Sue also notes, quite accurately, I think, that Will owns more vests than the cast of Blossom . . .

90’s television at its finest!

Later, Emma tells Will that he shouldn’t try to change himself, because he’s “wonderful just the way he is.”  (Yeah, she TOTALLY still wants him to cash in her V card . . .  Don’t you DARE deny it, you Unpopped Cherry, YOU!).  Inspired by Emma’s words, near the end of the episode, Schuester trades in his fancy car for the old jalopy he cried in during Season 1.  He then watches glumly, as Emma rides off into the sunset with Uncle Jesse from Full House.

In the final moments of the episode, Rachel, realizing that she has, once again, been a TOTAL ass (as she generally is EVERY episode), dedicates a beautiful interpretation of Paramore’s “Only Exception” to Finn, who she loves dearly, and is going to let stay on the football team, after all.

So, what if Rachel only came to her senses, after manipulating Quinn to seduce Finn — thereby testing the latter’s loyalty to his and Rachel’s burgeoning relationship.   We’ve all gotta start somewhere, right?

Be sure to tune in next week, when Finn becomes all “born-again,” after Jesus appears to him, in his morning toast . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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