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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How could you not trust THIS face?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 . . . combined with THIS .  . .

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

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

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

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

Try a Lack of Tenderness . . .

“The competition is ON, like Donkey Kong!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s new, Pussy Cat? 

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

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

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

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

Blaine APPROVES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Haha!  Jokes on YOU, Gleeks!”

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

“Stop staring at my boobs, ya perv!”

Source

In other news . . .

A Farewell to Arms Sweater Vests

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

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

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

Source

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

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

Pure Imagination

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just sayin’

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

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

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

“Are you friggin kidding me, Poopy Zombie?”

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

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

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

Hide your bunnies and your balls, Finn!

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

Only time will tell . . .

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

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

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

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

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

Sayonara Sucka!

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

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

Where’s the Beiste?

And the Sunshine?

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Anatomy of a Trailer: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

By now, you know that I LOVE television shows, particularly hour-long dramas.  What you may not know is that I also love movie trailers!  It’s a bit hard for me to admit this, but, sometimes, I find movie trailers to be the best part of the movie-going experience.

(Sometimes the movie trailers you see before the movie are even better than the movie itself . . . MUCH BETTER!)

Movie trailers are not just entertaining, they are also cost efficient.  Consider this: according to the National Association for Theater Owners, the average movie ticket price in 2009 was $7.50 cents.  And I live just outside New York City, where movie tickets can set you back as much as $13!  These are some pretty hefty prices to pay for ONE MOVIE that you may or may not actually enjoy. 

On the other hand, if I get to the theater early, I can sit through 20 minutes of trailers.  These trailers contain all of the best scenes (often giving away most of the plot and, sometimes, the ending) of some FIVE or SIX movies . . . ALL FOR FREE

If you don’t get to the movies early enough to catch the trailers, that’s OK, because movie trailers are also on television.  Then again, maybe you missed the trailer for  Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland on TV too.    Perhaps you fast-forwarded through it with your DVR.  Or, maybe, you were peeing during it.  Fear not, because this is where I come in . . .

A lot of juice for one trailer right.? Here’s what I saw . . .

:18 – Mia Wasikowska, who was absolutely awesome as the troubled gymnast, Sophie, during Season 1 of HBO’s In Treatment, will be taking the helm as the titular Alice.  My initial thought was that she looked a bit old to be playing the young child from Lewis Carroll’s novels.  Later, however, I read that Burton’s Alice will not actually be a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, nor its follow-up Through the Looking Glass, but, rather, a sequel of sorts.  Here, Alice revisits Wonderland 10 years later, with no memory of her experiences from the first two books.

This is an important fact to note for high school students who are assigned the Alice books as required reading, as I was during my junior year.  This movie will NOT HELP YOU!  (Unfortunately, neither will the original Disney cartoon).

“Oh dear!  If I knew I ACTUALLY had to READ, I wouldn’t have smoked so much with Caterpillar . . .”

:22 – Is it just me, or does the guy proposing to Alice look a bit like Ronald Weasley from the Harry Potter films?

:40 – Down the rabbit hole goes Alice . . .

:54 – CGI Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are really creepy looking.  They are the size of Oompa Loompas, wear clothing like Pugsley from Addams Family, and have heads like Uncle Fester (also from the Addams Family).  No me likey . . .

:59 – The Cheshire Cat is kind of cute looking, as is the White Rabbit.  I guess Disney needed something they could sell as a stuffed animal from this film that wouldn’t give kids nightmares . . .

1:03 – Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter looks like someone took Johnny Depp’s Edward Scissorhands, crossed him with Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka, and dropped the amalgamation in a vat of tie dye.  One day, I’d like to see Johnny Depp really push the acting envelope and play . . . an accountant.  Now that would be risky!  (I can’t hate on Johnny Depp though.  In a Hollywood world filled with divas and D-bags, sources tell me that he is a stand up guy, not to mention a big tipper!)

1:18 – The Tea Party scene was my favorite, both in the first Alice book, and in the Disney movie.  It looks like Burton did a great job representing it here.

1:25 – Here’s Helena Bonham Carter, as the Red Queen, doing what she does best: playing a character who is wacked out, crazy, and creepy . . .  but has awesome hair!  She seems to be playing croquet using a flamingo as a mallet, just as the characters did in the first Alice book.

1:41 – Piglets are adorable, even when they have Helena Bonham Carter’s feet on them.

1:52 – Here, it looks as though Alice is the rook in a giant game of chess being played out between the Red Queen and the White Queen.  In the second Alice  book, Through the Looking Glass, a chess game is the framing device for the story, with Alice playing the pawn.  If you buy the Cliff Notes for the book, (which I did) you will actually find a chess diagram that maps out Alice’s precise chess moves in the story from pawn to Queen.  Coincidentally, a life-sized chess board was also featured in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (both in the book and in the movie version).

1:58 – Anne Hathaway looks absolutely stunning as the White Queen.  In the past few years, Hathaway has really shown herself to be a brilliantly versatile actress.  She has definitely come far since her Princess Diaries days.  I suspect we will be enjoying her films for a long time to come . . .

2:17 – Here we get our first glimpse of the Jabberwocky, which is described, in a poem that Alice reads in Through the Looking Glass, as a dragon-type monster.  Burton has said that the Jabberwocky story will be the framing device for his film, just as a card game framed the first Alice book, and a chess game framed the second.  I think this is kind of a strange choice, seeing as the Jabberwocky poem is actually jibberish.  But I’ll admit that the concept is  intriguing . . .

2:24 – Ah, another movie in 3D . . . I am really glad I saved those goofy glasses I bought last month to see Avatar.  That’s going to save me $3.00!

So, those were my thoughts on the trailer.  What did you think?

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