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Welcome Football Fans! – A Recap of Glee’s “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle”

Question:  What do Football, Fights, Zombies, Cannon Balls, and Flaming Boobs, have in common? 

If you answered that all of these things were included Glee‘s Post-Superbowl Extravaganza episode, to help the show appeal to male sports fans, you are ABSOLUTELY right! 

Interestingly enough, the change in target audience, did not at all seem to hamper the show’s quality.  In fact, dare I say, making Glee more “Boy Friendly,” may have actually improved it. 

I mean, sure, the episode was certainly not perfect.  It lacked cohesion, and certain scenes seemed to appear completely out of nowhere (I’m looking at YOU, “Bills, Bills, Bills”).  Yet, overall, it was a fun-filled hour, one who’s main theme — about football players risking their popularity to perform in Glee club — seemed to be a gentle, but deliberate, nod to the football fans who were watching.  And the message was clear:  “It’s OK, if you’re enjoying this.”

So, what are we waiting for, let’s get recapping!

Your Boobs are on FIRE (and Your Cannon has Fibromyalgia!)

We open on the Cheerios performing an obnoxiously over-produced, Half-Time show-esque, dance number to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.”  During the number, the girls wore blue hair, as a homage to Katy herself.  They also wore pointed cones on their chests, as a homage to early 90’s Madonna (?).  From the girls’ Boob Cones, shot fiery sparklers (because boys like HOT boobs). 

 Behind the girls, were a few guys doing bike flips off a ramp.  Of course, no one was paying attention to them — no GUYS, anyway — because of the girls and their Flaming Boobs . . .

If Flaming Boobs aren’t exactly your thing, and you weren’t a fan of the opening number, you weren’t alone.  Because Sue Sylvester didn’t like it either, “I’m bored,” she whines into he megaphone, after the song wraps. 

(As if knowing that Sue is talking about them, upon hearing these words, the Flaming Boobs fizzle out, unceremoniously.)

Isn’t Becky a member of the Cheerios?  If so, why wasn’t she in this number?  Does anyone else find this vaguely offensive?

After that, Sue makes a not particularly funny joke that runs on WAY too long.  It involves (1) the benefits of stuffing one’s bra with chicken cutlets;  and (2) having cheerleaders intermittently hit one another in the face with them . . .

Chickens were NOT amused.

Quinn wisely notes that there was nothing necessarily wrong with the dance number.  Rather, Sue herself has simply become completely impossible to please.  And no matter how extravagant the Cheerios numbers become, she will continuously want to top herself.

Sue doesn’t entirely disagree with this statement  But that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to try and “improve” the Cheerios’ performance, in any way she can  And so, while watching a cartoon featuring someone getting shot out of a cannonball, our “favorite” Cheerleading Coach comes up with an idea . . .

She will shoot one of her Cheerios out of a cannon, during the Cheerleading Championships!  Specifically, THIS Cheerio . . .

“I don’t want to die yet . .  . at least not until One Tree Hill gets canceled next year,” Brittany whines, upon learning that she is the “lucky” human cannonball.

Hmmm . . . Brooke Davis didn’t like something I wrote above . . . Maybe it was those two words I crossed out . . .

Fortunately for Brittany, she gets a brief reprieve from certain death.  This is because Sue is willing to use a Brittany-looking doll for the “trial run.”

To Brittany’s horror, her Poor Unfortunate Doll Doppelganger gets blown to itty bitty bits of Blonde.  Seeing this undoubtedly makes Brittany wish she had chosen a show with a brighter future to measure her lifespan by . . . Two and a Half Men  American Idol one of the 500 different versions of Law and Order, perhaps?

When Sue learns that she will need Brittany’s consent in order to make her explode, the “kindly mentor” secures it by giving Brittany a “We miss you,” card, purportedly written by the cannon, in crayon, no less.  Later, Sue tells a still uncertain Brittany a sob story about how the cannon has two growing baby cannons at home, and one on the way.   (Mama Cannon has fibromyalgia, so she can’t work.) 

 Eventually, Brittany agrees to literally sign her life away on Sue’s Consent Form.  Of course, she signs using an “X” because she doesn’t know how to spell her name, apparently.  (Sometimes they go a bit too far with the whole “Brittany is dumb” thing.  Don’t you think?)

Jocks versus Gleeks, Take 252

It’s a tale as old as high school:  popular versus unpopular, jocks versus geeks, football players versus gleeks.  But at McKinley High, it’s way worse.  For one thing, half the Glee club is also on either the football team, or on the cheerleading squad.  This makes the school’s social hierarchy . . . confusing . . . to say the least.

“So we are Gleeks . . . and we are Footballers.  Does this mean we have to Slushee ourselves?”

Additionally, Slushees ruin clothing, which is a HUGE problem for the Cheerios and Football players, none of whom seem to own any other clothing aside from their probably VERY smelly uniforms . . . 

Up until this point, however, the McKinley High Football team has been able to limit their Gleeks versus Jocks rivalry to off the field.  However, when a fight erupts between Finn and Karofsky that spreads through the entire football team, causing them to LOSE their game, Coach Beiste knows that serious measures must be taken. 

And so, she turns to her new Kissing Buddy, Will Schuester, for help.

Will’s grand “Plan” involves Beiste requiring the entire football team to be part of Glee club for an entire week.  The non-Gleeky footballers, not surprisingly, balk at the idea.   Azimio for one, refuses to sing showtunes, because they were written by his “oppressors.”  

Realizing that a bit of persuasion will be needed to get the football players on board, Will invites Rachel and Puck to perform Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” for the now doubly large Glee Crew.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Puckleberry duets, and seeing Puck strum that guitar, while crooning softly to ANY song, is enough to make my toes curl.  But, honestly, considering the purpose of this duet was to convince a bunch of football players that Glee Club was cool, a slow romantic country ditty seems a particularly odd musical choice.  I mean, why didn’t they pick a song the football players would understand, like . . . say, “We are the Champions,” or “Eye of the Tiger,” or “We Will Rock You,”  or “Mama Said Knock You Out?”

Given the poor choice in song, I wasn’t too surprised when Azimio snarkily remarked that “The girl in the mohawk has a nice voice,” thereby prompting the entire Glee club and football team to erupt into a knock down dragout fight. 

“Oh, NO you didn’t just make fun of my AWESOME Mohawk?”

One GOOD thing that comes out if this brawl, is the reunion of former besties Puck and Finn, who decide to put aside their differences (and by “differences” I mean their tendency to swap Rachel and Quinn with one another, every other week like trading cards) and unite to promote unity amongst the football team and Glee club.  The bromantic buddies cement their partnership with a solid fist bump, of course.  (How very manly of them!)

Sue Sylvester is SCARY, and so are zombies . . .

It’s a good thing Finn and Puck decided to unite.  Because it looks like they are going to need all the help they can get!  When Principal Figgins balks at Sue’s decision to shoot Brittany out of cannon, she suddenly turns into The Hulk, and inexplicably starts throwing furniture around Mr. Figgins office, and later the gym locker room . . .

Will and the rest of the faculty begin to wonder whether Sue has finally gone off the deep end, for good.  But Sue stops throwing things around long enough to calmly explain to them, that she has moved the date of the cheerleading championships to the same day as the football championships.  This means, not only that the football team has no cheerleaders to perform its halftime show . . .

Shocking, I know . . .

 . . . but that Quinn, Santana and Brittany are once again forced to choose between Glee club and the Cheerios.  (Of course, if they attend the football game, according to Sue, they will be off the squad.)

Will comes up with the idea that the FOOTBALL players, who are honorary Glee club members this week, anyway, will perform their own halftime show, along with the rest of the Glee Club.  Coincidentally, this will NOT be the first time, the McKinley High Football players dance during a game.  Remember the whole “Put A Ring On It,” fiasco during Season 1?

Most of the football team would probably prefer that you forgot this.

What songs will the Gleeks / Footballers be performing THIS TIME you ask?  A Mashup between Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll,” of course.

Did I mention that the crew will be going to do the entire performance dressed like Football-Playing Zombies?  (Oh yes, because in addition to being able to dance an entire music number, during the ONLY break they will have during a two-hour game, these footballers, are also, apparently, experts at the application of zombie makeup!)

Interestingly enough, this is how I look sometimes when I first wake up in the morning . . .

As for the Cheerios, sadly, Sue Sylvester bullies them into quitting the Glee Club, so that they can attend the cheerleading competition.

This causes Finn to want to lecture the girls about their Bad Life Choices, like the disappointed DAD he is.  It also prompts Quinn’s not-for-long!  beau Sam to rush to the girls’ defense.  In an attempt to stay relevent to this show Macauley Culkin also challenges Finn for the position of “unofficial” Glee Club leader.  Nice try, freshman! 

Honestly, the whole fight is contrived and ridiculously stupid.  But Quinn of course, who realizes the two men are REALLY fighting over her, finds the whole thing to be incredibly HOT . . .

“Now, if you guys would kindly take off your shirts and pants right now, I’d be SOO much happier!”

Pissing contests for Quinn’s affection aside, the footballers and the Gleeks begin to rehearse their half-time number.  And I’ll be darned if they don’t do a pretty great job at it.  Interestingly enough, it’s Gay Homophobic Bully Karofsky who shows the MOST musical talent of the footballers!  So much talent, in fact, that Will suggests that HE join Glee club, for real!

Karofsky is AWE-SOME!”

To most fans surprise, Karofsky doesn’t actually seem to HATE the idea.  He even suggests that the Glee crew start off with a warm-up number, to ensure that the halftime show itself is absolutely perfect.  For the warm-up, the Glee kids choose the song “She’s Not There,” which was appropriately originally sung by a band called The Zombies.

Things take a bad turn, however, when, after performing this number, the FOOTBALL players get slusheed by . . . get this . . . the HOCKEY PLAYERS, who “cleverly” argue that the football team has just been “turned gay,” because they performed a musical number dressed as the undead.  (Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word “gay” uttered this many times in a single hour, since I watched that movie on Logo last week.)   Of couse, the “gay” accusation totally freaks out the footballers, particularly the ACTUALLY gay, Karofsky . . .

This unfortunate incident prompts the football players to REFUSE to perform at the Halftime show, even though doing so will mean that they can’t participate in the Championship Game.  (LOSERS!)  Suddenly, the football team is at risk of forfeiting the game, due to not having enough players to compete.  Coach Beiste tries to recruit new players from the rest of the school.  However, no one seems interested in crossing the Homophobe Picket Line.

And We Are Singing About “Bills” Now, Because . . .

And it is when we are our darkest hour at McKinley High, that the producers decide to inexplicably cut to Dalton Academy.   There, in the EXACT SAME LOUNGE where we shoot ALL of our Dalton Academy Scenes, as always, Blaine is singing solo, and the rest of silent Warblers, Kurt included, are dancing around him like the faceless, personality-less minions / disciples they are  . . . 

(Oh, Kurt!  I know you want in this guy’s pants.  But you can’t honestly say that his Diva Theatrics don’t piss you off, just the slightest bit?  Especially after he waxed poetic about how everybody was part of a TEAM at this school.  The Kurt I know would NEVER accept this kind of treatment!  No matter how sexy it’s source!)

So, anyway, in typical Warblers fashion, the group dances uncomfortably around Blaine, as he croons Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.”  Not only does the song sound REALLY awkward coming from a bunch of dudes, it also seems completely out of context in this football / zombie-themed episode.  On a positive note, Darren Criss’/ Blaine’s singing is pretty solid, making what would be a pretty annoying song, actually fairly palatable.

But don’t take my word for it.  See for yourself: 

 After their “song practice” Blaine and his loyal puppy dog, Kurt, head out to lunch with new gal pals, Mercedes and Rachel, who, in light of recent events, are MAJORLY depressed about the state of their Glee club, and football team . . .

I was more than a bit worried about Kurt applying for Stepford Hubby status, when he asserted that “We [i.e. Blaine and I] love football.”  However, when he qualified that “Blaine loves football.  I love scarfs”  I felt a bit better.

As it turns out, though, Blaine actually DOES like football! 

“Who knew?”

In fact, Blaine’s vast knowledge of pigskin (no pun intended) actually ends up coming in quite handy, when he informs Rachel of precisely how many football players are needed in order not to forfeit a game.  This gives Rachel an idea.  THE GLEE GIRLS CAN PLAY FOOTBALL!  (Or, rather, they can lie down on the field, while the guys play, so they don’t get disqualified.  How’s THAT for femisist rights!) 

Let’s Hear it for the GIRLS!

Though reluctant at first, the remaining footballers ultimately agree to Rachel’s suggestion . . .

Though the girls initially planned on just LAYING on the field the whole time, a couple of them, actually ended up HELPING the team!  For example, Lauren Zizes, with her WRESTLING background, had sheer force and intimidation on her side, making her a WAY more frightening football player than most of the guys she played alongside . . .

Now THAT is seriously scary!

But it was Tina Cohen Chang who REALLY shocked her teammates, by running nearly half the field, before being very roughly sacked by a member of the opposing team.  Though her beau, Mike, was obviously extremely concerned for her well-being, as she lay on the field unconscious . . .

“Sh*&t!”

 . . . he needn’t have worried.   Because, within just a few moments, Tina was up and mumbling, “Did we win yet?”

Tina was ultimately carried off the field, a True Hero!  (Now that’s some SERIOUS girl power!  I knew you wouldn’t let me down, Glee!)

Tina’s and Lauren’s surprisingly extraordinary footballer skills aside, the team was still losing miserably, just moments before halftime.   And so, temporarily putting Sam in charge of the team, Finn and Puck decide to salvage the rest of the game, by convincing the rest of the football players, as well as cheerleaders Quinn, Santana, and Brittany, to participate in the halftime show.  Finn worked on the cheerleaders, managing to grab them, just moments before they went on the bus toward the competition. 

Speaking quickly, he told the girls mostly stuff they already knew.  Namely, (1) Sue Sylvester doesn’t really care about them, and is typically mean to them;  (2) that she doesn’t care if Brittany DIES; and (3) that the girls are strong enough to withstand the miniscule popularity decrease they might suffer from not being cheerleaders anymore; (4) it’s hightime they wore something other than those stupid uniforms, for a change.  The girls agree because that’s what the plot requires hem to do, and jointly tell Sue that they are quitting the Cheerios. 

 “You are all my stars!  If you leave, I will have no performance,” Sue notes, admitting for the first time just how important these girls are to her success.

“Sucks for you,” snaps back Quinn, as the trio follows Finn back toward the football field.

Predictability aside, it was great scene.  And, I’m not going to lie.  Watching it, made me do something like THIS . . .

Karofsky For the WIN!  (well . . . almost)

As for Puck, he had NEARLY as much luck with the football players, ultimately getting all of them, except for Karofsky, to suit up and participate in the halftime show, which TOTALLY rocked, by the way . . .

The performance was SO rousing in fact, that Karofsky eventually sucked up his pride, and joined in mid-song.  He didn’t have any zombie makeup on of course, but it was still pretty awesome.

You can LISTEN to the song here:

After Beiste gives the rest of the football team the OK to compete, they go on to WIN THE GAME . . .

 .  . . but only because the team’s SCARY zombie makeup, and creepy repetitive chanting of “BRRAAAAAIIIINS,” freaks the crap out of the opposing team.  Nothing like playing FAIR, right?

Of course, my favorite part of all of it, had to be when one of the kids on the other team started screaming, “He bit me!  That zombie kid bit me!”  (Now THAT was hilarious!)

Lest you think Karofsky’s about to run out and join the Glee team, after that one rousing performance . . . think again!

“Why would I want to change?  I’m on top now,” asserts Karofsky, when Finn gives him his formal Gleek invitation (provided he head over to Dalton and personally apologize to Kurt, first, of course). 

Note: A  lot of fans were annoyed by this.  But I personally thought it was the right move, on the part of the writers.  For Karofsky to morph from Evil Homophobic Bully to Proud Glee Club star, in a single episode, would be completely unrealistic, in my opinion.  Not to mention, I doubt the rest of the Glee Club would accept him into their circle so easily, after what he did to Kurt — nor SHOULD THEY! 

The mere thought of it makes me weepy . . .

That being said, I do think the Karofsky character is on the path toward redemption.  And I’m very eager to see where his arc goes.  Right now, Karofsky is probably one of the most complex characters on this show.

Finn may not have had that much luck with Karofsky, but he did WAY better with Quinn, who, despite dating Macauley Culkin’s twin Sam for the past few episodes, spent the entire hour eye f*&king Finn.  She then concluded the episod,  by planting a fat wet one on his lips, right in the center of the school hallway . . .

Whatever Finn’s feelings for the recently dumped Rachel might be, you could tell that our resident Alpha Male was TRULY effected by Quinn’s kiss.  Note how the Smitten Boy kept his eyes closed for a full three seconds after she tongued him, as if not wanting his Wet Dream to end!  Now, whatever your couple loyalties are on this show, you have to admit, it was kind of adorable . . .

And given that this coming Tuesday is the show’s Valentine’s Day episode, we can be sure that this won’t be the last we will hear about that game-changing kiss.

Awww, don’t feel left out, Puck!  I’ll totally make out with YOU!

And that was Glee’s Super Bowl Spectacular.  Did you watch?  If so, what did you think?  Did you find the placement of “Bills, Bills, Bills” as awkward an unnecessary as I did?  Are you a fan of this sort-of new and improved Karofsky?  Are you on Team Fuinn?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section, below!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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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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