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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“L. Ron Hubbard predicted this would happen.”

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

 

“Oh, Febray!  Say it ain’t so!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Santana TOTALLY gets it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AW-KWARD!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ta-da!”

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

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

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

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

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

 Meanwhile  . . .

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

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

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

So, take that QUINN! 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FINN: *blows bubble in Rachel’s mouth*

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

You can listen to the song, here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asshat Lovin’ = Good Lovin’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, the humanity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hmmm . . .  it could work! 🙂 

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

Have a great summer, my Gleekies!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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The Secret (and Scandalous) Lives of Gleeks – A Recap of Glee’s “Rumours”

Of all the secrets revealed in this week’s episode of Glee, this one, about Lord Tubbington, was probably the most shocking . . .

I’ve got a secret.  (Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone.) 

Before seeing this episode of Glee, I knew next to nothing about Fleetwood Mac.  I didn’t know who they were, or what songs they sang, or why their band name sounds like something you’d see on the menu at McDonalds. 

“I’ll have a Fleetwood Mac with Cheese, please.”

Come to think of it, saying I knew “next to nothing” about Fleetwood Mac was probably a bit generous, on my part.  Right?

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And since this week’s Glee installment was based entirely on ONE Fleetwood Mac album (entitled, appropriately enough “Rumors”) I’m at a bit of a disadvantage, in terms of writing this recap. 

But one thing I DO know a lot about is GOSSIP.  After all, EVERYBODY gossips.  GOSSIP IS FUN . . . at least, when it’s not about YOU.  Fortunately, all of the gossip in this week’s episode is about the GLEE KIDS (and Will).  So, we can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the train wrecks that are OTHER people’s lives, for a change! 

Sorry Mr. Schue!

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s start spreading those NASTY rumors, we all secretly love so much!

Santana “bats for the Pink Team,” Mike Chang has a big . . . eggroll, and Brittany’s cat EATS CHEESE!

“So, let me get this straight . . . it’s a show . . . within a show . . . within a recap .  . . about the show.  How META!”

 Geez!  For a television character who doesn’t know how to sign her own name, only writes in crayon, and was once quoted as saying that she “[doesn’t] know how to turn on a computer,” Brittany S. Pearce sure is tech savvy! 

“I don’t even know what either of those words mean.”

I mean, it’s not easy to create your own online webshow, complete with expert camera handling (Who exactly was supposed to be filming that bit, anyway?), a VERY catchy opening theme song, and snazzy on-screen graphics!  And yet, somehow, Brittany hosts Fondue for Two, which I’m pretty sure is the best web program ON THE PLANET! 

(I’m serious!  More of THIS, please!)

Perhaps, one of the coolest things about Fondue for Two (aside from it teaching us that Mike Chang’s abs aren’t the only part of his body that’s “firm and strong”) . . .

“My boyfriend’s Hot Dog is THIS BIG!”

I find that offensive.”

 . . . was that it finally introduced us to BRITTANY’S CAT, LORD TUBBINGTON!

Now THOSE are some hot abs . . .

Though Lord Tubbington (or as I like to refer to him Tubbie Bear) had never appeared on Glee before, his reputation certainly proceeds him.  After all, he and Brittany have what you would call a “love-hate relationship.”  Remember when Brittany worried that her cat was reading her diary? 

A younger (and slightly thinner) Lord Tubbington caught in the act . . .

How, about the time when Brittany became convinced that her dentist, Dr. Carl, was actually her cat in disguise?

“Mind if I lick your face?”

And, this week, Brittany let Lord Tubbington eat cheese right out of her fondue pot (He’s on the Atkins Diet), and get interviewed on her web show, even though she “knows he started smoking again.”

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LORD TUBBINGTON THINKS:  “Dammit, she must have found my secret stash in the litter box.  I thought I buried it really deep too!”

Personally, I’m hoping Tubbie Bear becomes a series regular on the show, complete with his own solo number and love interest . . .

“What’s new, Pussy Cat?”

Sue’s Evil Plan to Ruin # 5,672 (and 5,673)

Breaking News:  Sue Sylvester just signed on to play an Extra in Avatar 2 – Electric Boogaloo

Back in Evil Villain Land, Sue inexplicably dresses up as a scary aging rockstar, and an even scarier Republican . . .

This image gave me nightmares.

Apparently, some one in the writers room thought this was really funny / a good idea.  That makes one of us . . .

Anywhoo . . . this week Sue tries to bring down the Glee Club, by starting a newspaper, who’s sole purpose is to spread rumors, through fake blind items about Glee Club members . . .

Terri’s idea to ruin the Glee club is a bit more practical.  She calls upon April Rhodes . . .

SURPRISE, Glee Fan!  You’ve just won Another Recycled Guest Star!

 . . .  and convinces her to invite Will to star with her in her own Broadway production about her life (Such a humble character, that April!).  After all, Terri knows that Will has always wanted to take his shot at succeeding on the Great White Way . . .

Sing it, Schuester!

And if April can convince him to move to New York with her, not only will Sue get Will out of the Glee club, Terri will get Will out of his apartment, so SHE can move back in.  (Pretty clever, right?)

And today’s lesson is . . .

OMG!  What is with these bizarre facial expressions?  Step aside, Jim Carrey!  Hollywood has a Brand New Rubberface (who probably charges a whole lot less than you do . . .)

Just as planned, Sue’s blind items tear the Glee club to shreds!  First Santana calls Brittany out for OUTING her as LEBANESE in public.  (As it turns out, when she said Santana was “batting for the other team,” she was actually only referring to extracurricular activities.)  Meanwhile, Finn thinks Quinn is cheating on him with Sam; Quinn thinks Finn is cheating on HER with Rachel; and Artie thinks Brittany is cheating on HIM with Santana (which, of course, she TOTALLY is).  It’s just a WHOLE BIG MESS.


But fear not, Gleeks!  Because in our darkest hour, there is only one thing on which we can count: Will Schuester and his Lucky Episode Sponsor Lesson of the Week . . .  That’s right boys and girls!  To teach his little kiddies the importance of being able to rise above the hurtful power of rumors, Will has chosen to force his class to sing songs who’s lyrics revolve around the hurtful power of rumors.  an album that actually has little to do with secrets or gossip, but just so happens to be called “Rumours.”  HOORAY!

Will’s idea is that since, singing these particular songs, helped keep Fleetwood Mac from breaking up, covering them will keep New Directions from falling apart.  IT’S GENIUS!  (Well . . . not really . . . but we can pretend, right?)

Will’s Dreams . . . are Dead . . . (Or Are They?)

To kick things off, Will introduces Three-Time Guest Star April Rhodes (One more appearance, and she wins a free dinner at The Olive Garden Breadsticks) to the class AGAIN.  April then proceeds to bump, grind, and inappropriately seduce the underage males in the class (and Will) with her rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

Like I said, the relationship this particular song has to “rumors” is pretty tenuous.  But April does a nice job with it, and the kids seem to enjoy it enough.  April continues her plot to seduce Will over to the Dark Side of the Great White Way, through (1) a homecooked meal of Flirtation and Eye F*ckery . . .

Was anybody else watching this scene worried that either April or Will would end up setting their matching butt chins on fire?  Come to think of it . . . that would have been really funny.

. . . and (2) a RIDICULOUSLY BAD original song duet  .  . .

Not surprisingly, by the time April pops the “Come to Broadway with Me” question, Will is already well-primed toward saying “yes.”  Further complicating matters, is a surprisingly supportive, New and Improved / Washes Fruit Significantly Less, Emma . . .

Look guys!  Emma ate this grape off the FLOOR, after only soaking in water it for ONE-HALF HOUR!

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Talk about better living through chemistry!

Anyway, New and Improved Emma thinks Will is “really talented” and should “follow his dreams.”  Hearing this admission causes the Schue to cry.

But, fortunately, having undoubtedly been told by show producers his friends that his Ugly Cry Face would frighten the Boogeyman himself, Will tones it down a notch with the Facial Squinchiness . . .

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Less Ugly Cry Face, More Eye F*&kery and Mutual Fruit Fondling

As it turns out, Will feels genuinely torn between pursuing his dream of fame and fortune, and . . . hanging out with the Glee kids / f*&king washing fruits with Emma . . .  Such a dilemma!

To make matters worse, Sue sends out Brittany to pepper Schue with questions about his Broadway Aspirations (and, of course, what type of underwear he wears . . . inquiring minds want to know).

It looks like the answer is “boxer briefs (with stuffed chickens coming out of the crotch).”

“Will’s Hot Dog is this big . . .”  (Sorry Schue!  It looks like Mike Chang has you beat, this time!)

When THAT doesn’t work, Sue publishes an article in her paper stating that Will has ALREADY decided to leave McKinley for Broadway.  Met with an upset bunch of Glee kids, Will quickly puts rumors of his departure from the cast McKinley to rest.  Nevertheless, based on the pouty, mopey, I just poopied in my boxer brief look on his face, at the end of the episode . . .

. . . coupled with New Directions upcoming trip to Broadway’s NYC for the Glee Club National Competition, I can’t help but think that, for better or worse, this particular storyline is FAR from over . . .

Brittany gets screwed over by EVERYONE (except the chain-smoking, but still very loveable, Lord Tubbington, of course!)

Now, THAT’S an Attractive Cry Face!

Poor Brittany!  She just couldn’t win this week!  First a TRUE rumor gets published in the school newspaper that she’s been cheating on Artie with Santana.  When Artie confronts her about it, Brittany informs him that SANTANA told HER that having sex with a GIRL does not equal cheating on your BOYfriend.  Artie accuses Santana of manipulating Brittany into engaging in Horizontal Lebanese Dancing with her. 

And when Brittany comes to Santana’s defense, calling her lover a “good person,” Artie REALLY loses it.  “Why are you SO stupid?”  He asks.

Oh, HELL TO THE NO!”

Source

“You were the only person who never called me that,” exclaims Brittany, before dashing off, right into SANTANA’S ARMS!

Source

After EFFING UP ROYALLY, Artie tried to insert his foot in his mouth.  Unfortunately . . . well . . . you know . . . he can’t do that .  . . So, instead, he sang a Fleetwood Mac song, while the entire male student body magically appeared behind him to accompany him on their guitars . . .

“Where the heck did all these people come from?”

The song is called “Never Going Back Again,” and it pretty much symbolizes the end of the “Bartie” relationship, as we know it.  The song goes a little something like this . . . (Click the internal link to view.)

Meanwhile, Santana shares HER true feelings with Brittany (who’s breakup with Artie has her feeling like a “Sad Panda”) . . .

Sad Pandas are AWESOME!

 . . .by serenading her with (SURPRISE!) another Fleetwood Mac song.  This one is called “Songbird.”  And it’s lyrics are about as lovey-dovey / mushy gushy as they come . . .

But sexy lesbian serenades are not enough for Brittany.  She wants Santana out of the closet, and she wants her out NOW, dammit!  Of course, Santana is worried that coming out as a lesbian will cause the kids at school to treat her differently. 

So, Brittany offers to come out, HERSELF first, on Fondue for Two, by asking Santana to prom.  Then, Santana can follow suit.  Sounds like a good idea, right? 

WRONG!  Poor Britt gets STOOD UP on webshow night. (She is forced to interview Tubbie Bear on the show, instead.  Maybe she should ask HIM to prom!)  She is then further insulted, upon hearing Santana purposefully starting rumors about her and Karofsky hooking up, sending the Lebanese Dancer even further back into the closet.  “Vote Santofsky for Prom King and Queen,” Santana exclaims, in an interview with McKinley High’s resident Nerd Ball Jacob Ben Israel . . .

Unfortunately, it like our Poor Sad Panda isn’t going to be a Happy Bamboo Chewing One (See, what I did there?) for at least another week . . .

Thank goodness she has such an Attractive Cry Face, or she’d be TOTALLY screwed!

Stakeouts are fun! (But not nearly as fun as Car Sex!)

RACHEL:  “When people go to hotel rooms to have affairs, don’t they usually CLOSE the curtains?  I mean, we can see those people doing it!”

FINN: (distracted) “You know, I’ve never seen that ‘position’ done before.  It looks rather painful.”

RACHEL:  “I think you are right.  Let’s test it out . . . for scientific purposes, I mean.”

Brittana and Bartie-land isn’t the only place where Love Triangle Angst is brewing!  When a blind item in the school paper suggests that Quinn has been seen spending late nights at a Seedy Motel called, conveniently enough, “The American Family Hotel” (haha!) with Sam, Rachel (out of the “goodness of her heart”) offers to accompany Finn on his “stakeout” of the place.  What they find there is THIS . . .

Rachel (who, at the beginning of the episode, asked Sam to prom and was DENIED) is partially relieved, by this recent turn of events.  Now, she can rest assured that Sam is only not interested in her because he is already taken, not because she is unbearably annoying, as was previously thought.  This also gives Rachel the PERFECT opportunity to get into those Finn Hudson Pantalones!  (HOORAY!)

Silly CAMERA angle!  You cut out the best part!

Of course, when Quinn is confronted about this so-called affair, she denies it.  Furthermore, she accuses FINN of cheating on HER with Rachel.  Then again, these three individuals are ALL such chronic cheaters / bed hoppers, you really can’t blame any of them for not trusting one another . . .

Nevertheless, Rachel attempts to prove that SHE is the right woman for the Satisfy Finn Sexually job through . . . you guessed it . . . yet another Fleetwood Mac song . . .

This one is called, “Go Your Own Way” . . .

The plot thickens when, the NEXT NIGHT, Rachel and Finn car f*ck stake out the Seedy Motel again, only to come upon THIS . . .

I smell a Motel Orgy!

So, NOW, of course, Rachel and Finn are convinced that KURT is cheating on Blaine with SAM . . .

“Take my man from me, and I will SWALLOW YOU WHOLE, Trouty Mouth!”

To add further fuel to the fire, Rachel notices that Sam has started  . . . um . . . wearing Kurt’s CLOTHES . . .

 .  . . (but fortunately nothing from his Ugly Hat Collection).

But Quinn insists that Sam is NOT GAY.  So, eventually, Rachel and Finn see no choice but to comfront  Sam directly at Glee practice . . . in front of EVERYBODY.

“They think I’m a TOTAL male whore .  . . AWESOME!”

Sam then proceeds to make Finn and Rachel feel like Absolute and Complete Sh*t, by informing them that, the reason half the cast has been visiting him at the Sleazebag Motel is that he’s been . . . wait for it . . . LIVING THERE!

Say it ain’t so, Trouty Mouth!

As it turns out, Sam’s dad lost his job, which caused Sam’s family to lose their house, which caused Sam to sell ALL HIS CLOTHES, and move in with his ENTIRE family (including two younger siblings) into this fleabag motel. 

As for Quinn and Kurt, they had both learned about this beforehand (Quinn through her Church Group, and Kurt through Sam delivering pizzas at night to Dalton Academy where Kurt and Blaine regularly grabbed midnight snacks, after rousing rounds of Hard Core Sex), and were simply trying to be supportive to their friend, by lending him clothing, and a shoulder to cry on. 

In a rousing finale, the Glee Club bands together to repurchase Sam’s sold guitar back for him.  Together, the group celebrates Sam’s Newfound Poverty with . . . do I even have to say it . . . a FLEETWOOD MAC song.  This one I actually recognized.  It’s called “Don’t Stop” (which should not be confused with that OTHER “Don’t Stop” song the Glee kids sing.  That song’s title, unlike this one, ends with the word, “Believing”)

And that was “Rumours,” in a nutshell.  As you can probably tell from this recap, it wasn’t exactly my favorite episode.  Yet, “Rumours” did feature some incredible acting on the parts of Chord Overstreet (Who knew Trouty Mouth had it in him?), Naya Rivera, and Heather Morris.  And, of course, there was the adorable Lord Tubbington.

I said it once before, but it bears repeating.

Next week’s prom-themed episode, on the other hand, promises to be SUPER exciting, complete with girlfights, romance, weird wardrobe choices, the return of old villains, and, hopefully, NO MORE FLEETWOOD MAC songs!  You can check out the surprisingly intense trailer for the episiode here:

See, ya next time, Gleeks!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Anatomy of a Trailer – Touchstone Pictures’ “You Again”

OK.  So, a film about a former high school nerd, who is now “all-grown up” and successful, but soon finds herself reverting back to her old ways, when the school bully conveniently re-enters her life?  It’s not exactly the most original movie premise out there.  And yet, with a cast that includes none other than:

 my girl-crush Kristen Bell (of Veronica Mars fame),

Jamie Lee Curtis,

Sigourney Weaver,

Kristin Chenoweth,

Cloris Leachman,

and the always ADORABLE Betty White

 . . . I simply HAD to post this trailer.  So, here it is (special thanks to TrailerDelinquent, over at YouTube, for posting this):

Let’s analyze, shall we . . .

:12 – I’m not sure how I feel about Jaime Lee Curtis and Victor Garber as Kristen Bell’s parents.  Don’t get me wrong, they are both GREAT actors.  It’s just that they are so “dark complected” compared to Bell’s blonde, fair-skinned, look.  Maybe she is supposed have been adopted?

That being said .  . . I’m TOTALLY loving Garber’s “doo-rag” in this dinner scene!

:28 – I was wondering how they would make the super cute Kristen Bell into a convincing nerd, for “flashback scene” purposes.  I don’t have to wonder anymore . . .

Nice job, wardrobe and makeup department!  They even (gasp!) gave my girl highly realistic looking PIMPLES!

:36 – Now, I may be broadcasting my “inner nerd” when I say this, but I think mascots, in general, are pretty awesome . . . Well, maybe not that one.

Now, do you see what I mean about the pimples?

:47 – “Hugsies!”  – UGGHHH!  I already HATE Odette Yustman’s character, and it’s been less than a minute!

:54 – It definitely looks like they photoshopped together ACTUAL high school pictures of Jaime Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver to make this fake yearbook picture.  (Devil horns not included, of course.)

1:12 – OH NO!  They DID NOT just allude to a Jamie Lee Curtis “money shot!”

Sheesh!  The woman does ONE movie with Lindsay Lohan . . .

 . . .  and already she’s exposing herself in public.  This is yet another GREAT reason to ban “Lilo” from all future cinematic appearances!

1:16 and 1:48 – For a movie trailer, this has has a surprisingly  good soundtrack!  The first song you hear is “Good Girls Go Bad,” by Cobra Starship.  The second one is Little Jackie’s “The World Should Revolve Around Me.”  Remind me to add these two tracks to my ipod, OK?

2:08 – “Somebody call US Weekly.  Let’s find out who wore it best!”

Sorry Jamie Lee!  I’m going to have to go with Sigourney on this one . . .

2:24 – “I’m also on the Facebook . . . and the Twitter.”  –  I heart Betty White!  I’ll definitely be stalking her on both Facebook AND Twitter, once I finish this post.

 

You Again bullies into theaters on September 24, 2010.  Will YOU see it?

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Create Your Dream Cast: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

 

One of my favorite reads of 2009 was Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.  The novel follows Katniss Everdeen, a strong willed 16-year old girl, who is forced to take part in a nationally televised fight-to-the-death survival competition against 23 other teenagers in the post-apocalyptic fictional nation of Panem.  From page 1, The Hunger Games is the quintessential page turner.  It transports you into another world and keeps you there, long after you’ve completed the book.

Collins does not discriminate, and there is something here for all ages, sexes, and book preferences: a bunch of knock-down drag-out, surprisingly gory, fights for the action buffs, a romantic triangle for the lovers, political intrigue for the Tom Clancy and David Baldacci inclined, a futuristic otherworld for the fantasy and sci fi geeks, adolescent angst for the teens, dry humor for the comedy lovers, and tons of thinly veiled pop culture references and digs at reality television for entertainment addicts.

The Hunger Games is actually the first novel of a trilogy series.  Its also-excellent sequel, Catching Fire, is already a bestseller.  The third book of the series, Mockingjay is due out August 24, 2010.  However, the novel is already available for pre-order on Amazon.  (Only $8.50 for a hardcover!  Way cheap!)

When I learned that Lionsgate Entertainment had purchased the film rights to The Hunger Games, and the Suzanne Collins, herself, was hired to write the script, I was excited and highly intrigued.  This book has surefire blockbuster written all over it!  The news got me to thinking about who they were going to cast for the major roles in this film — and, more importantly, who I would cast if I were making this film . . .

So, without further adieu, here are my casting pics for Lionsgate Entertainment’s adaptation of The Hunger Games:

Katniss Everdeen

My pick: Ellen Page

Why?  Although technically a bit older than Katniss (aren’t they all?), Page has the physical look of the character, as well as Katniss’ tough exterior and inner vulnerability.  She also brings to the table a recognizable name that will inevitably bring big box office bucks to the film.  Page definitely has the acting chops for this complex and meaty role.  Plus, if the X Men films, Whip It, and the ultra-dark indie film Hard Candy are any indication, she also possesses the strength and deft to pull off some fairly hardcore stunts, which may be necessary, given the action aspects of this novel.

Peeta Mellark

My pick: Sterling Knight

Why?  Like Page, Knight definitely looks the part here.  As the attractive and inherently likeable boy-next-door type, who may or may not be completely trust worthy, the actor who plays Peeta must appear both sweet and a tad sly.  I think Knight has what it takes to be both.  Best known for his role as Chad Dylan Cooper in Disney Channel’s tween sitcom Sonny with a Chance, Knight has already shown himself capable of playing the male lead in a love/hate type relationship.  I think he and Ellen Page would play off one another well, with respect to the romance aspects of this tale.  

As far as action scenes, I’m not sure whether Knight has what it takes, as I’ve never seen him act in any particularly physical roles.   Then again, Peeta always struck me as kind of a wimp (sorry girls).  So, athleticism may not be entirely necessary here . . .

Gale Hawthorne

My pick: Taylor Lautner

 

Why?  This one may be a bit of a stretch, seeing as Lautner is such a big name in Hollywood now, and Gale’s role in The Hunger Games is a relatively small one.  (Gale plays a much bigger part in The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, however).  And yet, I can’t help but think Lautner was made for this role!  Dark complextion, killer abs, physical prowess, the ability to brood and pine over unrequited love, all the while being all-manly / hunting stuff . . . who could ask for a better Gale than Lautner?  Plus, we all know how much Taylor loves his love triangles . . .

Haymitch Abernathy

My pick: James Gandolfini

Why?  Yeah, I know, this is also a bit of wishful thinking on my part . . .  But I LOVE my Gandolfini!  Plus, I think he would be awesome as this gruff and hard-drinking, yet wise and loyal, former Games winner and mentor to Katniss and Peeta.  And, it’s my cast, dammit!  So, I’ll hire who I want!

Effie Trinket

My pick: Kristin Chenoweth

Why?  Chenoweth has the sophisticated look, chirpy ebullience, and high-pitched (at-times grating) speaking voice to pull off District 12’s well-meaning, but slightly haughty, PR representative, Effie Trinket.  I’ll cast her in this role on one condition . . .  she MUST sing at least once during the film!

Cinna

My pick: Adam Lambert

Why?  Lambert has the guy-liner, fashion sense, natural flamboyance, and addiction to hair dye necessary to pull off Katniss’ personal stylist for the Games.  Granted, I’m not really sure Lambert has any acting experience (unless you count those daytime talk show interviews).  However, Cinna never struck me as a particularly complex role.  So, I think Adam could pull it off.  Plus, those American Idol fans would go wild!

Primrose Everdeen

My pick? Elle Fanning (Dakota’s little sister)

Why?  Honestly, I don’t have much to say here.  The role calls for a fair-haired and cherubic pre-teen to play Katniss’ little sister.  I am pretty sure there is actually a law in Hollywood that states that whenever a role like this is created, a Fanning must be cast in it.  So, here we are . . .

Mrs. Everdeen

My pick: Toni Collette

Why?  The role calls for someone who is believable as the slightly unstable and depressive herbalist mother of both dark-haired tomboy, Katniss, and girly blonde, Primrose.  I think Collette fits in quite nicely here . . .

Well, there you have it.  Now, it’s your turn.  Hop on to that casting couch (no pun intended), and pick your favorites.  Who knows?  Lionsgate Entertainment just might be listening . . .

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Filed under casting, Novel, The Hunger Games