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Will Schuester and The Case of the Mysterious Glist – A Recap of Glee’s “Bad Reputation”

So, what exactly is a “Glist?”  Well, according to Sue Sylvester, it’s a “weekly ranking of  . . . Glee club members, based on a hotness quotient of sexual promiscuity . . . You get a point for each act of perpetuated depravity.” 

As you can see from the above screencap, in the Glist’s premiere week, Quinn, Santana, and Puck topped the list, with Brittany, Jesse, and Finn, taking positions 4, 5, and 6, respectively.  What you cannot see from this screencap (because I couldn’t find a SINGLE shot that fit everything in), was that Rachel rounded up the rear, with a score of -5!  And Mercedes, Kurt, Tina, and Artie didn’t make the Glist AT ALL!

Which begs the question?  WHO CREATED THE GLIST (and why)?  This was the mystery Will Schuester was tasked with solving at the beginning of this week’s installment of Glee, entitled “Bad Reputation.”  As for the Glee kids, they were less concerned with figuring out who made the Glist, and more concerned with “moving up on it.”  “Maybe if we seen a little more dangerous, people will stop flushing my glasses down the toilet,” suggested Artie, hopefully.

(Poor Artie!  Having your glasses flushed down the toilet HAS to suck!  Then again, doesn’t  No Glasses-Artie look a bit like a young Harry Connick, Jr.?)

It’s almost uncanny, right?  They are even wearing the SAME SHIRT!

This week’s episode was all about what it takes to revive (or create) a “bad reputation.”  And while the characters were all struggling with that, in their own way, they were also singing songs.  What songs, you ask? “Awesomely Bad” Songs, of course!  Songs that were once “great” (at least according to Mr. Schuester), but had since fallen into disrepute. Like, for example, Ice, Ice Baby, which was originally sung by this guy . . .

Now we know where Puck has been getting his hair care tips!

Let’s see how everyone did, shall we?

Rachel Berry

Goal: To cast aside her squeaky clean reputation, and move up from last place on the Glist.

What she did: Tricked the three men in her life into starring with her in a music video, in which she was cast as the slutty siren, awakening all three men’s hidden sexual desires for her, in the process.

What she sang:  Run, Joey, Run by David Geddes and Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler

I’ll admit that sometimes the “Rachel” character really irks me.  However, she was all kinds of awesome in this episode!  From her flirtatious dalliances with Puck (“Did you know when we were together, people called us Puckleberry?”  “Dating me  . . . gave you a sense of humanity.”) . . .

These two were SO HOT together tonight, that I almost forgot that Puck is with Quinn, and Rachel’s with  . . . that other guy.

. . .to the calculated trickery she employed to get all THREE main Glee guys (Puck, Finn, and Jesse) to star opposite her in what I am pretty sure was the most self-aggrandizing, campiest, music video EVER MADE .  . . and, ending with her angsty belting of Total Eclipse of the Heart, which she sang after all three men promptly deserted her for her selfish behavior.

As far as the Rachel and Jesse “break up,” (which occurred in the last few moments of the episode), I’m not really sure how I felt about it.  On one hand, I’m still pretty positive that Jesse’s REAL reason for transferring to McKinley, was to “narc” out the Glee kids to their main competition, and his former teammates, Vocal Adrenaline.  (Notice how, even though Jesse’s “sole” reason for coming to the school was to “be with Rachel,”  he decided to stay  at the school, even after they broke up?)  And yet, I also believe that as the season progresses, Jesse’s feelings for Rachel will eventually become real.    To further complicate matters, Jonathan Groff’s portrayal of Jesse, which heretofore has come across as a tad overblown and artificial, in my opinion, was significantly more understated and genuine this week.  So, while I wanted to not care about Jesse’s feelings being hurt this week, because I don’t trust him, I found myself caring, in spite of myself . . .

True Love?  Or Truly Convenient Plot Device . . .

Kurt, Mercedes, Artie, Tina and Brittany

Goal: To be featured on the Glist (or, in Brittany’s case, to break the top three)

What they did: Wore ugly pants and sang a cheesy song in the library; admitted to being the source of Sue Sylvester’s public embarrassment

What they sang:  You Can’t Touch This, by M.C. Hammer

So, this episode marks the THIRD time our Glee kids chose to break out into song in, of all places, THE LIBRARY! 

 I’m not exactly sure what made these guys think that wearing balloon pants and singing the Anthem to ’90’s Musical Ridiculousness would up their coolness quotient.  Whatever their thinking was, their plan TOTALLY backfired, when the school librarian loved the performance!  She even  invited the kids to perform the song for her church! 

 Kurt’s plan to admit to Sue that he had posted her private Let’s Get Physical (more on that later) video on YouTube, similarly backfired when she THANKED him for doing so.  However, given Mercedes’ kickass performance of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful at the school pep rally, and Kurt’s football heroism earlier this season (he won the game for his team by distracting the opposition with his dance to Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies), I can’t imagine these two being invisible at McKinley High School for much longer . . .

Sue Sylvester

Goal: To redeem herself, after having become the school laughingstock

What she did: Made a music video with Olivia Newton John featuring sexy shirtless men!

What she sang: Let’s Get Physical by Olivia Newton John

The first time we see Sue Sylvester in this episode, a miniaturized version of her is shaking her booty and doing the Cabbage Patch, from inside the screen of a laptop computer, to the tune of Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical.  One of my main gripes with this episode is that WE NEVER GOT TO SEE THE WHOLE VIDEO, which CLEARLY would have been hilarious! 

Apparently, Kurt found the incriminating video amongst Sue’s hormone replacement pills, in a locked drawer in her office.  However, it was Finn’s idea to post the video on YouTube for the world to see.  News of the video spread like wildfire, and Sue soon found herself to be the subject of “slow motion laughter” and public ridicule.  Fortunately for Sue, Olivia Newton John herself got wind of Sue’s dance moves, and decided to remake an updated version of the music video for the song, in which she and Sue ultimately sang alongside one another. 

The music video was a hit!  And, while it was cute, I STILL would have preferred to see Sue’s embarrassing solo jazzercise version all the way through .  . . but that’s just me.

In other news, Emma . . .

 . . . learned of Will’s recent slut-capades with April and that Vocal Adrenaline coach from Sue Sylvester (who apparently rigged his home with hidden cameras?).  And, in a moment of highly uncharacteristic fury, our favorite OCD guidance counselor responded, by publicly berating him for his whorish tendencies.  Now Will has a reputation for being a Man Slut.

And if he wasn’t raking in the ladies before, they will certainly be coming out of the woodwork NOW!  After all, we all know how the ladies LOVE their Man Sluts!

Oh, and you know who ended up being responsible for creating the Glist?

Quinn!  Did you see that one coming?  You SHOULD HAVE!  She was, after all, Number 1 on the list.  Plus, the former Queen Bee’s popularity has taken a serious nosedive, since the whole “teen pregnancy thing” got out.  In a heartfelt moment, Quinn confides in Will about her feelings of loneliness and depression, regarding the loss of her peak social status.  Will comforts her, explaining that high school is only temporary, and “social status” really has more to do with self-confidence than anything else.  And I guess that was supposed to be the “moral of the story”  . . . or something.

All in all, this was a fun episode — probably my favorite one post-hiatus.  It offered the deft plotting, and solid character development, that, honestly, seemed a bit lacking in the last few episodes.  Sure, most of the songs wouldn’t make my “Must Download” list, but perhaps that was the point.  Like the characters in this episode, Glee had a reputation to revive this week, one for good storytelling.  And, in that respect, it certainly succeeded.

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