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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How could you not trust THIS face?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 . . . combined with THIS .  . .

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

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

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

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

Try a Lack of Tenderness . . .

“The competition is ON, like Donkey Kong!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s new, Pussy Cat? 

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

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

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

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

Blaine APPROVES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Haha!  Jokes on YOU, Gleeks!”

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

“Stop staring at my boobs, ya perv!”

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In other news . . .

A Farewell to Arms Sweater Vests

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

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

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

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

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

Pure Imagination

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just sayin’

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

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

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

“Are you friggin kidding me, Poopy Zombie?”

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

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

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

Hide your bunnies and your balls, Finn!

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

Only time will tell . . .

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

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

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

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

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

Sayonara Sucka!

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

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

Where’s the Beiste?

And the Sunshine?

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Dance Your Pants Off! – A Recap of Glee’s “Prom Queen”

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“You can get married as many times as you want, but there is only one prom,”  says Quinn Febray, during Glee’s epic PROM EPISODE. 

“This is how I decided to spend the alimony payments from each of my five ex-husbands.  One lame tiara, for each lame man.”

Ahhh . . . the Prom Episode, every teen show has one.  And only some of them are actually worth watching.  After all, when it comes to prom episodes, there’s a whole lot of CLICHE to go around:  the Pre-Prom Pictures, the Ugly Duckling Transformation, the Long, Slow Walk Down the Stairs, while the Admiring Boyfriend Looks On, the Inevitably Fight Over a Girl (or Guy), the Romantic Slow Dance Moment, and, of course, the crowning of the Prom’s King and Queen.  And with cliches, comes a WHOLE LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES to be unmemorable . . .

A MAJOR Opportunity for a Cliche is RIGHT HERE!  It’s a GOOD THING that these two didn’t win Prom King and Queen.  That’s all I’m saying!  (Oh, and Finn?  1985 called.  It REALLY wants your powder blue cumberbund back . . .)

Fortunately, Glee’s “Prom Queen” managed to deftly sidestep all of the typical Prom Episode Traps that were just waiting to trip it up.  The result was a genuinely fun-filled, toe-tapping, heart warming, tear-inducing, hour of television. 

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Oh, you RIDE THAT PONY, Santana!  Ride it hard!

My fellow Gleeks, the time has come to zip up those dresses, strap on the corsages, spike the punch, and practice dancing the night away, in those ridiculously uncomfortable high heels.  In the iconic words of Sam Evan’s “Who’s ready for some PROM?”

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I Love it When Glee Gets All Self-Deprecating and Self-Referential!

“Give me back my BALLS, B*tch!”

The moment I knew that I was going to LOVE this week’s installment of Glee occurred about two minutes into the episode, when Jacob Ben-Israel shoved a microphone in Puck’s face, and asked him a question that was purportedly given to him by “fans at home: “Where does Lauren keep your balls?”

“Fans from Home,” INDEED!  I think MANY of us have been asking ourselves this very question, ever since the writers made the BIZARRE decision to couple Puck and Lauren, back during the Valentine’s Day episode.   So, it’s comforting to know that at least SOMEONE in the writers’ room is listening.  Because, as much as I desperately want to have sex with ADORE my Sexy Puck-meister . . .

. . . even I must admit that he does act a tad “Neutered Puppy”-esque when hanging around a certain Full-Figured Female.

Cute?  Definitely!  Bad Ass?  Not exactly . .  .

 And did you notice how Puck and Lauren had virtually no scenes together, this week?  I smell PROGRESS! 

Strike THREE, Zizes!  YOU’RE OUT!

That being said, the fact that Puck chose to “up his street cred” this week, by (1) NOT spiking the Prom Punch; and (2) rocking out to a rather annoying song written by a 13-year old, leads me to question whether or not Lauren not only chopped off his manhood when she started dating him, but gave him a LOBOTOMY too . . .

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That being said, I still want to attend a party in his pants . . .

In other META-news, when Principal Figgins asks Mr. Schue if his Glee kids could perform at prom (Apparently, Air Supply canceled AGAIN!  Stupid Air Supply!) . . .

. . . Sue Sylvester pipes in with a list of all of the WORST SONGS EVER PERFORMED on Glee by the Glee Club.  Included on this list, of course, are . . .

“Run, Joey, Run”

(Coincidentally, it is from the video of “Run, Joey, Run” that I obtained my absolute FAVORITE, and, admittedly, very much overrused, Sexy White-Tank Wearing Puck GIF, which you may have noticed above.)

AND . . .

 that ridiculous “Hair” / “Crazy in Love” Mashup . . .

Now, THIS was REALLY BAD!

One thing that’s gotta be said for Glee, when the show messes up, at least it’s willing to ADMIT IT . . . most of the time, anyway.

So, Who’s YOUR Prom Date?

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Was it just me, or did Brittany seem unusually smart, this week?  Perhaps, when Lauren cut off the frontal lobe of Puck’s brain, she ended up donating it to the web host of Fondue for Two . . .

There was a bit of intrigue, early on in the episode, regarding which Glee kids would take which other Glee kids to prom.  (Because, HEAVEN FORBID, any of them take NON-CAST MEMBERS, right?)  I mean, we already knew that Finn was going to take Quinn (yawn), Mike was going to take Tina (zzzzzz), Puck was going to take Lauren (BOO!), and Santana and Karofsky were going to be eachother’s closeted dance partners.  But it was interesting to see the, usually proud and independent, Mercedes so decidedly bummed about not having a date .  . .

MERCEDES:  “I can’t understand why no one has asked me to prom yet?”

RACHEL:  “Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that you are wearing a HUGE, SCARY OPEN MOUTH on your chest?”

Some have argued that Mercedes sudden interest in having a boyfriend, when she has seemed to show NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER, in the past, seems out of character, and more like a Plot Device, than anything else.  However, I kind of feel like Mercedes is someone who hides her insecurities behind a cloak of false bravado.  And, as such a person, she would sooner knock something she can’t have, than admit that she truly wants it.  That being said, I love that Mercedes’ friendship with Rachel has evolved to the point where the former can be truly honest with the latter, about her hopes and dreams. 

Ho’s Before Bro’s!

Speaking of Rachel, we all know she can be SUPER selfish sometimes.  So, it was really refreshing to see her take others’ needs into consideration, this week. 

Finny LIKE!

She did this by orchestrating a group date between Mercedes, Sam, and herself so that (1) all of them had dates to the prom; and (2) Sam’s financial situation did not keep him from attending.  Way to go, Rach!

Trouty Mouth is very pleased!

“I am a TOTAL PIMP!”

Meanwhile, Blaine struggles with his own insecurities about attending prom with Kurt, as a result of a traumatic experience, during Blaine’s public school days, when he was beat up for attending a Sadie Hawkins dance with one of his gay friends . ..

In an Awesome Mutually Mature Boyfriend Moment, Kurt, despite obviously REALLY wanting to attend the prom, tells Blaine that he would be willing to skip the event, if Blaine feels uncomfortable with it.  Likewise, Blaine, though clearly not without reservations, loves Kurt so much, that he is willing to face up to his deepest, darkest, fears in order to make Kurt happy.  (By the way, I love how, when Kurt asks Blaine to the prom he actually refers to him as “Blaine Warbler.”  SO CUTE!) 

LOL!  The maker of this picspam and I clearly share a brain. . .

Secretly hoping that their public acts of kindness will win them points in the Prom King and Queen Race, Team Beard, Santana and Karofsky offer to give Kurt round the clock protection from bullying (well . . . at least during school hours).

This inevitably results in some VERY interesting and intense moments between Kurt and Karofsky, which I plan to discuss more fully in just a bit.  But, for now, let’s talk about Artie . . .

Dear, sweet, Artie!  You broke my heart many times over this week, from your Fashion Disaster Prom Wardrobe (Elvis Hair?   Orange Suit?  Ruffled Shirt?  NO!  NO and HELL NO!), to your defeated (and, let’s face it, slightly pathetic) acceptance of torture at the hands of Sue Sylvester.  But nothing you did this week, broke my heart like your failed serenade of Brittany. 

“I know you are mad at me now, but I was wondering if you would possibly be interested in having a threesome with Santana and me?  Best of both worlds, right?”

Sure, you called her stupid, which was probably the ONE thing you could have said to Brittany that would get her to dump you.  And, yes, you kind of added insult to injury, by singing, of all songs, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” to her, which is, after all, a song about a NEWBORN BABY . . .

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The lyrics, “Less than ONE MINUTE OLD,” should have probably clued you in to that one . . .

But still, to be shot down, in front of an ENTIRE HOME ECONOMICS class, because your ex tells you that she would rather go to her prom ALONE, and have hot sex with Santana dance with lots of random guys, instead of YOU . . . now that’s GOTTA HURT!  Artie, if I wasn’t sure it would give me a painful electrical shock (I’ve actually tried this before . . . “smart” . . . I know), I probably would have hugged you right through the television screen . . .

Everybody Loves Rachel . . . for a change (well, except, maybe, for Quinn)

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Yes!  They are fighting over ME!  Rachel Berry!  Everybody loves ME!  I’m awesome. Oh, boys!  Stop fighting!  This is terrible!  Someone is going to get hurt . . . and I can’t afford to break my nose, again.”

Rachel Berry may already have TWO dates to the prom.  But she’s about to get at least one more (and, if Eye F*&king counts as “dating,” possibly TWO more).  We see Rachel practicing her solo number for the prom, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”  Then, seemingly out of nowhere (Seriously, is there NO security at this school?) Jesse St. James magically appears in the auditorium, transforming her already highly emotive solo into an extremely sexually-tense duet . . .

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You can check out the pair’s full performance here . . .

Whatever you may have felt about the so-called “St. Berry pairing” back in Season 1, and it’s unfortunate, not to mention, completely out-of-the-blue, ending . . .

Sunny side down?

 . . . the sexual chemistry between Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele is undeniable (which is odd, considering that Groff is so clearly GAY).  And never is the pair more on fire, than when they are mutually breaking into song.  If you recall, this is precisely how the couple’s relationship first began . . .

JESSE: “I’ve always wanted to have sex with a woman on top of a piano.  It’s very Pretty Woman.”

RACHEL:  “But we are in a library . . . and there are old people in the background, watching us.”

JESSE: “Doesn’t that turn you on?”

RACHEL: “Not really.”

JESSE:  “Work with me here.  I’m trying to get you laid.”

Though, admittedly, I prefer the original Adele version of “Rolling in the Deep” to what “Rachel and Jesse” performed here, both the acting and directing of this scene are positively flawless.  I love the way the singers’ facial expressions alternate from almost angry, to wistful, to attracted, to indifferent, to competitive, and, finally, to joyous at various points throughout the number.  I also appreciate the way Rachel and Jesse circle one another around the piano, as they sing, engaging in what seems to be a strange, and undoubtedly sexual, mating dance between predator and prey . . . lover and scorned . . . where the participants are each simultaneously playing both roles.

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JESSE:  “There is something different about you.  Did you get a nose job?”

RACHEL: “No, Jesse!  I decided against doing that.  Geez!  Don’t you watch Glee?”

As it turns out, Jesse, who was supposedly a senior in high school, during the show’s first season, has (conveniently) dropped out of college, and now (also conveniently) wishes to start his own business as a consultant to Glee Clubs and show choirs.  His reason for breaking into McKinley High?  Well, it seems to be two-fold: 

(1) He wishes to apologize to Rachel for the whole “egg-head” business.  Apparently, selling his girlfriend out for a fourth consecutive championship win of a HIGH SCHOOL competition seems short-sighted to him, in hindsight  (Gee, ya think?); and

(2) He knew Rachel’s prom was coming up, and wanted to take her.  (You know . . . because college guys always keep track of rival high school’s social calendars, while they are away.)

Was this a contrived way for the writers to bring back this character?  Absolutely.  And yet, I’m actually really excited about Jesse’s return, not only because I enjoy his interactions with Rachel (She tends to be WAY less whiny and annoying, when she’s with him.), but because I’m positively THRILLED about what his return is going to do to Finn . . .

Watch out Finn-y!  Your emotions are showing!

Speaking of Finn, he sure seemed to be All Aboard the Rachel Train, this week, didn’t he?  The minute Finn learned that Rachel was considering taking Jesse to prom, he suddenly seemed SUPER CONCERNED about Rachel “getting her heart broken again.” 

 (After all, the only person allowed to break Rachel’s heart is FINN, right?) 

Rachel rightly tells Finn to go f*&k himself, that, as someone who’s currently dating Quinn, he has NO RIGHT to weigh in on Rachel’s romantic rendezvous.  Rachel (Bless her heart, girlfriend was pure PERFECTION this episode!) then proceeds to make Finn even SORRIER about dating the wrong girl, by expertly offering him advice on how to purchase the perfect corsage for his ACTUAL girlfriend but probably not for long Quinn.  (“A Gardenia . . . with a green ribbon around it .  .  . to match her eyes,” Rachel suggests).

Oh, Finn!  You poor smitten, little boy!  You are SO SCREWED!

Tension rises between Finn and Jesse, when the two encounter one another at Breadsticks (which, apparently, is the only restaurant in Lima, Ohio) later in the episiode.  Finn, in a not-so-subtle allusion to the “Little Game of Egg Toss” Jesse played with Rachel’s head, last season, asks the college dropout, if he ordered “eggs” for dinner. 

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In return, Jesse makes a few snide remarks about Finn’s bad dancing skills .  . .

Ahem . . .

 . . . even going as far as to offer HIMSELF to QUINN as a dance partner, when she gets tired of Finn-y Boy stepping on her feet.

Jesse – 1, Finn – 0

At the prom, when Rachel sings her solo number to Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts”  (What happened to “Rolling in the Deep”?) Finn, who just so happens to be dancing with Quinn at the time, keeps leering at Rachel, as if he wants to swallow her whole . . .

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And, later, when Jesse starts getting all hot and handsy with Rachel on the dance floor . . .

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 . . . Finny Boy conveniently misinterprets Rachel’s nearly orgasmic reaction as displeasure and TOTALLY SNAPS, attacking Jesse like a wild drooling rabid dog, who hasn’t eaten in weeks.  This, of course, gets BOTH Jesse and Finn promptly tossed out of the prom.  Quinn is upset by this, because she BELIEVES it will prevent her from winning prom queen.  But, in all honesty, she actually doesn’t win, because nobody really likes her . . .

Take that, Lucy Caboosey!

The smallest little violin in the world begins playing, as Quinn rushes off sobbing to the bathroom (“I’m not going to be prom queen, BOO HOO HOO!  My life is over.  I’m transferring schools  . . . AGAIN,” she wails.)

And Rachel, ever the glutton for punishment, actually rushes in to comfort this b*tch.  (Seriously, Rachel was like SUPERHUMANLY ANGELIC this week.  This means that, next week, the writers will probably make her Evil Incarnate.)  So, what does Rachel get for trying to be a decent human being to Quinn in her so-called hour of need?  Well, she gets THIS . . .

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But, like I said, Rachel COULD DO NO WRONG this week.  And even after Quinn gives her “free blush” on one side of her face, Rachel sticks around to find out why Quinn is “so upset.” 

Well, for starters, Quinn is upset because she currently wants Finn.  Tomorrow, she might want Puck.  And the day after, she might want Sam.  But today, it’s Finn.  And the day Quinn wants someone, she’ll be DAMNED if he’s interested in someone else!

What I found interesting about Quinn’s “little speech,” was that she seemed LESS upset about the fact that Finn seems currently more attracted to Rachel, than to her, and MORE upset about the fact that OTHER people noticed that, and, (she thinks) didn’t select them as Prom King and Queen because of it.  Way to keep your priorities straight, girl!

“Oh, don’t cry Quinn . . . it gives you wrinkles.”

The other thing Quinn claims to be worried about, is something the writers ALWAYS have her character worry about, every time they want to make her “sympathetic” to the audience.  Quinn complains to Rachel that life is SO MUCH HARDER for her, than it is for Rachel, because, unlike Rachel Quinn is just so pretty.  And as a result of her ridiculous attractiveness (and lack of other redeeming qualities), post-high school life for Quinn might actually end up being pretty darn disappointing. 

I hate to say it, but Quinn’s probably right about her future . . . 

Nonetheless, Rachel lies through her teeth, assuring Quinn that she’s more than just a pretty face.   She’s a better person than me, that Rachel.  That’s for DAMN sure!

You know who else is a MUCH better person than I am? EVERYBODY Kurt Hummel.

Kurt Reigns Over the Prom

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One of the coolest things about Kurt Hummel, I think, is that he’s not just content to be an out-and-proud teen.  Rather, Kurt sees it as his personal mission to educate teens and adults on having tolerance for various alternative lifestyles.  And though that Bizarre Kilt Thing Kurt wanted to wear to prom, SERIOUSLY freaked out his dad, Finn and Blaine, not to mention rivaled only ARTIE’S tuxedo, as the WORST PROM OUTFIT ever . . .

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 . . . I still respected the courage it took for Kurt to wear it.  Speaking of respect, I think Karofsky gained a whole lot of it for Kurt, when the latter found it in his heart, not just to forgive the former for bullying him, but also to take pity on the pain he was experiencing as a closeted gay youth . . .

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Kurt’s kindness, and his recognition of Karofsky’s inner turmoil, causes the normally stoic jock to break down into uncharacteristic tears.  Moved by Karofsky’s display of emotion, Kurt encourages him to stop hiding his true self, and come out of the closet “not tomorrow, but when you can.”

Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worst at prom, when Puck and Sam sing Rebecca Black’s Friday, which, though better than the original version, still makes me want to clean out my ears with bleach . . .

SAM:  “We are SO going to get our asses kicked for doing this song, aren’t we?”

PUCK: “Mmmm hmm.”

 . . . Karofsky gets crowned Prom King . . .

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Well, I guess that’s not such a bad thing, in and of itself.  But then, in a cruel twist, the McKinley High School kids insensitively nominate KURT as Prom Queen, causing both him AND Santana, to run out of the auditorium in tears.

Blaine sweetly comforts Kurt outside by the lockers, offering him the same comforting safety net, Kurt had offered him back when he worried about attending the prom in the first place.  “We don’t have to stay here, you know.  We can leave and never look back.”  But Kurt isn’t ready to accept defeat just yet.  Instead, he decides to (1) return to the auditorium and get coronated; (2) dance to Mercedes’ and Santana’s rendition of “Dancing Queen;” and (3) in doing so, impliedly, tell all the homophobes in his student body to go F*&k Themselves . . .

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(By the way, PRINCIPAL FIGGINS, the kids at your school play a practical joke on a gay male student, by electing him prom queen, and YOU allow him to be coronated to the tune of DANCING QUEEN, of all songs!  FOR SHAME!)

That being said, since it WAS Mercedes and Santana singing, don’t you think they could have . . . I don’t know . . . sang a DIFFERENT SONG?  Like “Macho Man,” perhaps? 😉

For a moment, it looks as though Karofsky might muster up the courage to actually dance with Kurt.  But, seeing his classmates’ reaction to Kurt’s bold acceptance of the crown, frightens Karofsky to his core.  And, at the last second, Karofsky runs from the auditorium, once again, in tears.  Fortunately, Blaine is standing right behind Kurt at the time, and is more than willing to “have this dance” with him.

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(Speaking of Blaine, his rocking out to the most awkwardly titled song ever, the “I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance,” was pretty awesome, right?   Now, don’t get me wrong,, it’s not that I particularly love the song.  But boyfriend SURE CAN DANCE!  Plus, I found the number refreshingly non-Warbler-esque, which was great . . . for me, anyway!)

I mentioned Santana, earlier.  She shared a very sweet scene with Brittany outside the auditorium, in which she tearfully wondered why everyone hated her, just because SHE hated THEM. 🙂  An unusually-wise-this-week Brittany argued that the rest of the school didn’t vote for Santana because they would rather play a mean joke on Kurt because they can somehow tell that she’s not being true to herself.  (Now, that’s a nice idea and all.  But, then, how did KAROFSKY win?) 

Argument fallacies aside, my heart warmed a bit, when Brittany told Santana that if she “embraced the awesomeness of who she is, she would have won.”  Now, honestly, I’m not sure I believe that .  . . but it was a sweet thing to say, nonethless. 

And when Brittany politely told Santana to stop whining, pull her head out of her ass, and be supportive to Kurt in his time of need, well, that was EVEN sweeter . . .

Wearer of the Worst Prom Outfit Ever . . . meet the Worst Plotline Ever.

As I sort of mentioned earlier, there was also this sort of bizarre storyline, in which Puck convinced Artie to spike the punch at the dance . . . and then Sue Sylvester CAUGHT Artie doing it . . . so she randomly tortured him with dental tools . . . until she found out that he DIDN’T actually spike the punch? 

Yeah . . . rest assured, that plotline was about as random, and annoying to watch, as it probably was to read.  So,I’m not going to spend any more time on it than what you see here.  . .  except to say that, perhaps, the whole point of the storyline was simply to once-again punish Artie for wearing that Ugly Ass Suit . . .

Don’t worry Artie!  Everyone makes mistakes!  Next week will be better for you, I promise.  (Because, we all know it can’t get much worse!)

So, that was basically “Prom Queen” in a nutshell.   Next week’s Glee installment, entitled “Funeral,” promises to be a much darker episode. . . not to mention, a deadlier one.  You can check out the promo for THAT episode HERE . . .

Now, it’s time to start speculating, my fellow Gleeks, if you haven’t started already.  Which cast member do you think has already sung his (or her) final Swan Song?  Tune in next week to find out . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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

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

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

Bambi would not approve . . .

“My poop is WAY prettier than that!”

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

The Trouble with Monkey Flu . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next second, they look like this . . .

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

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

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

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

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

My sentiments exactly, Emma . . .

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

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

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

 Meanwhile . . .

Glee Club Gets a New Look . . .

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

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

“I RULE!”

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

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

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

Shocking, right?

Puck is the first to volunteer a song.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy it as a Christmas Gift for your loved one!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh HELL, NO!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then again, they like EVERYTHING .  . .

Well . . . ALMOST everything.

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

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

WAY better looking than Tater Tots . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Heebie Jeebies, Creepy Crawlies, and Hot Abs – A Recap of Glee’s “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”

I have to say, the Glee producers took a decidedly big risk in choosing the theme for this week’s show. 

For one thing, The Rocky Horror Picture Show itself is an “acquired taste.”  It’s got its fans.  It’s got its haters.  And it’s got a good portion of Glee’s fanbase, who have never seen it at all . . .

The show is also pretty raunchy.  (All the characters that aren’t actually “doing it” on-screen, are impliedly getting busy off of it.)

Did I mention that the fans of the show are SERIOUSLY hard core?  You mess with what made them fall in love with this show, and they will make you live to regret it!  (I mean, these guys throw toast at people . . . for fun.)

Hopefully, they don’t throw the Grilled Cheesus . . .

All that being said, I think Glee did an admirable, if slightly imperfect, tribute to a musical classic this week.  And for that, they deserve a round of applause . . .

And . . . let’s face it . . . the multitude of Half-Naked Dudes didn’t hurt either . . .

Did you ever notice, how the writers of Glee find an excuse to show Chord Overstreet more or less naked in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE?  Not that we’re complaining . . .

Let’s “Time Warp” back to the beginning of the episode, shall we?

School Musical = Foreplay?

Someone should really instruct the federal government to watch this week’s episode of Glee.  After all, it includes within it, the solution to ALL of the nation’s healthcare problems!  I mean, who the heck needs medicine at all, when you’ve got Uncle Jesse from Full House catering to your physical, emotional, and psychological needs?

Having already raised TWO Olsen twins, there’s nothing this guy can’t do . . .

Well, at least, this is what Will’s lunch meeting with Emma suggests.  Just a few dates with Uncle Jesse Carl, and our OCD Poster Child, now, not only no longer needs to cut the crusts off her sandwiches, or wear plastic bags on her hands in public, she also apparently enjoys “playing dress up” and watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show, amidst a filthy theater of costumed “Toast Throwers!”

Emma shows Will how to do the “Time Warp” . . . again.

This marked change in Emma inspires Will to do something daring: namely, use his students to try lure Emma back into his arms (and, hopefully, his bed).

. . . because using kids to get sex . . . well . . . THAT’s not creepy at all . . .

So, that afternoon, Will informs his Glee kids that they will be performing The Rocky Horror Picture Show for their school musical production.  The proceeds from the show will be used to break Puck out of juvie (come back, Puck, COME BACK!) fund the club’s trip to the National Glee Club Competition in New York City!

In “brilliantly creative” and “not-at-all stereotypical” casting news, Will wants Finn and Rachel to play the dorky male and female leads, Brad and Janet;

He also wants Artie to play . .  . wait for it . . . the Guy in the Wheelchair . . .

I’m shocked!

 Will also hopes that Kurt will play the Very Flamboyant and Sexually Ambiguous Villain, Dr. Frankenfurter . . .

“Flamboyant?  Moi?”

Unfortunately, Kurt is totally not down with dressing in drag (He ends up being cast as a surprisingly convincing Riff Raff.)

 And so, who offers to take the part, but . . .

MIKE CHANG? 

Woah!  Color me impressed!  It looks like Uncle Jesse Dr. Carl has not only cured Emma of OCD, he has also broke Tina’s Dancing “Hot Patootie” of a Boyfriend out of his chronic, nearly mute, Glee Club laziness . . .

I am already picturing those abs encased in a tight leather leotard . . . Mmmmm!

Oh and Puck Sam will play the Hot Brainless Robot, who everybody desperately wants to screw, Rocky “The Creature.”

If You Can Dream It, Be It, Buddy . . .

With all those “innovative casting decisions” behind him, Will hands the club permission slips, to be signed by their parents, and sends them on their way.  And with that, Will’s dastardly plans to steal Emma from Uncle Jesse, have officially been set in motion . . .

Body Conscious

“I have no idea what’s going on in this script.  And, not in a cool, Inception way,” remarks Finn, as he and Rachel run through their lines, as Brad and Janet.

“Oh come on!  The Leo character was TOTALLY dreaming!  How else would you explain his kids not aging or changing their clothes for 10 years?”

Things get even more confusing, when Rachel informs Finn that he will be performing the scene on stage in his underwear.  (This just became like every bad dream, I have ever had . . .)

“I can’t be on stage in my Tighty Whities,” squeaks Finn.

Wait . . . Finn wears Tighty Whities?  In my dreams, I always kind of pictured him as a Boxer Guy . . .

Immediately recognizing that her boyfriend suffers from “Body Issues,” Rachel comforts him by telling him that he is the “Hottest Boy in School.” 

Hottest Boy in School . . . Third Hottest Boy in Glee Club . . . same difference, right?

As Sue Sees It . . .

Honestly, I would watch my local news SO MUCH MORE OFTEN, if it contained a segment like Sue’s Corner.  These little segments never fail to make me giggle like a school girl when I watch them.  “Halloween is a time when Little Boys to dress like Little Girls; Little Girls dress like Whores; and [both] brow beat hard working American families into giving them food,” she begins.

“We’ve lost the true meaning of Halloween . . . FEAR.”

Be afraid.  Be VERY afraid . . .

Sue concludes the segment, by advising Mommies to tell their kids that Daddy is a “Brain-Eating Zombie” who just whispered to Mommy that the kids “look delicious.”

After the segment, Sue is visited in her office by two  guys that look like insurance claim adjusters, but are actually Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf. (These guys played Brad and Eddie, respectively, in the original Rocky Horror Picture Show movie).

Apparently, Bostwick and Meatloaf also head up the Local News.  They inform Sue that they are aware that her high school’s Glee club will be putting on a very controversial Rocky Horror performance at the school.  Therefore, they would like her to write a “hard-hitting” news piece on the subject . . .

And so, with a Local Emmy on her mind and evil in her heart, Sue approaches Will about helping him out with the play. 

Will responds by reluctantly asking her to play the Criminologist in the production.  How fitting!

Hot Patootie!

Sue’s “assistance” comes in handy, almost immediately.  When Mike Chang’s parents tell their child they are “so not cool” with him wearing makeup and playing a tranny in the school play, Sue commandeers Uncle Jesse to help out . . .

Yes, because having a 40-something year old leather clad man seduce teenagers on stage is not inappropriate or creepy at ALL!

A skeptical (not to mention insanely jealous) Will insists that Carl audition before getting the role.  Apparently, Dr. Carl isn’t just an expert in cleaning teeth and curing OCD, the dude can also SING AND DANCE.  Using his signature Jesse and the Rippers’ style, Dr. Carl performs a rousing interpretation of Rocky Horror’s “Hot Patootie,” (sung by Meatloaf, in the original production) while joyfully spinning his girlfriend Emma around the classroom.

“I am SO screwed!”

A very huffy Will remarks that, since Carl will be playing Dr. Frankenfurter, he should have to audition with one of his songs.   But Carl staunchly refuses to cross dress.  And so, he will play “Eddie” instead. 

But who will play Dr. Frankenfurter?

“I’ll do it Mr. Schue,” remarks Mercedes.

Recalling the “if you can dream it, be it,” line from the show, Mercedes explains that she has always wanted to play the lead in a school play, and playing Dr. Frankenfurter would give her the perfect opportunity.  YOU GO, GIRL!

In the next scene, we get to watch Mercedes perform Dr. Frankenfurter’s iconic “Sweet Transvestite” dressed in full Frankenfurter garb.  I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first of a women playing the part of a male crossdresser.  However, I must say that her interpretation of the song was pretty ingenious. 

“It’s astounding!”

The songs new “PG” lyrics, however, left a bit to be desired.  “Sin-sational Pennsylvania?”  Come ON, writers!  What exactly made it acceptable to use the word “transvestite,” but NOT the word “transsexual.” 

*sighs*  PRUDES!

Speaking of Prudes . . .

After the rehearsal, Will confronts Emma (who he has hired on as the show’s Sex Toy Costume Designer) about how wrong Carl is for the role of Eddie.  The conversation evolves into a discussion about Sam, and how uncomfortable he is in the barely-there tight gold undies he is forced to wear as Rocky.  Will’s solution.  “I can play Rocky!”

Riiiiiiiight, because a 30-something half-naked man being seduced by a bunch of half-naked teenagers is not inappropriate or creepy at all!

Emma, who’s clearly a moron agrees with Will that his playing Rocky would be an “amazing” idea!  And so, Will asks her to rehearse Rocky’s main musical number “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” with him. 

While Santana and Brittany watch excitedly from a nearby window . . .

 . . . (assuming the voyeuristic roles Magenta and Columbia had in the original show), Will and Emma begin to perform the musical number. 

Emma, for her part, gets “very” into the role of the newly sexually-awakened Janet . . .

When Emma is not ripping Will’s shirt off with her bare hands, or writhing on the desk like a Sex Kitten in Heat, she’s humping Will’s leg like a Happy Dog!  But when the song ends . . . well, that’s when the sparks really fly!

I really hope they don’t expect Rachel to do THAT!

Body Confidence, Part 2

Meanwhile Finn, still VERY concerned about his shirtless stage debut, is obsessively working out in the school gym, with Sam and Artie.  The usually confident Sam now finds himself feeling a bit insecure, having had his shirtless scene ripped away from him by, none other than his OWN teacher!  Finn wonders whether his shirtless part will be taken from him as well.

“Nah, the Brad part is all about being cool with being uncool.  It’s about having confidence in your body, regardless of what it looks like,” explains Sam.

For whatever reason, this inspires Finn to walk around school naked.

Not that we’re complaining!

Principal Figgins, of course, wants to suspend Finn from school for “making half the student body need therapy.”  However, Will convinces Figgins to let Finn off the hook.  “Your reasons for doing this play are murky at best,” notes Figgins. 

(Murky?  Nah!  Everyone knows that Getting the Teacher Laid is the true reason behind ALL high school musicals . . .)

An Abomination

Things go from bad to worse, when Carl interrupts a dress rehearsal, to call Will out for trying to steal Emma away from him. 

And things go from WORSE to . . . WORSER(?), when Finn finds the footage Sue filmed for the local news, which exposes the Glee club’s performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as an “abomination,” one which crosses the lines of human decency.

To Will’s horror, he realizes SUE IS RIGHT!

He has been using the Glee Club members as pawns in his Sick Sad Sex Games!  When Will confronts Sue, the pair engage in a surprisingly serious conversation about teens’ exposure to sexuality.  Will argues that his students are already exposed, so why not allow them to embrace it through art?  Sue replies that, as educators, they have a responsibility to protect students from those parts of life that are “Rated NC-17,” even if they can only do so within the four walls of the high school.

Then Will does something REALLY crazy.  He . . . agrees with Sue.

WOW!  This show IS scary!

Will decides to cancel the show.  Of course, this was precisely what the fame-seeking Sue didn’t want.  This leaves her screaming after Will that she “needs her local Emmy,” as he exits stage left . . . OOPS!

“Love can make you do crazy (and really creepy) things.”

Later, Will approaches Emma, and apologizes to her for having such a hot bod and making her rip his clothes off, even though she’s technically still dating the guy from Full House manipulating her emotions“You know, I only did this to get close to you.  I guess love can make you do some crazy things,” Will begins.

“I promise not to abuse our feelings for eachother anymore . . . Carl  is making you better . . . So, if I really love you, I need to back off and acknowledge that being with him, for now, is what’s best for you.”

But, is it really?  Emma didn’t look so sure, at the end of this scene . . .

Let’s Do the Time Warp AGAIN!

At the end of the episode, Will apologizes to his students, especially Sam and Finn for being a Creepy Lecher making them feel uncomfortable — and for putting on the show, for all the wrong reasons.  After all, Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t really about running around half naked and screwing everybody (well . . . actually . . . it kind of is).  It’s about outcasts coming together and rejoicing in that which makes them different!

“In that way The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the perfect show for this club,” concluded Will.

“So, why aren’t we performing it?”  Santana inquires rationally.

“We are.  We just aren’t going to perform it for an audience,” Will replies.

Well .  . . that’s kind of lame!

The last scene of the episode features the Glee Kids, in Rocky Horro- themed — but substantially less revealing — clothes, performing the show’s iconic dance number, The Time Warp.

Fun-filled, and care-free, this was probably my favorite musical number of the whole episode (Schuester’s awesome abdominal muscles in “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me,” notwithstanding). 

I just kind of wish it all  . . . you know . . . amounted to something more

While I enjoyed (despite being slighly skeeved out by) Will’s kind-of/ sort-of romantic play for Emma’s heart, I feel like it may have overshadowed the overall theme of the episode a bit.  For example, it would have been nice to have a few more scenes, during which the kids actually performed scenes from the show, even if those scenes had to be neutered to meet Fox’s newfound puritanical standards. 

(I mean, COME ON!  This was the network that brought us The O.C.,  a show where characters said and DID things that were WAY more sexually suggestive than the words “transsexual” and “heavy petting.”)

Need I say more?

On a positive note, the musical numbers this week were a lot of fun!  You can hear a taste of all of them here:

Did I mention, PUCK IS BACK NEXT WEEK?

OHHHHH YEAAHHHH!

See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YIPPEE!

BOO!

OMG!

or Ugly Cry Face . . .

 . . . your way around. 

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

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

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

A Lean Mean Lord Making Machine . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.  . . only he looks more like this.

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

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

Here were his wishes:

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

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

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

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

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

That would be a “No.”

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

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

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

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

Yes, I’m looking at YOU, Mike Chang!

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

 . . . so is Quinn . . .

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

Every time Brittany prays, she falls asleep.

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

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

Oh my LORD!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Observe and compare . . .

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

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

But then, school therapist, Emma Killjoy . . .

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

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

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

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

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

Give Me Something to Believe In

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Rachel . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hear for yourself:

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

It was SUE SYLVESTER!

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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

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

. . . uninspired fashion choices . . .

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

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

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

Others did not. 

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

1) Womanizer

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

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

2) Lucky

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

3) Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

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

4) Circus

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

5) If You Seek Amy . . .

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

6) Oops, I did it again . . .

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

7) Drive Me Crazy

Premise: See explanation above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because Crest is for weenies . . .

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

 . . . or lack thereof.

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

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

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

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

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

 . . . ended up being sorely disappointed here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sue then recounts the depraved tale of Jacob  . . .

Sorry!  Wrong one . . .

 That’s him!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I smell another Very Special Guest Star?

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

90’s television at its finest!

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Fresh Faces, Altered Alliances, Same Sue! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Premiere “Audition”

Your pals at New Directions would like to wish you a Big Ole’ “WELCOME BACK!”

Tonight’s season premiere of Glee offered us a number of things we thought would NEVER happen at McKinley High!  Artie, a Football Jock?  Finn, a Cheerleader?  Will and Sue, best buddies / Partners in Crime?  Rachel, dethroned as Queen Diva of New Directions?  WHAT THE GLEEK?

“What is the world coming to?  Oh, the HUMANITY!”

Perhaps, now would be a good time to backtrack and explain  . . .

Glee’s Big Gay Summer

According to Jacob Ben Israel’s video blog, a lot has happened to our favorite Glee kids during those warm hot summer months.  Finn and Rachel became a couple . . .

 . . . despite the fact that Finn still thinks Rachel is “control-ist.”

Tina dumped Artie . . .

. . .  because he and her just don’t share the same interests, anymore.  For example, lately, Tina has become very interested in Mike Chang’s abs .  . .

 . . . which are AWESOME, by the way!  Who knew?

I don’t know about you, but I smell another Love Triangle in our future . . .

(Speaking of abs, check out these new pics of Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester on Glee.)

Holy, PECTORALS, Batman!

Also, Puck . . .

 . . . got a VASECTOMY??????

Presumably, this means that, never again, will another unsuspecting teen be forced to carry a Little Puckerman in their belly for nine months . . .

 He can still give them crabs, though . . .

Perhaps, most importantly, whatever “esteemed status” our Glee kids may have gained last year (read: no status at all), was lost the moment New Directions failed to place at Sectionals, last year.

Without a trophy on the mantel to justify their existence as a school club, New Directions’ ever tenuous funding is now on shakier footing than ever.  It certainly doesn’t help that Principal Figgins has hired a new football coach, Ms. Beist (played by Dot Jones).

The result of this “new hire” is that the Glee Club’s already anorexic budget has been cut by an additional ten percent.  But, here’s the kicker . . . so has the budget for SUE SYLVESTER’S CHEERIOS!

Understandably, this does not make Sue a Happy Camper . . .

Sue and Will: BFF?

With the Beist breathing down their necks, and snagging a big chunk of each of their club’s cash, Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester find themselves in a rather unusual situation.  They are both  .  . . ON THE SAME SIDE!

Clearly, the Apocalypse has arrived.  In order to recover the lost budgets for their respective clubs, Sue and Will decide to team up to topple the Beist.  Their Evil Genius Plan?  Operation Mean Girls . . .

An Expert Bully, Sue knows a High School Geek when she sees one: “She’s oversized, humorless, and refers to herself in the third person, as an animal (a Panther, to be exact),” Sue says of the Beist.  Sue figures that the best way to eliminate this beastly nemesis would be to capitalize on her insecurities and permanent outsider status.  For their first order of business, Sue and Schue order 25 pizzas, to be delivered to the Boy’s Locker room, precisely, when the first football practice of the Season is about to begin . . .

All right . . . now who gets the Sausage?

To Beist’s credit, she doesn’t appear to be at all fazed by the prank.  And when the new football coach learns that, if the pizzas are not paid for, the delivery boy won’t be able to afford to buy his kid Pampers . . .

 . . . Beist gallantly pays for the entire order.  She then offers all of her football players pizza, forcing them each to eat four slices prior to football tryouts.  “The first person who pukes, is cut!”  She barks.

Well, played Beist (or should I say, Panther)!

Then, in the faculty lounge (where Guidance Counselor Emma is no where to be found, by the way) . . .

Missing in Action

 .  . . Will and Sue sit at different lunch tables, both of which are otherwise empty.  However, when Beist tries to sit at both of them, the “mature educators” instruct her that she can’t, because the seats are already taken by their “imaginary friends.”

“Everyone said that Sue was the school bully, and you were really cool,” Beist says to Will, as she exits the faculty lounge.  “I guess they got that last part wrong.”

She sure showed him, didn’t she?

Then, Sue takes things one step further, by commandeering Brittany to claim that the Beist touched her boobies.  Using a doll that looks suspiciously similar to McKinley High’s Most Scholarly Cheerio (down to the vacant expression in its eyes), Brittany demonstrates to Principal Figgins the inappropriate conduct that she purportedly suffered at the hands of the Beist.  “She touched me here,” says Brittany emotionlessly, her thin fingers poking Little Brittany’s cotton-stuffed knockers . . .

Realizing that Operation Mean Girls has gone too far, Will begs Brittany to tell the truth about her “traumatic experience.”  Almost instantly, the Blonde Cheerleader cracks under interrogation.

“OK.  I lied.  Ms. Beist didn’t touch my boobs.  In fact, I really wanted to touch her boobs,” mumbles the not-so-closeted bisexual.

Later, when Sue tries to get Beist to eat cookies made of dog poop (“They’re organic!”), Will FINALLY intervenes on Beist’s behalf.  Later, he apologizes to the female football coach.  “Losing Sectionals forced me to realize that New Directions is still an Outsider at this school, and that’s how I made you feel.  I’m sorry,” offers McKinley High’s Most Recently Redeemed Bad Boy.

Awwww, it seems our Little Schuester has FINALLY grown up!  The question is, for how long?

A Little Sunshine can go a LONG way . . .

Still smarting from their Sectionals loss, and down one Glee Club member  .  . .

(Oh, Matt, we barely knew thee . . . and never even really learned what your voice sounded like)

 .  . . New Directions is going to need some new blood, if it wants to have a shot at attending Nationals in New York City this year.  To drum up interest in the club, and to show the school they aren’t just about “80’s music and show tunes” (which, lets face it, up until this episode . . . they kind of were), our favorite Glee kids decide to put on a show for their high school classmates at lunch.  Clad in the kind of vastly overpriced NYC t-shirts you might find at an illegally operated bodega in Times Square, the crew performs a fairly stripped-down, but still quite funky, rendition of Jay Z and Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind.

And . . . basically, everybody ignores them . . .

 . . . well . . . everybody, except for THIS girl . . .

Rachel finds new foreign exchange student, Sunshine Corazone (played by Filipino pop sensation, Charise), in the ladies’ restroom.  In typical Rachel-fashion, New Directions Queen Diva immediately suggests that Sunshine join the Glee club, in a manner that is both patronizing and more than a little bit racist.  “Ah, I can see you don’t speak English,” Rachel begins sweetly.  “I . . . en-cour-age . . . you . . . to join Glee.  We need people who can stand in back of me, waving a fan, and looking on ado-ring-ly, while I sing.  Waving . . . a . .  .  flag . . . fun . . . Glee . . .  is fun.”

(Now, I am not a violent person, by nature.  But I wanted to slap Rachel so hard during this scene, that my fist very nearly detached itself from my body, and flew into the television screen . . .)

To her credit, Sunshine DIDN’T punch Rachel.  Instead, she started rocking out to her iPod, and singing along (extremely well, I might add), to the Beyonce and Lady Gaga song “Telephone.”

Impressed, and more than a bit threatened, Rachel begins to sing the song as well.  Soon, the two diminutive girls are engaged in a full on sing-off, circling one another like wrestlers at a WWF title match.

Then, Sue comes in to the bathroom, and catches wind of the whole exchange.  “SHUT UP!” She exclaims, stopping the girls’ right in the middle of their Glass Breaking Belt-fest.

You’ve gotta love Sue . . .

“That was fun!  I would love to join your club.  When are auditions?”  Sunshine inquires, with faux innocence.  (Clearly, this girl isn’t as naive as she appears .  . .)

Worried that Sunshine will upstage her during Glee Club performances will mess up the “team dynamic,” Rachel tries to convince the other Glee Club members not to allow Sunshine to audition.  And when her initial attempts at Sunshine Sabotage are unsuccessful, Rachel REALLY turns to the Dark Side . . .

“RACHEL . . . I am one of your two Gay Fathers!”

“Here are specific directions to the Glee Club auditions,” Rachel says sweetly to Sunshine, providing her with a slip of paper, that looks as though it says a hell of a lot more than, “Turn left at the girl’s bathroom, and enter the auditiorium, on your right.”

Little did Poor Sunshine know that Evil Rachel had just provided her with directions to a Crack House . . .

And if anyone would know where all the good crack houses are in Ohio, its Rachel!  After all, she practically grew up in Crack Den!

“Crack is WACK!”

When the other Glee Club members find out what Rachel did to Sunshine they are furious, particularly Tina and Mike (The Asian community is VERY tight, after all)!  And so, with her tail between her legs, Rachel must apologize to the now Partly Cloudy, Sunshine.  “They took my sheet music and used it for toilet paper,” whines Sunshine, when Rachel offers her condolences.

Ultimately, however, Sunshine agrees to audition for the Glee club, for real, this time.  On stage, she performs a rendition of Dreamgirls’ “Listen” that literally blows everybody away. 

Immediately, upon the song’s completion, Will offers Sunshine a position in the club.  Unfortunately, for Will, and the rest of New Directions, however, Sunshine has other plans.  And when Will arrives at Sunshine’s locker to personally hand her a practice schedule, he finds her being coddled by none other than THIS GUY . . .

He can “coddle” ME, anytime!

It’s the New Vocal Adrenaline Coach, Dustin Goldsberry (played by Cheyenne Jackson)!  Dustin has just waltzed into McKinley High to pick up Vocal Adrenaline’s newest star singer.  (Seriously?  Is there NO security in this high school?  I hope they have good insurance . . .) 

“They gave my mom and me a condo and a greencard,” Sunshine tells Will, excitedly. 

 (And this is all supposedly coming from a Public School?  I don’t think so, Glee Writers . . .)

Sunshine admits to Will, that she would have stayed with New Directions, had it not been for Rachel’s intimidation tactics.  “I just don’t think I could work with her, after she sent me to a Crack House” Sunshine explains, apologetically. 

With Sunshine’s Hello Kitty backpack, hugging his shoulders . . .

Bookbag of Champions

  .  . . Diego puts his arm creepily around Sunshine, and the two walk off into the Sunset (no pun intended), taking Will Schuester’s dreams of a slam dunk Sectional win, right along with them.

Apparently, Vocal Adrenaline’s new coach was tipped off to Sunshine’s incredible talents, by none other than Sue Sylvester . . .

 . . . who, if you recall, heard Sunshine sing in the bathroom, earlier in the episode.  So, much for the short-lived alliance between Sue and Will!  Perhaps, next time Mr. Schuester will think twice before turning down Poop Cookies . . .

The Downside of Big Boobs  . . .

Speaking of Sue Sylvester, apparently, she has decided to make little change to the Cheerios roster. 

Not only has she reluctantly allowed Quinn back on the squad, post-Baby Debacle . . .

. . . she has also reappointed her as Head Cheerleader, forcing Santana to give up her golden pom-poms, and relocate to the bottom of the proverbial Cheer Pyramid.

The reason for this change?  Santana’s new boobs!

Apparently, “having Massively Large Fake Tatas” and “Cheerleading” do not mix, at least, as far as Sue is concerned.

“Take your juicy vine-ripened chest fruit, and GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE!”  Sue yells at the recently dethroned Santana.

Sayonara, Suckers!

Santana responds to her demotion, by engaging in a full on catfight with Quinn, who has once again returned to her high-ponytail wearing, tiny uniform-flaunting glory.

So, much for the Glee kids being “One Big Happy Family” . . .

The Outsiders

You know who else is NEVER going to be Head Cheerleader?  THIS GUY . . .

Unfortuntely, after this episode, he might not be Quarterback, either . . .

No stranger to being on the losing end of a love triangle, himself, Finn sympathized with Artie’s desire to be “cool,” in order to win Tina back . . . as well as Artie’s desire to “have abs” . . .

Honestly, can you blame Quinn for “Pucking” this guy, over Finn?

And so, when Artie expressed a desire to join the football team, not only did Finn see an opportunity to help out a friend, he also saw a chance to utilize Artie’s wheelchair as a very unique weapon on the football field — a “human cannonball” of sorts.  (Ummm, Finn?  I’m not really sure that kind of thing is ALLOWED in high school football.  But, hey, what do I know?)

However, when Coach Beist hears Finn’s idea about letting Artie on the team, she becomes CONVINCED the idea is just another stunt of Sue’s and Will’s to make her look insensitive to physically challenged students, like Artie.  And so, “the Panther” lashes out, and THROWS FINN OFF THE FOOTBALL TEAM!

This results in Finn trying out for the Cheerios, in a hilarious audition, that reminded me a bit of that iconic scene from Napoleon Dynamite . . .

It also resulted in New Student Sam, despite his penchant for singing Poison’s “Every Rose has its Thorn” in the shower . . .

. . . and rocking out on the guitar to Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” . . .

. . .  to ditch Glee club auditions, out of fear of catching the virulent contagion that is Finn’s new “OUTSIDER” status.  Did I forget to mention that Sam is also McKinley High’s newest Quarterback?

The episode ends with a very sweet scene between Finn and Rachel . . .

. . . during which they accept one another’s faults and mutual outsider status, and agree never to dump one another at least, until someone better comes along.  After the pair share an admittedly sweet, and, surprisingly not too nauseating, kiss, a dejected Rachel heads off by herself to sing a rousing, if slightly maudlin, rendition of “What I Did For Love.” 

Admittedly, when I first heard the song, I was certain it was another Streisand ditty.  (We all know how much Rachel LOVES those!)  However, upon doing a little research, I quickly learned that the song is actually from the Broadway show “A Chorus Line.”

Shows how much I know . . .

 (Seriously, Glee?  What happened to Will’s promise of LESS show tunes?  It’s only the first episode back, and we already had two . . . just saying.)

Certain mundane song choices aside, I was quite impressed with “Audition.”  The episode offered some solid development of veteran characters, like Rachel and Finn, as well as introduced some promising new ones, like Sunshine, Sam, and Coach Beist. 

I am also excited by some of the new plotlines that were teased out during the hour, and the questions raised by those plotlines.  For example: How long will Finn and Rachel manage to keep it together as a couple, before someone ELSE — most likely, Quinn or Puck — gets in the way?  Is Finn really off the football team for good?  Is Sunshine destined to be the next Jesse St. James?  What grand gesture will Artie inevitably plan to win back Tina’s heart?

And that was this week’s installment of Glee, in a nutshell . . .

So, now that you know my thoughts on the subject, how did YOU like the Glee premiere?  Did it deserve a standing ovation?  Or did you find some of the new storylines and characters a bit “pitchy?”

[www.juliekushner.com]

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