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To Glee or Not to Glee . . . – Some Thoughts on Glee’s Season 4 and “The New Rachel”

Eventually, everybody graduates . . .

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. .  . well, almost everybody . . .

It’s a fact of life faced by every television show that centers around a high-school aged cast of characters.

I mean, sure, you can make time stand still for a little while . . . waving that magic TV Land Wand that converts three years into one REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LONG YEAR.  You could never show a summer vacation . . . put that “Prom Episode” off indefinitely . . . cover up your perpetually 17-year old male character’s increasingly receding hairline, by giving him a sudden fondness for hats.  But, just like death and taxes, it’s inevitable . . . EVERYBODY GRADUATES . . .

So, what’s a show to do?

Well, as a television producer, you have three options really.  Option 1:  You bow out gracefully . . . end on a high note, with your cast of characters triumphantly tossing their graduation caps into the air . . . play a mildly wistful Top 40 tune about memories, as you quickly run through a montage of some of your show’s best moments . . . then fade to black as your television show shuffles off to that increasingly populated High School TV Graveyard in the sky . . .

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Option 2: You attempt to tackle the Dreaded College Years . . . the ones that . . . let’s be honest . . . for most of us, were about TEN TIMES BETTER than high school, in real life, but, for whatever reason, never seem to translate all that well on the small screen.  You try to explain away haphazardly, the reasons why your school valedictorian is attending the same four-year university as the Kid Who Almost Flunked his Junior Year, because he still quite hasn’t managed to master the art of “reading,” and the One Who Spent a Good Portion of his Senior Year in jail . . .

Well, OF COURSE, he’d go to the same college as certified genius, Veronica Mars!

You introduce a few new characters . . . but not too many . . . because everyone knows that nobody ever really likes the “New Characters” in shows about “The College Years,” anyway.  And besides, in TV Land, everyone is always meant to live happily ever after with their High School Sweetheart . . . right?

Option 3: You go the “Next Generation” route.  You give a couple of your most popular characters, long lost little sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces, and nephews they never knew they had.  You bring in an almost entirely new troop of actors .  . . ones who could actually still pass for 16, even if you aren’t filming them from across a really, really long hallway.  You basically create an entirely new series . . . except it’s not actually a new series, because each of the supposedly New Characters seems almost eerily similar to one of the Old Characters, who just graduated.

Unless, you’re Glee . . . in which case, you will proudly choose Option 4  . . . All of the Above . . .

That’s right, Gleeks.  In a move that will either end up being touted as ingenious, or derailed as ridiculous, the Glee writers have (1) ended their third season, in a way that could have easily been construed as a series finale; (2) created a College Years Show-with-in-a-Show for it’s lead ingenue, and a few of her most popular pals; and (3) returned to McKinley High to tackle the “Next Generation” of New Directions .  . . complete with a Long Lost Brother from Another Mother . . .

. . . and a “New Rachel” . . .

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I’ll be honest, when I first read that this was Ryan Murphy’s vision for Glee‘s future, I thought the idea was, at best, overly ambitious, and, at worst, just plain awful.  So, color me surprised, when I watched the season premiere and found myself enjoying it more than I’ve enjoyed an episode of Glee in quite some time.

By now, if you’re like me, you’ve probably already read about 25 recaps of “The New Rachel.”  So, I’m not going to bore you with another one.  Let’s just “The Good, The Bad, the U-GLEE” it, shall we?

The Good . . .

Cassandra, Jake, Marley, Brody . . .’s abs . . .

OMG!  I like most of the new characters on Glee . . .  like really them  . . .  I may even like them better than some of the old characters on Glee . . . though, I’m not going to mention any names . . .

In a world where teachers tend to be cartoonish . . .

. . . ineffectual . . .

. . . or downright irksome  . . .

I like that Cassandra July is a brand of teacher we haven’t seen on this show before . . . BITTER, EDGY, and KIND OF HOT, in a bitter . . . edgy, Lindsay Lohan Trainwreck, kind of way . . .

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Here’s the thing . . . I’ve never really been a huge fan of Kate Hudson’s.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I think she’s a fine actress, and that she has really enviable bone structure.  I just always had trouble buying her as the Lead in a Romantic Comedy, Who Everyone is Supposed to Hope and Pray Gets the Guy in the End.  I don’t why . . . I think it has something to do with the fact that underneath those
“charming smiles,” and “witty one-liners,” she always seems SO MEAN . . .

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Enter Cassandra July . . .

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In my eyes, this is the role Kate Hudson was always meant to play.  And I just, hands down, loved her in it . . .Plus, I mean, who hasn’t wanted to pull the prissy, self-entitled, Rachel Berry down a peg or two, at least once or twice, throughout the course of this series?

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You know who else I love? MARLEY!

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I mean, sure, she doesn’t quite have Rachel Berry’s pipes, and that ridiculous cap she was wearing throughout the episode was like something straight out of a Dickens’ novel.  And yet, in a world, where every single character is LOUD, BIG, and OVER THE TOP, Marley has something truly special that you just don’t see anymore on this show . . . understated charm . . .

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Then, there’s Jake . . .

Boy, was I skeptical about him . . .

Puck’s Long Lost Brother?  The “Chip on His Shoulder?”  He “throws tantrums” . . . turns down help from the Teacher Man?  I mean, why not just paint a sign on his back that says, “I will be filling the role of Bad Boy with the Heart of Gold, thank you very much.”

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But, I don’t know . . . there’s something about this guy that I really like . . . something that screams potential . . .

Plus, I started shipping him with Marley, the minute they exchanged that WAYYY too obvious Slow-Motion-Longing-Look in the hallway, during the show’s second half hour . . .

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And then, there is Brody’s Abs . . .  Let’s just take a few moments to enjoy these, shall we?

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In addition to THESE new characters, I’m also enjoying Rachel’s and Kurt’s new journey.  For a show that’s often touted as being painfully unrealistic, I thought Rachel Berry’s homesickness, loneliness, and new-found fear of failure, coupled with the need to pretend with her old friends and family that everything was “cool,” touchingly real.

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I mean, who didn’t feel precisely like this, their first few weeks away at college?

And while Kurt’s “Glory Days,” storyline, definitely had a bit of a “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” kind of quality, who out there didn’t get teary, when Burt Hummel told his son that he could always come back home from New York, but that he knew he wouldn’t?

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Speaking of Glee moments that made my Ugly Cry tears of joy . . . this happened . . .

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The Bad . . .

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but was I the only one who wasn’t bowled over by the musical numbers from this episode?

The cover of “Call Me, Maybe” was “cute,” but a bit trite for my taste.

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I found the “Chasing Pavements” cover kind of forgettable.  And though I loved Darren Criss’ interpretation of Imagine Dragon’s “It’s Time,” the musical number itself was something we’ve seen about a million times before, on Glee . . .

Conversely, while I adored “Unique’s” performance of “Boogie Shoes,” last season, I’m still not quite sold on the character of Wade / Unique, who kind of reminds me of Every Bad Drag Queen Impersonation I’ve Seen in Every Movie Ever . . .

Kitty . . . meh?

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I think I liked her better, when her name was Regina George, or, better yet . . . Santana Lopez . . .

And though I do love me some Brody abdominal action, the character himself seemed a bit milque-toasty, and too-good-to-be-true for me, which kind of makes me hope Ryan Murphy surprises me, by giving the character a sleazy underbelly . . . but I’m suspecting he won’t . .  .

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Finally . . .

The U-Glee . . .

Slushee?  That is not a slushee . . .

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They used to at least look like slushees, back in Season 1 . . .

And while we are on the subject of icky, if I have to spend an entire season listening to Sue Sylvester make Baby Poop, and Menopausal Mommy jokes, I think I’m going to hurl.  I don’t care how cute that baby is . . . CRAP IS CRAP!

All-in-all . . . though?  I think New Glee got itself off to a great start.  Intriguing characters . . . interesting storylines . . . newly shippable couples . . . and have I mentioned Brody’s abs?

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Until next time, Gleeks!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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I LOVE YOU, MIKE CHANG! – A Recap of Glee’s “Asian F”

[ (Mildly) Important Note About the The Vampire Diaries Recap for “Disturbing Behavior”:  Hey Folks!  I suspect some of you might be scouring the home page in search of my most recent TVD recap.  All I can say is, IT’S COMING!  I was feeling a bit under the weather last night, and decided it would be best to publish a thorough recap a bit late, rather than publish a shoddy recap on time.  I promise to make it up to you, by adding plenty of extra yummy pics and GIFS into the mix! 😉  I hope you can forgive me.  The recap should be up by early this evening (probably 8 or 9ish) Eastern Standard time.  See you then, Fangbangers!]

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Would it be inappropriate for me to ask you to have my babies?  It would?  Well, could you just flash your abs at me then?

Oh, dear, sweet, Mike Chang.  You started off Season 1 as the Mysterious, Possibly Mute, Dancing Guy . . .  a guy who . . . except for during the instrumental portion of songs . . . remained largely in the background.  Then came Season 2, and our introduction to those glorious specimens of nature known as YOUR ABS.

You started dating Tina . . . and we started taking notice . . . but mostly just of your midsection.

Yes, I pasted the Abs Picture again . . . just in case you forgot what they looked like, when I pasted them two sentences ago.  You got a problem with that? 

But, now Season 3 is here . . . . Asian F has aired . . . and though it would be illegal in many states, I suspect there are many women out there, over legal drinking age, who would very much like to “Asian F” you, if  you catch my drift. 😉

So, strap on those dancing shoes, because this ode to New Directions most woefully under-appreciated club members is about to begin . . .

Finn is happy . . .

And so is his spirit animal . . .

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Be Cool, Mike Chang!

That’s right, Mike Chang!  You kick that poopyhead, Bad Influence Boyfriend!  You kick him HARD! 

Mike Chang’s dad is mad as hell.  And he’s not going to take it anymore!

“This is my mad face, which, coincidentally, is not all that different from my happy face.  Emotions are for losers . . . and people who score A minuses on their high school exams.” 

His son is on a path toward destruction!  He’s dating a vampire . . . well, at least someone who sometimes dresses like one!

Damon Salvatore finds this extremely insulting . . . 

He’s in GLEE CLUB.  And worst of all, he took a chemistry test, and received an A minus . . . an ASIAN F!  At this rate, Mike will NEVER get into Harvard!

Oh, the horror! 

Papa Chang thinks Mike might be ON DRUGS  . . . and begs Principal Figgins to force him to submit to drug tests each week.  He also wants him to . . . wait for it . . . QUIT GLEE CLUB. (NOOOOOOOOOO!)

Poor Mike!  He’s horrified of the idea of losing the part of his life, that he values most.  He promises his dad that he will do better . . . pay for a chemistry tutor, and never Asian F again (Well, at least not THAT kind of Asian F.)

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But the problem, of course, is that Mike has A LOT on his plate right now.  He’s going to Glee club practice.  He’s spending extra hours at the school helping Mr. Schue run Booty Camp.  He’s on the football team.  He’s teaching the football team to dance, as part of Coach Beiste’s requirement that they all audition for the school play.

And, perhaps, most importantly (for purposes of this episode, anyway) Mike has decided to audition for the role of Riff in the school’s production of West Side Story.  It’s a dancing part, of course.  But it’s also . . . wait for it . . . a singing part.  And we all know that singing isn’t necessarily a talent that comes naturally to Mike Chang . . .

“I’m really good at sex though.” 

Will Mike be able to juggle it all, while earning straight A’s (NOT A minuses!), AND earn the role of his dreams?  Mike decides to dance on it.  In what was my opinion, the most moving part of the episode, Mike heads alone to the dance studio rips off his shirt, to reveal a super tight, arms bearing tank top (but no abs, unfortunately), and dances his frustrations, hopes and dreams in total and complete silence.

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*insert stripper music, and lewd whistles here*

Then, he has imaginary conversations, both with his father — who values scholastic achievement above all else — and his girlfriend — who encourages his passion for dance, and the arts.  Bolstered by the power he gets from his dancing, Mike finally feels capable of unburdening himself, and telling the two people he admires most, exactly how he feels . . . Well, technically, he only does it in his mind .  . . but it’s certainly a start . .  .

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Damn straight, Tina!

And though Mike has been double booked (He is supposed to be learning chemistry right now), our hero, though a bit late, DOES, ultimately decide to audition for the role of Riff.  He does so, with one of the character’s token solos, a toe-tapping, finger-snapping number entitled “Cool,” which showcases both his trademark dance moves, and his raspy, yet surprisingly sexy, singing voice.

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“Yeah . . . I know . . . I’m awesome.  You totally want to get with this.”

Accompanying him on his audition are some pretty goofy-looking dancing football players.  (So, now we know where Mike has slacked.)

OK guys . . . you just keep doing the hokey pokey.  And I swear, nobody is going to ever find out that I never actually taught you to dance.”

But hey, nobody’s perfect . . .

After the audition, Mike returns to the comfort of the dance studio.  It is there where he encounters his mother.  Upon noticing that he had missed his appointment with his chemistry tutor, she had arrived at the school to make sure he was OK.  UH OH!  Busted!

Tired of hiding his true self, Mike finally comes clean to his mother.  He doesn’t want to be a doctor, engineer or astrophysicist, when he grows up.  Wait for it . . . Mike wants to be . . . a professional dancer.  The notion that Mike would end up coming clean to someone in his family about his true desires was not necessarily shocking or unexpected.  What WAS shocking, however, was his mother’s response.

Mike’s mother admits that she was not as courageous as her son was, and gave up her own dreams to do what was expected of her.  She does not want that for her son.  And so Mike’s mother promises to support Mike’s dreams.  “But what about Papa Chang?”  You might ask.

“When you get the part [of Riff], we will tell him together,” Mama Chang tells her son.

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“OK . . . cool, now while I have you here.  I guess it’s also time I told you that I’ve fallen in love with a TV Recapper . . .”

And just in case you weren’t already reaching for the Kleenex at this point in the scene, there’s more!  Mike asks his mother what dream SHE gave up during her childhood.  As it turns out, she too wanted to be a dancer, but never had the wherewithal to take lessons.  “Well, I’ve been told that I’m a pretty good teacher unless you are a football player,” says Mike.

Then .  . . wait for it . . . he SLOW DANCES WITH HIS MOM!

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All together now . . . AWWWWW!

“I’m not crying . . . It’s just raining on my face.” 

But Mike wasn’t the only Gleek dancing his way to  success and satisfaction this week . . .

Brittany Runs the World (well . . . at least the gym)

I’ve decided I want to be Brittany S. Pearce for Halloween this year, and use the outfit she’s wearing here as my costume .  . . Now, if only the costume came with her legs . . . 

I told you Brittany is running for class president, last week, didn’t I?  What I didn’t tell you is that she’s running a ROCKING CAMPAIGN, one based on the notion that the student council, up to this point, has been a predominately Man’s World.  And this, in her opinion is why the “economy” of the school is going down the toilet . . . I’m sorry.  I mean, the “magical poop-stealing water chair.”

Give me back my poop, B*tch! 

So, the usually daft Brittany, in a rare show of genius, plans an all-female flash mob that begins in the halls of McKinley High, and ends in the school gym.

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And you know the darn thing is a unanimous success, when you see the faculty (even Sue Sylvester!) doing their own nerdy chair-dances, as they watch her boogie down . . .

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Speaking of (slightly nerdy) teachers . . .

More Adventures in Bad Parenting (Emma Pillsbury Edition)

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Have you ever wondered why Emma Pillsbury is . . . the way she is?  You know . . . perpetually virginal, scared of her own shadow, and OCD-tastic?

Well, Will kind of wants to know too.  After all, he would eventually like to marry this girl, and maybe even (GASP) actually bone her.

(Welcome to the ONLY man in the world, who doesn’t appear the least bit freaked out by his girlfriend’s Secret Wedding Magazine stash.   And this is despite his having, pretty much, the WORST FIRST WIFE EVER!).

Two Words:  Fake . . . Pregnancy.

In furtherance of his ultimate dual goal of getting both married and laid, Will requests to be introduced to Emma’s parents.  The Schue undoubtedly knows from experience that the mere asking of this question sometimes has the result of causing marriage-intent women’s panties to immediately fly off their bodies, at warp speed.  But Emma is not one of those women.  In fact, she is SO dead set against this idea, that she lies and claims that her parents are DEAD, despite Will having HEARD her talk to them on the phone the night before.

“They are ghosts.  I have ghost parents,” Emma offers feebly.

Will is crushed.  He’s convinced that Emma doesn’t want him to meet her parents, because she’s ASHAMED OF Will, his freakish hair, odd attachment to underage girls and boys, teacher’s salary, and inability to say, “Have Mercyyyyy,” like that guy from Full House.

Remember him? 

Will turns to Beiste for help with his quandary, but she is too enamored with her MASSIVE BOWL OF CREAMY DISGUSTING PASTA to offer much in the way of advice.

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“We deliver!”

However, in between mouthfuls of mush, she does manage to tell Will that he’s dreamy, and a catch, and should INTRODUCE HIMSELF TO EMMA’S PARENTS . . .

Wait . . . WHAT?!

Oh, no Will . . . no, no no!  Just say NO!  Hasn’t being on this show for three seasons taught you that 9 out of 10 parents on Glee (and on most teen shows, for that matter) are ASSHATS and weirdos?

(Kurt’s dad and stepmom, and Mike’s mom, so far, seem to be the only exceptions to this rule.)

But Will doesn’t listen to my screams at the television.  And why should he?  He’s a MORON! He’s stubborn.

“Moi?”

So, Will invites Emma’s parents to his house on a night when he and Emma are SUPPOSED to be having a Romantic Dinner.  (Really Will?  And you think this is going to HELP you get laid?)  Emma is mortified, and pleads with Will to put an end to these shenanigans, ASAP.  So, Will asks HER, “Are you ashamed of me?”

(She’s not, Will.  BUT I AM!)

Emma then admits what most of us have probably known all along.  Emma isn’t ashamed of Will at all.  She’s ashamed of HER parents.  And here’s why:  One of them was on the show, Happy Days.  They are . . . wait for it . . . GINGER SUPREMACISTS.

Huh?

I know weird right . . . of all the strange deviant things the writers could have come up with for Emma’s parents, THIS is what they choose?  People who hate those who don’t have red hair?  SERIOUSLY?  Oh, and they are emotionally abusive too, which helps add some poignancy to the plotline but not much..

Well, they certainly LOOK evil . . .

All snarkery aside, when Emma’s mom, mocked Emma’s incessant silverware cleaning at the table, by calling her “Freaky Deaky,” and telling the rest of the table that she has a “case of the Cleanies,” you could tell just how much it tore Emma apart.  Kudos to Jayma Mays for adding some real legitimacy and depth, to what could have been a REALLY ridiculous story, with her impressive acting ability.  My heart really went out to Emma in this scene.

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And Will too, creepy as he may be, most of the time won some major points from me for standing up to Emma’s parents, calling them out on their racism, and emotionally abusive treatment of their daughter.  He also, more or less told them that Emma is a wonderful human being, OCD and all.

Later that night, Will finds Emma frantically rubbing her hands together compulsively before bed.  It is clear that Emma’s recent run-in with the parental units has made her OCD that much worse.  Will, of course, feels incredibly guilty (AS HE SHOULD!)  And though not a particularly religious man, he kneels down to pray with Emma, when she admits that doing so gives her comfort at her most out of control moments.

WILL: “Dear Lord, please allow me to have sex again, before I’m old enough to require a little blue pill to help me get it up.” 

And its a sweet, quiet scene . . . until Will starts singing Coldplay’s Fix You, which, though well intentioned, could be interpreted as a bit condescending, not to mention kind of contrary to the notion of Will loving Emma, exactly as she is.

I mean, yeah, Emma’s is clearly uncomfortable with her condition, and it prevents her from HAVING AWESOME SEX making the most of her life.  But still, in light of what just happened, wouldn’t it have been nicer for Will to sing something a bit more comforting?  I know, the Glee cast has already covered Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.”  But hey, Billy Joel sang a song with that title too!

Also, I never particularly cared for Will’s “falsetto voice.”  The songs he sings on a lower register tend to be a bit less  . . . how do I put this kindly . . . annoying.  (For example, his renditions of “Tell Me Something Good,” and “Bust a Move,” remain some of my favorite Glee singles.  His version of “Kiss” by Prince . . . not so much.)  Other than that . . . um . . .  GREAT SONG!

Meanwhile, back at school .  . .

Divas Never Win (And Winners Never Diva)

“Remember when I used to be the most well-liked girl in Glee club . . . That was nice while it lasted.” 

Mercedes new Bad Influence Boyfriend, Shane, has been Lady Macbeth-ing her to shun all her friends, in pursuit of the role of Maria in West Side Story.  He puffs up Mercedes head with a lot of hot air, by telling her that the Glee club doesn’t appreciate her talents.

I couldn’t help but notice that both Mercedes and Bad Influence Boyfriend are eating tater tots in this scene.  Ahhh . . . memories. 

And that she is more like the part Beyonce played in Dreamgirls, even though she thinks of herself as the part Jennifer Hudson played.  (Umm . . . Shane . . . wait . . . wasn’t Jennifer Hudson the STAR of Dreamgirls?  Didn’t she WIN AN OSCAR FOR IT?  And wasn’t her character supposed to be . . . THE BEST SINGER IN THE GROUP?)

I mean, I get it . . . Effie in dreamgirls was a character whose talent her producers and bandmates didn’t appreciate, due to her weight . . . but still, BAD ANALOGY SHANE!  Oh, and maybe I’m stereotyping here.  But somehow I have difficulty envisioning this big burly football player going all gaga over the musical version of a chick flick . . . Just sayin’

Anywhoo, Mercedes has been a bit under the weather lately.  She is nauseous, weak, fatigued, and sore.  (Thank the lord, Amber Riley confirmed that her character is not preggars, because I REALLY can’t handle another BABY TALE!)  And because of this, she’s been a bit lax in her Glee practice and booty camp attendance.

So, of course, the increasingly screechy Will is quick to call her out on this fact at Booty Camp.  (Why is Will telling off his students becoming a weekly event on this show?)  If Mercedes expects to get support from her fellow Gleeks for her plight, she is sorely mistaken.  The recently returned to New Directions’ Santana (Mr. Schue’s candidate for screeching in Episode 1), is quick to call Mercedes out on her “laziness,” and poor eating habits.

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(Read Santana’s lips in this GIF.   Doesn’t it kind of look like she’s telling Mercedes to f*&k off?)

Tired of being (what she considers) picked on by her friends and supposed mentor, and bolstered by Bad Influence Boyfriend, Mercedes chooses to sing the soulful song “Spotlight” for her Maria audition.

Her performance impresses all of the casting directors (Beiste, Emma and Artie) greatly.  And so Mercedes begins to believe she may have a shot at being the Beyonce character in Dreamgirls, after all!

Torn between casting Rachel or Mercedes in the role of Maria, the casting directors decide to hold . . . you guessed it  .  .  . a diva off to see which “Maria” is best for the part.

SURPRISE!

Feeling like she is destined to end up in the shadow of Rachel’s spotlight, once again, Mercedes acts out in Booty Camp class, when Will berates her for not being able to successfully perform the “Widowmaker” dance move.    She accuses Will of playing favorites with Rachel, at the rest of the club’s expense.

Will is so outraged by this accusation that he offers Mercedes an ultimatum: “Shape up, or you are out of the Glee club for good.”

These harsh words inspire Mercedes to have . . . you guessed it .  . . a Dreamgirls’ Dream Sequence, with Mercedes in the role of Effie, and the rest of the Glee Club members (sans Rachel), as .  . . well . . . slightly meaner and more flashily dressed versions of themselves, I guess.  The Dream Sequence — which is based on the scene in the movie, where Effie is kicked out of the Dreamgirls for her purportedly bad behavior, when, unbeknownst to everyone else in the group, she is only acting that way because she is pregnant — pretty much features the entire cast telling Mercedes off and ditching her ass to the tune of Dreamgirls‘ “It’s All Over.”

On the day of the Diva Off, a nervous Mercedes and Rachel stand at opposite ends of the stage, with their respective boyfriends waiting in the wings to offer them support.  The song they both sing is “Out Here on My Own,” from Fame.  And though the song is not necessarily my favorite, and sounds a bit too much like the recently performed “Spotlight,” for my taste, both contenders do an admirable job performing it, with Mercedes edging out Rachel ever-so-slightly, during the parts of the song that require belting.

“I am quite the belter . . .” 

(In a way, this song was custom-made for Mercedes’ deep sultry voice, and enviably powerful pipes, thereby putting the softer, sweeter-voiced Rachel at a distinct disadvantage.)

Sorry!  That’s just how I feel. 

Rachel comes out of the audition,  certain that she has lost the role to Mercedes.  Fearing that not having the lead in the school play will make getting into that fancy New York performing arts school she covets, near impossible, Rachel impulsively vies for another after school activity to put on her resume . . . coincidentally . . . or  not-so-coincidentally . . . it’s the same after-school activity for which Kurt is campaigning (who has recently graciously accepted his boyfriend’s decision to try out for the lead in the play as well, and is even surprisingly supportive of his decision).

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“Don’t worry.  I promise it’s not a gun.” 

Kurt is crushed that his bestie would betray him in this way Not to mention surprised.  I mean, don’t you have to be POPULAR to win class president.  Most of the school HATES Rachel!.   And he is not exactly shy about telling her exactly how she feels, ” —-”  Even Finn, who, himself is no stranger to selfish behavior, seems appalled by Rachel’s lack of sensitivity.   He doesn’t even know if he’s going to vote for her!  (And now she’s probably only going to get one vote . . . her own.)

Oops!

When it comes time to choose who gets to play Maria, the show’s casting directors (lamely) decide to cast BOTH women in the role, each person gets the part for a week.  Though frustrating from a plot perspective, it seems like a fair deal for both girls, and Rachel, for her part, accepts the offer fairly readily.   But NOT MERCEDES!  Recognizing that she probably had the better audition (a point about which Rachel doesn’t necessarily disagree), Mercedes becomes convinced that the directors cast both girls, in order to protect Rachel’s feelings.

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And so she THROWS A TEMPER TANTRUM, and quits the show ALTOGETHER .  . .

. . . thereby giving Rachel the part by default.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!  Or maybe not . . . toward the end of the episode, Mercedes approaches the director of the virtually singer-less (save the tone deaf, Sugar Motta) SECOND school Glee club, Shelby Corcoran, of being admitted into HER club, where, by default she will undoubtedly become it’s version of Rachel Berry.

The power-hungry Rachel then decides to continue to run for class president ANYWAY, despite the fact that she now has FULL reigns to the lead in the School Play, and a solid chance of getting into the ollege of her dreams, while her “friend” Kurt is still struggling to find HIS ticket to admission.  (Yeah . . . she’s kind of a b*tch . . .)

“Ooh!  You’re so BAD!” 

And the part goes to . . .

In the final moments of the episode, we FINALLY get to see who got the parts in the West Side Story  musical.   And though, the results are not all that surprising (After all, for the most part, the only people we saw rehearse all got the parts for which they rehearsed), it was still uplifting to see the looks on those Gleeks faces when they learned their school play dreams had come true . . .

I loved seeing Kurt sweetly hug Blaine, upon seeing that he was rewarded the lead role of Tony.  (Kurt ended up landing the part of Officer Krupke . . .  not bad!)

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And Santana’s adorable little understated (but obviously thrilled) smile, upon seeing that she got the part of Anita, was countered with a HUGE EMBRACE by an ecstatic Brittany.  (Have I mentioned yet today how much I ADORE these two.)

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Mike Chang’s winning the role of Riff brought tears to my eyes for about the third time, during the hour.

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And Rachel’s win of the part of Maria, though bittersweet, was not entirely unexpected, or unwanted.

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(Remember when Blaine and Rachel drunk kissed last season, during the “Blame it On the Alcohol,” episode?  Oh yeah!  We are going to get some more of that!)

So, that was Glee, in a nutshell.  I must say, I share many Gleeks admiration for this touching, and well-acted episode, which I feel truly harkened back to the show’s Season 1, heydey.  Mercedes, Will, and Rachel kind of pissed me off, though . . .

“Et tu Recapper?”

Tune in next MONTH, when Quinn makes a play for Baby Beth, Puck makes a play for Shelby . . .

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 . . . and Mercedes and Santana shoot for ALTERNA-GLEE CLUB super-stardom.  You can check out the trailer for the next episode, which is entitled “Pot O’Gold,” here:

So, my Gleekies, what did you think of “Asian F?”  Was it all you hoped for in a Glee episode and more?  Or did you find it to be a bit overhyped?  Are you as much in love with Mike Chang  (and his abs) as I am?  Do you think Mercedes is a bigger diva than Rachel?  And, perhaps least importantly, which Glee kid do you think Mr. Schue is going to freak out on in Episode 4?

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Feel free to sound off in the comment section below.  And please,  take your time . . . we have a loooong hiatus ahead of us . . .

[www.juliekushner.com] [Fangirls Forever]

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Show Me Your Horn, Baby! – A Recap of Glee’s “I Am Unicorn”

“Now, Brittany, I understand that sex sells.   But don’t you think that using a picture of me with a giant stick coming out of my head is a bit  . . . um . . . horn-y, for a high school campaign?” 

Greetings Gleeks!  This week’s episode was all about embracing who you are, and being yourself unless you are a goth-looking skank, or a bad-dancing mechanic, then this episode was about being someone more socially acceptable.  Though admittedly light on musical numbers (there were only three, and all of them were show tunes), “I Am Unicorn,” was filled with a ton of heart, a sh*tload of unicorns, and some REALLY, REALLY big horns . . .


“It’s not the size of your horn, but where you stick it how you use it that really matters.”

Let’s review, shall we?

Because I’ve Always Personally Been Curious About the Bathroom Habits of Mythical Creatures

 

It starts off just like any other morning at McKinley High.  Kurt is primping and prepping in front of his locker, and making googly eyes at the wallet-sized snapshot of Blaine that hangs therein, when Brittany arrives.  Brittany has great news.  Apparently, Kurt is the Biggest Unicorn in the entire SCHOOL!

What is a unicorn, you ask?  Well, according to Brittany, a unicorn is a horse who got a horn for doing a good deed.  Then, he poops out cotton candy, until his horn falls off, and becomes a zebra.  Wait . . . what?  Did I really just type that?

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Apparently, I did . . . 

As bizarre as this all sounds, in Brittany’s Little World, being told that you poop cotton candy is a compliment of the highest order!  Brittany is so impressed with Kurt’s individuality and ability to survive insurmountable odds, that she wishes to become his campaign manager for Student Council President.  Brittany believes that her popularity, coupled with the fact that she is kind of slutty, can help the Mythical Creature Kurt to win a ton of votes.

And so, she invites herself over to his house to go over poster ideas.  A skeptical Kurt asks Brittany why SHE didn’t want to run for Student Council herself.  To this, she responds that she’s not smart enough.

This made me sad . . . (almost sad enough to poop cotton candy).

Fortunately, I manage to restrain myself (and took some Immodium) for the sake of continuing this recap.

After school, Brittany heads over to Kurts house, to show him his new campaign posters.  And they are, pretty much, the most awesome campaign posters I have EVER SEEN!  And yet, one can’t help but notice that they have a bit of a “theme” to them . . .

Kurt, who is currently clad in his tight green henley shirt, and sailor’s cap, is just appalled by how “GAY” the posters are.  He says that he’d prefer a more neutral campaign poster, like THIS one . . .

Ummm . .  . Kurt?  I hate to break it to you, but your poster doesn’t exactly scream “I like to bang chicks,” either.  It also says “winning” on it, a word that has been forever ruined by Charlie Sheen . . . just sayin’. 

And besides Kurt, Brittany’s campaign strategy is AMAZING.  It involves giving everybody at school Big Pink Sparkly Glitter Bags with minature versions of Tinky Winky in them.  And who doesn’t love Tinky Winky?

Now THAT’S a teletubby who knows how to accessorize!

When Brittany (with Santana’s help) begins the process of putting her posters up all around school, Kurt freaks out and starts ripping them down (more on why later).  His ungrateful reaction stuns and deeply hurts Brittany, who now believes she has failed her precious unicorn.  That is until Santana comes to the rescue, with her surprisingly sweet, and heartfelt, pep talk.  (How adorable are these two?)

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Santana tells Brittany that her campaign is brilliant . . . that there is no one like her . . and that she IS the unicorn.


And what’s great about the speech, is that it’s so NOT the typical type of thing the usually-caustic Santana would say. But Brittany brings out a sort of protective, and almost maternal, kindness in Santana that few other people get the chance to see.

Plus, she’s right.  Those posters rock! And Kurt rose to the top of my Poopy List for denigrating them . . .


Take THAT
Hummel!

Speaking of maternal influences . . .

Two Glee Clubs (for the price of one), One Baby (for the price of hair dye)

“Awww . . . see that little piece of hair sticking up on the side?  That’s Baby’s first Mohawk!”

Did anyone else find it fishy that Shelby Corcoran, Vocal Adrenaline’s first coach, arrived at McKinley High to run a second Glee Club it doesn’t need, right around the time that Dustin Ghoulsby, Vocal Adrenaline’s second coach (a.k.a. the HOT one) . . .

 . . . was purportedly fired from his position, leaving New Direction’s main rival without a supervisor?  Here’s hoping this isn’t another one of those annoying Vocal Adrenaline SPY plotlines.  After all, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has happened . . .

 . . . or the second, for that matter . . .

Anywhoo, just as many of us suspected, tone deaf, self-diagnosed Asperger’s sufferer, Sugar Motta, didn’t take being rejected by the New Directions lying down.  Instead, she had her daddy pay for the school to start a WHOLE NEW Glee club, one where she will be the star.

“And we shall call our selves ‘Mr. Motta’s Strangled Cats,’ because our unique sound will be similar to that of animals dying.’

Nevermind the fact that NOBODY at McKinley High, save for the people ALREADY IN GLEE CLUB, have any interest in show choir (in fact, most of them HATE show choir . . . and want to throw slushees at it).  Also, nevermind the fact that McKinley High never seems to have any money for the after-school clubs it ALREADY has . . .

In Shelby’s defense, she doesn’t seem particularly interested in coaching show choir, at all.  She’d much rather spend her time flirting with Mr. Schue, apologizing for abandoning singing more random duets with her Bio Daughter, Rachel, and taunting Puck and Quinn with the baby they gave up for adoption this past year.

Nothing says, I’m sorry I crippled you with self-doubt, Daughter, by skipping town, right when we were starting to get close, like dramatically holding hands, during a musical number . . .

While I’m still not buying Shelby as being a warm and / or maternal individual, she IS a good musical coach.  And her advice to Rachel that she should sing West Side Story’s “Somewhere,” during her audition for the aforementioned play, as opposed to the well-worn, and, obnoxiously conceited (not to mention, Rachel already sang it in another episode) “I Feel Pretty,” was solid.  I also feel like this duet was WAY more story- appropriate, and pleasing to the ears, than that admittedly bizarre duet that the mother/daughter duo did to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” during Shelby’s last appearance on the show . . .

You can listen to “Somewhere” in its entirety, by clicking below . . .

After possibly saving her biological daughter from a lifetime of therapy, Shelby schedules a visit with Puck and the now-skankified Quinn to discuss their possibly becoming a part of THEIR biological daughter’s life.

“Just because I now look like Frenchie from Grease, and have a ridiculous Minnie Mouse bow in my head, doesn’t mean you should keep me from seeing my child.” 

Shelby gives Puck and Quinn an ultimatum.  They can be part of their daughter’s life, provided they agree to look like they came out of a J Crew catalogue at all times.  (I know, I know, that wasn’t she said.  But I’m trying to prove a point here.)

Those of you who have read my Glee-caps before probably know that I’ve been SERIOUSLY missing my darling Puck-ster, ever since the odious Lauren Zizes hijacked his personality (and his balls), last season.

No comment. 

So, the fact that I was treated to a deliciously poignant Puck-centric scene this week, really did mean a lot to me.

Puck visits Shelby at her own home, so that his in-person pleas to be able to see his daughter Beth cannot be ignored.  “I’ll do anything to prove to you that I can be her life.  Please, just give me a chance,” Puck exclaims earnestly.  He even comes bearing some surprisingly impressive (It’s better than I can do, anyway) artwork for the child . . .

Who doesn’t love a good Clown Pig? 

Eventually, Puck’s surprising politeness, and adorableness crack Shelby’s hard facade.  She eventually lets Puck hold (and spend some quality time) with his daughter, with whom anyone could tell he is already enamored . . .

Now, Baby’s got a REAL Mohawk! 

As for Quinn, she’s busy helping the Skanks stuff small girls’ heads in toilets, so they can steal their lunch money  .  . .

Fun! 

New Congressional Hopeful, Sue, immediately recognizes Quinn’s estrangement from . . . well . .  . everything and everybody.  And so, she decides to explot her, in order to undermine Glee club, as per usual bolster her Congressional campaignSue asks Quinn to star in her “The Arts Ate My Life” campaign promo.  And Quinn agrees, provided Sue puts couches under the bleachers, so that Quinn doesn’t have to strain her now emphyzema-filled ASS, while she’s busy trying to “be bad.”

“Doesn’t wearing a hat like that make your head sweat?”

No longer content to just shame Mr. Schue’s program, Sue has to go and humiliate Mr. Schue himself, by having Quinn confront him about how “Glee club ruined her life,” on video . . .

Though Sue’s manipulation of the situation is not particularly surprising, Mr. Schue’s reaction to the event definitely is . . .  He proceeds to scream right back in Quinn’s face, dishing her out some incredibly tough love about how she is basically a spoiled brat, who perpetually plays the Victim Card, whenever things don’t go her way.

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SING IT, Sista!

He also claims that she has no one to blame but herself for her own misfortune.  (Well . . . in Quinn’s defense, that’s not entirely true.  Quinn’s teenage pregnancy was also Puck’s fault . . .at least a little bit. After all, eggs alone do not a baby make, right?)

They do make for a mean omlette though . . .

The harsh speech definitely has its intended effect on Quinn, who runs out of the room in tears, declining to complete the promotional spot.  However, a real change in the character doesn’t occur until SHE, like Puck before her, visits Shelby in her classroom, to talk about the possibility of HER seeing Beth . . .

*sniffle, sniffle* “I’ve just got all these FEELINGS!” 

 Shelby is mildly sympathetic to her plight (after all, she apparently, also had a nervous breakdown and shaved her head after giving up Rachel).  “Stop punishing yourself for things you did when you were a child . . . er  . . . I mean . . last year . . . says Shelby, sympathetically.  However, the former Vocal Adrenaline coach is still not prepared to waver on this issue:  “No Pink Hair Bleachy Back to Blondie = No Baby.”

The next day, at Mr. Schue’s Mandatory Booty Dance Camp for Horrible Glee Club Dancers, (Hello Finn and Kurt) . . .

 . . . Mr. Schue has just completed teaching Finn the complex wonders of the box step, when Quinn enters the room.  Once again, she is clad in her “pure” white dress, and boring blonde hair, a.k.a. back to being the Stepford Wife everybody always wanted her to be . . .


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Quinn asks to be accepted back in Glee club.  And Mr. Schue, (who really was kind of an asshat to her anyway) “graciously” accepts.  Puck is in Bad Dancing Class too.  And he is looking at Quinn with stars in his eyes, thrilled that, he can once again begin boning someone, who isn’t as awful as Lauren Zizes . . . while wearing condoms, of course that the two of them will now be able to see their baby and become a part of her life . . . together.

BUT WAIT!  There’s a twist!

Apparently, Quinn’s meteoric “Return to Normalcy” (it took less than two episodes, after all . . . which is kind of disappointing, I must say) is not entirely for the reasons everybody thinks.  With a maniacal laugh, and bleached mustache twirl, a disturbingly determined Quinn reveals ot a horrified Puck that she is going to do whatever it takes to get full custody of Beth, even if it means having to give up her pre-existing spot in “Jem and the Holograms.” pretending that she’s NOT having a nervous breakdown . . ., which she most definitely is . . .

“Is this the part where your head starts spinning around and spewing out green stuff?” 

Meanwhile, elsewhere on campus . . .

The Perfect Camille (but not the perfect Tony)

“So, guys, how about that Packers game, last night?  That final play was really something, wasn’t it?  Did you notice how cute his butt looked in . . . oops .  . . I did it again, didn’t I?” 

McKinley High’s production of West Side Story will be produced by Emma Pillsbury, Coach Beiste (who eats an entire chicken at EVERY MEAL), Artie Abrams, and NOT MR. SCHUE .  . .

 . . . because he has to focus on winning Nationals . . .

Auditioning for roles in the play will be Kurt (of course), Mr. I-Have-Magically-Become-a-Junior-Even-Though-I-Started-The-Show-Older-Than-Kurt Blaine, and NOT FINN . . .

. . .  because he will be busy trying to become a less sucky dancer . . .

“You put your right foot in.  You put your right foot out.  You put your right foot in, and you shake it all about.  You do the Hokey Pokey . . .”

 . . . and working at Burt Hummel’s car shop as a mechanic . . . which Rachel Berry is trying not to judge him for . . . but she TOTALLY is judging him . . . only because she thinks he is “better than that” and, therefore, should follow her around like a puppy dog in New York for the rest of his life, as she pursues her dream to become the next Barbara Streisand.

RACHEL: “If I have to hit you with this big stick thingy to get you to listen to reason, I will.”

FINN: “It’s called a tire iron.”

RACHEL: “Whatever, my on-staff chauffeur will be servicing my cars, when I grow up . . .” 

Kurt, for some reason, thinks that the perfect audition song for the role of a macho former-gang member / alpha male named Tony is a Barbara Streisand song, in which he calls himself the “perfect Camille,” prances around the stage in short pants, and flips around some monkey bar contraption like a female gymnast . . .

The song he performs is called, “The Greatest Star,” and you can watch his audition, in its entirety, here:

But then Kurt overhears the show’s directors and producers discussing how Kurt might not appear manly enough to play Tony.  So, he decides to remedy their opinion by GETTING INTO TIGHTS, AND ROLLING AROUND ON A MATTRESS WITH RACHEL BERRY, WHILE SPOUTING SHAKESPEARE MONOLOGUES ABOUT BIRDS?

The results of his second impromptu audition are unsatisfying to say the least.  (But, HILARIOUS!)

It’s Kurt’s devastating realization that he will never get to star in an action movie, or play the romantic lead in a movie about a pro wrestler . . . or a football player . . . or any male character that would feel out of place wearing a pink ascot, that makes him freak out on poor Brittany for pasting those Big Gay Posters, featuring a very horn-y Kurt throughout school . . .

That is, until, he has a talk with his Trusty Old Dad . . .

“Cue the Full House music son.   It’s time for the lesson of the day.” 

Burt tells Kurt, “SURPRISE!  You’re GAY!”

 

“Like . . . really gay  . . . like singing like Diana Ross and owning a Chocolate Factory, gay.”

“Excuse me, Burt.  Did you just call me, Willy Wonka, gay?  I’m NOT gay.  I just really like children and candy . . .  I might be a pedophile, though . . .”

Burt tells Kurt that, if he wants to be a star, he is going to have to chart his own career path, and create his own roles.  And to do this, he must embrace his Big Gay Unicorny self.  So, Kurt decides to do just that.

But it’s too late, because Brittany has already decided (thanks to Santana) that SHE’S a unicorn too.  And she’s going to run for Student Council President against Kurt.

 (And it seems pretty obvious that, mentally challenged or not, she’s TOTALLY going to kick his ass, so . . .)

But that’s OK!  Because, Kurt might still get the role of Tony.  After all,  there’s no one really talented enough to take the role in his place . . .

Well . . . there’s Blaine, but he wouldn’t audition for Tony.  After all, he’s a JUNIOR right?  And a junior wouldn’t want to step on a senior’s toes right?  RIGHT?

OK . . . OK . . . so Blaine’s rendition of “Something’s Coming,” a song that Tony (not someone named Camille) ACTUALLY sings in West Side Story, was pretty darn amazing.  And Blaine’s a pretty manly looking (and acting) guy . . .

 . . . well . . . at least when he wants to be!

But that doesn’t mean the producers are going to GIVE him the role of Tony over Kurt, does it?

Yeah, sorry Kurt!  You’re totally screwed . . .

Until next time, Gleeks!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Mistaking Nipples for Pepperoni (and Tattoos for Irony) – A Recap of Glee’s Season 3 Premiere “The Purple Piano Project”

Blaine is THRILLED that Season 3 of Glee has begun.  Mr. Schue is just excited that he and Blaine own the same sweater vest . . . 

Welcome back, Gleeks!  Well, the summer is over.  And that means school is back in session.

But hey!  School’s not ALL bad!  After all, it’s senior year for most of our McKinley High students.  And senior year is AWESOME!

I mean, think about it . . . that’s when you decide where you’re going to college  . . . and what you want to be when you grow up . . . and if you should bang your boyfriend on prom night, and whether you should dye your hair pink, and get an ironic tattoo of Ryan Seacrest on your ASS . . . wait . . . WHAT?

Between Ripper Stefan on TVD last week, and Bad Quinn on Glee this week, this is quickly shaping up to be Evil Alter Ego Month on prime time television.  What’s next, a Homicidal Blair on Gossip Girl?


But Quinn isn’t the only Glee kid making MAJOR changes this year.  In fact, the entire hour was chock full of breakups, makeouts, oustings, school transfers, political manuevers, fire-starters, glitter bombings, food fights, and, of course, a whole LOTTA show tunes, courtesy of our favorite McKinley High School students . . .

So, tighten up your bow tie, tune up your purple piano, and get ready to dance on the lunch tables, because it’s time for another Glee-cap . . .

He’s BAAAAAAAACK!

If Carrot Top and Woody Allen ever procreated, this is probably what their kid would look like . . . 

In what has become a highly efficient, if slightly lazy, plot device, this season begins, just as last season did, with Jacob Ben Israel “video blogging” about how the entire cast spent its hiatus.  For example, Mercedes dumped Sam because the actor who played him left the show and started dating THIS GUY . . .

“Knock . . . knock.  Hey Sam, are you in there?  It’s me, Mercedes!”

By the way, does anyone else find it funny that all these so-called “outcast” Glee kids, all seem to either be on the football team, or cheerleading squad, or dating someone who’s a cheerleader or football player?  Just wondering . . .

But wait . . . I have even better news.  LAUREN AND PUCK, FINALLY BROKE UP!

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Apparently, it had something to do with Lauren wanting to be more “popular,” and thinking that Puck and the Glee club were somehow, bringing her down  .  . .

In other news, Puck’s balls have returned to the show, as returning cast members . . .  And we all know what THAT means . . .

Now, if we could just get someone to help them change back to their original color.  Any volunteers?

We also learned that Tina and Artie are the only juniors left in Glee club, which actually doesn’t really tell us anything about how they spent the summer, or what they are doing with their lives.  However, apparently, it was something the writers wanted us to know . . . you know . . . to prepare us for next year . . . WHEN THE ENTIRE CAST IS GONE!

Dear Glee Writers,

YOU’RE MEAN!

Hugs and Kisses,

Rachel Berry 

Santana aspires to be the next pre-psychotic breakdown Paula Abdul, until Jacob informs her that Paula isn’t technically a “Latina,” like Santana once thought   . . .

In other news, the cat from that old “Opposites Attract” video?   TOTALLY Latino!

As for besties, Mercedes Rachel and Kurt, the uber dramatic pair aspire to become the next Will and Grace (1) move to Manhattan together, (2) attend a performing arts college in the city, (3) achieve moderate success as broadway stars, and (4) get married by 30, but, obviously, not to one another.  (I smell a Glee reunion special!)

“Shhh . . . this segment of the show is really a campaign for Kurt and I to get our own spinoff show.  Don’t tell anyone.”

Speaking of Rachel, her milquetoasty boyfriend Finn has NO plans for the future, beyond not getting slusheed on his first day back from school . .  .

Way to shoot for the stars, Finn! 

Ohhh . . . nevermind!

Watch Out, Ladies!  This is what becoming impregnated by Puck can do to YOU  . . .

Meanwhile, somewhere underneath the bleachers, where, coincidentally, is where the cast of Freaks and Geeks used to hang out, a newly pink haired, nose-ringed, Seacrest tatttooed, Quinn Febray is hanging out with a clique of girls known as The Skanks.


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But Quinn’s appearance isn’t the only thing about her that’s changed this past summer.  She’s also started dating middle-aged skateboarders, has quit BOTH the Cheerios and Glee club, and suddenly, talks like she’s swallowed a phone sex operator . . . weird.

“You sound hot, Evil Quinn, what are you wearing?” 

I have to say, of all the storylines introduced in this episode of Glee, Bad Quinn’s is the one about which I’m most intrigued.  After all, when you think about it, Quinn’s rebellion against the status quo has been a LONG TIME coming.  I mean, here was a girl who feared that high school would be her Glory Days . . . that she would graduate McKinley High a popular pretty cheerleading prom queen, only to find herself trapped for the rest of her existence in the dull, and unfulfilling, lifestyle of a barefoot and pregnant Lima, Ohio housewife.

And then she got pregnant, and had to give the baby up for adoption . . .

 . . .  and then her boyfriend dumped her for the dork next door . . . and then she lost the title of Prom Queen to a BOY.

Here was a girl who’s only hope was that, even if she wasn’t meant to get out of her hometown, at least let her high school experience be perfect.  And then, she couldn’t even achieve THAT!  Given all that she’s lost in the past couple of years, is it any wonder that Quinn is rebelling now?

Staunchly on Team Return Quinn to Glee club and the Cheerios, are her fellow Unholy Trinity members, Brittany and Santana . .  .


This sapphic duo attempt to convince Quinn to return to the Bright and Perky Side,  by reminding her of the Good Old Days, back when the three of them were all simultaneously f*&king Puck . . .

Talk about Glory Days . . . 

However, since Quinn TOTALLY still has the option of continuing to f*&k Puck, even without returning to those pesky extracurricular activities of yesteryear (He is single again, after all!), this strategy proves ineffective.  Next up is Rachel, who offers Quinn a more heartfelt plea to return to the World of Glee .  . .

“You’ll probably get more screentime, if you come back!” 

Rachel seems immediately to recognize Quinn’s rebellion for what it truly is, a sign of SERIOUS depression.  (I mean, if getting a picture of RYAN SEACREST tattooed on your ass isn’t a cry for help, I don’t know what is!)

Hey, I resemble that remark! 

For someone who’s typically so completely self-absorbed,  Rachel Berry sure can be awfully intuitive, sometimes.  We see this here, when Rachel tells Quinn she is sorry that the latter is so sad.  And despite the fact that the pair have been rivals for most of the series, Rachel’s admission that she misses seeing Quinn at practice, and hopes that this will be the year the two of them can “do it right,” genuinely seems heartfelt.  In fact, Quinn even seems to consider Rachel’s offer for a few extra moments, before returning to her Army of Skanks . . . and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Wannabe Wardrobe . .  .

Speaking of filling those increasingly empty show choir room chairs . . .

We Got Beaten Up The Beat!

Hey Artie . . . I don’t want to be the one to have to tell you this, but you have spaghetti ALL OVER YOUR HEAD! 

Sometimes, I think Will Schuester is the most passive aggressively abusive teacher on the planet.

If the purple piano fits . . .

I mean, sure, the idea to have Glee club members break into song whenever they saw a purple piano (kind of like Pavlov’s Singing Dogs), was a clever one, in terms of advertising the club and drumming up possible new recruits.  But, REALLY, if you KNOW the entire school hates the Glee club, and tends to THROW FOOD at them, even in the most benign of circumstances, what on Earth would make you think it was a GOOD idea to have the entire club perform in the SCHOOL LUNCH ROOM?

I don’t know.  Perhaps, the fact that Will has spent the ENTIRE SUMMER sleeping next to Emma, and she STILL hasn’t given him sex, has caused him to want to provide EVERYONE ELSE just as much pain as his blue balls experience, EVERY SINGLE DAY . . .

But still . . . that DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT!

Then again, part of the fault HAS to lie with Rachel, who (1) convinced the group to perform in the first place; and (2) selected “We Got the Beat” by the GoGo’s as their musical number — a song high school kids might have genuinely enjoyed . . . back in 1982.

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And though the choice of song was decidedly MEH, and the student body seemed to be a combination of confused and annoyed, by the fact that the Glee kids were interrupting their meal time to sing it, you have to hand it to New Directions for their Mad Dancing Skillz . . .

*fans self* 

 . . .  infectiously bubbly energy, and their uncanny ability to magically produce a backup band, whenever the need arises.

“Woah!  How did we get here?  Do we even go to this school?” 

Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself . . .

Of course, WAY MORE ENJOYABLE than the actual music number, was the food fight that erupted afterward . . .

Particularly, THIS part . . . (Man, did I get an insane amount of joy out of watching THIS . . .)

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Does that make me a bad person?  Maybe not.  But THIS definitely does . . .

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Oh Sugar!

I mentioned that the Glee club was hoping that their lunchtime performance would drum up some new potential members.  And it did.  The problem of course, was that the ONE prospective Gleek it did entice sounded like THIS . . .

 “W . . . T . . . F?”

Now, a bad new recruit like Sugar would have been a FINE addition to Glee club, back when they were just starting out . . . And back when they weren’t under a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure to return to and win Nationals, following what Kurt lovingly refers to as “The Kiss that Missed.”

But now Schue is torn between being a GOOD teacher, and a GOOD competitor.  Since he was never much of the former, he ultimately chooses the latter, thanks to a rousing speech from Coach Beiste about Crushing Kid’s Dreams in Order to Win . .  . and Stuff . . .

“For  what it’s worth, I’d still very much like to have sex with you.” 

Sugar, who thinks she worked the song “like a Stripper Pole,” not surprisingly, is shocked and crushed by the clubs rejection of her.  Something tells me she won’t be staying away for long . . .

Since we are on the subject of people who WON’T GO AWAY  can’t stay away from the Glee club . . .

Congressman Sylvester, I presume?

Notice how Sue’s tracksuit matches the purple piano.  Coincidence, I think not! 

*sigh*  So, last season, when all this “Sue as Congressman” stuff first came up, I was THRILLED with the idea, because I THOUGHT it would mean that the writers had FINALLY given the prickly cheerleading coach something else to do other than harrass the Glee club.  And it worked . .  . for about two minutes of the season.

Doh!

Then Sue finds herself trailing in the Congressional opinion polls behind, “Undecided,” “that rapist running from prison,” “please don’t call me during dinner,” and “anyone white.”  Then comes that annoying and frustrating fateful day, when that equally curmudgeony geometry teacher actually APPLAUDS her for taking apart one of the Glee kids pianos, because she HATES artsy fartsies.  Suddenly, Sue’s new political platform is born.  And (SURPRISE!) it involves cutting ALL funding to arts and music programs until all the students in Ohio schools read at or above reading level.

And that’s when WILL gets his UBER CREEPY Glitter Bomb Idea, a.k.a. the idea to pour glitter on Sue’s head, while extolling the virtues of Arts in Schools, and putting the result on YouTube.

Perhaps the magical glitter can make this terrible storyline disappear. 

Oddly enough, Will’s flaming vigilantism, has the unintented consequence of making Sue a MORE popular candidate, due to her perceived image as a VICTIM of the Evil White Man and his Glitter.  And wow, I can’t believe I actually just typed that sentence.  Make it stop.  Please make it stop .   . .

In other news . . .

“We Totally Just Did the Gay High Five.”

Wow, I didn’t know they were planning to make Strawberry Shortcake into a live action movie . . . How come nobody tells me these things?

After unsuccessfully trying to give them dating dating advice, (you know because she’s TOTALLY an expert on the subject) . . .

Emma actually helps aspiring stars Kurt and Rachel out by (1) crushing their dreams, by informing them that their dream school Juliard, actually lacks a musical theater program; and (2) reawakening their dreams by informing them about ANOTHER school in New York City that DOES have such a program, AND, (SURPRISE!) just so happens to be holding a mixer for prospective students in Lima that week . . .

And so, our intrepid future theater majors prepare for this live-changing event, by actually researching the school singing a duet to Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.  You know, because Kurt and Rachel haven’t done NEARLY enough Wizard of Oz themed numbers together, during the past two seasons . . .

Ding, Dong, this theme is dead . . . 

All sarcasm aside,  the performance was actually kind of cute, in a goofy, should-be-sung-by-actual-munchkins, kind of way . .  .

 Cut to the night of the mixer, when Rachel and Kurt find themselves surrounded by, not surprisingly, a bevy of copycat Rachels and Kurts, led by Glee project winner, Lindsay Pearce, each laden down with a bevy of acting credits (I think one of them actually claimed to be the Gerber baby), overly ambitious Singing Faces, and an over abundance of Spirit Fingers.  This group horrifies Rachel and Kurt by performing, of all things, a mashup of “Anything Goes / Anything You Can Do” that, while definitely not better than MOST of the numbers we’ve seen Rachel and Kurt perform, is DEFINITELY better than “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

Obnoxious, aren’t they?

Cut to Rachel and Kurt boo-hooing intensely in the car about the reality check they’ve just experienced.   Maybe they AREN’T good enough to make it as theater geeks in the REAL WORLD?  Maybe they won’t actually get into this school?  Maybe Dorothy really DIED at the end of Wizard of Oz, and the makers of the movie just didn’t want to tell us the truth.

“I’ll get you my Pretty, and your Little Rachel too . . .” 

But, no!  Kurt and Rachel will not be so easily discouraged.  In the car, the pair comfort one another, vowing to help eachother get out of Lima and into showbiz, no matter what it takes.  And their exchange is both incredibly schmaltzy, and uplifting at the same time.  It even ends with a Gay High Five . . .

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And that’s how Kurt decided to run for student council president (to beef up his extra curriculars . . . Because, you know, Kurt is so popular outside the Glee club)  . . .

Yay Kurt! (He’s so screwed.)

 . . . and Rachel decided to cast herself as the lead in the school’s production of West Side Story (because the opportunity to see Rachel sing more solo show tunes is exactly what Glee needs).

Speaking of Kurt . . . and Blaine

It’s Not Unusual . . . to Commit Arson at Your School . . .

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Guess who just transferred to McKinley?  That’s right, my Gleeky friends!  Apparently, being a local legend / high school hero / Mr. Popularity /Warbler Extraordinaire, is NOTHING, if you can’t spend every waking minute of the day with your high school boyfriend.  Ah, the wonders of Dumb Young Love!

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(Oh, something tells me our super attractive friend is in for a RUDE awakening, the first time he gets DENIED a solo, and when his adorably tight red pants inevitably get covered in blue slushee .  . .)

By way of introducing himself to his new school, and Glee club, Blaine decides to perform an AWESOME rendition of a song that I honestly always thought was incredibly LAME, until I heard Blaine Warbler sing it outside McKinley High, surrounded by a bevvy of cheerleaders, most notably new Cheerio co-captain (along with Sue’s pet, Becky), Santana . .  .

Seriously, this was, BY FAR, the best musical number of the evening.  I mean, he even did the CARLTON DANCE during it, for crying out loud.  It just doesn’t get much cooler than that!

As you might have noticed, Blaine’s McKinley musical debut ended with a BANG, care of the cheerleaders dousing the piano with lighter fluid, and Bad Quinn flicking a cigarette on the now-flammable keys.  While the piano bursting into flames, as a result of Blaine’s AWESOME singing made for a spectacular finale, it certainly did not make one Will Schuester particularly happy.  And he ends up kicking Santana out of the Glee club for (ahem) playing for both teams . . . (See what I did there?)

“Not funny!  Can’t you see I’m in pain here?” 

Man, they really are dropping like flies in Glee club this year, aren’t they?

Oh, did I mention that Finn called Blaine out, when he was introduced to the rest of the Glee club, for being a BALL HOG, and getting all the solos at HIS school?

“Hello, Pot?  This is Kettle calling . . . guess what, YOUR BLACK!” 

The episode concludes with the remaining Glee clubbers performing a rousing rendition of yet another showtune  Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” while Bad Quinn looks on longingly from the rafters . . . undoubtedly wishing her elderly skateboarding boyfriend was there to give her a hug . .  .

*sniffle, sniffle, pout, sniffle* 

And that was the season premiere, in a nutshell.  Next week’s promo promises, among other things, auditions for McKinley High’s production of West Side Story, the return of Rachel’s bio mom / Quinn’s adopted baby mama, Shelby Corcoran, some Finchel makeout sessions, and Brittany teaching us what the the REAL capital of Ohio is . . . You can watch it in its entirety (with Portugese subtitles, of course ;)), right here:

So, now that the premiere has come and gone, what are your thoughts?  Are you psyched for this upcoming season?  Or do you feel its time the whole series got itself glitter bombed?  Sound off in the comments section below . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“L. Ron Hubbard predicted this would happen.”

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

 

“Oh, Febray!  Say it ain’t so!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Santana TOTALLY gets it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AW-KWARD!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ta-da!”

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

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

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

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

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

 Meanwhile  . . .

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

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

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

So, take that QUINN! 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FINN: *blows bubble in Rachel’s mouth*

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

You can listen to the song, here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asshat Lovin’ = Good Lovin’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, the humanity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hmmm . . .  it could work! 🙂 

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

Have a great summer, my Gleekies!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How could you not trust THIS face?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 . . . combined with THIS .  . .

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

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

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

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

Try a Lack of Tenderness . . .

“The competition is ON, like Donkey Kong!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s new, Pussy Cat? 

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

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

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

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

Blaine APPROVES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Haha!  Jokes on YOU, Gleeks!”

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

“Stop staring at my boobs, ya perv!”

Source

In other news . . .

A Farewell to Arms Sweater Vests

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

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

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

Source

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

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

Pure Imagination

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just sayin’

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

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

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

“Are you friggin kidding me, Poopy Zombie?”

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

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

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

Hide your bunnies and your balls, Finn!

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

Only time will tell . . .

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

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

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

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

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

Sayonara Sucka!

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

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

Where’s the Beiste?

And the Sunshine?

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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