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

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

. . . uninspired fashion choices . . .

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

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

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

Others did not. 

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

1) Womanizer

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

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

2) Lucky

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

3) Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

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

4) Circus

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

5) If You Seek Amy . . .

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

6) Oops, I did it again . . .

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

7) Drive Me Crazy

Premise: See explanation above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because Crest is for weenies . . .

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

 . . . or lack thereof.

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

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

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

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

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

 . . . ended up being sorely disappointed here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sue then recounts the depraved tale of Jacob  . . .

Sorry!  Wrong one . . .

 That’s him!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I smell another Very Special Guest Star?

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

90’s television at its finest!

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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