Tag Archives: the Warblers

What’s on TV This Week? (1/29 – 2/4) – Spoilery Sneak Peeks from Once Upon a Time, Gossip Girl, PLL, Glee, and TVD

[ Gossip Girl’s “G.G.” and PLL’s “A Kiss Before Lying” recaps are both on their way!  I wanted to take a little extra time with these. Gossip Girl just celebrated it’s 100th episode, after all.  (That just doesn’t happen every day!)  Check back for both recaps within the next 24 hours . . .]

Greetings TV fans!  One of my absolute favorite new TV Trends is the Episode Sneak Peek, i.e. the Web Clip.  More and more lately, networks are releasing key scenes from their upcoming television episodes, a week early, in hopes of generating buzz about their shows, and, possibly, increasing ratings.

The way I see it, this is a win-win situation for both the network and spoiler-loving TV viewers like myself.  From the network’s perspective, it gives the corporate suits the opportunity to control which spoilers are leaked about their upcoming episode, while still giving impatient fans something to chew on, while they wait for the actual episode to air.

From the fan’s perspective, we sort of get to feel like we’re “cheating” the system, by getting the early scoop on select parts of upcoming episodes that only the most spoiler savvy of viewers get to see . . .

“Beating the system .  . . one YouTube video at a time . . .” 

This week, was particuarly exciting for me, because I managed to find webclips for nearly EVERY show I watch!  And these aren’t just throwaway scenes, either!  Some of the sneak peeks I found offer up some genuine hints as to what these shows’ upcoming episodes have in store for us.

From a torrid fairytale affair . . . to a royal wedding that positively NO ONE wants to happen  .  . . to a heart-wrenching betrayal . . . to a Michael Jackson-inspired sing-off . . . to an out-and-out war between two sets of vampire brothers, something tells me that this week’s television fare is going to be setting the internet a-blaze with heated discussions for weeks to come . . .

So, without further adieu, I proudly bring to you, This Week’s Collection of Spoilery Sneak Peaks . . .

Once Upon a Time

“I see youuuuu!” 

Episode 11 – Fruit from the Poisonous Tree

Airs: Sunday, January, 28th, 8.p.m. EST on ABC

Though I was initially drawn to this fairytale fantasy, due to it’s uniquely original concept, and wealthy of unabashedly nerdy literary nods . . . the complex, and suprisingly dark, love story between Snow White, Prince Charming, and their respective Storybrook counterparts, is one of the main reasons I keep returning, after week.

How much of a role should amorphous concepts like fate, instinct, and chemistry play in one’s pursuit of happiness?  Is it acceptable in life to hurt and betray others, in the name of True Love?  These intriguing questions are central to Once Upon a Time, in general, and Mary Margaret’s (i.e. Snow White’s) and David’s (i.e. Prince Charming’s) story, specifically.

In this first webclip from the upcoming episode, David and Mary Margaret sneak off for a romantic forest picnic, of which their fairytale counterparts — who memorably met one another in, more or less, these same woods — would most definitely approve.  And yet the happiness of this romantic reunion is shadowed by the fact that David is married to another woman, one who has been doing everything in her power to make their ailing marriage work . . .

What’s so interesting about this couple is how many complex emotions they bring about in the viewer’s subconscious.  On one hand, everybody knows that Prince Charming and Snow White belong together.  This is something we’ve taken for granted, since we were kids.  No one else will ever be quite as right for these two individuals, as they are for one another . . .

And yet, as far Mary Margaret and David are concerned, their life is not a fairytale.  They aren’t princes and princesses, but, rather, real people, with real responsibilities . .  both of whom (while, generally, still loveable) have some genuine character flaws.  And this raises a  difficult question: Does the fact that, in alternate universe, these two individuals lived Happily Ever After, justify what they are doing in this universe?

I guess that’s really up to the viewer to decide . . .

Our second webclip introduces us to the plot that I suspect will take up the bulk of the episode.  We know him as Sidney Glass, once-editor of The Mirror (Storybrooke’s local paper), and, up until this point, one of the malevolent Mayor’s strongest allies.

But in Fairytale land, he was the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror.  And judging by the below scene, in both worlds, his tendency to portray the world exactly as he sees it, might end up leaving him shattered . . .

Anytime Once Upon a Time focuses an entire hour on one of its minor characters, it takes a risk of alienating fans who are watching the show, more or less, just for it’s leads (i.e. Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and the Mayor).  Some minor character episodes have been highly successful, at least in my humble opinion.  In fact “The Price of Gold” (which featured Cinderella’s story), and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (which featured the now-dearly departed Sheriff Graham / The Hunter) were actually among my favorites of the entire series.  And yet, other minor character episodes, like “That Still Small Voice” (about Shrink Archie Hopper, i.e. Jiminey Cricket), and “True North” (about Nicholas and Eva, i.e. Hansel and Gretel) felt a bit flat to me.

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Having always been a sucker for characters who don’t always necessarily walk on the “straight and narrow,” but who, deep down, have a good heart, I found myself intrigued by Sidney Glass, ever since we met the character, early on in the series.  Even though he’s definitely a minor character, I think his story has a lot of potential, particularly, if it’s written in a way that illustrates him as a darkly complex character and morally ambiguous, as opposed to just another schlub the Wicked Mayor managed to buy off . . .

Oh, and The Stranger . . . he’s TOTALLY one of the Brothers’ Grimm, looking to rewrite fairytale history.  It’s SO obvious!

Gossip Girl

Episode 100, “GG”

Airs: Monday, Janury 30th at 9 pm. EST on the CW

As hit or miss as Gossip Girl has been lately, there was a time, not too long ago, when it was one of the best things on television.  The clothes were eviably hipper than most of us could afford.  The couplings and sexcapades were WHITE hot . . .

The plot lines ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to jaw-droppingly, OMFG, scandalous.  And there were enough snappy, snarky quotable lines in each self-contained hour to . . . for lack of a better phrase .  . .  fill a book . . .

It’s for this reason that I am SOOOO incredibly excited about this episode’s 100th episode extravaganza.  If the rumors are true, this hour of television will be jam-packed with homages to GG’s raunchiest moments, eye-popping blot twists, and most deliciously evil schemes and insults.

In short, it will be like Season 1, all over again.  And I, for one, can’t wait to celebrate the show that taught me, once and for all, that “tights are NOT pants!”

Of course, there’s that little unavoidable matter of Blair’s sham of a wedding to that cyborg Price of Dull, Louis-bot . . .

Ahhh . . . Chuck Bass . . . the only man who can cross his legs, and still look masculine doing it.  And that voice . . . I could listen to that voice reading a Depends commercial, and still get turned on.

Don’t worry, Chuck.  Blair CANNOT go through this wedding . . .  It would be positively un-holy for her to do so . . .

That said, you may want to get that adorably toned little butt of yours, over to the church, stat!  Because it looks like she’s actually made her way down the aisle, without angry GG fans tackling her, in protest . . .

Pretty Little Liars

Episode 18 – “A Kiss Before Lying”

Airs: Monday, January 30th, 8.p.m. on ABC Family

When you are being stalked by the mysterious “A,” who literally knows your every move, and can ruin your life for the slightest infraction, lying is pretty much part of your “job description.”

Throughout two seasons, we’ve seen the Rosewood foursome lie to practically everybody they know about something . . . their parents, their significant others, their siblings, even the police.  But when it’s revealed that one of the girls might be starting to crack under the pressure, and her boyfriend just might have the key to bringing down “A,” once and for all, the Pretty Little Liars find themselves in the unique predicament of actually having to lie to eachother . . .

Honestly, as far as webclips go, these were kind of disappointing.  After all, we already knew coming in to this episode, that the rest of the PLL girls were working with Caleb to continue hacking into A’s cell phone, and that they had all controversially decided to leave Hanna out of it.

That said, the show’s Season Finale is not too far away.  And with it will come the much-awaited reveal of “A’s” identity . . . Now, that we know this story actually has an endgame, the probability that the writers will drop important clues into upcoming episodes, like this one, is increasingly high . . . .

Glee

Episode 11 – “Wanna Be Startin Somethin'”

Airs: Tuesday, January 31st at 8 p.m., EST on Fox

After last week’s Yes/No episode, Gleeks were talking more about whether or not Rachel would accept Finn’s proposal of marriage, and less about the musical performances that dominated the hour.

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I suspect that for this week’s episode, which will feature a homage to the works of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the opposite will be true . . .

Truth be told, in the past Glee’s artist-centric episodes haven’t been among their best received.   Both the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes were harshly panned by the critics.  And, for me, Glee’s Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Rumors” stands out as one of the worst episodes in Glee history.  Only the Lady Gaga-inspired episodes, “Theatricality” and “Born this Way,” seemed to manage to stay above the fray . . .

Well . . . almost . . . 

All negativity aside, I actually think “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”  has the opportunity to become a Glee classic.  For one thing, Michael Jackson’s soleful and diverse catalogue of music . . . combined with his flare for flamboyant costumes, and seamlessly choreographed numbers . . . seems to dovetail really well with the things that Glee does best.

Plus, whereas the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes’ so-called plotlines were eye-roll inducing in their ridiculousness.  (Laughing gas induced fantasy sequences?  Seriously?), the reason why all these Glee-kids are suddenly all hopped up on MJ, despite having been infants through most of his heyday actually makes sense . . .

And it’s all explained, quite succinctly, here . . .

How I adore this clip, let me count the ways . . .  For one thing, I’m thrilled to see New Directions actually THINKING about their Regionals set list, ahead of time, for a change, as opposed to . . . oh, I don’t know, coming up with it five minutes before the episode actually airs?

I was also a big fan of Artie actually admitting that he was just a year old, when Michael Jackson moonwalked.  (In truth, he was actually not even born yet, but  I digress.)  So, many times, I’ve wondered how the Glee kids’ music taste often vastly pre-dated my own (see Fleetwood Mac episode).  In this case, at least the writers are inserting some recognition of that disconnect.

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And I hate to say it, but I’m REALLY digging Sebastian as Glee‘s new super villain.   After all, Sue Sylvester can only try to bring down Glee club so many times.  And not since Jesse St. James stint with Vocal Adrenaline has the New Directions really had a worthy adversary, who wasn’t afraid to “fight dirty” to win the competition.

Speaking of worthy adversaries, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about watching Sebastian go to head-to-head with Santana.  They say “Greed is Good.”  But I say “Mean is Better.”

And these two have that down, in spades.   Plus, dare I say it, for two gay characters, these two have an astounding amount of sexual chemistry. Don’t believe me?  Check out this musical sing-off to MJ’s iconic “Smooth Criminal” . . .

(By the way, did anybody else find the cello players oddly constipated looking facial expressions during the number a bit disturbing?)

And, of course, no Glee artist-centric episode would be complete without an ensemble number in which every cast member dresses up in one of the artist-in-question’s most memorable outfits . . .

(I think Blaine is supposed to be Michael Jackson from the beginning of the Thriller video.  Am I wrong?)

The Vampire Diaries

Episode 312 “Bringing Out the Dead”

Airs: Thursday, February 2nd,  8 p.m. EST on the CW

TVD webclips are notoriously heavy on Damon snark and Eye Thing, while frustratingly light on actual plot points . . .

I suspect this has to do with head writer Julie Plec being a bit of a spoilerphobe.  But with good reason!  After all, apart from the immensely attractive cast, and interminable shipper wars, it’s really this show’s game-changing plot twists that keep us tuning in, week after week.

This week’s webclip features a shirtless Stefan (Haven’t seen that one, in a while!) . . .

 . . .  and a rather smug “I kissed Elena, and you can’t take that away from me” Damon . . .

 . . .  doing what they do best, bickering and scheming  . . .

Just to be clear, Damon and Stefan were TOTALLY eye-f*&king in this scene, weren’t they?  Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed that . . .

One of the things TVD does best . . . apart from it’s unimaginably erotic and unbelievably addictive love triangles, of course . . . is it’s parallels and role reversals. Last season, Elena un-daggered Elijah, in hopes of finding a way to eliminate Klaus as a threat, without hurting the people she loved.

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Stefan dutifully went along with her plan.  While Damon was angrily outspoken about his mistrust for the Original Vampire (with good reason, as it turns out), and ended up taking matters into his own hands, in a way that neither Elena nor Stefan approved . . .

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Now, less than a year later, Damon is the one who has un-daggered Elijah . . .  (CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?)

 . . . and is now looking to him for a possible alliance.  And Stefan is the mistrustful one, who’d prefer to take matters into his own hands . . .

But, of course, the parallels don’t end there.  There’s also the little matter of Damon locking lips with the girl Stefan always presumed was his own . . . despite the fact that his recent behavior has made a reunion between the two former lovebirds nearly impossible.

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And though, on the surface, these two brothers are fighting about vampire wars, and the efficacy of “old-fashioned” sitdowns, just beneath that surface lies a slow burn of love for the same woman, and with it, decades of jealousy, betrayal, and heartbreak . . .

That’s a whole lot of angst and complexity for one minute and 21 seconds, isn’t it?  You can imagine then, how intense the rest of the hour will be . . .

And there you have it, an entire week’s worth of juicy television, condensed down into a few short webclips.  I know I’ll definitely be tuning in . . . Will you?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Glee, Gossip Girl, Once Upon a Time, Pretty Little Liars, Spoilers and Sneak Peeks, The Vampire Diaries

Welcome Football Fans! – A Recap of Glee’s “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle”

Question:  What do Football, Fights, Zombies, Cannon Balls, and Flaming Boobs, have in common? 

If you answered that all of these things were included Glee‘s Post-Superbowl Extravaganza episode, to help the show appeal to male sports fans, you are ABSOLUTELY right! 

Interestingly enough, the change in target audience, did not at all seem to hamper the show’s quality.  In fact, dare I say, making Glee more “Boy Friendly,” may have actually improved it. 

I mean, sure, the episode was certainly not perfect.  It lacked cohesion, and certain scenes seemed to appear completely out of nowhere (I’m looking at YOU, “Bills, Bills, Bills”).  Yet, overall, it was a fun-filled hour, one who’s main theme — about football players risking their popularity to perform in Glee club — seemed to be a gentle, but deliberate, nod to the football fans who were watching.  And the message was clear:  “It’s OK, if you’re enjoying this.”

So, what are we waiting for, let’s get recapping!

Your Boobs are on FIRE (and Your Cannon has Fibromyalgia!)

We open on the Cheerios performing an obnoxiously over-produced, Half-Time show-esque, dance number to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.”  During the number, the girls wore blue hair, as a homage to Katy herself.  They also wore pointed cones on their chests, as a homage to early 90’s Madonna (?).  From the girls’ Boob Cones, shot fiery sparklers (because boys like HOT boobs). 

 Behind the girls, were a few guys doing bike flips off a ramp.  Of course, no one was paying attention to them — no GUYS, anyway — because of the girls and their Flaming Boobs . . .

If Flaming Boobs aren’t exactly your thing, and you weren’t a fan of the opening number, you weren’t alone.  Because Sue Sylvester didn’t like it either, “I’m bored,” she whines into he megaphone, after the song wraps. 

(As if knowing that Sue is talking about them, upon hearing these words, the Flaming Boobs fizzle out, unceremoniously.)

Isn’t Becky a member of the Cheerios?  If so, why wasn’t she in this number?  Does anyone else find this vaguely offensive?

After that, Sue makes a not particularly funny joke that runs on WAY too long.  It involves (1) the benefits of stuffing one’s bra with chicken cutlets;  and (2) having cheerleaders intermittently hit one another in the face with them . . .

Chickens were NOT amused.

Quinn wisely notes that there was nothing necessarily wrong with the dance number.  Rather, Sue herself has simply become completely impossible to please.  And no matter how extravagant the Cheerios numbers become, she will continuously want to top herself.

Sue doesn’t entirely disagree with this statement  But that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to try and “improve” the Cheerios’ performance, in any way she can  And so, while watching a cartoon featuring someone getting shot out of a cannonball, our “favorite” Cheerleading Coach comes up with an idea . . .

She will shoot one of her Cheerios out of a cannon, during the Cheerleading Championships!  Specifically, THIS Cheerio . . .

“I don’t want to die yet . .  . at least not until One Tree Hill gets canceled next year,” Brittany whines, upon learning that she is the “lucky” human cannonball.

Hmmm . . . Brooke Davis didn’t like something I wrote above . . . Maybe it was those two words I crossed out . . .

Fortunately for Brittany, she gets a brief reprieve from certain death.  This is because Sue is willing to use a Brittany-looking doll for the “trial run.”

To Brittany’s horror, her Poor Unfortunate Doll Doppelganger gets blown to itty bitty bits of Blonde.  Seeing this undoubtedly makes Brittany wish she had chosen a show with a brighter future to measure her lifespan by . . . Two and a Half Men  American Idol one of the 500 different versions of Law and Order, perhaps?

When Sue learns that she will need Brittany’s consent in order to make her explode, the “kindly mentor” secures it by giving Brittany a “We miss you,” card, purportedly written by the cannon, in crayon, no less.  Later, Sue tells a still uncertain Brittany a sob story about how the cannon has two growing baby cannons at home, and one on the way.   (Mama Cannon has fibromyalgia, so she can’t work.) 

 Eventually, Brittany agrees to literally sign her life away on Sue’s Consent Form.  Of course, she signs using an “X” because she doesn’t know how to spell her name, apparently.  (Sometimes they go a bit too far with the whole “Brittany is dumb” thing.  Don’t you think?)

Jocks versus Gleeks, Take 252

It’s a tale as old as high school:  popular versus unpopular, jocks versus geeks, football players versus gleeks.  But at McKinley High, it’s way worse.  For one thing, half the Glee club is also on either the football team, or on the cheerleading squad.  This makes the school’s social hierarchy . . . confusing . . . to say the least.

“So we are Gleeks . . . and we are Footballers.  Does this mean we have to Slushee ourselves?”

Additionally, Slushees ruin clothing, which is a HUGE problem for the Cheerios and Football players, none of whom seem to own any other clothing aside from their probably VERY smelly uniforms . . . 

Up until this point, however, the McKinley High Football team has been able to limit their Gleeks versus Jocks rivalry to off the field.  However, when a fight erupts between Finn and Karofsky that spreads through the entire football team, causing them to LOSE their game, Coach Beiste knows that serious measures must be taken. 

And so, she turns to her new Kissing Buddy, Will Schuester, for help.

Will’s grand “Plan” involves Beiste requiring the entire football team to be part of Glee club for an entire week.  The non-Gleeky footballers, not surprisingly, balk at the idea.   Azimio for one, refuses to sing showtunes, because they were written by his “oppressors.”  

Realizing that a bit of persuasion will be needed to get the football players on board, Will invites Rachel and Puck to perform Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” for the now doubly large Glee Crew.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Puckleberry duets, and seeing Puck strum that guitar, while crooning softly to ANY song, is enough to make my toes curl.  But, honestly, considering the purpose of this duet was to convince a bunch of football players that Glee Club was cool, a slow romantic country ditty seems a particularly odd musical choice.  I mean, why didn’t they pick a song the football players would understand, like . . . say, “We are the Champions,” or “Eye of the Tiger,” or “We Will Rock You,”  or “Mama Said Knock You Out?”

Given the poor choice in song, I wasn’t too surprised when Azimio snarkily remarked that “The girl in the mohawk has a nice voice,” thereby prompting the entire Glee club and football team to erupt into a knock down dragout fight. 

“Oh, NO you didn’t just make fun of my AWESOME Mohawk?”

One GOOD thing that comes out if this brawl, is the reunion of former besties Puck and Finn, who decide to put aside their differences (and by “differences” I mean their tendency to swap Rachel and Quinn with one another, every other week like trading cards) and unite to promote unity amongst the football team and Glee club.  The bromantic buddies cement their partnership with a solid fist bump, of course.  (How very manly of them!)

Sue Sylvester is SCARY, and so are zombies . . .

It’s a good thing Finn and Puck decided to unite.  Because it looks like they are going to need all the help they can get!  When Principal Figgins balks at Sue’s decision to shoot Brittany out of cannon, she suddenly turns into The Hulk, and inexplicably starts throwing furniture around Mr. Figgins office, and later the gym locker room . . .

Will and the rest of the faculty begin to wonder whether Sue has finally gone off the deep end, for good.  But Sue stops throwing things around long enough to calmly explain to them, that she has moved the date of the cheerleading championships to the same day as the football championships.  This means, not only that the football team has no cheerleaders to perform its halftime show . . .

Shocking, I know . . .

 . . . but that Quinn, Santana and Brittany are once again forced to choose between Glee club and the Cheerios.  (Of course, if they attend the football game, according to Sue, they will be off the squad.)

Will comes up with the idea that the FOOTBALL players, who are honorary Glee club members this week, anyway, will perform their own halftime show, along with the rest of the Glee Club.  Coincidentally, this will NOT be the first time, the McKinley High Football players dance during a game.  Remember the whole “Put A Ring On It,” fiasco during Season 1?

Most of the football team would probably prefer that you forgot this.

What songs will the Gleeks / Footballers be performing THIS TIME you ask?  A Mashup between Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll,” of course.

Did I mention that the crew will be going to do the entire performance dressed like Football-Playing Zombies?  (Oh yes, because in addition to being able to dance an entire music number, during the ONLY break they will have during a two-hour game, these footballers, are also, apparently, experts at the application of zombie makeup!)

Interestingly enough, this is how I look sometimes when I first wake up in the morning . . .

As for the Cheerios, sadly, Sue Sylvester bullies them into quitting the Glee Club, so that they can attend the cheerleading competition.

This causes Finn to want to lecture the girls about their Bad Life Choices, like the disappointed DAD he is.  It also prompts Quinn’s not-for-long!  beau Sam to rush to the girls’ defense.  In an attempt to stay relevent to this show Macauley Culkin also challenges Finn for the position of “unofficial” Glee Club leader.  Nice try, freshman! 

Honestly, the whole fight is contrived and ridiculously stupid.  But Quinn of course, who realizes the two men are REALLY fighting over her, finds the whole thing to be incredibly HOT . . .

“Now, if you guys would kindly take off your shirts and pants right now, I’d be SOO much happier!”

Pissing contests for Quinn’s affection aside, the footballers and the Gleeks begin to rehearse their half-time number.  And I’ll be darned if they don’t do a pretty great job at it.  Interestingly enough, it’s Gay Homophobic Bully Karofsky who shows the MOST musical talent of the footballers!  So much talent, in fact, that Will suggests that HE join Glee club, for real!

Karofsky is AWE-SOME!”

To most fans surprise, Karofsky doesn’t actually seem to HATE the idea.  He even suggests that the Glee crew start off with a warm-up number, to ensure that the halftime show itself is absolutely perfect.  For the warm-up, the Glee kids choose the song “She’s Not There,” which was appropriately originally sung by a band called The Zombies.

Things take a bad turn, however, when, after performing this number, the FOOTBALL players get slusheed by . . . get this . . . the HOCKEY PLAYERS, who “cleverly” argue that the football team has just been “turned gay,” because they performed a musical number dressed as the undead.  (Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word “gay” uttered this many times in a single hour, since I watched that movie on Logo last week.)   Of couse, the “gay” accusation totally freaks out the footballers, particularly the ACTUALLY gay, Karofsky . . .

This unfortunate incident prompts the football players to REFUSE to perform at the Halftime show, even though doing so will mean that they can’t participate in the Championship Game.  (LOSERS!)  Suddenly, the football team is at risk of forfeiting the game, due to not having enough players to compete.  Coach Beiste tries to recruit new players from the rest of the school.  However, no one seems interested in crossing the Homophobe Picket Line.

And We Are Singing About “Bills” Now, Because . . .

And it is when we are our darkest hour at McKinley High, that the producers decide to inexplicably cut to Dalton Academy.   There, in the EXACT SAME LOUNGE where we shoot ALL of our Dalton Academy Scenes, as always, Blaine is singing solo, and the rest of silent Warblers, Kurt included, are dancing around him like the faceless, personality-less minions / disciples they are  . . . 

(Oh, Kurt!  I know you want in this guy’s pants.  But you can’t honestly say that his Diva Theatrics don’t piss you off, just the slightest bit?  Especially after he waxed poetic about how everybody was part of a TEAM at this school.  The Kurt I know would NEVER accept this kind of treatment!  No matter how sexy it’s source!)

So, anyway, in typical Warblers fashion, the group dances uncomfortably around Blaine, as he croons Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.”  Not only does the song sound REALLY awkward coming from a bunch of dudes, it also seems completely out of context in this football / zombie-themed episode.  On a positive note, Darren Criss’/ Blaine’s singing is pretty solid, making what would be a pretty annoying song, actually fairly palatable.

But don’t take my word for it.  See for yourself: 

 After their “song practice” Blaine and his loyal puppy dog, Kurt, head out to lunch with new gal pals, Mercedes and Rachel, who, in light of recent events, are MAJORLY depressed about the state of their Glee club, and football team . . .

I was more than a bit worried about Kurt applying for Stepford Hubby status, when he asserted that “We [i.e. Blaine and I] love football.”  However, when he qualified that “Blaine loves football.  I love scarfs”  I felt a bit better.

As it turns out, though, Blaine actually DOES like football! 

“Who knew?”

In fact, Blaine’s vast knowledge of pigskin (no pun intended) actually ends up coming in quite handy, when he informs Rachel of precisely how many football players are needed in order not to forfeit a game.  This gives Rachel an idea.  THE GLEE GIRLS CAN PLAY FOOTBALL!  (Or, rather, they can lie down on the field, while the guys play, so they don’t get disqualified.  How’s THAT for femisist rights!) 

Let’s Hear it for the GIRLS!

Though reluctant at first, the remaining footballers ultimately agree to Rachel’s suggestion . . .

Though the girls initially planned on just LAYING on the field the whole time, a couple of them, actually ended up HELPING the team!  For example, Lauren Zizes, with her WRESTLING background, had sheer force and intimidation on her side, making her a WAY more frightening football player than most of the guys she played alongside . . .

Now THAT is seriously scary!

But it was Tina Cohen Chang who REALLY shocked her teammates, by running nearly half the field, before being very roughly sacked by a member of the opposing team.  Though her beau, Mike, was obviously extremely concerned for her well-being, as she lay on the field unconscious . . .

“Sh*&t!”

 . . . he needn’t have worried.   Because, within just a few moments, Tina was up and mumbling, “Did we win yet?”

Tina was ultimately carried off the field, a True Hero!  (Now that’s some SERIOUS girl power!  I knew you wouldn’t let me down, Glee!)

Tina’s and Lauren’s surprisingly extraordinary footballer skills aside, the team was still losing miserably, just moments before halftime.   And so, temporarily putting Sam in charge of the team, Finn and Puck decide to salvage the rest of the game, by convincing the rest of the football players, as well as cheerleaders Quinn, Santana, and Brittany, to participate in the halftime show.  Finn worked on the cheerleaders, managing to grab them, just moments before they went on the bus toward the competition. 

Speaking quickly, he told the girls mostly stuff they already knew.  Namely, (1) Sue Sylvester doesn’t really care about them, and is typically mean to them;  (2) that she doesn’t care if Brittany DIES; and (3) that the girls are strong enough to withstand the miniscule popularity decrease they might suffer from not being cheerleaders anymore; (4) it’s hightime they wore something other than those stupid uniforms, for a change.  The girls agree because that’s what the plot requires hem to do, and jointly tell Sue that they are quitting the Cheerios. 

 “You are all my stars!  If you leave, I will have no performance,” Sue notes, admitting for the first time just how important these girls are to her success.

“Sucks for you,” snaps back Quinn, as the trio follows Finn back toward the football field.

Predictability aside, it was great scene.  And, I’m not going to lie.  Watching it, made me do something like THIS . . .

Karofsky For the WIN!  (well . . . almost)

As for Puck, he had NEARLY as much luck with the football players, ultimately getting all of them, except for Karofsky, to suit up and participate in the halftime show, which TOTALLY rocked, by the way . . .

The performance was SO rousing in fact, that Karofsky eventually sucked up his pride, and joined in mid-song.  He didn’t have any zombie makeup on of course, but it was still pretty awesome.

You can LISTEN to the song here:

After Beiste gives the rest of the football team the OK to compete, they go on to WIN THE GAME . . .

 .  . . but only because the team’s SCARY zombie makeup, and creepy repetitive chanting of “BRRAAAAAIIIINS,” freaks the crap out of the opposing team.  Nothing like playing FAIR, right?

Of course, my favorite part of all of it, had to be when one of the kids on the other team started screaming, “He bit me!  That zombie kid bit me!”  (Now THAT was hilarious!)

Lest you think Karofsky’s about to run out and join the Glee team, after that one rousing performance . . . think again!

“Why would I want to change?  I’m on top now,” asserts Karofsky, when Finn gives him his formal Gleek invitation (provided he head over to Dalton and personally apologize to Kurt, first, of course). 

Note: A  lot of fans were annoyed by this.  But I personally thought it was the right move, on the part of the writers.  For Karofsky to morph from Evil Homophobic Bully to Proud Glee Club star, in a single episode, would be completely unrealistic, in my opinion.  Not to mention, I doubt the rest of the Glee Club would accept him into their circle so easily, after what he did to Kurt — nor SHOULD THEY! 

The mere thought of it makes me weepy . . .

That being said, I do think the Karofsky character is on the path toward redemption.  And I’m very eager to see where his arc goes.  Right now, Karofsky is probably one of the most complex characters on this show.

Finn may not have had that much luck with Karofsky, but he did WAY better with Quinn, who, despite dating Macauley Culkin’s twin Sam for the past few episodes, spent the entire hour eye f*&king Finn.  She then concluded the episod,  by planting a fat wet one on his lips, right in the center of the school hallway . . .

Whatever Finn’s feelings for the recently dumped Rachel might be, you could tell that our resident Alpha Male was TRULY effected by Quinn’s kiss.  Note how the Smitten Boy kept his eyes closed for a full three seconds after she tongued him, as if not wanting his Wet Dream to end!  Now, whatever your couple loyalties are on this show, you have to admit, it was kind of adorable . . .

And given that this coming Tuesday is the show’s Valentine’s Day episode, we can be sure that this won’t be the last we will hear about that game-changing kiss.

Awww, don’t feel left out, Puck!  I’ll totally make out with YOU!

And that was Glee’s Super Bowl Spectacular.  Did you watch?  If so, what did you think?  Did you find the placement of “Bills, Bills, Bills” as awkward an unnecessary as I did?  Are you a fan of this sort-of new and improved Karofsky?  Are you on Team Fuinn?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section, below!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Glee

A 2010 Musical Gleeview – My Picks for Glee’s Top Ten Musical Moments from Season 2 (so far)

New Year’s Eve is a time for getting so wasted that you forget your own name reflection.  As 2010 comes to a close, many of us will undoubtedly spend time crying into our tenth glass of champagne    making out with that dude in the corner with the tongue ring  looking back on the past year, and seeing how it “measures up” to previous years.  And I’ll be the first one to admit that all the gut checking and personal evaluation that we tend to do during these last few days of the year .  . . well . . . it kind of sucks. 

Source

But you know what doesn’t suck . . . evaluating TV shows, instead! 🙂

If you read entertainment magazines at all, or just spend time talking to TV viewers, you probably already know that Glee, while still a ratings darling, in every sense of the word, has, for many, fallen short of the high expectations it created for itself, during its spectacular premiere season.  (That vastly overused term “Sophomore Slump” has even been bandied about.)  And while I agree with a lot of the criticisms that have recently been lodged against the show, I still think that Glee gave us fans a lot to love this year . . .

But I’m going to talk about the musical performances, instead. 😉

What follows are (in no particular order) my picks for the Top Ten Musical Moments from the first half of Glee’s second season:

(1) “One Love” – Puck Puckerman and Artie Abrams (originally sung by Bob Marley)

One of my biggest complaints about the second season of Glee had to do with its CRIMINAL underuse of my FAVORITE character on the show, Mark Salling’s Bad Ass Bully with a Heart of Gold, Puck.  Yes, I do realize that Mark Salling was absent from the show for a few episodes, while he was promoting his own album.  But would it have KILLED the writers to throw the poor guy a bone or two, in the storyline department?  Wasn’t it bad enough they took his girlfriend, Quinn, away, and inexplicably paired her with that Macauley Culkin-look alike?

But I digress.  Puck’s single solo of the season thus far, came in the form of a mellow Bob Marley cover, sung while strumming on an acoustic guitar, during lunchtime, at McKinley High.  At first blush, one would think that Salling’s Puck and Kevin McHale’s Artie would be an odd choice to sing this particular duet.  Yet, Puck’s rebel mystique and crushed velvet voice  complimented Kevin McHale’s Artie’s Elvis Costello-esque geek chic mystique surprisingly well.  See for yourself!

You see?  A little Puck can go a LONG way in making this blogger happy! 🙂

 

(2) “Forget You” – Holly Holiday (originally sung by Cee Lo)

Initially, when I read that (1) the often stodgy-seeming Gwyneth Paltrow would be guest starring on Glee, to promote her star turn in the upcoming music-heavy film, Courtry Strong; and (2) she would be performing a neutered version of Cee Lo’s “F*&k You,” (a song who’s success is largely based on its ingenious pairing of an innocent Motown backbeat with highly explicit lyrics) I was extremely skeptical.  Yet, when the actual episode aired, I was surprised by the inherent likeability and youthful energy Paltrow put into the Holiday character.  And “Forget You,” while admittedly no where near as awesome as the original “F*&k You,” was fun and compulsively watchable in its own unique way.  After all, Cee Lo’s version of the song doesn’t feature Heather Morris’ Brittany doing “The Robot,” in time with the music!

Check it out!

(3) “Sweet Transvestite” – Mercedes Jones (originally sung by Tim Curry)

Speaking of neutered versions of racy songs that surprisingly didn’t suck on Glee . . . many Rocky Horror Picture Show fans were initially up in arms, upon hearing that Glee writers chose a FEMALE to play the iconic Dr. Frank-N-Furter (a role made famous by actor, Tim Curry, in the original film, thirty-five years earlier) in their incarnation of the cult-classic musical.  And yet, while the bizarre way the show’s writers chose to censor this song boggles my mind (She couldn’t say “transsexual?”  But “transvestite” was OK?), as Mercedes, Amber Riley put a clever twist on the well-loved song, giving it a spunky feminine naughtiness that was entirely her own . . .

(4) “Teenage Dream” – Blaine and the Warblers (originally sung by Katy Perry)

Going along with my “if you want to change the entire meaning of a song, simply change the sex of the singer” theme, I was super impressed by Darren Criss’ Blaine and his Dalton Academy Warbler’s rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” in Glee‘s sixth episode, entitled “Never Been Kissed.”  While the original song is poppy, syrupy sweet, and generally “girlicious,” this Glee version is old-school snappy (something you could picture Frank Sinatra or Sammy Davis Jr. singing), thought-provoking, and, yes, VERY, VERY GAY. 

(Then again, that last characteristic may have more to do with the Warblers — in their Harry Potter Gryffindor robes, singing about “skintight jeans,” and dancing like Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air — than with the song itself.)

(5)  “Just the Way You Are” – Finn Hudson (originally sung by Bruno Mars)

In the eighth episode of Glee‘s second season, entitled “Furt,” Kurt’s dad, Burt, and Finn’s mom, Carol, got married amongst the entire cast of Glee and some underpaid extras  family and friends.  During the reception, in a sweet and highly emotional moment, Finn, who, up to this point had always been kind of a homophobe, embraced (both literally and metaphorically) his new homosexual stepbrother, Kurt, by dedicating the above-referenced Bruno Mars song to him.  The result was a poignant and uplifting musical extravaganza that you can witness in its entirety here.

(6) “Me Against the Music” – Brittany S. Pearce and Santana Lopez (originally sung by Britney Spears and Madonna)

In contrast to the previously listed songs on this countdown — most of which were selected for their unique interpretations of popular music — this musical number was selected due to the obvious appreciation that its creators have for the original version.  When it originally aired, the Britney Spears’ themed “Brittany/Britney” episode of Glee was much maligned for its almost complete lack of a cohesive storyline, and its synthetic (and at times just plain weird) Extended Music Video on Acid (or, perhaps more appropriately, Laughing Gas) quality. 

And yet, it was this episode that was responsible for finally displaying to Glee fans the long hidden talents of Heather Morris.  Who knew the daffy and childlike Brittany had such hot moves, or such a sweet, pop song-friendly voice?  The performance (which was part of a dream sequence, shared by both Brittany, herself, and Naya Rivera’s Santana) is an almost frame-by -rame recreation of the original “Me Against the Music” video, performed by Britney Spears and Madonna.  In this incarnation, Brittany gives a surprising amount of grace and class to the role of pop tart, Spears, while Santana expertly embodies the older, more sophisticated, Madonna.

(7)  “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Kurt Hummel and Blaine  (originally sung by Everybody and Their Mother)

I’m not usually a fan of Christmas music.  But even I have to admit that Chris Colfer’s Kurt and Darren Criss’ Blaine did a bang-up job of breathing fresh new life into a VERY OVERPLAYED holiday anthem.  Not only does the song look and sound different, because it is being sung by two men (as opposed to a male and a female), it also features an oddly ironic and humorous tone, thanks to Colfer’s and Criss’ playful intonations and liberal use of self-aware facial mugging. 

Kurt and Blaine are sweet with one another, and have an obvious romantic chemistry.  And yet, they aren’t taking themselves or the song too seriously, which I, as a Holiday Song Cynic, found extremely refreshing.  Filmed in the living room-like confines of Dalton Academy’ s study lounge (complete with working fireplace and Yulelog), the mood of the performance is as casual and comforting as its two likeable leads.

(8 ) “Stop in the Name of Love / Free Your Mind” Mashup – The Glee Boys (originally sung by The Supremes – “Stop in the Name of Love” and En Vogue “Free Your Mind”)

Glee‘s mashups tend to be either hit or miss with me.  And, lately, I think the show has started to go a bit overboard with its seemingly compulsive need to throw ANY two completely unrelated songs together just because the producers think it might “sound cool.”  But, for me, this particular mashup REALLY WORKED. 

Who would have thought that a 60’s squeaky clean pop tune like “Stop in the Name of Love” would complement En Vogues’ Angry Anthem for Racial and Sexual Tolerance so well?  The fact that the song is performed as a tribute to one of my new favorite Glee characters, Coach Shannon Beiste . . .

. . . and features the typically ripped t-shirt and leater-clad Puck in a POWDER BLUE SUIT, only adds to its charm!

(9) “Telephone” – Rachel Berry and Sunshine Corazon (originally sung by Beyonce and Lady Gaga)

When Fox started promoting Glee’s Second Season, much press was given to the recent addition of Internet sensation and Filipino pop star Charice to the cast.  The actress had her primetime debut in the first episode of the Second Season.  She played Sunshine Corazon, a 9th grade foreign exchange student with an innocent charming demeanor and a powerful singing voice. 

The Sunshine character was featured in not one, but TWO songs during that episode, which was entitled “Audition.”  During those two performances, she quickly proved herself to be everything she was hyped up to be, and then some.  Then, inexplicably, the character TRANSFERRED SCHOOLS!  She hasn’t been seen or heard from since!  Talk about a TEASE!

“You mean to tell me that I flew halfway across the world for under TWENTY MINUTES of screen time?  WTF?”

Fox’s bait-and-switch tactics notwithstanding, Charice’s Sunshine Corazon, along with Lea Michele’s Rachel Berry, starred in what was, in my opinion, one of the most fun and creative musical performances of the first half of the second season.  I strongly suspect that when Beyonce and Lady Gaga wrote and performed the music video for “Telephone” they never envisioned that one of the most popular covers of the song would be filmed in a high school bathroom! 

“Whatchu talkin’ about, Glee?”

In terms of the song, Lea Michele’s voice complements Charice’s perfectly, as if the two were born to sing together.  But the performance actually made this list for two definitively non-musical reasons: (1) the clever way in which Sunshine’s bubbly cuteness is used to highlight Rachel Berry’s b*tchface, and increasingly grating diva dramatics; and (2) the AWESOME ending of the video, where Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester tells the girls to “SHUT UP!”  (You see, while I’m at home, watching Glee on my couch, I tell Rachel Berry to “SHUT UP” at least once, during just about every single episode of Glee!  In that moment, I felt like Sue Sylvester read my mind.)

Either Rachel Berry is really angry at me right now, for making the above comment, or she is just extremely constipated.

In case you are interested in checking out Sunshine Corazon’s also fabulous performance of “Listen” (from the musical Dreamgirls ), which was also featured in this episode, you can find it here.

10) “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” – Kurt Hummel (originally sung by The Beatles)

In an episode entitled “Grilled Cheesus” — which was arguably the most controversial hour in the Glee’s short history — Kurt’s father Burt suffers a heart attack, and falls into a coma.  Burt’s hospitalization calls to the forefront the Glee kids widely varying feelings about God and religion.  Kurt himself just so happens to be an atheist, a fact that deeply troubles some of the more religious characters on the show, who wish to provide him comfort and solace in the only way they know how, through prayer. 

In a Five-Hanky Speech, toward the end of the episode, Kurt explains to his classmates that, while he doesn’t believe in God, he does believe in his father, and the strength of their extremely close relationship.  For him, this worldly relationship surpasses any sort of spiritual one. Kurt then breaks into a sorrowful rendition of The Beatles, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” 

As Kurt sings, the performance is intercut with fond memories Kurt has of his father and his childhood.  During those scenes, Young Kurt is played by a 13-year old actor named Adam Kolkin.  The two actors look so much alike, it’s truly shocking that they are not related.  (Way to GO, Casting Directors!  You get a cookie! :))

The cumulative impact of Kurt’s speech, his musical performance, and those heart-wrenching flashback scenes was something that stayed with me, long after the final credits rolled on this episode.

So, there you have it, my Top Ten Musical Moments from the first half of Glee‘s Second Season.  Did I miss any of your favorites? 

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Glee, music, Top Ten Lists