Glee’s real age
Written by Duana
Good Morning, and welcome to an episode of “Glee!” Yes, indeed I have watched this big ol’ episode, and I’ve kind of made a new peace with the show.
Because now I understand that it’s a cartoon.
I read the Ryan Murphy article in the Hollywood Reporter, and while it initially made me fly into a rage, he really made his point. He said, in so many words, that the show was for 7 year olds. He also said that some of the earlier, sexier moments of the show have been tempered because even though he didn’t think they were that bad, other people did.
So, with that in mind, let’s revisit this show. It’s not about character depth or a storyline that continues. It’s about spectacle and fun and songs.
In other words, this is a nonthreatening, non-damaging show for tweens. Right, then.
Here we go.
We open with an incredible pyrotechnic-BMX Katy Perry Cheerleader routine. Mine had a couple of weird cuts in it - broadcast issues? Anyway, it ends in girls striding forward with sparkly megaphones on their boobs so…that’s OK for 7 year olds? Anyway, Sue is bored, and Quinn, who looks weirder than all the others in her blue wig, suddenly gets to say so many sentences in a row!!! Like, she has an opinion and is the Norma Rae of the Cheerios, suddenly. She wants Sue to stop being demanding.
Instead, Sue demands they slap themselves with fake breast-chicken-cutlets, and OK, it’s kind of funny.
Football Field. Football talk. They’re going to win. All is great until Finn and Karofvsky bitch at each other about who is or isn’t gay, and somehow that means they mess up the play.
Then Beiste is mad, and the footballers accuse each other of being “girls”. This includes the zinger “Maybe you’ll think it’s cool when I go all Tik Tok on your face”. Finn runs out.
So there’s a Sue diary entry where she says she’s bored and got a tattoo of herself. Sorry, but anyone writing in a diary is a BORING scene. Anyway, logically it leads to Sue buying a cannon from a carnie.
Fine. She has the money, she can get a cannon, no problem. She presses a button and shoots someone across the football field. Sidehugs Becky.
SIDEBAR – SKIP IF YOU LIKE: I’d like to talk about Becky for a second because all joking aside, I don’t know what to make of this character in this position. The actress (hence also the character) has Down syndrome, and I think she does a great job hitting her marks, getting the comedy in the show – all of that is great. The concept is supposed to be that Sue Sylvester doesn’t treat her any differently than anyone else, which I appreciate. And friends of mine who have worked with people with this kind of disability really appreciate the exposure.
But question is this – the Becky character is Sue’s lackey. She says “Yes Coach” a lot and runs errands and does Sue’s bidding on command. And I guess I wonder if being an indentured servant is a good thing, because on this show anyone could be that to Sue, and Becky is being treated like anyone else, or if it’s limiting because it’s not like Becky ever gets to have an opinion or anything and it’s not showing us that people with Down Syndrome can be and do more onscreen than just being instructed/commanded by domineering blonde women.
So I am truly interested in what you all think. Hit me up.
SIDEBAR OVER, COME BACK – Some football guys who are CLEARLY in their 20s are harassing Artie with slushies. I’ll let you assume the conclusion. He gets soaked.
Schue and Beiste discuss the discord between their teams, and between them and Sue. I am SICK TO DEATH of the words “regional” ,“national”, “conference”, and “Championship”. We’ve accepted that this show can and does live in a world of fantasy so can we PLEASE make up some different names for the competitions?
The conversation is deeply boring but results in the football players storming into the Glee club room. Watching Chord Overstreet try to be intimidating makes me giggle. The football players are now on the Glee Club and are we in any way surprised? Oh wait, we’re 7. Ooooh!
Schue refers to Kurt’s secretly gay bully as “David” which – did anyone know that? Schue decides the best thing to do to show off the ‘coolness’ of Glee is to have Rachel and Puck sing that Lady Antebellum “Need You Now” song. I don’t mind this song and they sing it pretty but this is not exactly ground-or-stereotype breaking. But certain football players nod along and are mocked for doing so.
Around about now I could tell you I think it’s ridiculous that football players are shorthand for ‘Neanderthal’, and that FNL and life tell me that you don’t need to be on Football to be a Neanderthal or vice versa. But then I remember this is a cartoon allegory for children, and learning to stereotype is important, and I slide back into blissful oblivion.
Puck apologizes for screwing a number of Finn’s girlfriends and thinks the only way for them to win the football game is to be allies again. Turns out Rachel only wanted to sing that duet to make Finn jealous. Moving on –
Sue makes Becky break champagne on the cannon. See sidebar above. Brittany is commanded to climb in and seems vaguely worried at the idea of dying . Quinn continues to be the voice of the Cheerios somehow, even though we don’t hear her do anything.
Figgins yells at Sue, Schue gets to be there, ue is an evil villain who is disallowed to shoot people out of a cannon and yet I still find Schue more unlikeable. Sue has an epic tantrum to the sweet sounds of “O Fortuna”. She moves her cheerleading competition to the day of the last football game? Or something?
So the plan is this. Seriously. The football players are going to be their own halftime show. The cheerleaders have to choose which big event to go to. Schue “bribes” them with Thriller, which apparently calmed that Philippine prison who performed it a whole bunch.
You guys, I just FF’ed past a commercial where KD is arranged like broccoli. That is some subliminal messaging I can get behind.
Pretending-to-be-a-zombie montage. Boys screech about makeup. Schue tells “David”, slash homophobe/bully/Karovsky, that he’s really good.
In an apparently giant makeup section of the choir room we’ve never seen, LIKE SERIOUSLY MY ARTS SCHOOL DIDN’T HAVE LIT MIRRORS THIS NICE, Karovsky approaches Finn and makes nice.
Bathroom. Zombie Cheerios. Sue wants them to sign papers saying they will quit Glee. Also a crayon note for Brittany to ‘come back to the cannon’. So anyway, they have a choice to make.
And they resign, I guess. Finn’s mad at Quinn. She says she feels awful, but she needs the Cheerios label. Sam and Finn fight, and Sam wants to be the ‘leader’ of the ‘team’. Unclear which team is even in question here.
Footballers, full Zombie makeup. Nice matching red Cons, everyone. They are singing a Zombie’s song, “She’s Not There”. But then –o, lo, the tables are turned – because the football players face off against – Hockey Players? If all the ‘high school’ football players are in their 20s, these bemulleted hockey guys are in their 30s! And the slushies are in the other paw.
Karovsky gets called gay, he wants to quit, people try to get him not to, he still does. All the other football players follow him.
PREP SCHOOL! Love this set, love these guys and how they sing, love the blazers. They sing Destiny’s Child “Bills Bills Bills”. Those girls had a lot of problems with guys taking advantage of their wallets back in the beginning, huh?
Darren Criss sings the world ‘audacity’, and is great, but they are better than our Glee club, so it kind of makes our Glee club seem lame. Boys do the kind of backflips that don’t require hands.
Straight-hair Rachel and Mercedes have coffee with Kurt and Darren Criss. This seems real. They bitch about what’s happening at school. Kurt asks what we’re all thinking, which is “why don’t I know this when we live together” – there’s no clear answer.
Math about football teams and how they work. Rachel has an idea and I have her same dress but in green, and maybe everything is saved?
Girls want to join the team. Ohhh, OK then.
Sue pressures Brittany into climbing into a cannon. She says there are baby cannons at home, and this convinces Brittany, and yet we’re supposed to believe Artie is dating this person? (Maybe? They haven’t interacted this episode).
Football guys are aghast to see Rachel, Laura, Tina and Mercedes come onto the field in football gear. Rachel is pulling a Lea Michele (yes, I got that order right) and. You guys.
The fact that she’s so able to pull out her preening when she needs to is what keeps me from hating her. Possibly also what keeps me on this show. She’s just…she’s my Gwyneth, ya’ll. I’m saying it here and now. She is SO obnoxious and she DARES you not to like her even as she knows what she’s doing. It’s awesome and it’s a particular brand of show-snob. LOVE.
Football game. Lots of fans, lots of cash used to make this shot. Now I feel at FNL home. A snap gets called, girls lie down. Touchdown for the other team. Rachel does not have a mouthguard.
Tina gets tired of being a ‘girl’ and runs the ball through to a touchdown. Then gets tackled. Then gets examined. Then gets carried off the field, I assume. Uplifting!
Finn decides he needs to commit to doing the halftime show. He goes to fetch the cheerleaders, and convinces them to come to Glee instead. In case you haven’t watched the previous 30 episodes, you guys, heerleading is about popularity, but Glee club is about Love. So they’re going to the football game. That was easy. Sue is mad.
Puck is charged with getting the football team back on board. He uses the phrase “This is the moment of our lives” and invokes future children. So you know, the appropriate amount of hyperbole. So anyway, the guys are in, except for Karovsky, and guys, PICK A NAME for this kid.
Black Ice. Football Field. Zombie Makeup. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Heads Will Roll” mashed up with “Thriller”. I’m not going to pretend it’s not awesome, it is. I just didn’t need about 30 of the preceeding minutes. Stands go crazy. I’d tell you who’s doing what, but they’re mostly unrecognizable.
Guys, I have such a surprise for you!!! Karovsky changes his mind and puts on a jersey and runs to join them! Can you believe it??
Fans cheer. Football guys hug. My PVR runs out.
Seriously. Are you in suspense ?
I procure the show for you through alternate means. So: Football guys are proud. Want to take off makeup. Beiste says no. They’re all allowed to play. Yay!? They ZOMBIE NOISE at the other team. A play works. Football guys are friends. Girls are cheerleaders. So – no changing of gender roles, then.
Finn is going to ‘fumble the snap’. This is for football fans, I guess. They zombie-intimidate the other team by saying “brains” a lot. So does the crowd. Quarterback of other team fumbles. Our team wins. Smiles.
Sue interviewed by Couric. Remember when I bitched about this? At least she’s playing herself and not singing. Sue is “loser of the year”. This is MESSAGING. Also, Glee gets back at having to apologize to Lindsay Lohan by including in top 10 losers, “Dina Lohan and her dog, Sparky Lohan”. OK, fine. HA. Katie exposits that Cheerios budget will now go to Glee club.
Um, so now Will smugs that he gets Sue’s money and Sue calls Couric Diane Sawyer. OK.
Finn tells Karovsky it’s time to apologize to Kurt. Karovsky’s like “you think we’re cool now? Football is better than Glee, I’m not changing, bye”.
Quinn waits for Finn all sexylike. THIS AGAIN? But we get to see her in street clothes. She says she loved him. They kiss. Bell rings. Done.
Notably, on this special let’s-get-other-people-watching episode, nobody sang their feelings. Everyone only sang in rehearsal for a performance. BOOO. Here’s the deal, Glee. If you have to disguise what you are to get people to like you? You’re not being true to yourself. Isn’t that what you would say?