Written by Duana
It’s been a long time. I know, I’ve said some things. And I mean, look. Like I said, I probably would have said all of them to your face. I didn’t do it in malice, I just – I wanted you to know that I thought you could be better. I’m sorry if you were hurt, but – I felt like I knew you again this week.
I could go through and outline all my thoughts, scene by scene, line by line. I could ask myself why a show gets a 90 minute episode when it’s not even sweeps yet. I don’t know what happened, and there were a lot of bumps in this episode that could have been ironed out (or, for that matter, eliminated in the interest of a regular-size episode) – but it felt like a real episode of television about real people. Still utter teenage fantasy, of course, but in the best way possible.
Teenage Girls are real:
Rachel’s plot, hating her nose and wanting Quinn’s, feels real. It’s a true thing. Not just because a girl like Rachel might fantasize about changing herself – as the show accurately points out, we all have those – but because she’s fixated on something that means exactly nothing to anyone else. Whenever friends of mine have confessed they’d love to fix this or that – it’s never, ever been something I thought about even once. People’s focus on their own flaws is magnified 950%, relative to how the rest of us see them.
Quinn, of course, continues to be blonde and beautiful and hates herself. That’s not surprising at all. Girls like that learn at a really young age that what they have is fleeting, that they need to capitalize on their beauty for the few years they’re on top. When Quinn says she’s a 17 year old beauty and so sees the world as charmed, she all but tells Rachel it’s going to be gone in three years. And that’s why she’s so threatened by Lauren – if the world can accept a fuller-figured prom queen, then what – what, I ask, does Quinn Fabray have?
I didn’t need the revelation that she used to be fat. I didn’t need to know that she used to be a victim. I disliked the revelation that she changed herself being used by Lauren, because it was unnecessary. And it still didn’t make Quinn more likeable.
Lauren is perfect. You know this. I didn’t feel like her apology was forced, because Lauren is secure enough in herself to admit when she did something wrong. I want to see more of her, and I want the Glee club to continue using her pride in herself as a talisman for themselves. She can do little wrong. Continue as you were.
Furthermore, Lea Michele is both well-criticized and oft-defended by me, but she continues to be pitch-perfect, if you’ll pardon the term, as the alternately insecure and egotistical Rachel (in other words, a teenager).
Welcome back, Kurt Hummel
The Kurt plot should not have been so affecting. That is, Colfer is a series regular, so we knew he was coming, and the show itself can’t afford to portray itself as a bully-friendly school. So we knew it was going to happen –
- but oh, OH. Glee, if you learn to use your characters as well as you’ve learned to use Kurt, then you will be back where I always knew you could be. He’s so compelling and wonderful – when he’s telling David how it’s going to be, he felt powerful but not malicious. When the Warblers sang their poignant goodbye he didn’t do anything but facial expressions – and I was with him. When the show let him sing Norma Desmond’s long, overwrought “As if we never said goodbye” in its’ entirety, and then cut to the Glee club cast all beaming at him – I have no doubt those were the actors smiling.
Clearly Chris Colfer is the kind of talent we haven’t seen in years – aren’t used to seeing on a boy. He’s evocative, he’s consistently relatable, and he brings you into songs he’s got no business being able to do so well. I think he deserves all the praise he’s being given, and then some.
“Is she here?”
“No, this is a mall in Ohio.”
Glee, I loved you going outside the studio. I loved your mall Flashmob. And I know the secret is that your show is so expensive you can’t be running around begging for more sets. But I really would encourage you to look beyond that outdoor high school stair set. It looks gross and doesn’t link to the school. Maybe in season 3? Please?
You know why I loved this episode? There was a whole lot of unbridled joy. When they did their super-fun dance to ‘Barbra Streisand” I could see the actors smiling, not just the characters. It’s so damn cheesy but when they feel good (and, dare I say it, when they believe in the scripts too) the performances go through the roof in energy and believability, in a way that you can’t pay for.
I haven’t had a personality transplant…
There are still some things I don’t buy. I didn’t love the Quinn-was-ugly story. It doesn’t allow for her being a terrible person. I did like Santana getting herself a beard, because that’s exactly what a girl of that age and mindset would do – but I’m not holding my breath that we’ll hear about it again. Her loving Brittany is still mega-odd.
For the love of everything, I don’t care about Emma’s OCD. A woman in her 30s who let her problem go on that long is not going to believably recover fast enough to factor into Schuester’s life (I know I will be proven wrong).
But then again…
Oh, was this about Lady Gaga?
This is how you celebrate an artist. Her message and what she believes in are spread throughout the episode. But we didn’t have to hear her songs wall-to-wall. The point was made, (The point with the t-shirts was perhaps slightly belaboured, but awfully cute) and it made more of an impact.
I was so impressed.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Santana couldn’t get up onstage in her ‘Lebanese’ T shirt and I’m not joining the Glee fan club just yet. I know there’s a lot of room for improvement and a lot of room for error. I don’t know what made you guys make this episode believable and useful with the right number of family members, relationships, and songs.
Please keep going. Please know this is what your show could be. There are a lot of people – like Kurt, just to really mangle the metaphor – who want to come home to you. Who secretly hope in their hearts that you’ll feel it in yourself to change but are convinced you won’t.
Show them you will. Show them you can.
I really enjoyed our time together
PS – Can we meet Rachel’s Dads already?
PS #2 - It’s not an accident that she wasn’t here.
Attached - The cast of Glee shooting in New York this week.
Photos from Wenn.com