Written by Duana

I’m writing this somewhere over Nebraska, and weeping like a fool because I just watched Waiting for Superman. I’ve been wanting to watch this, but I somehow didn’t make it until now – if you haven’t seen it, you don’t need my preaching – but it’s about the problems in the American school system, what it needs, what happens to the kids who slip through the cracks, how they can be helped.

And the kids are so hopeful. Even though they don’t know what‘s really going to happen if they don’t get more opportunities, they know it’s important nonetheless. They hope so hard that it works.

Then of course there’s Glee. And for all I rant about this show, I want you to know that this is how it should be. Kids should have access to not only quality fundamental music education, and the freedom not to worry that they won’t get into college, and the delight of their biggest worry being whether or not their costumes match.

Rant over – but it makes you think.

This episode is largely centered around Rachel, and I know she drives a lot of you crazy because Lea Michele wants it so bad, and because Rachel herself is needy and tries – but to me, that’s when this show is at its best. It’s about a kid who doesn’t know how to do things like social interaction and teenage blasé, and has to sort of figure it all out in so many words, mistake by mistake.

I can’t help but like her. Even if the show doesn’t want me to, which I can only conclude from the dress they had her wear.

So this episode begins with Rachel failing at writing her own songs. Soon enough, she realizes that to be like Joni Mitchell and Carole King, her new heroes (someone’s been reading Girls Like Us), she’s got to have some experiences, and that she probably won’t get any experiences if she doesn’t acknowledge the possibility of drinking.

I just love that she’s so mechanical about how she decides to have the experience. Step one, hippie dress. Step two, wine coolers. I think I’ve written about this before, but honestly, this was how I felt about high school. Who takes everyone else aside and teaches them that you have to get an older guy to get booze for your party? Is it older brothers and sisters? What if you don’t have any? Do you hope you have a cooler best friend?

In any event, Rachel allows Puck to make horrifying drinks, and thus begins a high school party that looks like ones I knew, except where are the 60 odd dirty-looking other people that nobody really knows?

One bit of reality they do decide to tackle is Finn’s outlining the several different kinds of drunk girls you see at a party. Hilariously happy, angry, sloppy-sleepy, and Rachel, the needy girl. Because these boys are far more in touch with themselves than any regular teenage boy, possibly due to being 30, he doesn’t list the corresponding boy stereotypes, like ‘Overly Persistently Amorous’, ‘Stupid Physical Feats That Will Eventually Require Stitches’, ‘Rageaholic Uses 3% Alcohol As An Excuse.’ But hey, maybe that’s another episode.

Anyway, the less said about the rendition of “Don’t You Want Me” the better, but Rachel and Blaine sing, and Darren Criss just oozes charisma, doesn’t he? In any event, Finn is uber passive-aggressive about still punishing Rachel for hurting him (Sorry, I mean “telling her not to be a clingy drunk”), which leads to Spin the Bottle, which leads to that age old trope, Straight Girl with a crush on a Gay Guy.

This whole subplot made me a little uncomfortable, and I wasn’t sure why. Maybe because everyone was so sure Blaine couldn’t be attracted to Rachel. Maybe because they rarely ever give Rachel a win. They kick her when she’s down and make a joke about it – and I would wager there are way, way more Rachels watching this show than there are Quinns – so why do we have to make her the Dwight Schrute of this show? I do know that sometime around when this episode was being shot, there was a bit of a kerfuffle that the Blaine character wasn’t going to be gay, but bi . And the people at Glee assured everyone that it wasn’t the case, so I guess this was to reinforce that point.

Anyway, I wish I could rag on the musical production of ‘Blame It On The Alcohol” but it sounded amazing, and I loved the wig they had on Amber Riley. Ditto for the production of “Tick Tock”in an alcohol prevention assembly at school. Isn’t it crazy that Brittany is basically a chameleon shapeshifter? She looks like whomever you put her in costume as that day. It’s uncanny. The purple puke was absolutely ridiculous looking, but it did look appropriately childish. Which is good for TV, and not so good for the actual prevention of drinking by minors.

Oh - did I not mention that’s what this was supposed to be about? Yeah, in a ridiculous plot that involves Schue getting drunk with Biest, drunkdialling Emma, and as usual, being screwed over by She Who Shall Not Be recapped, we somehow come to a place where these guys sign a pledge saying they won’t drink before Regionals…

…but you don’t care about that, do you? You care about the plot where Kurt’s Dad finds he and Blaine in bed together, and you’re waiting for him to freak out, right? Well, basically, that’s exactly what happens, and Dad gets whiplash from the “Maybe my son was having sex” to “My son was drinking?” to something unintelligible about what men do in bed together, which is really, honestly, too stupid to even acknowledge (you’re telling me that when Burt found out his son was gay he didn’t google everything on earth?)

Nonetheless, this little subplot still made me mad, because I can’t believe that they let Kurt get the last word. When you’re 16, you shouldn’t get to have someone you might sleep with sleep over in your bed. If for no other reason than that it’s a powerful motivator to move out and get your own place. There’s a secondary issue here that Kurt should be able to have a friend over without assuming that just because they’re both gay, that they’re going to sleep together. So I understand that it’s cloudy. But Burt let himself be cowed by the fact that he’s worried about his son and doesn’t know what the right questions to ask are. So he’s allowing his son to dictate how the parenting will go. It was just a cloudy scene – they kept talking about what was appropriate – when they could have made a stronger scene if it was more precise.

Also of note: Quinn as sarcastic voice of mouthing off to teachers is still the best use of her. Emma Pillsbury is irritating to me but even she is better when she’s rejecting Schue, and Finn is fast becoming an irritating goody-goody.

Things go a lot better when I don’t have to talk about She Who Will Not Be Recapped, huh?

Attached – Matthew Morrison at Letterman earlier this week

Photos from Wenn.com