Written by Duana

Let’s just get this all out of the way right now. Yes, I have picked at Glee and will continue to do so because it makes some people laugh. It’s also true that I really super-love singing and dancing and all that.

Yes, I think Gwyneth Paltrow is utterly overrated and blatantly unnecessary in most situations. Like for example, the best thing I can think of to say is that she did not significantly wreck either of the Iron Man movies for me, or that I still kind of want to see Country Strong since I’ll get to watch Leighton Meester mouth off to her face.

But apparently Gwyneth really wanted to be on this show, and I assume it was because she already thinks it’s successful. To quote Lainey, “Your Gwynnie” doesn’t usually do things that even have a whiff of being on the downturn. So that means her opinion is that the show still can do no wrong. So on that note, we will be assessing this episode of Glee on whether it makes me hate her more or less.

Previously on the show, Will had an ex wife (ugh ugh ugh, adult stories), and Kurt had a gay dilemma. Okay, well, I would’ve thought that the show would have held off for a while on making Sue the principal so soon, but in fact she is. I think Sue is a super-annoying character but I do love the degree to which Jane Lynch plays her with utter and complete nonchalance.

The school has swine flu. Schue has a fever and sees all his students as four-year-olds. Not Cute. Get to the substitute. He’s sick at home, woozy camerawork, and I don’t need this to make me feel that I’m sick. Oh, Mr. Schue’s wife is there. Hi, Jessalyn Gilsig! Are you a figment of his fever? Maybe not. She’s ready to shove a thermometer up his ass, and then wings a DVD at his head. Don’t care.

Kurt and Mercedes are in a cafeteria line, and she’s trying hard to be his friend, and he gives her the time honoured ‘you wouldn’t understand’ as a reason for why he’s ditching her. She gazes at Tater Tots to substitute. Kurt V.O’s that his substitute teacher is nifty. It’s Gwyneth. That didn’t even need to take that many minutes to be revealed. Her first line is “Lindsay Lohan is totally crazy, right?” And her hair looks lank. Thus I hate her LESS.

She can’t control a simper when Kurt calls her “magnificent”. Hate her MORE.

Conjunction Junction in English class. Like the scenario, and have discovered what I don’t like about Gwyneth’s singing, specifically. People’s voices have a tone. Some are opera, some are Avril (and more pity to them). Lea Michele was born to sing Broadway. Gwynnie seems hell-bent on creating a crooner/jazzy/smoky tone though I don’t believe that’s what her voice actually does. Hate her MORE.

Non-Gwyneth remark – SO TIRED of everyone hating Rachel in Glee. In theory it might happen – but this is unsubtle even for teenagers.

Gwyneth basically walks on water over a greased floor. Okay, fine. I hate her LESS. I hate her MORE because she doesn’t modulate her voice for a whole monologue. I hate her LESS because she pulls off the line “Top 40, sweetcheeks”

OK, I had seen this “Forget You” clip basically in Clockwork Orange style while Lainey was here and forced me to watch over and over. I will say that she sounds fine, and looks really cute in her short grey flannel. I’m not sure she looks like she’s having fun, which apparently I’m not supposed to care about (Elaine, again).

Now killjoy Rachel is making herself look terrible by pouting and not playing? This feels like Gwyn’s fault somehow. Hate her MORE.

Locker room. Coach barks, “Principal” Sue cuts the football team, and it’s really not fair to put the coach, who is fine, up against Jane Lynch who is great. Sue stews, writes in her diary. Then bans tater tots.

Mr. Schue, fantasy sequence, with Mike Chang? Is this going to go in a disturbing direction? He sings “Make ‘em Laugh”. They dance. Not fun, but not Gwyneth’s fault, so I’m forced to hate her LESS. Schue wakes up, and Rachel is there in a SARS mask. She needles him. Gwyneth and Sue get their highlights done while sitting in front of Animal Hoarders, and I’ll come back to you on whether I hate her more or less as a result. Update – MORE. She didn’t sell this.

Mercedes channels her anger about Kurt ditching her into hating the ban on Tater Tots. I cannot abide the only fat girl being annoyed at the war on junk food. I cannot help laughing at the fact that Mercedes blithely refers to broccoli as ‘a toilet brush’. I’m not made of stone.

A Gwyneth/Rachel standoff. I hate Gwyneth MORE for being so blatantly the ‘Cool teach’ and giving away test answers and things. Isn’t she supposed to be too cool to be a cool mom?

UGH WILL AND TERRI HATE. More so because of their weird mission bed, and more still because they’re doing this weirdo ‘baby’ sick thing. Guys, gross. Grosser that she tries to put the moves on him while he’s sick. EW. They mack. Bored?

So Mercedes is set up by Kurt with “one of the five black guys at this school”. He is super cute. Somehow this makes her start a revolution about Tater Tots.

Gwyneth and Rachel sing “Nowadays” from Chicago, and I always thought this number was a little awkward, but they kind of look like they’re having fun together, so I hate G a little LESS. She’s a good dancer. Also, this is the happiest and child-iest we’ve seen Rachel/Lea in the longest time, and maybe we’re getting a little meta here, but can we give her something to do if she looks this alive?

Yes, both Rachel’s & Gwyneth’s cartwheel’s are bent legs. That makes me hate G LESS. Sh-t. She’s gaining on me.

Will and Sue fight about nothing really, but she’s the principal for real forever now. She fires him. OK.

Kurt and Mercedes hang out with Blaine who can’t be cuter, and they are being weirdly hilariously exclusive and they sort of mock how super-stereotypical they are with naming Vogue covers and Patti LuPone and Mercedes is bored, so she finds solace in what, Tater Tots? YES.

Okay, Schuester and Gwyneth, and I really have a problem with how smug she looks when she talks about the economy and how she can’t leave this teaching job and my rage boils back up and I hate her MORE.

Sue’s office. Mercedes did something bad w/r/t Tater Tots. I don’t have to go into this, right? We know exactly how offensive it is that the heaviest girl is singlemindedly pursuing this junk food agenda, right? Gwyneth and Sue both say “Sug-jest”, which makes me hate them both MORE.

Gwyneth at Shue’s house, and she ‘heard he likes expensive beer” and I can’t see what brand it is but how much do you want to bet she had to have it filled with her own special microbrew? Okay, I don’t know, but it’s possible.

Gwyneth flashback. A girl named ‘Cameo’ kicked her ass. I’m bored, as I am whenever adults on this show are in a room alone. Sorry, but I hate her MORE. Terri comes in. THREE adults in a room? No thanks! G looks over his shoulder gleefully, if you’ll pardon the pun, and I hate her LESS because who wouldn’t gawp at a dirty fight between a man and his ex?

Kurt tells Mercedes she’s substituting food for love, which is completely and totally condescending, and she just says he’s right. I mean, I appreciate that she’s not insecure about her bod or anything, but it’s annoying. Meanwhile, Kurt gets threatened by the big gay jock again. Um?

Okay, Sue and Schue. He gets his job back. She says “The underflaps of my breasts”. Apparently the kids liked Schue or whatever. He comes back and they clap, but didn’t they like Gwyneth? They did, remember? But he wants a dumb song.

Schue goes to get Gwyneth, who, OKAY FINE does a HILARIOUS impression of an ‘into-it’ history teacher and I don’t want to say this but I hate her LESS. He wants her help modernizing “Singing In the Rain” and now it’s ‘Umbrella’.

Mercedes looks really excellent in those liquid-look leggings, and I am thoroughly entertained by this musical number but I’m so tired of only Adults singing. Gwyneth’s dancing is off beat, which, you guessed it, makes me hate her LESS.

I want one of those water-floors to dance on in my house. I’m still never reading GOOP. Okay?