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Glee 1.16 – Home

Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) belts one out

Grade: C+

Oh Glee, what happened to you?

You used to be funny! You used to be charming! You used to be witty! You used to be High School Musical without sucking!

Ever since Glee came back 3 weeks ago, it’s been off of its game. The stories have focused too much on an overall theme without letting the plots develop naturally. Take last weeks’ Madonna episode. Some brilliant songs, but why force a theme of women empowerment in a way that doesn’t make sense in the context of the show?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This week’s episode, titled “Home”, was less than the sum of its parts. It had the makings to be great. Kurt (Chris Colfer) tries to set his father up with Finn’s (Cory Monteith) mom to disastrous consequences. Mercerdes has to deal with being on the Cheereos and what that means about her weight. And guest star April Rhodes (Kristen Chenoworth) returns. How could it fail?

Well, it fails, and it fails pretty mightily. First of all, I don’t think that Ryan Murphy (who is gay himself) is doing the gay community any favors with the character of Kurt. I realize how hard it is for Kurt to have a crush on a straight guy, but the way he goes about it is so blatantly manipulative. Yes, it backfires and Kurt feels terrible afterwards, but not because he did it for the wrong reasons. He feels terrible because he realizes that he lacks the connection to his father that he always wanted. While sad, it’s still fairly self-indulgent.

Mercedes’ weight issues could have been an interesting storyline, but it’s so heavy handed that I have a hard time taking any of it seriously. It’s funny when she sees everyone else dressed as food, but her conversation with Quinn (Diana Agron) might as well have been a public service announcement for PBS. Lines about realizing the value of food now that you’re eating for someone else have good intentions but made everyone I watch it with let out a collective groan. I didn’t mind that the talk was somewhat unprecedented in relationships between Mercedes and Quinn. It could have been done well. It just wasn’t. Also tip: if you want to have a pregnant girl on your show, make her look, ya know, pregnant.

The worst storyline of the three running through the episode was easily Will’s (Matthew Morrison). Why is April over at your house? Can you just pick a girl and go with it? What about Emma? Shelby? The writers have turns him into a bit of a womanizer that it’s hard to take him seriously. He was about to take Ms. Pillsbury’s v card in the last episode and now he’s gonna let some drunken tramp that is all over him sleep in his house? Nice, Shu.

Now, I can handle Glee when it goes a little overboard thanks to its songs. But what the hell happened this week? I like “Fire”, but in Glee? And without any context what so ever? “A House is Not a Home” was great when Tamyra Gray did it on the first season of Idol, but it really didn’t lend itself well to this show. “Beautiful” was extremely well done and a great use of Amber’s vocals, but was also cheesy as hell. Someone said during the episode “God, I hope they don’t do Beautiful. I might walk out”. Well, they did and she left.

Also, this episode severely lacked Sue, Brittany and Santana. “I think my cat is reading my diary” is cute, but nothing compared to classic lines like “Hey, did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?”. I think people are still reciting that one.

That’s not to say that the episode was completely terrible. The acting by Chris Colfer was brilliant, as was the conversations that he had with his father (guest star Mike O’Malley). I also never thought I would be saying this, but O’Malley again was fantastic in his role. It’s because the dynamic is so weird between him and Kurt that it works so well. Also, his talks with Finn were realistic, necessary and endearing even if they hurt Kurt. As stated before, Amber Riley destroyed “Beautiful”. Riley is also growing as an actress, and I really enjoyed her in the episode as a whole.

On a side note, I don’t understand the compete love of this episode by critics. Mark Perigard of the Boston Herald thought that this was the best episode of Glee yet. Please get better, Glee. For all of us.

Glee airs Tuesdays at 9pm on FOX.


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