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Glee 1.20 – Theatricality

Grade: B+

Better. Not perfect. Still better.

After last week’s disappointing episode, Glee rebounded this week to provide an emotional, if flawed, episode. While not quite the best episode the show has produced, it will most likely be one of the most remembered due to emotional scenes that are the best Glee has done.

First of all, thank you Glee writers for letting Tina get awesome. After being reduced to nothing more than “Asian”, Tina has stepped it up these past two weeks showing both her dramatic and comedic range. The issue of Tina’s dress was wonderful because that really does happen in high schools. Not to mention that Twilight fans (or as I call them, Twihards) really do act like that. And for all of you who are actually Twihards… shame. Not to mention that Tina taking advantage of the principal near the conclusion of the episode was absolutely fantastic (“Asian vampires are the most fearsome type of vampires!”). While Quinn, Mercedes, Finn, Puck, Rachel, and even Artie all have had focus episodes of their own, Tina has lacked any sort of character development besides her relationship with Artie. While this week’s episode couldn’t really be called a Tina episode, it was still refreshing to see her be more than just a wallflower.

Principal Figgins has also mentioned that he would be “praying” for Mr. Shu before, but I hope that the Glee writers continue with this super-Christian angle that they’re taking him. Because Elvis was a Christian. And Kristen Stewart seems like a bitch.

The music this week was also better than usual, which is always a plus. I actually don’t like Lady Gaga very much (she’s talented, but not my type of music) but Lea Michele and Idina Menzel performing Poker Face was one of the best songs that Glee has done. Not to mention that Shout It Out Loud by KISS was extremely well done, both vibrant and energetic. I didn’t really care for either the Barbra Streisand number or Beth by KISS, but when has there been a Glee episode where every single song was fantastic?

I’ve also had many discussions with other people on Kurt and Finn’s storyline. One of the great things about this week’s episode of Glee is that neither of them is completely innocent. Kurt has been conniving, playing matchmaker with his father’s emotions with the only goal of getting into Finn’s pants. Finn’s frustrations are completely justified, yet his actions are deplorable. I’m still surprised that FOX got away with having Finn even call something “faggy” at 9pm (and notice the only way they could get around it was to have Finn do it indirectly?). Just because Finn is frustrated with Kurt’s own manipulations does not warrant him to belittle Kurt’s expressions and his sexuality through name-calling. It’s a tough issue: Kurt obviously likes Finn because he is one of the few guys at the school that is actually nice to him, yet there is no way that Finn can like him back. Even against logic he goes through this elaborate scheme to be near him as much as possible. Finn makes a good point; this isn’t San Francisco or New York, it’s Lima, Ohio. But because it’s Lima, it makes the story so much more powerful. How much courage does it take to come out in a small town where Kurt is most likely the only openly gay person at the school? And not even that, he likes Gaga and clothing which unfortunately makes him even more of a target. Where Finn misses the boat is where he wishes for Kurt to conform instead of being himself. He was completely on mark until then, and that’s where the situation falls apart. Kurt’s father wasn’t necessarily chastising Finn for his frustrations, but the ways in which he is dealing with them by verbally assaulting Kurt’s self. Calling Kurt’s furniture faggy was one of the worst things that Finn could have done in that situation, especially since Kurt both respects and cares about Finn. It’s extremely wonderfully done and has been built up very subtly these past weeks. Not to mention that Burt’s speech was one of the best things ever to come out of Glee.

And even though I have spoken highly of Rachel and Shelly’s duets last week and this week, I have seriously issues with the storyline of Rachel’s mother. I understand that it’s natural for an adopted child to look for her mother, but I think it’s odd for a show created by a gay man that he would have the one thing missing in Rachel’s life being “her mother”. And that she was she longs for the “childhood that she never had”. Again, there’s nothing wrong with Rachel looking for her mother, but I do have an issue with her feeling like without a mother there is something inherently wrong with the way she is raised. Isn’t that completely disrespectful to her fathers? Millions of non-traditional families exist in America: just because she grew up without a mother doesn’t mean that she is deficient in some way. It just means that she grew up differently than other kids her age. For what is most likely the gayest scripted show on network television, it’s a confusing message to send and one that is disrespectful to both single fathers and gay parents.

Even with my issues about Glee this week, this was a definite rebound from last week’s thematic train wreck. Who would have thought that Mike O’Malley (who plays Burt) would actually have the acting chops to pull off that scene? The man starred in Yes, Dear, one of the worst sitcoms I’ve ever seen… ever. Bravo.


One Response

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