Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Glee-cap: Was this a cheesy episode? Yes/No

The answer is ... yes. Yes, Tuesday night's "Glee" was cheesy. It was all about love and marriage, and it was full of overwrought songs and overwrought speeches. But it also had some decent little moments.

The episode started out well, with a nearly shot-for-shot remake of "Summer Lovin'" from Grease, with Sam as Danny and Mercedes as Sandy.

Sam & Mercedes were just one of the many couples explored in this episode. Let's take them one-by-one, shall we?

Sam & Mercedes didn't move terribly far this episode, though after singing "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," Mercedes realizes that she thought of Sam. Rachel tells her to take it slow and "listen to your heart." Cliche, high school advice if I ever heard it but, then again, they are cliche high schoolers.

Sam, meanwhile, tries to compete with Mercedes' new man, Shane, by getting a letter jacket, so he joins the synchronized swimming team, where we get to meet Roz Washington (played by NeNe Leakes), who won a medal in the Olympics for individual synchronized swimming.

Becky has a crush on Artie and asks him out. They go out for dinner, but Becky wants to take the relationship further and Artie just wants to be friends. Becky knows that it's because of her Down's Syndrome, but Sue helps her through it with ice cream and "Lifetime Television for Ovaries." The best thing about this whole slightly awkward plotline is that we find out that Becky has a proper British accent in her head. Don't we all, Becky?

Finn is thinking about the future, and is considering going into the Army like his father, who he thought died in Iraq. He tells Schue, who tells his parents, and Finn's mom tells him that his dad actually died of a drug overdose after being dishonorably discharged from the Army. Finn has a bit of a breakdown and tries to decide what to do ...

We find out that Coach Beiste and Cooter eloped at the Fort Wayne 24-Hour Wedding Chapel (which, sad to say, doesn't actually exist), which leads into one of the main plots ...

which is Emma and Schue potentially getting married. See, when Emma hears about Beiste getting married, it gets her thinking about marriage. Sue and Beiste urge her to just ask Will herself (yay!) but she freaks out (boo!). But Schue figures out that she wants to get married, so he asks the Glee Club to come up with a great big way to propose to Emma. Schue is only the worst teacher ever, since he uses the Glee club as his own personal plot device more often than not. But since I'm convinced the whole show is happening in Rachel Berry's fever dream anyway, I'll let it slide.

Anyway, Schue also has the bright idea to ask Emma's parents for their blessing on their marriage, and they say "No" because they're worried about Emma being a good wife since she is majorly OCD. That, Will, is why, instead of talking to her parents about marriage, you just talk to the woman you are thinking about marrying about all this stuff. Seriously, asking for permission? What year is it?

Anyway, Will and Emma talk and don't really resolve any of their problems, but Schue proposes anyway, with a big production number that includes synchronized swimmers performing to "We Found Love." It's actually a pretty bitchin' number, I gotta say. Emma, of course, says yes.

Which brings us to the tail end of the episode, where Finn has realizes that he really loves Rachel. He brings her to the stage, where they had their first date, and Finn asks her to marry him.

And ... black. We'll apparently fine out in 2 weeks, during the Michael Jackson-themed episode, what she said.

Musical Numbers:

Summer Lovin': Great! Practically a shot-for-shot remake from "Grease," which had a great nostalgia factor as well as featuring one of my favorite couples on the show, Sam & Mercedes. We need a LOT more songs like this!

Wedding Bell Blues: Emma sings this when she decides she'll maybe propose to Schue herself. It's very cute, and these cute little '60s songs are perfect for Emma. I especially liked Sue and Beiste in the background as the backup singers, especially when they were wearing bridesmaids dresses and hats that looked like the ones Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice wore to the royal wedding.

Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin' Jack Flash: The boys' offering for Schue to propose to Emma, because they think Schue should "lead with your hips." It's a great song with good dancing, and I like the little "Jumpin' Jack Flash" additions. Very catchy and fun.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face:
Very pretty song featuring some great harmonies by Rachel, Tina, Santana and Mercedes. It also advanced the plot by showing that Mercedes still likes Sam!

Without You: A Rachel Berry "Park & Blow," which went on a bit too long and was quite dramatic. As usual. It was saved when, after the song, Santana sarcastically said, "What, the assignment wasn't 'Make it all about Rachel Berry and force everyone to watch,' was it?" Oh snap!

We Found Love: Really nice production number. We don't see much in the way of synchronized swimming anymore, but I loved the mixing of the classic old '30s Busby Berkeley-style production number with a modern song. Oh, and Artie in a floaty chair was pretty adorable. It was probably my second favorite number tonight after "Summer Lovin'."

Great Quotes/Funny Stuff:

"Is that a mohawk, Puckerman, or did somebody glue a squirrel to your head." - Becky, in her mind (in a proper British accent, amping up the comedy)

"I've never seen lips like that on a white child, and one of your nipples is higher than the other. I bet you had to overcome a lot with those crooked nipples." - Roz to Sam

"If you pee in my pool, I will kill you." - Roz to Sam

"You're in synchronized swimming and glee club. It's like some weird death wish." - Finn to Sam.

"Hey, Terry, do you want to make a fake baby with me?" - Santana, imagining how Schue proposed to first wife Terry.

"Just be glad Comrade Obama still allows Christmas." - Emma's dad, when seeing Will & Emma's Christmas tree still up.

"If I let your brother (take over the shop when he's in D.C.), he's going to have all the grease monkeys wearing white dinner jackets." - Bert

Emma's pamphlets in her office include, "So You're a Spinster."

Sue: "Maybe she can move on and date someone who doesn't sound like one of those weird puppets that they bring around to the grade schools to teach kids about sexual predators, and for God's sake, you could go one day without the driving gloves. It's a wheelchair, Artie, not a Porsche."
Artie: "Are you finished?"
Sue: "Stop buttoning your shirts up all the way like a demented 90-year-old. You look like you're auditioning for the lead in your nursing home's stage production of 'Awakenings.'"

Overall Assessment

It was a decent first episode back, but I'm hoping for less Emma/Schue and Finn/Rachel. Let's face it, they've been done to death. We also need more goofiness from Sugar and more sarcastic asides from Santana. The writers can actually cover a multitude of sins by making Santana make sarcastic comments about stuff. Also, let's give someone other than Rachel a ballad once in a while, OK? And if Rachel says yes to marrying Finn, I might scream. Bad plan.

The songs were good, if a little slow in the middle. I'm really looking forward to some Michael Jackson action in two weeks, even though in general I want more showtunes!

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