May 19, 2010

Afterschool Special

Though I neglected to post about it, I really enjoyed last week's Glee episode. Not so much Rachel's laryngitis story, but everything having to do with Kurt was awesome and I even quite enjoyed the ridiculous Puck and Mercedes stuff. I mean, yes, it was another atrocious example of how this show insists on cramming 3 months worth of story arc into 42 minutes but Mark Salling, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera and Dianna Agron were all completely enjoyable to watch so I gave it a pass.

Burt Hummel is officially my favorite character on this show. The writers manage to get both Burt and Kurt note-perfect every time and I am in love with their relationship. Also, I thought Chris Colfer was so effing good on "Rose's Turn" (or, you know, "Kurt's Turn") that I was really disappointed when he didn't get to do that number at the concert.

But it was more than a little irritating that when Rachel needed to be taught a valuable lesson about how losing her voice wasn't the end of the world by considering the plight of a person who was paralyzed, they brought in some random kid we don't know instead of giving her a talking to from Artie! And, more annoying than that was the "very special episode" vibe that whole story had to begin with. That kind of nonsense is not what makes this show fun.

Which is why I was extra disappointed in the continued preachy tone of the show last night. An episode directed by Joss Whedon, guest starring Neil Patrick Harris, with cameos by Molly Shannon and John Michael Higgins really should have been SO MUCH better. But there was too much time wasted on whining and other depressing shit.

I loved the "Wheels" episode where Artie took center stage and a lot of it was about what his life is like in a wheelchair, but I could have sworn that part of that episode was about how Artie doesn't feel sorry for himself and has accepted his plight for what it is. Now all of a sudden we're finding out that he's insanely desperate to be able to walk and dance? Wha? Look, I'm not unsympathetic and I understand that it's plausible that Artie might wish and have dreams that he could dance or walk. I just don't think that we need to be spending an episode pouting about it in the first season of a show that's ostensibly a comedy. And if you really must focus on that now, then at least try to do it with some modicum of humor or you're going to have to stop marketing your show as a comedy.

Perhaps I wouldn't have been so bugged by the paralysis story if it weren't happening in the same episode as Rachel's mother issues. She's been all about her "two gay dads" all this time and we've never even laid eyes on them. Now, before we get to meet them we have to suffer through this tiresome plot about her desire to know who her birth mother is? Boo! If it turns out that Idina Menzel's character really is Rachel's birth mother (and I'll grant you that would be perfect casting), and this isn't just some evil plan hatched to try and lure Rachel and her voice to Vocal Adrenaline for Regionals, I'm going to be pissed! If it is nefarious goings on, then the direction was completely off and I'm irked by the shot of Menzel sitting in her car in the rain all misty-eyed while she sang her "duet" with Rachel. Either way, this story is less than a winner.

Another major strike against the episode is earned by the complete lack of group number. That's where the true magic lies on this show and every episode that they fail to deliver that, is a loss in my book.

Neil Patrick Harris was funny and his one scene with Sue was perfectly disturbing, but his charisma upstaged Mathew Morrison while Morrison's voice upstaged NPH's a bit during their "Dream On" performance.

I wanted this episode to be great but instead, it was my least favorite of the season so far. I hope they make up for it with Gaga next week. I already know the "Bad Romance" costumes are worth the price of admission because I loved that performance at the concert.

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