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Glee: Vitamin D

"Glee is about what's in your heart, not what's coursing through your veins."

Wow. I freaking loved "Vitamin D". First of all, they did an awesome Bon Jovi cover - and as a Jersey girl, I am programmed from elementary school to worship them. Both mashups were pure genius, and the episode was a riot, from Finn's drool to Sue's journal. And can I just say, Terri totally owned this episode. I know we're not supposed to like her, but damn if I don't sympathize with her.

There were so many awesome moments this week, ranging from emotional, to sweet, to just laugh-out-loud funny, I don't even know where to begin. I think my favorite was Finn's inner monologue - poor Finn is so overwhelmed with football, "being the Glee stud" and Quinn's pregnancy, that even dropping homework hasn't helped. The drool was hysterical - although that might be because I once fell asleep in class, and woke up with a puddle on my desk.

Rachel made some genuine overtures to Quinn, who is obviously also struggling. She even tells her that she's "actually quite a good singer - even though you're often sharp, but that's because you don't have my years of training." Glee Club is apparently a haven for losers who didn't have friends. While I find this idea sort of insulting (I was in musical theater and no one threw smoothies at me), it is kind of sweet that real friendships are developing between the kids. And I like Quinn. She's not just some dumb cheerleader - although you do need to question any school that would give Terri a 4.0 GPA.

Oh, and Sue's journal. O.M.G. I posted it in its entirety below. It was too much - she's about to turn 30? Beef bones in the juicer? (Gross.) Will's store bought home perm?

TOTW

I continue to thank the Glee gods for tighter storytelling and continued subtlety... this week's theme, competition, was so organic that I didn't even think about it until after the ep was over. It was also addressed in such an absurd way - cold medicine? - that it made its obligatory PSA without being preachy or uncharacteristically dark.

I've read some other reviews that by using decongestants, Glee didn't put enough weight into the seriousness drug use. I wanted to call this out because I've finally made peace with what this show is: ridiculous. Some of the comments from you folks made me realize that I was overanalyzing the characters and the satire; I was looking for deeper meaning in every word, gesture, punchline and song. And in doing so, lost the pure joy that I get from watching it.

So here it is: like Will said, "Glee is about having fun." When we stop having fun, it's time to stop altogether; we're missing the point. Thankfully, Glee has fun by mocking Middle America. I've heard so many people ask how any character could be so stupid not to realize blah blah blah, who would be dumb enough to get high on cold meds. To them I say, you obviously haven't seen the warning label on birth control pills: "Do not use if you are attempting to get pregnant."

Terri, Terri, Terri... *tsk*

Speaking of pregnant and dumb, Terri took front and center this week after Sue tells her that if Will isn't already having an affair with Emma, they well are on their way. She takes a job as the school nurse to keep an eye on them, even though she doesn't have a lick of training beyond once using a defibrillator. Along the way, she conspires with Ken, has a smackdown with Emma, and wreaks havoc by handing out OTC uppers to the Glee kids. As a result, she's fired and Will is unhappily saddled with his archnemesis as Glee's co-director.

I'm really glad Terri confronted Emma. While I liked that Emma straight-up told her that "Will deserves much better than you", I gotta say that Terri wasn't altogether wrong. Will is her husband, they are committed to each other (and have been since high school), they do love each other. And I agree, Emma is such a paragon of virtue that it's borderline self-righteous. I'm starting to see Terri as more immature/not very bright than manipulative - if you notice, she tends to follow other people's lead (e.g., Kendra and Sue), and, as Will said, doesn't understand the consequences of her actions.

Jessalyn Gilsig just knocked it out of the park this week. She managed to make a shrewish, vapid character both complex and human, sometimes using nothing but her face. In Gilsig's hands, Terri is simultaneously scheming and sympathetic; does really stupid things, but with the intention to help; vulnerable, haughty, vapid, insecure, self-centered, and scared. She is able to convey the hurt and fear a woman experiences at the thought of losing her husband, before masking it with the disdain she wears as an armor around other people. The scene in Figgins' office particularly stood out to me. Her expression after Will blurts out "every time I light a fire in my life, you find a way to make sure it burns the forest down" was downright heart-wrenching.

But I do have a bone to pick. Since when did Terri and Will start having issues? In both the Pilot and "Showmance", it showed them as a loving couple - taking bubble baths together, trying to have a baby. I know we, as viewers, saw the trouble brewing with the hysterical pregnancy and Emma, but it didn't feel like there was a whole lot of marital strain. I know they argued about money and her Pottery Barn addiction, but married couples argue. Yet, suddenly, in "Preggers" (ep. 4), she is telling her sister that Will is already one foot out the door. Really? Is this bad storytelling by the writers, or did I miss something?

And I still don't understand Terri's plan. Is it supposed to be really, really stupid, or are the writers inconsistent?

Mashup: Boys v. Girls

In the end, we never got a verdict on who had the better mashup. Personally, I'm torn. As I said, I'm genetically partial to the boys because of Bon Jovi, and blending "It's My Life" with "Confessions" was a brilliant - especially considering the Finn-Quinn-Puck baby deal. I'm glad that they gave Artie the lead for "Confessions", and for a change, there was no reach-to-nowhere in the choreography. Ironically, last week Finn's frenetic twitching drove me nuts. This week, when he was supposed to be off-the-wall-hyper, he was actually much smoother.

But I also loved the girls' "Halo/Walking on Sunshine". Partially because "what America needs right now is sunshine. And angels." Mostly because the yellow dresses and head bands were just way too cute. Quinn was actually wearing a Calvin Klein sundress that I'd been eyeing for months - but didn't buy because wearing yellow makes me look like a giant banana. At the same time, I think they might have overdone it with the dancing - it was so maniacal it would have given epileptics a seizure, and there was way too much hair flipping.

Bits 'n Pieces:

-- Kurt gravitating to the girl's group, and then ratting the boys out for using drugs. "I may have been put into the boys group, but my loyalty lies with you ladies."

-- Speaking of which, did you notice that Mercedes was giving Tina a manicure, and Kurt was doing his cuticles?

-- I have to say, Finn and Rachel on speed were awesome.

-- FIGGINS! I love Figgins! His look when Terri said she once used a defilibrator was delectably lecherous.

-- The Glee kids aren't worried about competing against the school for deaf kids, even though they beat McKinley High in football.

-- I got an evil little thrill when Terri wiped Emma's cup with her finger. I thought Emma was going to have an aneurysm.

-- Some great nicknames: F-Rod, A-Rach. Sue called Emma "Ellen" this week.

-- Ken's suggestion that he and Terri have an affair was suitably horrific.

-- Sorry, but a guy like Kurt would have never suggested cornrows. He's all Miss USA Pageant, not hella ghetto.

-- Yellow everywhere! Emma wore at least one yellow thing with every outfit, the girls wore yellow dresses. Even Terri's tea set was yellow.

-- In this week's fashion news: I'm digging Mercedes with the straight hair, although I never understand how people can handle bangs in their eyes. Terri's hair was very Charlie's Angels. Rachel continues to dress like Sailor Moon. Emma reminds me of an anime character, with her humungous eyes and pastel wardrobe. Oh - and Rachel's workout tights match her headband.

Quotes:

-- Kurt: "I don't understand how lightning is in competition with an above ground swimming pool."

-- Terri (to Finn): "You have really good bone structure."

-- Finn: "I'd never take steroids. It makes your junk fall off."

-- Ken: "Look at the two of us - you pregnant, me with psoriasis and a testicle that won't descend."

-- Rachel: "I'm sorry I called you contemptible and deplorable."
Finn: "That's ok, I didn't even know what those words meant."

-- Ken: "It's cubic zirconia. I know how affected you were by Black Diamond."

-- Finn: "She kind of freaks me out, in a Swimfan kind of way."

* Oblique cultural connection: The guy who starred in Swimfan played Kirsten Dunst's love interest in the original Bring It On.

Terri (about Ken): "His fondue pot of nationalities is going to open up your kids to a host of genetic diseases."

Sue's Corner:

-- Sue: "Let me be frank - your husband is hiding his kielbasa in a Hickory Farm gift basket that doesn't belong to you."

-- Terri (when Sue says she's gained weight): "I'm pregnant."

Sue: "Well, that's no excuse. I've always thought that the desire to procreate shows deep, personal weakness... don't have the time, don't have the uterus."

-- Sue's Journal Entry:
"Dear Journal. Feeling listless again today. It began at dawn, when I tried to make a smoothie out of beef bones, breaking my juicer. And then at Cheerios practice, disaster...

It was unmistakable. It was like spotting the first spark on the Hindenburg. A quiver! That quiver will lose us Nationals. And without a championship, I'll lose my endorsements. And without those endorsements, I won't be able to buy my hovercraft.

Glee Club. Every time I try to destroy that clutch of scab-eating mouth breathers, it only comes back stronger like some sexually ambiguous horror movie villain. Here I am, about to turn 30, and I've sacrificed everything, only to be Shanghaied by the bi-curious machinations of a cabal of doughy misshapen teens.

Am I missing something, Journal? Is it me? Of course it's not me. It's Will Schuester. What is it about him, Journal? Is it the arrogant smirk? Is it the store-bought home perm? You know, Journal, I noticed something yesterday...

Of course, it's coming clear to me now. If I can't destroy the club, I'll have to destroy the man!!!"
So, what's your verdict: boys or girls? As for our star-crossed leads, who else was waiting for him to break into song after she told him she was marrying Ken?

All in all, 3.5 mashups out of 4.

10 comments:

  1. Great review as always, Serena!

    And now I've got a dumb question: do you think they sped up the film for the Walking on Sunshine/Halo mashup? Because that was just to fast for the average human, Vitamin D or no.

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  2. I spent the first twenty minutes laughing out loud, and that was mostly because of Jane Lynch and her journal. Although Terri did own this episode, and Gilsig was brilliant as a twisted, drug-pushing school nurse with no nursing experience at all. I love this show.

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  3. Not sure, Josie. I'll watch it again to see if the music's pacing is off. It was pretty ridiculous, but I've seen fast dances on SYTYCD, esp when they do disco.

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  4. Serena, we finally agree! I really enjoyed this episode. Like Billie, Sue made me laugh my butt off. The mashups were awesome, and I agree with your assessment of Terri. She annoys the crap out of me, but I do feel some sympathy for her. And I particularly enjoyed her and Emma just throwing their cards on the table.

    I also still don't understand Terri's plan. How does she think she's going to pass off Quinn's baby as hers, when she's obviously many months "further along" than Quinn? Maybe she is just exceptionally stupid.

    My best mashup vote goes to the boys. Their manic dancing made me laugh much harder and I liked their song combo better.

    You left out one of the best Sue quotes: when she referred to Emma as a "ginger pygmy with bush baby eyes." I had to pause it and back it up, I was laughing so hard.

    Great review. I'm glad you've decided to stop overanalyzing and find the fun. Although I always enjoyed your analysis, too. :)

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  5. It's funny you should mention the dancing, Serena. I recently aggravated an old neck injury and I was wincing at all that over-the-top head tossing.

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  6. I think Ken ment Blood Diamond the film with Leo di Caprio.

    As for the episode, everything clicked this time. The best so far. In the mashup i would pick the boys.

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  7. Exceptionally fun episode :-D

    Regarding Terri's plan - I think she is Really just that stupid. They're not spelling it out, but I think there's some good indicators that she just doesn't understand how pregancy works:

    Re the Doc saying she isn't pregnant - "Oh My God, did it fall out?!"

    and from this ep:

    Quinn: "I need to talk to you. About the baby."

    Terri: "Is everything ok? You're not having it right now are you?!"

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  8. @Harry - yeah, I got that impression too. I thought Quinn's face when Terri said that was priceless. I also thought Terri's reaction when talking to Sue was pretty awesome.

    I can fully believe that Quinn is a smart girl. But again, Terri with a 4.0 GPA? Wouldn't she have to take basic biology in order to graduate? Did her brain fall out like her hysterical baby?

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  9. I say the boys won that round.
    Although as a former teacher, I found Mr. Schuester's use of boys vs girls to be poor judgment.But then again, he tends to have quite a few bad decisions. But I can't wait for this baby scam to explode.

    Sue is without a doubt my favorite character. Jane Lynch is a comic genius and its great to see her in primetime getting her due.

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  10. I think with Terri feeling liek she is losing Will , I think it was more based around how he spends alot of time focused on Glee and not enough on her and how sometimes he wouldnt give him everything she asked for.

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