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Glee: Duets

[Please give a warm welcome to Harry, who has just joined the Doux writing staff and will be reviewing Glee for us! -- Billie]

“I know you’re lonely, but you’re not alone.”

Glee does duets. And it was “so frickin’ charming.” In fact, for the most part, they managed to avoid being too trite, and instead created an episode of Glee that wove together more plot threads than usual, and paid each of them off fairly well.

They picked up last week’s main plot line with Kurt’s dad Burt and showed us how Kurt is being a fairly stereotypical mother hen. But they also went beyond that to explore the difficulties many high school gays face with unrequited crushes on straight guys, and the constant battle to not seem predatory or lecherous. It was also more realistic that they didn’t just paint Kurt as a poor beleaguered angel – I mean come on, couldn’t he have waited until Sam was Not naked to talk to him? The writers also cut quickly to the point – that being a gay guy at high school is often a fairly lonely experience, which made a good contrast to the week’s coupled-up theme.

This episode was light on staff and focused more on the pupils, with Will just showing up in the context of the Breadsticks competition, which all the Glee kids seemed unreasonably excited about. We saw the formation of new couples, learnt more about existing couples (but thankfully Rachel and Finn didn’t get too much screen time) and focused on couples that have been a bit ignored so far. It was great to see Mike and Tina interacting at last! Also, Santana and Brittany get their mack on? I didn’t realise that was a regular thing. It’s strange and perturbing that Glee makes a big deal about about gay males but bi females are just by the by (see what I did there?). Brittany also had a mini-fling with Artie, who got fairly badly hurt – poor Artie.

Sam I Am

This was a pretty good second first impression episode to properly introduce us to Sam. Complete with not one but two topless scenes, and lines drawing attention away from his giant mouth and towards his pretty hair. I like that they made him a geek, coming out with Na’vi lingo and references to Dr Seuss. He seems to fit quite well as a new love interest for Quinn since he retains that same ‘loveable fool’ quality that Finn has. They also made a great partnership on ‘Lucky’, I think it deserved to win the competition. I wonder if Quinn will use their breadsticks voucher for their second date too? As a side note – say ‘aww’ for poor Brittany nudging her meatball across her plate behind them.

Glee Against the Music

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee
This was a strong starting number and worked well for Rachel and Finn. However, I don’t think it would have won the trip to Breadsticks!

River Deep Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner
Mercedes and Santana were awesome on The Boy Is Mine last season, and this number worked even better, simply great. I was left cold by the bum wiggling though. Guess I ain’t ready for their jelly.

Le Jazz Hot – from "Victor/Victoria"
What an outfit! Kurt took me back to Theatricality with this one. It didn’t exactly go with the rest of the songs from the episode, but it fit Kurt like a silk glove. Maybe that was the point? Kurt may at times be too in-your-face for high school, but he knows what he likes and he does it well.

Sing! – from “A Chorus Line”
Other Asian has a solo! Well he singtalks anyway. It was great that Harry Shum (Mike) finally got the limelight, and it was a good way to explain his previous silence while showing off his dance and comedy talents. Well chosen Tina/Glee writers.

With You I’m Born Again – Syreeta Wright and Billy Preston
Well, they succeeded in being bizarre at least. I wasn’t offended though. But maybe it makes sense that everyone else was when you consider their religious views in last week’s Grilled Cheesus?

Lucky – Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
Simply lovely. It suited Diana Aggron’s voice very well and Chord Overstreet (what a name!) sure can sing.

Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy – Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand
I wasn’t grabbed by the song but it was done beautifully. Trust Rachel to choose more Streisand! I think it perfectly fit the story, with Rachel finally doing something altruistic and making Kurt feel less alone by singing with him. Those two just might become friends. I wonder how Mercedes will react to that.

Quotes for Gleeks:

Wow Brittany and Santana were in good form this week!

Sam: “Sam I am... and I don’t like Green Eggs and Ham.”

Will: “What’s a duet?”
Brittany: “A blanket.”

Santana: “How can you do a duet by yourself? That's like vocal masturbation.”

Sam: “I don’t see the big deal, he emailed me like 60 mp3s of him singing and I thought it was Faith Hill.”

Finn: “I'm with Rachel now. She's a lot shorter than Quinn and she talks a lot, but I love her.”

Brittany: “I’m mad at you... you’re still so hot.”

Artie: “I thought I was over someone, but I still think I have feelings for them.”
Brittany: “The Clintons?”

Santana: “The only thing you can give Brittany that she can’t get somewhere else is super choice parking.”

Rachel: “Hey, I have something I want to talk to you about.”
Kurt: “Please, not another pregnancy.”
Rachel: “I think you and I are a little bit more similar than you think.”
Kurt: “That’s a terrible thing to say.”

Sorry if I left out your favourite quote – if so post it below!

Three out of four planets that aren’t Venus. Maybe if we’d had some Sue scenes it could have reached four. Next week, please! Also, can Sunshine come back too please?



  1. Welcome, Harry, and great job on your first review!

  2. Nice review. Was worried we weren't going to be getting more Glee here regularly but it sure wrapped up fast! Keep writing.

    (Am I the only one who doesn't like Sam all that much?)

  3. Nick, I agree -- Sam hasn't won me over. I can't stop looking at his lips, either.

    I thought Kurt should have won the competition. Although who would he have taken to Breadsticks?

  4. Welcome, Harry! Thanks for keeping the home fires burning for Glee!

    I really enjoyed this episode, and didn't miss Sue at all. Which is kind of strange, because I usually enjoy Sue's outrageousness, but this one worked just fine without her.

    I loved getting some different (or uncommon) pairings for the musical numbers, but wish we had gotten to see Artie and Brittany perform. It makes complete sense that they didn't given the story direction, but I was looking forward to seeing what they would do.

    I vote for Santana and Mercedes as the best of the duets. But my favorite bit was Rachel being human for once and doing something genuinely nice for Kurt. Plus, I love when those two duet!

  5. If Kurt and Rachel's duet was in the running I'd pick that to win any day...been wondering why it took so long for these two powerhouses to do a piece together (well there was Defying Gravity but it's not the same).

    I hope with Rachel's new wish to be nice, we'll see less of her being so annoying - I know it's her character but considering what's happened (Sectionals Regionals etc) we've seen that she can be better, so I hope she'll get some of that character development. That sticks.

  6. Welcome, Harry! Lovely review.

    I liked this one too. In fact, it's my favourite in quite some time. I was actually invested in a number of subplots, particularly Sam's courtship of the understandably defensive Quinn and the Artie/Brittany thing. Poor Artie.

    I also liked the parallel of Kurt hiding behind his homosexuality to excuse his pushiness and Finn hiding behind others' homophobia to excuse his own. No one's coming out clean in this one.

    One small nitpick about the episode. I don't know what is with network shows lately (FlashForward did the same thing as did a sitcom I don't remember), but dim sum is not an evening meal. It literally means breakfast. You'd figure Other Asian, apparently being a maladapted traditionalist mama's boy after all (thanks for perpetuating the stereotype, Glee) , would know that.

    Oh, and, Harry, as the self-appointed head of the new hazing department, I figure I should give you fair warning if only to create suspense. Cue evil laughter.


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