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Glee: The First Time

It's an essential theme for a high school show. That first time. Will it be your soulmate? Or will it be an alien invasion in your tent? We found out this week on Glee!

Someone’s Coming

It was around this time last year that Glee did its first episode centred on a musical. I suppose this is the second time round, and they definitely learned from their mistakes with Rocky Horror. West Side Story is far more Glee friendly, and fit perfectly with the virginity plot.

Our two West Side leads, both unnaturally concerned with dramatic realism in their performances, and encouraged by Artie on a power trip, seek to rush their entry into the Hudson/Hummel brothers’ pants. Cue hilarity, mixed with some silky-smooth acapella harmonising and a saccharine sprinkle of heartfelt character moments. Can you tell I loved this episode? It’s been a while since we’ve had any full on ‘Klaine’ and ‘Finchel’ (I hate those couple nicknames, but they’re so convenient) storylines, so I was ready for another dose of both. It was either a lucky coincidence or some rather clever plotting that had both Blaine and Rachel trying to lose their virginity in tandem before the show, and a fantastic idea to bring back the Warblers with a rival for Blaine’s affections.

Sebastian Smythe. Even his name sounds oily. Grant Gustin did a great job, because I loved every scene Sebastian was in, while also spontaneously shouting “Get away from Blaine you succubus!”. It was so good to see the Warblers again, and I hope we see smirking Smythe again at Sectionals/Regionals, which will give us all good reason to want the Warblers to lose! Darren Criss played it just right – I never doubted his loyalty and affection for Kurt but I did worry that he was a little interested in Sebastian to begin with. Smythe also provided the platform for the boys to go gay clubbing, which was a hoot. It was so good to see Dave Karofsky and find out that he’s still got a little ways to go but seems to be finding his own gay way (“I’m what they call a bear cub”), it’s good to see Glee doing justice to its supporting characters.

Cooty and the Bieste

Speaking of supporting characters, look who’s back in the spotlight after so long. I had thought they’d become stumped for things to do with Bieste, but she’s finally getting a love interest! Now, don’t all throw rotten fruit at me, but why does Cooter Menkins like Bieste actually? The way they keep getting her involved with good-looking guys (Mr Shue much more so than Cooter) who tell Bieste she’s beautiful is a little bit uncomfortable – she’s so awed and thankful for any scrap of affection be it a kiss or flowers that it casts her in a rather pitiful light rather than the empowered women we want her to be.

West Side Glory

The decision to do West Side Story was a very good one. Artie, a character who normally doesn’t have much to do, had the chance for a cheesy but very heartfelt speech that was just on the right side of High School Musical. Same goes for Tina! The writers also got plenty of mileage from the parallels between Tony and Maria and Klaine, and Finchel. The inevitable ‘first time’ scenes were always going to be delayed to the end of the episode, but the dramas that both Rachel and Blaine created and dealt with felt realistic. Rachel has always been willing to do anything that improves her performance and Blaine is genuinely a ‘party-girl drunk’. That all this drama played out across a backdrop of awesome West Side songs made everything flow and achieved the perfect balance of Glee episode to musical.


- Kurt’s waxing lyrical about how he loves musicals “because the touch of the fingertips is as sexy as it gets” was realised in this episode – the dual virginity losing scenes were so non-explicit that if they hadn’t made it clear what was about to happen beforehand I might have thought they’d just decided to cuddle instead!

- This isn’t a ‘Loved’ so much as trivia, but I think aside from Don’t Stop Believing, Tonight is the only song that has ever been performed more than once in Glee.

- Kurt’s cutting in and bitchy looks at Sebastian on the dancefloor at Scandals were so funny.

- Blaine: “Are you gonna cry every time we sing?” Bieste: *sniffling* “I’m such a girl!” So am I Bieste – Berry and Blaine are a one-two punch of tear-jerking musical power.

- Kurt’s waistcoat and chain outfit with the handkerchief was very cute. I just hope he didn’t learn about what the handkerchief colours meant in the gay bar...

- Warblers have names! Who knew! Well maybe you did gentle readers, but I didn’t. This episode Nick had the main solo, with help from Insidious Smythe and Thad.

Didn’t Love

- Rachel’s speech to Finn about why she wanted to lose her virginity with him at the end of the episode was a little too much like this famous quote from Notting Hill - “I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

- Finn’s football dreams were crushed, and he was really torn up about it. This isn’t really a ‘Didn’t Love’, I just felt so sorry for poor Finn.

- Sue wasn't in this episode, and Will was only barely in it. I didn't miss either of them.

- I was wrong about them showing the musical on screen. I said they wouldn’t as they’d already done the best songs. I retract those statements! These were the best songs, and this is my erratum.

Glee Against the Music

Tonight from West Side Story performed by Rachel and Blaine:
Ahh. The writers really knew they’d done good when they stuck these two together. I think it’s maybe because we’ve already heard Tina’s slightly lacklustre solo version, but this was just lovely, especially the unconventional ending. Grade B

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel performed by The Dalton Academy Warblers:
Yippee! The Warblers are back. Curt Mega and Grant Gustin couldn’t hope to match up to Blaine tenure, but they both did the song justice. Slightly nasal. It was great to see some of our Warblers return from Season Two, and I enjoyed the part with the unfeasibly hot French teacher. The way it ended though, was absolutely to die for. I wanted Blaine out of that adorable dickie-bow tie and back in a Dalton blazer. B+

A Boy Like That from West Side Story performed by Santana and Rachel:
I absolutely loved how the opening chords came in while the camera was on evil Sebastian Smarm. The meshing of the song with him and Blaine talking didn’t make Smythe seem like a pantomime villain or detract from Santana’s awesome performance, rather it added some welcome illustration as the set for the song was rather sparse. Not the greatest number, but they really made the most of it. Grade B

America from West Side Story performed by Santana, Puck and Mike:
Mucho funito! I loved Puck’s silly fake accents and ridiculous Mohawk-combover, Santana was absolutely stunning, and it was smart to insert the Jets so that Mike would be able to sing part of the song too. Check out the dancing in those heels! B+

One Hand, One Heart from West Side Story performed by Blaine and Rachel:
Oh gosh, it was just so darned romantic. Maybe those with lower schmaltz-tolerance won’t get like this episode or this song so much, but for me it was the perfect duet to end an altogether first class effort for Glee. Grade A-

Quotes for Gleeks

Sebastian: “I was like, “I don’t know who this Blaine guy is, but apparently he’s sex on a stick and sings like a dream.””

Puck: “As for the condoms — no idea, never used ‘em. It’s worked out for me about 99% of the time.”

Santana (about Finn): “It was like being smothered by a sweaty, out-of-breath sack of potatoes that someone soaked in body spray.”

Brittany: “I lost my virginity at cheerleading camp. He just climbed into my tent. Alien invasion.”

Kurt: “And Number 5, alright, this one’s really embarrassing, I wrote this before I met you: Have relations on a dewy meadow of lilac with Taylor Lautner before he gets fat.”

Artie: “I remember my first time with Brittany — the excitement, the way it made me feel like a man... even though she called me the wrong name like four times, during and after.”

Kurt: “Pleasure. And how do we know Sebastian?”
Sebastian: “We met at Dalton. Was dying to meet Blaine. Those Warblers just won’t shut up about him. Didn’t think he could live up to the hype, but as it turns out....”

Rachel: “That was amazing. I’ve never had meat substitute before that tasted that much like real meat.”
Finn: “Of course! Because you’re a vegan, which I remember because we know each other so well, more sparkling cider?”

Karofsky: “I’m what they call a “bear cub.””
Kurt: “Because you look like Yogi?”

Finn: “So you’re doing this so you can act better?!”
Rachel: “No! No I’m doing this because I love you AND so that I can act better....”

Artie: “Five minutes! Rachel darken your eyebrows, Blaine tone down the blush.”

Kurt: “I’m still just a silly romantic.”
Blaine: “It’s not silly.”

Quote of the week: Blaine: “This is the best night of my life. It’s the best night of my life! I wanna live here, I wanna live here and I just wanna make art, and help people!” Okay, so maybe it was all in the delivery, but I certainly cracked up.

This was the best episode of Glee I’ve seen in a long time. It was packed full of treats – the return of the Warblers, plenty of Klaine and Finchel, killer West Side performances, and some adorable scenes from the supporting characters. Four out of four Shirley Temples with extra cherries.


  1. Hmm, my dislike of the series last week seems a little daft now, because this was one of the best episodes they've done (why is the best Glee episodes seem to heavily feature Kurt?).

    There wasn't a single bit of this episode of this episode that I didn't love, and several bits that were stunning.

    Karofsky's return was really powerful in a low-key way and if that's the last we see of him then he got a good end. The editing they did between Blaine and Sebastian, and Santana and Rachel singing was some of the best they've ever done (Naya Rivera in red is enough to make a guy question his orientation) and Kurt was magnificent in rejecting drunk Blaine - there were strong echoes of what Burt told him, about how he matters and should act like he doesn't.

    Finally, am I alone in wondering if Blaine was stoned during the bedroom dancing scene?

  2. It keeps surprising me how much my opinion differs from you on nearly every Glee episode. I wonder what causes it...

    I didn't like this at all - I like the couple that lost their virginity, but why are they making such a huge deal about it? And which self-respecting teenager actually says "we have time, we're young"? It all just felt too whiny, and over-the-top. I did love "America" though.

    Anyway, perhaps our disagree-ance (that a word?) lies in your love for Kurt, while he's my least favorite character. Santana's my girl ;)But even though I hardly ever agree with you, I still like reading it, so thanks :)

  3. Glee lately has been hit or miss. This was *such* a hit. Possibly the best ep in the series. Loved it.

    Cooty and the Bieste. LOL.

  4. Haha I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did Billie :)

    Also glad you're enjoying reading my clashing opinions Anon!

    And I'm glad Glee is back on track for you Iago :)


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