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Glee: Hold On To Sixteen

Sam Evans returns to McKinley to help New Directions face-off against The Troubletones at Sectionals, Tina tries to help Mike convince his father to support his dancing dreams, and Quinn considers exposing Shelby and Puck.

White Chocolate KnickerbockerSammy

Sam Evans returns to McKinley High to help New Direction win sectionals by... gyrating his hypnotic pelvis? I was glad to see Chord Overstreet back, especially since they wrote him and Ashley Fink (Zizes) out pretty unceremoniously, but he was rather underutilised upon his return. The bulk of his story involved him stripping to Party Rock Anthem (I’m not complaining!) asking his parents to allow him to go back to high school, and getting into a fight with Blaine. After wanting to see Santana’s parents so badly last week, it felt like a bit of a kick in the teeth to get a fairly unnecessary scene with Sam’s parents – they even got the awesome John Schneider to play his father. Shame he couldn’t have joined in with Red Solo Cup, he’s a great country singer. Once back at McKinley, Sam’s ab-rippling antics cause Blaine, who becomes uncharacteristically sanctimonious (“...you have to think that in order to sleep at night”) to provoke Sam into a fight. Somehow, this is a springboard for Blaine and Finn to have a reconciliation, while poor Stripper Sam is left feeling cheap and neglected, not making-up with Blaine and only having a minor role in the sectionals performances. Boooo! I hope we get more Mercedes and Sam too, I’d like to see him face down the bulldozer.

Not So Sweet Sixteen

I have little patience for those with ‘rich white girl problems’, especially since Quinn could make so much of herself if she wanted to. Hopefully this is the final chapter on her baby-stealing plans – both her ex-boyfriends and Rachel have tried to persuade her not to ruin Shelby and Beth’s lives by trying to get custody of Beth, and it seems to have worked. Quinn has made enough bad decisions that I was genuinely worried that she would go through with exposing Shelby and Puck. It’s not that I want them to stay together, more that Quinn’s plan was so crazy that I would have been disappointed in Glee if she had had any success. I did at least enjoy the talk Sam gave to her about enjoying being young and a senior – if only because it signposts that they won’t be bringing her back next year!

The Healing Power of Sectionals

Hello Mike Chang Snr! While it was fairly predictable seeing Tina and Mike squabble about his daddy issues, and watching father Chang come round once seeing Mike’s prowess on stage, I still enjoyed this plotline. I have probably set the bar fairly low, simply because we’ve seen so little of Mike and Tina this season, I’m starved of Asian Fusion affection! Sectionals is always an easy episode to get right because of the long musical segment – it’s a good way to squeeze in several performances that don’t have to relate much to the plot. You have to wonder when New Directions spent all that time rehearsing, the Jackson suite was very slick, classy and well put together – they definitely deserved to win. Although, it’s hard to judge, we don’t know what the other numbers from the Unitards and The Troubletones were, I’m assuming they all did three songs. Nice how Quinn and Mr Shue turned The Troubletones’ offer to join them around, but in a nice way – and now everyone is reunited, ahh, how neat.

Loved

- It’s good to see that soft floppy hair and those rock hard abs again. I’m with Finn: “That’s not an image I can ever get out of my mind”.

- Tina gets lines, and a solo!

- It makes sense that Blaine would learn how to defend himself after the bullying, and I love the idea of Dalton Fight Club – hot posh boys taking off their blazers and putting their dukes up - it sounds like Never Back Down.

- Sebastian Smythe is back, and squaring off with Kurt in a scene that was the highlight this week for me. The bitchy verbal sparring was done so well. The fact that the Warblers’ sectionals win was mentioned, and nothing was resolved means the showdown will likely happen at regionals. Something to look forward to!

In this week’s fashion report: Kurt’s collar in the Lima Bean was so sideways it had to have been made that way, Mercedes looked stunning on stage, Rachel beret, New Directions finally find competitions outfits that make the girls look good, Kurt was sporting the chimney sweep look at the end, and Emma wore pink.

Didn’t Love

- While Sam stripping on stage isn’t an entirely unappealing concept, it’s a bit icky that he’s supposedly just 18.

- Blaine’s outburst at Sam – completely out of character. Don't do this writers. You did it with Will, writers, but you better not do it to my favourite character.

- Is Quinn 17 or 18? This week she said 17 but in I Am Unicorn she said 18. Add that to the episode title and colour me confused.

- Rachel seemed not to have any particular reaction to the fact that her ex-boyfriend is boinking her biological mother. Hmm, it’s almost as if she only treats Shelby like her bio-mum when it’s convenient for the plot.

- Did the band members join New Directions just to make up the numbers, and then leave after the win? Ouch, way to sideline them even more, writers.

- Not much in the way of continuity from last week for Santana. I had hoped there might be something about her grandma at least.

- Is it just me, or are Will’s smiles (see photo above) becoming creepier? Maybe it’s just unsettling with him hanging around when he basically has no involvement with teaching New Directions anything.

- No Sue, and I didn’t miss her at all.

Glee Against the Music

Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith performed by Sam with New Directions:

Not the greatest setting for such a song, but it fit well with Sam - “..and unlike my home, they are not foreclosable” and Toby Keith’s video already created the perfect atmosphere, so it’s a good thing Glee didn’t copy that. I was also amused at Kurt being completely not into it. Grade B-

Buenos Aires from Evita performed by Harmony with the Unitards:
Not as good as Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do from The Purple Piano Project but still fun to watch. I am glad Harmony hinted that she would be back to cause more trouble in Season 4 “..next year’s going to be a bloodbath” – at first I thought it didn’t make sense she’s already preparing for NYADA, but I guess that just means she’s thinking about it a year earlier than Rachel and Kurt did! Grade B-

Survivor/I Will Survive by Destiny's Child/Gloria Gaynor performed by Santana Lopez and Mercedes Jones with The Troubletones:
Awesome mash-up and choreography. Also loved seeing Santana and Brittany dancing together. The Troubletones sure does have a lot of non-singing members, I wonder if they’re all Cheerios? I am sure I saw The Mack from Quinn’s old gang, The Skanks in there. Grade B+

ABC by Jackson 5 performed by Tina Cohen-Chang, Kurt Hummel, Mike Chang and Quinn Fabray with New Directions:
This song fits really well with New Directions, I am so glad they chose it, and finally gave Tina a solo again. She and Mike did a great job. The choreography was much better than the usual New Directions stuff, and I enjoyed Mercedes’ reaction to Sam’s thrustulations! Grade B+

Control by Janet Jackson performed by Quinn Fabray, Blaine Anderson and Artie Abrams with New Directions:
I liked how they stepped up the pace with this one. Good choice of soloists – Blaine has a sort of frenetic energy that worked so well here, and Artie just seems to love singing the Jacksons, he doesn’t care whether it’s brother or sister. Grade B

Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson performed by Finn Hudson, Artie Abrams, Noah Puckerman, Blaine Anderson, Sam Evans and Mike Chang with New Directions:
Aww. Lovely introduction with the five spotlights, I just wish Sam had gotten more solo time. Great to see Will, Sebastian and The Troubletones dancing along in the audience. Grade B+

We Are Young by fun feat. Janelle Monae performed by New Directions:
Great song, and very fitting for the theme of the episode, embracing what you've got because it won't last forever. One by one, the Troubletones were welcomed back into the fold. But wait, Sugar Motta was never in New Directions! Grade B

Quotes for Gleeks

Finn: “Even homeless people have facebook.”

Sam: “You’ve got what I call Rich White Girl Problems.”

Santana: “I haven’t seen a smile that big since the Claymation Abominable Snowman got his teeth pulled by that little gay elf dentist.”

Kurt: “I don’t like you. I don’t like the way you talk to my boyfriend. I don’t like your smirky little meerkat face. I don’t like your obnoxious CW hair. I’m onto you.”

Sebastian: “Let’s get a few things straight. Blaine’s too good for you, New Directions is a joke and one of us has a hard-luck case of the gay face, and it ain’t me. Odds are, by the end of the school year I’ll have Blaine and a Nationals trophy and you’ll have khakis and a lima bean apron and that gay face.”

Kurt: “You smell like Craigslist.”

Blaine: “After getting bullied so much I took up boxing. I also started the Dalton branch of fight club, which I obviously can’t talk about.”

Tina: “I’ve heard the jokes. I’d better hope they do a musical of The Joy Luck Club or Memoirs of a Geisha. I don’t care. Performing is what I need to do.”

Santana: “We’re being nice. It would be rude if I followed you around and every time you took a step, I played a note on a tuba.”

Santana: “It was that damn Trouty Mouth. Even I felt a little something in my lady loins when he did that magic sex dance.”

After the mess of last week it was a relief to see that Glee hasn’t completely gone off the boil! Three out of four pairs of dungarees with Velcro down the sides.

8 comments:

  1. It is a joy, Harry, to read your consistent comic comments about GLEE 3.0, highlighting the witty remarks (“You smell like Craig’s List.”), and cataloging the numerous times the show runs off track. Thank you for your timely reviews and humor.

    This season has been a gravity-defying dodge-ball game of: direction, storylines, characters, motivation, costumes, birthdays (?), “teaching/coaching” moments, and musical performances.

    In my humble opinion: “Red Solo Cup” replaces Tina’s tear-choked “Funny Valentine” as the new low-point of the entire series. Whoever is dressing Kurt needs to be drug-tested.

    Forgive me: isn’t there a story-element from Glee 2.0 whereas someone is celebrated following each performance “contest” (i.e. sectionals) as Most Valued Performer? Band-members stepping in at the last moment to get the singer quota up to Show-Choir regulation warrant MVP award consideration. The writers’ continued sidelining of the band borders on bullying. Even the hockey team gets names and lines.

    Welcome back: Sam! More Burt Hummel, Coach Bieste and Dave Karofsky storylines, please! It’s time for a Kurt-Rory versus Blaine-Finn versus Sam-Artie “duet-off.”

    Hopefully, after the holidays, the writers & directors will find their missing compass. I’d suggest a large mug of hot chocolate and a few evenings watching the Season 1 dvds to get back in the mood.

    Happy holi-daze, Harry & Glee friends! Cheers!

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  2. Harry, great review!

    I liked the New Directions in Sectionals, but I loved the Trouble Tones mash-up. I'm always rooting for the underdog, I guess...

    Anyway, I think I read somewhere, probably tvline.com, that the New Directions got three songs because they'd won last year's Sectionals. Why the Unitards got only one? No idea.

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  3. What Nassau92 said, Harry. You always do such a great job with your reviews.

    I thought the Jackson 5 numbers deserved to win. They were really good. Liked the Mike's dad plot, even though it was too heartwarming (I pretty much expected Dad to say, okay, I'm good with you dancing on weekends but you still have to go to medical school). And I'm also hoping that the Quinn babynapping plot is over. Enough, already.

    What I enjoyed most was that nearly everyone *except* Rachel got to shine and solo. Good decision on the part of the producers and writers. It was way past time.

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  4. Ooh, I forgot one more thing. This is the *second* time they've cast a guest star father who can really sing, and he didn't sing! I saw John Schneider doing The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl a couple of years ago. Come on, Glee. If you cast a singer, you gotta have them sing, dammit.

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  5. Thanks for the lovely comments, especially you Nassau92 - I'm really touched! Please do comment again in future. I would love to see a 'Duet-off' with the guys.

    Billie, who was the other guest star father who can sing but didn't? I am racking my brains but can't come up with him!

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  6. Harry, I was thinking of Victor Garber, Spydad from Alias and the star of Godspell. I thought they cast him because he sings.

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  7. I love Glee competition episodes because they get to do non-stop singing for 10 minutes or more. Especially if they are good like all three choirs were in this episode.

    Can't wait for regionals and the Warblers and probably Vocal Adrenaline. (if they have any Glee Project contestants still waiting they'll probably go into VA)

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  8. Hmm, did I know Spydaddy sings? I don't think I did! Damn maybe they'll have him return sometime.

    Ahh Patrk that'd be great about the Glee Project contestants, I do know what they're going to do with one of them but it probably counts as a spoiler so follow the link if you want to know: http://www.buddytv.com/articles/glee/glee-spoilers-what-roles-will-41840.aspx

    ReplyDelete

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