Glee: Heart

Ugh, I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s disgusting, the commercialisation of love. Overpriced flowers and chocolates with too much packaging. Can you tell I’m single? I do like those Love Hearts sweets though, especially the ‘Email Me’ ones. Mmm. Well, I suppose it’s pretty impossible to expect Glee to ignore a day that’s all about what 90% of recent songs are about. I don’t have to enjoy it though!

Okay, I actually enjoyed it an awful lot. Partly that’s because the fairly loose plots did a good job of propping up the main focus of the episode – to sing Lots of Love Songs. Considering this is something that’s fairly easy to get right, and considering Glee has a plethora of adorable and not-so-adorable couples to choose from, the episode still felt cohesive and moreover, a lot of fun to watch.

Love In The Gay Degree

Some of the strongest scenes in this episode were those with Santana defending her and Brittany’s right to be a couple. While the person who complained about their quick peck on the lips was never revealed, Figgins did suggest it was a religious belief that caused the complaint to be taken seriously. This tied into the God Squad’s earnest discussion about whether everyone was OK to sing to gays. Sam pointed out, he, Mercedes and Quinn spend a lot of time singing to, with, and in the general vicinity of gay people, which made a complete non-issue for them. Also considering Mercedes spent most of Season One arm-in-arm with Kurt, it was a bit strange for her to be so earnest about having to “figure out where we stand” on the issue. Anyway, the new Christian kid Joe Hart (convenient name!) spends some time coming to the conclusion that he too is A OK with singing to gays. After all, as he says, love is love. It’s a fairly undramatic resolution, but I like Samuel Larsen and didn’t want him to wind up playing a douche, so I was relieved my fears were unfounded.

Another little gay plot was Kurt’s secret admirer, which only would have worked in the days before mobile phones. Were we supposed to believe that Kurt wouldn’t have thanked Blaine for a single one of his secret admirer gifts, nor got in contact before the Sugar Shack? Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, as it gave Karofsky a chance to pop back in and show us the next step in his gay journey. It’s pretty much the barest bones of any continuing development, but it’s more than most supporting characters on Glee have gotten. Hell, he even had an associated supporting character, Nick the jock. A good sign that Karofsky will be back soon.

You'd Do Anything For Love (But Please Don’t Get Married)

I wondered whether Rachel’s two dads were ever going to appear onscreen ever since the pilot episode. In a photo in her locker back in Season One, one of Rachel’s dads was black, but the US has had some terrible summers...! Bad continuity there. Still, I was pretty happy with the casting. I’ve been very fond of Jeff Goldblum ever since that immortal quote from Jurassic Park, and as Rachel’s dads they had a zany energy that explained to us a bit more about why Rachel is the way she is. I particularly enjoyed her singing with them, you could imagine that every single night was a chance for ‘dinner theatre’ in the Berry household. Leroy and Hiram have a wacky plan to use the reverse psychology of being completely supportive of Rachel and Finn’s engagement, in an attempt to make them realise how bad an idea it is. Pushing them together in a bizarre way, by continuously repeating the phrase ‘teenage lovemaking’, leads to an even more bizarre scene where Rachel has an issue with Finn wanting to take a dump. They resolve things off camera, presumably to make more time for songs, yay, and The Berrys are left wondering why they ever thought it was a good idea to lie in the first place. Tres bizarre.

When A Man Loves A Sugar

Ahh, what a stealth bomb of snarky, shallow awesomeness Sugar is! I thought Glee had practically forgotten about her, yet here she is, the cornerstone of an episode, with the best lines in the episode. I was tickled by her always putting Artie’s chocolate other than under his seat. Watching him and Rory try to outdo one another to impress Sugar took up a lot of screen-time, which some would say would have been better spent on one of Glee many already-established couples. Still, I enjoyed it, especially Sugar choosing Rory because she felt more sorry for him than Artie. Irish/wheelchair. Either’s a tough break in Sugar’s world! But it showed that Sugar is basically a good person who chooses her Valentine by deciding who most needed a date.. oddly noble.

Hearted

- Santana being all militant about McKinley’s double standards when it comes to PDA. That Finchel slow-mo kiss was suitably excruciating. I also Loved the way Figgins said ‘Teen Lesbians!’ If I was a teen, lesbian Gleek I would have that as my text-tone.

- Brittany’s Valentine’s day playlist. Very cute, and considering she didn’t know how to burn it onto CD, she did a pretty impressive design for the cover!

- Damian McGinty actually looks quite handsome when he’s sulking.

- In case you don’t know, Joe the new God Squad member is played by Samuel Larson, who won The Glee Project.

- What a perfect return for Blaine. Just a few seconds before he appeared I was thinking ‘Blaine is going to be absent for Two Whole Episodes, that’s Sick and Wrong’ so I was very relieved to see my (and Kurt’s) human valentine again. It’s also fitting that my favourite Glee couple closed out the episode since they did so last year with Silly Love Songs.

- ‘In Memory of Whitney Houston, 1962-2012, We Will Always Love You’ – this episode was filmed a month before Whitney’s death, so the episode was an inadvertent tribute, but a good one.

Didn’t Heart

- Mr Shue’s sole purpose in this episode was to draw a heart around the phrase ‘World’s Greatest Love Songs’, mention Regionals, then disappear.

- Community has ruined the word Regionals for me, I can’t take it seriously any more. Maybe I shouldn’t have been taking it seriously to start with.

- What the hell was Finn doing during Love Shack - staring at us and dancing like a goon framed by two ice swans?!

Glee Against the Music

Chapel of Love by The Dixie Cups performed by Leroy Berry and Hiram Berry
Loved Hudson-esque vocal runs!

L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole performed by Mike and Tina:
It’s great that Tina and Mike have finally gotten to do a number where Mike sings and the performance isn’t somehow interrupted halfway through, like last year. The scene where Sugar gets showered with love hearts was awesome. Grade B

Let Me Love You by Mario performed by Artie with Sam, Kurt, Puck and Mike:
Good choon, very well suited to Kevin McHale’s voice. I enjoyed the falsetto warbling the most. Grade B

Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes (feat. Adam Levine) performed by The God Squad:
Great first number for Samuel L. Sort of bizarre watching Chord Overstreet rap, but he actually did a good job in a goofy way. It’s an awesome song, and despite being such a recent hit (and therefore a big iTunes moneymaker for Glee) it was believable as a vocal valentine. Plus, the staging was awesome, what with the gospel choir on the steps and all. Grade B+

Home by Michael Bublé performed by Rory:
Hmm, strong but mixed emotions! Rory basically only sings sad ballads about missing people, so it was stunningly unexciting in that respect. But, I adore the song, and Damian McGinty sounded a lot like Bublé (why does Rory sing in such an American accent?) so my ears were very happy while my eyeballs were rolling in their sockets. Grade B

I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston performed by Mercedes:
I thought it a particularly bad song choice given that Mercedes has decided she can’t be with Sam for now; singing the song only upset him. Otherwise though, a beautiful performance, great to see the return of the ‘Amore’ top, glad to see a flashback to Mercedes telling Shane, that red dress was gorgeous, and above all, a fitting tribute to Whitney. Grade A for Whitney Houston.

You're the Top from Anything Goes performed by Leroy Berry and Hiram Berry:
Very funny, especially coming right before Hiram and Burt’s conversation about lube.

Cherish/Cherish by The Association/Madonna performed by The God Squad:
Good mashup, and I Lurrrved the Brittany/Santana smooch at the end. Grade B+

Love Shack by The B-52's performed by New Directions:
Ahhh. From the moment Blaine ripped off his heart eye patch to the Whitney tribute screen at the end, this was pure, loved-up Glee. Great song choice, and a perfect fit for the occasion too. Love Shack at the Sugar Shack, Blaine shouting “Knock-a-lil-louder Sugar!”, and Kurt mentioning the rusty roof just before all the balloons fell from it. Damn, Sugar + her dad’s money throw a good party. This also had a wonderfully impromptu feeling that Glee performances never normally have, what with Blaine asking Kurt if he wanted the mic, Santana joining in by shouting “money!” and the Blaine-sorority girl conga. I suppose if they Must celebrate Valentine’s Day, this is The way to do it. Grade A

Quotes for Gleeks

Principal Figgins: “Believe me — I'd much rather see you and Santana kiss than that so-called ‘Finchel.’”

Puck: “I got the gig cleaning the sorority house swimming pool, and I sawed through those chicks like a freakin' sex tornado!”

Sugar: “...But you have to bring a date. No single people allowed. They're sad. And boring. And they don't exist in my world.”

Sam: “Three of us are in glee club, so we pretty much sing to gay people all the time.”

Mercedes: “They say one out of every ten people are gay. And if that's true, that means one of the 12 apostles might have been gay... and my guess is Simon because that name's the gayest.”

Hiram Berry: “Honesty, respect, dance. Those are the foundations of the Berry family.”

Hiram Berry: “No vocal runs. That's how Jennifer Hudson got kicked off American Idol.”

Rachel: “...Which makes me really sad because I would love to have seen you in a bridesmaid’s dress, Quinn — and you as well, Kurt.”

Santana: “I fully support your right to be unhappy with Finn for the rest of your lives.”

Rory: “This is a four-leaf clover.”
Kurt: “Do you people just carry those around?”

Hiram Berry: “I said ‘Leroy, this guy sold us the wrong lube, that’s why the rubber is squeaking, that’s why it feels so weird when we start going really fast...’” Quote of the Week!

For an episode focused on a holiday I hate, this was surprisingly good. Plus, my heart exploded into a thousand shiny foil hearts when Blaine returned. Three and a half out of four velvet heart-shaped eye patches.

8 comments:

veronika said...

I haven't watched the episode yet so I just skimmed through your review but I couldn't help myself squealing because L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole is also the song that Harry Shum Jr. sang for the Glee auditions.
Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTQ9lviX1Ws

Anonymous said...

Great review as always! I wanted to mention one thing though... I don't remember the picture in Rachel's locker so I don't know how the casting compares to the photo but Brian Stokes Mitchell IS black... Additionally, he played Coalhouse Walker Jr. in the original cast of Ragtime.

Harry said...

Ahh thanks for the heads up Anonymous. Compared to the original black dad though, he's as pale as a polar bear in a snowstorm. Here's the pic:

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=rachel+berry+dads+black&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&biw=1280&bih=644&tbm=isch&tbnid=pqyH1yz9t3u7_M:&imgrefurl=http://lordtubbingtonsaysrelax.tumblr.com/&docid=v1Y9MHDv5XQW_M&imgurl=http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4039/4643520191_a9aaca7c32_o.jpg&w=600&h=330&ei=MZQ9T_mbOMHm8QPvzOCaCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=936&vpy=164&dur=3657&hovh=166&hovw=303&tx=210&ty=71&sig=103980493846451888154&page=1&tbnh=136&tbnw=184&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=0CFMQrQMwBA

Billie Doux said...

Harry is right -- it was a joke in the pilot when Rachel said that she didn't know which of her dads was her biological father and then we saw the photo. Maybe the advantages of those two very cool dad actors outweighed the lack of continuity. You'll have this.

I enjoyed this one, too. Mercedes doing Whitney actually got me a little teary. And I absolutely loved "Love Shack," and not just because Blaine returned.

Terrific review, Harry. You rock.

Morgan India said...

This episode was lacking something for me ... Namely Sebastian and his obnoxious CW hair.

Adored your review, Harry!

shawnlunn2002 said...

I thought the episode was very fun. Mercedes version of I Will Always Love You was superb.

Yay for Brittany and Santana getting some decent screen time as a couple for once and for Blaine returning.

Kurt handled the Dave situation quite well I think.

Patryk said...

So Karofsky will be back for sure and he might be bullied this time. I wonder where are they headed with this one.

After the greatly dissapointing Spanish Teacher we got this fun and full of music episode. Glee is really a rollercoaster ride. ;)

Jay Hamilton said...

Samuel Larsen is the CO-winner of the Glee Project, along with Damian McGinty. I agree that Damian's talents are wasted singing basically the same song over and over. Damian has a marvelous bass voice (to go with his falsetto!) that would be great to hear in a 50s song, such as 'Blue Moon' or 'Duke of Earl'. I get the feeling that as long as they want Damian to "play 16" they will hesitate allowing him to show of his lower range.