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Glee: Props

[Hey, Glee fans! I'm subbing for Harry, who is on vacation this week, and Samantha will be helping me out by writing the music section. We're doing last night's double episode separately. Our review of "Nationals" will be posted tomorrow.]

Artie: "You can't un-see something like that."

My eyes! My eyes!

For me, the best part of the Freaky Friday body-swapping plot was Finn and Puck all couple-like as Kurt and Blaine. I enjoyed Will and Sue as each other, too. Artie and Mercedes as Santana and Brittany made me shudder. Okay, it was definitely fun, even if just for the wigs and costumes. Although Blaine with a Mohawk was sacrilege.

I wasn't as on board with singling out Tina, who has mostly lurked in the background since the pilot episode of the series. Her voice is certainly good, but there's a reason why most of the episodes and numbers haven't been written for her, and I didn't think she was diva enough to be Rachel. Are they genuinely planning to feature Tina next season? Or was it just part of this week's theme about forgetting the props and gimmicks and being yourself?

Although the Shannon Beiste as battered wife plot sort of came out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago, I liked how they resolved it by pairing it with Puck's self-esteem issues after he was (obvious symbolism) tossed in a dumpster. The Puck/Shannon duet at the end was definitely my choice for best number in the episode, and I liked how they put that together with both of them pushed to the point of pulling a knife. And it was great that Puck's was a prop from West Side Story. Shannon's was *not* a prop. It was nice to see Shannon finally stand up for herself. Staying with someone because you might not ever meet someone else is wrong. Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. (Just a bit of overflow from the Whitney Houston episode.)

Puck has been underused in the series, but unlike Tina, I really like Puck. I've been hoping they would find a way to keep him in high school another season, and that's where I thought they were going. Since he can now retake that critical test, though, maybe not.

I always have trouble accepting that New Directions is choosing new material so close to a national competition. A real show choir practices like mad for weeks before a performance. It seems a bit pointless to drag out the Whoopi Goldberg subplot, too ("I understand that fourteen messages is a lot...") because we all know -- zero suspense, and I'll be shocked if I'm wrong -- that Rachel is headed for NYADA, anyway.

The music, according to Samantha:

"I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz - Performed by Rachel:

This felt like a throwback to earlier Rachel songs. Unfortunately, it was too much of a "been there, done that" performance. Also, it was yet another walk down the hallway, ending up on the school stage set up. I didn't feel the pathos of the moment, nor did I think the version worked that well. I love Rachel's voice, and lyrically this fit the moment, but for some reason it felt flat to me.

"Because You Loved Me" by CĂ©line Dion - Performed by Tina:

I may be a little biased, I really don't like diva ballads. I thought it was an okay vocal performance, but mostly it didn't capture me. I don't think Tina has quite the right voice as required to deliver this song properly. But I did like to see her front and center for a change. The best part of this had absolutely nothing to do with the song, but with the wonderfully zany and creative backdrop.

"Mean" by Taylor Swift - Performed by Puck & Beiste:

My favorite performance of the episode. I think there was a nice, genuine quality to the way this song was set up. It might have been entirely contrived the way they brought it about, but I felt the pain in both of the characters. As for the song itself, it didn't deviate to much from Swift's song, but the choice of Puck and Beiste as lead vocals made it feel like a nice fresh contrast to the original. Plus, anytime Beiste sings is a bonus.

"What a Feeling" by Irene Cara - Performed by Rachel & Tina:

Really fun, although standard for a song that ends an episode of Glee. It featured the all too familiar coming together of characters. But it did manage to effectively convey the feeling of momentum, and the start of a journey. The vocal performances were nice, and they harmonized well. But I wasn't blown away, which means it wasn't really memorable. But overall it was a good version of the song.

Back to Billie for bits and pieces:

-- Puck's opponent, whose name I don't recall, reminded me of Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story. ("He has yellow eyes!") (He doesn't have yellow eyes, does he?)

-- If Puck does wind up staying with the show next season, could they please give him non-Mohawk hair? Please?

-- While I'm discussing head coverings, that was some turban Whoopi was wearing. It gave me flashbacks to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Not that that's a bad thing.

-- Sue was Jennifer Beals' dance double in Flashdance. :) Of course, Jane Lynch played a continuing character on The L Word, which starred Beals.

-- Coincidentally, we also got a body-swapping plot on Eureka this week.

-- Sam did an awesome Christopher Walken impression.

-- Munchkins? Really?

-- You know, I like Twitter. I like it a lot. But the prominent Twitter hashtags all over the episodes lately have gotten annoying. Enough already.

And quotes:

Sue: "It's time to fight fire with the flaming flames of additional flamey gay fire."

Sue: (in Will's body) "My Comanche name is 'Cheerleads with Wolves'."

Sue: "This is an unmitigated disaster. Jennifer Beals is spinning in her grave."
Well, she would if she were dead.

Santana: "Brit and I are gay and Mercedes is black, so kicking us out would be a hate crime."
Brittany: "I'm not totally gay, but I think that trees are born the same way as babies, so kicking me out would be kinda mean."

Mercedes: "Can people change that fast? I mean, most guys I know don't even know how to change their own underwear."
Brittany: "I couldn't really figure that out, so I just stopped wearing any at all."

Santana (seeing Puck dressed as Brittany) "I am strangely turned on right now."

Sue: "William, I can taste your Axe body spray."

Three out of four rubber switchblades,

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

6 comments:

  1. This is episode 20, not 19. Review for Prom-a-saurus is still missing.

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  2. Thanks, Anon. I fixed the numbering on the index.

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  3. Have to disagree with you on Tina. She's every bit as good a singer as Rachel and I really hope they feature her more next season although I have serious doubts (and so will she) about her as leader as she doesn't have a cancerous ego to prop her up.

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  4. The bodyswaps had me laughing hard, with the Finn/Kurt and Will/Sue swaps feeling the best done. It must have been a real hoot to make and to write.

    A fair amount of the spotlight on Tina seemed to be answering back the critics who have been saying things similar to what Tina says when she storms out; once she knows what it's like to be Rachel, Tina essentially provides some answers, as does Rachel in her over-the-top listing of all the stuff she does. Both sides of the argument are exaggerated and it gets back to that cracky humour Glee does best. Meanwhile the actresses go way back so it's good that they had a chance to act and sing together before the cast gets partitioned (or whatever they're doing next year).

    As for the extended Rachel/NYADA plot, I like how they're using it, not just to show how Rachel handles it but to show how the others have grown and are supporting her and helping her for a change. (Last week's ep was particularly big for this.) Here we had Tina supporting Rachel at the end, while also realizing (and saying) how much Rachel has earned the star role.

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  5. The Puck-Bieste duet actually got me teared up: it was beautifully done and worked within the plot. Good to see the Bieste abuse plot resolved properly and relatively happily. I'd have preferred it if Cooter was dead but I'll take what I can get.

    I agree that Tina isn't as good a singer as Rachel but she certainly gives Santana competition for second place. She's got a lovely voice and is a good actor to boot.

    I know there's only a couple of episodes left but more like this please.

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  6. You failed to comment on the single best moment in the episode - Kurt and Blaine's Halloween costumes!

    ReplyDelete

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