Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Glum Review: “The Substitute” (S2:E7)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on November 16, 2010

Before I get to the review, let me just point you to these photos. Incredibly cute younger versions of the stars of Glee. I wonder how they’re going to use them.


I really like the “previously on” every week. They go through it quickly and with original humor (unlike the 3 minute recap every episode of Dexter). For instance, here, “puts the Teri in terrible marriage.” [+1]

Love Sue’s use of a sick student to get what she wants, like a biological weapon. Jane Lynch is going to be in rare form today. [+1]

“My first order of business: destroy the glee club.” “I thought we were friends.” “That got boring.” And that is Glee in a nutshell. Drop plots when they’re inconvenient. But it’s a funny line, so no points deducted. Plus, it might be a meta wink to the viewer. Or just me. I’m winking right back, Ryan Murphy.

Oh my goodness! They used the little Gleeks today! But all their cuteness is just a sweeps stunt. Did they really need to cast a miniature version of everyone for this one bit? It was used much better in the tween version of Kurt from the “Grilled Cheesus” episode. [-1]

All the kids are really bad at delivering their lines, too. I think I was much better when I was 5 and Winthrop in The Music Man. [-1 for egotism…and for the bad line reading]

Insufferable. That is the only way to explain Rachel. No one actually acts like that. And I thought she was making progress this season. Are these episodes written out of order? [-1]

A close-up, slow-mo shot of tater tots? Um….why? Did I miss something? [-1]

I kind of wish I was in that English class. Although I did once convince my teacher to let me write a musical for our skit on “Lord of the Flies.” She didn’t get up and perform in a slinky dress, though.

I hate the name Holly Holiday. Between this and the never-changing cheerleader outfits, this really is a cartoon. [-1]

I love Holly Holiday. The name stinks, but she’s got spunk (and unlike Lou Grant, I actually like spunk). I already want her to just stay in charge of the club. [+1]

Don’t the kids always get to choose their songs? Mr. Schue just gives them a theme. Plus, they only change their songs at the last minute anyway. Why even practice these? [-1]

“Come on guys! There has to be a Journey song we haven’t done yet!” Wow. This episode is nothing but winks, nods, and pretty much karate chops to the audience. [a rare +2]

Ms. Holiday, how is this helping the kids prepare a song for Sectionals with you singing lead? [-1]

A rare moment of Sue being caught off guard. Awesome. [+1]

Oh, there’s the tater tots reference. It’s still stupid. No point refund.

Morrison's no O'Connor

I’m loving Matthew Morrison in this episode. He’s free to just be goofy and make fun of himself. That might be where he thrives. [+1]

OH MY GOODNESS. “Make ’em Laugh.” One of my favorite performances of all time when Donald O’Connor did it. Let’s see how Morrison does (should have seen this coming with the Singing in the Rain reference. Ironic, though, that Glee/Kurt botched up another shout out to this exact song earlier this season).

Now that’s how you do an homage. The only thing they really changed about the original (including set pieces) was having two people dance, which was a nice twist. I wonder if that’s why Kurt made that mistake earlier. Or maybe the writers just finally got around to watching the movie. [+1]

Holiday is right about Rachel needing to just have more fun. She takes it very serious. It’s as if Sectionals is only two weeks away. [-1]

OK, Glee. You dropped the ball. Had a great joke going with Schue making fun of his Journey love. But to bring it back again, and with no added originality. I just groaned. Quit while you’re ahead. [-1]

Yes. The only person who could possibly be Rachel’s partner is the teacher. No other talented girls in that club. [-1]

Excellent choice of songs again, now with “Nowadays” from Chicago. I feel like Glee has done more Broadway this season, which is fine by me. [+1]

Gwenyth Paltrow’s done a great job acting in this one, and a pretty good job singing. But she can’t dance. Just looks uncomfortable up there.

Sue as the permanent principal? Could this possibly be a permanent development? If it is, I like it. If it’s another short-lived plot device…sigh…

Good contrast between the two teaching styles. Will really does try to push students beyond their comfort limit…but not his own. On the other hand, tweeting with students in class is crazy. [+1]

They really don’t need to keep bringing back Teri. Let’s hope this is it for her.

Wow. There are so many problems with the final number. Unbelievable. 1) It’s a terrible mash-up. They ruined a classic song. 2) If they do this at Sectionals, who are the leads going to be? Since it can’t be two teachers like it was here. 3) How can a school without enough money to pay for a bus trip afford a waterfall on the stage? And how can the water just remain on the stage without flooding the auditorium. Where in the world is there a high school theatre that has that capability? Then ask yourself again, why do they need to do a bake sale to go to competitions? 4) It’s bad luck to open your umbrella inside. I didn’t even mention the impossibility of putting this together so quickly. I’ve just learned to accept that. [-4]

Some good moments, particularly on the humor end. And up until the end, some very enjoyable songs. But we’re finally back to classic Glumness. Surprisingly, the same score as most of my other reviews. I might be too generous.

Score: -4


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