Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

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

Posts Tagged ‘Glee’

Glum Review: “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle” (S2:E11)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on February 7, 2011

A Very Special Super Bowl Episode has ushered in a new year of Glum Reviews. Let the awfulness begin.

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– Anything goes at McKinley High. Kids can play with fire all they like and strut around with pointy chests and stick raw chicken breasts down their bras. Glee is so dedicated to realism. [-1]

– In my many reoccurring complaints, I don’t think I’ve mentioned my problem with WMHS. In my school district, we had a James Conant High School and a William Fremd High School. But they did not go by JCHS or WFHS. It was CHS and FHS. Why aren’t they just MHS? It really bothers me. [-1]

– A somewhat realistic portrayal of something going wrong on the football field. Not terrible, and it played into Finn’s constant insecurities. [+1]

– Back when this show started, Sue’s ridiculous comments were funny. Now, they’re so ridiculous, that it’s just weird and pathetic. Raccoon hormones? Come on. [-1]

– I can understand Sue’s desire and difficulty to top herself, but this storyline had better resolve with a good message. Otherwise, more wasted ridiculousness.

– Has Artie really never been slushied? I don’t buy that…

– And let me take this moment to say again how stupid the slushy thing is. That doesn’t happen in real high schools. At least not with the regularity it does on Glee. [-1]

– “This is the choir room. Now put up your fists because you and I are going to do some dancing.” I feel like this is a line Biff would say in Back to the Future. “Let’s make like a tree and get out of here.” It’s not the dance room, fist-fighting isn’t boxing so you’re not really dancing around…just a dumb line. [-1]

– I like this idea. It actually makes sense for the football bullies to be forced into glee club to end the ridicule. Unless it backfires and makes them hate the glee clubbers more. But it’s a sitcom, so that won’t happen. [+1]

– Rachel: “I won’t let anything get in the way of a performance.” Except your ego. OH SNAP! Santana should have said that.

– Again I ask, what’s the point of working on this song? Rachel and Puck…great…are you going to do it at competition? No. [-1]

– I like that they’re doing a country song…though it’s not labeled as one…no points either way.

– I had no idea Puck and Finn weren’t allies. As two football players on Glee Club, don’t they pretty much have to be? But let’s create conflict for this episode. [-1]

– Have I missed something? What championship is this? Why aren’t they calling it Regional or Sectional or something like that? It better not be state. If it’s state, I’m deducting 3 points.

– Some solid laughs between an outraged Figgins and an indignant Sue. [+1]

– OK, a hearty belly laugh after Sue’s ridiculous tantrum (which I was about to deduct points for, since she certainly would be suspended for an outburst like that). But you cut to Mr. Schu who tells Beastie “I wish you could have seen it” and Sue immediately walks in and recreates it all in the locker room with the same dramatic music. Very funny. [+1]

– What Championship game!?!?!?!

– It just hit me, as I was wondering why they didn’t do “Thriller” around Halloween. Episode 10 of this season was a Christmas theme. Santa Clause at all. This is Episode 11. Pop Quiz: How many high school football games are played after January 1st? ZERO. [-2]

– Since when does Mr. Schue know modern music? [-1]

– But seriously, why would you choose to do “Thriller?” Makes no sense. [-1]

– Mr. Schuester is always good for a touching moment, like the one he had with the bully. [+1]

– “I’m torn.” “I’m not.” “I’m Brittany.” HA! [+1]

– CHOOSE ONCE AND FOR ALL — for the seventh time — WHERE YOUR LOYALTIES LIE! I’m so glad the writers keep coming up with original conflicts. And things that ALWAYS stick. [-1]

– This makes sense. While trying to learn one complicated dance routine, learn another one solely for warm-ups. [-1]

– Oh look, Kurt is still on this show. And we get to see him sing a completely unnecessary song unrelated to anything. But I do enjoy these all-male a capella numbers.It’s so funny how Blaine is the only who gets any solos, though…ever. [-1]

– They only need 4 more players for a regulation football game? HOW CONVENIENT! There are so many actual rules being broken here, it’s depressing. [-1]

– I cannot get over the ridiculousness of this episode. People come and go on the football team, cheerleader squad and glee club more than Brett Favre. [-1]

– 9 players, 4 of them girls, 1 in a wheel chair. In “The Championship.” This is so sad. Especially since most Glee fans will still like this episode.

– If they needed 9 players to be on the field (per Blaine’s sudden knowledge of Ohio high school football rules), how can Finn leave the field at any time? [-1]

– Seriously, how many times do we have to have this speech about being cool and being part of Glee club? [-1]

– They didn’t even bother to put yard lines on the field. What is wrong with this show? [-1]

– Yay! They won their first playoff game! Which is apparently also the state championship…played at home…in January. [-1]

– Nope, no interesting revelation with Sue. Just a quick way out of the Cheerios storylines for the year. But I bet they’ll return.

– They can’t even keep their own wacky football lingo straight. That game wasn’t the conference championship. They already won the conference at the beginning of the episode. [-1]

– Excellent. More Quinn/Finn/Rachel love triangle. [-1]

Such a terrible episode.

Score: -16

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Glum Review: “Special Education” (S2:E9)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on December 1, 2010

I unfortunately couldn’t do a Glum Review last week. That’s especially disappointing because I think it would have been our lowest score to date. Just a horrendous, nonsensical episode. Before I begin this week’s review, here’s a summary of the idiocy of “Furt.”

– How about the name of the episode? Negative points there alone. If you want to combine the names, wouldn’t “Kinn” make more sense?

– Sue Sylvester is planning an extravagant wedding to herself? Even by Sue standards that’s ridiculous.

– Maybe if the writers had developed the Sam/Quinn romance more, I would have thought his promise ring speech was sweet. But since they threw that at us like a slushie, it was just another rushed storyline that I just didn’t buy into. It’s not as if he’s been chasing her nonstop. If he has, we haven’t seen it. And this was just episode 8.

– There are some parts I did like. Such as the heart-to-heart between Kurt, Sue and Will. That was some very good stuff that underplayed the comedy. Glee needs more of that. It seemed sincere and humanized each character. Same for Sue’s expelling of the bully. Great scene (though I think his father would have fought it a little). Sue might actually be a good principal. But that storyline’s already been quickly eliminated. Carol Burnett was great casting for Sue’s mother, but she was brought in for a ridiculous plot that made her presence forgettable. She can sure still sing, though. I also like that they returned to the virginity episode, not just sweep it under the road which I’d expect from them. And it’s nice that Finn and Kurt seem to finally be comfortable just as friends/brothers.

– Oh, and that was the quickest wedding preparation ever. Completely implausible. I think Schu put it best: “The wedding was great, guys, but we have to get ready for Sectionals in a week.” I think that should explain how ridiculously fast this show moves.

– One well-developed story was Kurt transferring. They actually laid the groundwork nicely and it made a lot of sense. Plus, it creates a good storyline with Kurt competing against them…all be it next week.

*******************

Now, it’s time for Sectionals! What are the odds they don’t win? Nil, since the season needs to keep going.

Glee is really making an effort to address all their critics’ concerns this year. Not actually solve them, but at least recognize that they’re there, like Emma pointing out the predictability of New Directions’ set list. Kind of ridiculous Schu needs her to point that out, though. [+1]

“You used to be just unlikeable. But now I feel like punching you every time you open your mouth.” – Quinn, speaking for all of us about Rachel [+1]

I agree with Schu on this. There’s plenty of talent to go around and Rachel is nothing that special compared to the other talented members of the club. No reason she should always get featured. But that includes in these episodes. [+1]

Kurt would come in and think he can run the place. Glad he was shot down quickly, as predictable as it is that he’d miss the “fun, loose, unregulated New Directions” over the rigid, council-format Warblers.

“You’re both in Glee. Why don’t you sing about it? Aren’t there some great betrayal songs?” – Emma [+1]

Rachel’s constant lack of logic always makes me so frustrated. Why are you comparing your hotness to Santana’s? You and Finn weren’t together when he slept with her. He wasn’t choosing her over you. There’s no reason to compare. No one has mentioned this. [-1]

I kind of like the Artie/Britany combination. It’s sweet. Much better than Artie/Tina.

The Warblers seem to work like a real glee club. An actual audition for parts. A group discussion of songs. Although they still waited til the last week to come up with a set list. The difference being that they probably had already rehearsed their songs, unlike New Directions.

LOVE that Schuester blew up at Rachel. Saying everything we want to about her being a terrible sport. Thank you. [+1]

I love Cadbury Eggs. [+1]

The two divas singing one of the ultimate diva songs. Perfect, though uninspired. And made better by the realism that Kurt was highly over-dramatic and self-indulgent and he lost his solo because of it. [+1]

Are we supposed to be laughing at the older glee club? It just seems stupid. [-1]

Once again, the writers pointed this out in the episode, but it’s really weird how Kurt and Rachel are friends now. But still, I like how she was encouraging him to smile in the Warblers’ performance. Great job of acting by Chris Colfer to appear much more rigid and uncomfortable than usual as he’s out of his element. Having to play the part of a supporting, chorus member (although he still gets oddly featured up front). [+1]

Also, I love this rendition of “Hey Soul Sister.” Daren Criss is great. [+1]

I’m really happy they featured someone other than Rachel and Finn. Sam and Quinn go nicely together. [+1]

I don’t understand glee clubs. Is this actually how they work? Have a couple of people featured and all the rest are just in the background the whole time? I always thought glee clubs were about doing things as one. Not a bunch of backup singers and dancers. [-1]

Oh my God. This is one of the most contrived things Glee has ever done…which is saying something. A tie at Sectionals? No tiebreaker? Two of three teams can just advance? Idiotic. [-2]

You didn’t really win. You were better than 1 other team. Yet you get the trophy? [-1]

And the hits just keep coming. What a way to end an episode, Glee. Emma ran off and got married? That seems totally like her. Makes perfect sense. And how convenient…they never have to deal with her being a virgin again. That was probably a troublesome for them that’s been eliminated. [-1]

Just realized…after last week’s horrendously random and inane plot about Sue marrying herself, we got no Jane Lynch this episode. She should never be left out. Ever. Glee makes enough money to pay her for every episode. [-1]

Rachel lost her way and now has found it. Again. How many times is this? It’s the storyline that keeps on giving. Whenever you need to use Rachel, just make her forget a lesson she learned before so she can learn it again. [-1]

Finn never thought Rachel was MEAN? Um…remember when she sent the exchange student to a crack house? Two months ago? [-1]

And the Rachel/Finn shuffle is on again. Yay! [-1]

Could that bird molting metaphor have been any more obvious? Kurt’s a canary. Has to grow into his feathers, but he likes his new cage. Got it? [-1]

This episode started with such promise. I was enjoying it a little midway through. But the end just spiraled out of control. It also seemed like a season-break episode, especially with that last song. But there’s an episode next week. [-1]

Score: -3

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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.

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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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Glum Review: “Never Been Kissed” (S2:E6)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on November 9, 2010

Time to glum it up after another two-week hiatus.

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So, is there a once-an-episode shirtless requirement for Sam? I might deduct points from this, but I’m sure the ladies enjoy it.

“Almost killing a civil servant” — ultimate buzzkill

Puck’s first name is Noah? I did not remember that. I’d go by Puck as well.

Oh goodie. An episode that finally mentions sectionals. Sorry, readers, but I once again have to make some points about the ridiculously oversimplified contest structure of Glee Clubs. The obvious one here: What does it take to make it to sectionals? Why aren’t the teams the same as last year? Since this is the first level of competition, shouldn’t every school be involved? Once again, if we were to expand on how competitive glee clubs work, there are only about 100-150 clubs in all of the United States. I can not express how much this annoys me…but I’ll keep trying. [-1]

Oh my goodness. It just got worse. It was bad enough last year that a deaf school somehow competed. But now you have a bunch of elderly people? Ridiculous. This is the most contrived thing since margarine. [-1]

I’m glad they’re trying to institute some yearly rituals. All the great shows have them. Episodes you look forward to and expect each season. Like Friends‘ Thanksgivings. Or Frasier’s radio award ceremonies. “Girls vs. Boys” is as good as any theme. [+1]

I guess this is going to be another “Kurt dealing with being gay” episode. Out of Glee‘s 28, 25 have probably featured a storyline about this. I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to go through that in high school, but I do think producer/writer/director/creator Ryan Murphy is relying too much on his own experiences and agenda to keep falling back on this storyline, which is getting really tiring. [-1]

On that note, yes Kurt. You’re a boy. Deal with it. [-1]

I mentioned in a Modern Family review that they were trying really hard to create new and unexpected pairings for episodes. Glee does the same thing, and often it feels forced. But I thought the Puck using Artie for community service b-plot worked pretty well. It made sense that that’s the only reason Puck would spend time with him…although Puck being in juvy for stealing an ATM is still completely outlandish. But this pairing makes so much more sense than Puck and Mercedes or Artie and Brittany. [+1]

Why the sudden violence toward Kurt? Out of nowhere. I’m suspecting the football player is gay and trying to compensate. If that’s it, I get it. If they leave this unresolved, yet another plot hole. We’ll come back to this for the grade.

Does Kurt really just let things roll off his back? When has that ever happened, Mr. Schuester? [-1]

HOLD ON. In this day and age, at a highly populated school, there is no other openly gay student? I knew several in high school. Many more stayed closeted, but I refuse to believe there’s no other openly gay person. What about a LGBT club? Every high school has one of those. [-1]

Brittany has thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Awesome. If I just graded all the one-liners, you’d think I loved this show. [+1]

Has anyone brought up the fact that the cheerleaders ALWAYS wear their uniforms? Every day of school. Isn’t that only supposed to be on spirit days? And then they continue to wear them after school. It’s like Quinn’s a cartoon character without any other items in her wardrobe. Or she’s on Gilligan’s Island. [-1]

Does the Glee Karaoke for Wii come with an autotuner?

Biest has only been in two or three episodes, but the writers have done a great job of making us feel immense sympathy for her. It’s been the best parts of this season. [+1]

OK. I really like this duet between Puck and Artie. But if this is breaking the rules…how is another student right there to take over with his own guitar? And what about the other instruments. I’ll just call this one a draw. [o]

How lucky that Kurt happened to ask that question to another gay student.

Why can’t the songs sound like they’re actually in the room happening? Instead of switching to a pre-recorded studio soundtrack. Yes, I’ve made this point before. And I keep will. [-1]

This Bieste cool-down is pretty hilarious. Seeing her in various costumes in their fantasies. [+1]

“Stay away from my woman”??? Were you not just the person who told Tina that thinking of Bieste cools down Sam? And didn’t Tina say let’s try it? Yet now you think she and Bieste have a thing? Or at least need to confront Bieste about an imagined thing? I guess I know why none of these people are ever shown in class. They’re all remedial. [-1]

I’m glad they quickly realized Kurt was a spy. A rare glimpse of reality from Glee. [+1]

I wonder if this episode was written after all the gay student bullying stories in recent months. If so, very timely. I take back what I said about “just another gay storyline for Kurt.” This was actually one of the better ones. Certainly better than him pining over Finn. [+1]

Glad Artie didn’t just stoop to Puck’s level. He didn’t even flirt with it. [+1]

How is Rachel as the lead singer opposite of normal? Is she contractually obligated to have a solo every episode? [-1]

Sue setting up a confetti cannon just to celebrate Biest’s resignation. Then telling Will to clean it up. Fantastic. [+1]

Yup. Called it. [+1] Though it is a little cliche. But the fact that that was Kurt’s first kiss, that makes it better. [+1]

Again, knocking it out of the park with Bieste. The possible SchueBieste romance was actually sweet. [+1]

Wierd mash-up. I don’t know the other song (the one that’s not “Stop in the Name of Love”), but I liked it. [+1]

A little light on the music today. Not a bad thing.

wWhat we’ve learned from Glee in this episode: even with all the problems surrounding this show, they can sometimes tell great stories. Like they did today with Bieste, Kurt and Puck/Artie. And they didn’t hit us over the head with a theme at all today, tying the music with the moral.

Score: +3

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Glum Review: “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” (S2:E5)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on October 27, 2010

After a fairly positive debut for the Glum Review, I’m worried this one will be another Pollyanna outing. An entire episode about doing a musical? That’s what I want Glee to be about every episode. We’ll have to see how well it’s integrated, though. And I’ll have to look past my not-too-keen feelings on The Rocky Horror Show.

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I like that right off the bat they’re committing to a change of style. The movie-like opening is reminiscent of “One More, With Feeling” from Buffy, though certainly not as good. But they’re clearly showing this is not you’re normal episode of Glee. Excellent. [+1]

Which kid was that singing the opening? It definitely wasn’t Rachel. I initially thought Quinn, but it started to sound a bit like Mercedes toward the end.

There’s an immediate reason this one be as good as “OMWF.” They’re recreating a musical. Just like the Madonna or Brittany tributes. They’re not going to make the show their own (besides fitting it into 42 minutes). They’ll just be copying the movie. I much prefer Joss Whedon’s originality.

I’m already starting a campaign for regular musical-only episodes. If they can do tribute episodes, why not tributes to musicals? I know Rocky Horror is only used because of its cult, off-color nature. But I’d love to see more of this. You know, students performing on stage like they’re supposed to.

So much for a different type of episode. Back to the regular format. That’s not a bad thing, though. This is their show, they should work gimmicks around it.

“He’s actually making her better.” — Here we go again. Let’s not just say Emma’s weird. Let’s say she’s wrong. She’s a problem that needs fixing. She’s damaged goods until Carl makes her “better.” So offensive. But nothing new with their handling of her character. [-1]

Nice shout out to all the Rocky Horror weirdos who love those midnight showings. It would have been weird to not include them in this since they made the musical so popular. They continued with that theme with some inside jokes along the way, like throwing toast. [+1]

Good job by the writers to not let Will’s transparent ploy go over her head. She knew immediately what he was up to and high-tailed it out of there. And great delivery by Matthew Morrison. I could feel the pain inside his smile when he talked about it being his favorite musical. [+1]

But, for the record, it’s still highly unbelievable that anything could make Emma not only tolerate but love “Rocky Horror.” Impossible. [-1]

Dammit, Murphy. Just when I was getting excited about trashing Glee, you give me not only a musical episode, but also a musical episode that fits perfectly into the show’s stories. That’s why “OMWF” was so good. The episode was needed to keep the season moving. All in one scene, we have Will’s romantic pursuits, dealing with real life issues (the adult themes), raising money for the club (always a problem), and an overarching theme and life lesson (pushing boundaries/self expression). Plus you delve into character traits and desires. Well done. [+1]

But poor job — once again — in explaining why things are happening. Since when did Will direct the musical? And come up with it weeks before opening, and with no other show in preparation? And why wouldn’t the whole school get to audition? It’s just a glee club musical? And for that matter, isn’t there a choir at this school? I should deduct points for each question, but I”ll save the rest for other reviews. [-1]

I love that Quinn is as confused by the musical as I am. But no points because this is the fourth show in a week that’s mentioned “Inception.” Sure, it was a great movie. But do we have to use the most current references possible, TV writers? Way to date your work.

The lip-syncing has never been more obvious than in this episode. I think it’s the mix of dialogue in rhythm with the singing. Combined with the usual vocal modulations in editing, it’s a whole lot of fake. Why not just sing like you’re actually on stage? It’s like watching a silent movie with a piano player in the theatre. You know, like back when I was a youngster. [-1]

Here’s a special treat. Today’s “Suspension of Reality” combines with today’s “Blatant Inconsistency.” Not only is Emma apparently a huge fan of Rocky Horror (Completely ridiculous). She also has been forever, I guess. Since Will says no one knows the show better than her. And she says doing the costumes would be a dream come true. Didn’t Carl just get her to start liking it? [-1]

I’m hoping John Stamos’ “Sue! How do you do?” was a reference to Johnny Cash. Because it was awesome. [+1]

Also, Stamos is incredibly likable. Especially as the casual romantic rival of Morrison. And I’m glad they found a way for him to sing. Harkens back to his “Jesse and the Rippers” days. [+1]

“Sweet Transvestite.” Why was it that I hated this musical?

How could Carl feel his entrance belonged in that scene and not two later? I thought he memorized the whole show. He must have forgotten. [-1]

Since Carl’s a dentist, couldn’t they have done Little Shop of Horrors instead? That would have been more believable in every storyline. Such as a high school performing it and Emma liking it.

I like when the writers can seamlessly get Schuester to sing. And this is one of those moments. It made sense with his burning desire to impress Emma that he would suddenly jump up there to get shirtless. And again, she’s not buying it. [+1]

“Touch Me.” Best song of the episode. Because it worked as a natural scene, not just part of the musical. Britney and Santana as the chorus looking in, Emma and Will tempting each other’s feelings. Plus we get to hear from Jayma so rarely. But, the idea of Will needing this for rehearsal fell flat, since he didn’t sing at all in the song.  And it did start to get a little out of control. I don’t think either would let that happen. But it worked for this episode. [+1]

Why are they using scripts after their first and in another dress rehearsal? That would never be allowed. [-1]

I like how the whole episode is about nakedness and sexiness, since that was such a hot topic last week because of the magazine spread. Timely. Planned? I wouldn’t doubt it.

Thank God for Sue. “This play is terrible.” “I’m so bored I just fell into a microsleep.” “None of this is plausible!” “This show has incredible pacing problems.” I think she’s talking about Glee, not “Rocky Horror. [+1]

What exactly does Finn have to be embarrassed about looks-wise? [-1]

Great heart-to-heart with Sue and Will in the teacher’s lounge. She actually is an educator, not just a coach. Who knew? [+1]

Will’s speech about why he wanted to put on Rocky Horror, why it worked for the glee club, and why they can’t actually do it. I nodded my head the entire time. [+1]

So, what about the school musical? Is there just not going to be one this year? [-1]

They should do “Time Warp” at Regionals or Sectionals or which ever they decide to enter this season. Fun, unique, encorporates dance and highlights every performer. [+1]

Score: +3

 

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Glum Review: “Duets” (S2:E4)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on October 13, 2010

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that I don’t care for Glee. Every episode I watch, my complaints far outweigh my compliments. And frankly, we don’t need more Gleeks in the world, blindly obsessed with a show because it’s pretty and fun and paying no attention to whether it’s actually well-written, acted or conceived. Instead, the internet needs someone who watches Glee as religiously as the Gleeks, but can look at it through a critical eye. It’s a “keep your enemies closer” type of thing. A lot of people criticize the show but have never actually seen it. I figure by watching every episode, I have standing in complaining about it. Like Vote for the Worst for American Idol.

So here it is. My new weekly feature: “The Glum Review.” Unlike my other posts, I’m going to do this one train-of-though throughout the episode. Best way to not miss an inane moment.

*********

Wow. Right off the bat a classic “we need to move this story along so we’re introducing a plot development out of nowhere” moment. It’s almost like an episode of Family Guy in that respect. Create whatever crazy circumstances you need to tell the story you want. There was never any indication that Puck engaged in criminal activity, let alone driving a car through a convenience store and stealing an ATM. What? Where in the world did that come from? Sure, he’s a bad boy, but criminal? Oh right, we need that other football player to join Glee Club. Because we can’t have 3 of those. And certainly New Directions can’t have more than 12 members. That would be craaaaaazy. Because Vocal Adrenaline only has about 30. (-1)

*wait, I just remembered. New Directions only had 11 members with Puck. So they brought Sam in to make 11 again. Didn’t they need him to qualify with 12? Aren’t they still under the minimum? I know, I know. That attention to detail is the kind of stuff that could get me killed.

I’m sure some Gleeks talk about things that didn’t like. So I might as well mention things I do about the episode. Like Brittany. Thank goodness for her humor. “What’s a duet?” She responds, “A blanket.” That type of “out of nowhere” fits her personality. The combination of her and Santana makes me chuckle as well. (+1)

Kurt going after another presumably straight guy. He sure stays grounded. Oh right, he defies gravity. I did like the “Singing in the Rain” reference. Although the song “Make ’em Laugh” was not a duet. It was just Donald O’Connor singing, not with Gene Kelly. But why would Kurt, who mocks Sam for not knowing the musical, know that? So easy to double check. (-1)

It’s nice that this week’s theme actually is a little more naturally conceived. Unlike an episode with songs about “Home” or “Hello,” duets actually say something about working together and relationships, as Mr. Schuester pointed out. (+1)

Finally Finn says what I’ve been thinking for a year. Kurt is ridiculous for not accepting that he and Finn can not be together. No boys means no boys. And then his dad piles on too. Kurt would be the most annoying character on the show if not for Rachel. While Kurt’s dad is the most genuine and likable. (+1)

I love how Rachel, Finn and the band know “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” within a day. But I guess that’s to be expected from any musical. Except one that pretends to be grounded in reality. Really nice rendition, though. Their voices mesh well. (+1)

Wow, Rachel JUST realized she’s selfish. Not when she was keeping the exchange student out of the the club a few weeks ago. I could believe her transition and maturity more if there was anything suggesting it before that scene. Some sign that she was slowly coming around. But Glee doesn’t have time for gradual developments. (-1)

I like Quinn’s transition, though, as ridiculous as her character was in the beginning. I wish she got more to do. (+1)

Mercedes and Santana did a great duet too. This could be the best music of the season. (see, I can say nice things too) (+1)

We’ll just chock the full costumes and choreography in Kurt’s number up to musical magic too. As a musical lover, I don’t mind this much. But I don’t understand why they keep switching between real and fake in terms of what’s possible. Stay in one medium. Like Chicago. Everything there was purposely staged. They cut the songs that only worked as a natural part of the story. (-1)

Why should Quinn be singing with Sam? How about because he’s the only possible partner left? (-1)

Wow. I love this episode’s music. “Sing, Sing, Sing” from A Chorus Line? Perfect. And with that choreography. Now maybe more people will know what I mean when I break out into that song at random times. And I love any episode that features two Broadway tunes. (+1)

I also like the storyline of Rachel and Finn trying to lose. They connive well together. And that duet, so disturbing. But well done. (+1)

Getting back to the Puck thing…since it’s duets, wouldn’t 12 singers have worked better? But they wanted Kurt to have a solo, which did make sense. But once again, the writers sacrifice realism (Puck in jail) for a singular moment.

This Artie/Brittany combination had a typical one-episode contrived romance feel. But Artie’s speech at the end and Brittany’s true remorse made it much better. (+1)

Why no Sue Sylvester? Disappointing. (-1)

Another great song to end it. This really was a very good episode, both for music and some dramatic elements and heartfelt moments. Dang it. In the words of Steve McCroskey from Airplane, I picked the wrong day to start Glum reviews. But I’m sure it will get back to it’s ridiculously overrated self next week, as it had been the first three episodes of this season. (+1)

For a weekly score, I’ll just add up my positive and negative comments.

Score: +4

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Glee’s Constant Lack of Attention

Posted by Mr. Feeny on June 11, 2010

Not attention paid TO it, of course. Gleeks are taking over the world. It’s becoming a genuine cult. The problem is the  constant lack of attention paid BY it. Attention to detail. All season long, they’ve just brushed over or past things because it’d be too hard to explain. The finale was pretty much just a confluence of these problems. Problems that drove me crazy, mostly because they made no sense. And the writers seem to just shrug and say “We’re fun and occasionally deep. Who cares about annoying facts and logic. You know you love us!”

Really, it’s laziness. The writers seem to scoff at continuity because it gets in the way of the story they want to tell that week. They’re trying to tell 22 different stories and connect them inside one show. Larger ideas and premises don’t really matter, just the week’s event. That’s fine, if you’re up front with that. But they try to make it a soap opera, meaning everything is supposed to connect. And they’re failing.

They’re a procedural stuck inside a serial. We need a name for that. Like, procederial. But I think people would just think I can’t spell.

Some might think these arguments are pointless. But, I’d respond with this: a) look at the sheer number of problems in one episode. And I’m sure I’ve missed some. That’s not incidental. b) This is just the continuation of a pattern of not caring, not having a gameplan, not respecting the audience, and not understanding what they’re doing. That creates problems throughout the show. I guarantee that if they were more consistent (not meticulous) with details, this show would have less critics and overall be more enjoyable for everyone.

1) Timeline — It’s 9 months since they started Glee Club, and Quinn is 8 months pregnant. Now, I’m not an expert on these things, but don’t girl usually not realize they’re pregnant until they’re a month along at least? So, that would put the fourth episode of the series two months into the school year. That seems unlikely. The glee club did not seem like they were working together for two months at that point.

2) Logic — There are four judges on the panel. Sue Sylvester has it out for the New Directions. So they all give up and are sure they’ll lose. I can understand Brittany thinking that…but how could the entire club? All they have to do is count. Unless there are only two judges, they can still win. Just perform great and convince the other two judges you were best. But wait, there are FOUR judges?! Even better. Your odds just went up. So…why are you all packing it in? And why is Schuester letting them without pointing this out. Or Miss Competitive herself, Rachel. The writers wanted a part of the episode where they all give up. Nevermind that it doesn’t make sense. The writers want it, so they put it in.

3) The Aborted Arc — So, just last week, the key to winning Regionals was funk music. It’s the only thing Vocal Adrenaline couldn’t dc. And they were scared stiff. So, it makes sense that the VERY NEXT WEEK, that’s completely been forgotten. Not even a mention of funk music. Um, I thought that was your big weapon to win the competition. I think that’s stupid, but they never gave a reason for not doing funk. I’m fine with them not doing it, but explain why. As it is, they just abandoned it. Another aborted arc. The writers wanted to showcase funk music in an episode, and they decided to create a reason for doing it. But then they immediately dropped the premise in the next episode. They don’t care. And they’re arrogant enough to think you won’t either. And most of you don’t, so you’re playing right into their hands.

4) Competition Structure — So, there apparently isn’t a “State” level to this competition. OK, that’s fine. But, if that’s the case, wouldn’t Vocal Adrenaline and New Directions HAVE to be in the same Sectional? How in the world could only three teams be in a section from Ohio, yet there’s another Ohio Sectional that goes to the Midwest Regional. Are we to assume there are only 6 or so show choirs in that entire state? But no show choirs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, etc??? Since there apparently were only three sectionals in the entire Midwest. So, 9 show choirs in the Midwest. That makes sense.

And, how is there a sectional in May? When is there time for State? Once again, the writers wanted Quinn to give birth during the season finale, and there wasn’t enough time to have Regionals AND State this season, so they had to rush it. They put the individual episode over the series. There’s no big picture thinking in that writer’s room.

5) Realism — I’m not looking for drama. All musicals take liberties with how people suddenly can sing songs. But, Glee was originally set up as more mainstream. Songs were only going to be sung in performance setting. If that’s the case, you need time to rehearse said song. They’ve spent 9 months rehearsing numbers. And in the 11th hour, with less than a week to go, they decide to sing a completely new medley of songs? The writers didn’t want to repeat, so they just had them start fresh. Works for their soundtrack sales. But in real life, it makes no sense. What were the last nine months for? At least at Sectionals, they were forced into doing new numbers when their set list was stolen. But even that lacked logic. Why not use one of your other 30 prepared pieces? How did you learn those songs in a day? Actually, maybe that was worse than this.

6) Flash over Substance — Sure, the Bohemian Rhapsody number was fun and well done. And its juxtaposition with Quinn giving birth was interesting. But it didn’t make sense. How do the lyrics match up with that other scene at all? The words are completely pointless…”Nothing really matters to me” as Quinn and Puck are falling in love with their baby for the first time. What?! There were even points where they could have made it work, but didn’t. For instance, “I see a little silhouette of a man” would be great with the doctor seeing the baby’s head. But that didn’t happen.

7) Simple Character Motivation — Why in the world would the 2nd place team (out of 3) be excited? They were hooting and hollering and jumping up and down. They lost. They can smile so not to seem sore losers, but to go crazy? Complete lack of attention to detail.

8 ) Simple Math — So, Sue voted New Directions first. And, it seemed like Josh Groban was going to as well. So…how did they lose? Not even place? I guess Groban just suddenly changed his mind for no reason. Great.

I’ll tell you what worked, though. As it has all season, Jane Lynch. Once again, Sue Sylvester showed amazing compassion and understanding when forced to. Just the simple line “they’re just kids” suddenly made her likeable. And while they railed into her, she went from powerful to pathetic, and we also felt sorry for her. That character has been fantastic all season.  And, for a good portion of the year, Matthew Morrison has been very solid. In this finale, he showed great emotion, crying in the car and enjoying his kids’ performance from backstage, especially. Emma’s fit at the end. Quinn’s statement that Mr. Schuester is like his surrogate father. Pure, honest moments. So, there are glimmers of the writers being able to do the right thing.

But hey, there’s a lot of singing and clever jokes and bright colors. That’s all they need, right?

(admittedly, I do love the singing and the big guest stars and the jokes. That’s enough to keep me watching, but I can’t say I actually like the show).

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My Falling Out with Gleekdom

Posted by CJ Cregg on April 28, 2010

Let's go back to the beginning

I’m feeling not so full of glee these days.  It could be that final papers and grading is looming.  It could be that my hard drive has gone to the big Apple Store in the sky along with all of my data.  Or it could be that the show Glee kind of sucks these days.

I embraced being a Gleek at first.  This is exactly the kind of sugary-toothache-sweet show that I like.  Mr. Feeny pointed out the show’s strengths in his review of the premiere, and I agreed wholeheartedly with what he had to say.  The show stuck to singing, but made it mainstream by making it not as contrived.  Songs were believable because they were in the context of auditions or rehearsals. Mr. Feeny did note that predictability could be a problem for the show, and while he is right, I feel like the show has gone too far afield.  Writers and producers have strayed from the recipe of what works.  And now my sugar toothache is starting to hurt.

Why?  Well, gee, I’m sure glad you asked.

Now, Glee seems totally contrived (in a weird, i-have-n0-idea-what’s-going-on-anymore kind of way).  The plot has virtually stagnated (and I do admit that this is not a show that was heavy on plot from the beginning) and become a vehicle for mediocre songs. As much as I liked the video for “Vogue” in the Madonna episode, did anyone else think that the WHOLE episode was just designed around some writer’s vision of a “Like a Virgin” sequence?  Nothing else happened.

And why are the Cheerios like a choir now?

And really?  Jesse St. James transferred schools to sing with Rachel?

The writers seem to be missing opportunities to really say something about high school life.  (Now granted these are lessons we’ve heard before, but they’re important.)  Like when Quinn was telling Mercedes not to feel bad about her body.  That scene was sweet and heartfelt.  And the stuff with Fin and Kurt’s dad was also sweet.  More like that, please!

I find the show’s lack of balance disturbing as well.  There is a big cast, so balancing the episodes is difficult, but in last night’s episode, Rachel didn’t say anything.  Emma wasn’t even in it.  Isn’t there a way to advance the plot in a balanced fashion so we don’t forget who some of the main characters are?

And COME ON.  Let’s get over the Kurt-Fin thing.  That shot where Kurt was lurking outside while his dad and Fin were watching football?  TOTALLY CREEPY.

And what happened to Idina Menzel and Vocal Adrenaline?  Let’s keep it focused on the important things.  Like getting her and Kristen Chenoweth to do a duet.  That might win me back.

As High School Musical taught me, stick to the stuff you know.

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Intermission: Glee

Posted by CJ Cregg on December 9, 2009

New Episodes return this Spring!

New episodes of Glee are over until next year, so in case you haven’t been watching, here’s what you missed.

The glee club, headed by Mr. Will Schuester, and the Cheerios cheer squad, headed by coach Sue Sylvester, are in competition for resources at William McKinley High.  Sue does everything in her power to sabotage the glee club including giving their set list for sectionals to the opposing teams.

Quinn finds out she’s pregnant, so she gets kicked out of Sue’s Cheerios cheer squad.  She also gets kicked out by her parents.  Only Quinn and Puck know that the baby isn’t actually Fin’s.

Mr. Schuester’s wife feels him pulling away, so she fakes a pregnancy to get him to want to be a family again.  Her plan is to adopt the baby from Quinn.  And it annoyingly works for a really long time.

Emma, the guidance counselor, is going to marry Ken, the gym teacher.  But we all know she really hearts

Belting it Out

Will.

Will FINALLY finds out his crazy wife isn’t really pregnant, so he storms out and is thinking of leaving her.  Perhaps he and Emma will finally get together.  Except she’s supposed to marry Ken on the day of sectionals.

Because of a misstep with some mattresses, Will is DQed from taking his team to sectionals, so Emma fills in.  But when they show up, the competition is singing all of their songs.

Right before the sectional meet, though, Fin finds out the baby isn’t his, and Quinn has been lying.  He storms out and vows not to show up for the show.

But as the glee club brainstorms last minute songs to redo their set list, Fin comes to save the day with a new song.  They improvise their performance.  And rock it, of course.

Emma and Ken break up because of her moving the wedding time because of sectionals.  But the truth finally comes out that she’s in love with Will.  They kiss.  It’s cute and innocent.

Sue gets suspended from the school for helping the other schools cheat.  Not for good, I don’t think.  Will is reinstated as the coach of the glee club.  Now it’s really on between their two clubs.

Oh, and did I mention the glee club won sectionals?

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Glee Review: Preggers (S1:E4)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on September 24, 2009

Glee‘s getting glum. At least for me.

I was a big fan not two weeks ago. But the more I watch it, the less I actually find myself enjoying it. And that’s with me WANTING to enjoy it more than most shows. There are some big problems that just keep getting bigger. And it seems to have strayed far from its pilot in just four episodes.

Episode Highlight: Mentioning Walter Payton and the Super Bowl Shuffle

Episode Highlight: Mentioning Walter Payton and the Super Bowl Shuffle

I mentioned last week that “Acafellas” seemed incredibly rushed and crowded. That same problem continued in “Preggers.” Too many big storylines packed into one hour of television. And it seems to be the same storyline, no matter what happened previously. As Archie said after Rachel walked out of glee rehearsal, “That loses significance every time she storms out.” That’s exactly right. Every week so far, she’s been disappointed and acted like a diva, and left. Only to come right back. I fully expect her back in the fold next week. Of course, this goes for the football team as well. Whatever happened to making fun of Finn for joining Glee? Now they’re all learning dance moves? Yet still complaining about it. Puck was in Acafellas, but he’s still insulting Finn for singing and dancing? It’s like previous plot developments don’t matter.

Of course, they rushed those developments in the first place. And at the expense of any logic. William McKinley High School seems like a big place. You’re telling me the only way they can get the minimum of 12 people is with cheerleaders and football players, none of whom are supposed to care about singing? Doesnt’ WMHS have a choir? They must, with at least 40 people in it. So where are they? I can understand not wanting to add more characters…there’s already an overabundance. But to put this wide variety into Glee…it’s ludicrous.

Speaking of nonsensical —- *SPOILER* —– this entire plot with Quinn being pregnant is ridiculous. Forgetting the fact that the president of the chastity club actually would be chaste, not just some big cliche…she had sex with her boyfriend’s best friend once and got pregnant? And told Finn it happened while they were inches apart in the hot tub? Finn can’t be that stupid. And now she might give that baby to Schuester’s wife so she can keep hiding her non-pregnancy? When did Glee go from a fun song-and-dance to a melodramatic soap opera? Sometime between Labor Day and now, apparently.

Chris Colfer does a very nice job adding more to Kurts character

Chris Colfer does a very nice job adding more to Kurt's character

One more note on the stupidity of this episode. The football team dancing to “Single Ladies” right before the last play? Um…you’ve got to be kidding me. First of all, it’s against the rules. The linemen were set. Jumping up to start dancing would be a false start and a 5 yard penalty. Secondly, these macho men would never actually do this. Certainly not to that song.  Third, what happened to actually singing in this show? Everytime we heard this song, even when Kurt was dancing to it, it was Beyonce’s voice. I thought the idea was to have characters break into song.

There are elements I still like. I love the actual singing…like Lea Michele auditioning with a Celine Dion number, or Tinasinging “Tonight” from West Side Story (first time we heard her voice…it’s lovely, though limited in range). This show has a lot of heart, which is great. You really feel for certain characters. Specifically Kurt in this episode, as he tries to impress his father. They do a very nice job investing in the students and adults alike.

But as a whole, Glee is spinning rapidly away from their original goal, or at least what I thought it was. I’ll keep watching…for a while at least. Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth guest stars next week, which will hopefully be fun. I understand there’s an element of farce to this show. But it still needs to make sense. And avoid the drama. Unless Glee gets more realistic, less cluttered, and more musical, I don’t think I’ll be following it much longer.

Grade: B-

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