I’ve entertained the idea of doing a review of each “Glee” episode before, but usually I’m way too excited by the time the show ends at 10 every Wednesday and I just can’t do it. But tonight’s different. I have some very strong feelings about tonight’s episode.
First off, I’m getting a little sick of the uneven characterization, particularly with Finn. One week he wants to make the glee club really good so that he can get a music scholarship (even going so far as to “seduce” Rachel), now he’s leaving glee and refusing to come back because he’s sick of getting slushied? What does he even want? I just can’t like him as a character when they don’t even know who they want him to be.
Also, the Rachel/Puck story played out way too quickly. If she wanted to make Finn jealous, then why weren’t they more obvious about it? They never even acted like they were going out in front of the rest of the club. Part of my previous excitement for this episode was based on this particular storyline: seeing Puck and Rachel, the ultimate odd couple, together and seeing the other gleeks react to their relationship. There’s no way that the others, like Kurt and Mercedes, wouldn’t be completely shocked by that turn of events. Remember this line, courtesy of Puck: “That Rachel Berry makes me want to set myself on fire, but she can sing”? Clearly these two hooking up wasn’t something anyone expected, so why didn’t the writers take advantage of that?
Plus, I really found myself enjoying their interactions. It was interesting to see that side of Puck, and the way their personalities clash made for some hilarious moments. Also, they were just generally cute together. I hope that the writers revisit this relationship, especially because I like Finn less and less every week (and therefore, I like the idea of Rachel and Finn together less and less every week).
Basically, I just thought this episode was too similar to “A Cafellas” in that they were introducing story lines and burning through them so quickly, and some of the characterization was off (the way I feel about Finn in this episode is how I felt about Mr. Schue in “A Cafellas”). Usually I can put up with this on the show because even when the plotting and characters are shaky, everything else is still hilarious, but this episode was just funny, not hilarious.
Some stray thoughts:
The Emma/Will/Ken storyline was pretty solid, but the “Thong Song” number was super awkward. Why can’t they let Mr. Schue sing, instead of having him do his best Justin Timberlake impersonation?
I so wish the writers could get on the same page. There are three writers – Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan – but they don’t write together. They’ll each tackle separate episodes. It’s pretty clear to me, from the wobbly characterization and unevenness of the pacing and plotting – that this isn’t going to work for the rest of the season. I realize that the first 13 episodes are in the can, but hopefully they’ll re-evaluate their writing strategy for the last 9 episodes.
Sue in a zoot suit cracked me up, but that was another storyline that felt a bit rushed. In the end, though, it didn’t bother me because I just missed mean Sue.
“Bust a Move” was great, but at the same time, it felt so reminiscent of the “Gold Digger” number from “Showmance.” Mr. Schue brings a song in. It’s a hip-hop/rap song. None of the guys want to sing it, so Mr. Schue (in a t-shirt) decides to show them how it’s done. The kids laugh while he hams his way through the song. See? Pretty much the same song and dance. No pun intended.
Puck singing “Sweet Caroline?” Yes, please. Break me off a piece of that. And let him sing more! He and Artie both sing WAY better than Finn.
Most of the humor in this episode came from Sue (“You sunk my battle ship. You sunk it hard. Pew!”), Kurt’s reactions during “Bust a Move” (and his heroic slushie-ing of himself), the scene with the Puckerman family, and Puck’s various Jew jokes (“We’re a couple of good lookin’ Jews!”) and his Rachel Berry-themed “message from God.”
Too bad no new episodes will air until November 11th, so I get to stew in my irritation with this episode for three weeks.