Tonight’s episode of Glee is a big one. The Rocky Horror Glee show pays homage to the 1970s cult classic movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it does so in spectacular fashion. Whenever Glee takes on an artist (or a movie in this case), it can be epic (Madonna and Lady Gaga episodes), great music wise but not so much plot wise (Britney episode) or classic Glee (Beatles episode). The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a beloved movie with a lot of racy scenes, but Glee tackles them with respect. The basic premise of the episode is that Emma (yes she is back for A LOT of this episode!) went to see Rocky Horror with Carl. It was a dirty movie theater and people were throwing things (you know how they do), yet Emma was having so much fun she didn’t even think about her OCD. Side note, this TV Chick went to a screening of Rocky Horror in college where they put a V on my head (for RH virgin) and I danced the time warp in the aisles. It’s all a blur. But I digress. So Will realizes that Emma’s really hitting it off with Carl and decides to put on a production of Rocky Horror with the Glee Club to impress her. He asks Emma to come on as the costume designer, and she’s pretty thrilled. Carl may be helping her, but in my opinion, she really wishes she were with Will. In any case, on with the show!
I am not alone in saying I was not entirely thrilled with last week’s episode of Glee. I didn’t write it off as the worst hour of television ever, but I felt it was mostly a series of (albeit awesome) music videos as opposed to any plot advancement. This week’s episode, titled “Grilled Cheesus” is the exact opposite. It is one of the best, most emotionally resonant episodes of the series to date. Despite it’s somewhat goofy title, “Grilled Cheesus” is anything but, as it takes on the super sensitive topic of religion. Whenever a show decides to tackle a subject this big and touchy, there’s always the worry that not every point of view will get expressed or someone will be put down for their particular views. I can tell you from my perspective, every religion that’s represented in the McKinley High School Glee Club was given a fair shake, including no religion at all. Non-believers deserve their time too. However, the non believers (for those wondering, Kurt and Sue) explain why they don’t believe in God and what God means to them. Some people heartily disagree with them, but the point is, no one is put down for what they believe in. In times like these, with gay suicides running rampant throughout the country, it’s important for everyone to know their viewpoint is respected and most importantly, no matter what you believe in (or what your sexual preference is), you are supported and welcomed. But I digress.
We all knew the Britney Spears episode of Glee was coming. I expected epic, and epic is what I got. Perhaps not epic plot-wise but we all watch Glee for the music right? So in that sense, I was blown away. The Glee kids (mostly Kurt) is advocating for New Directions to perform Britney Spears, but Schue won’t have it. Brittany, the character, not the pop star was the real star of this episode that centered around Spears music. She had the best dance moves (seriously AMAZING), the best songs and the best one-liners. One of those was that her name is really Brittany Spears because her name is Brittany Susan Pierce and she has constantly been tormented by living in the shadows of the musician. Oh man, amazing!
Glee is back. No seriously, I kind of can’t believe it’s back myself. There were a lot of complaints about the back 9, the use of guest stars, the HUGE onslaught of music vs. stories, the list goes on and on. I was not as disappointed in the back 9 as my fellow critics and bloggers alike, but I see their point. Ryan Murphy had promised he wants to focus on the main characters and then announced a ton of guest stars. So what’s the story? Here’s what I say: Glee is amazing. You may be cautious about the number of guest stars but we only really have a few ultimately confirmed and remember how amazing Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Neil Patrick Harris were? Have faith, Gleeks!
What a journey it has been. The little show that could which started way back last May until now has become a phenomenon. I knew there was something special from the moment I saw it. But even I could not have anticipated the level of success it has achieved — and it is all so deserved. Honestly, can the Emmys just leave the awards at a table for Glee and call it a day?!
I didn’t think anything could top the mid-season finale. I was wrong. “Journey” brings everything full circle. Regionals are finally upon us and the judges are Sue, local newscaster guy, Olivia Newton John and Josh Groban. Right before they perform, Finn tells Rachel that he loves her! (She had previously kissed him in the hallway). Unlike a lot of the pairings this season, this felt wonderful and genuine. They love each other! Finn was once throwing slushees at Rachel’s face and now they are a couple. They have both come such a long way. The New Directions crew perform a Journey medley and they are amazing. I was wary of a remake of “Don’t Stop Believing” because it was done so well the first time, but this remake blew me away. Vocal Adrenaline, led by Jonathan Groff, sang a Queen medley. Besides the fact that Jesse St. James is apparently evil (I had really hoped he wasn’t), this medley was amazing. However, I have to agree with Rachel, they didn’t have the heart that New Directions had. I also am holding out hope that Jonathan Groff will be back, even if only for a few episodes. Ryan Murphy wrote a part for him, so in my mind, it wouldn’t make sense to write him off so quickly. Perhaps he can come back as a Vocal Adrenaline coach?
In any case, Quinn’s mom shows up and tells her that she ended it with her dad and wants her to move back in. Of course she goes into labor at this moment, and the entire Glee club (minus Rachel) rush her to the hospital. In the first of many teary eyed moments (for me, not Quinn), Quinn asks that Mercedes be with her in the delivery room. I love this friendship. I know I have mentioned it before, but I adore Quinn and Mercedes together. I want to commend the writers on making Quinn’s giving birth scene funny and heartwarming at the same time. I loved when she yelled “You suck! You suck! You suck!” to Puck. Dianna Agron is such a fantastic actress, and I love that she got her moment in the finale to shine.
The day has finally arrived! Glee is returning to TV and all is right on my DVR again. The first 13 episodes have brought an incredible amount of success from a SAG award to a Golden Globe to accolades for the show’s fashion. It is rare for a show with only 13 episodes to garner so much recognition so quickly. It has also built up one of the most devoted fan bases in the world. I am so filled with glee (yeah I said it) at the fact that people have fallen in love with this show. Back in May, when it was just a little pilot that could, I realized that there was something very special about it. And Ryan Murphy and his creative team have kept the momentum going since then. There is not a single episode of the entire show that I haven’t adored. Some I like more than others, which is only natural, but any show that is able to bring tears to my eyes simply from a song is at the top of my list.
Hell-O is the triumphant return we have all been waiting for. By now, you have probably read multiple recaps and reviews because it was screened at the Paley Center a couple of months ago. But I want to give you some highlights and tidbits that maybe you haven’t read, without of course spoiling the episode in any major way. When we last left our Glee kids, they had just won sectionals. The episode ended with one of the most amazing song and dance numbers (My Life Would Suck Without You) and Will and Emma finally kissing after weeks and weeks of waiting.
The episode picks up with that scene we’ve all seen in the promos: Kurt, Rachel and Mercedes walking down the hallway thinking they are going to rule the school and then getting slusheed in the face. As much as I don’t like to see anyone get slusheed in the face, this kept their characters grounded. Of course Glee won’t make them popular, why would it? We then learn a lot about Finn’s angst — he is now dating Rachel and she’s a little too, well, Rachel for him (as if you couldn’t tell from the Team Finn shirt she was wearing in the promos). But he’s clearly still very unsure of himself. Now onto another couple — Will and Emma, who really do care for each other but there are obstacles getting in the way. Some obstacles might have names, others take the form of crazy quirks. For those Wemma fans out there, the happy ending doesn’t come so immediately. And then there’s Jesse St. James (played by the lovely looking and super talented Jonathan Groff), the lead of Vocal Adrenaline (New Directions’ competition) who woos Rachel, which doesn’t please the Glee club in the least.
The theme of the episode is obviously Hello. Mr. Schuester gives the Glee Club the assignment to come up with a song with hello in the title. Finn chooses The Doors “Hello, I Love You,” Rachel and Jesse St. James sing a duet of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” upon their meeting (only they would break out into glorious song in the middle of a library), the Glee club sings “Hello, Goodbye” by the Beatles and Rachel sings one of the best musical numbers I think I have ever heard her do–and it’s not a Broadway show-stopper. It is “Gives You Hell” by the All American Rejects. I love this move into new genres of song — especially ones that challenge their Broadway belter to get out of her comfort zone. I have frequently said that I would listen to Lea Michele sing the phone book, and she turns this alternative song that I never really liked into one I will most likely listen to on repeat on my iPod. Well done, Glee!
There is also an amazing showdown between Emma and Terri. The best part about it is that it’s not any sort of yelling or screaming match but more of a subtle takedown where Terri gets into Emma’s head and makes her doubt herself. Ryan Murphy’s brilliance shines here yet again. Even if you hate Terri (which really, you shouldn’t), she still shares this history with Will that we barely know anything about. She is still a part of him even if they aren’t together anymore. From speaking with Jessalyn, I know this storyline/love triangle is really going to heat up and I think they are setting it up for greatness.
The episode ends with “Hello, Goodbye” which is relevant to all the Glee clubbers lives in different ways. And I have gone this entire time without talking about Santana and Brittany. Brittany has definitely become one of my favorite comedic voices on the show, with witty one liners and the ability to play stupid in a very smart way. She and Santana are both out to get Finn (under the master plan of Sue Sylvester), and it is quite hilarious. The best Brittany one liner of the episode is: “You know that dolphins are just gay sharks.” I think I may have made a lot of people turn around and look at me when I laughed so hard. I am really glad that Brittany is getting more face time (and more time for one liners) because she is so hilarious and adds such a great element to the show.
Hell-O is definitely a wonderful way to kick off the season. I have very high hopes for Groff’s character, and I enjoy Idina Menzel as well (she guest stars in this episode as the coach of Vocal Adrenaline). There is comedy, show stopping numbers and the Glee Club drama that we have all come to know and love. However, the 2nd episode (Power of Madonna) is epic. It is probably the best, most innovative 45 minutes of television I have ever seen. So if you are happy that Glee is returning (seriously who isn’t??), your mind will be blown next week.
Glee is back tonight at a special time of 9:28 pm on FOX.
And here are a couple of video previews to tide you over: