Not surprising, GLEE’s “A Very Glee Christmas” looks and feels like every other Christmas special out there (hitting all the major beats above), but also manages to put its own twists on the formula as well. We get a major break-up between Finn (Cory Monteith) and Rachel (Lea Michele) – with no happy resolution by episode’s end. And the very important line by Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) at the end of the episode to Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) is the very un-Christmas-like “I hate you.”
There’s a part of me that would really like to see GLEE do more episodes like “Special Education” and “Never Been Kissed” – ones that actually feel well constructed and tell multiple stories that actually tie together properly. It’s also refreshing, in the case of “Special Education” that Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) isn’t shoved down our throats just to have her there for some unneeded conflict. I love the character, but Sue always works in moderation. In the case, she’s totally M.I.A. and the show, weirdly, is the better for it. No guest stars either. No gimmicks. Just the main cast, who are allowed to thankfully shine.
While many of the characters of GLEE get to wear their emotions on their sleeve, jock and show choir member Finn has proven to be the most introspective. As played by Cory Monteith, Finn internalizes so much, it’s hard to really pinpoint where he’s coming from at times. Yet, for all his internal strife, he’s also the one character who has grown leaps and bounds with last week’s episode finally having embraced Kurt (Chris Colfer) as his step-brother with open arms. ASSIGNMENT X caught up with Monteith to talk about Season Two, exploring his voice and covering Queen as […]Read On »
“Furt” proves to be another very strong episode as Curt’s dad (Mike O’Malley) and Finn’s mom decide to tie the not. It becomes a growth episode for Finn (Cory Monteith) who has to man up and now realizes he can’t be an innocent bystander when Curt is being terrorized by a school bully who threatens to kill him. It’s a thoroughly touching episode, with moments that have resonance and ring very true for a change.
One good thing could be said for the latest, lackluster episode of GLEE. The title “Substitute” didn’t result in a show choir version of The Who’s “Substitute.” Now that would be too obvious for a show, that occasionally lacks in subtlety. What is obvious? “Substitute” features movie star Gwyneth Paltrow in yet another one of GLEE’s throwaway episodes designed to showcase a particular concept (“The Rocky Horror Glee Show”/Britney Spears songs) or to give a guest star the full court treatment to suck away valuable screen time from the very able recurring cast. “Substitute” isn’t as bad as many episodes […]Read On »
Something very right happened on the latest GLEE episode “Never Been Kissed.”It was an important episode about fitting in, feeling bad about yourself, forging new friendships and singing songs that actually fit perfectly in with the theme of the episode (and without feeling force-fed).
Knowing that GLEE was going to tackle the 1975 cult classic THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE, I was a bit curious how they were going to make the show’s gender-bending adult material palatable for what is essentially a TV show about high school students.
After a couple of bumpy weeks, GLEE gets back to basics with a solid story that forces the show choir kids to put on their best “Duets” for a free meal at a restaurant called bread sticks. The competition really brings out the best (and some times worst) in the students, as they all vie for the prize. It also allows the show to focus on the characters themselves in simple and effective ways.
When you’re going to take on religion, take it on head first and do something powerful with it or humorous. Don’t do something like GLEE does with “Grilled Cheesus” a rather sucky episode that has its intentions in the right place, but yet again doesn’t know how to deliver the goods. Falling somewhere between sappy (Kurt’s dad has a brain aneurysm and is in critical condition in the hospital) and silly (Finn prays to the image of Jesus that ends up burned into the toast of his grilled cheese) it’s a weird blend of spiritualism and comedy that never quite comes together.
Consider this the Madonna episode without the really cool music. GLEE tackles Britney Spears, but what’s immediately evident is her imprint on pop culture is more about fashion and style, rather than substance. It’s a debate raged in this episode “Britney/Brittany.” Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) hates Spears and what she stands for, as do other students, but some of them want to express their inner Britney.