So, this is how much I love Glee - I actually sat down and watched the episode on the TV as it aired. Normally, I'm a Hulu devotee, preferring the freedom of the pause and the rewind, especially for a show like Glee with such delicious one-liners. But I made this sacrifice, and what did I get in return?
Irony. So much irony.
I loved the subtle snark of the first 13 episodes, but the writers were laying it on especially thick this episode, with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge every other minute. Finn announced an impending musical number with, "Oh, so that's why the band's here. Do you think I could find myself and do my glee assignment at the same time?"
Yes, Finn, you can. What happened to the segue-less musical numbers of the first half? We really don't need an excuse to sing here, folks, just give us the goods. That being said, there was a huge uptick in musical numbers, as promised. And two new delightful characters to boot!
I was especially charmed by the debonair Jesse St. James, whose initial critique/flirtation with Rachel bordered on the absurd. "I've got a full ride to a little school called the University of California in Los Angeles. Maybe you've heard of it. It's in Los Angeles." Perfect!
But, of course, Rachel can't get a frickin' break, and everyone accuses her of being a Benedict Arnold just because of the teensy fact that Jesse happens to be the lead singer of Vocal Adrenaline, New Directions' main competitor in sectionals. Man, can that girl get a break?
So, she has to pretend to break it off all while starting a secret romance (yay) with Jesse - BUT, he might be just getting close to her to sabotage New Directions from within, ala Sue Sylvester. So many layers.
But you know what? I have hope for my girl Rachel. I know that Jesse will truly love her for the wack-a-doo she is with no ulterior motives. Why? Because she deserves it. She really, really deserves a break.
Also, Idina Menzel is there! She's the coach of Vocal Adrenaline, and I swear, if she doesn't sing a number, it will be the biggest waste of talent in all of television history. Don't let me down, Glee.
Idina and our boy Will Shuster end up making out randomly, which is super awkward, since he's dating Emma now! Oh no, you didn't, Will! But Emma ends up breaking things off with him anyway, because she's convinced he's not over Terri, which is probably true. P.S. - Emma's a virgin, we find out (not a huge surprise, and not that there's anything wrong with that), which sets up very nicely for the Madonna episode next week. "Like a Virgin"? Yes, indeed.
There's also a weird subplot about Finn and his vacillating emotions about both Quinn and Rachel. He also manages to go on a date with Santana and Brittany (yes, both), which is totally worthless except for the line, "Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?" Oh, Brittany, how I've missed you.
Let's talk songs: kind of unimpressed. Most of the problem was that, since they're trying to shove in so many more numbers, we see about half of each song. We heard snippets of "Hello Goodbye" by The Beatles, which should have been a full show-stopper, let's be honest, and about a verse of "Highway to Hell". Although I'm okay with the abbreviated version of that one, since I was sincerely concerned about Jesse St. James' vocal chords. We got full earfuls of "Hello" by Lionel Richie and "Gives you Hell" by The All-American Rejects. Really, Glee? You're going to shorten The Beatles and AC/DC in favor of Lionel and The Weepy Boys (yes, that's my pet name for them)? Really? It's a good thing you're ramping up to the Madonna episode, and those best be full versions, because that's what we're coming to see.
As a little teaser, Chevy sponsored a music video of Sue singing "Vogue" and a recreation of the iconic music video. Man, she is not a good dancer. But it was cute, and I'm sure everyone will watch it on Hulu and get excited for next week.
Let's cut the overt irony by half and up the musical quality by the same, and Glee, you'll be back in the saddle.