Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Glee Reviews: Episodes 2.03 and 2.04


So who knows if I’ll actually be able to keep reviewing Glee as the season continues, but since there’s no new episode tonight and since I kind of enjoy writing about it, here are some of my brief thoughts about the past two episodes.

“Grilled Cheesus”
While as a rule of thumb Glee should probably not be having topical episodes that deal with things like religion, I actually ended up liking this episode a lot.  As I’ve written in previous weeks, the thing that annoys me about the show is when they try to shoehorn a bunch of different disparate storylines into episodes that really have no connection to each other (see below), but this episode did a great job of looking at one main storyline (Kurt’s dad going to the hospital), and having one primary secondary storyline (Finn examining his religion), and making everything else in the episode service these two storylines.

Because of the simple and straightforward nature of the two plotlines, I thought this episode is a great example of what Glee can be.  It also helped a lot that Kurt is the most strongly-written character on the show and the relationship that he has with his father is far and away the most developed that the show has to offer.  Overall, a great job with this episode.

Other Quick Thoughts:

-Strangely, I found myself laughing at some of Brittney’s jokes in this episode (as well as the episode that came the following week).  I don’t know if she is growing on me, but I guess I’m starting to accept the fact that everybody else that watches the show loves her one-liners and that they are probably supposed to sound as uninspired as she delivers them.

-Finn’s prayers throughout the episode were a little bit ridiculous.  All of the characters are talking about Kurt’s dad and Finn is praying to win football games and touch Rachel’s boobs?  It made no sense. 

-I kind of felt like Emma Pillsbury was shoehorned into this episode.  There was really no reason to have her go to the hospital with Kurt and Schu and there was even less of a reason to have Finn talk to her about touching Rachel’s boobs.  Unlike Jane Lynch (who is hilarious), there is really no reason to push Jayma Mays into episodes if she doesn’t have an impact on the storylines.

-When did Rachel become so religious and conservative?  Wasn’t she throwing herself at guys last season?

Sue Sylvester Quote of the Episode:
 “This country is not a monarchy William, trust me, I’ve tried”

Songs:
-Only the Good Die Young: Puck does a really good job with this song (as Schu was nodding in agreement) and it was great to hear them cover it.  While I feel like they could have done a little better of a job making the arrangement their own, it was good for what it was.  

-I Look to You: Mercedes does a really nice with this song and I really liked how it was informed by the plot of the episode (something that is ALWAYS a plus).

-Papa, Can You Hear Me: This was awful.  For an episode that was already serious in nature, this song took itself way too seriously and was incredibly boring.

-I Want to Hold Your Hand: Kurt did an awesome job with this song and I really loved that it was different from the most well known rendition of the song.  It was incredibly informed by the plot (almost do the point where I think parts of the plot were built around it, which is fine by me), and the flashbacks that happened during it were fantastic.

-Losing My Religion: Ehh.  This song did a great job of showing off Cory Montieth’s incredibly mediocre vocal prowess.
               
-Bridge Over Troubled Water: Although I would have preferred this to be sung by the Glee Club, I thought Mercedes did a really good job with it.  I also thought it was a pretty unique rendition of the song and was very appropriate for the themes and storylines of the episode.

-One of Us: Another excellent song for the episode.  It fit well with the theme (even if it might have been a little bit too religious), and was a great use of the entire cast.


Best Quotes from another Character:
“I’m not the most religious guy, I kind of worship Eric Clapton and Ochocinco.” –Finn
 “I don’t believe in God, I feel like it’s Santa Claus for adults.” -Kurt


“Duets”
If the third episode of this season was an example of what Glee can do when it’s at its best, the fourth episode was an example of what the show does when it’s at its worst.  “Duets” was all over the map with different storylines and characters moving in and out with no discernable overall plot and theme.  Scenes were pretty much randomly strung together in a haphazard fashion that made almost no sense overall.  Because of this, I’ll focus on bullet points:

-They breeze past it pretty quickly, but explaining Puck’s absence by saying that he tried to pull an ATM machine out of a convenience store with his truck is THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING THIS SHOW HAS DONE.  Puck might not be a model citizen, but he’s neither capable of doing something that big nor evil enough to do something that stupid.  If they wanted to have Puck be gone for a few episodes, there are a million more realistic ways they could have written him out.  They’ve spent the series trying to show how Puck is actually a good guy inside his rough exterior but this turn of events is most troubling because it shows that the writer’s have almost no conception or care for Puck as one of their characters, which is sad.

-I know I overuse hyperbole, but Brittney using the term “scissoring” is probably the most shocking thing I’ve seen in a television show since that Breaking Bad episode with the ATM machine (and I probably only made the reference because of the Puck ATM machine stuff). 

-Speaking of Brittney and Santana, I think it’s kind of interesting that they are in some sort of relationship.  It would actually be a neat storyline to see their home lives since they are clearly emotionally neglected by their parents.  Sure they might be really good friends, but it’s already been established that they hook up with everybody at the school.  They clearly just need attention from anybody, including each other.

-So Artie and Brittney really had sex?  I mean, they’ve gone to great lengths to say that it is possible, but was that necessary?

-I have no idea what was going on between Quinn and Sam.  Maybe she’s trying to play him hot and cold or something, but their scenes came across as poorly written voids where effects had no cause and vice versa.

-As always there was an awesome scene between Kurt and his dad.  The scenes between them are so exceptionally well-written that it makes me upset that the rest of the show can’t be as great.  It’s almost as if Ryan Murphy is channeling so much of his own past into those scenes that he neglects to do a good job with the other stuff (specifically Finn).

-I didn’t understand why Rachel felt the need to do a duet with Kurt at the end of the episode.  Had they had any encounters together earlier in the episode?  Why did she need to reconcile with him?  Where was this coming from?


Sue Sylvester Quote of the Episode:
Not Applicable, and this is a problem.

Songs:
-Don’t Go Breaking My Heart: This was a pretty good song considering it was the tried and true combination of Finn and Rachel.  Highlights included Finn playing the drums (yet again) and Rachel messing around with the piano player’s hair.
               
-River Deep—Mountain High: It was an ok song, but not really a memorable performance from Santana and Mercedes.

-Le Jazz Hot: I was incredibly confused about what was going on during Kurt’s song.

-Sing!: Surprisingly, I found Mike and Tina’s song pretty entertaining.  The choreography was definitely well done, and it was a really good way to showcase Mike in a song.  Since I wasn’t as familiar with the song, I don’t know how different their rendition was from the original, but I liked it.

-With you I’m Born Again: I’m not sure why they needed to have two Finn/Rachel songs in this episode, but this was clearly supposed to be weird and laughable.

-Lucky: I also enjoyed this song that Quinn and Sam sang.  While I was confused about their relationship throughout the episode, I think that that the song was great for them.

-“Happy Days Are Here Again”/”Get Happy”: I didn’t really understand why Rachel and Kurt needed to sing a song together at the end of the episode, as I said before, and this particular song didn’t really do much for me.

Best Quotes from another Character:
“That’s a nice break from all that scissoring.” –Santana


Read my review of the previous week’s “Britney’Brittany” Here

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