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Five Things About This Week’s Glee – Hell-O

Last night Glee formally introduced the world to Jonathan Groff.  And the world said “Helloooo baby, where have you been all my life?”  (Just like that creepy old guy in the bar said to you last Saturday night.)  When those beautiful, mermaid-y green eyes appeared over Rachel’s sheet music, twitter—and by extension the universe—exploded.  And not just The Craptacular’s twitter.  Or your twitter.  No, everyone’s twitter.  Jonathan Groff was a nationwide Trending Topic, be still my theater loving heart.  That fool was listed higher than Justin Beiber (whose fans tweet about him approximately every .004 seconds).

The craziest part of all is, of course, that this was Jonathan Groff in Jesse St. James’ poor approximation of a rebellious teenager’s clothes, wearing more makeup and expensive hair product than he’s ever seen, auto-tuned to within an inch of his life, until he hardly even sounds like his charming self.  In other words, this was the Groff minus 50% of the things we all love about him, and still, he was the star of this episode.  Our wonderful little secret is definitely not a secret anymore.

Rachel Berry and her Fragile Psyche
The script is pretty merciless when it comes to Rachel Berry, but at the end of the day, the writers allow her to be wise and human and often—right.  Her kissoff speech to Finn after he breaks up with her was so satisfying, not just because Finn was being a massive jerk, but it felt like Rachel’s redemption, like she was telling off all of us for continually underestimating her.  Because at the end of the day, what’s wrong with being Rachel Berry?  She knows what she wants.  She’s driven to get it, and she’s never subversive or manipulative.  Why wouldn’t Finn want to date her?  She’s certainly proven herself to have more backbone—and more self-knowledge—than he does.

The other brilliant moment was when Sue Sylvester staged a kind of emotional warfare against Rachel to force her into Jesse St. James’s arms, and take her out of New Directions.  Sue puts her in a room with a bunch of girls who Rachel is terrified of becoming—girls who are loveless and poorly dressed and destined to be alone.  Of course, this isn’t just Rachel’s fear—it’s every woman’s fear.  Or more, it’s a parody of every woman’s fear—what we’re all supposed to lose sleep over.  The scene is so over-the-top and spoofy—of Rachel’s own hilarious fears, of societal pressure on women, and of Sue Sylvester’s icy black center.

Will Schuester Keeps His Shirt On (Even When He’s Cheating)
Ryan Murphy and the creators of Glee spent 13 episodes—13 hours of your precious, overbooked life—building the Will/Emma relationship.  In December, at the end of the first ‘half’ of the season, we were finally treated to the kiss we’d been waiting for since September, and it was amazing.  So what happened with Will and Emma last night?  Oh, that’s right.  Nothing.  Nothing good, at least.  Because this half of the season, Will is apparently playing Casanova, not Romeo.  He kissed Emma once, she freaked him out with a little honesty, and what did he do?  He hooked up with another woman.  Behind her back.

And you know what?  Normally, I’d buy that.  Honesty does, all too frequently, send us running.  Especially when it comes to sex.  But come on!  That tawdry hookup was terrible.  Idina Menzel is a heck of an actress, but her chemistry with Matthew Morrison was non-existent.  The only reason I knew those two were going to hook up was because the characters TOLD ME.  Which is the worst.  Show me!  Rachel and Jesse did it.  The sparks between them were flying off the screen.  Why am I being forced to buy that there’s a similar connection between Will and Shelby when I can’t see it?  Why are you jerking us around for this?

I know, I know.  TV isn’t that simple.  You can’t just resolve story lines that quickly or easily, because it ends up making for boring television in the long run.  But I mean, if you’re going to toy with my emotional investment in these characters, it better be good.  And shit, if it’s not, I better get to see Matthew Morrison shirtless, at the very least.

Glee, You Just Put Blanket Through College
We get a Beatles song on “Glee” and this is how it goes down?  Lea’s version of “Gives You Hell” was spunky and fun.  Vocal Adrenaline literally had fire.  But one of Paul McCartney’s most iconic pop gems gets stiff choreography, a dark stage, no memorable solos, and LBDs with big white bows on the front?  What?  What show are we even watching?  For what the show paid to use it, they probably could have had Bob Mackie do costumes for the whole season, or hired Pulitzer Prize winner (!) Tom Kitt as a rehearsal accompanist.  And somewhere, on some highly-spangled cloud, Michael Jackson just laughed, and changed the channel.

Dolphins Are Just Gay Sharks

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • catherine April 14, 2010, 10:18 am

    I’m sad that we lost our Groff tonight. I think I’d rather keep him our secret. Selfish, right?

  • Rachael April 14, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Jonathan Groff in the music store baaarely made up for the lack of shirtless Matthew Morrison. Come on, Ryan Murphy. Let the abs free.

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