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'Glee': Going gaga for Gaga

EGlee_Ep120-Sc11_172
“Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-Roma-ma-ah! Ga-ga-ooh-la-la! Want your bad romance!”

Leave it to Lady Gaga and Kiss (and oh yeah Madonna) to spotlight the eccentricities of the kids when they play dress-up. I totally went into the episode with shrugged shoulders because I’m still feeling the effects of a “Glee” high.

Sorry, readers, not to rub it in your face, but there is simply nothing like experiencing the "Glee" kids live in concert. Nothing. Ever. Period. So I was likely one of few people not expecting – or needing – to be blown away by them going all Gaga. Seeing it live, including the costumes, took away the thrill of seeing it on the small screen.

Though I didn’t necessarily go gaga over Gaga (OK that’s the last time I use that pun), I was completely blindsided by the heavy drama – or, as they’d say, the “theatricality” of the episode.

Discover yourself by copying others?

In a bizarre and completely awful opening scene, Principal Figgins is voicing his concerns over how oh-so-quiet Tina dresses. I wouldn’t really have characterized her style of dress as goth anymore -- punk, sure, but not quite goth. But whatever. After dropping a number of so-far-behind-it's-not-even-funny references to “Twilight,” including a stomach-churning scene of the A/V kids, in Team Edward shirts, pouncing on the poor geek who’s obsessed with Rachel (one of you Gleeks help me out with his name). But let's put my putrid hatred of all things “Twilight” aside. Figgins actually has a fear of vampires and forbids Tina from dressing the way she does, and Will wants to help her try out some new styles.

Of course, Rachel being Rachel, she’s been spying on Vocal Adrenaline (and her long lost mommy) and figures out they are taking on Gaga. Of course, Will being Will, he suggests the kids do the same for their weekly assignment -- hmm, sounds familiar. Well, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? That’s the only way I was able to rationalize Will essentially telling Tina either to be someone else or to copy the competition. Sigh, I know I’m being too harsh on Will, but I can only work with what they are giving me. I'm thanking my lucky stars Terri makes a guest appearance next week; I never thought I’d say this, but Will has been boring me a bit. My love of him stems from his train wreck of a personal life. The last action he got was a duet with Neil Patrick Harris, and although they're a couple of steaming cups of vanilla chai, I'd prefer that Will jump into another sexy and possibly awkward relationship.

Macho men

HGlee-Ep120_Sc15_0564 With the ladies, and Kurt, prepping for their big Gaga debut with some fierce costumes -- the famous Alexander McQueen claw pumps, that lovely lobster headpiece and the pop-tastic bubble dress -- Finn wants out. He and the guys want to take on Kiss, who last I checked still dress up and wear makeup and glitter. Finn isn’t only tired of doing what the girls want, he also is tired of having his "manhood" challenged. I’m glad the boys ventured out because their take on “Shout It Loud” was my very favorite performance of the night, so sue me.

After some brutal (and wow do I mean BRUTAL) bullying from some of the football squad, he brings that anger home.  To make matters worse, that home has changed. Finn’s mom and Kurt’s dad decide to take their relationship to another level by moving in. Not a good idea. Sorry.

Finn isn’t comfortable with the idea, and although the teen years aren't the best time to be uprooted and moved into a classmate's home (we’ve been there before with these two), things can get even dicier if that classmate has a thing for you. Now here is where things get a little ... real. Kurt, upset at the bullying he’s receiving – these guys are really harsh; it makes the slushy in your face look like a kiss on the cheek – he asks Finn, whom he now shares a room with, for some help. Finn completely goes gaga (I lied, I had one more reference in me), demanding that Kurt  try harder to blend in and berating him for having a thing for him. And oh yeah, there are a handful of cringe-worthy f-bombs (the other one) hurled from his mouth when describing the new décor.  All of this as Kurt’s dad walks in and owns Finn with a speech as to how hurtful that word is and that, despite his love for Finn’s mother, he lets Finn know he has to go. Show of hands, who died when Kurt’s dad gently placed his hand on his shoulder and stood there frozen in time, only for Kurt to place his hand on his father’s? Gosh, Mike O'Malley continues to be absolutely brilliant in this role.

DGlee_Ep120-Sc16_010 In my opinion, I felt that was a mini game changer. Kurt has never toned down his feelings toward Finn (please someone hurry and give him a love interest who will return the love), and you could see the discomfort brewing with Finn all season long. Though I was absolutely disappointed in Finn’s choice of words, I respected that he never used the epithet to refer to Kurt himself. That would have been unrecoverable. What breaks my heart is how quickly Kurt I think would accept it. At the risk of Ryan Murphy writing me an open letter, at times I get bothered at how stereotypical they make Kurt. Why does he have to fall for the straight guy? Why does he have to do drag? I understand that Kurt is supposed to be over the top, but employing virtually every gay stereotype is unnecessary -- and I fear one-note storylines for Kurt. I'm concerned his story will always be about being gay, as opposed to being a kid who can sing his butt off who just happens to be gay.

Bonus points to Finn for helping out Kurt after all -- and he didn’t look so bad in that red shower curtain either.

Extra bonus points to Puck for completely manning up and proving that he could be a stand-up guy. He melted my heart like ice cream on a summer’s day when he got the guys to take on another Kiss track, “Beth.” Although Puck won’t be in the running for father of the year anytime soon, he gets an honorable mention from me for stepping up to the plate. That’s a lot more than you can say about a lot of these chumps walking the streets these days.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Am I the only one confused by Shelby? I mean she practically forces Rachel to discover her identity and even toys with her heart by sending oh-so-dreamy Jesse to do the baiting. So not only does Rachel have this guy courting her -- and she of course is falling deep for him (judging by next week's preview, we know how that ends) -- she is now inches away from discovering her mother. That’s a lot for a kid to grapple with. Forgive my naiveté for kinda assuming they’d have a relationship. I get it. Idena Menzel isn’t a series regular, but you guys know what I mean. I could sort of see her carrying on some type of implied relationship. But nope, that is just a dream of mine that I cooked up. After sparking a connection with her teenage daughter, and a gentle yet assertive push from Will, Shelby admits that it's too much for her. Rachel needs and deserves a mom. Though I knew it wouldn’t work out, it broke my heart to see her get so comfortable so soon – calling her "mom" and seeking help on her Gaga costume (um, why didn’t Shelby scold her for ripping off the Vocal Adren. kids). They agreed to part for the time being and respect each other from a distance but not before offering a duet of “Poker Face,” though I really wanted Rachel to shout, “Mum, mum, mum, mah.”

Glee 3D Boxart finalGleeks, can you believe it, we only have two more weeks together! How tragic.

FYI, in case you didn’t already know. “Glee: The Complete First Season” hits stores Sept. 14 and will include extended episodes,  sing-along karaoke, a behind-the-scenes look at “The Power of Madonna” episode, Glee Makeovers, never-before-seen “Sue’s Corners” and a dance tutorial titled “Staying in Step With Glee.”  Those of you who shelled out for “Volume 1: Road to Sectionals” can get a $10 rebate by submitting both proofs of purchase at gleebatedvd.com; the site goes live June 1.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/GerrickKennedy

Photos: Fox

Related:

Complete Showtracker coverage of 'Glee'


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Comments () | Archives (5)

I like this week's episode.

I kind of disagree with you on the opening scene because I really like that Tina was shown first thing because she is almost never is. Though I would not call her style "Goth" but adults usually don't know the difference (especially if they are educators). I also like the Twilight reference, especially since all the other references on other shows come back to back to back and this one just pops up at a good moment (considering Eclipse is coming out next month).

I do agree with you on the Kurt's dad and Finn showdown. I actually teared up when I saw it because it seems something that could so happen in real life, and a talk that many parents need to have with their child (I have heard it with my friends and classmates and it is unbearable, like you want to punch somebody).


Will you do best quote lines for this show like you do modern family? Because my favorite quote from this show was "Asians are the most dangerous vampires" which was awesome.

Anyway, i thought it was great like any other episode, but I can't wait for "Funk" episode next week, because I definitely miss Sue!

For me, Glee is just a long wait between Sue Sylvester scenes. I mean, I've slowly come to appreciate the rest of it, but for me, it's all about SUE! And yes, Rachel is a great singer and perhaps the most enjoyable other character on the show. The rest of them I can take or leave, vocally and as characters. Oh wait, that blond cheerleader (not Quinn) is funny too. You know, the REAALLLLY dumb one who said dolphins are just gay sharks (Brittany?)

Gerrick -

I'm gay and not a huge fan of Kurt's for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, but you really seem to forget or simply be ignorant of what it's like to be a teenager. To a 15-year-old just-out kid, being gay gay GAY is, in fact, all there is to life. Getting accustomed to sexual orientation -- or sexuality more broadly -- is an essential emotional job tasked to teens. And I don't know a single gay person, whether they were closeted or out in high school, who didn't have a crush on a straight boy. One of the things that gay kids often think is that maybe EVERYBODY is secretly gay but that only some people have the guts to be it. It takes a while to realize that it's not true, that when straight guys say they're straight they're not covering something up but really are.

Maybe that's what does bother me about Kurt and, also, his father's attack on Finn. Kurt has a fantasy that Finn could possibly be with him and yet Finn's disabusing him of this fantasy makes Finn the bad guy? After how far Finn has already come in terms of standing up to the bullies and the jocks? Finn needed to be torn down about using that language, yes, because it was also "Glee" forcefully asserting something to the teenagers of America that has never been asserted on national TV. But just as Kurt is settling into his orientation, so, too, is Finn. He's allowed to be angry and confused by the changes forced upon him by his mother, he's allowed to not have the same taste as Kurt, he deserves some chamber somewhere where he can express himself or have creature comforts.

But for you to say that all Kurt is about is being gay... well, aren't all the other teenage characters largely all about being straight, their drama emerging from their relationships? Nobody says, "Gosh, all Puck is about is making it with girls" because that's OK. Right?

The name of the character who gets mauled by the Twilight fans is Jacob Ben Israel, played by Josh Sussman.

Way not to publish my comment for pointing out you missed the whole joke of the Twilight scene...


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