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'Glee' recap: Brittany finds her inner Britney Spears

202Glee-Ep202_Sc07_MY-2209 Three cheers for the Britney Spears episode! And an extra-loud Cheerios-style whoop for Brittany S. Pierce!

 I usually dread the musician-themed episodes of “Glee” -- the music often feels forced and can derail the plot and compromise character integrity -- and to be honest, I was particularly dreading this one, if only because it was so hyped, but maybe also because I, like Mr. Schue, was a little uptight about the musician who inspired it. (He called the belly-baring pop star a bad influence. I’ve just always found her a bit distasteful -- and, what with the bad marriages, questionable parenting moves and off-the-wall head-shaving episode, increasingly sad.)

Oh, how wrong Mr. Schue and I were. Britney Spears, bless her ranch-dressing-on-pizza-loving heart, delivered in a way that musical icons featured before her -- Madonna, Lady Gaga -- have not; her music and persona helped to advance the characters (maybe less so the plot, but to complain about that seems churlish) and to reveal their inner lives and outward talent in ways we haven’t seen before. To paraphrase Kurt, it seems like Britney Spears really helped the characters blossom.

Unlike other themes, this one was far from toxic. Oops, they didn’t do it again. And they can hit us with these sorts of heart-palpitating song selections one more time whenever they want.

Phew, now that’s out of the way, here are a few things we have the Britney episode to thank for:

1) Brittany S. Pierce, where have you been all “Glee’s” life? Who knew that Santana’s blonder half, that ponytailed cipher in a cheerleading uniform, long relegated to the background in glee-club ensemble numbers, could dance like that? How great was it to hear her mutter -- in her perpetually amusing teen monotone -- about her internal troubles? And who would have guessed that Brittany Susan Pierce has been long been tormented by the idea that her namesake was more talented and more famous than she?

But all it took was a little laughing gas from Emma’s gorgeous, charming dentist boyfriend (more on him in a minute) for Brittany to unlock her inner Britney and discover that she may not only be able to sing and dance and play with a snake and wear dramatic eye makeup and scanty costumes as well as a certain Mouseketeer-turned-Lolita-sex-symbol, but may also be more talented than (gasp!) Rachel. “From now on, I demand to have every solo in glee club,” the newly confident Brittany announces. “I sang and danced better than [Britney], now I realize what a powerful woman I truly am … I’m more talented than all of you. I see that clearly now.”

Fire off the confetti cannons. Brittany has arrived.
Disappointing, then, that the Britney-amped Brittany disappeared from the “Glee” spotlight last night as fast as sex rioters fleeing an imaginary fire at a high school pep rally. Artie and Rachel’s Britney hallucinations were something of a letdown after Brittany’s. And it should have been her, instead of Will, in the spotlight when the group channeled Spears at the fall homecoming assembly -- subplot be damned. And speaking of subplots, couldn’t the writers have taken the opportunity to give us a little more sense of who Brittany is, to add a little more depth to her character? Even just a comic snippet of home life would have been nice. If not in this episode, when else? I would happily have traded the more-of-the-same Rachel/Finn relationship plotline for that.
2) a) Will Schuester cutting loose is not a pretty sight and b) John Stamos really is going to give Mr. Schue a run for his money. Stamos’ character, Carl the dentist, made Will look like a bundle of neuroses, prompting him to flounder (spontaneously buying a bright yellow Corvette with heated seats) and flop (performing with the kids in an act of desperation) in an attempt to get Emma back. I’m trying to think of another “Glee” character who has initially come off as straightforwardly unneurotic as Stamos’ character (unless you count his enthusiasm for dental hygiene). Can you? Of course it won’t last, though. That lame joke about the glee clubbers gumming their music without their teeth seemed like an early sign of some boyfriend defect.
3) Even in an episode in which she barely factors in, Sue Sylvester will always get the best lines. After she finds 'fro-headed hyper-hormonal blogger Jacob in the library stacks, naked and fantasizing about Rachel dressed as Britney Spears, she summons William into a tete-a-tete and lets loose with this tirade. “Don’t let your own recklessness blind you to the fact that Britney Spears is a genius pop culture provocateur and a gateway drug to every out-of-control impulse ever created,” Sue tells Will. “This school is a powderkeg of sexual deviance, William, and in my office I have a chair with a naked butt-sweat stain to prove it. ... It’s like an ink-blot test, that butt-sweat stain. Stare into it, William, and you’ll see the light of all that is good go out of the world.”
And then after incurring an apparent neck injury in the glee-club-induced “Britney Spears sex riot,” she tells Will, “You can expect a call soon from my lawyer, Gloria Allred. I’m gonna sue the pants off you, Will. I’m going to take your house, your car, your extensive collection of vests. I mean seriously, you wear more vests than the cast of ‘Blossom’!” 


What did you think of the episode? Do you think it worked? What were your favorite moments/lines? And what do you think didn’t work? Weigh in!

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Heather Morris on "Glee." Credit: Fox

Comments () | Archives (21)

The line about Blossom was a belly laugh. Too good. Best artist-centric episode yet! But if only glee would remember that there are male singers out there also. Justin Timberlake too busy? We don't have to keep forcing the guys to sing these girl songs.

This was not a good episode. It was a string of fantasy music videos, no plot. I have come to expect more from the production of this show--a good and thoughtful mix of storyline and music. There was a severe imbalance towards the music and sleeze. Yes, I know this is about Britney and sleeze is part of her, but did the really have to get down and dirty to the degree that they did last evening. I hope this is not a sign of what is to come.

My favorite line of the evening was when Santana first see's Dr. Carl (an uber-hottie John Stamos) and tells him, 'you are the hottest dentist I've ever seen, you can drill me, anytime." or something like that. :) Yes he is!

I'm sorry but anyone paying attention knew that Brittany/Heather had serious dance chops long ago. Specifically the "Can't Touch This" number from "Bad Reputation" and "Express Yourself" from "The Power of Madonna."

And the fact that she was brought on the show to teach the "All the Single Ladies" number and was cast from that (though I understand that's not common knowledge).

In other news, I loved the episode for the fact that Heather got to dance her heart out and that's entertainment in my book.

Her last name is Pears, not Pierce.

Brittany S. Pears.

Loved Britney doing Britney, thought she did a fabulous job.
Mr Shuster, on the other hand...whenever Will starts to sing and dance...uggg...I can hardly watch. For example, when he started singing in his Corvette, painful! He is such a DORK!


Thought Artie's number was the best for character of the night, although I enjoyed the joint Brittany/Santana video the best for dancing.

I liked the little bit of Bieste we saw, too.

I want more Will singing, but not in performances with the kids. Joining them in a chorale when someone is missing is one thing, but doing leads is another. I love Matthew Morrison's voice, but, again, this is down to what's right for the character.

Crystal you are 100% correct. Heather was friends with the choreographer and he wanted her to teach the cast the Single Ladies dance because Heather was a backup dancer for Beyonce's Single Ladies Tour. Plus, Heather danced backup with Beyonce on the American Music Awards and the Grammys (the duet with Tina Turner). Ryan Murphy noticed Heather was quite funny offscreen and added her to the cast. Glad Heather got to shine last night. Fantastic dancer!!

Wasn't a fan of the episode. The one thing I love about Glee is how they will take a song from Journey, Van Halen, Color Me Bad or something from Broadway and make it their own. All they were doing yesterday was recreating Britney's videos and what is so original about that? I will say this, even with auto-tune Heather Morris sounds 10x better than the Spears. To me, Britney can not sing! Good entertainer horrible singer. Would love to see Uncle Jesse (OOPS I mean John Stamos) sing on the show.

Used to love it. Now after last weeks horror (I did like Bieste) and last nights Britney fest, I finally broke; I left the room to do something else for the last 1/2 hour. Maybe 53 is too old for the show whereas 52 wasn't but the 48 year old spouse, the 16 year old daughter, and the eleven year old son all kind of agree: Something happened over the summer. The characters have always run a ragged line between cartoony and authentic archetypes but the cartoon has taken over. Too many stale gags, not enough character to anchor the attempts at pathos. It may be that the precocious child has become too self-aware. So, it's not that we're breaking up. I'll probably look in next week but I'm pretty sure I want to be free to date others on Tuesday nights.

Even funnier than Santana's drilling line were the pamphlets on Emma's desk.

I agree with the comment 3 or so comments down. Santana saying "you're the hottest dentist ever. you could drill me anytime" was classic. and a smidge uncomfortable for the 8pm hour.....but maybe I'm just a prude.

"Who knew that Santana’s blonder half, that ponytailed cipher in a cheerleading uniform, long relegated to the background in glee-club ensemble numbers, could dance like that?"

Pretty much everyone who's been paying any attention to Glee, except for the author of this article, as Heather Morris is by now fairly established as a dancer for her work both on Glee, particularly on the Glee live tour, and as a backup dancer for Beyonce (and going even further back, Season 2 of SYTYCD).

Also, this episode was far subpar to the Madonna episode. The plot was even more inorganic and contrived in order to incorporate Britney Spears, and the musical numbers were mostly gratuitous music videos that did nothing to add to the originals in any way. And random music videos have gotten old by now. Only Stronger, merely by having a guy sing it, and Toxic showed any sort of originality or adaption of the original. In the Madonna episode, on the other hand, Vogue was the only song that was copied without any new twist.

Loved the episode.....and Britney was great!!!

I am also surprised you didn't notice Britney's dancing before. She is awesome.

Now I'm just waiting for an episode featuring Mike Chang!

"Her last name is Pears, not Pierce."

No. Pear is a fruit and pronounced like pair. If that was her last name, her name would sound like Brittany Spares.

Hey, there's 2 different reviews for this episode? Meh. I agree with this one much more than the other one. The number 1 best thing about the entire episode was Brittany S. Pierce! She was amazing and we all hope to see more of her in the future. Heather Morris is a triplethreat that can sing, dance, and act her ass off. The rest of the episode seemed lackluster in comparison to her explosive dancing skills. I actually liked Artie's rendition of Stronger but it wasn't great and BOMT was just terrible. The Toxic song was great but the performance was awkward with Mr.Shuester involved. All in all, I'm happy the episode was a success and I'm stoked to see more Brittany but I hope we can get a little more storyline development for the characters. Too many Rachel solos, not enough dialogue from the rest of the cast.

First up, I'm an avid Glee fan and LOVED the Madonna ep. This one, however, was a like a mini-cul-de-sac because it didn't really go anywhere or advance the plot.

It was great seeing Brittany in the forefront (her few lines are always some of the best in every episode) but the episode took on too much of the real Britney's raunch culture. With Glee, the music has always stood on its own while Britney has to rely on Lolita-sexiness b/c she lacks in vocals (but as was obvious last night, she's certainly Lolita no longer!).

Stronger was the best song because it retained some Glee sensibility rather than simply paying homage to Miss Spears.

I for one absolutely loved Toxic! Mr. Schue in it was pretty great in my opinion. It sounded amazing! the only uncomfortable thing i found about Toxic was Jacob and that one girl (was it Lauren?). At first I thought Carl did come off as a dork (that "gumming" thing...) but i actually like his character. Lea Michele needs to stop singing so much. its only the second episode and im tired of her getting all the solos! Heather Morris was awesome!

I too was not really excited for the episode because it's all everyone has been talking about all summer and fall so far. I tend not to like hyped up things. I thought it was an okay episode- the song and dance numbers were good, but I agree wit those who said it really didn't do much for hte plot. I would have liked to have seen even more Brittany- and we saw so little of Kirk... that was disappointing. I am really bored with Finn and Rachel and was definitely rooting for htm to break up .... that's an example of something overhyped- everyone wanted it so badly, and so far I am not impressed.

Check the Hulu site. Every Gleek knows that the actress who plays Brittnay was specifically hired/cast to teach the other actors how to so the "SIngle Ladies" Dance since she was one of Beyonce's on-tour backup dancers.
Also check out that episode where there was a daydream to mall-dance sequence to "Safety Dance". Brittnay and Mike Chang were dancers in that scene. THose two were cast for their dancing, not singing.


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