So each week, I will review Glee with the same criteria and we'll see how faithful the show is to its impediments.
Most Unnecessary Song
No question about this one: "Make 'Em Laugh" performed by Mr. Schuester and Mike Chang. After a promising first ten minutes (with a great performance of "Forget You" by guest star Gwyneth Paltrow), we come back from commercial to watch Mr. Schuester and Mike Chang dance around on a stage and sing a song that has no relationship to anything ever, except that watching Singing In The Rain is like medicine for Mr. Schue. Yeah, exactly.
Turns out this scene is a dream sequence, and the show is redeemed since no one saw that coming and dream sequences are really innovative and fresh.
Biggest Waste of Money That Should Have Been Used to Get the Kids Transportation to NYC
At the end of the episode, Schue asks Ms. Holliday to help him prove that old music and new music can be blended together and the duo performs a mash-up of Rihanna's hit single "Umbrella" and the medicinal classic "Singing In the Rain." [Note that Schue needed Ms. Holliday to help him prove this to the kids, because they had never seen such a mash-up before... except when they did "Hair"/"Crazy In Love" or when they saw Aural Intensity do "You Lift Me Up"/"Magic" at regionals.]
During this innovative mash-up, the glee club dances on a stage flooded in water. Is it cute to watch them twirl umbrellas and kick up the water? Yes. But the money required to flood the stage (sprinkler system, receptacle to hold the water), then get the water removed (expensive pump or something? Maybe Puck can help since he is/was a pool boy?), could definitely be put to better use in renting a bus so the kids can get to NYC for sectionals.
Most Overly Dramatic Scene
The two worst moments of the episode happened in the same scene basically. After psychoanalyzing Mercedes' eating habits and making (unfounded and offensive) claims that Mercedes is downing tater-tots to fill the hole in her heart where love should be, Kurt is approached by that guy from last week. The closeted jock asks him if he told anyone about their kiss, Kurt says no, and the jock says, "If you do... I'LL KILL YOU" and walks away. Kurt stands in the hallway looking frightened as the camera zooms out and I PRAY that Ms. Holliday will burst out of a locker for a "Forget You" reprise.
Most Out-of-Character Moment
One of my favorite scenes in last night's episode was when she took over for Schue and wrote "ME." on the board, then screamed as everyone got mad at her. Pure Rachel. But when Ms. Holliday tells Rachel that she "sucks" and her condescension is met with surprising complaisance and a musical collaboration, you have to wonder if the writers even know their own characters at this point. Rachel would never respond kindly to the accusation that she sucks.
Worst Use of the Guest Star
Gwyneth Paltrow helped make this week's episode one of the stronger episodes of the season. She was a surprising casting choice, but she did a great job and her version of "Forget You" was by far the most fun we've seen on the show in a long time. And while her character, the hip-teacher-who-understands-the-kids was cool at first, it was pushed into a caricature, just like most of the characters on the show.
By the time Gwyneth is supporting Mercedes' (out-of-character) decision to wreck Sue's car and handing the answers to the pop quiz to Puck, she has turned into an insipid flat character, and worst of all, just another Glee character with no relationship to reality. American education is obviously a social institution with a lot of problems, and the boundaries of teacher/student relationships is certainly a real issue. The show addressing this issue seemed smart and realistic at first. But rather than give Gwyneth a change to explore the line between being hip and relatable while still being a good teacher, she just became naive and silly. With the way Gwyneth rocked the beginning of the episode, she deserved better. And rather than have her moping in Shue's apartment and looking lost in Sue's office, she should have been having more fun, since that's clearly what the show needs.
So what did you guys think of Glee this week? Although I thought the episode was very problematic (and I found the Mercedes storyline highly offensive), I do think that this episode was funnier than the other episodes this season. I did laugh more than usual! And Cameo definitely stole the show.