Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Glee's Funeral Episode: Worst Glee Episode Ever.

I'm just going to come right out and say it: this was probably the worst Glee episode ever.

Most people watch Glee for one of two reasons.  Either they are invested in the characters, or they like the songs.  I love Glee for both reasons.  I'm just as happy with a plot-driven episode as I am with an episode that has fantastic songs  But this episode, as far as I'm concerned, had neither.  So for this week's Glee Episodes Online Chat, I submit for you, the top 10 worst moments of Glee's Funeral episode.  

Simon Cowell incarnate

Schue decides to throw out the idea of teamwork and use the idea of favoritism EVEN WHEN THEY POINT IT OUT TO HIM that this is a bad idea.  Now okay, sure, 1. Rachel got the lead last time and was the favorite this time too and 2. Jesse agreed to the original songs idea that gave them the edge.  But still, why did these auditions get so ugly?  Doesn’t everyone already know everyone else’s strengths and weaknesses as a performer at this point?  It doesn’t make sense.  This was purely for cheap shots at Idol, like, “I’m totally ready to give feedback that is both blistering, and unhelpful.”

And what was the lesson Schue learned?  “We go back to what got us here.  We sing original songs, sung by the whole club.”

Let’s go back.  In the first 2 minutes of the episode, Will and Jesse agreed on doing original songs.  So we spent an entire episode and walked away from it realizing we should…do original songs.  Plus, we’re going to do what we did in Regionals?  Will, need I remind you that Jesse’s pick, Rachel, SANG THE SOLO AT REGIONALS?  Again, the whole audition thing: pointless.  And then all the kids kissed each other’s butts once Schue told them he didn’t like the competitiveness.  Yes.  Teaching is that easy.  /sarcasm.

Pointless hacker

Question:  Why Sue and “Honey Badger” Terry Schuester feel they needed bring in a hacker just to type in the Email address and password that they figured out for themselves?!

Answer: For no other reason than this amusing exchange:

Do I get a super villian nickname?
Your name is Panda Express.
But I’m not Chinese.
Neither is the food at Panda Express.

Okay, I admit, that was pretty funny.  Better than Sue snarling about how she was “lactating with rage” at Terry.

Becky tells Mr. Schuester that she wants to be in Glee club.

Will’s thought process, which was verbalized gently, but plainly written all over his face: “Well, you are going to ruin our chance at Nationals, so no.”
That’s nice.  That’s what you wanted for your legacy, right?  A club that brings the music to everyone, accepts everyone, makes everyone feel like a part of something, puts a song in everyone’s heart.  Except for when a little girl with Down’s begs, with tears in her eyes, “Please Mr. Schue?  I just want to belong.”  I guess we should expect that; he had no idea why Sue was willing to include her in the Cheerios way back when. 

Oh, and the REAL kicker?  He tells her “You’re welcome to try next year…”
In his head:  “…once I’m out of here and on Broadway with April Rhodes.”

Not to mention that in a scene not 5 minutes later, Finn says, “Jean was just like us, guys.  We’ve all been an outsider.”

The ONLY, and I mean ONLY excuse he could possibly use, was the fact that he DID audition everyone in Glee.  Except Mike Chang, who I don’t remember but I’m guessing he did a dance number instead of song and Schue allowed it (and am I wrong, but is that NOT what show choir is about?).  So IF he had said, “Becky, you are welcome to audition,” that would have been different from saying, “I’m afraid there just isn’t a place for you.”  SO ironic that he says that and 2 seconds later is the next scene with him charging Sue to say, “You.  Are a TERRIBLE person.”  He totally deserved that emotional punch in the gut when Sue was all, “Thanks for that but my sister just died, please leave me alone.”

Killing off a great character

Sure Jean wasn’t a regular.  But we NEED Jean.  She’s the only thing in the world that reminds Sue how to be a human being.  Now she’ll either be all crazy-evil all the time (which might be kinda awesome, but not as interesting as watching a multi-dimensional character) or she’ll go soft “for Jean,” and her memory. 

Finn’s waa waa I’m not auditioning

Actually…this was the only thing that made sense.  Because he’s right.  He HAS improved, and it sucks that Jesse was so dismissive.  But he IS “Lima good, not nationals good.”  I’ve never been a fan of Corey’s vocals.  Sorry guy, but you had to know that or you wouldn’t have sent in a drum tape instead of a singing one for your audition.  If you’re reading, it DOES make Finn a more interesting character, though.  Rachel, I know you like him, but you shouldn’t have pushed him on this one.  He tried to take a swing at Jesse last week but the wiley little fellow is too quick for those giant limbs to make contact.  And he can’t outsmart him.  The only thing he can beat him at is in a contest of principles, and protesting the auditions is the best way to do that (and he does, when Jesse told them they didn’t have time to have a funeral and Finn asked him, “Seriously?  Like, are you serious…Thank you for your input Jesse, but we’re planning a service for Jean.”).  In fact, Rachel, you’ve said you’ll do ANYTHING to be in the spotlight, we get that about you.  But if you decided for a minute that you really did want to win Finn over, you would boycott the auditions too.  But then you wouldn’t be Rachel anymore. 

The apartment scene with Emaa and Will

This didn’t sit right with me, and I don’t know why.  It just seemed a little too personal for a coworker ex girlfriend to help him pack up his life, and he seemed too cold and casual when he said that was the vest he was wearing the first time they met.  And then the sappy music swelled.  I mean, if he was going to be cold, why say it out loud?  And if we were going to get the sappy music, shouldn’t he be saying it with emotion?  And shouldn’t Emma’s eyes well up instead of telling him to let it go and move on?  Meh. 

Best scene:  Kurt, Finn, and Sue

When the boys came in to tell Sue they understood, this was the best scene.  Kurt’s queenie-aloofness:  “mom’s dead, *mumble*”  And then Sue telling them that she doesn’t know how to deal with this.  That was powerful.  She has NO ONE.  She is so low that she’s telling these two kids that she can’t cope.  Even though she’s always had a soft spot for Kurt (I’ve always seen her use of Lady, and later Porcelain as terms of endearment, though others may disagree with me) since he’d been on her Cheerios. 

Then, in the second scene with these three, she did the same thing.  Telling them that the reason she accepted their help was for her sister.  “I was afraid no one would come.  She didn’t know a lot of people, and I figured if you sang, at least she’d have a full house.”  Because she thought her sister had no one either, except for her of course. 

The Songs

As much as I thought Jesse’s bit was lame and, well, at this point not even timely, I didn’t love the auditions either.  Any of them.  I think it was just the song choices though.  Though Mercedes SHOULD have practiced; Jesse had her pegged there.  And Santana’s song DID seem surface to me (probably because I got so used to emotional songs sung to Brittany).  But when he told Rachel hers was brilliant (and Kurt quipped, She can be difficult but boy can she sing) and Rachel was CRYING (girl, puh-lease, that Finn montage was cheesy, old news, and generic.  There was NO Finncel plot development this week to warrant it) I thought the same as Santana yelled, “This is rigged!”  This whole audition was such an amazing waste of time.  We all knew they could sing, but not one of them brought something new, interesting, or sincerely emotional to their numbers.  Disappointing. 

Chocolate Factory
This was the only imaginative part.  Kurt, master wedding planner did it again with the funeral planning.  I’ve never seen a themed funeral.  It was just a little tacky, but in the Glee world it somehow fit in a creative, personal sort of way.  And when Sue opened with that intensely personal and profound revelation about how her sister isn’t like those of us with Down’s, but that made her MORE special, not lesser, I can’t imagine anyone watching it with a dry eye.  And unlike Rachel’s song/montage, this was creative and insightful.  It took a song that conjures up such visuals that go with the Chocolate Factory movies, and showed us a whole NEW set of mental imagery.  THAT is art, and the only thing that redeemed this episode. 

The Breakup
Oh yeah.  That too.  That was, well, lousy.  The whole Finn forgiving Quinn for having Puck’s baby but not forgiving Rachel for kissing Puck thing made no sense all season, and now this out of the blue breakup was equally slap-dash.  Sue losing a beloved sister made him think that…what?  He wouldn’t be that sad if Quinn died? 

Again, the only redeeming part of this scene was how “Quinn” Quinn was.  The way she tried manipulating him into not dumping her, the fixation on prom king and queen as if that’s the answer to all her problems, the rage when she told him “Don’t touch me,” and the anguish at losing control of the direction her life is turning.  It was like 2 seasons of Quinn rolled into 2 minutes. 

To Sum Up:
The biggest problem with this episode:  It felt like a bunch of scenes slapped together.  I felt like they were just killing time before the finale with Nationals.  No plot development, no good songs.  All that was accomplished was that we lost Jean, and OUT OF THE BLUE, Finn dumps Quinn.  What a waste.