Okay, so before I say this, let me just say that I enjoyed this episode and I once again really enjoyed the music. But I was having trouble putting my finger on what was wrong with the second half of this season, since we came back from break, until I was talking to That Bitch Amy and she told me that her roommate had really put into words what she’d been feeling about it, which is that in the first half, the music seemed driven by the story, but in the second half, it’s like they’ve been building stories around the music. And I totally agree with that.
I mean, listen. I know it’s cool when Madonna allows you to use her entire catalog and I get how it makes sense for Mr. Shue to give them a weekly assignment. But also … I don’t want cohesive musical numbers that I can conveniently download from iTunes into a homogenous playlist on my iPod at the expense of a good story, and I sort of feel like that’s what’s going on here. And I feel like they may be trying to cram too much music into an episode which, there again, I GET that it’s a huge money maker for you, but please just … can we have some plot instead of an extra song?
Anyway, like I said, I did like the music in this one. It was pretty hilarious to hear Rachel singing so terribly (and like me), and I’ve got to think that it’s really hard for someone who can sing so well and so naturally to be that terrible. And GOD, Little Pink Houses was awful too, with the growling? Purposely so, I know, but still. They better make that up to John Cougar Mellencamp before this show is over. Although it was interesting to hear Kurt sing a lower song–minus the growling, he wasn’t too bad.
While we’re on the subject of Kurt, I kind of hope we’re nearing the end of his hissy fits about his dad and Finn. It’s just sort of tiresome. Kurt trying to be straight was kind of funny, though, and especially him making out with Brittany. I loved her sitting like a vacant statue on the couch while Kurt and his dad talked after he caught them making out. Hee! She’s so weird.
And you know, I’m not always huge on the Broadway numbers, but I thought Kurt’s version of Rose’s Turn from Gypsy (and yeah, I TOTALLY had to Google that one, although in hindsight, I totally loved Gypsy so maybe it was familiar to me) was amazing. He sounded great, it was energetic and passionate and entertaining and just … GOOD.
I think I liked Rachel’s storyline this week more than a lot of people did. I liked having Jesse out of town so that we could see some Finn and Rachel together time, and I think that Finn rejecting her drama queening and taking her to meet someone that could put it in perspective was a good move, and demonstrates why Finn would be good for Rachel. And I liked the actor playing Finn’s friend, and that they cast an actual paraplegic for the job. The scene where he was talking about what had happened to him and Rachel got really awkward and was like, “Finn shouldn’t have brought me here,” was some really touching stuff and great acting by Lea Michelle, I thought.
But okay, this does bring up another beef I have with the show. When Rachel goes back to give the friend (his name escapes me) singing lessons, I thought that was nice and I like the idea that Rachel is trying to be a good person and do something for someone else, and appreciating what she has. I also liked the song choice of “One” for that. But then they took that and turned it into a group number at the end, and I was like … WHAT THE FUCK. It’s called “One”, for crying out loud. One person should be singing it. Even two, I was down–it was kind of a nice duet and I’m not THAT literal. But it’s not a group song. And it’s certainly not a peppy song. Sometimes I feel like they put these group numbers together without any understanding of what the song they’re singing is actually about. Besides this, most recently “Hello, Goodbye” springs to mind. And speaking of THAT, I’m also getting tired of just songs with people walking around and trading places. More wheelchairs! More stilts! More dirty dancing! SOMETHING. Even Billy was all, “God. I hope they’re not taking THAT to regionals.” Seriously!
Man, maybe I had more issues with this episode than I thought.
I WAS really glad to get a Puck-centric story, though. I wonder why he shaved off his mohawk. Are they going to leave it like that? Or did they just do it so they could pair him up with Mercedes, who, yes, he DOES have smoking musical chemistry with? Man, Puck can really SING. He definitely has a better voice than Finn, and he’s at least up there with and maybe even better than Artie. I liked “The Lady is a Tramp”, and he has some dance moves, too. But it’s weird–Puck smiled a lot during this episode, and I really think I prefer him not smiling, and being more of a badass. It’s like Eric on True Blood, or Casey on Chuck. They’re made to be intense. I was glad that the end result of him and Mercedes was that she quit the Cheerios and he maybe had some second thoughts about the way he’s been acting, but I don’t want to see him go TOO soft.
And dude, the Super Mario discussion cracked me UP.
Of course, all of this resulted in what was, for me, the musical highlight of the episode, which was Mercedes and Santana singing “The Boy is Mine.” I REALLY like Santana’s voice, and those two put on a great show together. All the whirling ponytails made me feel a little like I was riding a merry-go-round. But yeah, great song for the two of them.
ALSO, speaking of good song choices, “Jesse’s Girl”. Of course that was story appropriate (do you think they named him Jesse St. James just so they could use that song?), but I also thought it was a perfect song choice for Finn’s voice. He sounded actually, truly good on it, and it might be the best I’ve thought his voice sounded on any of the songs (although I did also really like him on “Somebody to Love”).
I think that about does it for my thoughts on the episode. What did you guys think? Did you have any favorite moments? What was your favorite musical number? How do you feel about the second half of the season vs. the first? Lay it on me in the comments!