I have this friend—we probably all have one—who thinks that everything is cool. He discovers stuff about two months after the rest of the world, but he always thinks it’s really neat. That email forward with intricately carved pumpkins that your mom sends you every October? He loves it. A polyurethane bag that allows your plants to grow better by hanging them upside-down? “Awesome!” he shouts, when he sees it at the CVS checkout.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to see the world like that: to think that everything is awesome, rather than stupid, by default. Considering my bad attitude about Glee lately, I thought that maybe I’d try the childlike wonderment approach and see if it made me happier than wallowing in my own too-cool-for-schoolness. Ready? I’m glad you guys are here! Let’s GO!
Opening with a scene of Aaron Sorkin-paced dialogue in Figgins’s office? Sue saying mean things about Scheu’s hair? The old me would have rolled my eyes with the knowledge that this meant we were in for some kind of heavy-handed talky episode, but the new me thinks it’s SUPER GREAT!
Mercedes hasn’t been asked to the prom. The old me would have gone into some deep political rage about how this is because the Glee writers hate women and especially fat women and so of course no one will ask this beautiful, smart girl to prom because she has to go uninvited to hold onto her victim status, but the new me says CHEER UP SISTER FRIEND, IT’S PROM SEASON AND WE ARE HAVING FUN!!!
I know I’ll never be able to move on to the new, “everything rocks!” me until I stop bringing up the old me, but I can’t help but thinking that old me would wonder what these kids do during the hours of each day that they spend at their lockers. Who cares! Old me, I think you’re perfect! Don’t change! LYLAS!
So wait, Kurt invites Blaine to prom the week of? They haven’t been obsessing over it for months like the gay stereotypes they’ve been fashioned to be? Totally cool! You know what? New me isn’t even the teensiest bit annoyed at how adorable I find these two. Like, they seriously make me melt. Eat your heart out, bitter cool people.
Rachel and Mercedes invite Sam to prom, and even optimistic me has to call shenanigans on his hair. It’s like vomit-in-your-mouth gross. But happiness comes from letting people do whatever they want and not judging them for it, so good on you, Sam! You rock that poor man’s Tabatha Coffey.
Oh my goodness, a prom gown dry run! Kurt is invited because he is like Joan and Melissa Rivers! Squee! This is so cool and it doesn’t feed into dumb perceptions of gay men one single bit. I’m loving it! I don’t want to go full-on The Secret here, but thoughts really do become things. I’m kind of falling in love with Kurt.
Puck asks Artie to spike the punch? Oh, I see. They’ve done something new and different and kind of daring for the prom episode.
Rachel sings Rolling in the Deep and suddenly Jesse shows up to teach us that you can say “shit” on primetime television. Oh my god, I love Jesse so hard. Even bitter Old Cole loved Jesse, greasy hair and all. He is sex draped in an awkwardly-thin scarf. The song is great–it’s an interpretation and it’s a reminder of what the best songs used to be when Glee was actually a fun show to watch and I didn’t have to role-play to survive it. Finn is upset about Jesse, and I’m all Y U mad tho?
I love Artie. His “Isn’t She Lovely” is adorable, and I swear that the home ec teacher is the “tendu close, tendu close, tendu close, plié!” woman from Drop Dead Gorgeous.
At the risk of alienating all the readers who only come to wallow in the hate, I also love Kurt’s prom outfit. They call it gay Braveheart, which is really saying something, because I remember them pushing Braveheart on us as the model of masculinity and male dominance when I was in youth group, but I watched the movie and found it to be some kind of weird cross between performance art (the makeup!) and homoerotic snuff film (the best way to be prepared to have dominion over my future wife is to roll around with sweaty, shirtless men? OKAY!).
But wait, why will no one at Kurt’s home support him? This is the only thing they waffle on more than the buildup to sectionals/nationals/regionals/sectionals. Haven’t we spent a bunch of emotional episodes learning that Kurt’s dad and Blaine and Finn will support Kurt no matter what? Now all of that is redacted? I watch enough Judge Judy to know that the arm of justice is long and you can not just strike things from the record and reruns of Friends are on afterward.
Kurt shares an emotional moment with Karofksy and I really do love it. I think it’s nice to see a struggle that seems layered and nuanced and goes deeper than the storyline that every closeted gay kid is a bully at some point. This New Cole stuff is really working.
The New Directions sing Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” See, what we’re doing now is burying our inside jokes deeply inside of one another, like Russian nesting dolls. And at the center is a tiny little wooden lady who has been fashioned from irrelevance and about whom we get a migraine from rolling our eyes so hard. OP! I see what you’re trying to do, Glee. You’re trying to kill that New Cole spirit! Well I won’t let you! Just like Obama and Osama are only one letter apart, New Cole is not going down without a fight the way New Coke did! I am happy, damn it! I think things are awesome!
I can’t do this anymore. I hate this fucking “Jar of Hearts” song. It kills me with its terribleness. It’s the “Hey There, Delilah” of 2011. It’s the “With Arms Wide Open” of 2011. I can’t even think of new analogies because I hate this song so much.
Let’s have a moment of silence for New Cole. May he rest in peace.
Rachel is kind of understated and perfect. Sam asks Mercedes to dance, which is adorable. Blaine has to be some kind of a joke, right? Like, created in a laboratory as a perfect human specimen? Wait, where does the New Cole end and the Old Cole begin?
Oh, I know where. Here. Where Sue is gonna pull Artie’s teeth. And the guys get in a fight. And Karofsky, who was irrelevant, becomes prom king. And Kurt is named prom queen, which I already knew from hearing spoilers but it still makes me put out a noise that sounds like a cross between a groan and a gran mal.
We have to see Kurt’s ugly crying face and then Quinn slaps Rachel, which is so Dallas. They all find their power again through a split-screen montage, which is the precise reason that Rosie left The View and is about as interesting as The View without Rosie.
What a stupid episode.
Did you love every single thing? Did you hate it all? Do you want to chip in to help buy Sam a haircut? Leave a comment below or come argue with me on Twitter.