Blaine, Wade, Tina and Brittany – Call Me Maybe
Rin says: First of all, let me make it very clear that I despise this song and everything about it, and how it became so stupidly huge. And I hate Glee for giving it even more legs to stand on.
I didn’t hate this performance, not a single bit. It made me smile so damn much, and even when I was capping the scene I kept giggling and pointing at their shiny, hilarious faces. I love these kids, I really really do. And I thought it was really smart of them to include Wade in this performance, because all of the cute from Blaine, Brittany and Tina was bound to rub off on him. And it did.
Also what I really liked and appreciated about what Glee did in this episode, is that they let these guys, the new seniors, have the first episode. The kids who have graduated were gone, except for Rachel and Kurt (which, obv, never do an episode without them thanks.) and I liked that they were given this time to re-establish themselves and show that they can completely hold their own. It honestly gave me hope for the rest of the season, which I have been dreading more than I can say, but they proved to me that while the old kids were away they could still bring the cute and funny. MAKE NO MISTAKE, GLEE, I’M NOT SAYING I’LL PUT UP WITH NO OLD-KIDS FOR VERY LONG. I DO NEED TO SEE A FAMILIAR FACE, PROBABLY BY THE NEXT EPISODE WOULD BE GOOD.
And? Tina and Brittany? Jesus christ, why has it taken this long for them to sing and dance together? It was one of my favourite parts of the number, AND THE EPISODE. Look at them! The pointing, the faces, THE HAIR FLICK. Amazing. And I just really love seeing them all be so playful together, it was so sweet and exactly how I like my Glee kids to be served. We’re also getting new relationships and interactions, which is awesome. Brittany/Blaine — adorable. Tina/Blaine — adorable. Tina/Wade — adorable.
I’m also very much enjoying the levels of Tina we are receiving. I give my thanks, and pray it continues.
After writing this, I scrolled back and looked over the caps one more time and said out loud, whilst resting my forehead on my hand, ‘Oh my god, they’re so freaking cute.’
Sophy says: I’m blessed to have no feelings at all about this song due to never having heard it or heard of it before. I may as well live in a cave, right?
Anyway, it meant I went into this performance with no pre-existing irritation. It was all just Tina, Brittany, Blaine and Wade to me, and whilst I knew that I would be squealing over having my babies back in my life no matter what, I wasn’t aware of just how fantastic this combination would be. And you know what surprised me the most? How great Tina is when she’s cute/funny/feisty/in our faces. I mean, I’ve enjoyed Tina in all her various incarnations, but I feel like this might finally be the season with which she comes into her own – by which I mean becomes a fuller and more stable character. She’s never really been someone I could identify with, because there was never really enough of her at any given time to quite decide who she is, what she wants, how she feels, where she’s going. But maybe I’m going to get all that this year?
Or that’s what I was hoping at this stage in the episode, anyway, prior to Marley/spotlight. Still, I have high hopes for Tina as a character, partly because they took the bold step of splitting her and Mike up. It’s not that I had any objection to the two of them as a couple, it’s just that Glee kind of whisked them over the finish line behind our backs, to the point where we were never allowed to bond with them as a ship. I’m hoping they’re going to give Tina a new love interest. Or even better revisit her relationship with Artie in some way. I always felt dropping that did both characters a major disservice.
Brittany was adorable as ever. Wade fitted in nicely. And Blaine.Well, Blaine is always perfect to me.
Absolutely adored his thrusting pose at the end there. He really was channelling the old Rachel – as in Rachel Berry when she still had her baby teeth and was already upstaging people left, right and centre.
And look, okay, I did feel like the whole ‘Who’s the new Rachel?’ plot was poorly constructed and came to a rather lame end (the kids let Artie decide? Really? He simply pronounces the new Rachel to be Blaine? Marley/spotlight?). But Artie was right on the money. If anyone was going to be the new Rachel it would be Blaine, and I’m hoping that any trouble in Klaine paradise, or even just the distance between them now that Kurt’s in New York, will allow him to further cultivate his Rachelness. By this I mean that not being part of an OTP 24/7 might allow him to be a little bit less ~nice and a little bit less, well, ~normal.
Blaine. Jumped rope.
Rin says: Blaine is literally the lamest person on earth. And I LOVE HIM FOR IT.
I also enjoyed the synchronised rhythmic cup percussion.
p.s. the Klaine scene was adorable.
Sophy says: OH GOD HE JUMPED ROPE. HE TAUGHT KURT A LIFE-LESSON VIA THE MEANS OF JUMPING ROPE.
And yes, Klaine scenes are always adorable (except when they’re horrible stomach achey messes outside gay bars, but whatever). But I really wasn’t sure about the song choice here. I actually love the song, and I think Darren et al did a really nice job with it. It just felt as though it was chosen more for being a hot track of the moment than for having real relevance to Kurt’s situation. Every time Blaine passionately insisted that he was never going to change who he is, I was like, “Okay… what?” Basically there’s only one part of the song that truly fits Kurt’s situation, and that’s the bit about not holding back and giving the Academy a raincheck. Which… embarrassingly literal. Please stop, show.
And I have to say that I once again really noticed it when they didn’t kiss at the end. I just feel like the two of them have been together publicly for so long now that it’s rather ridiculous for them to just hug at a moment like that as though they’re some kind of besties. THEY’RE GAY BOYS WHO ARE GAY FOR EACH OTHER GAY GAY GAY. THEY HAVE HAD SEX. GAY SEX. GAY GAY GAY.
They should be allowed to press their darned lips together. The way Glee tells it you’d think gay couples only kissed on Birthdays and twice at Christmas time.
(I KNOW RYAN MURPHY I KNOW.
I know if you had it your way they’d be kissing all the way to the bank. And stuff.)
The welcome back interview for the new seniors
Rin says: I cannot look at the girl holding the banana without laughing. Especially that first cap, with her expression and the way she is holding a notebook… it all looks a little too familiar.
I’m actually a little offended. “Over-enthusiastic, ready to please, asian glee fangirl” is a role I was born to play! Where was the call, Fox? WHERE WAS IT?
What I do love about the whole Tina has an asian assistant, is that apart from the lols, it is definitely playing into that time Tina said, “…if I don’t have many Asian sex symbols to look up to, I have an obligation to maybe become one myself.” AND I JUST. WHAT? Tina? CONTINUATION? I don’t?
ARTIE’S LITTLE WAVE TO THE CAMERA. HE’S USUALLY SITTING.
AND SAM. HE LOVES TO DO IMPRESSIONS. AND HE GETS ASKED TO DO TAYLOR LAUTNER, AGAIN.
AND I DIED?
TURNING MIKE CHANG FOREVER INTO MAKE CHANGE FOREVER.
This was the perfect way to bring us back into McKinley.
And Tina? Are you going to make it a habit of echoing Quinn Fabray? First it was get it right, and now you’re all about how change is good? I’ve got my eye on you.
And just because.
Sophy says: AAAAAAAAAAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHA HOLY MOTHER OF GOD TINA’S ASSISTANT IS THE BEST. Seriously, her face. I wish that girl was going to be one of the new series regulars. She’s easily the one who made the best impression on me in this episode. Just saying.
Like, the only person who could have done it better is Rin of Rophy, as demonstrated above. But yeah. Amazing.
And I have to give special props to Jenna’s face too, right after she throws the banana. Just glorious. WHY ISN’T THERE A CAP OF IT, RIN? EXPLAIN YOURSELF?
I’LL FIX IT:
I’m 90% sure she would have burst into song if they hadn’t cut away.
AND ONE MORE FACE SHOUT-OUT. ARTIE’S FACE. LIKE, HIS FACE IN GENERAL IS JUST AN AWESOME FACE.
And Sam doing the Taylor Lautner impression made me just laugh, in that way where it’s almost like I’m screaming to myself.
So yeah, I think I was just about hyperventilating with delight at this point. Because FFFFFFF.
Sort of wondering why Brittany wasn’t interviewed? I know she’s not a new senior, but she’s still a senior?
Rin says: So much face palming. Will, you major loser.
Sophy says: Oh god, I nearly choked. And his slick new hair and waistcoat only make him even more of a loser. Like.
“Good enough for Pretty Woman, good enough for Kurt Hummel.”
Rin says: Oh my heart. Have these two ever taken a wrong step? I think not. They are by far and wide the best parent/child relationship on the show, and also just one of the best relationships on the show. They’re kind of right up there with the greats.. Buffy/Joyce, Keith/Veronica…Kurt/Burt. Yeah, they don’t look out of place amongst them.
One of my favvvvvourite bits during this scene is Chris Colfer’s face as he’s looking out of the window in the third cap. The trepidation on his face is AMAZING and it reminds me of why this guy has an Emmy under his belt. He’s so good, and I’m so excited to see what they’re going to do with Kurt in New York. Yes it was ridiculous that Kurt didn’t make it into NYADA after all of that hoo-haa, but I love that this is the way they’re getting him to New York. It’s so much easier to settle back into what you know after you’ve been rejected, it’s safe and easy. But Blaine and Burt love Kurt enough to know that he couldn’t stay in Lima, because it wasn’t what he truly wanted and he needed to spread his wings and move forward. Even if that means leaving behind what he knows and loves.
And okay, I really wasn’t going to go there in this recap because there isn’t a need to. But it… so strongly reminds me of Faberry. AND I’M SORRY. I’LL BE QUICK. But in the Klaine scene where Blaine is telling Kurt he needs to go to New York, because it’s his time… he also says.
“You don’t belong here anymore.”
You guys. You guys. You guys.
When other canon ships start mirroring Faberry, you know Faberry are something special.
The other part that killed me during this scene is when Burt says that Kurt won’t come back. And they say their I love you’s through the car window, and as Burt watches Kurt go he starts to tear up. And I start to tell myself these are only fictional characters and there’s no need to tear up along with them. AND KURT TURNS AROUND AND DOES A LITTLE WAVE. AND AWWWWWW.
I hope it’s not too long before these two are reunited again. I mean, I want them to be apart for a good amount of time, so that it makes the reunion that much sweeter. But I also just really love having Burt around? He’s the world’s greatest dad? Has the mug to prove it?
Sophy says: LOL BURT. “Good enough for Pretty woman, good enough for Kurt Hummell.” IS HE AWARE THAT PRETTY WOMAN WAS A PROSTITUTE???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
But yeah, this scene was pretty perfect. Okay technically it might have felt a little like overkill, given the big Kurt/Burt scene in last season’s finale, but I think that’s just a function of how quickly they’ve swept Kurt off to New York. On the one hand I’d say it’s a mistake – I’d rather see Kurt take some time to make that move, instead of just texting his dad to start packing his things while Blaine chucked cups around to show him the way to live. The speed with which Kurt was out of there was honestly a little ridiculous, but hey, this is Glee. Most of the time, when things move forward, they lurch. And I do most definitely understand the urgency in terms of getting someone to New York who will bring out the Rachel in Rachel, more on that later.
Still, the scene itself cannot be faulted. Mike’s face, like. MIKE’S FACE. I’M SORRY BUT. He’s right up there with Lea Michele in my book for being able to gush forth oceans’ worth of pure, unfiltered feeling just via the means of face.
And like Rin, I really loved the look of trepidation on Chris’s face, as well as Burt’s admission to himself only that Kurt won’t actually come back.
AHHHHH SHAKING AND CRYING.
And I am glad that someone has finally made the point that NYADA is not the be all and end all. I mean, does every performer on Broadway come out of a particular New York tertiary institution? I’d guess not. There are other ways for Kurt to get where he wants to go and I hope he doesn’t give up.
I think I saw someone saying that it’s unrealistic for Kurt to end up working in showbusiness, because most kids, even the talented ones, don’t. And to that I say a firm “Yes,” and a firm “No.” I mean, I agree in principle. If I were at the helm of this show I would probably discipline myself to only allowing a select few kids to actually make a life for themselves in show business, and I’ll admit that Kurt is very much a niche performer. But who knows? Maybe one day in the Glee-verse some gay man who loves show tunes will be chatting with his friends and a lightbulb will come over his head and he’ll be all omg, I should do a show about this, brb finding a ragtag bunch of incredibly talented and unique leads.
Maybe that’s how Kurt Hummell would get his foot in the door. Just saying.
All I know is that it would make me terribly sad if he gave up so easily on something he is so good at and loves so much. And as for those rumours slash suggestions that he will or should turn his attention to fashion?
PLEASE. GOD. NO.
Not because I don’t think he’d be good at it. Not because I don’t think he’d enjoy it. But just because the gay boy goes for fashion, really? And worse than that the gay boy settles for fashion. Because that’s where he belongs, you know? It’s almost like putting the woman in the kitchen. because she’s better off there.
Best ‘Brittany is random’ Moment
“…and it’s hard making out over Skype. You can’t really scissor a webcam.”
Rin says: I know they’ve said it before, but jesus christ. I just laughed and laughed, how can they say that on Glee.
ALSO I HAVE TO QUOTE THIS BIT TOO.
“I had a song in my heart, Blaine Warbler, and you killed it. Now I have a dead song in my heart, and pretty soon, the corpse of my dead heart song is going to start to smell.”
BRITTANY STILL THINKS BLAINE’S LAST NAME IS WARBLER.
Sophy says: BRITTANY WAS SO PERFECT IN THIS EPISODE. Pretty much everything she said and did was amazing.
And yes that includes her liking Mercedes’ new haircut when Mercedes was actually Wade. And had just been introduced as “Wade ‘Unique’ Adams”. Loudly. I know a lot of people read that as racist, or as a dig at people who are overweight, but to me it was just Brittany being Brittany. Right up there with thinking Joe’s a girl because he has long hair and also because Quinn might be into him. And repeatedly addressing a middle-aged woman on the prom committee as Rachel.
I love her I love her I love her.
You know what else I love? Her dynamic with Kurt and Blaine. It’s actually sort of refreshing having half the club gone (ALTHOUGH, COME BACK TO ME MY DARLINGS NEVER LEAVE ME, NEVER GO.) in that it’s shaken up the relationships a little bit. I mean, have we ever really seen Kurt, Blaine and Brittany sitting down and chatting over coffee? Have Tina and Britt been this cute together all along and I just wasn’t seeing it over all the Brittana cute?
I know it’s tough for Brittana addicts to have the two separated, but hopefully we’ll get to see new sides of them as individuals in the meantime.
Random, but we need to mention it.
Rin says: So. What the fuck happened over the break, you guys?
Last I heard, we were all — Okay this Wade/Unique thing was nice and all, but Newell is not a strong actor and probably needs to leave forever, and oh my god get the fuck away from my New Directions.
But they brought him back and I didn’t hate any of it. I actually quite LIKE it. It works.
Last season, at least for me, the Unique character felt more like a gimmick, and more of a way for Glee to say, ‘HEY LOOK! WE’RE BEING SO INCLUSIVE, AREN’T WE?! ‘ And it’s kind of ironic that this recap is following on from the Throwdown recap where we were frustrated about people bringing Glee down and not recognising how inclusive they really are. But you know, for that to work, there does need to be a real effort to make it about a rounded-out character and not a flat image.
I feel like they really took the time to think about how Unique would work in a more realistic manner, especially now that she was going to be a McKinley student. And you know, the scene in the cafeteria where Unique comes in with makeup and everyone tells her she needs to go take it off — the unexpected happens. You expect her to be fierce and say she is who she is and doesn’t care what others think. But she doesn’t. Because you know, she’s a new kid at this school and wants to fit in. And you see that bit of uncertainty across her face as she tells them that she’ll go ‘take off her face’ (WHICH! TAKE. OFF. HER. FACE.) and honestly the whole thing is pretty small. But it’s the nuance and the details that really work at making Unique/Wade seem much more real.
Nice job with that one Glee.
‘Unique’s eyes…they are on FIRE!’ also made me laugh out loud.
And finally, in the first cap. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE CHEERIO IN THE BACKGROUND WITH A NECK BRACE? Christ. Is that a purposeful hilarious background detail, as a commentary on how Sue is INSANE? Cause, yes, I dig it.
Sophy says: WHAT HAPPENED? I was so apprehensive last season about Wade/Unique joining the group, because whilst I very much enjoyed her performances, I wasn’t that keen on Alex’s acting. And yet somehow he managed to waltz into the club and seem right at home? Really, it seems as though he may even have taken some acting classes over the break, or at least thought quite seriously about who his character is and how he’s going to sell her to us.
And here’s where I run into trouble. Him? Her? I’m honestly not sure about the pronouns. I’m old and stupid and I’m not sure to what extent Wade creates Unique and to what extent he – she – lives her? Hopefully this is something the show will address moving forward.
But yeah. She fitted right and didn’t bother me one bit. In fact, I found her adorable. Most especially when she said she’d take her face off.
IT WAS SO CUTE, YOU GUYS.
Never take your face off, Wade/Unique Neverrrrrrrrr
And can I just say that with this addition to the cast they seriously have to do La Vie Boheme at some point. Like, maybe for the next Nationals. Because oh my god.
Rophy Says No!
Rin says: Okay, my thoughts on Marley, and her whole spiel aren’t as ferocious as I thought they would be. But overall they’re not pleasant.
And hey, it’s kind of a good thing for us to have a WHITE, BLUE-EYED BRUNETTE to dislike. See, we don’t discriminate!
Here we go.
I love love love her mum. And I think they are trying to tell a really nice story with the two of them, however that’s kind of where it stops.
Because it all becomes too much, in too little time.
Marley is a complete Mary Sue. In every single way, she’s presented as a character with so many LIKEABLE qualities that it becomes ridiculous.
I mean, in just the one episode we learn:
Heart of gold
Fantastic relationship with mother
Can’t afford designer labels!
Wears a jaunty hat
Performs hands down one of the best auditions Will has ever seen
Has star quality
Just wants to be a singer on the radio
Helps out her mum after school
The classic — HAD NO FRIENDS AT OLD SCHOOL, NEW CHANCE AT THIS SCHOOL
Stands up to THE COOL MEAN KIDS
Has a mini whiteboard in her locker with ‘I LOVE <3 MY MUM’ written on it (seriously?)
Teaches all of the Glee kids a lesson
Immediately gets lead vocals
Has more than one jaunty hat.
I’m not opposed to ‘good’ characters you guys, in fact they’re some of my favourite characters of all time. e.g. Dr Cameron, Leslie Knope, Hermione Granger, etc. The problem I’m having with Marley is that she is completely overworked and unbalanced as a character. She has this and this and this and oh look how awesome I am! Except no, Marley would never say that, ’cause she’s so humble too! It honestly reads as a really poorly written original character that you would find in fanfiction. Over-idealised, with no areas of grey. Just white. She’s an angel you guys. AN ANGEL. Maybe the jaunty hat is supposed to symbolise a halo.
And yes, this is me being not as ferocious as I thought I would be.
I want to say that I HOPE they change my views on her. But I’m pretty sure they’re going to continue down the path of Marley = Better than sliced bread.
I also really don’t like how I’m getting the idea that they’re really going to push Marley as the ‘new Rachel’ — as in, have her be the star of New Directions. I don’t need a new character shoved so violently down my throat, especially when they already have a plethora of stars within the group. Don’t try to sell to us that the seniors are getting their chance now that the others have gone, and then conjure up this new girl to take the spotlight. I just, don’t care.
It also flat-out stunk that Marley TAUGHT THE GLEE KIDS A LESSON. It’s upsetting because we know these kids and have seen them grow over the years, and I thought they had gotten to this place where they didn’t give a shit about being popular because they knew Glee was special and being a part of that, and having each other, was more than enough. Instead we see a bunch of insecure 17 year olds, clamouring around to win the favour of the bitchy cheerleader and her jocks. Just? Eye-rolls. So many.
I don’t hate Marley. I just don’t see why everyone is so head over heels with her already. I’m indifferent at best about her. And am I the only one who thinks of the lab from Marley & Me whenever her name is said? Except even that Marley had more character flaws.
I wish they mixed it up a bit. How about a cheerleader that is actually nice? Maybe? Jake may be okay, I didn’t have an adverse reaction to him. And the parallel at the end of the episode was nice. BUT WHERE’S MY EMMA AND BIESTE? I NEED THEM. And how old is Becky? Did she graduate?
I won’t go into Kitty. But. WELL YOU GUYS CAN IMAGINE THE FURY OF HEARING ‘SHE’S LIKE QUINN FABRAY’ COME OUT OF SUE’S MOUTH. Don’t worry, Kitty is on my list too.
Sophy says: Well. I do. I do hate Marley that is.
I hate her like I hate spider bites on babies’ faces ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS.
This girl? THIS GIRL.
I don’t even know where to start.
Let’s just say that I found myself thinking how ‘Marley Sue’ was the most apt bitchy nickname possible for her, and then I realized actually the most apt bitchy nickname possible for her was ‘Marley Rose,’ which you guys is her actual name.
HER ACTUAL NAME IS MARLEY ROSE.
IT REALLY IS.
AND I JUST????????????
AM I READING TWILIGHT FANFICTION????????????????
IS SHE AN OC WHO WILL WIN THE HEARTS OF EVERYONE IN FORKS AND SOMEDAY MARRY JACOB AND MAKE HIM HAPPIER THAN “BELLA SWAN” EVER COULD?????
To be honest, that’s where she belongs. In Forks. No, in an even shittier version of Forks, written by an 11 year old who learned everything she knows about writing from Twilight.
Okay, I think Rin has covered most of what’s wrong with this character with her gloriously on point list above. But let me just say this: she is, hands down, the worst thing Glee has ever done. That includes Holly Holliday – probably only because Holly wasn’t a regular, but still. No mean feat. I mean, you guys, I had major issues with Lauren Zises, as has been well documented in these recaps, but Marley has me looking back on her fondly.
There are two things that will make it impossible for me to warm to a newbie on a beloved show. She is doomed if she is a) practically perfect in every way, and b) in my face. Marley was both. And then she just had to push the envelope by teaching the characters I know and love a valuable lesson about being as perfect as her.
It was a fucking home run if this was an exercise in how not to introduce a newb. It was flawlessly awful writing. And despite the fact that I enjoyed this episode for the most part, it does make me terribly concerned about the show’s future.
It’s ironic that only a couple of days before this episode aired, Rin and I did our recap for 107, in which I opined that Glee had lost some of the bite it once had – many of the characters had been normalized to the point where the fun had been beaten out of them, and many of the whackier side characters had been axed altogether. I grumbled about how Glee used to feel like more of a black comedy than an after school special – or rather that it used to get the balance between being wickedly funny and delivering a positive message right. I remember expressing some hope that the shake-up in season 4 would shake out some new comic talent.
It hasn’t. I mean, it really, really hasn’t.
Unique is a good time. Brittany continues to deliver. Blaine provides epic lols via the means of lame. And Rachel and Kurt together will always get a giggle from me. Tina has really stepped up to the plate in terms of comedy.
But all the new characters are as lol-free as they can be. Okay, maybe, maybe with the exception of Kitty. The lines for Kitty were pretty decent. I probably would have been tickled if they’d been coming out of Quinn’s mouth. Or, you know, Santana’s mouth, since she seems to be a mix of those two. And it’s not that I found the actress so very bad with her delivery. She was passable. It’s just that passable won’t cut it when the last person carving the school up with her tongue was Naya Rivera, you know?
More than anything, though, it’s the writing that’s the problem there. Another mean cheerio. Yawn. If we were going to have a nauseatingly sweet character, it should not have been the sweetly talented tomboyish brunette with jaunty hats. It should have been the Head Cheerleader. That might have been interesting. For two reasons. One, it’s never been done before. Two, its very newness would make it the perfect breeding ground for hilarity.
Kitty should have had a heart of gold. Kitty should have had the fat lunchlady mum who sewed her Cheerios uniforms out of scraps. Kitty should have been the one who put decency above popularity. Kitty should have been the one who just wanted to be a dancer in any professional company, but was so damn good at Cheer try-outs Sue had to put her at the top of the pyramid even though she loathed her and every gooey, fuzzy thing she stood for.
I would have poked fun at that character. Everyone would have poked fun at that character. And they would have loved her too. And I might have loved her.
What Glee has given us instead are a bunch of pallid cliches who bring no humour to the show and no tension to the narrative.
I’ll reserve final judgment on Kitty because we’ve seen so little of her. Who knows, maybe they’ll develop her in a way that will surprise us all. Maybe the actress will rise to the occasion over time. But I have a sneaking suspicion that no matter what they do with her, she’s doomed by this introduction to be a weak imitation of Quinn and/or Santana. Either that, or she just stays the two-dimensional jerk she is now. Neither prospect is particularly appealing.
Puck’s secret brother? Eh. I’ll reserve judgment there too, although I can’t say I’m impressed with the retread. The only way it could be interesting is it they follow through on the rage he was talking up in this episode – if he is truly damaged and anti-social. But can Glee really manage that? Even if they can, should they? I worry that to tell that kind of story properly would change the whole tone of the show. And more than anything I worry that this kid will wind up being something out of a completely earnest version of Urban Glee. He can do anything that he puts his mind to, you guys. Doesn’t matter that his momma’s on the corner selling body for the rock.
AND SEE THIS IS WHAT I MEAN. Let’s look at the Original Puck. He was fucking hilarious and wrong and amazing. And underneath all that, he had layers. Those layers were first and foremost his true feelings about Quinn and the baby, which kind of got screwed up and shoved under the carpet. But later he had other layers, as shown in his scenes with Bieste. In contrast, Puck 2.0 is showing his hand right from the start. And so far is showing no signs of being a comedic character in any way. Which is the same problem with Marley. She is not a comedic character in any way.
All the Glee kids in the original cast were funny. Tina, Artie, Mercedes, Kurt, Finn, Quinn, Puck, Rachel… even Will himself. They were all constructed as characters on a comedy show right from the start. I’m not saying they don’t have their dramatic moments too, but first and foremost they were funny. Even characters like Lauren and Holly were at least intended to make us laugh. With Marley and Jake they’re not even making an effort. They’re just writing straight, humourless paint by numbers characters – people who belong in Disney Movies being played by Hillary Duff and whoever that guy is from One Tree Hill.
And Marley is the worst of them. Marley and her fucking jaunty hats. OH GOD. She is the blandest, “cutest,” bestest, goodest, magic in her throatest heap of steaming CRAP EVER.
I mean, I know I should probably be reserving judgment on her too, like I am with Kitty and Jake, but I just can’t. It’s like if Marley was eggs, this episode was Glee throwing them on the floor. It’s too late to go back now. The only way is omelette. A gross omelette with egg-shells and floor in it. I mean, okay, I’d try to forgive and forget if they completely changed her character to please me, but that’s never going to happen is it? This is who Marley is: good, pure, ambitious in a non-threatening “appropriate” way, pretty in a Nickelodeon kind of way, she can sing like how a lot of girls can sing, she wears jaunty hats, she loves her mum, SHE THOUGHT THE GLEE KIDS WERE DIFFERENT.
There is nothing interesting about her. Nothing. And yet she is treated by all the characters as though she were interesting.
And seriously, if the whole ‘New Rachel’ thing was the set-up for the kids unequivocally accepting someone who happens to be Marley as the star of the club, I will make SO MANY EMPTY THREATS to quit watching Glee. You have no idea. Like, they’ll be pages long. Because as far as I’m concerned Tina, Artie and Brittany are all more seasoned and attractive performers than this girl. And to compare her to Blaine in terms of leadership and star quality would just be laughable.
That’s just how I feel.
I mean, really, when she was singing New York State of Mind with Rachel, I just kept asking myself incredulously how on earth the writers thought this would be a good idea – to put this kid up against Lea in the very first episode – are you KIDDING ME? Every time it cut to Marley I was struck, hard, on the head, with a saucepan, by how inferior she was. Lea Michele – Rachel Berry – she’s come a long way on this show, but from day one she has known how to infuse her performances with all the emotion and intensity in the world. Marley – Melissa – she just sings. It’s not the same thing. It’s like the difference between buying a cake and baking one. And, you know, even if Marley wasn’t an awful character and a lacklustre performer, it still would have been foolhardly to pitch her against Lea. To in fact allow her to muscle in on Rachel Berry’s only song in a season premiere that was named after her. Her first big song at NYADA and some random gets all up in it with her jaunty hat? Really?
And then there’s the fact that she sang again at the end. There’s the fact that Marley sang more than anybody else in this episode.
MARLEY SANG MORE THAN ANYBODY ELSE IN THIS EPISODE.
Did they not learn their lesson about this shit with Rory??? And that episode wasn’t even a season opener. It certainly wasn’t a HUGELY EMOTIONALLY CHARGED SEASON OPENER in which the whole damn show was being shaken up and the last thing fans wanted to feel was that the new girl was more important than the girl. The girl who made this show was it is.
Oh and let me just say one more thing. I nearly choked when Sam and Marley bonded over being a poor-ass goody two shoes. Like. I literally yelled at Rin as Sam approached her ‘I BET THEY BOND OVER HOW THEY’RE BOTH SO POOR AND DECENT AND STUFF’. And then they did.
Okay and now let’s talk about the hats. Yes, we actually do need to talk about the hats. The problem with them is that they’re what confident people wear. You know, seasoned hipsters and pretty girls who want to make sure they’re looked at without actually looking like they particularly want to be looked at. In the real world unassuming, shy sweetie-pies don’t wear hats. They don’t have the balls. On TV, they do. Because it’s just another way they’re, like, super cute and fashionably anti-fashion without really meaning to be.
That’s the problem with the hats.
And that’s the problem with Marley in general.
COME AT ME, MARLEY-LOVERS. COME AT ME ALL YOU LIKE. I WILL NEVER SURRENDER.
SHE. IS. THE. WORST.
Kate Hudson as a dance teacher.
Rin says: She just looks so clunky you guys. Like a horse dancing. Maybe that’s why Lea was so in awe.
I really am the last person who is qualified to talk about technique and all of that, but I do have 9 seasons of experience in being an avid SYTYCD fan. So.
My biggest problem with Kate Hudson playing a dance teacher, is that it’s such an obvious bit of stunt casting. And that rubs me in completely the wrong way because it says they don’t trust in their cast to be interesting enough to get people to watch the new season, and it says they don’t believe the fans are loyal enough to tune in. When really, the main reason fans have been tuning out is because of how sloppy they can be when it comes to actual plot. Not because of the lack of Kate Hudson. And yeah, I still don’t know anyone who would tune into Glee just for Kate Hudson. Are the general public really that easy? I worry.
Um but yeah. The second problem I have is that Kate Hudson isn’t even a good choice. It does’t make any sense…unless they cast her purely on the ‘pathetic drunk’ aspect of the character. Then, bravo? But she’s supposed to be a dance teacher at one of the TOP (if not the top, in Gleeverse anyway) dramatic art schools in NEW YORK. New York, you know, that city where it’s the hardest place to make it? And we’re expected to believe that this is one of their teachers? A clunky horse that wouldn’t even take home gold in the dressage event.
I mean, in the first season of Glee they actually cared about who they were asking to guest star, didn’t they? Menzel, Chenoweth.. broadway veterens who are more than qualified to play the characters that they do. Eve, Groff, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS… you know, these are all people that make sense.
I honestly don’t even hate Kate Hudson, I’ve seen How To Lose a Guy, Bride Wars, Something Borrowed etc. etc. and yeah, she’s kind of the same person in everything she does, but she fills that character adequately enough. She’s always a bit of a bitch, and that’s a role. Whatever.
But on a show like Glee, I would much rather someone who is actually a trained dancer playing the role of a dance teacher. I’m not crazy, right? That’s not a lot to ask for. Why couldn’t it have been an unknown? I mean, the entire cast of Glee was practically unknown (except for Jane Lynch), and it’s hard to believe it can be luck when they uncovered an ENTIRE CAST OF GEMS. They obviously took lots of care when creating their characters, and casting the roles. Even the minor roles — I mean they created the role of Brittany because Heather was so talented. But who’d have thought that other asian in the background was the best dancer on the show? And Naya?! I’m pretty sure Santana was never meant to become the character that she became, but Naya’s brilliance meant her character needed to shine too.
Why couldn’t they have done that with this role? I mean, I don’t even want to say the character’s name because it’s so stupid. But they had a real opportunity, and they passed it up.
And maybe I’m making a big mess of something that isn’t really a big deal, but I feel like I have to because Glee made such a big fucking deal over this Kate Hudson thing. I didn’t even watch a single promo, but I still know they mostly read as Glee season 4: Kate Hudson. AND HONESTLY? Get fucked. Glee is so much better than Kate Hudson. And I feel like it’s one of those things where she’s using Glee as a platform to try and ~ignite some buzz for her career, and try to appeal to younger audiences. AND I JUST. I love Glee. I don’t like feeling like they’re being used.
Sophy says: I really thought Kate Hudson as a dance teacher would be my biggest problem with this episode. I was not banking on Marley being… Marley. Alas. I don’t really have big feelings one way or the other about Kate Hudson as an actress. She’s just always been sort of there. And she’s just sort of there on Glee too. I mean, the bitchy dance teacher is on page one of a handbook I’m putting together called ‘How to write with cliches,’ and maybe that doesn’t help. Maybe that makes it significantly harder to make an impression, like it’s hard for the girl in beige and brown to pop next to the girl in red. You really need to be Jane Lynch to make these kinds of roles work, and Hudson is not Jane Lynch. The writing for the Cassandra character is pretty average, and she isn’t able to elevate it, and that is why the casting really, really grates with me.
First and foremost it bothers me that they cast someone who isn’t a dancer as the dance teacher at this mythical star-making performing arts school in New York City. This character should be the best of the best, or at least should be able to show evidence of having been the best of the best. Kate is a layman with a modest quantity of natural grace. It’s just fucking not cutting it, no matter how much she rolls around on the floor or whips her hair in her face.
(Meanwhile, did anyone else keep flashing back to ‘Hairography’ and thinking I see what you’re doing there, Kate.)
Um. Yeah. It bothers me that Glee put so much effort into casting actual A-level singers in roles that would require actual A-level singing, and even in roles that didn’t necessarily require it – washed-up April, never-made-it Will, never-really-made-it-either Shelby, never-gonna-make-it Jesse… it bothers me so much that they made that effort when it came to singing and no effort at all when it came to dancing. I guess this is the dancer in me talking, but it really does smack of something I encounter all too often in the world of the arts – people who don’t really get that dance is an art, not something anyone who can shake their hips can do.
Bottom line, they should have shown greater respect for dance as an art, by casting a dancer in this role. I say this because this was not an either/or situation. There are plenty of dancers out there who can also act and have the comic chops to pull off an evil vodka-swilling has-been coach from hell. And the worst part? Hudson doesn’t have those chops. The only circumstances in which I could forgive a non-dancer being cast in this role is if, you know, that non-dancer was Amy Poehler or something. But to nix the dancer aspect for someone who is not a comedian and not really anything to write home about as an actress generally?
Sadface. It is mine.
And okay, I read this idea somewhere in fandom about casting Heather in the role of the NYADA dance instructor and to be honest I think that would have been brilliant. I wouldn’t even try to justify it. I wouldn’t even mention the similarity. It would just be one of those things that people would shake their heads over, until maybe the last episode of the show, where it would be addressed in some hilarious ‘I don’t give a shit about jumping sharks’ way. That’s something ‘Popular’ would have done, right? And it would have been amazing.
I’m also going to need to go for a bit of a rant now. I’ve seen some people in fandom saying how there was really nothing wrong with Cassandra’s teaching methods – in fact she’s doing the kids a favour by letting them know now that most of them aren’t going to make it – and specifically she’s doing them a favour by bullying and publicly humiliating one of the girls about her weight, on account of how people in the industry are going to bully and publicly humiliate her similarly and this treatment will a) grow her a thick skin, and b) motivate her to lose weight and excel in her field.
Bullying does not toughen people up. Humiliation is not a motivator to be the best you can be.
Okay, I’m not going to speak for every human experience. Sometimes people respond differently to similar situations. All I can say is that I’ve seen this kind of behaviour from dance instructors and I’ve seen the consequences of it and more often than not they are not pretty. People hating themselves. People throwing their dreams away – people throwing their lives away. People actually dying. Those are very real consequences that flow from bullying and public humiliation of this nature. And to say that we should prepare people for it because it’s going to happen to them out in the world? That is the most bogus argument. It really is. It’s like saying ‘Oh, hey, you’re going to be walking through a bad neighborhood late at night on Tuesday, let me just punch you in the face to get you ready for that.’ And more than that, it’s about giving into the bullies. No, it’s about living up to the bullies – it’s about doing things their way. That is never the answer.
Let me be clear – I don’t have a problem with Glee portraying this. They’ve been doing it for years with Sue and with Vocal Adrenaline, but it’s fine, it’s okay – because it is something that does happen, and I’m pretty sure as yet that it’s not supposed to be condoned behaviour. But to anyone in the world out there who thinks it’s a good thing. To anyone who thinks being called ‘Muffin top’ is being done a favour?
Please… think again?
Meanwhile, I need to briefly mention this character’s name. Cassandra July? Really? What is it with these new characters and their fanfic names?
Oh yeah, and I really hated the way she said “Welcome to Nyadahhh!” at the beginning. Like. I just. I really hated it. Idek.
Rin says: Guys, I voted for Dean when he was on Australian Idol. Okay? So, don’t even.
But Brody sucks.
What’s annoying is that Rachel just came off an entire season where she was always on Finn’s arm. And now that they’ve finally gotten some space in between them, they throw the first guy available at her? WHY CAN’T WE EVER JUST GET RACHEL, AND RACHEL ONLY, for more than an episode? Just one, even? Or why couldn’t she have made an actual friend at NYADA? I mean, I’m totally on the position that Rachel would really struggle with making new friends, so why couldn’t they explore that? Instead of, Hi Rachel, NEWWWW LOVE INTEREST.. EHH???EH????
And don’t tell me they’re just making Brody a friend. Are we not all aware of how S4 is going to be all about Finchel growing apart, finding new people, and then at the end of the season they find each other again and are the otp to end all otps?
Brody is like….he’s so crisp and clean in his appearance that it’s boring. Glee has people as their characters, you know? Everyone has their look and thing — they’re unique..JUST LIKE IN THE REAL WORLD! Brody looks like he was pulled straight out of a GQ magazine or something.
AND I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW MUCH I HATE HOW BEFORE RACHEL PERFORMED, THEY SHOWED BRODY GIVING A NOD. Like, OH! BRODY NODDED HIS APPROVAL TO BE AWESOME, I CAN BE AWESOME NOW. Like, what the fuck was that? I get that Rachel is struggling and that her confidence has been shaken because everyone else is so amazing and NYADA is rough, but I don’t like that they just met and suddenly he’s the reason Rachel can be Rachel.
And then the scene with the photo. Oh dear lord, just fucking hell. Get out.
YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW RACHEL, AND YOU’RE TELLING HER SHE SHOULD JUST ACCEPT AND BECOME THIS NEW AND IMPROVED GIRL. ????????????????????????????????????? WHO DOES THAT? You fucking moron, Rachel Berry is the greatest human being ever invented, and much better than you.
Much, much better.
Just another bad new character.
I hope Kurt hates him. But he’ll probably love him because EVERYBODY LOVES BRODY. LOOK AT HOW PERFECT HE IS. Urgh.
And that part where he goes, “I’m straight,” …….in what world. IN WHAT WORLD WOULD THAT EVER MAKE A GIRL SWOON?
IN. WHAT. WORLD.
Sophy says: I was just frankly aghast – aghast – when this guy got to muscle in on Rachel’s first big performance moment at NYADA. I mean, I was even more aghast a second later when I realized Marley was going to muscle in on it all the way from Lima, Ohio, but still. That little condescending nod of his head was completely unnecessary – his presence at Rachel’s side altogether was completely unnecessary.
Excuse me, show, but didn’t you break Finchel up so that Rachel could go out into the world on her own? I realize that she’s only just met Brody, and that Brody is the one encroaching on her life rather than vice versa, but it still kind of ruined the symbolic magic of our first episode with Rachel in the big city to have some guy trailing around after her giving her pep talks. She was meant to be a sister doing it for herself??????? Just??
And really, this is some seriously fanficcy writing. Rachel goes to college and immediately meets a hot boy who is unnaturally interested in her life? A hot boy who duly shows his romantic interest in her, but then proceeds to be non-threateningly supportive and hover like some kind of spirit guide? Please.
I also can’t say I was fond of his Finn-esque introduction. We’ve already had the flashback to that with Finn and Sam. We don’t need it rehashed a third time with Rachel and her hot spirit guide. He was also a bit disturbingly Finn-esque in his borderline offensive complimenting of Rachel. “New and improved”? Really? He knows fuck all about who Rachel was, is, or is going to be. And taking a picture of them together on her phone so she can make new memories? One of the most obnoxious things anyone on this show has ever done.
And again, the issue with this character is that the actor is not funny. Cory is funny. Mark is funny. Both of them could have pulled off, for instance, the “I’m straight,” line, either with boyish charm on the one hand, or with laugh-out-loud, scoundrelish self-absorption on the other. Jonathan Groff would have slayed that line like he was a knight on horseback and it was a fearsome dragon. That’s part of the problem: Jesse is a better Brody than Brody. And as soon as I start thinking of Jesse I start thinking how ludicrous it is that NYADA will take this boy, that NYADA will take the Ave Maria girl, but it wouldn’t take him.
And that brings me to my issues with Rachel in this episode. Rachel is sad and lonely and out of her depth. That’s good. That’s exactly the way I would have had it. Except I would have had her feel that way for organic, Rachel reasons, not for external Kate Hudson reasons. Rachel’s dance teacher is the only reason she is falling apart in this episode. Sure, she misses everyone back home, but she was always going to miss everyone back home. Sure she feels insecure about the situation with Finn, but that was a given too. I wanted to see Rachel struggle at NYADA, because of who Rachel is and because of how damn talented everyone around her was. We haven’t actually seen any talent at this school. So far we know that Brody can carry a tune. We know that the only person other than Rachel who sang in Thibodeaux’ class can’t carry a tune. We know that Rachel’s brilliant dance teacher is in fact a delusional, alcoholic hair-shaker of no artistic substance, such that even her justified criticisms of Rachel’s form are rendered irrelevant by her general meanness and hypocrisy. There is nothing going on at this school for Rachel to be insecure about and there really ought to be. I wanted to see her struggle with feeling like a small fish now that she’s in this enormous pond. And I wanted to see her struggle socially too.
It took Rachel so long to really bond with the Glee kids at McKinley. It was something she worked at. It was something that the shared experience of being on this little island of Losers helped her to do. It was the Glee club against the world, and so over time they became family. Over time she knew what it was like to be loved and understood. With NYADA the rug has been pulled out from under her – or it should have been. I was hoping to see a Rachel who returned in some ways to the girl she was when we first met her. Determined to the point of being abrasive. Insecure in ways that made her a little crazy sometimes. Wanting everything so much that a lot of people wanted to punch her in the face about it. But that’s not how Rachel has been written at NYADA. She’s been written more like Marley Sue.
In the bathroom scene with Brody, I honestly felt like I was watching Lea play another character. She was sweet and non-confrontational. She was just a girl. And honestly, I kept thinking that the Rachel Berry I know and love would be rattling off her reasons why co-ed bathrooms are a breeding ground for unwanted attentions and have the potential to scar her for life, and the very least he could do would be to not wander around in a towel attempting to flirt at three o’clock in the morning. She is here to become a star, not play up to his aftershave commercial fantasies. Then she would primly grasp her toiletries bag and make a bee-line for the shower cubicle. But she doesn’t. She just ingenues all over the place.
In her scenes with Kate Hudson there’s a similar problem. She’s strong and calm, whilst tentative and overwhelmed. She’s ambitious but not so as anyone could make fun of her for it. There is actually nothing at all inappropriate about her at NYADA, and I feel there should always be something a little inappropriate about Rachel Berry.
I mean, heck, even her expression of disrespect to Kate was on the nose. She rolled her eyes because Kate had just verbally bullied a classmate about her weight. That’s something Marley would do. Rachel Berry would cause a scene at some point, I’m sure. But not via the means of her face accidentally commiserating with a fellow human being.
You guys, she was just so painfully NORMAL in this episode? And it felt way, way off. The only times Rachel actually came alive – the only times she really felt like Rachel – were in her interactions with Kurt. So for that reason, I’m very relieved that he’s going to be by her side, even if in an ideal world I would have liked to see her on her own for a little while.
But she wouldn’t have been on her own, anyway! Because Brody was there to be an insta-friend!
And to that I say, Rachel Berry would never, ever, ever have insta-friends unless they had ulterior motives. But the girl Lea was playing in a lot of these scenes? I guess she would.
Fail, show. No gold stars. Must do better.
Head In Hands
Rin says: I almost cried capping this scene. Because of Lea Michele.
I’m not going to go on about how frustrating it is that she hasn’t won all the awards in the world yet, but emotion just pours out of her so effortlessly that I can’t. I CAN’T.
Even if the rest of the episode was poo, which it wasn’t, this would have saved it for me. Kurt and Rachel. Soulmates.
Oh and quickly, how freaking gorgeous was this entire scene visually? The greens, blues and greeny-blues against Rachel’s outfit was stunning. And the colours of the crowd behind them. AND THE BOKEH. And the lighting as the day turned to dusk. Ahhhh, just all of it. Gorgeous.
I gotta give Glee props for how they’re handling Rachel in New York. When I saw some set pictures of Lea, in her Rachel outfits she was looking OVERLY glamorous. Like suddenly Rachel was a sex kitten, or some nonsense. She looked way more like Lea, than Rachel. And I was worried they were going to try and make Rachel all put-together and full of confidence, conquering New York with every step she took.
But they didn’t. Brody’s aside, she was the Rachel I know and love, and that makes me so happy. She spent so much of S3 being lost in the stupid-finn-wedding-thing that I’d fallen a bit out of love with Rachel. I MEAN, not a lot, just in the way where I didn’t know if I could still bring up her name when I was thinking of favourite TV characters.
But the Rachel that lied to Kurt, the one who didn’t want to show a chink in the amour, that was very Rachel. And then she calls him again and confesses everything and tells him that she’s not okay? That’s the Rachel I know and love and adore and it’s also the Hummelberry that I know and adore.
We all knew the reveal was coming, and yet? Still managed to be completely moving? The way he waved from across the fountain, and those three caps of Rachel as she spots him might be three of my most favourite caps of anything ever. Those in particular are the ones that make me feel teary, because she is SO MANY THINGS in that moment. And then that cap of Kurt as he stands there just smiling back at her. Wow, is there anything cuter?
AND THEN THEY RAN INTO EACH OTHER’S ARMS AND HAD A NEW YORK MOMENT AND OH MY GOD. We saw the spoiler pics of this, and it STILL DIDN’T PREPARE US. Nothing in the world could have for how wonderfully beautiful, and happy, and shiny they were. These two are best friends for life, and you can feel that in your bones. God I love good friendships. I really do. They’re just as important to me, that they get it right, as ‘otps’ are.
Because they can make me feel the same things.. okay… maybe not as RABIDLY, but they still warm my heart. Kurt and Rachel made me feel like Glee isn’t lost. It hasn’t gone anywhere, and change can be so good. As they keep trying to tell us.
Pretty much no show that has high schoolers graduating get it right immediately. The transition period is always awkward, but I feel like maybe Glee can do it. I really do think they did a good job with the s4 premiere. It wasn’t S1 or S3 good, but it was certainly on par with S2. I’m giving Glee at least a few episodes to find their footing, before I start to make any sort of big claims. But yeah.. I’m not mad. Is all I’m trying to say.
And her yellow hat (that gave me 308 feelings) with the side braid is the cutest thing I have ever seen in the entire world. Anyone else would be foolish to try and wear a hat in the same episode.
YOU HEAR THAT BURT??? YOU HEAR THAT?!
Sophy says: Lol, I don’t think Burt’s the one who should be worrying about his hats.
I will never ever ever with the faces Rachel makes in this scene. Lea is just magic at this stuff – the crumbling insecurity, the waves of ugly longing… how her face has not earned her an Emmy yet, I do not know.
I think Rin has mentioned everything with respect to the insane cuteness and beauty of this scene, so I’ll just second everything she’s said.
Once gay marriage happens, we need to get started pushing platonic marriage. Seriously, there should be some kind of public register that Rachel and Kurt and Lea and Chris can go to put their platonic love on the record.
Just. The orange. Rachel. How.
Rin says: The most gorgeous room ever? Maybe?
PAIRED WITH LEA MICHELE’S FACE?
Too much. Not enough.
Keep it coming.
Sophy says: I actually gasped at this scene because it was so pretty.
Someday I want to go to there.
“I am a director. Therefore, I never pass up on an opportunity to judge people.”
Rin says: …How many times has Artie been Most Rophy now?
Although, he has buffalo on his sweater shirt thing, so maybe all is not lost.
Sophy says: You know, when you add up all his Most Rophys you realize we love Artie a lot more than we think we do.
Quinn Glory Shot
Rin says: I miss them all. Finn not so much, but given enough time I will start to miss him too.
But this girl, right here?
I really won’t be able to go very long without having her on my screen. I need more than a special guest appearance.
I need Quinn Fabray to be back.
She can bring the horse if she wants.
In fact, if Quinn Fabray doesn’t turn up to Thanksgiving on horseback, I’m going to call OOC.
Sophy says: OH MY GOD CAN SHE BE NAKED?