Before I get to this episode itself, let me provide a public service announcement to the producers of "Glee", who are reportedly considering having another Britney Spears episode this season:
There are more than 120 Britney Spears songs available in her catalog, which means at five songs per episode, you could have an entire season of Britney Spears episodes and still not run out of music. I'm not saying you have to do this, I'm just saying you should consider it.
OK, it's pretty obvious from browsing my archives that I'm a huge fan of all things Britney Spears, so there was almost no way I wasn't going to like this episode. Combine that with my love for Heather Morris's Brittany, and this episode, as anticipated, was the greatest thing since Peanut M&Ms were invented.
Also, let me get this out of the way: the scene where Britney Spears was dressed in a Cheerios outfit, well, that's definitely replacing the picture above as my computer desktop as soon as I can get a high resolution version of it. I didn't even hear a word any of the characters said, I was too busy staring at Britney. MMMM... Britney.
OK, on to the key parts of the story: making Brittany's name "Brittany S. Pierce" and giving her a complex about Britney Spears? That was amazing. Having Kurt organize a Facebook campaign to get the Glee club to perform Britney Spears? Amazing. I even liked the weird ass Will-Emma-Carl-Terri love quadrangle, and the addition of John Stamos is pretty good (and hopefully we'll hear him sing later this season).
I wasn't sure about Will's early objection to the glee club performing Britney songs, but it was necessary for the writers to tie his change of heart into his "loosening up" to try and win back Emma. Oh, and Sue, everything you said about Britney Spears is wrong. I understand your hatred, and that it likely comes from jealousy and your failure to recognize the awesomeness that is Britney.
Speaking of the awesomeness that is Brittany, let's get to her best one-liners of the episode, since she was particularly on point this week:
Regarding her habit of drinking soda rather than brushing her teeth: "I was pretty sure Dr Pepper was a dentist."
In Carl's office, waiting to be put under for dental surgery: "This room looks like the one on that spaceship where I got probed."
To Rachel in the hallway (after Santana had insulted her): "Also, I'm more talented than you." [Oh, snap! It is ON!]
Touching Jacob's hair as Jacob stared down the dressed-as-Britney Rachel: "It looks like a Jewish cloud."
"I thought I was the only one getting the solos from now on. Next week, I'm going to be performing a musical number by Ke$ha." Oh, God, no. Please, no.
And now, to the long-overdue song review, and I think it's safe to say I failed to be objective here.
I'm A Slave 4 U - A++++++
Brittany's first solo! And it was fucking amazing. First off, Heather Morris can actually sing, so give her credit on that one. And we already knew she could dance, so seeing her work it in this one was no surprise. What was a surprise was using costumes and choreography from "Toxic", "Oops I Did it Again" and the VMA performance of "I'm a Slave 4 U" (complete with snake). I loved everything about this.
Me Against the Music - A+++++
MMMM… Santana in all white. Brittany channelling Britney. This might have been the hottest thing I've ever seen on Glee. I'm already a huge Brittana fan, so having them go to town on this was awesome. The Britney cameo just pushed this over the top.
Baby One More Time - A++++
Speaking of Britney cameos, she got another run as the school teacher in the start of this performance, a Rachel Berry fantasy. Ya know, if Rachel would take fashion tips from Britney, maybe she wouldn't get made fun of so much (and maybe Brittany wouldn't be gunnin' for her number one spot). Also, this song worked thematically in the episode, with the Rachel and Finn friction, so that's always a bonus.
Stronger - A+
I would not have pegged this as an Artie song, but it worked in the context of the episode (and Artie's ongoing quest to win Tina back). Also, it's one of a handful of Britney songs that can easily be translated to a male vocal register, and Kevin McHale did a good job with it. I could have done without the football field fantasy, since, despite what Finn and Artie said, there ARE rules against such a thing.
Toxic - A+
With this song, and last week's performance of "Empire State of Mind", I realized something. When "Glee" takes a pop song and does it in a style that's aggressively show-tuney, it just doesn't really work. But once they got past the Glee-ifying of this song (and into the chorus), it worked out a lot better. I also loved the choreography on this performance, the triple leads of Brittany, Rachel and Will on the second verse, and the costumes had the right level of believability for a real-world Glee performance (as opposed to the fantasy costumes of the early performances).
The Only Exception - F----
What the fuck is this? This is not Britney Spears at all.
OK, seriously, let's give this a real grade: B. This Paramore song, more than any Britney Spears song, is the right style vocally for Rachel. I just kind of wish that Quinn, or Mercedes, or Kurt, or even Finn, had gotten a chance to sing in this episode. I understand Brittany getting two songs (it was HER episode), but did Rachel really need two this week?