First, a confession: I've never seen "Rocky Horror" in any form. Stage, screen, interactive performance, nothing. So when last week's episode of "Glee" rolled around, I found it easy to skip and watch NBA action instead. I didn't get around to watching the episode until yesterday -- when there was no new episode of "Glee" -- so that's why my thoughts are so late.
Also, I'm going to keep my thoughts brief, because, quite frankly, I didn't like the episode. I had two primary issues with the episode, which I'll focus on.
First, I understand that "Glee" requires a certain suspension of disbelief when it comes to high school life, but I have a hard time buying that a school would even get as close as McKinley did to putting on a performance of a Rated R movie. When I was in high school, one of our teachers struggled to get approval to show us "Schindler's List" solely because it was rated R, and we were just watching it, not performing it. Yes, they tried to lampshade this with the whole "permission slip" thing, then by not actually performing the show for an audience in the end, but I the whole thing just felt out-of-place (especially after Mr. Shue was so against doing Britney Spears music earlier this season because he thought she was a bad influence).
My bigger problem was with the Finn and Sam body issues story line. At one point, Finn, embarrassed that he'd have to be on stage in just his underwear said, "I wear a swim shirt at the pool. I tell everybody it's because I burn easily but...", and later in the episode, he and Sam had a whole conversation about their out-of-shape bodies. Let's make one thing clear. Neither of them is fat. I'm fat. What Finn said up there? I've said that exact same thing multiple times in my life.
Generally the topic of the media's distortion of body image focuses on women, but it's a real issue for men as well, and attempting to center a plot line around two people like Cory Monteith and Chord Overstreet being "out of shape" is absurd, and insulting to actual less-than-perfect fans (myself included) who watch the show.
Outside the world of the show, "Glee" is dealing with a controversy regarding a racy GQ photo shoot and whether actors and actresses who portray high schoolers should be posing so suggestively. Meanwhile, one of the people involved in that photo shoot is supposedly so embarrassed by his out-of-shape body that he's afraid to appear in his underwear. Bullshit.
Look, overall, I didn't hate this episode, but on the other hand, those two issues made it really hard to like this episode (particularly the latter one). I didn't think the first season of "Glee" was perfect either, so it's not like I expected a perfect season this year, but I think this was the first time this season I watched an episode and came away feeling bad about it.
OK, enough of my bitching. No song review for this episode, because I don't think it's fair to review the songs when I have no reference point for the original material (also, my general feeling for the episode would subconsciously unfairly influence the grades). Hopefully we'll be back to the regular "Glee" review schedule next week, but there is a Heat game next Tuesday, so I make no promises.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.