I have a question for the makers of "Glee": is your show something that is supposed to be taken seriously, with fun and creative insight on issues affecting today's youth, or is it some ridiculous fantasy land where the absurd can happen on a weekly basis and we're just supposed to accept it. Because quite frankly, I don't know, and this three episode swing from "Rocky Horror Glee Show" to "Never Been Kissed" to "The Substitute" has just been insane.
Amazingly -- and given the stretches this show has pulled over 29 episodes -- I think this episode was the most ridiculous in "Glee" history. Sue somehow being elevated to interim principal, then getting Figgins and Mr. Schuester fired? Umm, what? Will getting sick and having his ex-wife nurse him back to health. Just gross. And the students revolting over the removal of Tater Tots from the school cafeteria menu. That's… actually, I agree with that one.
Gwyneth Paltrow's Holly Holliday joins Kristin Chenoweth's April Rhodes as "Glee" guest characters who seemed like a good idea on paper, but just didn't work. Even with her big confessional with Will at the end, the character just felt like something out of some absurd high school fantasy land. And then, after all the insanity, everything is all back to status quo at the end, sending the message that we've just wasted an entire hour.
As for the actual glee club, where did this whole "Mr. Shue never lets us do what we want to do" thing come from? I didn't hear anyone objecting to the Journey medley at last year's regionals, they beat him down on Britney and performed "Push It" against his wishes at the beginning of last year. It just added to the whole "WTF?"-ness of the episode. And then, again, with the reversal at the end, it just made it seem like everyone was on crack for the majority of the episode.
The episode wasn't without its solid moments. Sue had some great lines, as did Holly. The interactions between Kurt and Mercedes were kind of sweet. And then there was Brittany, who I want to have my stupid, stupid babies:
"Mr. Schuester taught me the second half of the alphabet. I stopped after M and N. I felt they were too similar and got frustrated."
Even a bad episode of "Glee" has music, so let's get to the song review:
Conjunction Junction - Incomplete
Are we counting this as a performance? I mean, there was singing, but it was like 30 seconds long. It was OK, but it wasn't really a song.
Forget You - F
The "clean" version of this song shouldn't exist. And no version of this song should ever be sung by a skinny white bitch. We've got a new leader in the clubhouse for my least favorite song on "Glee" this season.
Make 'Em Laugh - C
To put it simply, "SNL did it." I think Joseph Gordon Levitt's performance was better, and this came the hell out of nowhere.
Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag - B
Completely randomly, this song came on my iPhone the other day, and I'd forgotten how much I liked it. I still like the original cast and movie versions better, and I think this version would have been better if done with Rachel and one of the other Glee club members, rather than Paltrow. It just continued the whole unbelievability of this substitute teacher.
Umbrella/Singin' in the Rain - B
Gwyneth Paltrow has an OK voice. For an actress, she's pretty good. But compared to the rest of the Glee cast, her voice is weak, and it brings down this son. Not too much, as you can tell by my grade, but it's noticeable. Also, this is the second consecutive week where the show did a mash-up, when I really would have preferred they just perform one of the songs in the mash-up (Livin' on a Prayer last week, Umbrella this week). Maybe it's time to put the mash-ups on the back burner for awhile.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.