Tag: glee

Things That Look Like Other Things IV-1

by on May.16, 2010, under Movies, television

On Glee a few episodes back, Rachel produces a revival of 70’s story-song “Run Joey Run” as part of a plot to vamp up her reputation. What Puck (or any other participant) doesn’t know is that she’s not just casting him alone as the love object, but instead has enlisted all three of her male attractors. The final video shows Rachel in a doomed romance with a boy played alternately by Puck, Finn and Jesse.

Since Rachel introduced her project with a suggestion that her audience might not have all the necessary film vocabulary to appreciate her project, I was prepared for some kind of winking acknowledgement of That Obscure Object of Desire (previously here). But instead, Rachel’s advanced film knowledge was just a jokey reference to her use of bad iMovie effects, and everybody got mad at her for showing how many boys she had revolving around her.

I thought it was cool. Buñuel vs Lea Michele! ¿Quien es mas macho?

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Glee Episode 7: “Throwdown”

by on Nov.28, 2009, under music, television

I’m still getting caught up on Glee. Episode 7, while entertaining enough, has a number of flaws that highlight what the show does so well.

1: You can have too much of a good thing. Jane Lynch is one of the best things about the show. But her over-the-top villainy plays better as a force of nature than in sustained interactions with other characters. An episode like Preggers, where the Glee club’s success threatens Sue’s television perch, uses her centrally without overdoing it, but Throwdown puts her and Mr. Shuster in continuous battle, which taxes the necessary suspension of disbelief. In general, the adult world outside of Will Shuster is so absurd that it needs to be secondary to the fortunes of the Glee club, and the show works best when it uses the adult world as the B plot or makes Will overwhelmingly central.

2. Narrow your focus. Sue’s exploitation of the minority students’ alienation was tonally inconsistent. The satire of “minority status” was too absurd in its broadness to be pointed, and came off as mushy and hesitant. Glee hasn’t entirely found its voice with regards to satire; this is most clearly found in the attempts to soften Terri even as she moves forward her fabricated pregnancy and baby-switching plot. With Terri, I’m glad to see that the show doesn’t want to treat her as an outright villain, unsympathetically desperate in her baby-madness; with a one-episode theme, however, it’s better to stake out your target more clearly.

2. Glee it up. Too many of the songs in this episode were solo numbers with only incidental choral touches. Consider “Hate On Me”:

There’s no doubt that Amber Riley’s Mercedes can deliver the goods, but solo performances weaken the show. We’ve already seen her do “Bust Your Windows” on her own. The show does a good job of pairing pop songs with the characters’ emotional states, but it only soars when they get their peers to join them in their heightened, musical state. To me, that’s the central proposition of Glee, the truth of which Rachel tries to persuade Quinn in this episode: we all know how much it hurts; you’re not alone.

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