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Tonight, Glee engages in some FOX synergy as the musical comedy sings the music of Britney Spears. The episode is aptly titled “Britney 2.0″ as it’s the second tribute to the X Factor judge. The Glee gang did Britney 2 years ago in Season 2.
Once again Brittany S. Pearce (Heather Morris) will be front and center. But as a super-senior–unable to graduate last year with her buddies because she flunked every class.
In the second Britney Spears tribute, Glee takes the obvious step–playing off the pop princess’ well-publicized fall from grace and triumphant comeback.
Britney 2.0 is better than Glee’s first shot. The Season 2 tribute had a flimsy plot and was chock full of fantasy numbers. This time around, the writers finally deal with an oft-neglected character—one Brittany S. Pierce who is typically full of one liners, but no real character or personality to speak of. It’s one of the reasons why I could never get behind the whole Brittana ship. It’s weird to have Naya Rivera’s Santana–who grew into a fully fleshed character–partnered with the cardboard cutout that was Heather Morris’ Brittany.
Also, I found it really weird that the Glee club became so obsessed with making sure Puck (Mark Salling) graduated with his class and seemed not to care at all about poor Brittany, who was held back after flunking all of her classes. How did she keep her post as Senior class president anyway? Oh Glee.
An attempt is sorta made to explain the lapse. Brittany continues to flunk her classes as a super-senior, and Sue Sylvester finally puts her foot down, kicking her off the Cheerios. To add insult to injury, the head cheerleading job is given to the bitchy new mean girl, Kitty (Becca Tobin). The setback throws Brittany into downward spiral that culminates in the ex-cheerleader dressing in sweats (laughed hard at her “World’s Greatest Grandma” sweatshirt), stuffing her face with Cheetos and attempting to buzz her hair (If she can’t wear that high pony, then what’s the use?). Finally, she attacks the annoying Jacob Ben Isreal after he sticks a microphone in her face for the umpteenth time.
The Glee club tries to help Brittany by doing another Brittany week. Will and Emma finally intervene as well and it’s the guidance counselor’s idea to reprise Britney, remembering how it had empowered her namesake 2 years ago. But the Glee club singing Britney songs to her only seems to depress her more. It was really cool to finally see Blaine (Darren Criss) and Artie (Kevin McHale) teamed up for a duet. Their performance of Britney’s “Boys” mashed up with the Bieb’s “Boyfriend” was tongue in cheek cheesy fun. And I guess the new 9 pm timeslot made it OK for highschoolers to sing about threesomes, Although I found it odd that the Christian character, Joe–who declared his intention to stay a virgin until he’s married last season–had no qualms singing about casual sex in “3”. Brittany’s opening number “Hold it Against Me” with the Cheerios was Heather Morris’ “Britney before she sucked” number.
Once again, the new kids, Marley (Melissa Benoist) and Jake (Jacob Artist) were given generous screen time. Marley sang a duet with Jacob and closed out the show with a sweet solo, “Everytime.” Jacob finally joined the Glee club after Will stuck him in a room so his long lost brother, Puck, could give him a lecture. I KNEW it was going to go down like that. Jake was lucky Will didn’t send him to the principal’s office after punching out the kids who were bullying Marly’s mom in the cafeteria. But, as it turns out, you can’t teach a “womanizer” new tricks. Even after Jacob and Marley sing a love duet “Crazy”/”U Drive Me Crazy” and nearly kiss, it turns out that Jake has been messing around with that snarky Kitty. Oh Noes. Many roadblocks will be put in Jarley’s way before they finally get together. But you know it’s going to happen.
I’m still not warming up to the new kids, though. They still seem Blandy McBlanderson to me. Maybe I’m just stubbornly clinging to the old kids, because once again this week I could not WAIT for the action to head back to New York City, which it didn’t do nearly enough for my tastes. Can I just say I love Hummelberry? Like SO SO MUCH? Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) are believable in their roles as little fishies in the big pond of New York. It turns out, the reason Rachel’s dance teacher, Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) is so mean to her, is that she ruined her big Broadway break 10 years ago when she attacked a poor old man in the audience of an out of town tryout of “Damn Yankees”. She turned into a You Tube joke, and it was the end of her career.
In class, Cassandra tells Rachel to go practice her jazz hands in the corner while the rest of the class rehearses the Tango, because the young hopeful is “tentative” and moves like she’s ashamed of her body. OUCH. Rachel fights back, enlisting her new guy pal, Brody to dance a sexy performance of “Oops I Did It Again.” The NYC storyline is great, because it allows the graduates to behave maturely without fantasy or excuses. I am really looking forward to Kurt and Rachel—who are now roommates and living in a gorgeous Flatbush loft—grow as they follow their dreams in the big city. I love them BOTH outside of the choir room. Kurt seems so much in his element finally, that I’m actually beginning to believe he can be happy for once. I can’t WAIT for his storyline with Sarah Jessica Parker to begin next week at Vogue.com. Kurt plans to audition for the second semester at NYADA, but I have a feeling fashion will wind up being his calling.
The horrible Season 3 engagement storyline with Finn had me forgetting every single thing I loved about Rachel in the first place. I am digging the new, single Rachel, chasing after her dreams. And I literally CHEERED when she painted over the big heart with “FINN” painted in the middle of it on their loft wall. Finchel is endgame, I know, but I’m going to enjoy Rachel’s singledom while it lasts. Hopefully she and the hot (and grounded) Brody have a fling. How sweet was it when he showed up at her door with an orchid? Brochel FTW! By the way—Finn (Cory Monteith) remains MIA. And I don’t miss him at all.
Back to Brittany. Will schedules the club to perform at the beginning –of-the-year pep assembly. But Brittany is now so out of it, she tells the group she can’t sing lead unless she lip syncs. The performance is a nod to Britney’s disastrous MTV Music Video Awards performance from a few years ago–with an out of shape Brittany wandering around the stage in an ill fitting costume. It doesn’t take long for the audience to turn on the club (unlike their riotous triumph in the first Britney tribute).
Will had no idea they were going to lip synch and becomes enraged. Now, the Glee club has destroyed their cred—and are totally back to being hated underdogs. What’s more, if the competition peeps catch wind of what happened, the club could be disqualified from competing. Oh noes.
As it turns out, Brittany confesses to Sam (Chord Overstreet) that she hit rock bottom on purpose so she could make a “glorious comeback” just like Britney—who is now making 14 million dollars on the X Factor (GRATUITOUS CROSS PROMOTION). Sam gets it, because he’s just a blond dummy like she is. A NEW alliance has formed! And I wonder–despite how much of Brittany’s downfall was due to missing Santana, whose busy cheerleading schedule in Louisville is keeping her from Skype Scissoring with her lady love—if she and Sam are destined for a hookup. Hm.
Brittany makes her comeback. She improves her grades just enough to convince Sue to let her back on the Cheerios. “Britney 2.0” was a decent beginning to finally creating some semblance of character development for Brittany. I hope the writers take the opportunity to flesh her character out even further.
In NYC, Rachel and Cassandra come to an uneasy truce after Rachel confronts Cassie with her trainwreck past in front of the other students. Cassandra is still a bitch, but finally allows Rachel to dance the Tango. I think Rachel and Cassie will end up being friends after all.
Hold it Against Me
“Crazy”/”U Drive Me Crazy”
Oops I Did it Again
Cassandra July is a Bitch
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