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The McKinley kids go to prom this week! When Tina is nominated for Prom Queen, she lets it go to her head. Love is in the air as Sam and Santana meet new love interests. Speaking of which, Demi Lovato makes her debut as Dani, Santana’s potential gal pal. Plus…it’s the second part of the Beatles tribute. Six songs come from the 1967-69 catalogue.
The two part Glee Beatles tribute concluded with tonight’s episode and I’m still left with the feeling that something is off. The pair of episodes were written in may and had to be altered in the wake of Cory Monteith’s sudden death. It’s probably why both episodes felt awkward. Particularly tonight’s hot mess, a couple of bright spots notwithstanding.
In Glee world, it’s still spring of 2013 and it’s time for prom! In order to allow everyone, regardless of grade, to credibly participate in the prom court festivities the dance is transformed into a Junior-Senior mashup called a “brundleprom.” It still doesn’t account for sophomore Kitty’s nomination, which she duly notes. At this point, the Glee writers meta their inconsistencies for laughs.
Sam falls for the pretty but inept school nurse and everything about it feels wrong. And then it suddenly becomes clear (thank you commenters) that the nurse love interest was probably meant for Finn, which makes a hell of a lot more sense, considering they’re about the same age and work for the school in a similar capacity. We could be wrong, but I’m going for it.
Meanwhile in New York City, Santana meets the adorable Dani (played by Demi Lovato) and love blossoms. The New York City side of the episode was solid. I continue to wish that NYC could be spun off into its own show. It’s the only place delivering interesting stories at the moment. And the best actors–Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Naya Rivera–are part of it. Get Darren Criss, Kevin McHale and maybe Jenna Ushkowitz/Chord Overstreet there and you’ve got a show. Screw the newbies. I mean it.
- The episode closes with Rachel learning that she’s nabbed the part of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. The director (Peter Facinelli) drops by the diner to tell her personally. Back home, Rachel, Kurt, Santana and Dani celebrate with bubbly. In a nod to an iconic Beatles image, the four pals lay face up on the floor, heads touching, like spokes on a wheel, drunkenly singing “Let it Be.” The song cuts to the McKinley kids, wearing psychedelic regalia, earnestly singing their hearts out in the auditorium. Awesome drunken revelry vs. show choir jazz hands. I think the choice is clear.
- I would have rather Rachel not gotten the part, as a hard but realistic lesson on how tough show business is. The kids are coming to success too easily. The struggle is an interesting story. But, with only 2 seasons to go, I get that Murphy wants to serve everyone their happy ending. Hence, the Klaine engagement, despite their young ages. I predict the series finale will be a combo Klaine wedding/Rachel winning the Tony or something similar.
- By the time Rachel learns that she’s got the part, she finally realizes that her self-worth can’t hinge on whether she gets a part in a play. Earlier, Kurt urges her to get her mojo back as the two launch into an imaginative and soulful performance of “Get Back” with a room full of moving pianos. Both NYC performances were stellar this week.
- Did you catch the Smash shout out? When Kurt shows up to work at the diner, Rachel gushes, ” You guys. This is so great, I feel like I’m on Smash Season 1!”
- Yes! Kurt joins Rachel and Santana at the diner. Let the high jinks ensue!
- Demi Lovato is a lovely addition to the cast. She is cute as a button and her character, Dani, has real chemistry with Santana. They meet cute as waitstaff at the diner. For the first time, Santana is shy and nervous around a girl. It’s a side of her we haven’t seen yet. Watching them fall in love is going to be fun. Their sunrise duet of “Here Comes the Sun” is gorgeous, and ends in a sweet kiss. Sorry, fans, but Brittana sucked. Finally Santana gets to have a relationship with a real flesh and blood person, rather than a caricature.
- Kurt suggests the trio pledge to stay together in New York City for at least 2 years, no matter what happens. PINKY SWEAR. Conveniently, Glee will end in two years.
- Santana books a commercial, and the resulting spot for Yeast-a-Stat is a delicious parody and Glee at its best. Yeast-a-stat’s “easy 7 step application makes me feel like a breeze!” and “I like yeast in my bread, but not in my muffin” is A+, Glee writers.
- Moving on to the Lima side of the house (must we?) is where things get ugly.
- This is the third McKinley High prom. The first, “Prom Queen,” was a story of triumph for Kurt, and one of my favorite episodes ever. The writers have clearly run out of prom story ideas, as they basically recycle Kurt’s story for Tina, but not nearly as well.
- Tina continues to be a bitch. She’s nominated prom queen, and proceeds to morph into the biggest diva ever, ditching Sam who had promised to be her date, in order to court the single wall flower vote. She asks Kitty to all but give up her nomination to campaign for her, and runs her “assistant” Dottie, even harder than usual. The new mean girl is annoyed that a Cheerio hasn’t won prom queen in 3 years. When Kitty refuses to campaign harder for herself, Bree concocts a plan to “Carrie” Tina. Dottie, who feels put upon by Tina’s demands, becomes a willing accomplice.
- Tina is so bitchy you kind of hope that maybe…oh if she wins, a bucket of slushie will fall on her annoying head. Here’s the difference. Kurt was a brave kid who was bullied. When he stepped up to receive his crown after winning prom queen as a joke, you cheered for him. By the time Tina is crowned, you’re practically begging Dottie to pull the rope.
- After Tina is Carried, they rally around her in the choir room. Blaine, back in the role of comforter and encourager, convinces Tina to get back out there and face her tormentors. They clean her up. Kitty lends her a dress. They sing Hey Jude as they escort a beaming Tina back into the dance. Bree scowls as Tina is crowned. And…I couldn’t care less, because Tina has been written as a wholly unlikeable character.
- And really? Having Tina pranked ala the horror movie Carrie, only with slushie in lieu of pigs blood? LAME.
- In case you are wondering: Prom Queen/King nominees are Tina, Neck Brace Girl, and Kitty. The boys are Blaine, Artie, and Stoner Brett, with Stoner Brett winning. He passes out after he gets hit in the head with the empty slushie bucket.
- At the dance, the newbies sing ”Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” dressed in colorful costumes, in homage to the album cover. It serves as a backdrop for photos. Nobody seems to have a date at this prom.
- Sam is disappointed that he’s not nominated Prom King, but isn’t too broken up that Tina has ditched him. He really wanted to go to the dance with a girl he’s attracted to. Cue the new school nurse, who isn’t really a nurse, but a sophomore in college. And she’s administering shots to the kids at the behest of Principal Sylvester. She’s a terrible aim, unsanitary and incompetent! But Sam falls for her. He saves her job when she’s finally fired, by allowing her to give him a shot in the ass to prove she can hack it. No, really. That happened.
- Of course it would be inappropriate for a student to date a staff member. But like I mentioned before, this particular story line was probably meant for Finn. And anyway. This is Glee world. Sam sings the George Harrison penned love song, ”Something” juxtaposed with shots of the inept nurse Penny winning his heart with fail. It’s meant to be comic, but the tender love song can’t bear the weight of the slapstick humor. Ending the montage with Penny and Sam dancing under a spotlight in the auditorium doesn’t salvage it.
- The Sue Sylvester character ran its course ages ago, evidenced by how the writers are simply unable to come up with new plot twists for her. Once again, she’s underhandedly seized the position of principal, allowing her to bully and terrorize everyone around her. The shtick is just not funny anymore. When Bree is hauled into the office by Coach Washington to be punished for pranking Tina, the Cheerio is promoted to head cheerleader and encouraged to make the Glee Club members’ lives a living hell. Sigh. We’ve been here before.
- The way Glee lurches between melodrama and satire is one of its biggest failings. Ryan Murphy tries to have it both ways, and it doesn’t work.
The Beatles songs felt incidental in this episode. During the premiere, I never forgot that it was all about the Beatles. It was as if the producers had leftover songs meant for the first episode, and decided to wedge them into the story line of the second.
The emotional Cory Monteith tribute is next week. Ryan Murphy usually steps up to the plate when it counts. I expect the episode to be moving and well done. I am preparing myself to ugly cry.
Get Back – Rachel and Kurt
Something – Sam
Here Comes the Sun – Dani and Santana
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Ryder, Unique, Marley and Jake
Hey Jude – Blaine and New Directions
Let it Be – Santana, Rachel, Dani, Kurt, New Directions
Santana’s Hilarious Yeast-a-Stat Commercial
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