Glee 23: Rachel knows from a crackhouse?

Glee’s back. And it’s exactly the same! Which is to say, it’s still very enjoyable but never quite as good as it could be.

Emma, we miss you.

Actually it isn’t exactly the same. Big-eyed Emma wasn’t there and to my surprise I missed her. She does often bring some kooky kind of centre to proceedings, and when she isn’t doing that, she’s totally rocking a pretty blouse-and-cardi combo. I don’t think she died (oh, my memory), so I hope she comes back soon.

Tina’s now going out with Other Asian instead of Artie, and Santana’s apparently had a boob job, though while everyone seemed to notice them instantly, I thought she ought to have demanded a refund. Not that I have the exact before and after measurements.

And someone called Matt has left the school, but I couldn’t tell you who he was if my life depended on it.

Other than that, business as usual. The passing of time means that credibility is stretched even further to breaking point that these are high-school kids. Even the young actor who plays Kurt is starting to look like a raddled old drag queen.

And it’s not just their ages that stretched credibility this week. Glee’s never been strong on character – I like to imagine that the script-writers stick a pin into the cast list and just randomly allocate feelings and behaviours. It would explain a lot. For instance, Finn auditioning for the Cheerios was completely out of character; presumably it was just there for the not very good visual gag of his bad dancing. Also implausible was Artie suddenly wanting to ‘get abs’ and play football.

But top of the random behaviour this week was Rachel, sporting a new Claudia Winkleman fringe, who went from ‘We definitely need new members you guys’ to ‘I don’t want anyone new’ in ten minutes. How hard would it have been for the writers to have given the ‘We definitely need new members you guys’ line to someone else, thus allowing Rachel a consistent storyline for a change?

Don't look back Will!

Then to cap it, she sent new girl Sunshine to a crackhouse. Er, what? As my old Jewish grandma would say, ‘Rachel knows from a crackhouse?’ Well, she would say that if she watched Glee. And knew what a crackhouse was. And, er, was still alive. There are any number of other more plausible places Rachel could have sent her rival to – you can think of three off the top of your head now. Why on earth would Rachel know the address of a crackhouse? Anyway, a crackhouse isn’t actually very funny. I can’t quite believe I just typed that.

So what did you like you moany cow, you’re probably saying. Fair enough. I actually liked tons of it. Yes, the writing should be tighter, the plots less tissue-papery, the characters less cartoonish. But there’s still something so joyfully cheering about it, in amongst all the uneven mess. Here are my highlights:

The songs – I enjoyed Sunshine’s stage performance (turns out she is a pop star called Charice, god I’m so out of the loop). It was good to hear a couple of songs from Artie, my favourite singer. And I loved the Empire State of Mind choreography, especially its undermining of the Fame flash mob myth: in Glee the club members sing and dance their hearts out but no-one joins in or even claps. I like that.

Chord Overstreet. Crazy name, crazy mouth.

The new boy– Cute Sam is almost as lunk-headed as Finn, but he does have two outstanding compensations: his incredible girl’s mouth and the name of the actor who plays him. Chord Overstreet. That is the most wonderful name I have ever heard. Say it loud. I am going to rename my son Chord Overstreet right now.

Sue Sylvester’s diatribe against boob jobs – It’s not often I agree with ‘As Sue ‘C’s it,’ but I was cheering her on when she demoted Santana to bottom of the pyramid for breaking the ‘no plastics’ rule. ‘A person that has to pump her naughties full of gravy to feel good about herself clearly doesn’t have the self-esteem to be my head cheerleader.’ Yay Sue!

Santana and Quinn’s fight – Very realistic and exciting. Character-driven action, at last.

The return of the old Quinn – Ms Fabray strutting down the corridors in her cheerleader’s outfit. A joy.

Jacob’s video blog – Slightly overlong and over-knowing, but some of it was very funny.

The Hello Kitty bag – The tall Vocal Adrenalin coach walking off with Sunshine, who he’d just poached, wearing her pink Hello Kitty bag on his enormous shoulder. Nice touch.

Sue’s final diatribe – ‘The two of you are making a mistake, the likes of which have not been seen since the Mexicans sold Manhattan to George Washington for an upskirt photo of Betsy Ross.’ Sometimes the writing is just so dang good.

Pleas for next week:

  • More Kurt, Brittany and Principal Figgins.
  • Everyone behaving in character (I live in hope).
  • Rachel and Sam to have a big lip face-off.
  • Will to do some dancing and rapping (I don’t agree with Jacob that everyone hates his rapping. I love it. It’s sexy. I am hiding my face under my desk now).
  • Coach Beiste to find a more flattering colour lipstick.
  • Emma to pop in wearing a new blouse.
  • Rachel to sing something less anodyne.
  • Puck to get his mojo back with the laydeez. Quinn, ideally.

What do you hope to see?

Posted by Qwerty

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