Thank god for Kurt and Sue Sylvester, I cry, and not for the first time. Without them, and the baaaaad girls from Jane Addams Academy, this episode would have been just too grim. The scene where the kids from the deaf school sing Imagine, and the McKinley kids barge in to join them (why? Did they think we couldn’t handle it sung by a deaf kid?) was just horrible. I barfed all over my Radio Times. I’m a big John Lennon fan, but Imagine is one of the most toe-curling songs out there. Why did the deaf students have to be represented in such a patronisingly uncool way? Their song, choreography and school uniforms – all uncool. This is definitely not the episode to start with if you’re planning to introduce a friend to Glee (though I guess it would be sort of weird, anyway, to begin at episode 11, so forget I said anything). Bad, Glee, very very bad. We’re going to fall out if this sort of thing continues.
Let’s focus on the good bits, as Gok Wan says. I loved the sassy Jane Addams teacher (played by singer Eve), who insisted on calling their group ‘show choir’ even as the girls were wiggling barely-covered bottoms and flicking their hair around like pole-dancers. I adored Aphasia (crazy name, crazy girl), who pinched Will’s wallet like a modern Artful Dodger. I very much enjoyed Brittany explaining how hairography works (‘you pretend like you’re getting tasered. It’s like cool epilepsy’); and I was rather taken with Will, up to his elbows in grease after working on his new car, saying ‘I feel like I’m in a Springsteen song’.
But really, it was all about Sue and Kurt. Sue had two great scenes. The first, when she boasted about her coaching prowess as reported in Splits, and curtly asked Will to return the magazine though he hadn’t gone near it. The second, her attempt to collude with the other schools’ teachers. To the affronted response of, ‘Who do you think I am?’, Sue said smoothly, ‘That’s a very good question because I’ve forgotten both your names.’ She’s just so deliciously true to herself.
Kurt too zipped through this show like an enema. From his malevolent makeover of Rachel as Sandy from Grease (or as Finn put it, ‘a sad clown hooker’), to the moment Rachel, betrayed, said, ‘I thought we were friends’, and he spat, ‘What made you think that?’, Kurt provided a much-needed glint of steel.
The heavy-handed theme of the show was distractions. Quinn wanted Rachel to distract Finn while she checked out Puck; Terri gave Will a car to distract him from her fake foetus; hair-flapping was used as a distraction from weak singing; and Kurt told Rachel they were just distractions for Finn. Every time someone said, we’re a DISTRACTION, or how can I DISTRACT him, I wanted to shake the writer warmly by the throat and say, We get it, okay? Glee writers, your homework is to watch the Sex And The City episode entitled ‘A woman’s right to shoes’, a masterclass in how to rock the theme thing, without it coming across like Sesame Street’s ‘Brought to you by the letter A’.
Being a parent, my favourite bit was when Kendra found that Quinn’s baby-sitting of her monster kids had gone surprisingly well. She turned from the sight of the little ones sparked out, her face the picture of astonishment, and said, ‘I think this is the first time they’ve all been asleep at the same time. What are you, an exorcist?’
More like that, please, Glee, and less vomitous Imagine moments, and we’ll be friends again.
Posted by Qwerty. (See all Glee episodes here)