I’m not sure quite what I made of the Rocky Horror Glee Show. On the plus side, it was good to hear some of those funny songs again. When I was in my teens I went through a Rocky Horror phase, playing the film over and over on video. I had a serious crush on Tim Curry (still do, come to think of it), and I loved it when Meatloaf roared in on his motorbike. If you’ve not seen the film, I suspect the phrase ‘Meatloaf roared in on his motorbike’ might seem slightly odd. Anyway, it was great to see the Meat himself pop up in Glee, though what a waste that he just had a dull speaking part. I’d pay proper pounds for him do a song with Sue. Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad perhaps? Bat out of Hell’s too obvious.
What a lovely couple.
Also good were Kurt’s Riffraff, Quinn’s Magenta (doesn’t she look lovely as a brunette?) and Finn as Brad: at last, the role he was born to play. And I completely loved Emma doing Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch me. It was so sexy. The chemistry between her and Will zinged off the rafters; and Brittany and Santana watching through the window (in homage to Magenta and Columbia in the film) was a joy.
After the behind-a-cushion cringe-fest of last week’s ‘Grilled Cheesus’ (which traumatised me too much to review), this week’s Glee was a cracking return to form. There was even a lesbian kiss, always a joy. As in all the best episodes, the plot was wafer-thin. They had to perform duets to win a meal at the excellent-sounding Breadstix restaurant (where, Santana explained, ‘they are legally obliged to keep bringing you breadsticks’). I think a Breadstix would do well in Brighton. Anyway, as there was no story I will just bring you some highs and lows.
The songs – At last, some decent tunes: a marvellous Mercedes/Santana River Deep – Mountain High, which is so obviously a Glee-type song you wonder what took them so long. Gotta love Santana’s jazz hands. And I thought Tina and Mike’s duet, in which he spoke his words like Rex Harrison, worked really well. But these all paled into insignificance next to…
…Kurt and Rachel together – at last! The moment fans of high-end camp have been waiting for. All gimmicks shoved aside, Kurt and Rachel perched on high stools and ripped into the Streisand/Garland mash-up with great verve. Channelling his inner Judy – actually never very far from the surface – Kurt looked more relaxed than ever before. And this was easily Rachel’s least annoying Barbra impersonation. Marvellous! Mr Qwerty, who is just gay enough, leaped from his seat applauding.
That kiss – Wearing their cheerleaders’ outfits, Brittany and Santana twined together on the bed. ‘Ahh,’ sighed Brittany happily, ‘Sweet lady kisses.’
Can you have too much glee? I don’t honestly know, but Glee seems to be a little short of glee right now and suffering from diabetes-threatening levels of sugar instead
Three story strands were woven through the episode: Rachel losing her voice through laryngitis, Kurt trying to win his dad back from Finn and Puck trying to get his popularity back after losing his mohawk (it was shaved off after his mother found a mole on his head while washing his hair).
Puck got all the best lines. Talking to Santana about losing his hair – “They maimed me over a freaking mole. I feel like that guy who lost all his hair, then lost all his power.” Santana: “Samson?” Puck : Agassi.”; working out that dating Mercedes could make him cool again: “Get ready black girl from Glee club whose name I can’t remember right now. The Puckster is about to make you his.”; When his initial bid to persuade Mercedes to date him is failing: “I’m a sex shark. If I stop moving, I die.”
And having turned a bit Robbie Williams (confession reader, it might not be cool, but I do love the Robster), with a hat and a Sammy Davis Jr song, he wins Mercedes over. (Frankly, I like him a lot better without the dumb haircut – I’m hoping the writers find a reason to stop the damn thing growing back.) This puts Mercedes on a collision course with a possessive Santana and cues a passionate sing-off of The Boy is Mine and near-fisticuffs in the rehearsal room. Thankfully Mercedes dumps Puck – because she is too good for him – leaving the writers room to set him up with someone else next week.
Reminding us why she is the star of the show, Rachel blew the competition away with her superb rendition of Don’t Rain On My Parade. It’s good she’s resisted doing Barbra till now; this was the perfect moment for her to demonstrate how well she suits that power-house, roof-raising, put-the-show-on-right-now performance that usually only Babs can get away with. It was wonderful. I had a tear in my eye, for god’s sake! Rachel explained she could do it as a last minute thing because ‘I’ve been working on it since I was four’.
The rest of the episode couldn’t live up to this. Plenty of storylines came to an end: Finn discovered the truth about Quinn’s baby; Glee Club realised Sue had leaked their set-list; Will left Terri; and Emma didn’t marry Ken. But none of this was surprising – we’d either been told or guessed. Certainly none of it had the sheer excitement of Rachel running down the central aisle of the auditorium, belting out ‘I’m gonna live and live NOW! Get what I want, I know how!’ Might have to watch it again in a sec.
Mercedes did have one belter of a song, but it wasn’t as impressive as her colleagues implied with their awe-struck expressions. The best part was before she began, tossing over her shoulder to Cool Piano Man, ‘Do I even have to tell you what song?’ He immediately started playing the opening chords of And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, which apparently is a standard but I’d never heard it before, and wouldn’t be sorry if I never heard it again. No-one else had much chance to shine, a shame given it was the last episode.
Even Sue seemed subdued, and too easily crushed by Principal Figgins. She had one great put-down, to Will, of course: ‘I’m reasonably confident you’re going to add revenge to the long list of things you’re no good at, right next to being married, running a glee club and finding a hairstyle that doesn’t make you look like a lesbian’. Good to see her getting in one more dig about the poor man’s hair. Their chemistry is terrific; I keep hoping one of them will grab the other and deliver a great big snog, though Will saved that for Emma. His loss, I think.
Will’s new man-band, ‘Acafellas’, resembled a Full Monty tribute act, playing to alco-popped slappers down the Ilford Palais. His abrupt dumping of Glee Club in favour of performing came from nowhere, and was hung on a too-visible hook marked, ‘Will needs to boost his confidence’.
Another slightly forced move was mean boy Puck joining the group, for the unlikely reason of wanting to meet ‘cougars’. Cougars are everywhere, all of a sudden. If only I’d known the term when I worked at the Students’ Union a few years ago, I could have styled myself a cougar – miaowww! – rather than a saggy older woman. Anyway, why does Puck need to join Acafellas in order to meet other people’s mothers, when he’s at high school, surrounded by them? I know it was merely a device to get him singing, but these things keep me awake when I should be getting my cougar beauty sleep.
The least surprising outing in the history of telly was quite sweet. Honestly, Mercedes, has there ever been anyone more gay than Kurt? It was great Kurt had more screen-time, as his funny little face is extremely watchable. Top marks this week go to him, and to the cheerleaders, for brilliantly never being seen in any outfit other than their rara skirts and knee socks. Go Cheerios!
The storyline about a famous singer didn’t resonate as I’d never heard of him. Continue reading