Tag Archives: Season 2

Glee: Farewell to arms

It's over, okay?

The arms I’m bidding farewell to are the many arms that embraced people in this episode: Santana’s round Britney, Kurt’s round Rachel, Rachel’s round Sunshine, everyones’ round Mr Shue. It was the exact opposite of Seinfeld’s ‘no hugging, no learning’ mantra. There was nothing but hugging and learning, in fact. And so, sad as it is to say ta-ta to a show one has followed from the start, I won’t be looking for a consoling hug from anyone. Unless Puck’s available. We’ve grown apart, Glee and I. It would be undignified for me to follow it slavishly into the next season by purchasing a Sky package or, more realistically, downloading it from some dodgy site. No, it’s time to let it go. If for no other reason that my credulity that these seasoned hoofers are school-kids is already stretched to screaming point.

This last episode was a microcosm of everything that makes Glee so great and so terrible. And alas, as with most episodes, the latter outweighed to former.

There were some terrific moments. The show being set in New York, it was inevitable that the score would be Gershwin and lifted straight from Manhattan, but hey, it worked. And how nice to hear the gorgeous opening bars of Rhapsody in Blue without having to listen to Woody whinging about his seventeen year-old girlfriend.

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Glee 206: A kiss is just a kiss

I know we don’t watch Glee for its gritty realism. I accept that in real life, high schools aren’t crammed with elderly-looking kids who all have Broadway-standard singing voices. A certain suspension of disbelief is vital in Glee-land, we understand that. But the writers mess with this too much, provoking even uncritical fans into yelling at the telly, ‘AAARGH! That’s just SO unrealistic.’

This week I give you:

  • An all-boys school in which gay students are not only warmly welcomed, but are leaders of the pack.
  • An epidemic of students – female as well as male – imagining the football coach to stave off premature arrival, and calling out her name, yet!
  • Coach Beiste claiming to be forty.
  • Puck returning from juvenile detention centre with an orange tan and a certain plumpness around the cheeks. Did he have some work done while in there?
  • The least plausible make-out scene ever in the history of television (between Tina and Mike).

So wrong it's right.

I checked the credits to see if two writers shared this week’s episode, as the main storylines were of such differing quality. But no – step up, lone writer Mr Brad Falchuk, clearly a fellow wrestling with the effects of strong medication. He holds responsibility for the Grilled Cheesus debacle, but also wrote the wonderful Preggers episode in Season 1, in which the football team did All The Single Ladies. In this current episode how could the same person who gave us the superb storyline between Kurt and Dave-the-Bully also give us the face-palmingly awful Coach Beiste plot? I’m afraid I have no answers, only questions.

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Glee 205: It’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane

Dammit, Rachel!

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.

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Glee 204: Sweet lady kisses

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.’

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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.

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True Blood 211: Oh hell, what now?

Thanks for seeing me, Sir Alan. I mean Queen Sophie-Ann.

I couldn’t understand why Bill shlepped all the way over to Queen Sophie-Ann’s pad to find out about maenads. He was forced to hang round for hours while she lazily teased him, breaking off from Greek mythology lessons to slag him off for his restricted diet of Sookie, and insisting – by far the cruellest touch – that he play Yahtzee, a game of mind-numbing tedium. My question to Bill is this: why didn’t you just look up ‘maenad’ on Wikipedia? It would have saved you a ton of trouble.

Meanwhile, Sam asked Eric for help with Maryann – this crazy situation is producing some weird bedfellows – and bizarrely, Eric also set off to see the Queen, the Wonderful Queen of Oz. Even if Eric, like your grandpa, is too old to get his head round the internet, surely Pam could help?

Any road up, the vampires all swanned about Sophie-Ann’s, which resembled the sort of house they put The Apprentice candidates in, to demonstrate the glitzy naff Essex lifestyle they won’t be enjoying any time soon. Meanwhile, Lafayette and Sookie were having to keep Tara locked up with Lafayette’s fluffy handcuffs. Lord knows I was happy to be on the porch with Sook and Laf, ready to face any kind of monster, rather than inside with the snivelling Lettie Mae. Why can’t she get eaten or de-hearted or just go on a nice long vacation? Spare me any more of her eye-rolling, god-bothering, lip-smacking nonsense. Anyway, Tara knew just how to manipulate her, and soon she was free and hightailing it off to find Eggs, while poor traumatised Lafayette cowered at the sight of Lettie Mae pointing a rifle at him. Or as Lafayette himself said, ‘Oh hell, what now?’ It was worth the price of admission to see Eric in a blouse and skirt.

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True Blood 210: Bon Temps, Basildon of the South

Bon Temps got a much-needed touch of class

Sookie and Jason were only gone a few days, but they returned to find Bon Temps in chaos: litter everywhere, drunken people staggering in front of cars, huge edifices of rotting meat hanging from hooks. It was nearly as bad as outside Essex Kebab and Pizza in Basildon on a Saturday night, but Sookie barely noticed. She was too distracted by sexy dreams of Eric, despite her beloved Bill by her side. Admittedly he was lying in a coffin which made it harder to concentrate on his charms.

They found Tara, tied to a chair but still spitting and being mean, undergoing what Lafayette described as ‘the worst intervention in history’. Sookie and Bill used a double-act of their glamour/ telepathy talents to remove her black contact-lenses. Tara resisted for a while, with Lafayette deploying increasingly desperate one-liners, such as, ‘if ever there was a time to listen to a white man, Tara, this is it.’ Finally, in a burst of superb special effects, Tara’s black eyes disappeared. She was then so full of remorse, even hugging Lettie Mae, that I wished she would fall under Maryann’s influence again.

Bill and Sookie went to see what kind of mess Maryann had made of Sookie’s house. Answer: a reasonable amount. Sookie will probably want to get professionals in. Bill munched Maryann, then wished he hadn’t, as her blood was black and yucky-tasting. But Sookie warded her off with a strange new power, a lighting-up hand, which puzzled Maryann as much as the rest of us. ‘What are you?’ Maryann kept asking Sookie, and my mind reeled with sarcastic replies.

On the way home Bill, full of bravado, despite spitting up black blood, said, ‘I will kill her!’ ‘Good’, said Sookie. Then underminingly added, ‘how?’

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True Blood 209: This is the beginning

I'm too sexy for my duvet

This episode was a real double-choc treat for fans of Mr Eric Northman, of whom there are one or two, I believe. He was on tip-top form. First, he protected Sookie from the shrapnel emanating from the spinning corpse of Jealous Luke. Then he cleverly persuaded Sookie to sook out (see what I did there?) the silver bullets lodged in his chest. This was just a ruse to get her to ingest some of his bodily fluids (‘Ugh!’ cried Sookie), thus forging an eternal connection between them. Now, Bill revealed, Eric would be able to know where she was and what she was feeling. Sookie lashed out angrily, at which Eric nodded wryly, ‘Bill, I believe you’re right. I can sense her emotions.’ I like Eric more and more.

Eric, having been born a rough tough Viking, is far less prissy than Bill, with his Victorian-era sensibilities. Bill tried to explain to Sookie the exact nature of the connection she now had with Eric. Watching him force out the word, ‘sexual’ as though it were a turd, was highly entertaining.

Sookie started having sexy dreams, in which she was lying happily in bed with a vulnerably naked and tender Eric (sending a shiver down the spine of all the Eric groupies). He turned to her and said, ‘This is the beginning’, making it clear he has no idea that we are mid-way through Season 2. In her waking life Sookie gave Eric sidelong glances of the sort that might be smouldering on someone else, but she does struggle somewhat with smouldering.

Don't worry Godric, I've got the fire extinguisher right here

Unlike Godric. After revealing that he’d been a willing hostage of the Fellowship in a bid to sacrifice himself, and thus heal the vampire/human rift, though why he thought that would work I have no idea, he took himself off to the hotel roof at dawn. Eric pleaded and cried, but Godric was determined to burn, baby, burn. Sookie, who has an astonishingly inflated sense of her own importance, hung about gracelessly in the background as Eric and Godric made their touching farewells. When Eric went inside, Sookie decided she’d stay with Godric, without even asking if he minded. Godric, however, was too zen to object. When he was burning up, and she was tearing up, he said, ‘A human with me at the end, and human tears; 2,000 years and I can still be surprised’. I swear there was a little salt-water in my own eyes at this. I was sorry to see Godric go. I liked the cut of his jib.

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True Blood 208: They say I sodomised a pine tree

Honest, I'm really into the church. The blood on my mouth? Uh, just cut my lip.

Poor old Eric was a bit rubbish this week. When he wasn’t being ordered around by Godric, he was being totally hopeless at busting himself and Sookie out of the Church. Even the pea-for-brains nitwits of the Fellowship could see he was a vampire and not a leather jacketed Cliff Richard type. Then he allowed himself to be tied up without so much as a whimper of protest. Big fail, Eric. Nonetheless, Sookie seemed to warm to him a bit.

It was left to the unholy trinity of Bill, Jason and Godric to save the day. Bill managed to escape Lorena’s clutches by whacking her with a plasma telly. As she later told Sookie, ‘Everyone says they’re so thin and light, but when wielded properly, they’re quite a weapon’.

Jason found that a woman scorned will go ape-crazy with a paintball gun. Sarah screamed, ‘You’re worse than Judas’, and Jason’s puzzled reply, ‘Why, what did he do to you?’ made her realise, at long last, that Jase, bless him, was not one of nature’s cleverclogs. ‘Why can’t you grown a brain cell?’ she yelled, but I do think that’s asking a bit much. Despite his daffiness, Jason managed to disarm Sarah, and arrived back at Fellowship HQ just in time to shoot Steve in the forehead. Only with the paintball gun, unfortunately, though it did dent Steve’s pride, and leave a rather fetching green splodge.

Pretty cute for such an old guy

Godric was so peace-loving he made his near contemporary, Jesus, look like Genghis Khan. Thanks to Godric, there was no bloodshed at the Fellowship headquarters, other than when he snapped Gabe’s neck (that was a fairly clean break though).

Back in Bon Temps, Sam was arrested on suspicion of having de-hearted Daphne. And just down the road, Maryann was gruesomely cooking the evidence into Hunters Pie, reminding me of an episode of Tales of the Unexpected from the 1970s. Maryann’s bacchanal dancing style is strangely similar to that of the silhouetted woman who danced  in the credits of that show. True Blood has so many plot twists that unrelated links from other cultural phenomena are slowly being sucked into its vortex.

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True Blood 207: It’s all Greek to me

Yes, Sure does keep me dry, right through the whole bacchanal

My deodorant keeps on working, right through the entire bacchanal

So Maryann’s a maenad. Course she is. Knew it all along. Um. Some kind of Greek devil handmaiden, apparently. We, and Sam, found this out from Daphne, who didn’t seem as remorseful as someone who’d tried to get their boyfriend killed ought to be. Instead of apologies, Daphne couldn’t stop banging on about her love for the god-like Maryann. This love was clearly a one-way street as Maryann gave Daphne was a brisk, ‘thank you for your service’, like Meryl in The Devil Wears Prada, then had her stabbed through the heart by a blank-eyed Eggs. Even Meryl didn’t do that. More shocking still was Daphne smiling gratefully at her through a mouthful of blood. As if there weren’t enough gore-soaked scenes with the vampires. Props! More ketchup over here, please.

You might have thought Daphne, being a shape-shifter, not to mention a waitress, might have still had her uses, but clearly Maryann was pissed off with her as the sacrificial Sam had gone walkies, just moments before he was about to be dispatched to the great dog kennel in the sky. This wasn’t Daphne’s fault so much as Andy’s, who bumbled into the orgy looking like a prawn cocktail at a bris, and broke the spell that Maryann had quivered so hard to produce. It’s a sad day when Andy’s the only one who’s noticed that something’s wrong in Bon Temps, bless his bewildered little face.

Humans, eh? So untrusting.

Talking of wrong, I was proved so about everything I’d guessed re the Sookie/Hugo infiltration of the Fellowship of the Sun. I’m never right about plots, to be honest. I’ve read hundreds of Agatha Christies and am always astonished when the murderer is revealed. So it turned out that  Eric wasn’t a great big double-crosser after all, which was a relief, because while I like Eric being bad, I don’t want him to be really bad. The turn-coat was Hugo, who foolishly imagined that a church that goes in for weapons bunkers and burning vampires at dawn would overlook his fang-banging.

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