Glee Review: Oh, the Horror!

Remember that episode of Head of the Class when the class did Hair?  Dr. Samuels directed, and the very pretty Alex Torres was Claude, and (conveniently) every person in the honors class played a major role in the production, so we got to hear every major musical number from the musical performed in a two-part episode?  That was so much fun.

(Yes, I am aware I am dating myself.  Like Ginni Thomas, I occasionally get nostalgic for events of 20 years ago.)

This week, Glee tore a page out of the Head of the Class playbook, deciding that instead of drawing together a collection of songs (very) loosely premised on a theme, we would instead draw from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  And, I gotta say, I kinda dug it.

The catalyst is Will’s raging insecurities.  He wants Emma.  Emma wants Carl.  Emma and Carl love The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  So, of course, if Will somehow gets Emma involved in a Glee staging of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, she will fall back in love with him, because nothing says love like trannies in S&M gear.

Of course, we know this won’t work and it’s all an excuse to see Glee get involved in something totally inappropriate for the young’uns.  (Little did the show’s producers know that, thanks to GQ, Lea Michele and Dianna Agron would have already done that for them this week.  Seriously, I haven’t seen anything this porn-y since . . . actual porn.)

Sue goes undercover, working for her station’s managers to get a juicy story so they can expose the “secular progressive agenda” at the school district.  But her sister totally rats her out to Will.  But not until after Will gets the opportunity to play Rocky, which allows him to have a really fun, hot number with Emma which almost makes Emma not an entirely useless character.  Surprisingly, this was actually my favorite number of the episode.  More loose Emma, please.

Carl also got a number, playing the role of Eddie, which allowed John Stamos to show off his Broadway skills.  I’ll take more of that as well.  But later, after learning that Emma got all hot and bothered during her rehearsal with Will, Carl awesomely called Will on stage and in front of his students, accurately accusing Will of doing this whole (completely inappropriate) musical for the sole purpose of stealing his girlfriend.  Boo-yah!

So Will already has tail between his legs when he visits Sue to accuse her of trying to sabotage Glee (for, like, the millionth time).  And Sue gets the speech of the show when she tells Will shame on him for trying to do Rocky Horror in the first place — the school has no business putting the kids front and center in the culture wars.  Will agrees and cancels the show, later confessing his true motivations to Emma.  Meanwhile I wonder if I can get Sue to give the same speech to the adults in Jesus Camp.

Will also tells the students that while they are canceling the show for the public, they can still do it for themselves.  Personally, I really don’t see the point of that, but, hey, it’s always fun to do the time warp again, so I’m not complaining.

On the whole, I think Glee‘s on the up.  This episode along with “Duets” two weeks ago contained actual character growth (Rachel thought about someone other than herself in “Duets,”  Emma actually touches stuff now), and musical numbers that are fun while actually moving the plot forward, which is a relief after the stagnant first three eps of the season.  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments section below!

For another take on this episode, read We Need a Will Schuester Intervention by Stephanie Jaar.

Season 2, Episode 5: The Rocky Horror Glee Show (originally aired October 26, 2010)

For more on Glee, click here.

Tuesdays at 8pm on Fox

Photographs courtesy of Fox and IMDbPro

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