Glee Review: A Loser Like Glee
I just received word that I’ve only got an hour to write this review because of some sort of website/server maintenance thing that I’m not going to pretend to be technologically savvy enough to understand. Bottom line: it usually takes me about 3-4 hours to write about an episode of Glee. I’ve got an hour. (Actually, about 58 minutes).
So I’m going to write this thing, countdown style. Actually, count-up, technically, but that kind of nitpicking is not going to help me write this review any faster, so just go with it, okay?
0:00 We open with a song in Dalton Academy. Darren (don’t make me say this again) leads on Maroon 5′s “Misery” and it’s cute and catchy as hell because everything The Warblers does is cute and catchy as hell, as long as a foam machine is not involved. Kurt levels with him — While Darren’s an awesome soloist, Kurt’s kind of tired of being one of his back up Warblers.
03:17 Rachel sings “Only Child,” her self-penned ditty dealing with the heartache of never having to share your toys. (Sample lyric: “Damn you, Dads, why did you settle for only me?”) Having endured the pain of having my own bathroom as a teenage girl, I feel her. She tries this song out on Finn, while Quinn, who is getting the voiceover treatment this episode, studies them from afar. In an observation that mimics Cher from Clueless, Quinn notes that being “smart, and super pretty and relatively sane for a girl” isn’t enough. She wants prom queen, danggit, and she can’t do it without Finn. But Rachel is standing in her way. Quinn vows to stay close to Rachel.
06:12 Pavarotti is dead. No, not the opera singer – although he’s dead, too (I checked) – and Kurt sings “Blackbird” in memoriam. And Darren notices how awesome Kurt is. Omigod, this moment is so wrought with meaning I can barely stand it, but I can’t go on, cause I’ve only got 50 minutes left to write this, and there’s about 52 minutes left of show to recap/review.
09:42 Having received a Cease and Desist letter from My Chemical Romance, New Directions is forced to pick a Plan B, and Rachel again proposes singing original songs. Quinn (wearing a fantastic updo) seconds Rachel’s proposal, and Finn thirds it. Santana proposes that everyone, not just Rachel and Quinn, try writing one.
10:45 Much to my dismay, I laugh at the TV preview for the new Russell Brand Arthur remake.
14:20 Sue puts dirt in Santanny’s lockers. Seriously, how does this woman still have a job?
15:44 Darren tells wants to sing a duet with Kurt at Regionals. I think this might be going somewhere. . .
16:30 Santana sings “Trouty Mouth,” a jazzy ode to Sam’s big mouth. Sample lyrics: “I love sucking on those salamander lips” and “If you tried hard enough you can suck a baby’s head.” Sam puts an end to the song too soon — I’m convinced if we’d let Santana go we would’ve gotten a really good oral sex reference. Puck also sings a ditty, “Big Ass Heart.” It’s pretty good, if I say so myself. Sample lyric: “I’m telling you my friend my girl’s got a big ass heart. When she shops for groceries, that heart gets its own damn cart.” But Schuester’s not too impressed with either song.
24:22 Darren, looking adorable, is asked by Kurt why Darren picked him to duet with. Darren then gives a fantastic speech that sounds like it was lifted from one of those romantic movies that Kurt loves, but I don’t have time to type it out right now, so let me just sum it up: “Cause I loves ya.” They make out. And excuse me – I need a couple of seconds to not type so I can pound my fist in the air. But I’m back, cause Mercedes is singing a very fun song called “Hell To The No.” Sample lyric: “Mama said get your ass out of bed. I said hell to the no.” Actually, the lyrics aren’t great, but it’s catchy as hell, nonetheless. Plus, Brittany is singing back up in a really great orange floppy hat. But Will doesn’t think it’s right yet. He wants them to sing about pain. What follows is a conversation about how Sue makes New Directions feel.
29:28 Rachel and Quinn have a confrontation. Rachel asks her straight up if she’s dating Finn, and Quinn confirms and then launches a destructive verbal missile straight to Rachel’s self esteem, essentially telling her she’ll never be happy and should pretty much stop ever expecting to be. Ouch! Way harsh. But Rachel definitely has some pain from which to write from now. . .[Cue brief crying/writing montage while tinkly music plays.]
35:56 The judges for Regionals are a local broadcaster, a Michele Bachmann-type played by Kathy Griffin, and a nun. Aural Intensity sings “Jesus is a Friend of Mine” in a pandering, but less than inspired performance. But local broadcaster, Bachmann-type, and nun like it okay. Kurt and Darren then duet, in a song I’m not familiar with and don’t have the time to look up. It’s not as cute as “Baby It’s Cold Outside” but listening to it does prompt a meaningful look between Rachel and Finn. Sadly, Kurt and Darren don’t then make out on stage, but I suppose that would’ve been inappropriate, even if a nun wasn’t in the audience. The song is quickly followed by Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and I do love it when the Warbler’s sing girl songs. It’s a great performance. Darren’s way cuter than that Bieber kid.
46:03 Rachel sings her song, and she tells Finn she means every word of it. It’s called “Get It Right.” Sample lyric: “What can you do when your good isn’t good enough and all that you touch tumbles down? Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things; I just wanna fix it somehow.” It’s pretty much a power pop song, and one that would be perfectly at home as a first release from an American Idol winner. Rachel hits a big power note near the end — you can really feel Lea Michele auditioning for pop star status on this one. But, really, this New Directions number is just a pale opener to the real standout song, called “Loser Like Me” which I just might break down and buy on iTunes. Sample lyric: “Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth, so everyone can hear. Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down; baby I don’t care. Keep it up, I’m tunin’ up, to fade you out . . .You wanna be a loser like me.” It’s essentially a joyful F- You to every bully in every school that’s ever existed, ever. It makes me happy. And the slushee cups with confetti is an awesome touch.
55:42 A conversation among the judges which is the worst scene in the whole episode, because it’s essentially just Kathy Griffin taking cheap shots at Michele Bachmann that aren’t funny because they are entirely too obvious. But, at least now I know what a gadabout is.
57:47 New Directions wins Regionals! Sue resorts to violence. Seriously, how does she still have a job?
58:36 Kurt and Darren bury Pavarotti. Kurt’s mourning their Warbler’s loss, but Darren’s just happy they’re together. Sadly, they do not make out more.
1:00:03 Rachel gets Regional MVP award. Yay! She deserves it. I’ve given this show a lot of crap for not giving Rachel suitable character development, but over the last few episode, Rachel’s become someone actually relatable. I’m totally rooting for her over Quinn.
Okay, we’re done my friends! Thanks to the DVR FF function, I’m actually about 90 seconds ahead of my deadline. So I’ve got to go — leave your thoughts in the comment section below! (That rhyme was unintentional, I swear.)
For more on this episode, check out Regionals by Inisia Lewis.
Season 2, Episode 16: Original Song (originally aired March 15, 2011)
Tuesdays at 8pm on Fox
Photographs courtesy of Fox and IMDb Pro.
Read more Glee here.