Glee Review: Muckrakin'
Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person without an internet show.
This week on Glee:
We get our first look at “Fondue for Two,” Brittany’s new internet chat show. Mercedes and Tina, allegedly McKinley’s biggest gossips, are our guests. Brittany reveals that the janitor is a drunk, and Tina wants you to know that the stereotype about Asian men is not true. (She’s right. Plenty of them are excellent drivers.) Mercedes is surprised that this is what people used to do in the seventies. And Brittany then reveals that Santana plays for the other team, though it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t know it means what we all know that means. Then Lord Tubbington eats melted cheese right out of the pot because he’s on Atkins. By the way, Lord Tubbington is a waaaaaay fat cat.
Meanwhile, Sue is hatching Plan #4,872 to take out Glee. This time she’s incognito, fabulously dressed as David Bowie and then Ann Coulter, while she plots with Terri Schuester. Sue’s plan is to bring back The Muckraker, McKinley High’s defunct newspaper, to publish nasty rumors aimed to get New Directions to self-destruct. The paper shall have no regard for facts or truth. And I’m too lazy to make a Fox News joke here, so you’ll just have to do it on your own.
Anyways, Terri’s plan is to give April Rhodes, played by Kristin Chenoweth (who, while delightful, still doesn’t fill the screen like Apple’s mom did), a call. Since she’s fresh from a disastrous attempt to make an all-white The Wiz for Broadway, she heads over to McKinley, for Will’s help in creating her own musical based on the April Rhodes story. And since Will is exasperated by how much New Directions has been fighting lately, April suggests that they use Fleetwood Mac as an inspiration, a band that notoriously hated each other yet turned out some pretty brilliant music. Despite the fact that this advice is coming from a lady who is drinking her champagne out of a wine glass with a straw, Will thinks she’s on to something. And thus we have a theme: New Directions shall sing songs from Rumours, an album that many believe is one of the best rock albums of all time. It begins with April and Will taking on “Dreams,” a low-energy number that I’m pretty sure no high school student today would be the least bit impressed by. So of course New Directions claps enthusiastically.
And they need the enthusiasm, as The Muckraker is publishing rumors of all kinds of stories. First, there’s a bit about Sam and Quinn at a motel room, which Finn is quick to believe. Then it states that Santana’s gay. Reading this, Artie confronts Brittany, cause he knows that something fishy is going on. But he drives her right to Santana’s arms when he calls her stupid for not seeing through Santana’s manipulations. So Artie gets a solo with a chorus of guitars for “Never Going Back Again” which is more impressive for the musical accompaniment than for the vocal performance. And then Santana sings “Songbird” to Brittany, confessing her love, again. And it works, except that Santana still isn’t ready to come out of the closet, and Brittany’s not willing to hang out with her in one.
Meanwhile, Finn and Rachel are following Sam around and end up at a motel, where they see Kurt leave one night, and Quinn the next. Doesn’t look good, assuming you’ve never watched TV before and therefore don’t realize that this is clearly a set up. The next day, Finn and Quinn realize that they don’t really trust each other, and duet on “I Don’t Wanna Know.” It gets a lukewarm response, both from New Directions, because they aren’t smiling through the song, and from me, because this song is not catchy. Afterwards, Rachel gives some negative feedback, and Quinn accuses her of only doing so in order to duet with Finn herself, and then she explicitly forbids Finn from duetting with Rachel. But Rachel proves that she doesn’t need a duet to express herself, singing directly to Finn on “Go Your Own Way,” and, from where I’m sitting, has pretty much the only successful solo song of the episode. The energy of the song provokes a confrontation where everyone essentially calls out Sam for breaking up his friends’ relationships. And it comes out that Sam’s been living at the motel since his dad lost his job, and Kurt and Quinn have been helping him out. Rachel and Finn, appropriately shamed, visit Sam at his new domicile, and meet his little siblings who are typically annoying child actors who I really hope don’t get much screen time. This hope is dashed, when, for no reason at all, they show up on stage for Glee’s last Fleetwood Mac number, “Don’t Stop,” which I can’t really like since it was appropriated by Clinton/Gore in 1992.
All in all, a ho-hum episode, with sleepy covers and some lazy storylines. (I mean, does anyone really care enough about Sam to care that he’s homeless? Has anyone cared about Sam, other than when he was going Bieber?) However, with Will sorely tempted to leave McKinley to join April on Broadway, we might be heading to an emotionally fraught season finale. Is Glee copying a page out of the Friday Night Lights Season One handbook? Time will tell. . .
For another take on this week’s episode, check out Return of the Mac by Inisia Lewis
Season 2, Episode 19: Rumours (originally aired March 3, 2011)
Glee airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.
Images courtesy of Beth Dubber and Fox.