April 20, 2010

Episode Review: GLEE, "The Power of Madonna"


This week's Madonna themed episode of Glee made up for last week's ho-hum spring premiere, and it reminded us why this show is so great.

Almost every aspect of the show was on point tonight starting with the amazing musical numbers. Of course, "Vogue" stood out because everyone and their dog saw it last week, but it was able to hold up (mostly thanks to Chris Colfer's expressions). The Cheerio routines were also pretty great, especially the last one with the marching band. As always, Glee ended on a high note with a great gospel inspired rendition of "Like a Prayer".

The only musical number that really didn't work for me was the "Like a Virgin" montage with the three couples (Rachel/Jesse, Finn/Santana, and Emma/Will). While the singing and choreography was great, the idea of all them getting it on was kind of creepy. I was really relieved when the scene was revealed as a fake-out because it had me going. Kudos to Rachel and Emma for not giving in to pressure...Finn on the other hand, not so much. Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised that Finn slept with Santana, but I did think his realization that empty sex is unfulfilling was somewhat redeeming.

Another aspect of tonight's episode that I wasn't thrilled about was Will's de-evolution. At the start of the season he was this sensitive, inspiring man, and now that he's separated he's become kind of a jerk. Last week he macked on Elphaba because Emma didn't give it up. This week he was all giddy when Emma threw herself at him, and even though he was understanding with not doing the deed, he then suggested that Emma get counseling to deal with her problems. Seemed kind of douchey to me. It looked like Will came to his senses towards the end of the episode, but I'm afraid he's only going to get more unlikeable as the season goes on.

Madonna was used as a symbol of female empowerment, and for the most part the message was successful. We saw some of the guys become more sensitive towards the needs of their female teammates. We even got a little role reversal where Rachel claimed to have had sex despite not, and Finn said he didn't do it with Santana when he did. I don't know if the latter was a shining example of equality, but it was an unexpected little twist.

Speaking of unexpected twists, Jesse St. James, from Vocal Adrenaline, switched schools so he is no longer Rachel's "enemy", which of course led to unhappy Gleeks. To be honest, I didn't see that coming, and while we all know he's only doing it to sabotage the team, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

Overall, "Madonna" was a great episode with only a handful of flaws. More excellent musical performances, more tolerable high school drama, nice little plot twists, and more Santana (but unfortunately not enough Brittany) made for a pretty epic night of Glee.


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