June 1, 2010

Episode Review: GLEE, "Funk"

The back-9 episodes of Glee have been really uneven, and tonight's "Funk" was by far one of the weakest episodes of the series. I was expecting this week's episode to be hurt by the fact that it was aired out of order, it was supposed to air before last week's "Theatricality", but instead it was hurt by the fact that it just wasn't a strong episode.

Jesse St. James up and left New Directions with little to no reason and went back to Vocal Adrenaline just to psych the Gleeks out. Now, I was always on board with Jesse as a saboteur, but his sudden change of heart was out of nowhere and jarring. His betrayal of the McKinley kids negated everything he has done up until now, and essentially made the Rachel-Shelby storyarc a giant FU. His defection back to VA would have made more sense if he didn't tell Shelby that he was starting to like Rachel, but now he just looks like an ass. Too bad their still trying to make him conflicted, even after he smashed an egg on Rachel's head. Jesse's character was all over the map by the end of tonight's episode; either make him a bad guy or not.

I'm pretty sure the show creators are doing their best to turn Will in to the most unlikable character ever. Since the show has come back he has made out with Shelby while "dating" Emma (while he was still technically married), allowed April to sleep with him in his bed, convinced Emma that she needed counseling after he let her throw herself at him, and he seduced Sue just to get back at her. Don't even get me started on his preachiness and how he's a constant buzzkill. He's gone from nice, sensitive teacher to a complete jag off. I get that his divorce messed with his head, but making him a complete douche doesn't make him sympathetic...only pathetic. Glee cannot afford to make one of its leads this unlikeable because that's a surefire way to lose viewers. I just hope Will's redemption is coming soon.

While I wasn't too happy with Will's storyline tonight, it was salvaged by the return of Sue. Jane Lynch continues to knock the ball out of the park with her venomous lines and classic journal entries. I even felt sorry for her after she was duped by Schuester, but was glad that she came back with a vengeance.

The minor subplots involving Finn, Puck, Quinn, and Mercedes kind of worked but also kind of missed the target. Seeing Finn and Puck put their differences aside and stand up for New Directions was pretty cool, their version of Beck's "Loser" was one of the few highlights of the episode, as was their rendition of Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations". Was I the only one surprised that Puck didn't drop his pants as an homage to Mark Wahlberg?  Also, I couldn't help but get all jacked up when they banded together, rallied the troops, and headed off to get revenge on Jesse for what he did to Rachel. I'm sure Rachel is going to have complicated feelings for both of them after they rose to defend her honor. Maybe Puck's dream will come true.

Quinn tried to show her team mates that she's full of emotion thanks to being pregnant and laughed at by choosing James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" for her funk number. The song choice would have worked if she didn't have the Knocked Up Fly Girls as back up dancers. Seeing all of those pregnant girls dancing around was just offputting, and they took me completely out of the episode, which was a shame since Quinn get's so few solos nowadays.

Then they had to play the race card as Quinn realized how hard it must be for Mercedes to be a woman of color that has to face adversity. Sorry Glee, but the message felt a little hollow. I think they could have had an effective bonding moment, especially after Quinn showed concern for Mercedes when she wasn't eating, without the racial undertones. Then again, I might have misread that entire scene.

The final "Give Up the Funk" number had its moments. From a singing standpoint, it really wasn't that strong, but it was kind of cool seeing the New Directions kids having fun with the music. The Soul Train Line was pretty great, and we got to see Brittany and Mike show off their sweet moves, which is always a plus.

I can't say that I hated the episode because I did laugh out loud a few times, but everything seemed to have been put together haphazardly which ultimately hurt the episode. The inexplicable behavior of Shue and Jesse, pregnant dancers, and a lack of funky funk numbers were damaging, and even Puck and Finn's badassness couldn't save it in the end.


Kristal said...

Apparently this episode was supposed to air before the Lady Gaga ep, but Fox wanted that ep to air during sweeps and swapped them. That sort of explains the Jesse St. James stuff, but it still doesn't excuse the rest of the episode for being so uneven, disjointed, and nonsensical. My least favorite episode, by far.

Marcos said...

Oh, I was aware that the episodes were aired out of order, but if you look at "Dream On" where Jesse told Shelby that he's starting to like Rachel, and then put "Funk" in its original place, it gets even more odd. He goes from kind of liking her to smashing an egg on her forehead with hardly any explanation. They just dropped the ball with this Rachel-Jesse-Shelby storyline.

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