November 23, 2010

Episode Review: GLEE, "Furt"

No episode of television has stirred such a mix of conflicting emotions like this week's episode of Glee. On one hand, "Furt" had all of the elements I look for from the show; some big laughs, some heart-warming moments, some satirical looks at high school life, and some drama mixed in as well. On the other, there was one character moment that just angered me, and it was hard to look past it.

Right off the bat we learned that Burt and Carole were getting married. Somehow, Ryan Murphy was able to combine a joyous occasion like a wedding with the horrors of being bullied. While wedding preparations were being made, Karofsky continued to pick on Kurt while Finn had to deal with the ramifications of not getting in a fight to defend his teammate. Bullying stuff aside, there was still the nuptials to get to, and after some cute singing/dancing, Finn tried to redeem himself by serenading their parents' wedding. After it was made clear that Karofsky wasn't going to be punished for what he did, it was decided that Kurt would transfer to Dalton Academy.

I had no problems with the bullying aspect of Finn and Kurt's storyline, and I think some positive developments came from it. For example, Karofsky's character was fleshed out a bit more, and we also got to see Sue as a competent and caring educator. Yes, some of the messages about bullying and how schools address it were a bit on the nose, but at least the subject was being addressed in a somewhat responsible way.

Even the wedding stuff had some really great moments like the dance lessons and the Bruno Mars inspired processional. Again, some of the dialogue was a bit sappy, but this is Glee and a wedding is one of those times where more can actually be a good thing. My only minor criticism about the wedding plot was at the end when Finn sang to Kurt, not because it was a guy singing to another guy (I actually thought the song choice was great), but because the timing seemed inappropriate. I'm sure Burt and Carole didn't mind watching their sons bond, but it just felt off. Then again, I may have had a negative reaction to the gesture because it was just another bad move made by Finn, which was my major complaint about the episode.

I've gone off about how Ryan Murphy must be determined to make Will one of the most unlikable characters on TV, and apparently he now has his sights on Finn because he was totally thrown under the bus during this episode. Everything Finn did or didn't do just made him look like a complete tool. He didn't stand up for Kurt because he was concerned about his popularity, he just sat there and took it when everyone questioned his manhood, he continued to lie to Rachel about what happened between him and Santana, and the aforementioned ill-timed ditty. What was even more frustrating was how unfair it was that everyone expected him to be Kurt's bodyguard/savior. Unfortunately, he did not come off any better once it was all said and done.

Finn has never been the perfect character, and many people don't care for him or they think he's a bad boyfriend, but I've also thought he's the most relateable and honest of the bunch. I've let Glee slide on a ton of bad decisions, but for the first time I found myself getting angry at the show runners because they were Schusterizing one of my favorite characters.

Once the rage subsided, I had to admit that I liked all of the other parts of the Furt narrative, which was more than I could say about Sue's B-plot. Not only did Burt and Carole get enganged, but Sue's former beau also decided to get hitched, which prompted her to go online to find a mate. Thanks to eDesperate Sue found out that she was her ideal match, so she decided to marry herself. It was all silly and outlandish, but luckily it was all just a way to explain some insight on how Sue became Sue.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Carol Burnett's guest spot was an example of why people take shots at this show. While she did give the audience an idea of Sue's upbringing, she was stunt-casting at its finest.
  • Any episode that relies so heavily on Mike O'Malley is aces.
  • Once again Harry Shum, Jr. was given minimal screen time, but he made it work as Chang told Karofsky to lay off Kurt. So what if he was ultimately pushed into Artie.
  • Speaking of Chang and Artie, it looks like we're in for a love quadrangle between them and their respective girlfriends. I'm all for blowing up Artie and Brittany, but 100% on Team Asian Fusion.
  • No Will Shenanigans = Better Episode, although his version of "Sway" was top-notch.
  • It was a nice change of pace watching Rachel put Santana in her place, and a Finn-Santana pairing has piqued my interest. In the end, it doesn't matter because he's destined to be with Brittany. Oh bet on it.
  • More Quinn this week, but I don't know how I feel about her with Sam mostly because I don't know how I feel about him. His proposal was sweet, but this was the same guy who coined the term "abulous".
  • We need to get back to the social hierarchy of high school because that's when the show is at its best.
  • I was a little shocked that Kurt actually transferred out of McKinley. I'm intrigued to see how his move impacts the show. Then again, this is Glee and more than likely he'll be back once sectionals are over and it will all be forgotten.
  • "That's why we feed them glitter, Finn."
  • Brittany nodding off while the priest was talking because she was praying was one of the best callbacks ever.
  • "Deal with it."
Despite my dissatisfaction about the treatment of Finn's character and uselessness of Sue's "marriage", I did enjoy watching the episode. The musical scenes were fun, the sweet moments worked, and even the angst and drama felt organic. "Furt" was definitely one of the better Season 2 episodes, and hopefully it was a step in the right direction.


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