April 18, 2012

Episode Review: GLEE, "Saturday Night Glee-ver"

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting much from "Saturday Night Glee-ver," and I had flashbacks to "Rocky Horror Glee Show," but I actually enjoyed this episode for what it was and was able to overlook most of the flaws.

The plot for "Glee-ver" was pretty straightforward. Graduation day's fast approaching, and some members of New Directions (namely Finn, Mercedes and Santana) don't have any idea of what their post high school plans are going to be. Leave it to Will and Sue to come up with a scheme to kick them in the pants, and this time around it involved the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. Thanks to enough poking and prodding, the kids figured out what they wanted to do with their lives: Finn's heading to NYC to pursue acting, Mercedes will more than likely head out to L.A., and Santana may or may not attend the University of Louisville as a way to keep her cheerleading days alive.

Apparently, Mercedes didn't have enough on her plate because she and Kurt suddenly became mentors to a member of Vocal Adrenaline by the name of Wade Adams (played by The Glee Project runner-up runner-up Alex Newell). He admitted to being big fans of the two, and that his alter-ego named Unique would be the believable love child of Kurt and Mercedes, but he also needed advice. You see, Unique's a woman, and he desperately wanted to perform as her during VA's regional, but didn't have the nerve so he seeked their advice. At first, the duo said it wouldn't be the right move since they're living in Ohio, but Sue somehow convinced them to go along with his idea as a way to sabotage Vocal Adrenaline's performance. Luckily for them and Wade, it backfired and Unique was a hit.

My shotgun recap of the plot points shouldn't be an indicator of my appreciation for the episode or its quality. It was just that I could sum up what went on fairly efficiently because it was well developed and wasn't bogged down with too many threads flying around. I've always been a big fan of Finn's, so I was happy that we got to spend some time with him and his aspirations separated (for the most part) from Rachel. Sure, he ultimately fell in line with what she wanted to begin with, but at least it's his decision and now he has a plan of action. I did think that Santana's sub-plot involving fame, sex tapes and a phantom acceptance letter to UL was a step down, but still effective. Out of the three, I found myself caring less about Mercedes' future but that's because the writers have never taken her seriously, so why should I. That Samcedes scene was cute though.

Ultimately, what I liked most about "Glee-ver" was the fact that it felt like an old-school episode of the show. Will and Sue were only around to be the spark for the storytelling, and while I didn't really care for some of their approaches, they acted like educators for the first time in what's felt like an eternity. This move allowed the spotlight to focus on the students and their hopes and dreams, and I remembered why I liked this show so much to begin with. When Ryan, Falchuk and Brennan take the students seriously, then this show benefits greatly. Let's hope we get more of these types of episodes instead of the clunkier ones that have plagued Glee for some time now.

On the Music Front: This was one of the few times when I liked all of the musical performances, and that's probably because I recognized all of the songs. I don't expect Glee to abandon current top 40 hits, but I find it more entertaining when they utilize older music. Plus, disco was a natural fit for this show due to its excess and camp.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • The trio of Blaine, Mike and Brittany should be outlawed for being too damn sexy.
  • They remembered that Will's group performed "That's The Way (I Like It)." Who says this show's bad at continuity?
  • For some reason a scale-model glee club diorama is funny to me.
  • Twitter exploded when some viewers couldn't find Quinn, but she was in at least two shots, and she had an episode last week. People on Twitter need to calm down.
  • I think I've finally found my favorite flavor of Sue: the version that points out how ridiculous this this show is while being prickly yet caring.
  • Jesse St. James! Way to bury the lead, Glee!
  • It pains me to admit it, but Alex Newell might be the best Glee Project-er yet. How long until he transfer to McKinley?
  • Blaine's excitement over the SNF dance floor was too much.
  • I still want a Puck/Finn in L.A. spin-off. Forget James Lipton.
  • Speaking of Puck, I liked the vulnerable side that he showed during this episode. More please.
  • Will's disapproval of Santana's need to be famous was a little off-putting. Right now, Will's still a liability, and I still think he can be salvage, but moments like these make it hard to root for him.
  • There was a little too much Rachel this week, but it makes sense since Finn was front and center. I'm still hoping for a breakup, but we'll just have to wait and see.
  • Two Girls, One Cat?!? So wrong, and yet somehow so right.
  • Finn's freakout on Schue was probably one of this show's best moments ever.
  • Is it wrong that the Glee Project kids have had more solos than Tina?
  • I'll say it again, Chord Overstreet needs to be promoted to a regular cast member next season.
  • Santana to Louisville seems convenient since I'm sure it's not THAT far from Lima, OH.
  • "Stayin' Alive" had too much Will for my liking. Why make it about the students just to focus on him and Sue dancing around like Travolta?
  • "Well, let's be honest William. You've been out of ideas since Madonna week."
  • "The star of Vocal Adrenaline is Vocal Adrenaline. No one is special; you're the Borg. You don't like it, there's the frickin' door!"
  • "My home isn't some place, it's someone. It's you."
  • "One of them was disappointed because they thought 'Mercedes Inferno' was a car fail video."
  • "You ain't no skim milk, baby. You're the cream rising to the top."
Will "Saturday Night Glee-ver" rank up there with some of the best episodes of Glee? Probably not, but it was by far one of the best episodes of the current season. Sure, that may not be saying much to some people, but I've actually liked most of Season 3, so that's major praise coming from me. Screw the haters.


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