August 31, 2012

Episode Review: GLEE, "Showmance"

Before Season 3, it looked like Glee was getting into a pattern with its episodes. The first one would set up the larger storyline, and the second one would be oddly sexual (the same can be seen even if you take the back nine episodes of Season 1 as a separate narrative). "Showmance" was the first episode to let everyone know that Glee was not High School Musical, but something more adult while still being somewhat immature.

Even though Will was able to establish New Directions, his work was far from over because he needed more members in order to compete, and Sue made it very clear that he didn't have a chance since no one would want to join his band of misfits. He decided that the best way to recruit new performers was to sing at the pep rally, but he insisted on disco much to the displeasure of his students. They were so upset with having to perform disco, that Rachel convinced them to disregard Will's orders and to sing Salt-n-Peppa's "Push It." Obviously, that did not go over well with Sue or Figgins.

As always, we got a nice dose of personal drama to go along with the mishaps of New Directions. Will's still feeling the pressure at home as Terry insisted on them getting a new house since they had a baby on the way, and his financial situation was so dire that he had to take a part-time job as the school's janitor. It wasn't all bad for Schue though because he ran into Emma after hours, and their flirting went to an all new level. She was all smiles until Ken, the football coach who liked her, reminded her that Will's a married man.

Will was not the only one getting himself into a love triangle because Rachel she had a crush on Finn and was advised to find a common interest with him. Since Finn was dragged around by Quinn, he was a member of the celibacy club which Rachel also joined. The two started to get closer while working on their recruitment tactics, and they even shared a kiss, but things came to grinding halt when Quinn and her Cheerio sidekicks auditioned for New Directions. Since Rachel's plan at the pep rally backfired and the glee club was on thin ice, Will had to let the cheerleaders in because of their wholesome exterior and his need for members. As it tuned out, Quinn's interest in joining New Directions was just a way for her to keep an eye on Finn, but things got interesting when Sue encouraged her to spy on Will for her.

In a lot of ways, "Showmance" was a mixed bag. Most of the musical numbers were solid, and I was genuinely in shock yet entertained by the fact that New Directions busted out "Push It." That's not something I ever thought I would see on Glee, and it was the first indicator that this show was out to do be different. On the flip side, I found myself getting a little bored with the relationship drama, but I saw it as an inevitable speed bump since at the end of the day it's a show about high schoolers.

On the music front: Along with "Push It," I thought most of the performances were good, but the obvious standout was Will rapping "Gold Digger." I swear, the key to this show's early success was Matthew Morrison's ability to rap. "I Say a Little Prayer" was also good, but I thought "Take a Bow" was a tad too much.

Other Odds and Ends
  • Emma's pamphlets! Yay!
  • Man, Season 1 Rachel was smokin'!
  • Personal massagers?
  • Today's Glee gets flack for its PSA episodes, but "Showmance" was just as preachy especially in regards to sex education vs. abstinence.
  • I know I skipped this part, but this was the episode when the horrible fake baby plot was introduced.
  • "You know, if your hair were any longer, you'd have curls."
  • "One day when you're older, that'll turn out to be a gift."
  • "What's a luftballon?"
  • "Can I use the auditorium later to practice? Our neighbors are filing a lawsuit."
As a second episode, "Showmance" did its job. It displayed what Glee was capable of while continuing to establish the characters and plot points. The music worked, and the story didn't drive me too crazy, so it was ultimately a strong effort.


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