September 20, 2012

Episode Review: GLEE, "Britney 2.0"

When I learned that Glee was going to have a Britney Spears sequel, I was highly skeptical (we all remember how "Britney/Brittany" turned out), but I have to admit that "Britney 2.0" wasn't as bad as its predecessor, but I'm not sure if it was all that good.

Apparently, Brittany's lack of focus has led to her being a bad influence on the rest of the Cheerios, so Sue cut her from the squad which sent her on a downward spiral. As a way to bring Brittany back, Will decided to re-visit Britney Spears week since it was so good for the first time around. Things didn't go quite as planned since Brittany was playing up the trainwreck as a way to make a comeback, so she pulled out all of the iconic stops like attempting to shave her head, beating up a paparazzi and botching an on-stage performance. Thankfully, Sam saw threw her charade and reached out to her like no one else could and he encouraged her to do whatever she could to get back on the Cheerios.

Britney wasn't confined to just Lima. After being told that she lacked sex appeal, Rachel recruited her newest boy toy to show Cassandra July that she was wrong. Cue the obligatory overly-sexualized musical number, but when her point didn't get across, she called out her teacher for being a washed up has-been. Cue the obligatory removal from class and her eventual re-admittance after a tough love speech. Oh, and her little stunt gave Brody an in to make his move, but he was rebuffed since Rachel still cared about Finn. Or was it just a stall before she moved on once and for all?

Lastly, McKinley was introduced to its newest love triangle (yawn). Marley was the latest girl to become smitten with Jake in spite of his womanizing ways. She thought they had a connection as they sang a duet together and he stood up for her mother's honor, but she came back to reality when she learned that he was dating Kitty. Jake also had to choose between joining glee club and being a loner, and he decided to get on board after his half-brother gave him a kick in the butt.

OK, let me get my gripes out of the way first. There was way too much music! Seriously, this episode had four songs in the first twenty minutes which seemed excessive even by Glee's standards. Logically, I understand why the show would want to double down on Britney's songs since they probably thought that front loading the music would convince random X-Factor viewers to stick around, but there was so little story to kick things off. Yes, this was not a new miscalculation, but I had hopes that the showrunners had learned their lesson. To be fair though, at least this time around the numbers weren't just blatant remakes of Spears' videos, so there was some progress.

On the plus side, I'm still really enjoying Marley and Jake despite the boring love triangle nonsense, and I think Melissa Benoist and Jacob Artist are real finds. I just wish they weren't automatically being saddled with lazy writing. I even liked Brittany's story this time around since show's like Glee don't spend a ton of time on those who are left behind, but I wasn't wild when it was revealed that she had orchestrated everything. Ultimately, I can let that slide though since "Britney 2.0" was a better showcase for Heather Morris than "Britney/Brittany."

On the Music Front: I actually liked "Womanizer," thought that Marley and Jake's duet was cute, and "Opps!... I Did It Again" was the best number of the night (for obvious reasons). Everything else was merely passable.

Other Odds and Ends
  • Brittany's out-loud voice over was the first time she's made me laugh out loud in a while. Again, I love HeMo, but we don't need too much Brittany.
  • That said, Heather Morris and Darren Criss could be the dynamic duo of Season 4.
  • Are they going to work in a scissoring over Skype joke every episode?
  • I'm a little tired of the Cheerios leaving the squad just to be put back in. Commit, dang it!
  • I don't dislike Unique like a lot of others, but I would also like to see a bit more of Wade.
  • A loft in Brooklyn? I guess that's one way around the inevitable "how can they afford such a big place in Manhattan" question. Although, I'm sure Kurt and Rachel's new digs are unrealistic for Brooklyn.
  • Still not feeling Cassandra's rushed humanization. Just let her be mean for the sake of being mean.
  • A Razor scooter? Really?
  • Are they trying to imply that there's a history between Cassandra and Brody?
  • It's a shame that the writers couldn't figure out how to use Puck back in his heyday. He became more interesting at the end of Season 3, and I really dug his scene with Jake.
  • No lip-syncing on Glee? Funniest... joke... ever!
  • I know I was all about Sam and Marley after the last episode, but I wouldn't be opposed to a Sam/Brittany pairing. Regardless, I'm just happy Sam's being given more to do.
  • "Because those fools are jealous."
  • "I'm the original badass. I had my first threesome at seven, and once I beat up a police horse."
  • "This is clearly the plan of an idiot..."
I'm not going to fault Glee for trying to capitalize on Britney and The X-Factor, and I do have to give the show credit for improving on the first attempt, but "Britney 2.0" was still an example of what frustrates some viewers; too much flash and not enough substance.


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