February 7, 2013

Episode Review: GLEE, "Diva"

For most of Season 4, Glee has been able to re-focus itself and return to being the show that I started liking in the first place, but you could actually see it going off the rails again during "Diva." Now, I'll give the episode credit for not being one of the worst offerings to date, but it was a step back for a show that cannot afford these kind of slip-ups.

The biggest issue I had with "Diva" was it caused Glee to regress back to its Season 1 and 2 state where the hour was jam-packed with too many storylines, songs, and uncomfortable moments. Honestly, it should've been titled "Cringe" because that's pretty much what I did the entire time while watching it. Let's just run through what actually happened: Finn and Emma came up with "diva" week as a make-shift "boys vs. girls" lesson, Kurt challenged Rachel to a diva-off because of her ego, Tina continued her ill-fated crush on Blaine as she nursed him back to health, Santana dropped out of UL and returned to Lima so she could break up Sam and Brittany before moving to New York. Oh, and Finn was feeling lonely so he kissed Emma to calm her down as she freaked out about her upcoming wedding to Will.

OK, to be fair that's probably not too many plotlines for Glee, but each and every one of them felt unfocused, and it didn't help that most of them were shocking for shock's sake and ended up hurting characters instead of helping them, which ultimately led to a very messy and frustrating installment. Out of all of the craziness that transpired, the most insulting aspect was the moment Finn kissed Emma because it was wholly inappropriate, downright icky, and it undermined all of the progress he's made this season. I've always claimed that Ryan Murphy and Co. hate "nice guys" which is why we've been conditioned to dislike Will, so it shouldn't shock me that the writers would finally take Finn to similar levels of assholiness, but at least the transformation is complete. Ryder better watch out because he's next.

As for everything else, I was glad to see Kurt take Rachel down a few notches (and was really happy when he came clean about "Defying Gravity"), but let's just hope the lesson sticks and we're not subjected to her gigantic ego for a few weeks. All of the Santana/Brittany/Sam drama was OK but just another pit-stop on Santana's road to New York, so it felt kind of meaningless. And Tina's just sad at this point.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Did they really need to interrupt Emma's Cheesecake Factory story for a piss-poor pop song?
  • At least Marley and Kitty were smoking during "Diva."
  • I actually missed Marley, Jake, Ryder and Kitty. Heck, I would've even taken a Joe storyline over most of the ones that we got.
  • The only thing that was more cringe-worthy than Finn kissing Emma was Tina straddling and rubbing an unconscious Blaine's bare chest. Sure, there was some context but still... eww.
  • Is it mandatory that everyone wear a hat when they move to NYC?
  • Musical Highlight: "Don't Stop Me Now"
I guess what it comes down to is I didn't hate "Diva," but I was very disappointed by it because Season 4's been so good up until now, and this episode along with last week's has me scared that Glee's back to its bad habits. That said, I haven't given up on it yet and things will have to really go off the deep end before I ditch it. Until then, I'll keep my fingers cross that it gets it all of of its system, does some damage control, and goes back to being solid entertainment. I'm crazy, right?


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