Don’t Get Distracted
Ok, so they did kind of hit us over the head with the fact that this episode was all about distraction. But in stabilizing that theme so overtly, the writers of Glee were able to play with it a little. What distraction might mean and how it might function in the life of each character shifts and changes through the course of the episode. Quinn tries to distract Finn with Rachel so she can get time away from him with Puck…only to realize in the end that she wants to be in love with Finn again. Terri tries to distract Will with a car so she can buy time to think about their situation, even though she constantly complains that he’s never around anyway…only for the car to teach him in the end that he doesn’t want anything to distract him from his girls. Terri and her sister plot to distract Quinn with “the reality of her situation,” only to have Quinn prove she can handle her situation with Puck’s help, and Puck prove that he can’t handle the situation quite like Quinn wants him to. Finn gets distracted by Rachel’s new outfit, only to realize that he’d rather she looks like she usually looks (that is, like a cross between a grandmother and a toddler – Kurt’s vicious but dead on description which might have been my favourite line of the night!). Puck seems distracted while sexting and it turns out his is. Kurt wisely notes that he and Rachel really are just distractions for Finn, not genuine alternatives. And in the end, the moral battle is between Sue’s cut-throat advice not to let anything distract you from winning pitted against Shu’s decision to do the number with no hairography type distraction.
Heavy handed though it was, I thought this way of structuring the program allowed for some plot and character development that actually took us somewhere, rather than the usual type of revelation of character facets that get highlighted and then dropped. The songs fit into the development rather than breaking it up, and overall I felt like it allowed Glee to fix some of our constant complaints about it.
Which takes me to the Imagine scene – I found it genuinely moving. It wasn’t like the Proud Mary wheelchair scene’s weak condescension to disability. Rather, the Glee kids were captivated by what they were witnessing and simply responding to the deaf school kids’ invitation, “I hope some day you’ll join us”. And the sound of Mercedes’ voice playing in and around the lead singer/speaker of the deaf school choir was lovely. In fact, I was struck that we got a beautiful Mercedes lead when all the extra stuff – all the hairography – was finally stripped away. I don’t know, Kathryn, maybe I’m just so used to the saccharine stew Glee usually serves that I just bought into it without thinking, but I liked it. I’m curious to hear, though, what you thought of it?
Ok, wrap up: Eve was great, don’t you think? But I was a little disappointed in her school’s performance. I actually agreed that it was a little hairographyish. Now, did it strike you that Rachel and Mr. Shu had their own little confidante thing going on throughout the episode – perhaps caused by their kerfuffle last week? I’m glad to have Terri back, but wishing she was more evil. I’m worried that the show has responded to all the foolish Terri-hatred that’s swirling around out there by trying to make her more likeable. I’d rather she stayed awful – it’s just funnier! Um, was it just me or did Quinn get progressively more pregnant throughout the course of the episode? And finally, did it creep you out that Quinn sang “Pappa Don’t Preach” in such a seductive way to those little kids?
Happy Thanksgiving, Kathryn!
Happy Thanksgiving as well! I have to admit, I’m a bit distracted myself what with pie crusts to roll out and turkeys to stuff and general feasting hoopla and beverage making (more non-acoholic egg nog for me. Sigh.). But not so distracted that I didn’t make the entire household watch Glee this morning over our second round of coffee. Watching the episode with family who does not usually watch the show drove home to me just how delightfully absurd some of these plot lines are: wait, so who’s the father? How is she faking a pregnancy? Finn should totally leave that blond, lying floozy and hook up with that funny Kurt guy. As steadfast watchers of the show, it is easy to forget just how many soap opera conventions they are using and how effectively they have blended them into the fabric of song and dance numbers to make one forget their implausibility. While I felt sort of silly explaining these various plot lines, trying to keep a straight face, it actually made me love the show more.
Probably what struck me the most was the continued development of the love triangle between Puck, Quinn, and Finn. Up to this point, I’ve been fairly squarely on the side of Team Puck. Not that I have anything against Finn – and I get why Quinn sees him as the safe bet. But I’ve been genuinely convinced by the “I’m not the stupid jock, pool cleaning, cougar chasing looser you take me for” line that Puck has been insisting on up to this point. I was pretty disappointed that the show turned so abruptly from that line to the “I’m a guy. I have needs” stereotype. The divide between the “good guys” (Finn and Shu – both preparing for a fatherhood that they have been duped into accepting) and the “bad boy” Puck, who can’t keep his cell phone in his pants even when he is babysitting with the mother of his child. I wonder if this effectively ends Puck’s campaign to be recognized as the father. If that is the case, I am sorry to see him go out with so much of a whimper. And to see Finn sucummb so thoroughly to the responsibility that is being foisted on his gullible shoulders (don’t get me wrong; I’m all for male responsibility, but it is still somewhat disappointed to see Finn embrace his role as responsible father under such deception. Wouldn’t it be kind of fun to see Finn be just a little bit more of a teenage boy?).
I am with you on the Terri front. The writers of the show seem stuck with regard to her. They are scared to give her over to the monster they created, and now they are stuck with an absurd fake pregnancy plot that it is hard to make compelling without going into a dark, sacchrine sentimentality that I fear will choke us all. I sort of wished that she would have come up with a kidnapping plan, which would fit nicely with her previous deviousness and fit all the soap opera conventions.
Like you, I was sort of taken in by the “Imagine” number. It was so, well, genuine. As my sister said: now that is what a high school musical should make you feel – it makes you feel so good in a cheesy, slightly embarrassing way. The fact that we are going to see more of these new friends also bodes well for following through on genuine emotions and not just giving us a taste and skedaddling away. And I did notice that Mercedes finally had something like a solo – and it wasn’t even by playing the big black girl vocals card. I really loved hearing the range of her magnificent voice.
OK, our guests are about to arrive, everyone else has started drinking, and it is time to focus on revelry and feasting. No more distractions. Unless it is to remember Rachel’s Grease imitation in her little girl’s bedroom – I loved the pink and flowered boom box setting the stage for her attempted seduction. A perfect detail.
Enjoy that bacon flavored bourbon for me!