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Glee S1E11: Hairography

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"I'm gonna say this as nice as I can. But you look like a sad clown hooker."

We are still in the throes of turkey and carb overload-induced coma while simultaneously attempting to gear ourselves up for what we hope is a mere toe-dip into Black Friday madness, and since this was a pretty disjointed episode that recycled a lot of the same old conflicts, we're only up for bullet points and videos. We figure that's all you're up for too. Ready? Go.

- Except there are no videos. Boo to Fox, who apparently is protecting its property vigorously. It gets harder and harder to find decent embeddable performance clips from each episode, and this week we couldn't find any at all, unfortunately.

- It says something about the quality of the episode that we're not particularly upset about Bullet Point # 1. There just weren't any kickass musical numbers. Sure, "Papa Don't Preach" was cute (and Quinn's best vocal performance yet) and so was "True Colors," if only for the long-overdue Tina solo. Her voice was perfectly suited for the song. That Hair + Beyonce mashup was funny - especially the deaf kids' reaction to it - but it's not like we were humming it the next day, which was kind of the point, we guess.

- But what really kind of made us uncomfortable was the "Imagine" number. They were clearly going for the lump-in-the-throat effect (and to be fair, they got it from us, a little bit), but we couldn't help thinking how rude it was for the New Directions kids to jump in uninvited. And it struck us as a little bit of a copout on the creators' part. If you wanted us to tear up over the deaf choir, then have the bravery to give them the spotlight on their own.

- "It's like cool epilepsy." lines like this, along with characters like the pick-pocketing Aphasia, are what keep the show from skirting too far into Hallmark Channel sweetness. The occasional political incorrectness of the show is, for us, a selling point and to its credit, it's applied equally to all the characters, from the pregnant head of the chastity club to the scheming bitchy queen, plotting to trick his unrequited love into loving him.

- Having said that, there's no denying that the show definitely has a problem with its female characters. Terri, her sister Kendra, Quinn, Sue Sylvester, Rachel - they're all either batshit crazy or scheming bitches, usually both. It's to the credit of Jane Lynch and Jessalyn Gilsig that they can find the comedy in their characters, but it's episodes like this one that illustrate just how pervasive it is on the show.

- And speaking scheming queens, we have to give it up for Kurt, who got some of the best lines of the night.

"You need something to distract from your horrible personality. Most of the time, I can't stand to be in the same room as you."

"Rachel manages to dress like a grandmother and a toddler at the same time."

"It makes it hard to appreciate your talent because I wanna shove a sock in your throat."

"Makeovers are like crack to me."

It could be argued that Kurt's character is a cliche and a tragic one at that, but like we said, it's a little refreshing that the gay character can be as politically incorrect as any of the other ones and they've built up enough goodwill by showing us various sides of the character in previous episodes, so we don't mind it at all.

- In case it wasn't obvious, this was clearly not our favorite episode of the season. All the plotlines feel like well-trod ground at this point. Don't get us wrong, it's always an hour bound to get you to laugh at least once and enjoy at least one musical number, but this one was a bit of a letdown.

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I was hoping for an all Madonna episode but we got two Beyonce songs and that pleased me

I was beginning to think I missed something, because this wasn't my favorite episode and I wasn't moved by the Imagine scene, yet everywhere I read people were raving about it. This episode just didn't work for me. It felt too busy and allover the place. Still love the show, just not this episode.

I almost put the Imagine scene into the "go with it" catagory but it also struck me as rude. Further, it eroded the idea of a deaf choir; for the piece to be really good, then it needed people who could hear? No, thank you.

The song was absolutely beautiful the way it was being done, it could have stood on its own.

I have been waiting for Quinn to sing "Papa Don't Preach" ever since she announced to Finn she was pregnant. Praise all that is holy I had this ep on my DVR because I loved me some fast forward!

And getting really sick and tired of different couples almost getting together then that getting effed up. I feel played like I'm watching a daytime soap opera = not good.

The "Imagine" song scene was very moving. My criticism is that Mercedes should have just stayed sat in her effing chair singing with the main deaf dude who was talking and signing the song through. Yes, the whole gang getting up to sing with them felt icky...

And I cringed and rolled my eyes at "True Colors" = the most over covered song EVER... Loved me the fast forward on that one too...

I actually really like Mr. Schuster's wife and getting tired of the dow-eyed red head. They need to wrap up that plot line like MM wrapped up the Draper marriage = toot sweet!

This show better step it up. This is their first season. They need to keep the audiance and stop giving us throw-away eps like this one.

Ignoring the politics aspect of it, I thought the version of 'Imagine' with the two show choirs combined sounded absolutely beautiful. Sure, in terms of plot etc it was a bit dodgy...but I can't argue with the end sound. I'm more disappointed about the fact that the itunes version of Imagine uses only the Glee kids voices, and not the deaf club voiceover. The removal of them completely from the commercial version I think is more insulting, in its way, than having the Glee kids sing along with them in the actual show.

And for whatever reason - I think the piercing (almost childlike) sweetness of Tina's voice melding with those Lyrics - True Colours is quickly becoming one of my favourite numbers to listen to.

I do like the fact that they seem to be becoming more of a choir over these last few numbers - they're making much more use of harmony and vocal accompaniment in some of the recent songs, as opposed to using most of the kids as backing singers for Rachel and Finn who just join in on the chorus, as it was originally. The vocal arrangements are definitely increasing in complexity, and I think the show will be the better for it.

Finally...who wants to take bets on one or both of the rival show choirs stealing their numbers, and the Glee kids having to come up with a dramatic, last minute, showstopping number to replace one or more of their set pieces?

Yeah, not one of their better episodes. Like another commenter, I was also waiting for Quinn to perform "Papa Don't Preach," but I feel like they just threw it away by making her sing it to the kids she was babysitting. Although the acoustic accompaniment was a nice touch.

I loved the way "Imagine" sounded, with the singing and the speaking overlapping, but yeah, there was something weird about New Directions kind of taking over.

Also, toward the end of every single episode now, I keep saying to my bf, "they need to wrap up this baby storyline and FAST." This episode made you think things were happening but by the end what had really changed? Nothing. And Quinn is barely showing! We've still got a long ways to go with that storyline, which is not good.

This episode blew. What was the point of having Puck be really sweet to Quinn one minute and then be a total Tool the next?

So, exactly when ARE sectionals?

I actually didn't mind the Glee kids joining in with the deaf choir at all. It fit with the spirit of the song and I think the kids were were suppose to be a little embarrassed by their performance, which was awful. When they all started signing together was when it came together. That was so beautiful.
And can we stop with the Beyonce. There's been a Beyonce number in almost every episode. I'm tired of it.

The baby drama needs to be over. I still hate Terry and Will should dump her.

Of course Kurt is a scheming queen.

A Tina solo finally! Hooray!

Yes how the Mckinney students joined the Imagine number was rude. I would have liked it if Mercedes at least asked them to join in. Then it would have made sense for the others. I was annoyed at first that Mercedes starting singing out loud as well. Actually if they had to join in song, I think it would have been better if the singing was done as a voice over and they just asked to join in the signing

I loved at least they gave Brittany her little moments. That "cool epilesy" comment was so her. I look forward to ever line to come out of her mouth.

I actually felt Terri came across a little sympathetic this episode. She's a liar and conniving bitch but she does seem to really love Will and desperate to keep him. Personally I dont think he's worth all the fuss.


Kendra, Terri's sister, steals every scene she's in. She's so completely over the top that she can't be on the show any more than she is or she'd take over, but I L-O-V-E her.

How about when Will came in from working on the Blue Bomber II and she totally checked out his butt?

Really? I loved this episode!

I loved the Rachel-Kurt moment, which was definitely due and well-done. I loved the juvie girls number -- over the top, offensive and fantastic. I loved that they finally got down to brass tacks on the Puck issue: he's a horny teenager and that's that. Not ready to make a commitment, not ready to settle down and be a dad. Get real, Puck. Well-written and acted. So I thought that that Quinn deciding to give the baby to the Schusters WAS moving the plot along, and her hug for "Mr. Schu" was endearing.
Terri finally came off as a human being and come to think of it, it was nice to see some vulnerability in Rachel, too.

I'm going to watch the episode with a deaf friend to see what he thinks of the "Imagine" number. It made me uncomfortable, too, but ARE YOU KIDDING that they cut the deaf kids voice out of the commercial release? I hope the deaf community raises hell.

"True Colors" was a bit hokey but it certainly did connect brilliantly with the theme of the ep, so it worked. Go Tina!

The one thing that got me about this episode were the Beyonce songs. I don't care how easy they are to get a hold of, I was tired of hearing them before and I'm tired of hearing them on the show. True Colors was the best song of the episode in my opinion. Definitely about time Tina got a solo.

I thought Imagine was sweet but as you said, kinda rude but I can overlook it a bit. I'm also tired of the couple drama between Finn, Quinn, Puck, Rachel and anyone else who desires any of them. The writers need to pick the couples and stick with them for the most part. When Kurt told Rachel that Finn would never want either of them, I was thinking to myself that it was about time somebody said it because as far as we can tell, it's true.

I still hate Will's wife. When Quinn said she was keeping the baby I was like "yes, now Terri can't fall back on you" and then they had to ruin it.

I LOVED this episode, after being only so-so about the last one that everyone here raved about. DH and I even watched it again yesterday, allowing us to catch when Puck said he stole the book on "Raising a Baby on $5 A Day" -- so gallant and noble!

We both felt better about Terri after this epi; that was nice to show her in a more positive light; I was losing interest in her one-dimensional character. And I had to LOL when her sister said "You got the beauty, but I got the brains. And the beauty."

LOVED the Imagine piece, didn't care that they joined in uninvited. Rude, really? Can we even use the R word when talking about this show, where characters are continually saying one rude thing after another? Erg. I guess we all have a different idea of what is acceptable political incorrectness.

Too bad that Fox doesn't realize how valuable this blog is to its show and allow you free access to video. Their loss and ours.


yeah, this episode was kind of a clunker. I liked the imagine number a lot, and it got me a little teary but I do agree with your point about letting the deaf choir stand out on its own. I did kinda like that the kids tried to sign along, it would have been better if they had signed along in thier chairs though. The only other part I liked was when Quin hugged Shu. That said a lot about all the characters involved.

The rest was a shallow pond. Even Sue wasn't doing it for me. She just seemed mean with out being that funny.

Thatshow_I_ C_it

The last two weeks have been downers but at least we got to have some Sue time.

The relationship hexagon has got to end. I don't think they know what they want to do with Puck. I could go a week or two without hearing Finn sing and getting the baby-drama over and wrapped up. There is a lot of room for growth and character development but the scripts are faltering right now. I give the show 3 seasons max.

I'm with Peacebang. Loved it. Puck is truly an a-hole, albeit one with some possibilities (unlike Finn, who will always be a sweet idiot.) Terri finally looked human and we didn't all resent the idea of her having anyone's child to care for, and Quinn was simultaneously vulnerable and manipulative. I hear you on the Imagine thing, but I thought the whole point of the staging was to have the New Directions kids learning from the others. And dawlins, isn't that what musicals are all about?

Don't you see Terri ending up with Ken, somehow? Or some professional she meets at work. She and Will clearly are not going to last and he HAS to end up with Emma. Best guess though is that he still ends up paying child support for a kid who he doesn't know isn't his. Until Quinn tells him, somewhere around the middle of next season.

What made me groan this episode was the constant use of the word "distraction" by all the characters. I got the point the first time. It drove me to, um, focus my attention elsewhere.

Tina already had a solo - "Tonight" from West Side Story.

I too thought it was insanely rude of the glee club to interrupt the deaf kids. That was definitely one of those things that may sort of work on camera but would be viewed very, very differently were it to happen in real life.

Unfortunately, it feels like the show is stalling until its return in April, when hopefully it will skip ahead to April within the show's universe. That will leave Quinn enormously pregnant, likely have sectionals right around the corner, and hopefully provide either an end to the Schuster marriage or an end to the Emma/Will thing. Personally, I think it'd be cool if they stopped making doe eyes at one another and just became partners in crime.

And speaking of crime, Sue Sylvester this week left me scratching my head. All of a sudden she's back in her petty mode. The only thing that rationalized it for me was that she was more or less right. If Schu wins this, is would be the "bad guy," the upper middle class white folk telling the enderdogs to shove it. The New Directions Glee kids may feel as though they're misfits, but juvenile delinquents and deaf teens do, admittedly, have it much harder (entirely in a general, broad sense). And Schuester is a terrible leader. He's inconsistant, selfish, and motivated by all the wrong things. Sue is somewhat justified in wanting him out, especially if she runs all creative programs at the school. She throws herself 100% into basically everything.

Loved the Kurt/Rachel/Finn storyline, and it proved a light, fluffy, but revealing look at where the relationships between those characters stand. That dynamic interests me. And I think Finn is the most improved actor/character in general since the pilot.

Quinn too has pleasantly surprised me. I'd like to see more conflict between her and Rachel in future seasons, particularly if the latter ends up with the former's baby daddy. Quinn is smart, well-spoken, and not the typical prom queen bitch she was painted as in the first few episodes. She also gets some prime-o acting moments. I'm going to be hella pissed if they don't bring her back to Season 2.

And am I the only one who predicted she'd be giving birth at prom? Looks like (according to Kendra) it'll be spring break instead. Hunh. Her due date keeps slipping around, as does Terri's. I too am SO COMPLETELY OVER this hidden fake pregnancy drama it's not even funny. Especially in this episode, where it looked like tons of shit was about to go down and then none of it did. Schu didn't even get to keep his distraction car!

As for the "Imagine" cover, I will be the first to admit that the first 3/4 of it left me sobbing. After the Jane Addams girls were painted in such a negative, menacing light, and the choir director was played for cheap laughs, I was wary as to what crazy tactic they would use to explain how a deaf glee club could possibly be full of sinister showmanship. But compared to the outright AWFUL Hair/Crazy in Love mix, I found "Imagine" was just the opposite. That number was the beauty found not only in that song - which was built for emotional covers - but in the simplicity with which it was performed. No costumes, nothing flashy - that's what I was expecting from the Jane Addams girls (and from McKinley, too, with their limited budget), not some overproduced hip-hop number. The lead member of the group that narrated it got it perfectly, and their signs are all perfectly synchronized. I didn't even have a problem with Mercedes beginning to siing along, while she was in her chair. To me, that evoked the feeling you get when a piece of music moves you so much you can't help but hum along. If it had just been her voice and the School for the Deaf performing the song in front of her, I would have been sold. But all of the McKinely kids getting up and stealing that moment was overkill. Of course, I was already crying hard enough that there was no return. Ahem.

Good moments, but inconsequential episode overall, imo.

I was feeling the same way about this episode. I thought it might have been because I was in a turkey and champagne induced haze. And I am getting tired of the misogynistic undercurrent that runs through this show. But I still adore Jane Lynch, and I think Eve as the choral director is brilliant casting!

could puck and quinn really not have stayed together just for one whole episode? now we're back where we were at the beginning of the episode. nothing actually happened.

Yeah it was just a meh for me. I wish they had gone into the other competition more instead of making it another baby drama episode. Papa Don't Preach WAS the best part though so I can't complain too much. I've heard some people saying that the "Imagine" performance was offensive to deaf people. How??

Oh I almost forgot, we haven't seen Ken in how many episodes and have barely seen Emma. This needs to stop.

I actually got choked up by the Imagine number BEFORE the New Directions kids joined in. I thought it was beautiful, and proved the point that it was different but still sounded great and got the meaning across. I really think they could have left it without the interruption, which I felt was just sort of strange. I'm all for suspension of disbelief, etc, but it still struck me as odd.

I liked Puck in this episode. In some ways he feels pulled to adulthood and wants to be prove himself responsible, but then again he is just that horny teenage boy who doesn't quite get it yet. He's a caricature, but he's starting to feel very real.

YAH TINA! Didn't really love True Colors, but was excited for her solo and hoping it leads to more.

But yes, basically I agree with you guys about the episode on the whole. Not exactly my favorite.

Oh, and yes - I wanted to echo the sentiments of some other people and say I'd like it if they could maybe keep some of these relationships (rachel/puck, quinn/puck, etc) going for more than one episode. It feels like they feel as though they need to resolve subplots within the hour, and so usually it ends up being too rushed for my taste. I want to explore these possibilities!

I enjoyed the show. I didn't feel the glee kids were rude to join the deaf kids, just that they were compelled to join in. And the Deaf kids didn't look annoyed. Simplicity wins. Imagine there wasn't a difference between Deaf kids and the others...

Do any of you remember what it's like to BE in high school? Were any of you active in your fine arts departments? The drama, the scheming, the everybody-dating-everybody-else (see drama and scheming). I remember high school being wildly over-the-top. Every detail scrutinized and revisited.

I did love the comment about Rachel's wardrobe (toddler/grandmother), and the electric blue pantsuit. But the person who needs a makeover is Finn. Could they dress him to look any more pudgy and soft? Last episode they at least dressed him in button down shirt and he was much improved.

Glad to have a break from Emma and Ken. Glad to actually feel a bit of compassion for Terri. Wish they could keep Sue's character from behavior swings.

I agree with you about the female characters on this show. It's what has kept me at arm's length from it all along, although its manifold other charms keep threatening to pull me under.

But seriously, when it requires outstanding acting on the part of the women to overcome the characters-as-they-are-written, something's wrong.

worst episode yet

i get the feeling the writers on this show don't consult with each other at all; why else would so many storylines be repeated yet manage to contradict earlier developments?

only last week quinn was given refuge by finn and his mother, this week she's ready to dump him for puck? rachel's back to being obsessed with finn having been rejected by him before and last week she was in love with mr shu? the glee club kids are either best friends leaning on each other or speaking to one another for the first time?

even the glorious sue is as inconsistent as the rest of them

and i've lost count of the one episode relationships between various characters

other than the mythical sectionals the only thing moving this thing forward are the relationship dramas and they've been overused already. what the hell will they be doing in season 2?

ps - is the jane adams reform school some kind of shout-out to the nervous actress in hung?

I don't see Rachel as a scheming bitch or bat shit crazy like the others listed. It seems to me that the others in the group are rather nasty to her and treat her like an outsider (a geek among geeks). It's more like she's just an under-pressure, hyper-achiever who's over-compensating.

My Lucy Van Pelt analysis: Have you ever seen those TV commercials where there are 2 little girls sitting at a table, and a man asks them each if they want a pony? After the second girl gets the real pony, the first girl has that look on her face that shows she already knows the injustice of the prettier girls always getting what she wants (and has to work harder for). That first girl is Rachel & the second is Quinn.

Forget about the 2¢. It's on me.


I just started watching the show (due to TLo, of course!) and, having missed the first few eps, am totally confused how Q convinced F that he is the father when they never had sex. Can someone please briefly enlighten me? I know he is not supposed to be the brightest star in the sky, but I think even he knows how babies are made...

"It looks like the place Holly Hobby and Strawberry Shortcake come to hook up."

I guess I might just be biased and used to our New Directions week after week, but I didn't find the Jane Addams girls impressive at all. Bootylicious - not a tough song to sing, and all of their dance moves were the sort of slutty cliches you could find in any hip hop routine at a middle school talent show. Why was Will so threatened by them? Are Salt-n-Pepa going to be the judges at sectionals?

And deaf kids signing "Imagine?" It's been done. If they wanted to go for the hearts of Glee's actual audience, they should have done something truly ironic AND touching at the same time, like "Papa Can You Hear Me?" or "Listen to Your Heart."

And as long as I'm complaining, I realy wish Kurt would get an actual love interest. The QB crush is realistic, yes, but also predictable. This is a fantastic opportunity to show the Fox viewers that Baby Gays can have real, non-obsessive relationships too, in addition to hopeless crushes.

TOPH: spot on criticism. Thanks!

I didn't mind the hearing/deaf collaboration because it was in the spirit of Glee/musical theater: in real life totally unrealistic (or offensive), but here beautiful and showed people uniting in song.

What I found offensive, so much so that I can't believe no one else is mentioning, was the entire character of the deaf choir leader. He was a whiny asshole about his deafness!? I was amazed that such a portrayal could be allowed any more. Of course, after the 2nd episode, I thought the same thing about the portrayal of women on this show, and almost gave up on it entirely. And TLo's comments about that (11 episodes in) are the first I've seen from the commenters that I read or their posters.

To Anonymous 8:27pm:

I have also noticed the portrayal of women in this series, though I confess it took me a couple of episodes to twig on to the fact that every single female character is a complete mess in some way or another; manipulative, drunk, mentally ill. I'm dying to know what kind of mother Ryan Murphy had.

Frankly, the entire CONCEPT of Imagine made me want to scream. Deaf people? are not the hearing's special route to emotional authenticity. They are not your special moment (and nor are kids in wheelchairs, see Artie's self-sacrifice moment in Wheels) Deaf performances DEFINITELY should not be co-opted by the hearing.

And the Deaf kids didn't look annoyed. Simplicity wins. Imagine there wasn't a difference between Deaf kids and the others...

Well, no, because the Deaf kids are actors (I assume they were also Deaf, but part of being an actor is not revealing your real feelings - and unless you are Marlee Matlin, roles for the Deaf played by people who are actually deaf are not that easy to come by.) The actress playing Sue's sister didn't look all that upset that she was being used as a token to demonstrate some kind of softer side to Sue because, what, she's nice to her sister? Awesome. People with disabilities: Your Special Learning Moment! Yours, mine, the temporarily able bodied...

it may not have been the best episode of the season, but it did have some nice solos from characters other than rachel.

also, the strawberry shortcake/holly hobby line is now in my top 5 for the series.

best part for me, personally, was getting my mom to sit & watch. not 2 notes into the imagine number & she was near tears & hooked on the show for life. so, ill call it a win.

also too - big poo on fox for not releasing the videos - just foolishness on their part. viral vids = free advertising. duh!

Hulu has a lot of clips from the show. Not sure if there are any from "Hairography" yet, though.

Not the best episode, and I agree with the critiques, particularly with too many plot inconsistencies and portrayal of female characters.

BUT I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

A place where Holly Hobby and Strawberry Shortcake hook up! Priceless.

I have to respectfully disagree with all those posting that the Glee kids were rude joining in with the deaf kids on "Imagine." Perhaps you have never sung or done any artist musical performance in public. Having people want to join in: clap hands, harmonize, sing along, etc. is very much a compliment! Also, it really showed how the Glee kids needed to get back to who they really are and not what Mr. Shue thinks they need to be just to win.

profp wrote: So, exactly when ARE sectionals?

I know!!! I turned to my family while we were watching this episode and said, "How can they possibly be ready for sections if they change the songs they're doing 3 times an episode?"

I still enjoy this show because it is different than most anything on tv, but it has started losing my interest ove the past two weeks.

Does anyone else think Terry should just fake losing the baby and get on with the business of openly adopting Quinn's baby?

i've started watching GLEE, and though i can't say i love it, i sort of can't look away.

mostly, I'm just slack-jawed with lust for Puck - who, as Cambrita mentioned - seems to be pulled toward adulthood while still also being limited by his 17-year-old horny teenage boy-ness.

Puck seems miles ahead of the other guys on the show in terms of a kind of practical, mental maturity. When he said to Quinn that he's going to be a great dad, but is still a horny teenage guy, I actually BELIEVED IT. the contradiction there somehow proved the probability of the claim.

And wtf? Puck is a gazillion times hotter and more interesting/appealing than dumb Finn (and Puck is more talented, in my opinion) - so why - WHY - is Finn everyone's hearttthrob?

and yes: the holly hobby/strawberry shortcake line was genius.

Loved hearing "Don't Make Me Over" in the background, I think when Quinn was getting Kurt to do the makeover on Rachel.

I keep seeing Will's face on a cartoon drawing of Dudley Dooright and Sue Sylvester's on Snidely Whiplash. When she gets her "crazy eyes" she becomes such a cartoon.

I keep waiting to see Rachel's two Dads, maybe if she and Finn do hook up there'll be an episode with him at dinner and having a case of gay panic.

Frankly, between "imagine" and "True Colors" the music teetered just this side of "I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect Harmony". If they ever do "Desiderada", it's over.

I'm with everyone else about the false pregnancy story and the back and forth with Finn/Quinn/Puck/Rachel. So over it.


I agree with all your points, except the Kurt line you forgot: "This room looks like where Strawberry Shortcake and Holly Hobby go to hook up."

I damn near about DIED. Maybe because I used to play with Strawberry Shortcake and the idea of her going lez just kills me in the good way.

For those who wonder why Imagine-performance is considered offensive, these posts offer some insight to that:

I get that people who aren't disabled may not be able to see why the interruption was so rude (though isn't it basic politeness to allow another choir to perform in peace?), but there are people who have legitimate reasons to be hurt by this performance and they shouldn't be dismissed just because others don't understand.

Ugh. I'm about to side with Dan Savage on this. "Everyone hugs, Everyone learns" Bleh. It's starting to feel manipulative. I'm not laughing much and I'm cringing MUCH more.

I'm all for including the vast variety of human experience in a show, but I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a variety of disabilities shoved onto the screen. "We're competing against the deaf show choir"--funny. "And now we're going to try to make it poignant"--not funny. painful.

Disappointing. Enough with the Beyonce; all her songs repeat five words 100 times. Stick pins in my ears instead.

Joining in with the deaf choir was horribly rude; if the deaf choir had joined them and started signing they wouldn't've known what to do with themselves.

The fake pregnancy storyline is just stupid now. Not camp, not parody, just annoying. Divorce her already and go with the OCD teacher.

Tina sings! About frickin' time. But "True Colors"? Please. What, the rights to "Memory" or "Yesterday" or some other overdone song weren't available?

"Tui said: Frankly, the entire CONCEPT of Imagine made me want to scream. Deaf people? are not the hearing's special route to emotional authenticity. They are not your special moment (and nor are kids in wheelchairs, see Artie's self-sacrifice moment in Wheels) Deaf performances DEFINITELY should not be co-opted by the hearing. "

These posts about the Glee kids joining in with the deaf choir, being somehow offensive, remind me of Norman Lear saying (in an interview) that All In The Family would never get made today.

Disabled people are not so fragile that they cannot be included, or cannot take a joke. AND they are (more importantly) not all of one mind on any subject, including this one. Like any other group, some will be offended and others not. But the reality is, if they are going to be included in the show, they are going to be (rightfully) included, equally, in the satire of a show that is known for not being politically correct. Everyone on this show takes turns being the butt of the joke - every character, every group.

To have disabled people in the show, but left out of either the comedy or the shmaltz, would be patronizing - and that would be wrong.


(freaking AWESOME name by the way)

I wasn't offended by the joining in of the glee kids with the deaf choir. I just felt the scene was poorly executed. I really thought it was cool when Mercedes started singing with the lead from her seat. She should have kept on singing but stayed in her seat and then maybe at the end she could have walked up the lead and high-fived him.

Enough with the disabilities being shoved down our throats. Yeah, we get it, high school is diverse...

"I get that people who aren't disabled may not be able to see why the interruption was so rude (though isn't it basic politeness to allow another choir to perform in peace?), but there are people who have legitimate reasons to be hurt by this performance and they shouldn't be dismissed just because others don't understand."

It is impossible to create a show that offends no one, (and nowadays it's even more impossible to have a show that some won't use for manufactured outrage).

With regard to it not being 'basic politeness' that the glee kids joined in I can only ask, Is this the first episode you've watched? Seriously, what is realistic in the depiction of anything? There may be some emotional resonance, to keep it grounded just enough, but everything here is Mickey & Judy on steroids. It's panto. It's not a documentary - it's an updated, old-fashioned musical comedy with a warped sense of humor. But it also plays on (mocks) stereotypes in a politically incorrect way.

I thought it was balanced. There was the sweet shmaltzy 'Imagine' scene, coupled with the running gag of the deaf teacher being the butt of some jokes. They even each other out.

What keeps the show from being offensive is it's funny, it's not mean spirited, and it has a basic democracy: Every one takes turns being the target.


"toodles said: I wasn't offended by the joining in of the glee kids with the deaf choir. I just felt the scene was poorly executed. I really thought it was cool when Mercedes started singing with the lead from her seat. She should have kept on singing but stayed in her seat and then maybe at the end she could have walked up the lead and high-fived him."

I was just responding to the comments that say the execution made the scene offensive.

I agree, they could have had a different execution, though I think it worked OK the way it was. Your way sounds OK too - it just would have been a different scene. The thing about this show is the broad strokes, (that's what makes it theatre of the absurd) and I think having the glee kids join in was a broad stroke. But I liked the result too.


@Scimommy, 7:17 pm: Finn became "overexcited" in a hot tub with Quinn, and she told him someone told her it was the easiest way to get pregnant. Go to to see past episodes.

aim said: This episode blew. What was the point of having Puck be really sweet to Quinn one minute and then be a total Tool the next?

To remind us he's still a punk. I've noticed on some message boards that he's been woobified, so I was kind of happy to see that he hasn't suddenly transformed into Quinn's knight in shining armor.

RE: The "Imagine" number. I can understand why people might find it offensive, but nothing is sacred on this show. Also, a bunch of high school kids (perhaps thoughtlessly) interrupting a deaf choir's performance is nothing compared to some of the stuff that comes out of Sue's mouth, and she's probably the most popular character on the show.

Also, everything Gotham Tomato said on the subject.

Laura B said... To Anonymous 8:27pm:

I have also noticed the portrayal of women in this series, though I confess it took me a couple of episodes to twig on to the fact that every single female character is a complete mess in some way or another; manipulative, drunk, mentally ill. I'm dying to know what kind of mother Ryan Murphy had.

I honestly don't see a problem with the female characters. Yeah, they have their problems, but the guys aren't exactly well-adjusted either. Will can be selfish and misguided, often ignoring what's best for the kids and the glee club in order to feed his ego and win his war with Sue; Puck is a bully who pushes the uncool kids into lockers; Finn is just marginally smarter than Brittany; and he wants to be a good father but, until recently, hasn't been willing to do the work. Ken is so pathetic that he's willing to marry a woman who not only doesn't love him, but seems disgusted by him; and Sandy's a pedophile.

It's true that, for some viewers, Terry is the most irredeemable character (and by some viewers, I mean me. :) ) But Will isn't setting the TV world on fire either in the likability department. I think it's pretty evenly divided.

Um...I don't think people were claiming the "Imagine" scene itself was horribly offensive, but rather that it would be if it actually happened in real life. Of course the deaf singers weren't offeneded - they are actors and knew what would happen. However, anyone claiming this would fly or be ok or "touching" in real life has obviously never performed on a stage and needs a clue.

(Even in the context of the show I didn't think it worked all that well - "Come sing for us! And we'll get bored 'cause you can't actually 'sing' and we'll just get up, take over, and sing the number over you. Yay for feelings! Bye!" Uh....ok lol.)

Also, why is everyone on the Internet saying this is Tina's first solo? Has everyone forgotten Tonight?

Honestly, if "Imagine" was supposed to be funny, then it wouldn't be offensive. But it's supposed to be touching? Give me a break.

I was SO looking forward to seeing a performance by the Deaf school, because I've seen some KILLER dance routines put on by Deaf schools in the past. When you use your body to speak, dance can take on a whole new meaning, and a whole new level of beauty. But to have them standing in place, looking small and frightened, just to be saved by the Magical Hearing People? GROSS.

It's not just women in general who get short shrift on this show, it's especially mothers. Finn's is dead, Rachel has two dads, Kurt's is dead, Terri's sister is awful, Terri/Quinn leave something to be desired as moms-to-be. That leaves only Emma as potentially positive mother material, and she is far outshone by Sue's "don't have the time, don't have the uterus" attitude.

"I was SO looking forward to seeing a performance by the Deaf school, because I've seen some KILLER dance routines put on by Deaf schools in the past. When you use your body to speak, dance can take on a whole new meaning, and a whole new level of beauty."

I hope they have these kids do "Proud Mary" in the cheat-tastic sectionals that are supposedly coming up. I'm just interested as to what the approach would be from a coreographic (is that even a word? No?) standpoint.

For people complaining about women, how many men on this show get shown in a positive light?

Schuster isn't exactly Mr. Perfect. Puck is typical horny teenager, Finn is typical dumb jock, Kurt is a bitchy conniving gay boy. Even the minor male characters haven't been exactly model men. Only Artie's character seems mostly positive (and the same could be said for Mercedes).

Every character on the show has their good moments and their faults.

It's a show, in large part, based on a bunch of eccentric and over the top personalities. that's what makes it interesting.

This show also has a lot of female characters in it. Even Terri's character, I've grown to have some sympathy for. Sue had that touching moment with her sister. Quinn's image has softened.

I don't think the show is all that bad for women, and the number of roles they have in the show is quite a lot.

@Gotham Tomato: the reason that it was rude for the New Directions choir to interrupt the deaf choir was not just that it would be rude for any choir to interrupt another. It was rude from an artistic standpoint. I read this moment as the creators thinking, "Nobody has the attention span to actually watch a deaf performance, so let's incorporate New Directions into it and gradually have them take over, because deaf people couldn't possibly be as entertaining as hearing performers, and besides, we can sell the song on iTunes later!" The fact that the song was released with the deaf singers' voices cut out proves the point. It's not a case of some people being too PC; it's a case of this being an actually offensive moment, as well as an artistically offensive moment. I was really enjoying the performance until the New Directions kids joined in. It was aesthetically jarring to have them rub their treacly, processed voices and faux-pious expressions all over a simple, clean performance. It was terrible writing and terrible directing.
As far as your points about "broad stokes" blah blah, I agree with you up to a point. Yes, musicals are broad, but that's okay if they remain consistent. Same thing with opera, which is a high art version of musicals. It's fine if characters suddenly burst into song or make real obvious symbolic gestures. But it stops working when the rules of the reality the characters are in (and the character themselves) are wildly inconsistent. You can't fan-wank every instance of "Glee" writing being bad by claiming "Oh, it's just a musical!"
Also, the whole "if this [show/film/book] takes potshots at everybody, then it's somehow not racist/sexist/homophobic" defense is crap. Even if it were true --which . . . when do rich/middle-class white Anglos get mocked, again? Could you tell me which scene that is? What about rich/middle-class white men? You could argue that the portrayal of Quinn's parents made fun of rich white people, but conservative Christians are actually a minority in our culture, so that's not a viable example. You could argue that Will is portrayed as being pathetic, but the reasons they show him to be pathetic have to do with his character, not with his gender or sexuality or class level or whatever, i.e., he is not stereotyped like other characters. But, assuming your "this show makes fun of everybody" thing WAS true, that doesn't make it okay. Because white men hold more power than other groups, it doesn't really hurt them when prejudices about them are reaffirmed. "Yes, white guys do be liking mayo" is not a hurtful thing to affirm, whereas consistently portraying women as being either hysterical and clingy or hysterical and evil does reaffirm the views of people who think that women should all act like Charlotte from "Sex and the City." Lots of teens and tweens and red staters watch this show, and validating their prejudices about how women should and should not express themselves is a damaging thing. Furthermore, we might all laugh when the character of Mike is referred to as "Other Asian," but how do you think that made the actor feel? Or his family, watching at home? Or the thousands of male Asian actors who can't get cast due to Western prejudices against Asian males, and so whom would kill to get a chance to play this racist punchline of a character? Do you think it makes them feel awesome?
I'm not trying to be a jerk or rant and rave (maybe I've only partially been successful.) But there are elements to "Glee" that really irk me.

Also as an ethnic white girl, I find it annoying when Rachel is constantly characterized as being far less attractive than Quinn. As far as I can tell, they are equally attractive, except that Quinn is blonder and has more WASP-y features. It doesn't send me crying to my bed or anything, but I notice it, and then I worry about impressionable non-blonde teens and young women watching the show and deciding that they are not beautiful because they don't fit the Barbie ideal. That's just one example of how "Glee" needs to clean up its act. It's okay to make fun of people, but give Mercedes (for instance) some actual personality traits and then make fun of her. "Sassy" and "fat" are not personality traits. Emma is a great, fully rounded character with very specific tics. They do a great job of mocking mental illness there. Lend the other characters Emma's writer, please.

I'm still on board as a Gleek, but this episode was kind of dull. I really wish Quinn hadn't changed her mind and decided to keep the baby, if only to kick the baby drama plot up a notch.

I'm not going to drag out the discussion on the "Imagine" number any further, since I think everyone has already made their case. I will say, however, that as I watched it, I immediately thought "'Mr Holland's Opus' did this so much better with 'Beautiful Boy'". Apples and oranges, I know, but that was my first thought for some reason.

I am in complete agreement on bullet point #2 and was so annoyed by it that I couldn't entirely enjoy the song. I will admit to getting a little choked up by the end of it though.

I think you're right. These Hollywood types need to be held accountable for the insensitive portrayals they force-feed the unsuspecting public. I was just watching some show the other day called, 'The Wizard of Oz' (I don't know if you've heard of it). It was sooo unrealistic I couldn't believe it was even on TV!

For starters, how stupid does that director think we are, that he thought we wouldn't notice everything change from black & white to color? When does that happen in real life? I think the director was just too cheap to get color film for the whole movie and he didn't think we'd notice. If I lived in Kansas, I'd be offended (do they have TV in Kansas yet?)

I mean seriously, how offensive is THAT Oz movie? Just look at its' misogynistic depiction of single women: Poor Miss Gulch - all she wants is to live in peace and instead has to deal with stray dogs digging up her garden, and then sexual harassment from pervy Uncle Henry (and you can just tell that she isn't the first woman who's been slapped in the ass by his swinging gate), and then they portray her as losing her shit over a pair of shoes? Since when did wanting a new pair of shoes become a crime? And then they KILL HER? Over a pair of shoes (and get rewarded for it)? If I was green, I'd be offended. What kind of example does that set for young people?

And this storyline of the Scarecrow, Tin Man & Lion going to the government for a brain, a heart & courage: Who wants to watch liberal, socialist, nazi democrats expecting everyone else to pay for their healthcare because they are too lazy to get it on their own anyway? It's just one more example of typical Hollywood elite healthcare reform propaganda. And where is GLAAD, and why aren't they complaining about the offensive portrayal of that Lion?

How offensive was that staging when the Lion tried to pour his heart out over the discrimination he has suffered & instead of just listening, the others just jumped into his number and debased him by putting some broken pottery on his head and forcing him to wear a carpet?? It would have been so much better if they just sat there listening to him. The thing that shocks me is that Peta & GLAAD (& Equity) haven't come to blows (and not the good kind) over this (not to mention the stereotypical depiction of lions, tigers, bears and flying monkeys as violent predators). Carnivores are NOT your teachable moments, humans!

And what's with Dorothy and those 3 guys anyway? You just know that's some kinky foursome going on there, and not only is that illegal in most states, but it sets a poor example for children. It's that slippery slope that Rick Santorum warned us about!! It's those liberal elites again - glamorizing runaway teenagers and trying to change the definition of Opposite Marriage!! (That Dorothy doesn't belong in a movie - she belongs on some MSNBC crime program - and so does that pimp, Professor Marval.)

I hate to think what would happen if children were to watch this horrible movie! It is just two hours of perversion, violence, and hallucinegenics, and all because some bratty girl wouldn't put her dog on a leash! It's like My Super Sweet 16 set to music!

Who would ever believe that crap? I don't think we'll be hearing any more of THAT movie (or the people in it).


I don't get what the big deal about Glee is. Beside the guy with the mowhawk being hot, and Jane Lynch I just did not "get it" and from the first episode I thought how they portrayed women was a little slimy.

So I don't watch it.

It really is that easy. If you don't like the show or how people are portrayed, you can change the channel. A show can't work for every person, and that's okay.

I DO love reading the TLO commentary and notes though!

Re : HighlyOffendedTomato
Well said ( and hilarious, nice Santorum reference) . Lighten up people. TV is pretend for adults.

Everyone on the show is crazy, men and women alike. And not that cray cray either, didn't we all just spend the holiday with our relatives? There is crazy everywhere. At least of Glee they can sing.

Love Kendra. More Emma. No more Beyonce.

More Sue Sylvester, please!

I did the Rachel/Kurt scenes over their love for Finn. Both the scene about being "second" choice and the very last scene where they give that half wave in the hallway. Sigh. I just love Kurt.

This show does not air on NBC, CBS or ABC, it airs on FOX. I don't think "politically correct" is anywhere on their agenda. Their most successful show is Family Guy for god's sake. And that's why we love it.

LOL Gotham Tomato. But you missed the offensive glamorizing of drug use in that Oz movie. I mean, they fall asleep in a field of poppies (opium/heroin) and need snow (cocaine) to wake up!! Just what are they pushing on our kids?

@Gotham Tomato: Obviously you're pretty married to your viewpoint. I do find it interesting that you used "The Wizard of Oz" as the central metaphor for your rebuttal, however, since one of the most successful recent musicals, "Wicked," is actually a deconstruction of some of the race and gender dynamics in "The Wizard of Oz," and it's done pretty well.
You seem to miss the point--perhaps I did not make it well enough--that I'm not asking that the female/working-class/black/gay/whathaveyou characters on "Glee" be portrayed as awesome saints all the time. I'm just disappointed that they aren't given more complexity, since I know the writers can do that. The character of Ken, for instance, is mixed race, but that isn't his sole personality trait. The gay characters (Sandy and Kurt) are also fairly nuanced. Contrast that with Mercedes, whose portrayal is limited to lines discarded as "too stereotypical" for UPN. Also notice that Mercedes and Sue are the only major female characters on the show not given some kind of love interest. Instead, they have unrequited crushes for an episode each. The plain fact is that if Jane Lynch were 10 years younger or the actress that plays Mercedes 50 lbs thinner, they definitely would have love interests by now--it's just the way that TV usually works. But older women and heavier women are not allowed to have their sexualities portrayed on TV--it might be threatening to the precious white male 18-49 demographic. For that matter, you'll probably never see a storyline about Kurt having a regular love interest with whom he regularly engages in physical activity, the way other characters will be allowed to. Yes, dramas and musicals are sometimes unrealistic, but showing certain types of sexually mature individuals as being neutered isn't just unrealistic, it's political. If you want to believe that media has no influence on culture or cultural norms, that's your right--but it's my right to point out that "Glee" is full of lazy, pandering cliches.

This episode left me dissatisfied and annoyed. None of the characters are very likable, including the guys, and that is beginning to irk me. Also, Sue Sylvester wasn't even funny in this episode, she was just mean-spirited and playing dirty -- there was no way Jane Lynch could save it with that writing, and it was a shame.
I will say that even though the Kendra character is obnoxious, that actress is really funny and just so over the top that she is what makes every scene she's in.

Speaking of over the top, that's the problem with all the women in this show. They're not being portrayed realistically at all, they're just over-zealous or desperate shrews with their own selfish agendas.

The baby drama is also leaving me extremely irritated, and the flipping-flopping plot isn't helping. I keep hoping that that storyline will get wrapped up tightly in one episode, but obviously we're going to have to wait until the season finale to find out what the story is.

Also -- I'm surprised no one has addressed this -- but won't it look bad to have an enormously pregnant 16 year old as a member of the Glee club, for sectionals? Not that it's the other kids' fault, of course, but it paints the whole group in a negative light, I'd say.

The positives of this episode were that Quinn and Terri were finally portrayed as multidimensional people, even though they are both still really vindictive women. Quinn is manipulative and cruel, but she still had vulnerable moments that were apparent with her fight with Puck and her chat with Finn at the end of the episode. I still can't believe she hasn't told Finn that truth, especially after he confessed that he spent time with Rachel outside of school (which Quinn covertly wanted him to do, anyway).

Quinn's solo was painful to watch, I'm really sorry, but it was. I fast-forwarded through it.

The other songs were only OK, and can we please stop with Beyonce? We've heard "Crazy in Love," "Bootylicious" and "Halo," and I think we're all groaning at the Beyonce overkill.

"Imagine" was moving when the deaf choir was performing, but I felt embarrassed as hell when Mercedes stood up, uninvited, and joined in with them. Yes, her character was supposed to be feeling very moved by the experience, but for god's sake, feel moved from the audience -- that's the point. You have your own chance to perform, and getting up to sign with the deaf choir is patronizing. Can you imagine how the director would react if that were to happen in real life? It was completely inappropriate.

Sorry, Glee, but this episode was bargain bin quality for you guys.

Oh, and how could I forget Beyonce's "Single Ladies" was also a major plot-driver in one episode. Too much Beyonce on Glee!!!

We may be missing the point of all the Beyonce songs. The ep was called "Hairology" and was making fun of the smoke and mirrors which is that type of dancing. Isn't that exactly what Beyonce does on stage? I mean, she's an awesome singer but I watched that concert on TDay night and all she did was wiggle her ass and throw her hair around in terms of "dancing". Or maybe those were stripper moves...

"Marie said: If you want to believe that media has no influence on culture or cultural norms, that's your right--but it's my right to point out that "Glee" is full of lazy, pandering cliches."

That's because it's a COMEDY. That is what comedy does. It plays on recognizable aspects of society. To its credit, Glee gives the audience credit for being smart enough to get that - though given that it's on FOX, that might be it's biggest mistake. (On FOX it's not too hard to be too hip for the room).

The reality is that Glee is just one show. It can't - or shouldn't have to - carry all the hopes/dreams/baggage of every single demographic group on its shoulders.

It is nothing but fluff: Just a light, musical comedy. That's all. If some people don't get the jokes, they should move on and find something simpler. Aside from that, it has a big cast: Who could realistically expect every character & storyline to be completely fleshed out in so few episodes. It is ridiculous to expect that. Once all the characters are all fleshed out there's nowhere to go and the show is over.

And btw, did I say that media has no influence? No. The fact that you are obviously reading things into what I write that aren't there, tells me that you are reading things into Glee that aren't there as well.


I agree with your assessment of female characters TLo - I wish there was more of Finn's mother. (And Tina, and Mercedes._

The show where she found out Quinn was knocked up... actually all of her moments in the last episode were wonderful! A truly wonderful character wrapped in a denim vest :-)

I don't think Tina's "Tonight" solo counts, because the only purpose of it seemed to be to make the actress blow the high note (which she can probably sing just fine) so she'd pale next to Rachel.

And if Quinn performs in sectionals while pregnant, well, that's one more diverse demographic being represented, now isn't it?

And since they've already sung "True Colors," I'm betting the big sectionals finale is going to be something even schmaltzier, like "We Are the World." (UGH.)

"Momsy said: But you missed the offensive glamorizing of drug use in that Oz movie. I mean, they fall asleep in a field of poppies (opium/heroin) and need snow (cocaine) to wake up!! Just what are they pushing on our kids?"

Yes! Its a conspiracy!


td said...

I don't think Tina's "Tonight" solo counts, because the only purpose of it seemed to be to make the actress blow the high note (which she can probably sing just fine) so she'd pale next to Rachel

I don't think so...her "blowing" the note was not a plot point in that show, nor was the performance - she sang it, it was over, and it was never referred to again. This was her first "solo," and it plus "True Colors" do not reveal a fantastically strong voice. The character did not blow the note, the actress just had a hard time with it - a high C is pretty high for a lot of female singers, and this chick's voice was reaching before she even hit the end of the song. Maria requires a much stronger lead than this girl managed.

Some people are having a hard time discerning television from reality. Good gravy, people, relax! Enjoy the laughs! And if you prefer a perfectly politically correct world, watch PBS.

The Holly Hobby/Strawberry Shortcake line forced me to pause my TV while I laughed uncontrollably for the next 5 minutes.

I think Tina isn't supposed to have a great voice, and I'm guessing the actress's voice isn't great either. But I was still happy that Tina had a solo. Hers is much better suited to "True Colors" than Rachel's is.

td said: And if Quinn performs in sectionals while pregnant, well, that's one more diverse demographic being represented, now isn't it?

Yes. Yes it is. And good for the show. If we're going to be serious about Glee (and there are parts of it that are serious and truthful, e.g., Kurt and his dad), it would be wrong to kick Quinn out of glee club just because she's pregnant.

And since they've already sung "True Colors," I'm betting the big sectionals finale is going to be something even schmaltzier, like "We Are the World." (UGH.)

Ha! td, I've been expecting that for a while now, and dreading the moment. And, yet, I know darn well I'll sit through it. Because I don't want to miss a second of this show.

Gotham Tomato: Forget it, GT. It's Chinatown.

Okay, I'm going to start out by saying I'm not a regular watcher of Glee. But from what I've seen I have to agree with GT -- it's ridiculous and over-the-top -- deliberately so. It mines laughs out of very uncomfortable situations. This sort of comedy isn't for everyone. Look at the now-classic line "Haven't got the time, haven't got the uterus." I'm sure that there were many women who have had hysterectomies, or are for some other reason uterus-deprived, who were highly offended at this line. Should they have been? I can't answer that. I can only speak for myself, and I think that that character is funny because she says ridiculously inappropriate things. Same with the show as a whole.

I can see why people object to the New Directions kids joining in -- that was supposed to be a "touching" moment, not an amusing or satirical one. Personally, I didn't have a problem with the way it played out, but I would have ended it with the deaf kids using the vacated chairs to beat the ND kids about the head with them.

Now there's a touching moment!

Gotham Tomato: LOVED your Oz crtique. I am not a big fan of female law enforcement officers marrying repeat offenders and then kidnapping a baby, which is then re-stolen by escaped convicts and placed in harrowing circumstances, etc etc etc, but I love "Raising Arizona." When a film or television show is superbly written, directed and acted, I'm all the more willing to suspend disbelief.

Marie, Right on!

Oh people, some of y'all are just too serious. It's a tv show. It's funny. They break into song. GothamTomato, I love you. That Wizard of Oz thing was hysterical!

@Gotham Tomato
My original point was that the deaf choir take-over moment was politically and aesthetically offensive. Politically, because it blatantly privileged the hearing performers over the deaf performers, and aesthetically because it was cringe-inducingly mawkish. From what I know of the deaf community, many deaf people would have found that moment deeply offensive. If your life is so awesome that you're never offended by the media, bully for you--chances are that you are a straight white middle-class man or lady and the media is (largely) catering to your tastes. If you weren't offended by that particular moment, fine. But why jump all over people who were? Why insist that they are big dummies who don't understand comedy? What's your horse in this race?
My comment about your not acknowledging media influence has to do with the fact that your closing/trump card argument seems to be that "Glee" is just a silly show, fluff, etc., i.e. that you are right by default because I am wrong for thinking seriously about "Glee" in the first place. I contend that, since "Glee" is a show that millions of people watch and write about and read about that it is automatically important. If more people pay attention to a TV show than to the President's trip to Shanghai, then it is a cultural phenomenon and therefore worthy of critical examination.

Your assumption that I don’t like “Glee” because its subtle jokes are just TOO FAR OVER MY HEAD is hilarious.

As for this: “Aside from that, it has a big cast: Who could realistically expect every character & storyline to be completely fleshed out in so few episodes. It is ridiculous to expect that. Once all the characters are all fleshed out there's nowhere to go and the show is over,” may I respectfully disagree? If the writing, acting, and direction is good, a character can be sharply draw in just a few minutes. I submit “The Wire,” “The Simpsons,” “The Sopranos,” “Futurama,” “Rome,” “Deadwood,” and basically every HBO show ever as evidence that shows can present incredibly complex microcosmic worlds if they are well-made. When we know more about the characters, it makes them more fascinating, not less, since the more we know about a character’s motivations and secrets the more interesting it is to watch them interact with (and clash with) other characters.

Comedy doesn’t work by repeating clichés, it works by inverting clichés. It works by playing on clichés, yes, but it’s funny only if these variations are new, surprising, or specific. Sue is the funniest character on the show because we never know what she’ll say next. Mercedes is the most boring character on the show because we know what she’ll say before she says it. Sue is not a cliché, whatever else you might think about her, and Mercedes is a cliché from head to toe (and from 1996, no less.) Does anybody think Mercedes is funny?

Also, commenters on a recap telling other commenters on a recap that they’re taking a show “too seriously” is really the pot calling the kettle black. We’re all here to chew the fat. It’s not a productive use of our time—we could be emailing our grandmothers or loading the dishwasher—but here we are. Let’s not get hoity-toity about it.
At the end of the day, I actually like “Glee”; I’m just disappointed with the writing over the last couple episodes. I think it has potential, but I’m worried that, by the end of this season, Mr. Shue will be entering the kids into the Special Olympics (Sue will suggest it as a “confidence-building exercise”) where they will triumph over kids with MS and non-verbal autistics, allowing them to get their moxie back just in time for sectionals. Flushed with success, they will repair to their hotel, where they will reenact key scenes from Lars Von Trier’s “The Idiots” while Mr. Shue looks on with a tear in his eye.


YOU are full of awesome!

I don't think Quinn and Rachel are either batshit crazy or scheming bitches. I think they both have these heartbreaking holes in them that they are desperately longing to fill. They may act a little erratically but it's because of their desperation. I don't think it's fair to group them with Kendra, Terri, and Sue.

I will agree, though, that they need to stop doing that thing where Rachel and Finn almost get together but then it's ruined. Quinn almost dumps Finn for Puck but then it's ruined. Hopefully now that Quinn has given up on Puck there won't be so much will-they-or-won't-they every episode.

"Marie said: From what I know of the deaf community, many deaf people would have found that moment deeply offensive."

I actually have relatives who are deaf, (it's genetic in one small branch of my family) and while I haven't asked them about this particular show yet, I seriously doubt they'd be offended. They are hearing impaired, not humor impaired. Deaf people (or any other disabled people) are like any other people: They do not all think or speak with one mind. There is as wide a variety of thought and agenda within their community as in any other community. As I said, some will be offended & some won't.

I've also spent many years working with physically disabled kids and what I have found is that, generally, with the kids I've worked with, they have more sense of humor about disability than able bodied people have about their own shortcomings. Of the kids I've worked with, more than not would be happy to be represented and think it's all funny to be treated with EQUALITY, rather than treated as the typical, set-apart, noble disabled.


As far as I'm concerned, the only highlight of this episode was that "Papa Don't Preach" didn't sound nearly as over-mixed to the point of ridiculousness as the club numbers usually do.

Gotham Tomato, I laughed out loud at the Wizard of Oz thing, thank you!

And I didn't find the deaf choir scene offensive in the least. I felt like the hearing kids were moved, started singing, because, hey, they don't know sign language, people. And then they tried to learn the signs with the deaf kids. Those of you saying they should have "stayed in their seats" have obviously never tried to do sign language while standing across from someone. Not so easy.

Also, this wasn't the competition, it was just a performance in their rehearsal room. And the New Directions kids were so obviously bad at the sign language, I didn't see how their flailing was "upstaging" anything. Sure, we could hear them singing, but the deaf kids couldn't. They'd just see a bunch of hearing kids trying to do sign language. What's wrong with that?

I loved True Colors. But WHAT is UP with the fact that every song is so over-produced with computers that it is hard to tell what their voices sound like? Seriously, real glee clubs use real vocals. I wish they would be simple with it sometimes.

I think Tina isn't supposed to have a great voice, and I'm guessing the actress's voice isn't great either.

Jenna Ushkowitz actually does have a great voice. She was in Into the Woods on Broadway as well as Spring Awakening where she met the girl who plays Rachel and became friends.

I do think she wasn't supposed to hit the high-C because it was designed to forward the plot. Her voice is quite lovely.

Thanks for filling me in on Jenna Ushkowitz, badmommy.

@Sarah S. 11/28/09 3:31 PM
It's not just women in general who get short shrift on this show, it's especially mothers. Finn's is dead...

I'm confused as to why people think women are portrayed badly in the show. I'm a female and a feminist and think Glee is super funny and the women on the show are hysterical.

Far from being dead, Finn's mother is a wonderful, loving mom who supports her son even when disappointed by his actions. Her and Kurt's father are excellent examples of good parents. Tina and Mercedes are also examples of positively portrayed women.

In general, most of the women and most of the men need to be cast with quirks - that's why this show is so awesome!

for me, it perfectly fit the show for the new directions kids to join during Imagine. Call it rude, but I think the whole point was the power of song to join people together.

I love Kurt's line about Rachel's room looking like where Holly Hobbie and Strawberry Shortcake come to hook up. Him and Sue are definitely the funniest.

BALMAIN for women

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