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Friday, January 4, 2013

Last Week in TV #15

And we're back! This week we'll look at some pre-holiday holdovers, including my mini-marathon catch-up on Glee, as well as the handful of new episodes that have aired post-Christmas. 

The Simpsons: To Cur With Love 


A perfectly cromulent episode, though a little underwhelming after the (admittedly unintentional) build-up following its initial preemption. The much-hyped "Homer becomes obsessed with a social media game" plot, intended to skewer things like Farmville and the Simpsons own Tapped Out (of which I am currently obsessed) also ultimately amounted to very little. Futurama's "Jurassic Bark" was a far more poignant dog story, but I'm enough of a softie (and dog lover) to still find this somewhat affecting, if, like Bart's casual and metatextual checking off of supporting character origins, pretty unexciting.

Lisa: I love that dog, but that is one long, stupid name.

Grampa: All of my stories have endings now. They’re putting something in my Jell-O at the home.


Family Guy: Jesus, Mary and Joseph


Perhaps in a testament to the creative staffs' relative interest in the two subject matters, this parody of the Nativity Story isn't quite up to the level of the Star Wars parodies, but it gets the job done, and I'm certainly glad to see another holiday episode in the show's catalog. Presenting the three wise men as whacky sitcom characters was inspired, and I particularly enjoyed all the jokes calling out how sucky life was for women in biblical times.


American Dad: National Treasure 4: Baby Franny: She's Doing Well: The Hole Story


This was neither the planned Christmas episode that was supposed to air on 12/14, nor as across-the-board funny as the previous "Adventures in Haley-sitting", but the end result was a surprisingly touching examination of Francine's life, with a nice dose of over-the-top comedy at the end, thanks to Will Forte's insane firefighter Henry.

Other Thoughts
The Stan/Roger B plot also injected the episode with some additional laughs. I particularly enjoyed Guiseppe, the cobbler.

I'm also glad the episode made it clear that "Baby Franny" was actually seven or eight when she fell down the well; the math wasn't quite working out when I was picturing her more like a toddler..


Top Chef: Foiled Again


The Quickfire in this one was a lot fun, putting a couple great obstacles in the path of the contestants (and I feel bad for whatever poor intern(s) had to wrap all that food in aluminum foil), whereas the elimination challenge seemed to throw a lot of unnecessary and unstated twists (like the limited cooking space) into the mix. Not surprisingly, the underconfidant Danyele got the ax; more midseason chaff culling.

Other Thoughts
Kristen, on the other hand, is emerging as a legitimate contender.

For all his talk of taking a political stand, John's repeated needling of Stefan over using frozen tuna came off as a desperate attempt to undermine a threatening opponent. Very annoying. I'm glad he ended up in the bottom.

Speaking of annoying, the Television Without Pity recapper for this show referred to Josie in this episode as a female Guy Fieri, which is hilariously apt.

Jalapeno Business


While I'm not surprised to see him go (consistently putting out bland food can only keep you in the middle for as long as the really crappy chefs stick around), I'm kinda bummed Bart got the ax. His personality was about as underseasoned as his food apparently was, but there was something about him I liked. I'd have much rather seen Josie get the boot, though I doubt the producers would let that happen now that she's generating so much angst amongst the contestants.

Other Thoughts
The "this season on Top Chef" promos made a much bigger deal out of the oyster hunt than what turned out to be little more than a Quickfire field trip.

Josie suggesting Micah is gay was more bizarre than anything else. And look, I'm all about getting pumped up at sporting events, but from the look of it, she was being hella annoying. If you're going to make noise, at least be aware of what is going on and don't yell about a player who isn't even playing. 

Like Kristen, Brooke has emerged as another legitimate contender. In that regard, I appreciated her being in the top this week, even though she had to drag John along to do it.

Similarly, I continue to enjoy watching Mustache Josh flail about consistently in the bottom. He's clearly talented enough to hang around, but unless he turns things around soon, I could see him being a near-the-finals elimination. Can't come soon enough.

Something's Fishy


Wow. I'm legitimately shocked that John was sent home. Especially after he ended up in the bottom next to Lizzie. Especially after he and Josh got into it again. Especially especially after they gave him another chance to cook. And while he'll probably swoop back in at the last minute via Last Chance Kitchen (I haven't heard yet who won this week), it's still surprising that the season's main villain was axed so soon, and ahead of at least a few chefs who have yet to really make their mark.

Other Thoughts
Look, douchenozzle: holding the pickles hostage and presenting a lackluster burger would NOT have saved you and sent Lizzie home. For someone who professes to be a fan of the show, he should know that the judges rarely (if ever) send someone home on a technicality like that. Hell, people have won "cook healthy" challenges with a blatantly unhealthy dish before - at the end of the day, all the judges really care about is how good the food is, not whether or not you included one of the random ingredients they mentioned. 

I always enjoy the Quickfire relays, but this one seemed a little lackluster, possibly because it came later in the season. It was hilarious though when John called for a check on the knives before his team was ready and his ended up being the only one not sharp enough.

Similarly, the Elimination Challenge wasn't as good as it could have been, playing on Top Chef history like it did, in part because the memorable moments were an odd assortment of food-related moments (Jamie's scallops, the Mikes' bacon) and moments that were just people arguing (Betty and Marcel, the season 4 stew room blow up), the end result being something that wasn't the clear cut trip down memory lane the producers were shooting for, and in part because there was the arbitrary "oh, also, make it healthy" stipulation.  Like the berry challenge, this smacked of a random "let's stir up some shit" restraint. I have no problem with the notion of a Healthy Choice-sponsored "take something fatty and make it healthy" challenge, but make that the main challenge instead of using it to unnecessarily complicate another one.


Glee: Thanksgiving


So this episode was mainly an excuse to bring back any returning alumni we hadn't seen yet this season (which is pretty much just Quinn), but, call me a sucker if you will, it worked for me. The minimalistic opening number did a nice job of capturing that "first time home from college" vibe, and Glee is never better than when it manages to capture and express a specific emotion. And pairing the returning graduates with New New Directions was a smart movethat kept the old cast from overshadowing the new while allowing for fond recollections of past stories. 

Other Thoughts
It cracks me up that Glee aired a new episode on Thanksgiving, but it wasn't this episode.

I'm glad that Santana at least figured out what was going on with Marley and Kitty, but it's pretty lame that Quinn never caught on that Kitty was playing her, and that the Quinn/Santana slapfest was shuffled aside largely unresolved (also, Quinn is dating a married older professor? Good to know she hasn't entirely grown up...).  

I'm also glad the whole Rachel/Brody/Cassandra July triangle amounted to very little, mainly because the less Cassandra July the better.

I love that Finn is even dressing like Mr. Schue these days.

So WTF was up with that Kiki song Sarah Jessica Parker sung? Has anyone heard of it before? Is it, like, a thing? Because it was just really bizarre to me, and kinda made me feel embarrassed to be watching Glee.

The other Rachel/Kurt "Thanksgiving in New York" material was pretty strong though. I appreciated both Kurt calling Rachel and Brody on their not-so-subtle flirting whilst cooking and his finally making peace with Blaine.

Only in the world of Glee...would a show choir competition be scheduled on Thanksgiving. That's just ridiculous. Also, while less egregious, I wonder if a high school, even a private one, could really get away with performing "Whistle".

Favorite Song: As mentioned above, the "Homeward Bound/Home" mashup that opened the episode was really effective for me, so I'll give it the nod over the Unholy Trinity's fun "Come See About Me". 

Puck: Bros before hoes’ was always my mantra in high school. Well, it was after I knocked up my best friend’s girlfriend. Speak of the devil I knocked up.

Kurt: When you two are done using the turkey as a courtship device, would you put it in the oven?

Swan Song


I'll give them this: disqualifying New New Directions from Sectionals, thus ending their competitive season, is a pretty ballsy move. It runs the risk of obliterating the tentative foothold they've established by allowing the more impactful events in the lives of the graduates to overwhelm the goings-on in Ohio, but it definitely shakes things up and opens up the possibility of bold, er, new directions for the show (that said, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the team allowed back into the competition at some point based on a technicality or something).  

However, while I applaud the show for shaking up the traditional model, asking us to suddenly take Marley's eating disorder seriously is tonally dissonant. We've remarked often here how laughable it is that Kitty was able to fool her into thinking she was gaining weight; it was easy enough to look past when it was merely a character subplot. But if it's going to end up driving the main plot of the show, the sheer illogic of it needs to be addressed, and Kitty's manipulations need to be made public. Everyone is blaming Marley for their loss, and while that might be part of Kitty's evil plan, we're not even getting an acknowledgement of that; it's almost like the show has forgotten Marley's eating disorder was almost single-handedly generated by Kitty. The end result is a bold and intriguing turn for the show; I just wish the means to get it had been better executed.

Other Thoughts
Also in the "bad means, good ends" category, while I appreciate any show that makes an effort to bring attention to eating disorders, the fact that Marley's disorder led to her passing out in the middle of a big performance/game/event/at the most dramatically inappropriate time is a pretty hoary TV cliche at this point. Also, the fact that the issue was largely brushed aside in the wake of New New Directions' loss was troubling. 

Seriously. Is Kitty going to get away with this? Santana figured it out last week; did she tell no one? Is Marley never going to mention that she was pushed into bulimia by Kitty?

Over in NYADA land, both Rachel and Kurt's performances were fantastic, and it was nice to see Kurt get into the school in a semi-realistic way (he was told what his performance was lacking, then corrected it).

Meanwhile, Cassandra July continues to wrestle with Sue for title of Worst Teacher Ever. Seriously, if I was in that class, I'd want my tuition refunded because my teacher was wasting my time carrying out a vendetta against another classmate. 

Only in the World of Glee...would the choir room be handed over to Sue just because the extracurricular choir season is over. Doesn't the school have a regular, non-competing choir? They clearly have a band independent of the random people who pop up out of the ether when the glee club performs a song. Also, I'm not sure how the weird outdoor lunchroom is a suitable rehearsal space. And I'm pretty sure they could still get kicked out of there.

Favorite Song: "Being Alive" and "O Holy Night" (one of my fav Christmas songs) were both great, but I'll go with the 80s-riffic "Don't Dream It's Over".

Tina: I knew Rachel Berry, I was friends with Rachel Berry. And you, Marley, are no Rachel Berry.

Sue: I’ve looked forward to this very moment for a long time, and now that it’s finally here, I’m left with a strange empty feeling.
Becky: That’s how I felt when I saw Prometheus

Glee, Actually


Less the interconnected narrative suggested by the title and more a series of vignettes, this was a more effective holiday episode than last year's, helped, in part, by the twinges of melancholy that hung around the edges of many of the vignettes. Maybe it's just because I watched these episodes back-to-back-to-back, but given all the plot happenings in the last two episodes (Losing Sectionals! Rachel winning the showcase! Kurt's in NYADA!) it felt good to take a breath and watch what was the closest thing Glee has ever done to a straight-up character-driven episode. Helped along by the more measured hand it's displayed this entire season, hopefully the show can maintain this momentum of relative quality into the new year.

Other Thoughts
For what it's worth, here's my rankings of the various stories: Kurt, Burt and Blaine, Sue and Marley, Artie's It's a Wonderful Life dream, The Puckerman Bros., and Sam & Brittany's "wedding".

Even though it happens every Christmas episode, I found Sue's annual reluctant change of heart touching. Maybe I've just become as tired ranting about her ping ponging character development as the writers are of coming up with plausible explanations for it.

That said, I continue to love Sue's random and unexplained affection for Marley. 

Glad to see Marley's eating disorder being addressed. I'd still like to see some comeuppance for Kitty, though. 

Was it just me or was Kurt giving off a weird vibe throughout his story? Maybe it was just Chris Colfer trying to play Kurt's reaction to his dad's cancer news, but I was totally expecting some kind of "I'm not okay with all this" blowup by Kurt that never happened, right around the time that Blaine and Burt were bonding over basketball.

For all his talk of successful treatment, I know TV: Burt will sadly be gone within the year. 

It was fun to see some of the old faces in Artie's segment, especially the return of Terri and the show's acknowledgement of that awful "fake pregnancy" storyline from season one. 

Favorite Song: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", a subdued closing number that ended a nicely low key episode on a fittingly warm note.

Millie: I wanted to say thank you for what you did for Marley and me.
Sue: I have no idea what you’re talking about. I had nothing to do with the making of that film.

Sue: Does this involve the glee club singing in the auditorium with snow falling in an elaborate winter scene? …Yup, ok. This is exactly what I just described.

13 comments:

Michael said...

Not to steal Matt's thunder, but: PART 1 IN A 2-PART COMMENT

I just finished a mini-Glee marathon myself, recently catching up on all six episodes following their mid-mid-season break.

Thanksgiving

So this episode was mainly an excuse to bring back any returning alumni we hadn't seen yet this season (which is pretty much just Quinn), but, call me a sucker if you will, it worked for me.

It worked for me, too. Mostly.

The opening number suddenly made me realize that Quinn was the only graduate we hadn't seen yet in Season 4. That suddenly reminded me (and reinforced) the absurdity of including all the other graduates up to this point. I spent much of the opening number thinking about how I'd much rather have spent the first seven episodes of the season exclusively with the New New Directions (and potentially Finn, as the Lima Loser) and then brought the graduates home for Thanksgiving like this. It would have made for a much bigger emotional payoff and much more cohesive season.

This isn't really a condemnation of the episode, but a gripe about the show structure this season. The writers' ping-ponging between New York and Ohio keeps leaving me unsatisfied, not spending enough time with any characters to really care all that much.

Simply put, Ryan Murphy pitched a Kurt-and-Rachel-do-NY style spin-off last year and Fox took a pass -- Now, the writers need to figure out whether the show is supposed to be about the McKinley High School glee club or about the kids we met in Season 1, all of whom just happened to be in the McKinley High School glee club.

So WTF was up with that Kiki song Sarah Jessica Parker sung? Has anyone heard of it before? Is it, like, a thing?

It's by the Scissor Sisters, a glam rock band. I am a huge fan of the band and song, but this was just horrible. They were clearly just pandering to their gay fan base. (Sarah Jessica Parker singing Scissor Sisters on Glee? It's like a perfect storm of gay.)

As a member of the gay fan base, I also saw this performance and asked "WTF was that?" It was like they had four minutes left to go in the episode, so they shoe-horned a Kidz Bop version of the original song into the show -- and then decided to mash it up with "Turkey Lurkey Time" just for the hell of it.

You can check out the original music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGCD4xb-Tr8

I appreciated both Kurt calling Rachel and Brody on their not-so-subtle flirting whilst cooking and his finally making peace with Blaine.

I can't stand Brody. In fact, I really just can't bear much of Rachel's NY storyline.

Kurt's call was sweet. In contrast to Rachel, I've actually greatly enjoyed Kurt's NY storyline -- especially his totally unrealistic relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker's character. I had expected the writers to use SJP as the NY Sue, so I've been pleasantly surprised that she's become Kurt's surrogate mother.

Michael said...

PART 2 IN A 2-PART COMMENT

Swan Song

I'll give them this: disqualifying New New Directions from Sectionals, thus ending their competitive season, is a pretty ballsy move. It runs the risk of obliterating the tentative foothold they've established by allowing the more impactful events in the lives of the graduates to overwhelm the goings-on in Ohio ...

This is a great move -- for the unpredictability of it, if nothing else. I also liked the fall-out from it, with Blaine and Tina joining the Cheerios. That was a nice little throw back to Kurt and Mercedes joining the Cheerios back when they felt they weren't getting the attention they deserved in the glee club. (I seem to recall Artie having the same reaction last time, too, but I could be wrong there.)

I also worry that this will allow the NY storyline to dominate the show. Despite the my griping about show structure and how the writers need to choose either NY or OH and stick with it, I want them to choose OH -- so this could be troublesome for me.

That said, I fully expect this to be undone somehow. Seems to me like they're setting up the new Warbler captain as Season 4's Big Bad. (Why else would they demote an already-established and popular villain like Sebastian and give New Guy a solo?) So, my guess is that he somehow screws up and they get to re-compete in some sort of redemption episode where everyone forgives Finn for not being Mr. Schue and Marley for passing out.

Glee, Actually

Artie slid down the ramp? Isn't this why he got an exoskeleton for Christmas back in Season 2?

Hannah Kincade said...

"I just thought I'd take a break from pooping in the open street." LOL. The Family Guy episode did have its moments.

Blam said...


Did you (Teebore) ever watch "Britney 2.0"? As I think I've said already it had a couple of Glee's funniest lines ever plus the Cheerios dancing with bat'leths.

Glee: Thanksgiving

I didn't know that song they mashed up with "Homeward Bound" — "Home". Apparently it was a big hit, but I'm, uh, hit-and-miss with hit songs. Even more than being unfamiliar with it my complaint was that it was thematically apt but tonally dissonant; you just don't mash up a tune with "Homeward Bound" unless it's another vintage classic (which I mean not only in terms of reverence but in terms of style).

For some reason it was particularly, painfully obvious that these poor folks were standing on a stage awkwardly with nothing to do but smile and mouth the words to a prerecorded track.

Also it's totally sad that all the second-stringers who were lectured that it was the seniors' turn to shine last year — Tina especially — are now being overshadowed by the new kids.

Uh... "Show circle" is not something that Mr. Schue made up. Or are we supposed to think that Finn's just being dense?

I hope that Marley's okay, but it would be awesome to do an episode based on A Christmas Carol with an actual Ghost of Marley. [written before the next episode aired, obviously, and also obviously jestingly macabre]

Quinn is dating a married older professor? Good to know she hasn't entirely grown up...

Yeah. I wouldn't hold out hope that we really get the story there, though. I'm an inveterate credits-watcher, and I noticed with puzzlement that Dianna Agron was billed as a special guest star while the other returning grads are at least nominally regulars when they appear. On the other hand, in a sort of ass-backwards corollary to my statement above of the New New Directions getting in the way of the Leftover New Directions' spotlight, it's kind-of hilarious to see every last one of the Old New Directions besides Agron show up in the long string of alphabetical "starring..." credits while the "guest-starring" roster includes the prominent Melissa Benoist and Jacob Artist.

Blam said...


Glee: Swan Song

I almost fell out of my chair at Brad the piano player's hilarious spoken(!) cameo when he dropped by Sue's office to thank her. (Fun fact: He went to high school with Kurt Busiek and Scott McCloud.)

Seriously, if I was in that class, I'd want my tuition refunded because my teacher was wasting my time carrying out a vendetta against another classmate.

No surprise, I wrote down something very similar.

I'm still not the biggest fan of the New York plotlines, both in concept and execution, but you're right that the Winter Showcase performances were lovely. Even so, I'm a sucker for Crowded House and chose that as my favorite number as well. I also agree on how satisfying it was both for Kurt to get into NYADA and how he got in.

The whole thing with Marley's eating disorder and how it was triggered by Kitty is likewise annoying to me in several regards.

We both had the Prometheus quote as a favorite, too. Shocking!

Glee: Glee, Actually

Every time I see Kurt and Rachel's cavernous warehouse loft I'm totally distracted by how much it much cost to heat that thing.

The Puckerman Bros.' rendition of "O Chanukah" was just stupid, frankly, although it does get points for them singing to nuns. I know that there aren't many well-known Chanukah songs, even if you grade on a curve, but, heck, frickin' "I Have a Little Dreydel" would've been less dippy — and the show would've earned serious points by jazzing up a traditional Hebrew tune like "Maoz Tzur" or "Sevivon Sov Sov Sov".

I hope we see more of Aisha Tyler as Jr. Puck's mom, 'cause otherwise that was a real waste.

It was fun to see some of the old faces in Artie's segment, especially the return of Terri and the show's acknowledgement of that awful "fake pregnancy" storyline

Ditto to that. I might've liked that storyline the best just for its style, including how some things followed logically and some were absurdly different just for the sake of being different. Then again, I kind-of enjoyed how ludicrous the fake Sam / Brittany wedding was too, so we actually part ways for once there.

I'm hoping that you're wrong about Burt's fate. The show didn't need that as an excuse to have Burt (and Blaine) visit, nor does it need to stir up drama like that for the sake of Something Important always happening to the characters.

You'd think that Rachel's dads would love having their daughter at NYADA as an excuse to fly out for a Broadway show, but then again they're probably the least believable characters Glee has ever conceived — which, oh yes, I realize is saying something — in their very absence from so many plots where their presence would be natural. I still don't buy that they'd never seen Rachel's performances or that they hadn't stepped in to talk to Kurt at some point.

I don't recall you doing "Only in the World of Glee..." before but it's a keeper.

Blam said...


@Michael: Now, the writers need to figure out whether the show is supposed to be about the McKinley High School glee club or about the kids we met in Season 1, all of whom just happened to be in the McKinley High School glee club.

Amen.

@Michael: It's like a perfect storm of gay.

Indeed. I can hear Kurt saying that, by the way, and it being the line that everyone quotes the next day.

@Michael: Despite the my griping about show structure and how the writers need to choose either NY or OH and stick with it, I want them to choose OH -- so this could be troublesome for me.

Amen again.

The split focus has been getting praise but it just hasn't worked for me. Like you my preference is for the story to be about the glee club, rather than the graduated characters, a preference that surprises me (even though it's true that there's been more than a little repetition in the New New Directions' storylines). You're absolutely right that the show needs to decide, retroactively, whether until graduation it had been about that particular glee club or the glee club at McKinley.

Michael said...

@Blam: Also it's totally sad that all the second-stringers who were lectured that it was the seniors' turn to shine last year — Tina especially — are now being overshadowed by the new kids.

Even worse is the New New Directions getting bumped for an Old New Directions fantasy reunion during "You're the One That I Want." This musical was like a coming out party for the New New Directions and they got bumped from the climax for another Finn / Rachel duet.

@Blam I'm still not the biggest fan of the New York plotlines, both in concept and execution, but you're right that the Winter Showcase performances were lovely.

I will admit that performances were lovely -- especially "O Holy Night." That said...

I am so f-ing tired of poor Mary Sue Rachel. I simply don't understand the writers' fascination with her or her continued idolization -- and it's only getting worse this season.

It's revealed that Carmen selected Rachel for NYADA (despite two botched auditions) but rejected Kurt because he lacked depth. It boggles the mind. Kurt is arguably the most three-dimensional character in the entire series -- overcoming his shame of his sexuality, prejudice, his father's illness, unrequited love and rejection (from Finn and, originally, Blaine), and having grown from these experiences, all before Season 3.

Rachel's drive is a choice. She has chosen to pursue fame, and hasn't let anything stop her. That's commendable, but shallow. Kurt's drive is a necessity. He's never let anything stop him because he knows that if doesn't move forward (come out, overcome bullying, connect with his father, follow his heart), his life will be worse for it. That's powerful -- and if I was still an insecure, closeted gay kid in middle or high school who only knew gay people through the media, I'd probably be inspired by this character.

But, somehow, he lacks depth. For as much as I hate Cassandra, I honestly think she's the only character on the show who actually sees Rachel for what she is -- a spoiled rich girl with dreams of bright lights.

< /rant >

@Blam I still don't buy that they'd never seen Rachel's performances or that they hadn't stepped in to talk to Kurt at some point.

Rachel's dads did appear at ONE performance last year, right? But I never even thought of a Rachel's Dads-Kurt talk. That would make for a great moment, and makes perfect sense since Kurt and Rachel become close friends.

Blam said...


@Michael: Rachel's dads did appear at ONE performance last year, right?

Yes. And they even said (I paraphrase), "Oh... This is wonderful. How come we've never done this before?" So it confirmed the fact that they actually hadn't shown up for previous concerts vs. — like I think many viewers assumed because they're Rachel's dads — were there in the crowd but just hadn't been singled out and given a scene because the show wanted to wait on casting them. Rachel not having her dads sit down and talk to Kurt early on, when he was going through all that he was going through, is a serious sin of omission in my mind.

Teebore said...

@Michael: It was like they had four minutes left to go in the episode, so they shoe-horned a Kidz Bop version of the original song into the show

It did feel very "Kidz Bop"-y, even though I wasn't familiar with the original. I'm glad I wasn't the only one turned off by it.

I had expected the writers to use SJP as the NY Sue, so I've been pleasantly surprised that she's become Kurt's surrogate mother.

It's a testament to how inconsistently this show portrays most adult role models (like Sue) that I keep waiting for the shoe to drop with SJP and her to turn into a raving super-villain, even though that's clearly not going to happen at this point.

Why else would they demote an already-established and popular villain like Sebastian and give New Guy a solo?

I was honestly shocked when Sebastian showed up again A. because I figured the show would just forget he ever existed and B. because they even made a point of recalling his past actions and confirming he's moved past them. A rare bit of intentional continuity for the show.

Artie slid down the ramp? Isn't this why he got an exoskeleton for Christmas back in Season 2?

Ha! Were Artie's robot legs the most ridiculous thing in the history of this show's ridiculous things? Discuss. :)

@Hannah: The Family Guy episode did have its moments.

It did indeed.

@Blam: Did you (Teebore) ever watch "Britney 2.0"?

No, though it's still sitting on my DVR. I reached a point where I'd moved so far past it it seemed silly to go back and watch it, yet the complestist in me, coupled with your comments on it, have kept me from deleting it in the hopes that I find an appropriate time to watch it.

Apparently it was a big hit, but I'm, uh, hit-and-miss with hit songs.

Yeah, if it wasn't for my wife, I'd be completely ignorant of any current hit songs (not that I'm terribly savvy on the subject as is). She at least keeps me abreast of the bigger hits by having contemporary radio on when we're in the car together (otherwise, when I'm alone, it's all podcasts/soundtracks/oldies).

Also it's totally sad that all the second-stringers who were lectured that it was the seniors' turn to shine last year — Tina especially — are now being overshadowed by the new kids.

Agreed. I understand the need to inject new characters into the show and set them up for future seasons, but it'd be nice if at least one of the seniors (especially Tina) was being included in some of the storylines that didn't connect back to the graduates in some way.

Uh... "Show circle" is not something that Mr. Schue made up.

I meant to comment on that as well.

Teebore said...

@Blam: it's kind-of hilarious to see every last one of the Old New Directions besides Agron show up in the long string of alphabetical "starring..." credits while the "guest-starring" roster includes the prominent Melissa Benoist and Jacob Artist.

The vagaries of TV crediting continue to astound and amuse me.

Fun fact: He went to high school with Kurt Busiek and Scott McCloud.

That's pretty cool (and I did love that scene as well).

I hope we see more of Aisha Tyler as Jr. Puck's mom, 'cause otherwise that was a real waste.

Agreed.

Then again, I kind-of enjoyed how ludicrous the fake Sam / Brittany wedding was too, so we actually part ways for once there.

Eh, I didn't HATE that plotline. It was just the one I enjoyed the least (though I did like the way Bieste handled the situation).

I'm hoping that you're wrong about Burt's fate.

Oh, I TOTALLY hope I'm wrong. In addition to agreeing with everything you said, I worry about what it would do to Kurt's character, as he is currently (as Michel points) one of the more fully realized characters on the show, yet there's only so much believeably DRAMATIC things that can happen to a character before it becomes cliche/unbelievable/just straight up piling on.

Or, to put it another way: having his dad survive a battle with cancer adds an additional layer to his character. Having his dad die from cancer, after everything else, would start to feel like the writers are just shitting on poor Kurt.

I don't recall you doing "Only in the World of Glee..." before but it's a keeper.

I hadn't; I decided to use it instead of the longer "Things I Shouldn't Worry About on Glee. Glad you like it; it'll be sticking around.

Teebore said...

@Michael: Despite the my griping about show structure and how the writers need to choose either NY or OH and stick with it, I want them to choose OH -- so this could be troublesome for me.

@Blam: You're absolutely right that the show needs to decide, retroactively, whether until graduation it had been about that particular glee club or the glee club at McKinley.

Generally, I'm okay with the split focus, though I wish the show was more...regimented about it, I suppose. I don't mind the occasional "graduate-focused" episode, so long as that is the focus - 75% of the episode devoted to that (because I don't we should ever move away from the school entirely), with the 25% set at the school not focusing on something that deserves more time/space.

The only time an entire episode should be spent in one locale is if that locale is the school.

If they do want to touch base with the NY storyline or whatever, without devoting a full 75% of the episode to it, then use the same formula in reverse: give Kurt or Rachel a song in 25% of the episode, with the rest devoted to the cast at the school.

I really do feel like the show should principally be about the students at the school, working in the occasional (believable) appearance by a graduate (Finn's presence has worked remarkably well). But at the same time, I'd hate to see a character like Kurt relegated to nothing more than one or two appearances a year when he comes home to visit Blaine. And if getting more Kurt (and Puck, and Santana) means we get more Rachel, eh, I guess that's a tradeoff I can live with, so long as the show never fully abandons the school.

@Michael: Kurt is arguably the most three-dimensional character in the entire series -- overcoming his shame of his sexuality, prejudice, his father's illness, unrequited love and rejection (from Finn and, originally, Blaine), and having grown from these experiences, all before Season 3.

Far be it from me to get in the way of a good rant (lord knows I've ranted plenty about the show's characterization of Sue), and at the risk of sticking up for Rachel (who, while I don't dislike quite as strongly as you, does very little for me a character), I will say while we know all that stuff about Kurt, Carmen doesn't; he's just a kid auditioning for her. We know he deserves a spot at NYADA more than Rachel, but Carmen didn't.

In fact, I think one could interpret Carmen's criticism as being that Kurt needed to project all the hardships and troubles he's overcome into his performances, rather than just presenting a dressed up and technically proficient song while keeping everything else locked up (which was echoed by Rachel's discussion of his "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" performance, the most raw and heartfelt performance we ever saw of his).

Whereas Rachel, despite having an easier time of things than Kurt, was able to sing in such a way that Carmen believed she had incredible depth (she hoodwinked her, basically). I mean, that's kinda been Rachel's whole schtick, hasn't it? She's a pretty shallow and self-centered person, but when she sings, it's possible to forget all that because she's so good.

Blam said...


@Teebore — Your last couple of paragraphs are spot-on. I'm glad that I didn't even try to articulate that,, because you summed it up perfectly. Also, I hope that I haven't oversold "Britney 2.0"; I recall enjoying it and, like I said, a few choice lines were hilarious, but all I really remember about it is what's in my notes.

Teebore said...

@Blam: Also, I hope that I haven't oversold "Britney 2.0"

Nah, the completist in me will force me to watch it no matter what, I just can't decide the best time to watch it, now that I've moved so far beyond it.