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GLEE's Duets Is Long On Music, Short On Plot

By Edited May 15, 2014 0 0

I'm starting to think that GLEE is getting a little carried away with the theme nights. Just this season, we've already had Britney Spears, religious music and duets. While Grilled Cheesus was a pretty intense and plot-heavy episode, Duets, like Britney / Brittany, was a little short on plot. We got bits and pieces here and there, but most of it wasn't all that compelling.

No surprise, I guess, that Rachel managed to wriggle her way into three different performances. Don't Go Breaking My Heart with Finn was fine, though frankly I've always found that song a little annoying. With You I'm Born Again sounded good but just looked icky, and it was especially odd to see Finn dressed as a priest in an inappropriate number just a week after his "religious" experience. Then again, the whole point of the song was to do something offensive.

Again, I feel like Rachel needs to get over herself. For a second, I thought that she was actually having a revelation about how stupid her behavior has been this year, but no. She just wants to win Nationals. And she thinks that she can only do that by "letting" Sam win. Did she ever consider that he might win the competition on his own? Or that unlike her, he might not be so insecure that the failure to win a competition would be enough to make him drop out of Glee Club? Ugh. But at least Rachel's duet with Kurt, the mash-up of Happy Days Are Here Again and Get Happy, was a wonderfully peppy way to end the episode.

While I'm not sure that Finn is really giving Sam a chance to prove that he has a thick skin, the fact that Sam initially decided against the Glee Club for fear of the reactions of the other football players and of the high school population at large suggests that his instincts are correct. Still, if Sam is willing to do a duet with Kurt, is it really Finn's place to intervene? I did get the sense, though, that he was genuinely concerned about Sam's well-being and that it wasn't just about wanting to win Nationals.

It was so good to see Burt Hummel back at home and recovering, and I thought it was also fitting that he had a little heart-to-heart with Kurt regarding his excessive advances toward Finn in the previous season. I understand how lousy it feels to have a crush on someone who doesn't share your feelings, but Finn's behavior toward Kurt has been very honorable on the whole. "I really like you," he tells Kurt in this episode, but he also says he has a problem with Kurt's inability to understand that "No means no."

I think that's more than fair, and Burt drives the point home. He has every right to gently take Kurt to task for trying to force himself on Finn like that. Kurt's a great guy, but because he has so often been picked on, it's caused him to develop a rather toxic and entitled side. It's largely a defense mechanism, I think, plus an outgrowth of his knowledge that he has an amazing singing voice and sense of fashion. But once in a while, he needs to be taken down a peg and realize that his differences don't give him the right to do whatever he wants with no regards for the feelings of others. Everybody in the Glee Club is talented, and every member has been ostracized for one reason or another. They're all in the same boat.

I thought that Kurt's Victor/Victoria routine was well-choreographed but still didn't seem like much of a duet. Plus, it kinda came across as narcissistic. But since he dropped Sam, there really wasn't anybody else for him to partner with; I guess he didn't have any choice. I don't know that he really needed to break up the partnership; Sam really did seem okay with it, and I would've been interested in hearing what they came up with. But I guess it all worked out.

Sam and Quinn make a good team, and they did a nice job together on Lucky, though I feel a little out of touch because my friend who told me about this episode before I watched it assured me that everyone knows that song. I thought the title just wasn't enough to spark anything for me, but I honestly had never heard it before. Same goes for Mike and Tina's Sing! from A Chorus Line, though that was probably my second-favorite performance of the night. It was very entertaining, and it's nice to see Mike actually participating, since usually he just sort of blends into the background. My favorite performance, though, was the Mercedes / Santana duet of River Deep, Mountain High. It was a fantastic, energetic performance, and I love Mercedes so much that it outweighs my annoyance with Santana, whose behavior is generally both obnoxious and rather bizarre. Her scene with Brittany was especially eye-rolling.

I really felt sorry for Brittany in this episode. While teaming up with Artie may have been partly just because there was no one else left to partner with, I think that she really did get to like him after spending a little time with him (and confirming that he is not a robot!). Santana's treatment of her already had her feeling vulnerable, and by the end of the episode, Brittany really seemed crushed. Generally speaking, I find Santana mean and Brittany just ditzy. Santana really wasn't a very good friend in this episode. And I'm really bummed because Artie is probably my favorite member of Glee Club, and I was looking forward to his performance.

Duets was a decent episode, but it wasn't exactly great. Puck was missing, which certainly made an impact; if he's in Juvie, I hope it's a short sentence. Surely they're not writing him off the show. No Emma this week, which was a shame; Will was barely involved either. In fact, none of the teachers were. No Figgins, no Beiste... and no Sue Sylvester. Has that ever happened before? I can't recall a Sueless episode of GLEE, but maybe I'm just forgetting. At any rate, her caustic quips were sorely missed. Next week is yet another theme week, with Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has me wondering if I should rent the movie beforehand so I can catch all the allusions. Somehow, that's one musical I never managed to watch. I'm interested to see what they do with that cult classic, but I'm hoping that after next week, GLEE will get down to a little bit meatier storylines.

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