"Glee": Episode Five Television Review

11/11/2010 Posted by Admin

"Glee": Episode Five

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

Episode Five of ‘Glee’ really got me excited about the rest of the season to come – so long as Darren Criss as Blaine and his Dalton Academy Warblers have a place in it. After a brief week off after a hit-or-miss theme episode, I finally feel that "Glee" is getting its groove back.

While the plot had more or less your expected "Glee" saccharine “love yourself for who you are” message, I felt the episode as a whole was an upgrade to pretty much anything I’ve seen all season. The music was great, and the inclusion of new characters (and somewhat forgotten characters) was very welcome.

First things first, the highlight of not only the episode, but this season as a whole, and my entire "Glee"-watching experience was the a cappella version of Katy Perry’s guilty pleasure pop hit “Teenage Dream.” I love the original song, but I think I love this more. I always think that a great, tight a cappella group covering a contemporary pop hit sounds enjoyable, and this was no exception. Fun fact--while Darren Criss recorded Blaine’s solo, the backing vocals were performed by Tufts University’s award-winning a cappella group the Beelzebubs, who came in second in last winter’s a cappella singing contest, "The Sing Off" on NBC.

The soloist of the Warblers, Blaine, will hopefully be appearing in more episodes. Like Kurt, he has come out of the closet, but unlike Kurt, he has a totally supportive school backing him. In this episode, he acted as a mentor to Kurt, giving him the strength to believe in himself and face his bullies head on. I hope he sticks around, because other than cheesy "courage" collages in lockers, he brings out a really great side to Kurt.

I also loved the general musical theme of the night--girls sing hits by men, guys sing hits by females. Whenever someone covers a song, whether it be on "Glee" or an "American Idol" contestant singing or a person playing a concert set, I like hearing them in unexpected ways, and one of my favorites is singing a song made famous by someone of the opposite gender. I think in these situations the new performer has no choice but to make it their own – there can’t be weak imitations like this.

The girls sang a mash up of The Rolling Stones’ "Start Me Up" and Bon Jovi’s "Living on a Prayer" clad in black leather. Rocked is not a verb I’ve ever used to describe a musical moment on "Glee," but it is appropriate here. These girls rocked out. I don’t care for the over-the-top costumes and moments of fog and lights in a school classroom, but the girls were energetic and they had fun.

The boys had a more sentimental moment, as their mash up medley was performed more or less as an apology to Coach Beiste, whom they had offended. Here’s where the sugary sweet side of "Glee" merged with the hilarious and then merged with the music. In an effort to "cool down" their hormones, the guys started to think of Coach Beiste in compromising situations – and not shockingly, it worked. But when Coach Beiste found out, she got so torn up she nearly quit, showing an incredibly vulnerable side, proving that everyone regardless of age, sex, size, or demeanor is capable of feeling really fragile.

To prevent Coach Beiste from leaving – the football team was winning for the first time ever, and couldn’t afford to lose their coach – the boys sang a medly of En Vogue’s "Free Your Mind" mashed up with The Supremes’ "Stop In The Name Of Love" clad in some Motown-inspired suits. It was fun, the guys looked great, the solos were awesome, I was really impressed.

The episode made me laugh, made me totally appreciative that Puck and Coach Beiste were back and that Sue Sylvester got some screen time. Sure, the high point was the Warblers, but I can only hope that they come back for many, many more songs.

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