This morning I woke up and watched “Top Chef All-Stars” and “Glee.” I pulled out my laptop to write down some Fabio notes, and ended up taking recap notes for both. Just when it appeared that my TV recapping days were squarely behind me. It’s a Hanukkah miracle! (Or nightmare…)
Warning: I’m going to use a lot of CAPS. I can’t help it. It’s GLEE.
According to IMDb this episode (air date 11/30/10) is called “Special Education.” I don’t get it. I would have put “love” in the title, because everybody is saying, “I love you.” In an unrequited way, mostly. Or I would have just called it “Sectionals,” because I’m very literal.
The opening scene hooked me. Will (AKA Mr. S… I CANNOT figure out how to spell Shu/Schu/Shue/Shoo) and Emma are talking in the lunchroom, and he mentions that sectionals are coming up. Emma is their lucky rabbit (or something), so he wants her to attend. (He bought her a ticket? People pay for this?)
Emma is bored by the show and guesses exactly what types of songs the kids will sing and who will sing them. I love that this episode included several “Glee”-viewer caliber barbs.
So Mr. Schu is like, “Oh yeah, I’m the worst and I do whatever I think will help me get up Emma’s skirt.” (See: the Rocky Horror episode… or maybe DON’T see it, if you have a tendency to fly into righteous outrage.) So he goes back to his classroom to mix up the line-up.
Maybe just to rub in the fact that he’s terrible, Mr. Schudoodoo is wearing a jacket that makes me think of a stylish Nazi. He definitely has that overall Nazi look about him– I can see him playing Rolf in a regional theater version of “The Sound of Music.”
Quinn voices everybody’s inner desires when she tells Rachel, “You used to be just sort of unlikeable, but now I pretty much feel like punching you every time you open your mouth.” I for one am very happy to see “Barbie and Ken,” (AKA Quinn & Chord) get the solo, because they are the best. (I know, Chord is the guy’s REAL LIFE name, but you can’t NOT call a guy Chord when his REAL NAME is Chord.) (His character is named Sam. For the record.)
Because he is a Warbler now, Kurt has to take care of an actual warbler. As in, a bird in a cage. Suddenly I’m seeing the Warblers as one of those creepy fraternity-meets-Skull & Daggers style clubs. This reminds me of Eduardo Saverin in THE SOCIAL NETWORK, when he had to take care of that chicken. Make sure not to feed the bird bird-meat, Kurt! Supposedly that’s animal cruelty.
Kurt makes a few coal mine jokes, but the Warblers are DEAD FUCKING SERIOUS about this bird. Tough crowd. But also– Kurt is like, blah blah blah, can I pick the opening number for sectionals? Barf on you, Kurt. You’re the newest member AND you’re not a senior. PS, shouldn’t the sectionals number be NAILED by now? What is up with picking IMPORTANT COMPETITION SONGS with, like, six hours to go?
Rachel finds out that Finn hooked up with Santana. Blah blah, wah wah, she was dating Jesse at the time. Whatever.
Puck tries to recruit new Glee members from the football team, gets left in a porta potty, and is rescued by the wise-cracking token fat girl/wrestler (now she has a name: Lauren Zizes). Somehow Puck convinces Lauren to join Glee, and also they make out (offscreen) and it rocks Puck’s world. Also: As a result of his porta potty ordeal, Puck decides to be nice to people… but “people” is too broad, so he decides to be nice to Jews. Thanks, Puck!
So Puck is nice to Rachel, and they have their little chemistry thing going on.
Darren Criss (also his real name– I don’t even know his character’s name) tells Kurt that he can try out for a solo. (After speaking out of turn at the meeting?! He should be forced to scrub the Warblers’ trophies with a toothbrush.) Kurt asks Rachel to help him prepare a solo, and she breaks out into a diva solo (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”… even though Rachel wants everyone to cry for her, all the time). Big help, Rachel. Thanks. Super.
But I guess we’re supposed to think she DID help him, because suddenly Kurt is singing “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” to the Warbler High Court… weird. Is that really a good fit for his voice? Shouldn’t he sing something for a tenor? Why is he always choosing soprano solos? I guess he’s a man-prano, but this song is not doing him any favors. We go back and forth between Rachel and Kurt singing the lines, and Rachel is obviously better at it. Too bad she’s a GIRL. No girls allowed in the He-Man Warblers Club.
Kurt paces around a lot doing his solo. STAY PUT. He sings part of it facing the window. Stop pining, Kurt. Face your judges. You’re not auditioning to play Rolf in a dinner theater production of “The Sound of Music.” Or… Kurt.
After the tryout, Darren says, “Don’t try so hard next time.” HA. Or, maybe choose a song that isn’t so… dramatic. Um, Darren would also make a great musical Nazi. Maybe it’s the Warbler uniform… or the fact that they meet in large tribunals in old musty rooms.
New Directions gets on the bus to sectionals. The bus is equipped for Artie’s wheelchair! And it seems like a pretty standard school bus… (Remember how that was a whole episode last year?) I think my favorite thing is that it appears to be snowing or gusting, with little leaves flying around… like they might actually be in Ohio. (They’re not.) Way to go! (Emma is wearing a warm-looking wool dress-thing… but her legs are bare. Can’t win ’em all.)
And here comes a stormy heart… Emma loves Uncle Jesse! (AKA John Stamos… AKA Carl the dentist!) So she can’t come to sectionals. Because… she and Jesse/John/Carl just had a fight about how she LOVES WILL BETTER. But in ended in Dentist-Carl telling Emma he loved her, and she said “I love you” back because she’s a WET NOODLE. Ugh. Remember how she got ENGAGED to the coach who GROSSED HER OUT? Bad life choices. (Not that Schooo deserves anything. Whatever.)
Rachel has her one nice scene of the season with Kurt… who hasn’t spoken to Finn since the wedding? Aren’t they living in the same house now? Or… you know, spending family time? Last week Finn serenaded Kurt with “Just the Way You Are,” and that was it? We’re brothers now– see ya later!
So… only three teams are competing at sectionals? And… one of the teams is an old-person team. I’m sure at some point somebody explained how they’re allowed to compete, but you know they’re not a threat. And I don’t even know their song. I wrote, “I pretty much want to fast forward this.” And then I did. Sorry, Hipsters. (That’s their name.)
The Warblers sing “Hey Soul Sister.” Which was probably blowing up the radios when this episode was written. Darren has the solo, which begs the question… why did they even have auditions for the solo? He’s obviously THE soloist. (And I feel pretty bad for the blond guy who tried out SIX times. Ouch-villes.)
Darren Criss seems like kind of a dick on “Glee,” but I’ve seen a couple of videos of his singing in REAL LIFE, and in those he seems super chill. And he’s always playing piano or guitar and being generally talented and fun. I don’t know, maybe they should stop slicking back his hair. That’s such a villain look. (See: Malfoy.) I don’t know, you be the judge…
Maybe he’s a singer first, and the acting stuff makes him nervous?
On the show, he definitely reminds me of a few of the soloists from my college’s a cappella groups, in terms of his performance style and kinda breezy cockiness that’s kinda hot. Like… if you’re a dude singing a girl song a cappella, you better own it. (Oh yeah… a few guys from USC’s all-male group are going to be on “The Sing Off.” One of them kinda reminds me of Darren Criss. So… watch that.)
At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about Lauren Zizes… she kinda seemed like fresh fodder for mean jokes. Like, she always wants candy! (Though at sectionals Rachel was going crazy trying to find Raisinettes for her… that’s kind of a healthy candy, as candies go.) But adding her to the club is kinda genius. Imagine being that actress, thinking you were cast for like one episode in season one as “Fat Girl,” and suddenly you’re ON THE TEAM. That’s the dream.
Anyway, in the green room just before sectionals, the club gets in a huge brawl-y fight because via her bonding convo with Kurt, Rachel learned that EVERYBODY knew about Finn & Santana.
Finn says, “The Santana of it all.” That’s a phrase that only TV writers really say, so it bumped me. The same way it bumped me on “Parks & Rec” last season when Tom said, “It bumped me.” Because it’s not how people talk, unless they are in a writers’ room. (The first time somebody asked me if anything bumped me, I was like, “WHAT? A LADY NEVER TELLS!”)
Amongst the fighting, Lauren Zizes wins my heart by saying, “Best. Green room. Ever.” She’s not emotionally invested in any of it. I’m such a Lauren Zizes right now. (We are all Lauren Zizes today.)
Around now, I realize that poor Chord hasn’t had any lines yet. Just hangdog faces. Finally, one second before he and Quinn go out, he says, “You look beautiful.” Oh, Chord. If you’re going to say one line, that’s a good one.
Blah blah blah, Artie thinks that Brittany is cheating on him with Mike Chang, because of dancing or… I guess Tina jumped to that conclusion? These relationships are ROCK SOLID. Brittany’s acting all jumpy, so just before sectionals Artie is like, “Dear Brittany: Seriously, you big cheater, cheaty cheat cheat.”
Brittany, in her adorable clueless way, says, “Why would I cheat on you? Is this like a Mad Lib or something?” Earlier, when Artie accused her of adultery (um… are you married to her?), she thought adultery meant being a dolt. She’s only been avoiding Artie because she lost his “magic comb.” And she thought he’d be mad. (But he just found the comb on the floor? GROSS.) (As Brittany hilariously says, “And you let me comb my hair with it?!”)
Lauren Zizes does push-ups because she’s a wrestler and a badass. “I’m not nervous. You know why? Because show choir’s stupid.” Preach it, Lauren Zizes.
Chord and Quinn walk down the aisles of the theater singing “Time of My Life” from DIRTY DANCING, because Patrick Swayze died and Jennifer Grey won “Dancing with the Stars” and the Black-Eyed Peas just released that weird remix with the random fake Russian DJ talking about his international mega-mix. (“Dirty bit!”)
But for some reason the boys are wearing the outfit that Patrick Swayze wore in “Ghost.” Are we mixing our Swayze movies, here?
Why does New Directions always enter from the back, when none of the other teams can? Is this their signature? Is that why they’re called New Directions? And why are they the only club that gets to single multiple songs? (I mean, I know why: Because it’s a TV show.)
Brittany and Mike Chang do a very aerobic dance that will probably be one of those waste-time-while-the-judges-deliberate dances on the next season of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The time comes to announce the winner, and Sue isn’t a judge this year. She isn’t even in this episode. Presumably she’s off on her honeymoon with herself. (Remember last week, when she married herself and her NAZI HUNTING MOTHER came to town?)
Just when I’m thinking that it’s gonna be weird if the Warblers and New Directions don’t BOTH move on to regionals… it’s a TIE! Shock! (Really? There’s NO WAY to break a tie?) This is good news for Kurt and Darren Criss, because if the Warblers lost they both would have had to transfer to shitty public school, just to stay involved in the storyline.
Will goes to show Emma his giant trophy (GROSS), and finds out that Emma and Carl went to Vegas and got married over the weekend! Way to lock down your girlfriend who’s obviously in love with another guy, Carl! That’s going to be a happy marriage, right there. Is Emma just doing this to turn the tables on Will? Last year YOU were the obstacle to our relationship, Will. And this year it’s me! EROTIC.
Finn tells Rachel he loves her. Had he already said it? Is this a new thing? In return, Rachel tells Finn… she made out with Puck last week. Because he was being so Jew-friendly. (No… to get back at Finn.) But in a surprising show of… too-late niceness, Puck left because he didn’t want to hurt Finn? (I smell a bromance!)
They have a very dramatic break up in the halls of the high school. “You said you’d NEVER break up with me!” Rachel cackles. Whoa there, Nelly. YOU’RE IN HIGH SCHOOL.
Meanwhile, Kurt’s freaking out because his warbler is maybe-dying. Darren Criss is like, calm down buddy, it’s molting and CHANGING, just like a THEME or MOTIF or something. He pats Kurt on the leg in a buddy way, and exits. Seriously, I know Darren Criss is supposed to be Kurt’s Big Gay Love Interest, but I’m not feeling a romantic vibe. Seems like Darren’s keeping Kurt an emotional arm’s length away.
Back in the Glee rehearsal room, Rachel doesn’t feel like singing a solo right now. WHAT.
So Mercedes and Tina sing Florence & the Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over,” and it’s just fun and run-around-the-stagey and sans costumes, and other than all the musicians it kinda feels like a real high school glee club. And Lauren Zizes frolics around like she’s having fun. And wears yellow.
We see via her nameplate that Emma’s hyphenating her name… and has an uh-oh look on her face when she hugs Carl. WHY does she make the WORST decisions? Is she just getting back at Will? And honestly, you just married a hot dentist. I think you’ll live.
Rachel removes her “Finn 4ever” sign from her locker and makes incredibly sad eyes. HAHAHAHAHA. HIGH SCHOOL. (I won’t cry for her… Argentina.)
Whatever, there’s always Puck. And/or reuniting with Finn within the next three episodes. (Or GRADUATING… ladies and gentleman, call your agents!)
Next week: They go full Santa.
So yeah, that TV recap just happened. Do I still have it? (Did I EVER have it?)