Glee – Episode 1-16 Review

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been hearing a lot about Glee. Too much story, not enough story. Should there be a Britney week? A Billy Joel week? A Courtney Love week? (My answers are maybe, yes please and definitely not.)

As much as I loved Madonna week, I like Glee better when the show isn’t serving one particular artist, but the song choices are serving the storyline. I think the stories have been moving along well so far. We’ve seen more of the supporting cast than ever before, we’ve seen things developing between Will and Emma, Mercedes and Kurt joining the Cheerios and Finn losing his virginity. However, this episode definitely focused more on storytelling than the past two.

This week’s episode started off with a bang, with about a zillion fantastic Sue Sylvester quotes in a row. She praised the musical talent that Kurt and Mercedes had brought to the Cheerios – telling Mercedes that her vocals had better runs than a Kenyan track team – but she told them they had to lose weight to stay on the Cheerios. A fancy reporter was coming to write about Sue being named the best cheerleading coach of the last 2,000 years. I love how Sue is such a celebrity. You know, she’s not carrying photo ID anymore because people should know who she is.

This week we saw three main storylines – Kurt, Finn and their parents, Mercedes trying to lose weight as per Sue’s orders, and the return of April Rhodes.

In an effort to get closer to Finn, Kurt set up his dad with Finn’s mom, and the two single parents really hit it off. Kurt tried bonding with Finn over the redesign of his bedroom, which he wanted to be “Hunting lodge meets Tom Ford’s place in Bel Air” but Finn didn’t really respond.

Finn reacted badly when he saw his mom getting rid of some of his dad’s old stuff. At first Kurt was happy as a clam, raising his decorated Shirley Temple to his new little family. But once Kurt realized how well his dad and Finn were getting along, he was jealous. He started to regret the whole plan, saying “I feel like the guy who set up Liza and David Gest.”

In the end, Finn came around when he realized how much Kurt’s dad really cared about his mom.

Meanwhile, Mercedes was going to dangerous lengths to lose the 10lbs Sue had demanded. She starved herself and drank some disgusting master cleanse drink of Sue’s that all the Cheerios were demanding. She started snapping at her friends, envisioning everyone as food and eventually passed out. In a really tender and sweet moment, Quinn came to her rescue and reminded her how beautiful she is, and how confident she used to be. I like that pregnant Quinn is turning out to have a soft side – she wasn’t a total bitch before, she was just starving!

When it was time for the big Cheerios number that was meant to impress the reporter writing a piece on Sue, Mercedes came out and performed a heart-wrenching rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful”. It was so, so good.

The funniest part was that the reporter confessed to Sue that he had intended to expose Sue as a cheerleading tyrant, but Mercedes’ performance and proven him wrong. He couldn’t have been more off base, but Sue rolled with it like the pro she is.

We hardly saw the glee club at all this week, but we did see a lot of April Rhodes. Will needed to find somewhere for New Directions to rehearse so he tried renting out the roller disco that April owned. The reemergence of April provided a lot of funny lines – especially once she found out that Will was getting divorced – and some great duets between her and Will.

Overall, I loved the episode. There were some really touching moments between Kurt and his dad – I especially loved when his dad said “Suddenly I’m not the guy who sat through Riverdance three years in a row?” – that really highlighted how tough it is for both of them.

Mercedes really shone this episode, vocally and emotionally. I can’t wait to see more from her and to see how the friendship between her and Quinn develops.

After all the glory and criticism that followed last week’s Madonna episode, I was glad to see Glee get back to it’s roots – storytelling and great singing.

Some of my favorite quotes from the episode:

  • “How do you two not have a show on Bravo?” – Sue
  • “I’m pretty sure my cat is reading my diary.” – Brittany
  • “You have a week to lose 10lbs. It’s like losing one of my butt cheeks.” – Kurt
  • “I’m full-time fancy now.” – April