By Meryl Gottlieb| firstname.lastname@example.org| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 0.5/ 5
Glee is back and worse than ever. I understand wanting to go another route after having a very heavy last episode in tribute to Cory Monteith. I understand wanting to get back to normal. However, normal for Glee now means utter nonsense and an hour’s worth of annoyance. I was always able to at least sit through the show and rejoice in critiquing it after, but this week’s episode, “A Katy or a Gaga,” was so bad that it made me mad. There was no redeeming quality in any second of film. My only hope is that the rumors are true and the show will permanently move to New York. At least then there is the potential for some quality.
It’s six weeks until Nationals and the glee club has a fierce, new competitor called Throat Explosion. Now, you’re just being silly, Ryan Murphy.
Of course, learning about the competition prompts another last minute lesson from Will (Matthew Morrison) who tells the glee club to turn their weaknesses into their strengths. And somehow the comparison of Katy Perry to Lady Gaga is made and meant to explain the different personalities in the glee club. The Katys will sing Gaga songs while the Gagas will sing Katy songs.
This entire idea is ridiculous. I actually think I hurt my head with the amount of times I rolled my eyes in the way they referenced Katy and Gaga as some sort of gods who represent the only kinds of personalities one can have. That brings me to another issue. How exactly are Katy Perry and Lady Gaga fulfilling a spectrum of personalities? I’m pretty sure they are far more similar than they are different. Both have exotic dressing styles. Both are pop sensations. Both have crazy fan followings. The fact that this idea is the main focus of the episode is incredibly infuriating. There’s no good storyline here to cover up the fact that the show simply wants to cover “Applause” and “Roar” in order to make money.
Kurt (Chris Colfer) is starting a band. Rachel (Lea Michele) feels its too soon after Finn’s death to do something like that — bit exploitative don’t ya think — but Santana (Naya Rivera) and Dani (Demi Lovato) are on board.
Even though it’s an open audition, not many show up, except for Starchild (Adam Lambert). In a Mad Hatter-esque get up, he sings “Marry the Night.” If you like Adam Lambert, you probably enjoyed that performance. I, however, did not. I’m not a fan of Lambert and though his vocals were good, the performance was trying too much. He’s belting, hanging off a chandelier and pelvis thrusting. Enough already.
What bugs me the most about the New York storyline this week is how Kurt reacts to Starchild. He tells him that if he changes his look and tones it down, maybe he’ll consider putting him in the band. I’m sorry, who just said that?! You mean to tell me that the boy who has been put through horrendous ridicule for most of his life just snapped and went against everything he believed in because he simply wants his band to be mainstream worthy?! I don’t think so. We’ve had a little over four years to get to know Kurt and we know he would never act that way. I’m actually really amazed Murphy would even allow this. Kurt is supposed to be one of the best modern gay characters on TV, yet this episode portrays him as being just as unaccepting as the next bully. I don’t understand what was going through the writers’ heads when they wrote this.
Sam (Chord Overstreet) is utterly annoying with his enthusiasm to make the Katys performance amazing because he’s trying to impress Nurse Penny (Phoebe Strole). Penny likes hard rock and bad boys, so Sam goes all out trying to make the performance really edgy since he’s not. He just likes True Jackson, VP — now that was some ridiculousness that I found funny.
The Katys perform “Applause.” I do not understand how they have the budget for these lavish performances. There was a catwalk extension for the stage, strobe lights, props, costumes, the works. There’s no way Nationals prize money can cover all of that. Also, Darren Criss, what is this costume and why did you let anyone convince you to wear it?
Marley (Melissa Benoist) refused to dress like Gaga because she was uncomfortable exposing herself like that. Instead of respecting her decision and accepting her — the motto of glee club — Will suspends her! Are you kidding me?! Sorry this girl is uncomfortable exploiting her body for a performance. You preach acceptance and the idea that anyone should be able to act/dress/ love/ anything they choose, but, no, you once again completely change the ideology of the show and make these characters unaccepting. What is wrong with the writers?!
On top of an already terrible episode, there is focus shifted on Marley and Jake’s (Jacob Artist) relationship — you know, the most boring and uninteresting relationship ever created. Marley is terribly written and performed. The only way to fix that mess is to cut it from the show. Benoist and Artist have no chemistry. I have no desire to root for them. It’s just the show’s attempt to have another relationship in the high school setting since Finn and Rachel were what made the show. However, no one cares about them. Thus, I don’t care that they are having problems. Marley is essentially a 5-year-old and Jake wants to move further in their relationship, but Marley doesn’t want to. With all of his pent up bad boy attitude, Jake goes to see Bree (Erinn Westbrook) to “go some place private.” In which, Bree is quite forward and talks about bringing a blanket so she doesn’t get grass stains on her uniform. Excuse me, but no. In what high school does this happen and how does one fight make Jake just run off to some desperate wannabe for a hook up? I hate every decision the writers have made.
It turns out Penny is actually a Katy and just liked hard rock because of her boyfriends. Wow, super interesting. What a complex female character. She and Sam kiss, which, again, I’m pretty sure is still illegal.
The two watch the Gagas perform an a capella version of “Wide Awake,” probably because there’s no budget left after “Applause.” This wouldn’t have been terrible had Kitty (Becca Tobin) not been in it. She sounds like a nasally Quinn, and it’s awful. I hate all of the new characters. They need to go.
Elliott Gilbert, aka Starchild, is finally in the band once Kurt comes to his senses. Now, they only have to decide on the name. Luckily, Rachel just pops into the room and recommends “Pamela Lansbury” – because a mix of Pamela Anderson and Angela Lansbury is just right, don’t ya think? As one may have expected, Rachel joins the band.
Sue (Jane Lynch) enters the choir room to suspend the glee club for a week because of the way they’ve been dressed in Katy Perry and Lady Gaga costumes. Essentially, this is a lame excuse to start up the feud between Will and Sue again. But following the trend of tonight, no one cares.
The issue is: this only works when it’s old Sue and old Will. There’s been a bit of an arc with Sue and she’s a little too far from her older hilarious and perfect days. Will never really developed and that’s because there’s really not much to do with him. It may be weird to have Glee without Lynch and Morrison but for the sake of the show and my sanity, get out of Lima now.
As in every episode, we close with a big number, “Roar.” The glee club is dressed in loincloths while the stage is like a jungle, and Kurt and company sing the same song in New York. Coincidentally, all parties — even NYC — happen to have a vine/rope to swing from. The show could have used this song in tangent with a storyline, but, no, let’s just throw another performance at the end of the episode and make money off of the covers.
I’m not sure how much longer I can take watching this show.