TV: ‘Glee’ finds small success with the “piano man”

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 3/5 

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Stop the presses! The apocalypse is coming! Tonight’s episode of Glee, titled “Movin’ Out,” was not the worst piece of television I’ve ever seen. Every episode — with the exception of the Cory Monteith tribute — of the current season has been atrocious. The storylines have been worse than ever before and I’ve never felt the need to re-listen to any of the covers. Some of that changed tonight.

The lack of an arts booth at the career fair inspired Will’s (Matthew Morrison) next lesson: Billy Joel, who struggled for so long and then made it big.

And what a coincidence that Blaine (Darren Criss) and Sam (Chord Overstreet) have decided to take a few days off and head to New York for college tours and Blaine’s NYADA audition. This is obviously a perfect time to duet to “Movin’ Out.” I liked the harmony, but I’m most interested in how this actually somewhat relates to the situation. Can it be?! It’s still rather ridiculous how they’re jumping through New York but still this is monumental for the show.

bryanryanOne of the first things they do in New York is of course have Blaine sing at the Spotlight Diner. Of course. He sings “Piano Man,” and it pains me to say that I didn’t love it. I prefer Neil Patrick Harris, aka Bryan Ryan, and Schue singing in the bar circa season one. Criss’s voice is way to poppy to match Billy Joel’s rock and soulful lyrics. But, sure, let’s give him a standing ovation anyway.

Artie (Kevin McHale) wants to help Becky (Lauren Potter) apply for colleges with programs for handicapped students, but both Becky and Sue (Jane Lynch) protest. Sue disagrees, saying Becky is not ready and that she should stay in the safe environment at McKinley. Becky is simply afraid of being made fun of again.

Eventually, Artie works it out with the both of them, though Becky needed a song sung to her in order to be convinced. He sang “Honesty” to her and, boom, she changes her mind. Yes, because that is how decision making works. Sing a song to someone and his or her entire ideals can change.

Artie takes Becky to tour the University of Cincinnati. She goes into the classroom of students with Down syndrome and is immediately hit on by one fellow, so obviously she likes it.

I enjoy Becky and how outlandish she can be but lately it’s been way too much. Yes it’s funny that this type of character would be saying these sorts of things but if you abuse it, it merely gets annoying.

Ryder (Blake Jenner) confronts Jake (Jacob Artist) about how stupid he is for having messed things up with Marley. In retaliation, Jake asks whether or not Ryder thinks he’s supposed to change who he is then — the exact opposite of what they preach in the choir room. Good point. In further retaliation, he breaks out into “My Life” and does a bunch of flips in the choir room. Good choice of songs; it’s once again applicable to the situation. However, I am not a fan of Artist’s voice; it’s not very strong. Also, we get it. Artist is a good dancer. But being a good dancer doesn’t mean you just do gymnastics across the choir room.

Sam painfully ruins his college interviews. He actually says, “So you’re black? That must be interesting.” I mean, come on. Yes, he can be nervous and say stupid things but that was just ridiculous. After that monumental failure, he realizes he doesn’t want to go to college; he wants to be a male model. Gee. Who didn’t see this coming?

sam rachelRachel (Lea Michele) sets up a photo shoot for him. Yum, Overstreet is looking fine. For one of the shoots, Rachel oils him up and did I detect a longing look between the two? Yes. I did and it should NOT have happened. I’m not about to go into some Finchel-forever rant. I don’t care if Rachel finds another love, however I do care if it’s Sam. Anyone else feel like the writers will cheat us like they did on Friends when they tried to pair Joey and Rachel together? They are friends. That’s it. There is no connection or chemistry between the two. Making them randomly have longing stares is not OK. Do not start this.

Ryder asks Marley (Melissa Benoist) out but she turns him down. He pleads that he’s a good guy and that he’d never do what Jake did but she still withstands. Ryder sings “An Innocent Man” to her and, boom, she then accepts his invitation. Wow. The power of singing a song to someone is really underutilized if it is that effective. Let’s use this in international relations. Think of how many things would be solved!

Side note: I’m glad Jenner is singing again. I love his voice.

Did the writers break Marley and Jake up because Jenner and Benoist are most likely engaged in real life? I don’t know if the rumors have been officially confirmed yet but still they’re together. Art doesn’t have to imitate life all the time Ryan Murphy.

Jake has fully returned to his douche-y self, but it’s not a homerun for Ryder. He’s moving fairly fast and thinks he’s in a full-blown relationship with Marley, but she’s still hurting. I’d be remiss to end the discussion of this horrid storyline if I didn’t talk about most awkward of awkward scenes between Marley and her mom. Marley confesses she’s relieved she never had sex with Jake after he so easily became the bad boy again; but Marley’s mom refers to it as “the humpty hump.” I’m sorry, just no. It’s not even funny. It’s weird, creepy, sad and unnecessary.

Kurt (Chris Colfer) wonders why Blaine has taken time to tour other schools. Blaine’s reply is that they’re just safety schools. Before I get to the point of this conversation, excuse me, Blaine, did you just say that NYU is a safety school? Please. Anyway, Blaine tries to act like he wants a school that could allow him to explore his other interests — like playing Operation and wearing bowties — when in reality he’s just afraid. Kurt reassures him of his greatness and Blaine replies, “Thanks for knowing me. I love you.” Barf. I’m sorry but who wrote that?

tyraSam takes his photos to “House of Bichette,” a popular modeling agency. He better learn how to smize because Tyra Banks is in charge!!!!! I screamed. I love Tyra and this cameo. We also get the return of “trouty mouth” so everything is perfect until Tyra tells him he needs to lose 10lbs. What’s that? I can’t hear anything over the sound of Ryan Murphy climbing up and preaching from his soapbox.

With any issue, it’s best expressed in song — that’s literally a line in the show. Thankfully, we had Santana (Naya Rivera) to protest and say how ridiculous that notion is. Nevertheless Kurt, Blaine, Rachel and Sam all sing “Just the Way You Are” — not the Bruno Mars one, the better Billy Joel one — because Sam is perfect just the way he is. But even Santana can’t resist as she comes gliding in, singing to her hairbrush. I love Santana. There is entirely too little Santana in my life. More please. Again, we have a “moment” between Sam and Rachel and nothing is OK about it.

Sue finally puts up an arts centric booth at the career fair. Somehow we progress into a conversation that has Will state: “You may be right. We may be crazy.” But before the song can commence, Sue shuts him down in the most perfect of perfect monologues:

“Oh no no no no,” she begins. “Over my dead body will you inexplicably shoehorn in another Billy Joel song just to go punctuate one of your weekly lessons that inevitably veers off into a sacred barrage of angst and affirmation.”

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Cue the music and the school-wide sing-along and dance-along to “You May Be Right” begins. I liked this cover. I miss Will singing. But, I’m not a fan of how the entire school has been participating in the dance scenes. First, “Blurred Lines” and now this? It spoils the ridiculousness for me.

I don’t know if it’s my unwavering love for Billy Joel or just the fact that they may have done a slightly better job on this episode, but I didn’t hate my life for the entire hour. That’s really saying something.

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