TV: ‘Glee’ has a puppet predicament

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 1.5/ 5

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Glee didn’t even take Thanksgiving off as it continued through its quite terrible fall fifth season. Last Thanksgiving, we at least got a kiki to fix everything. This time, not much was around to save the show from its idiocy. The episode, titled “Puppet Master” was about all puppets and dream sequences, but they were certainly not up to par with the dream sequences of the Britney Spears episode, that’s for sure.

Kurt (Chris Colfer) wants “Pamela Lansbury” — yup, they’re still going with that name — to premiere at Callbacks, the NYADA piano bar. Everyone protests, saying it would be a bad venue to start the band at, but Kurt insists it will be great. He dreams up their premiere singing “Into the Groove” — even though they’re supposed to be some rock band or whatever but, sure, they can do Madonna covers — as everyone in the crowd cheers. I wonder if this is the way Ryan Murphy pictures the world accepting Glee’s performances. It’s not. It’s a good cover though; I’ll at least give them that.

Blaine (Darren Criss) comes into the choir room looking to talk about Nationals but all he wants is an affirmation of his brilliant ideas that would put him at the center of the act. He’s trying to control everything and be a “puppet master.” Well just come right out and say it why don’t ya?

puppetsHe storms around the school and finally returns to the choir room only to be startled by Brad who talked!! I love when they make fun of Brad. It’s awesome. Apparently, he’s not doing too well. He has a gambling problem and owes a lot of money. But who cares? It’s all about Blaine. He continues to rant as he sits in the back corner and then things get weird. Everyone turns into puppets and suddenly everyone thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. They even beg him to sing. So, they all sing “You’re My Best Friend,” and it was actually kind of funny but, yes, still weird. The whole puppet idea is entirely ridiculous but seeing Criss interact with them was hilarious. It was so stupid that it was good.

Jake (Jacob Artist) is a total man whore again and is tapping all the Cheerios, even Bree (Erin Westbrook) looks upset. To help him relax, Blaine tells him to sit in the back corner. It’s like they’re drug addicts now. Jake goes into the choir room complaining how no one can keep up with his choreography so he’s not even going to try anymore. Then he sits in the back corner and dreams up a mash-up performance of Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and “Rhythm Nation.” The sad thing is that this performance isn’t really that impressive. It’s supposed to be some big number for Artist to show off his dancing skills, but I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe it’s because the Marley (Melissa Benoist)-Jake-Bree triangle is incredibly dull, or because the performance was so cliché or simply because I’m sick of the show trying to just copy the music videos. Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” video was popular in its own time because it was unique. Copying said video is not going to get the same response, especially not on Thanksgiving night in this decade.

I should mention that the “back corner” only works because there’s a gas leak right there. Let’s knock some sense into the writers. A gas leak would not be confined to one corner of the room. But whoever thought doing puppets as an episode must have been sniffing some gas themselves.

The school board is coming to evaluate Sue’s (Jane Lynch) performance as a substitute principal and to see if she should be instated as the full time principal. Before the preliminary board members meeting is over, the superintendent asks Sue out for a drink not because he’s interested, but because he thinks she’s a man. This prompts Sue’s entire story for the rest of the episode: her questioning her femininity.

Before I rant, I have to mention that 1986 flashback to when Sue first started at McKinley and was feminine. She had a wonderful pastel skirt suit on but no one took her seriously so she put on the tracksuit, cut her hair, grabbed a megaphone and never looked back. That scene was great. It almost reminded me of the old Sue.

OK, now I’m going to rant. I hate how Glee talks the talk and doesn’t walk the walk anymore. They preach so much about how everyone should love who they are and be who they want to be but so often they have been writing episodes in which characters are changed or made to feel like they should change. Stop it. Sue is Sue. Do not belittle this character by making her question her very self because you wrote some minor bigoted character into the episode.

arShe even goes to Will (Matthew Morrison) for help. In the end, there’s a comparison made to Ginger Rogers and how she was just like Fred Astaire except she did everything backwards and in high heels. Of course, we then have a dream sequences in which Will and Sue recreate the renowned “Cheek to Cheek” performance from Top Hat. It was OK singing but nowhere near the dancing similar to that of Astaire and Rogers. Do not do this type of scene if you’re not going to have great dancing. Don’t ruin the classics. Please just stop trying to put Glee’s name on everything. You already ruined “Make ‘Em Laugh.”

Blaine makes his own Kurt puppet — in an arts and crafts class nonetheless — but Sue takes it because he sasses her and she thinks it’s because she’s trying to be feminine when really he was just defending his puppet. It’s literally just utter nonsense. Obviously, he puts on a mask and goes to break into her office but she catches him and gives him detention. Oh no! Now he can’t make it to Pamela Lansbury’s premiere. Cancel that invisible jet and try to get back the magic discount he has on the bullet train to New York!

Unfortunately, only one person showed up to Pamela Lansbury’s premiere, and he’s just a Murder, She Wrote fan looking for Angela Lansbury. I thoroughly enjoyed this character.

Bree thought she was pregnant, but it’s just a false alarm. Though Jake is pleased, Bree chews him out for being the kind of guy that’s just going to have to worry about being a baby daddy for the rest of his life. This gets to him so he goes back to Marley, pleading for her to take him back so he can be a better guy, which he can only be with her. She turns him down. Artist actually gave a fairly good performance here. That glistening in his eye was convincing yet Benoist ruins the whole thing because she is a terrible actress. Get her off the show.

After being dolled up by Unique, Sue is made the permanent principal and even fixes the gas leak. But even her new look can’t convince the superintendent to go out with her now. Pow. Just one blow to Sue’s self-confidence after another. I hated this storyline. We’ve had something like it before with her “romance” with Rod Remington, except that time he turned her down because he was cheated on her and not as an attack on her looks.

It turns out that one audience member at Callbacks has a connection to get Pamela Lansbury into Williamsburg Musical Hall, which is only the hottest venue in Brooklyn of course. In other lucky news, the glee club has decided that Blaine should have a number all to himself at Nationals and he can do whatever he chooses. So our conclusion is that everyone just gets what he or she wanted. Does that mean we didn’t have to waste an hour watching the show?

Blaine also gave everyone puppets of themselves as gifts and both the New Directions and Pamela Lansbury perform “The Fox.” STOP. This is not a song you cover. This was clearly just another one of the show’s moves to cover popular songs in hopes of earning the big bucks. They’ve now covered “The Fox” and “Gangnam Style.” Yes, they are very popular, viral songs but that doesn’t mean you have to do them on the show. It’s not like “The Fox” has any connection to the puppet thing. I mean does looking at a puppet replica of you really make you want to sing this song?! Just come on. Do not do a cover for the sake of doing a cover.

How excited are you that our torture of watching this fall season of Glee is almost over? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl

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