TV: ‘Glee’ finally says goodbye to the “New Directions” and McKinley

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 2.5/ 5

new directions

Glee’s 100th episode was actually one of the better episodes of the worst season; however, even that mediocrity couldn’t be maintained for two consecutive weeks. I guess that’s just too much to ask.

Tonight’s episode, “New Directions,” featured the prolonged graduation we’ve been waiting for since the end of the last season, the end of the glee club and the roll call of who we will be seeing in New York. Spoiler: It’s just about everyone — except Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz).

Holly (Gwyneth Paltrow) and April’s (Kristin Chenoweth) plan to save the glee club is simply by just forcing music into other school clubs. In the show’s possibly dumbest idea ever, Holly dresses up as Temple Grandin and tries to persuade the Animal Rights Activists club to incorporate music by singing Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time” while then dressed in ‘70s club gear. Let’s break this down: Temple Grandin, Animal Rights Activists and “Party All the Time.” Someone had to have been smoking some of the good stuff when they pitched this idea. I’m sure the cast had fun during the scene, but did no one think about how utterly ridiculous it was? The Temple Grandin gag was just offensive and random — thankfully, the show addressed how rude it was when Holly was reprimanded for it — and the performance just ruined the song. Listen to that song and tell me you don’t find yourself singing the chorus over and over. It’s infectious, and I understand why it took Murphy to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985. It was an incredibly random choice song-wise. I was under the impression this episode was a continuation of the 100th celebration and would include the final fan-chosen performances.

The plan obviously fails, and the glee club’s death is final. Hallelujah!

In an attempt to get Rachel (Lea Michele) and Santana (Naya Rivera) to stop feuding, Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) sing “I Am Changing,” again not a song from the show’s past so I don’t know why they did it.

The two only become friends again once Santana quits being her understudy. Yes, it is as superficial as it sounds. Brittany (Heather Morris) for some reason made Santana figure out that being on Broadway isn’t her dream; sure. As requited by Glee rules, Rachel and Santana then sing a duet together to really prove they’re friends again. They sing “Be Okay,” and it was my favorite performance of the night. The song was incredibly catchy and cute, and the original version by Oh Honey is just as entertaining. I guess Glee still has one good function of introducing the world to songs we may otherwise never know. However, they traditionally stick to the Top 10 list, so this one last good thing doesn’t happen too often.

chumsIf you needed any more reasons to hate Tina — though there are plenty already — there’s a real doozy from tonight’s episode. Everyone was celebrating Blaine’s (Darren Criss) acceptance to NYADA — did anyone doubt that? — and Sam (Chord Overstreet) accidentally hit Tina in the face with one of the trophies, prompting her to daydream. I’ll accept the nonsense that was Blaine’s carbon monoxide leak-induced vision of living puppets, but I REFUSE to accept Tina’s envisioning of everyone in New York and parodying Friends. They called it “Chums” and remade the iconic water fountain title sequence. NOPE. HOW DARE YOU. You’re a terrible show; you don’t get to try to be like a phenomenal one. It wasn’t even a halfway decent parody. Tina would never be Rachel; she’s more of a Gunther. This solidified my hatred for this show. I have no words.

However, I did like the gag when Tina was trying to get into Mitzvah University — because she would waste the cost of college just so she could be in New York — by saying her name was “Tina Cohen” That obviously didn’t work, so everyone convinces her to move to New York just cause. Move and then figure out what you want to do. Sure, because New York definitely isn’t one of the most expensive places to live in, amiright? Tina says she would be a loser if she did that, so she, Blaine, Sam and Artie (Kevin McHale) all sing an acoustic version of “Loser Like Me.” I like the show’s original pop version better, but it was nice to see the show actually fulfilled its promise here and continued with the fans’ choice of songs to be re-covered.

Puck (Mark Salling) and Quinn (Dianna Agron) — who are officially going out, with their unfortunate couple name being “Quick” — sing, “Just Give Me a Reason.” Yes, please give me a reason as to why they made time to do this song and decided to cut Will’s (Matthew Morrison) duet with April to “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

dsbJust when you think they’re done, they pull you back into the auditorium. The glee club made an actually really sweet video for Will’s future child to tell him or her how amazing his or her dad is. You could see the cast’s true personalities shining through this video, hence the only reason it was good. Then, in the most important of all Glee rules, they end by singing “Don’t Stop Believin’,” again. This time Will joins the kids, and everyone sings way too low for their register. Please, stop covering this song. The first time was the best, and it should have been the only time you did it.

Graduation finally arrives and apparently the graduating class only consists of the glee kids and about ten other students.

Here’s a round up of everyone’s plans:

  • Holly and April are going to go on a cruise for gay men together
  • Puck and Quinn are going to try a long-distance relationship
  • Santana and Brittany are going to Lesbos island in Greece, then Hawaii and then Brittany will come back to New York with Santana
  • Tina was accepted to Brown University, so say good riddance. We finally got rid of her.
  • Sue (Jane Lynch) got Will an interview at Carmel High School to coach Vocal Adrenaline since that’s the only thing he’s good at
  • And no one cares about the newbie glee kids. Bye.

Before Will finally leaves the now empty choir room, voiceovers of the original glee club members play as he looks out to where the chairs once sat. Finn has the last voiceover, in which he talks about how everyone agreed they wanted to win their first Sectionals for Mr. Schue. The episode closes as we hear the glee kids laugh track, with Rachel’s laugh overpowering the rest.

Glee club is finally over and we can move on from McKinley. I’m not sure I’ll enjoy New York as much now that Artie and Sam will also have to tag along. There was no doubt in my mind about Blaine’s future, but I’m surprised the show feels the need to keep Artie and Sam. I say axe them. What storylines are they possibly going to have?

Glee has been rather atrocious this year. I would like to continue hate-watching this show, but that can only happen if I can physically fathom sitting and watching it, which has because quite the battle this season. I know it can’t really be much better, but let’s hope it can only go up from here and that the permanent move to New York will give Ryan Murphy enough newness to be interested in making the show good once again.

Does your girl party all the time? What do you want for the future of Glee? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl


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