Churrb and I discussed Glee last night over gchat.
did you watch!
Rachel: I did!
there’s so much to discuss
what did you think?
Me: SO MUCH
check my facebook
i wrote an essay
[ed. note. essay transcription:
For the record! Here are some things that I thought did not work.
-Puck's entire story line
-"We have a strict non-descrimination policy." Puke.
-The girls' number. Hardly even a mashup at all. Costumes were great though.
-TWO never been kiss...ed moments? Come on, writers.
-Slow motion hand-holding with strangers?!?! Where are we. I assume they forgot to make it explicit that Teenage DREAM was being literal? or something?
-Private school boy is too cute for Krazy Kurt, I preemptively hate that match-up
Things that worked.
-The mailman is always funny, always.
-Kurt, as usual, acted the SHIT out of this episode. The sweaty, balding hamhock scene actually really worked for me! They hit all the right emotional themes, it was surprising, it was believable, and it was relatable for me.
-The final guys' number was killer.
-Kids can be HORRIBLE in high school! It's really hard to realize that teachers are humans while you're in school, so I was a fan of having otherwise nice people, like Finn and Tina, be the "villains" for that conflict. Bieste for president of Glee.
-Sue's "WOUNDS" line won the episode, no one is surprised.
I'm ambivalent about Schue kissing Bieste. It was clearly a non-romantic, endearing friendship kiss, although Schue was probably being a little condescending, at least he wasn't being malicious and evil, like he usually is, or even causing unintended evil consequences due to negligence, like he sometimes does.]
it’s a good starting point i think
Rachel: haha I think I read it
I agreed entirely, except my opinion of the boys and girls numbers are switched from yours
but that’s unimportant
important= Kurt is seriously the best thing this show has going
that locker room scene was inTENSE
how GREAT was it
Rachel: so great
Me: one of the best scenes of the series
kurts whole storyline was such a GREAT depiction of my life
like, my first kiss was also by a bully
in a different way
in that he was an asshole AFTER the fact
Rachel: ah ok
it was great b/c they kissed but then, realistically, the guy was still an asshole
Me: in terms of hitting all the emotional themes
Rachel: but now kurt had more perspective
yeah, I totally agree
I was glad that everyone learned an Important Lesson
and that they got to humanize Bieste
because from the getgo that character has been pretty dehumanized
but her scene with will was really moving
Me: although they didn’t really establish anything new with her?
i feel like they’ve already established these character aspects
and i fear she is turning into a wuss
Rachel: they’ve def already established that she’s tough but gooey inside
or at least that she wants to be loved just like everyone else
but her quitting and the scene of sue gloating about it to will was more complex than this show usually gets
the whole ‘think of her to not be aroused’ plotline was kind of awful though
because clearly, even as the show was frowning on such behavior, it was taking part in it via comical interludes of her in lingerie
Me: but do you remember high school?
kids are evil brutal nihilistic pricks
poor miss cloutman!
i’m glad i don’t remember the things we said
and it happens all the time
and nice kids (tina, mike, finn) take part
because kids don’t realize that teachers are also humans
so i’m sure anyone who is a teacher was reaaaally feeling the mirror neurons last night
Rachel: omg I’m sure
kids are horrible to teachers, I remember that from middle and high school for sure
that part was realistic
Me: but i think the writers had problems with stakes
it’s well established that the central conflict between sue and bieste is that sue wants her gone, for budget
Rachel: right, that’s been true the whole season
Me: and we believe that sue is evil enough to go to unbelievable and despicable ends to get rid of her
but i don’t think we got to a point for bieste’s character to up and quit
which was the scene where schue tells her what the kids said
i think it would have made sense for them to cut her quitting and it would have worked
stern talking to from schue, and an apology
I dont think people say stuff like “I am really going to quit” nowadays if they arent going to follow through 100%
in a situation like this
Me: so if the writers wanted to get bieste gone for the purpose of the sue-bieste conflict, they needed something else
also, the scene at the private school was SO heavy-handed but also kind of cute
Me: slow motion hand holding?
Rachel: serious discussions with two gay and two straight men who are all friends?
due to a “strict non-bullying policy” or whatever
Me: shut up, twofer
you are making me nauseous
Rachel: I think at that point I said aloud to my roommate “oh, a ’strict’ policy?! well, that just about solves it then! all we need is strict non-bullying policies and the problem will be solved!”
Me: they forgot to establish that kurt was dreaming.
because there are schools where there is less of a homophobic environment
they just… didn’t get there
where getting actually physically assaulted for being gay while your CHOIR teacher watches and says nothing is unthinkable
Rachel: oh yeah! that was a very weird scene
shue was just like “watching this happen is a profound moment.. for me… to ponder in silence”
Me: in line with his character
it was a horrifying scene, because it was a very accurate depiction of what happens in real life
I thought the depiction of kurt being bullied was really intense and realistic
b/c bullying isn’t like in “teen wolf” where the bully just says dumb mean things about your mom
people get physically hurt
Me: the more i think about it, the more i think kurt is the best character on any tv show ever
Rachel: he’s so great
and chris colfer does an amazing job with it
Me: yeah, that’s what i mean
Rachel: when he got angry this ep it was totally real and grounded
Me: he’s just so absolutely alone
the way they do kurt’s loneliness is PERFECT
that is how every gay kid feels
no matter their circumstance
this deep, deep loneliness is universal
Rachel: yeah, and they made a great point that there are no other gay kids at the school
and it’s in ohio
so no matter how glittery the glee club costumes, it’s not really a gay-friendly environment that the show has created
Me: it’s a really fine point they make
and it’s been so gradual and perfect
with all the mike omalley scenes
Rachel: it almost seems accidental, it came up so subtly
because now, the viewers realize how truly unusual it would be for kurts dad to react that way
Me: “you need to allow yourself to be alone until you find someone brave as you”
Rachel: given their circumstances
Me: that line that made me weep for days and oceans
Rachel: aww I know!
Me: that was so full of truth
Rachel: my heart grew three sizes
Me: and also shrank
because telling someone they need to be alone, and also being right while saying it, is horrible
Rachel: I mean, only horrible if being alone is always a terrible thing
which I hope it isn’t
although I still want Kurt to find a bf and not have his “first kiss” be from some conflicted bully
Me: here’s a link i think is good for this point
because it’s one of the saddest realities of god choosing you to be gay
is that the correct answer is “sorry, watch everyone else fall in love, you can’t yet, and it’s no one’s fault”
also in the list were santana’s comment “i can think of so many gay jokes right now”
“kurt, you’re with the boys”
such that whatever small comment that was made in the meeting with all the guys made perfect sense as a reason for his character to flip out and storm off to that private school
which would have been really weird if the only thing leading up to that was sam saying “…i don’t want to wear a feather boa”
Rachel: yeah, that made sense, I didn’t think it was an overreaction at all
but I have a query for you
about a part of the ep last night
Rachel: a queery!
when I was watching the boys meeting scene, I had an instant negative reaction to how the show handled kurt speaking to the guys
Me: about feather boas, or in kurt’s dream?
(i am choosing to reimagine the whole private school as a dream)
Rachel: because it seemed to me that even while trying to present an anti-bullying message, the writers were just depicting kurt as a stereotypical ‘fashion gay’ who would bring in a board of clothing swatches and talk about that instead of about song choice
and I get that fashion is a part of his character, but it seemed like they went out of their way to make him purposely ignore the point of the meeting in order to talk about “gay stuff,” and when I see that depiction elsewhere, I find it really offensive
but since it’s Glee, I can’t tell if I’m reading the scene totally wrong or not, because obviously they don’t intent to propagate stereotypes
even if that’s what I think they’re doing
Me: i think that’s kind of a tough thing!
because seriously, stereotypes are true
and i think the message is more “listen, gays can be lisping and mincing, AND THAT IS FINE”
because i think there’s a knee jerk reaction to say “not ALL x’s are Y’s!!!”
when talking about any group
not ALLL canadians are loggers!
not ALLL french are stinkies!
but like, probably a significant portion of canadians’ livelihoods have to do with logging
so on one hand, you want people to not prejudge others based on their group memberships
“Hi, I’m Kurt, nice to meet you, I’m gay.” “Can you tell me if my outfit matches?” is kind of offensive
and on the other hand, anyone in nude erections asking kurt that now is not offensive
Rachel: that’s exactly my predicament!
because on principle, there’s nothing wrong with him loving fashion and wanting to be on the girl’s team for the competition
those are choices as acceptable as a gay guy being an amazing dancer or a lawyer or whatever
but on the show, in that format, it feels offensive for them to constantly highlight that he isn’t “one of the guys” because he’s gay
and it feels like his interest in fashion is a major way that divide is indicated
Me: i think it’s that kurt’s feeling of not belonging
is because he doesn’t belong in a high school in the middle of ohio?
and someone like kurt in suburban ohio DOES create a lot of discomfort, for everyone?
Rachel: it totally does, in real life
but in real life a kid like kurt in suburban ohio would probably not go to school in a full-on lady gaga costume
unless he had particularly supportive friends and family
so they’re already playing on a different level
Me: and i think it’s maybe just like heightened 10% for tv?
like the kiss got to the emotional core
Rachel: it totally did
that was so well-done
and perfect for this episode
Me: kurt is someone who would really really want to wear a full on lady gaga costume
so by making him actually do that
you get a little bit more drama and plot and conflict, while still staying true to the feeling
so it’s more representational of like, constance mcmillen
Rachel: I guess my problem is that Kurt is a smart character and he should’ve known that bringing in a design board would get a negative response from the guys
and the writers are smart and should know that you don’t have to prove a character is gay by making them care only about fabric swatches
can I pitch an alternate plotline to you?
because i think right now we’re on the same side of a very fine point
Rachel: I think so too
what if, instead of bringing in a costume board that doesn’t mention songs, Kurt had brought in the music for a song like “Man I Feel Like a Woman” or similar woman-hear-me-roar anthem
and the outfits would not be mentioned
but the song choice represents not only overcoming their discomfort with the ‘manly woman’ stereotype that they were hurling at Bieste but also lets them have a kick-ass number that Kurt gets credit for
more subtle? less stereotypical gay to make a point?
or the same?
Me: i dunno!
because things like this make me kneejerk to do something real faggy
maybe he wouldn’t bring in a fabric board and diarama, because he doesn’t have a prop department?
another alternate plotline
they’re sitting around talking
and he says “we should wear feather boas”
Rachel: Go on…
Me: the end
Rachel: I would support that too, if it got integrated into the final number
Me: it’s the same feeling
Rachel: Bc then they’re still allowing him to be exactly who he is
Without being so hamfisted as to use a literal fabic swatch board
Me: but then he can’t huffily gather his things and huff off in a huff
i think for the purposes of tv, they are indistinguishable
Rachel: I don’t know
Me: okay can we move on to our point of disagreement?
nvm let’s stay here
Rachel: Haha no move on
I agree that we’re on a razor-thin margin of differenxe
the girls v boys
i would like to posit as a jumping off point
what a mashup is, and what it should accomplish
they should, as a rule, be contrasting songs
Rachel: Or at least different songs
Me: but at the very least should create unexpected or different reactions than either one of the songs by themselves would
Rachel: Stylistic, tempo, era etc
Me: exhibit a
miley cyrus and biggie
Me: so the girls’ number
was just living on a prayer, full stop.
outfits, vocal performance, choreo? fantastic
you can’t just perform living on a prayer, say “start me up” at the end for the button, and call it a mashup
the men, however, got two songs that were different, and integrated them well
“free your mind in the name of love” is a different thing entirely
and i thought it worked well for the themes of the episode
and actually salvaged the whole episode
and i guess here, my primary criterion is “did they complete the assignment”
much like how i love modern family, because while being formulaic and sometimes cheesy and trite, it completes its assignment better than any other sitcom
Rachel: Woah, trite?
You watch it mister
Me: okay, minus two points for word choice
Rachel: Cheesy? Absolutely
But anyway! Glee mashups
Me: yes, fully rescind the word “trite”, it goes against my point
Rachel: I will agree that the girls’ wasn’t a great mashup in the ideallistically pure sense of the concept
Costumes were hair-metal perfect, songs were two great classic rock hits that worked well together
Me: “worked well” = “the same song”?
Rachel: It was energetic, fun, and ridiculous
Haha no, just songs from a similar era of music that dovetailed well
Me: i’m not being convinced that their energy and hair made it better than the boys
Rachel: My argument is basically that the boys had a better mashup but the girls had a better musical number
And honestly, I don’t put much emphasis on the “club assignment” framework
That’s just how the show excuses why normal hs kids would choreo, cvstume and stage 5 numbers a week
Me: okay let me clarify, because i agree with that
Rachel: haha k clarification = good
agreement = better
Me: because “start me up” didn’t add anything, it ended up taking away
Rachel: reasoned discourse = best
okay, I see that too
but also, I didn’t recognize either of the boy’s songs
and I thought the choreo was lackluster
Me: stop in the name of love?
Rachel: i mean, that one obvs, but what was the other song?
were there one or two other songs?
Me: free your miiiiind
I hadn’t ever heard that song before
Me: “Free Your Mind” is the name of a Grammy Award-nominated hit single released by the all-female R&B group En Vogue. Released on September 24, 1992 “Free Your Mind” is the third single released from En Vogue’s critically-acclaimed album Funky Divas. The anti-prejudice rock-oriented song reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number sixteen on the UK Singles Chart.
MTV Video Music Awards 1993
# Best R&B Video (won)
# Best Dance Video (won)
# Best Choreography – Travis Payne, Frank Gatson, and Lavelle Smith (won)
Rachel: ohhh En Vogue! From September 1992, when I was 4!
Me: it’s a claaaassic
Rachel: I can’t believe I forgot about Travis Payne’s epic MTV Movie Awards win
can’t believe it
Me: seriously look it up
Rachel: I think you see where I’m going on this one
Me: it’s a classic
Rachel: no, I believe you, but I have never heard of it or En Vogue
and while I’m glad Glee brings me new music
I feel that another function of mashups is to pair famous songs in a new and innovative way
Me: The group has won more MTV Video Music Awards than any other female group in MTV history, a total of seven, along with four Soul Train Awards, six American Music Awards, and seven Grammy nominations. En Vogue have accumulated over 2,800 weeks on various Billboard charts.
you’re setting a very high bar for famous!
Rachel: again, that’s awesome for them and I am pleased for their success
haha true, I guess if I am the only one who didn’t recognize it, my point is invalid
but it’s certainly not as famous a song as living on a prayer, start me up, or stop in the name of love
is that an accurate statement?
Me: but also
did you know rain on my parade before you saw it on glee?
Rachel: of course!
I’ve seen funny girl
Me: or rose’s turn
Everythings coming up KUUUUURT
Rachel: there have been very few songs on Glee I didn’t recognize
Me: where i’m going with this is that even if you don’t know the song, it should still be awesome
Rachel: which is why last night’s mashup was so confusing!
haha okay, that’s a fair point
it mostly just contributed to my overall dissatisfaction with the boys’ number
also, costumes and choreo were way off: agree/disagree?
Me: costumes and choreo were appropriate
stop in the name of love is very 50s motown, and requires shiny blue jackets
Rachel: is it 50s motown or 60s soul?
Me: not sure
Rachel: I thought it deserved more because that is a great song
Me: but appropriate for either?
Rachel: it might even be 70s disco
which is a HUGE missed opportunity for costuming hilarity
supremes, motown label
Rachel: but not motown era
ruh roh, razor thin disagreement again!
Me: still, shiny blue jackets, arm sway-snap
Rachel: yeah, pretty standard stuff, not as fun as the girls’ hair-metal ridiculousness
but I will concede that they were going for a motown vibe and that explains both the costumes and choreo
which is an idea I love in theory but apparently not practice
Me: and i feel like shiny blue jackets came back in the 1990s?
like boyz II men maybe?
i’m revisiting free your mind
i’m becoming even more recalcitrant in my opinion
because there’s this little do wop shoop shoop in the background
i’m thinking this is even more brilliant and inspired song choices than before
Rachel: I only watched it last night and I had a few glasses of wine, but I also stand by my opinion upon reflection
Me: agree to agree that the other person is wrong
Rachel: let’s both do that
Me: i agree with me that you are wrong
you agree with you that i am wrong
Rachel: and I agree with me that you are wrong!
so in that way, we’re both right
dare i even bring up puck’s clusterpuck of a storyline?
that was so effing stupid
Me: like, what?
Rachel: I don’t even know
and no one gained anything and it didn’t even make sense half the time
Me: oh hey, puck’s actor has to take a couple weeks off and record and promote a studio album, what can you do for us, writers?
Me: no words are to give their lives for the discussion of the disaster that was puck
but it was good for kevin
i mean artie
kevin mchale nooooo
Their second single, “She Said, I Said (Time We Let Go)” was produced by Timbaland and released on August 21, 2007. The single peaked at number 65 on the Billboard Pop 100; it also reached number 27 in Portugal.
On December 18, 2007, they released an R&B-influenced version of “Silent Night”.
#Bratz: The Motion Picture (2007, Geffen) (song: “Heartburn”)
i’m glad artie paid the bill
Rachel: hahahahaha omg “#27 in Portugal”
“R&B-influenced ‘Silent Night’”
this is the wikipedia page that keeps on giving
Me: i used to like artie as a character
now, not so sure
although him being in a “largely unknown” boy band prior to being a rapping cripple
makes him… sadder?
i don’t know
i’ll ruminate on implications later
Rachel: that page is high up on my ‘definitions of sadness’ list
“In 2008, they took part in the Johnny Wright-organized Bandemonium tour, with Menudo, VFactory and Glowb, which was less than successful”
Less. Than. Successful.
Me: yuck yuck yuck
I mean come ON
Me: his bandmate performed on idol?
this is TERRIBLE
Rachel: that’s tragic
was “discovered” by perez
(not as a competitor, as a special guest)
Rachel: “i luv yu travis garland
nd yur a sikk dancer”
(from the youtube comments)
Me: (i couldn’t tell)
this is all making me nauseous
Rachel: haha let’s move on then
I agree about artie
although my dislike of him stemmed from when he was going out with tina
and then increased when he dumped brittany for no reason
because she’s the best
Me: well, brittany used him
Rachel: I mean, a) she’s kind of too dumb to use people, b) he probably knew that going in, and c) wasn’t he using her too?
Rachel: to get back at Tina for going out with mike chang?
Me: lots of moral ambiguity!
Rachel: so its kind of a wash on the using
and then I default to siding with brittany
i am not familiar with the handicapped community
but is this type of thing typical?
i could see how in theory, being in a wheelchair could have a big impact on how you see dating
i’m gunna have to tie it back to kurt, because that’s what i know
but they share that loneliness?
is that a fair statement?
because puck was manipulating/teaching him to be a dick to girls
and he went along with it for a while
i didn’t like that
he redeemed himself though
good for him
Rachel: that was great
but the whole ‘being a jerk to girls together’ thing felt forced
Me: didn’t work at all.
even though he had a history of it!
did someone new write this episode?
4000 words later
episode rating, 1-10?
Rachel: okay, I’ll ponder my rating
35 users on imdb rated the ep, and it’s at a 9.7
for anchoring purposes
back in a bit
Me: any particular reason?
Me: and i’m going to be all boring
and agree that it’s an 8.5
the god episode was a 9.8
Rachel: haha k agreed
Me: i’m glad we talked it out though
Rachel: me too!
Me: because when the credits rolled
Rachel: I had so many queerys about it
Me: my gut said “WORST OF ALL TIME”
Rachel: ruh roh!
Me: but it was just puck
Rachel: turns out, it was just complex
Me: which i will ignore
Rachel: yeah, that’s the 1 point ding I gave it
and .5 is for one, but not both, of the mashups being weak
weak mashup TBD
Me: it helped that kurt received an 8 out of 3 for his performance and storyline
Rachel: yeah, honestly, the score would be a lot lower if kurt wasn’t around
he got more points than his rubric allowed
for being amazing
okay i’m going to put this on my blog
maybe we can do this again next week?!
and blog away
Me: for gwyneth!
Rachel: ohhhhhh boy
yeah, that’s going to be eithe rreally amazing or really not amazing
Me: there will be Thoughts!
Rachel: I might watch “Shakespeare in Love” beforehand so I’m in the right mindset about her
Me: or ironman 2
will will be once again making out with Every Adult On The Show
Rachel: my roommate and I have this theory about will
in which he does whatever the last person he spoke to suggested to him on any given issue
i can think of no instances where that isn’t true
will should die