Super Bowl Post-”Glee” Analysis
I watched the Green Bay Packers’ defense come up big and Christina Aguilera flub her lines, but you’re not hear to read about that. You want to find out how the post-Super Bowl episode of Glee turned out. Read on, but as you might expect, spoilers ahead.
Will notices the increasing tensions between McKinley High School’s football players and the glee club, so he comes up with one of his typically hare-brained big ideas and gets Coach Beiste to sign on: They make the football players join glee for a week. In the B plot, Sue Sylvester buys a cannon so she can use Brittany as a human cannonball as part of McKinley’s routine at a national cheerleading competition. (Brittany: “I don’t want to die yet. At least not until One Tree Hill is canceled.”) Then Will and Sue hatch a really half-baked plan to add seats to Cowboys Stadium at the last minute so that the people who paid for them can’t get into the venue. Oh wait, I imagined that last bit.
Sue then spitefully pulls the cheerleaders out of the halftime show at the championship game McKinley is hosting against an unnamed opponent, which means the glee club has to perform the halftime show. Sue also forces the cheerleaders in glee to choose between the show or the national championship. This is potentially an ingenious plot development, but it actually just leads to a pileup of walk-outs and walk-ins, with the non-cheerleading glee club girls joining the football team so that they’ll have enough numbers to take the field. The glee club re-creates Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (mashed up with Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll”) as their halftime show, then the football players in glee leave their zombie makeup on to freak out the other team in the second half, which works well enough to get McKinley a comeback victory. The Pittsburgh Steelers are now slapping their foreheads and saying, “Ah! Why didn’t we think of that?”
The advance publicity for this episode was hyping the football angle and the bigger budget, but it was really just an average episode of Glee written larger than usual. The number set to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” (with bike cross jumpers, trick riders, and cheerleaders with flaming boobs) left me as cold as it left Sue, and the “Thriller/Heads Will Roll” number on the football field didn’t match up with the “Single Ladies” number in the same place from last year. The big number that worked was the old-school Busby Berkeley-style one with the cast singing “See the USA in Your Chevrolet”, which wasn’t part of the episode proper but needed to be done for the episode’s sponsor (the Chevy Cruze), and I didn’t mind the blatant product whoring when it was sequestered off from the rest of the episode.
The other musical numbers were more typical of the show: Rachel and Puck’s dispensable cover of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” for the benefit of the bullying football jocks. (Who knew that Lady Antebellum could touch off a brawl?) The one home run in this episode was Blaine leading the Dalton Warblers in Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” with some nifty choreography complementing the all-male a cappella vocal arrangement.
Plotwise, I was hoping that we’d get a major development like Kurt finally closing the deal with Blaine, which would have been really daring for a post-Super Bowl ep, but I guess that’ll have to wait. Instead what we get is Sam challenging Finn’s leadership and Quinn trying to get back together with Finn after he somehow leads both the glee club and the football team to victory. Too much has happened between Finn and Quinn for that to possibly work. (Not sure why the show’s breaking up Sam and Quinn when it’s the Artie-Brittany relationship that makes no sense, but maybe the future episodes will explain it properly.) That Katie Couric cameo at the end was just bizarre; I kept expecting her Sue-shaming interview to be revealed as some sort of dream sequence.
One football note: McKinley wins the championship game by making the other team fumble the last snap of the game. If the other team just has to fall on the ball to run out the clock, why is it in a shotgun formation? If Glee wanted to, it could give Friday Night Lights a run for its money with the improbable football victories. Then again, lining up in shotgun for a kneel-down is no dumber than the New England Patriots audibling a fake punt in their playoff loss to the Jets.
The weather has kept this week’s movie reviews (Another Year and Biutiful, both playing at AMC Grapevine Mills) from going up on the website, but we’ll have those up as soon as possible. Oh, and if you want to hear the cast of Glee singing the national anthem before a major sporting event (and getting all the words right), here it is.