Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Glee: Glee Bangs

Since I strongly believe Sue Sylvester is an almost completely useless character (and has been for a while, despite Jane Lynch's brilliance) and that Will Schuester is the worst character on a popular TV show I have ever seen (honestly...who is worse?!), let's just say I don't tend to enjoy the episodes of "Glee" that feature Lynch and Matthew Morrison heavily.

But for some reason, I didn't completely hate "The Spanish Teacher."

Well, not all of it at least: I still thought all the stuff with Sue suddenly wanting to become a mother was absolute garbage. Sure, Sue deciding she wanted to have a baby is no more or less ridiculous than marrying herself, but unless she decides to go the surrogate route down the road (and please don't make me talk about her asking Will and the MALE STUDENTS OF NEW DIRECTIONS to father her baby...ick), this storyline was basically another admission by the writers that they have no idea what to do with Sue.

I mean, other than the funny exchange where she claimed she frozen her eggs before the technology was even invented, Sue didn't even get great lines. Instead, most of the elaborately cutting insults Sue usually gets were handed to returning guest star Nene Leakes, back as McKinley High's Olympic bronze medal-winning synchronized swimming coach. (That's the early front runner for "Most Ridiculous Sentence I'll Write in 2012.) Since the baby crap is a non-starter, my best hope that Sue's storyline wasn't a total waste of time is that she rediscovers her competitive fire...with trusty Becky there to help stoke the flame.

Meanwhile, the reason I didn't totally hate Mr. Schuester last night is because the writers gave Matthew Morrison the rare chance to act like an idiot/jerk ON PURPOSE. Usually, Will's maddening passiveness and oblivious dorkiness/creepiness are an unfortunate by-product of terrible writing/questionable acting, but last night we were all (including the characters on the show) supposed to see that Mr. Schuester is an idiot!

With a new tenured teaching spot open at the school, Mr. Schue realized he should brush up on his Spanish skills if he wanted to beat Sue to the punch. Enter night school teacher David Martinez, who also happened to be musically inclined and volunteered to help Will teach Spanish to the glee club. (Um, how about teaching Spanish to your Spanish students, pal?)

Although, Martin was infinitely more convincing as a former teeth model than as a teacher, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed his performance. Although the obvious comparison point is Gwyneth Paltrow's Holly Holliday, I enjoyed the natural, easy nature of Martin's performance, in contrast to Paltrow's more explosive, eager-to-please work, which was also good.

It turns out that, much the way Becky had filed a complaint about Sue, Santana had lodged a similar complaint about Will and his embarrassing short-comings as a Spanish teacher. (I like that the seed was planted early on with her horrified reaction to "La Cucarracha.") I'm not sure why only Santana realized what Will and no other student had ever seen (he's a horrible Spanish teacher, and only took the job because it was the only one available), but it resulted David earning the Spanish teaching gig and, I'm sure, more Ricky Martin down the line.

One of my favorite little running jokes on "Glee" has been Emma's ridiculous pamphlets, so it was kind of awesome seeing them center stage last night. Not only were they hilarious ("So, you're a two-timing ho"/"So, you're dating a two-timing ho"), but they allowed Emma to come to the rescue when she sold a bunch of them, and gave Will a cute way to apologize for being a jerk. (I liked that he called himself out for acting like Terri.)

With an episode so focused on the adult characters, there wasn't a ton of movement on the storylines involving the students. Sure, Mercedes went back to her boyfriend Shane after not communicating with Sam for a week at Emma's request, but anyone who thinks that's over is kidding themselves, so we're just spinning our wheels here. (Unless Chord Overstreet mysteriously disappears again.)

Meanwhile, Rachel spilled the beans about her engagement to Mercedes and a huffy (is there any other kind?) Kurt, who tried his darndest to convince Finn that he had more going for him than being future Broadway star Rachel Berry's arm candy. (Yawn) I'm sorry, but haven't we been playing this out for AT LEAST a season. I already thought the circumstances surrounding the engagement were fairly hideous, but now it's getting tedious.

On that note, let's get to the (bilingual) musical numbers.

"Sexy and I Know It"...B: The number wasn't a great showcase for Martin's (or anyone else's) musical talent, but it was fun enough that it made me mostly ignore how completely inappropriate it is for a "teacher" to sing this to a group of students.

"Don't Wanna Lose You"...A-: This Gloria Estefan song was a relatively low-key performance (especially for the diva-licious Mercedes), but that's exactly what I liked about it. We know Mercedes can blow it out, so it's nice to hear her softer side.

"Bamboleo/Hero"...B+: Much better than any Gipsy Kings/Enrique Iglesias mash-up has any right to be. (Also a sneaky way to incorporate most of the male glee club members into one number.

"La Isla Bonita"...B-: Yes, he's hot and she's hot, but this Santana/David number didn't really stand out from a singing standpoint, and the dancing (while good) wasn't good enough to make up for it.

"A Little Less Conversation"...D: I realize this insulting performance was supposed to suck, but it just wasn't awesomely bad enough to enjoy. It simply sucked. Mission accomplished! (If he had incorporated the Taco Bell chihuahua, I would've given it a D

So what'd you think of this episode? Looking forward to seeing David Martinez again? Finally, which of Emma's pamphlets is your favorite?


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