GLEE: Did This Week's GLEE 'Duet' For You? - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GLEE: Did This Week’s GLEE ‘Duet’ For You?

October 13, 2010 by  

“Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again.”

Ok now THIS is how GLEE should be every week!

✓ Great music.

✓ Witty dialogue.

✓ An underlying theme that wasn’t forced.

✓ Sweet and emotional moments.

✓ Did I mention the great music?!

Can I get an ‘Amen’? Um, no seriously…someone join me with an ‘Amen.’ People, it’s duets week. Don’t leave me hanging. I want to go to Breadsticks!

Being one of the most inconsistent shows on TV, I don’t want to say that GLEE has seen the error of its ways and righted all the wrongs of its past with just this one episode, but I must give praise where praise is due. And praise is due all over this ep. The combination of writer Ian Brennan and director Eric Stoltz resulted in a whole lotta win!

This week, the various members of New Directions were mixed and matched as they competed to see which twosome could pull off the best duet. Assuming it would be a no-brainer that she and Finn would win with their rendition of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart,” Rachel decided it would be best to throw the competition so newbie Sam could feel part of the group. After railroading Sunshine Corazon out of the group, it seemed Rachel was intent on making the glee club as strong as possible so they can make it to Nationals in NYC. By throwing the competition, she thought she was taking one for the team. As Finn pointed out, her motives were still selfish, but I think we can all forgive Rachel as her heart was in the right place. That’s a big step. That girl is rather self-absorbed.

When it was time to choose partners, Kurt hoisted himself in Sam’s direction and insisted that the two of them pair up. Nervous that Sam wouldn’t be able to take the ridicule that would come with singing a duet with Kurt, Finn tried to discourage him. Was I the only one wondering who was going to give Sam a hard time? They performed in glee club rehearsal…it’s not like it was at a school assembly or anything.  Regardless, it seemed a bit brutal that Finn was so adamant about sparing Sam’s feelings when he didn’t seem to care all that much about how Kurt would feel.

Kurt accused Finn of being a closeted homophobe which served the purpose of resurfacing a somewhat controversial storyline from last season. Kurt was finally called out — not only by Finn but also by Burt — for being a bit manipulative and not forthcoming of his role in the events that led to the major fallout between Burt and Finn in the powerful “Theatricallity.”

I’m glad it was finally addressed. Finn should never have used the derogatory descriptive that he did, but Kurt crossed a few boundaries too. I never forgot how that scene painted Kurt as the victim who quietly sat back and let Finn take on the full wrath of Burt Hummel, knowing all too well that he had a hand in Finn’s outburst. Given the way it was handled in tonight’s episode, it seems that the writers also felt there was unfinished business that needed to be dealt with and it was. I’m glad that the writers took Kurt to task. If GLEE is truly rooted in diversity and inclusion, then they can’t simply put the gay kid on a pedestal high soap box. Kurt is gay, but it’s not what defines him. He’s first and foremost a teenager on a particularly bumpy journey to self-discovery. He should be allowed to make mistakes.

In the end, Kurt came to realize that he couldn’t will Sam into being gay…no matter how much he wanted him to be. But at the same time, it was a sad look into how desperately Kurt wants to experience the companionship that comes with being in a relationship. He feels different and alone. Very emotional stuff and once again handled beautifully by Chris Colfer and Mike O’Malley and later with Colfer and Lea Michele.

I know I’m going to get crucified for saying this, but the writers need to make sure they don’t use the emotional resonance of Kurt and Burt’s relationship as a crutch. The two have a great relationship that extends beyond Burt’s acceptance of his son’s sexuality. I hope they are careful not to cut to a Hummel father/son heart-to-heart just to strike a chord. Those scenes need to always be authentic.

Moving on to a lighter subject — Mike Chang finally sang! Well, kind of. Harry Shum Jr. who was virtually a mute all last year, has not only had a much bigger storyline as Tina’s boyfriend this season, but tonight for the first time ever, he actually sang on the show. Tina and Mike’s contemporary performance of “Sing” from ‘A Chorus Line’ allowed our favorite “other Asian” to showcase his dancing talents while giving us a little vocal treat as well. I’m not sure Harry Shum Jr. has the vocal chops of the rest of the cast — especially given that it was never intended that he sing — but he’s still an important part of the group. Breaking his vocal virginity tonight was just another step in making Mike Chang (and Harry Shum Jr.) feel like a real part of the ensemble.

Sam and Quinn paired up to sing my future wedding song (although I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one), a tune called “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. The two locked eyes, exchanged flirty smiles and by episode end, they went on their first date. Of course it didn’t start so smoothly. Quinn flirted heavily with Sam and then rejected the very advances she was practically begging for with some over the top speech about how she had too much to deal with to get into anything with Sam. Fine, but she didn’t need to go all crazy on him. But as I said, it ended well for the two and I want to see more of their budding relationship. And okay, I’ll admit it…I kind of want to see how insanely jealous Puck gets when he gets out of juvy. (BTW, if the writers needed to keep Puck out of an episode or two, they could have come up a better excuse than “he drove into a convenience store and drove off with an ATM”…That’s the kind of story you concoct if you’re trying to write someone off the show. A bit too extreme perhaps.)

After a falling out, Brittany and Santana found new partners. The former with Artie and the latter with Mercedes. Brittany and Artie’s partnership was mutually beneficial: she would have someone to sing with and Artie could make Tina jealous. Mutual benefit turned into mutual satisfaction when the two paired up in a whole other kind of way. Later, Artie would play the role of the victim claiming that Brittany took his virginity like some sort of thief in the night. He seemed to claim she was too casual about their escapades. Perhaps. Yes, maybe she picked him up and carried him to the bed, but I wasn’t hearing him say no, either. A bit unfair on Artie’s part. A bit slutty for Brittany.

Mercedes and Santana once again paired up for a duet and the two nailed it. Their take on “River Deep, Mountain High” was my favorite of all the duets, and that’s saying a lot given Kurt’s tremendous performance of “Le Jazz Hot” from VICTOR/VICTORIA.

Figuring that picking a particularly bad song was the only way they were going to lose, Rachel and Finn opted to sing “Born Again,” a duet made famous by James Ingram and Patti Austin. (Um, I happen to truly love this song. Am I the only one?) Singing this sexually charged tune dressed as a nun and a priest made it especially offensive and secured the L for Finnchel (sorry, that was bad) but produced one of the funnier exchanges of the night.

Mercedes: “Ok, do I even need to say it?”
Sam: “That was really rude.”
Tina: “But like, really rude.”
Quinn: “I seriously wanted to punch both of you.”

In the end, everyone voted for themselves to win, so Rachel and Finn’s votes for Sam and Quinn ensured them the victory. Off to Breadsticks they went.

The episode was closed out by my favorite performance of the night, and perhaps the season to date — Rachel and Kurt’s mashup of “Come On Get Happy” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Simply spectacular. (iTunes is getting my money tonight.)

Although I do think the writers missed out on a chance to put together new pairs that never sang together before, I think the musicality of this episode was off the charts, so I really can’t complain.

Again, we can’t assume that the next GLEE won’t be a hodgepodge of forced musical moments, character and plot inconsistencies, but now that they’ve shown what they are capable of, there really is no need to go back to anything less than what this week’s episode offered.

A few more thoughts on the hour, while I set off on a journey to find someone to duet with.

  • I geeked out — or should I say gleeked out — in a big way when I realized that Eric Stoltz was directing this episode. A little network crossover as Stoltz is one of the stars of Syfy’s CAPRICA. But he will always hold a special place in my heart as Keith “You look good wearing my future” Nelson. (And if you didn’t get that reference, then you are probably too young…I don’t want to hear about it. Ha!)
  • I liked what I saw from Sam tonight. Not only did he get slushied for the first time and take it like a man, but also, he wasn’t too concerned with the court of public opinion that might turn on him if he sang with Kurt. Nice.
  • Did anyone else notice there was no Jane Lynch in this episode? I didn’t until someone pointed it out.  I’m not going to go as far as to say she wasn’t missed, but when the other elements are working so well, it’s okay to take a break from Sue Sylvester.
  • Brittany nudging the meatball with her nose might have been one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.
  • What a novel idea…Will Schuester as a teacher and advisor. He didn’t act inappropriate, cross any lines or sing any hip hop songs from the 90s. Well done, Schue.
  • Um, how many parents watching with their kids freaked a bit during the Brittany/Santana scene? Who knew you could reference ‘scissoring’ during the 8 p.m. hour? I have to think that maybe the folks at Fox’s Standards and Practices either took the day off or aren’t savvy enough to pick up the sexual reference. Either way, it was awesome that they got away with it.

And now for some of my favorite notable quotables from “Duets”:

  • Brittany: “Oh, your sweet lady kisses.”
    Santana: “It’s a nice break from all that scissoring.”
  • Santana: “Um, I’m sorry. Have you been to Breadsticks? They’re legally forbidden to stop bringing you breadsticks. One time I brought a wheelbarrow and when the manager tried to stop me from filling it up, I called the corporate office and got her fired.”
  • Mike: “I don’t want to do it.”
    Tina: “We’re duet partners, you have to sing.”
    Mike: “I don’t even know if I can sing. Everyone knows I’m here to do one thing — dance. You sing and I’ll dance around you.”
  • Santana: “How can you do a duet by yourself? That’s like vocal masturbation or something.”
  • Rachel: “I think you and I are a little bit more similar than you think.”
    Kurt: “That’s a terrible thing to say.”

From the Fascinating Mind of Brittany S. Pierce…

  • “He might be the dumbest person on this planet…and that’s coming from me.”
  • Brittany: “I just want you to know that I’m really into you.”
    Artie: “Okay. Sorry I’m just a little confused. You’ve never made eye contact with me.”
    Brittany: “I know. For a while I thought you were a robot.”
  • “I’m mad at you…but you’re still so hot.”
  • Artie: “I thought I was over somebody but I think I still have feelings for them.”
    Brittany: “The Clintons?”
  • “For our duet, we’re going to do it.”
  • Brittany: “You’re breaking up with me?”
    Artie: “All you wanted was a free dinner at Breadsticks.”
    Brittany: “But I really wanted to go with you.  I was going to order us one really, really long piece of spaghetti, like in LADY & THE TRAMP. I’ve been practicing budging the meatball across the table…with my nose.”

Enough from me. I want to hear from YOU. Thoughts on this week’s episode? What worked well and what fell short?  Oh and I think we all need to vote on who we thought had the best duet. Who would have YOU given the Breadsticks gift certificate to?

Filed under #1 featured, Glee


15 Responses to “GLEE: Did This Week’s GLEE ‘Duet’ For You?”

  1. Tim (@rural_juror) on October 13th, 2010 1:39 am

    Was Rachel dressing as a nun? I thought it was kind of a sexy-schoolgirl outfit.

  2. laiq on October 13th, 2010 5:14 am

    This week really worked. I laughed, I clapped I sang along (badly, I’m worse than Mike Chang!!) and I really enjoyed it. I wish Glee were like this every week, but these little gems makes it easier for us to forgive the rougher episodes.

    I really loved Santana and Mercedes duet, and Mike and Tina’s duet too. The moment between Kurt and Rachel was long, long overdue and their duet was kind of special.

    Best image of the week – the lads falling all over Santana’s ass during her duet and obviously Brittany’s meatball nudging – that was the funniest, but cutest thing I have ever seen.

    by the way I think you misquoted this line “For our duet, we’re going to do it.”
    I think it was “Befor our duet, we’re going to do it.”

  3. Rebeccapedia on October 13th, 2010 6:35 am

    I loved it!! The last three episodes have been fantastic, I keep expecting the show to let me down and it just isn’t. Duets was a brilliant idea for a plot, the whole episode was just great. Rachel was even more awesome than usual, how anyone can not absolutely love her is completely beyond me!! I really liked how we got to see more of the side characters, although Brittany and Santana came across better than Artie. He doesn’t seem to be getting why Tina broke up with him at all, and making Brittany feel like crap because he regretted sleeping with because he’s still in love with Tina was a horrible thing to do.
    Rachel and Finn were so funny and so cute in this episode, seriously, last week I was all ready for them to be dunzo, but Ian’s version of Finn was great, he was perceptive and funny, and nicer to Rachel. HOWEVER his reasoning about her good deed was ridiculous, it’s like that Friends thing with Joey and Pheobe, there’s no such thing as an unselfish good deed, and Finn is never that nice to anyone!
    Also Quinn and Rachel. I LOVE when they have scenes together. Quinn is hilarious with her fake-hate for Rachel. Oh sure, you want to torture her, yet for some reason you keep randomly hanging out with her for glee club missions like spying on VA or praying for Burt, and you agree to do whatever she asks you too. I’m not sure how I feel about Sam and Quinn, they were cute, but I really wanted Sam to be Kurts boyfriend, I definitely get a Jack McPhee vibe off him, maybe it’s just because I want Kurt to have someone so badly (I always felt the dislike for Rachel was just because he was jealous that Finn might actually like her) and because Chord reminds me so much of Justin from Queer as Folk and Maxie from Skins.
    Rachel and Kurts duet at the end was incredible. I like that they might develop a friendship, I liked how when he said he was going to duet with the best singer in glee club she kind of smiled, and then looked sad when he said himself! The way she asked him to sing with her was so lovely, just when I thought I couldn’t love Rachel any more than I do now, they go and pull that out!! Although, given Glee’s inconsistency, I fully expect that to go nowhere.
    It was just so good! Santana and Mercedes duet was fantastic, I was genuinely shocked by how talented Naya is, when she finally got a chance to sing properly last year, she’s actually incredible.
    It was strange without Sue, but it was kind of nice to just have a friendly episode, I really like the bonding of the club that went on, now if the rest of glee club could see how incredible Rachel is instead of just Finn and Quinn (that friendship is right there, I don’t buy the hatred for one second!), that’d be super awesome.
    Does anyone know how much they all get paid? I’m sure it’s not great because it’s still a very young show, and there’s so many of them, but they’re so talented and they work so hard, I want them all to be ridiculously rich!
    Loved it loved it loved it! I cant wait for Rocky Horror, I have major reservations about how much they’ll have to tone it down, but they got away with that Brittany and Santana stuff (which I NEVER thought they would!) so who knows?

  4. Becky on October 13th, 2010 10:01 am

    Thank you for the recap. I really enjoyed this episode.

    I liked that Burt called Kurt out about the episode last season where he was mad at Finn.

    I really liked Sam. I didn’t get all of this from his first episode where he decided not to join Glee, but he was going to sing with Kurt and, even when Kurt told him he didn’t want to sing with him, Sam was like Did I do something? instead of Thank God. And then all of it with Quinn. I really liked that whole thing. I like Quinn when she’s being crazy bitch mean, or sweet on a guy, or nice to Rachell – she’s awesome.

    i did miss Puck. Can’t wait to see what he thinks of this Sam Quinn thing.

  5. Sarah on October 13th, 2010 11:25 am

    I think the crowning moment of my new love for Sam was when he said to Finn “I gave Kurt my word, in my world, that’s how it is.” I think loyalty to your word is something we often overlook and take for granted as a generation, so I’m glad Sam’s turning out to be a noble chap.
    Who else is a little bit excited for Rocky Horror Show glee?!

  6. Nic on October 13th, 2010 3:03 pm

    Sweet Finndication! I was so glad they resolved the issues that arose in Theatricality and acknowledged that while what Finn did was wrong, that doesn’t necessarily make what Kurt did to bring it to that point okay.

    Finn and Rachel were the Finn and Rachel I’ve been rooting for since Pilot and I really hope the writers continue them on this path instead of trying to make them angsty at every turn.

    The only part I didn’t like is what they’re doing to Tina. They’re making her look so wishy washy and bitchy and that’s not who she is. Then again, we don’t really know much of who she is because the writers refuse to flesh out her character. Instead, we get an endless parade of guest stars with better fleshed out backstories.

  7. Karen on October 13th, 2010 4:00 pm

    The best yet this year!!!!! I also loved born again and openly admit to belting it out wih Finchel! My only grip was how could they have written Fiin to say the the music in Grease 2 wasn’t good?????mind boggling!

  8. Kath Skerry on October 13th, 2010 5:23 pm

    Agreed, Karen! I think GREASE 2 is often dismissed, but I love it.

    And I meant to ask you…was “Born Again” someone’s love theme from General Hospital or something?

  9. Brooke on October 13th, 2010 5:57 pm

    I completely agree with everything you said. You are a genius.

    I hope everyone else agrees that THIS episode is what Glee is all about, it was perfect.

  10. Sabrina on October 13th, 2010 9:13 pm

    Loved the Lucky Song, best yet! What a great match they made.

  11. John on October 13th, 2010 9:45 pm

    >> we can’t assume that the next GLEE won’t be a hodgepodge of forced musical moments, character and plot inconsistencies <<

    Since the next episode is Ryan Murphy's Rocky Horror Picture Show episode, I think we can assume it will be precisely that kind of hodge-podge.

  12. Meg on October 13th, 2010 10:01 pm

    Amen! Best episode so far this season! Is it wrong that I want Brittney and Artie to start dating now?

  13. PBR on October 14th, 2010 5:52 am

    Loved the episode. Loved the focus on the kids using their voices and talents to create a story and to explore their relationships.

    A question: Is Diana Agron (Quinn) really singing? I can’t tell if that’s her voice or if she is lip synching. Anyone?

    Thanks, and… we’re going to duet before we duet. :>

  14. PBR on October 14th, 2010 5:54 am

    Oops. Make that We’re going to Do It before We Duet. :}
    I got a little carried away with my own attempt at The Joke of the night!

  15. Nina on October 15th, 2010 11:23 am

    I know it’s a bit off topic, but let’s say I’m answering to John :

    “>> we can’t assume that the next GLEE won’t be a hodgepodge of forced musical moments, character and plot inconsistencies <<

    Since the next episode is Ryan Murphy's Rocky Horror Picture Show episode, I think we can assume it will be precisely that kind of hodge-podge."

    I thought a bit like you at first, and then … I watched the trailer of the RHPS episode. It looks absolutely WONDERFUL.