Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Glee: The Rocky Horror Glee Show

The most recent episode of Glee was the highly anticipated, much hyped Rocky Horror Glee Show, featuring the music of, you guessed it, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I, along with several of my friends, felt this would either be one of Glee's best episodes or one of its worst. It saddens me to say, while this wasn't their worst, it certainly wasn't their best.

The problem with the Rocky Horror episode wasn't in the concept; it was in the execution. The general premise of the episode is Will Schuester decides to have the glee club perform Rocky Horror as a way to get closer to Emma Pillsbury, the lovely ginger-headed guidance counselor Will desperately wants but cannot have. That's the whole plot. There are two minor storylines involving Sue trying to win a local Emmy and Finn dealing with body image issues, but they're mostly swept aside so we can hear RPHS music and watch Will try to woo Emma.

I think it's great that the show was trying to have a more adult-centric episode, but it was done at the expense of the glee club, and it felt like there was a lot of wasted potential. Finn and Sam's storyline about how they look could have been a really great opportunity for the show. We all know about females and their body issues but no one really talks about what the guys go through. Men have the same insecurities women do, and while it was handled well, not enough was done with it. I would have preferred it if they had two separate episodes - one dealing with the Will, Emma, and Carl love triangle and the other dealing with the stress of putting on the show and Sue's interactions with the club.

The Good -

The opening featuring Naya Rivera singing Science Fiction, Double Feature was perfect. She sounded great and it was a good way to let the world know Glee meant business. I also liked the listing of who was starring in the show. It reminded me of classic movies.

Lauren Potter as Becky Johnson, the cheerleader with Down's Syndrome, who looks up to Will, uttering one of the best lines of the episode, "Give me some chocolate or I will cut you." Priceless.

Cory Monteith handled his story with vulnerability and honesty, without coming across as cheesy or melodramatic. While I'm not always happy with Finn's development, I am increasing impressed by Cory's growth as an actor. *Side note - I heard some people were surprised that Finn would become the "poster boy" for male insecurities but I think it makes perfect sense. Of all the characters, he was the obvious choice. Sam, Mike, & Puck are ripped, Kurt's proud and comfortable with who he is, and they're not going to give Artie, the guy in the wheelchair, any more issues than he already has at this point. That leaves us with Finn. He also has a different body type than the other guys, so it's easier to work with that. That said, anyone else notice Cory's been working out? Compare his shower scene in the first season to his walk down the hall in this episode - see the difference? I'm not judging. I'm just pointing it out.

The look on Lea Michele's face when she fake faints during "Sweet Transvestite" is hilarious. She needs to be allowed to do more physical comedy. I have a feeling there's some untapped potential there.

Mike Chang wanting to play Dr. Frank-N-Furter was great. I would have liked to see him at least try before his parents yanked him out. I really like that they are slowly developing him, and I hope one day, we can hear him sing for real.

Jane Lynch was on fire. There are too many great lines to choose a favorite, and YAY! Sue's Corner is back! For those of us missing out Sue fix, this was just what was needed. By the way, I want to learn how to carve like Sue. She's a master.

The Bad

"Sweet Transvestite" - I couldn't stand it. Amber Riley sounded amazing. The rich, powerful tones that have been missing from some of her other songs, were back in full force, but she was practically yelling for most of the song. I don't know if this interpretation was her decision or the Powers That Be, but it was way too much. It sucks because I think if the song was taken in another direction, she could have had something spectacular. Then again, the other option was John Stamos, and after hearing his version, I'm really glad they went with Amber.

Lea Michele - I hated Rachel's acting in the show. The character of Janet is a silly, cheesy character, but Rachel took it to a whole other level, and I don't even find it all that believable. Rachel Berry has been in performing arts classes since forever. I don't think she would be that awful. It was if she had never acted before, and was trying to be Susan Sarandon. Rachel Berry would take a role, base it off of the actor who originated the role and then turn it into her own thing. She would not suck like this.

Underutilizing everyone except the adults. I liked a lot of what came out of it but come on, we're not watching the show for the grown ups. I would've liked to see more of the glee club.

The Wha???

Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf Aday - The original Brad and Eddie came in for a cameo, but what was that about? Their presence made no sense, other than convincing Sue she needs a local Emmy. Yes, Africanized Mexican terrorists do cause me concern, but mostly I watched them and scratched my head. This was another example of not using the talent properly.

Emma singing "Touch-a-Touch-a-Touch-Me" to Will was yet another example of Glee using a song in a weird manner. Just like Rachel singing "Poker Face" was not the best song to be sung with her long-lost mother, this was just out of place and highly sexualized. I know they wanted to demonstrate the heat between Will and Emma but stripping him in a classroom was really messed up, considering their positions in the school (if they want to strip Matt Morrison any other time, I most certainly won't not object). It was also a little creepy having Brittnay and Santana watching all of it.

Changing the lyrics to the songs. Seriously, what the bleepity bleep? Mercedes can't say "Transexual, Transylvania"? What about how they tried to sanitize "Touch-a-Touch-a-Touch-Me"? I understand some things needed to be toned down but did they need to make it laughably horrible? Also, considering that Emma sang the song to Will, it really didn't need to be changed as much since it was between two adults... I'm just saying.

This episode was a hot mess. Other than "Sweet Transvestite" and the lyrical changes, the music was pretty good. Almost everyone got to sing and sounded great. Everyone looked amazing. If only the plot had been better... I think Glee needs to stop doing themed episodes and get back to simply telling a story. Maybe then they'll be able to recapture some of their former magic. The soundtrack for the episode is available on iTunes. What did you think? Awesome ep. or hot mess? Tweet us or let a comment. Toodle-oo until we meet again!