I have a quick review of last night’s Glee right after the jump.
One of the biggest changes I have had to make since I started writing my own reviews at BP on TV is not reading other reviews immediately after I finish an episode of the show I’m writing about. It’s one of the cardinal rules of criticism, so as not to color your own opinions or inadvertently adopt someone else’s view as your own. Reading other critics after I’ve posted my own review is great, as it helps me see where we differed or line up in our opinions, and may give me things to think about for the future, but whatever I write up in my own reviews is 100% purely my thoughts.
I say this because Glee is one of the more difficult shows to write about, I think, and I’m often unsure what I really think of an episode until later down the line. When an episode is completely off the walls, like “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle,” or, conversely, really well done, like “Silly Love Songs,” it’s easier to write about because it’s at the extreme of what Glee can do. An episode like “Sexy,” though, is more complicated, because it has some elements from both extremes.
I’ll start with the good: The Burt/Kurt scenes were heartfelt and had a good message to them. “The talk” is never comfortable for anyone, and it was nice that Burt pointed out that he wanted to have it even less than Kurt did. The moral was a bit preachy (“Use it as a way to connect to another person”), but it worked based on their established relationship. Santana and Brittany discussing their as-yet-undefined relationship was also good work for both characters, deepening Santana especially. And, finally, I found Gwyneth Paltrow’s return to be fun, even if Holly Holiday is completely inappropriate as the sex ed. teacher (or any teacher, really). She got some good jokes and helped Will, at least temporarily, get out of his funk over Emma.
Now, the not-so-good: “Blame It on the Alcohol” ultimately seemed to glamorize teen drinking, and while “Sexy” didn’t necessarily glamorize sex, it was definitely not against it. And that’s fine. But Glee needs to figure out what kind of show it wants to be when it comes to “messages.” If Ryan Murphy is saying this is a show for 7-year-olds and the importance of arts education, then pro-drinking, pro-sex episodes are probably not the best idea.
Furthermore, the whole celibacy club seemed to almost be mocking the idea of celibacy. As Holly said several times, it’s not necessarily realistic to expect all high schoolers to practice abstinence, and I think it’s important to have comprehensive sex ed., but when the only members of the club are Quinn (a teen mother), Rachel (who’s only there because she can’t be with Finn at the moment) and Emma (a 30-year-old married virgin with intimacy issues), the reasons for celibacy all become external, rather than personal choices. That’s even more true by the end, when every member of the glee club for some reason ends up in the celibacy club because… I don’t even know why.
The main conceit — that “sexy” would be the glee club’s theme of the week because they were uninformed about sex — was also completely nonsensical. Holly singing “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and getting all the kids to rip open their shirts was neither sexy nor in any way educational. Just because “sex” and “sexy” share the same root word doesn’t mean they have the same meaning, and Glee tried too hard last night to force that connection.
So, really, “Sexy” wasn’t that different from any Glee episode. It had good parts scattered through a muddled, ridiculous plot. At this point, if the result doesn’t leave me banging my head against my desk, that’s about all I can ask for.
Bits & Pieces
- Sue only showed up briefly at the Lima Bean to spill New Directions’ sexy game plan to Kurt and Blaine (“This is just sort of the way she talks”). Since less is more with Sue these days, probably a good thing.
- About “Do You Wanna Touch Me” — Will had no choice! The kids are so uneducated!
- Of course Brittany still thinks babies are delivered by storks. (Although her honesty with Santana and her self-awareness about her feelings doesn’t really line up with her stupidity otherwise.)
- I’m glad Coach Beiste is sticking around, even if we only got one quick scene with her.
- 1. What was that warehouse the Warblers were in? 2. How was their dance sexy? 3. What were the bubbles all about?
- Good to know that Lauren Zizes just wants to be famous, and she’ll do whatever it takes to get there. (“I want a TV show and a fragrance. It’ll be called Zizes and the slogan will be ‘You just got zized.'”)
- Tolerance Narnia doesn’t have sex ed!?!
- Was Sam’s line to Artie (“Wish you and I were that close”) supposed to be ironically funny or something?
- Speaking of irony, wasn’t it funny that Emma thought “Afternoon Delight” was a dessert??
- John Stamos returned as Dr. Carl. It seems like he and Emma should have figured out their intimacy problems and Emma’s feelings for Will before they got married.
- “I’m off to have craazy sex because I’m craaazy informed about it!”
- “I’m not following.” “It’s Jazzercise, Will, it’s really not that hard.”
- “Speaking of STDs, how’s your dating life?”
- “Breakfast confuses you.” “Well sometimes it’s sweet and sometimes it’s salty. Like, if I have eggs for dinner, what is it?”
- “My sex tape with JD Salinger was a disaster.”
- “Sorry if I’m overstepping.” “You are.”
What did other people think of “Sexy”? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!