This week on Steve Complains About TV Shows:
The musical teen comedy/drama that continues to ruin my life on a daily basis: Glee.
How do I begin to explain Glee? Glee is like a drug, or a child that you have to love in spite of its flaws, or being in an abusive relationship. You just can’t quit, no matter how much crap you put up with. You know it’s bad, or wrong, or slowly destroying you from the inside out, but then an episode comes along where Santana confesses her love for her best friend Brittany, or Kurt overcomes homophobia and society’s views on gender roles and expression with a fabulous musical number, or Quinn and Rachel have extreme homo subtext, or Darren Criss… does anything, or something else homo-fabulous and uplifting happens (or something hetero-fabulous and uplifting although I can’t think of any examples fitting that description in this moment of time) and you get sucked back in. So you download a couple of hundred of the show’s auto-tuned songs, buy all the box sets, stay up til 2am to watch the new episodes on awful-quality streaming websites (if you’re not in the US) and spend hour upon hour letting out your feels and shipping feels and anger at Ryan Murphy feels on Tumblr or Livejounal or whatever social media site you happen to find Gleeks that share your opinions. You might read fanfiction (or at least the ones people keep going on about – coughcough, Dalton, Little Numbers, Go Your Own Way…) draw fanart, watch your favourite scenes and numbers over and over, cry into pillows at the perfectness of your favourite characters…
So Glee has returned. It would be an understatement to say I, and most people I know or know of, don’t have high expectations for this series. But you still have to watch it. You just – have to. As long as your characters (and homo-fabulousness) are still there, so will you be. That’s the curse of Glee.
So series 4 begins with a couple of bland and predictable episodes. In an attempt to seem vaguely meta, the first episode has Tina, Blaine, Brittany and Unique compete in a four-way sing-off for the title of ‘New Rachel’. Artie, in Mr. Shue’s apparent absence, has to choose the winner.
Guess who wins?
Hint: It’s not Tina.
And it isn’t Blaine, the winner chosen by Artie, either – Unbeknownst to our cast the role of New Rachel actually ends up going to a character that I call ‘New Rachel’. Mainly because I can’t remember her actual name.
So this is New Rachel. Or, Newchel.
She’s good at singing. She’s poor and uncool. Her mum is the school’s lunch lady, who the kids are mean to because she’s fat.
Let’s meet the other new characters, shall we??
Here we have the new Finn / Puck.
Let’s call him: Fuck.
This is Fuck.
He’s tough (like Puck), but secretly sensitive and likes singing (like Finn) and tries to hide it (like Finn). He has an absent dad (just like both Finn and Puck). He’s dating the popular girl (like Finn, and at one point also Puck) but secretly likes the uncool girl that’s good at singing (like Finn, and at one point also Puck). He’s also Puck’s half-brother, and Finn’s replacement as lead male. He’s Fuck.
Then, to complete the cliche love triangle that Glee is copying off itself, is new Quinn. We’re just gonna call her Quinn. I can’t be bothered to give her a new name. I’m pretty sure she’s actually just Quinn and this is another one of her ‘big plans’ to get back on top (I called it). After all, have we seen her recently? Got into Yale, huh?
So that’s Quinn.
Then, we have Unique.
We will call her Unique. Because she’s motherfucking amazing. Yes, ok, she’s the self-proclaimed love child of Kurt and Mercedes. Do we care? No. She’s two divas in one fabulous male body. Deal with it. That’s Unique.
Last of all we have Brody. He’s hot, metrosexual, and likes Rachel. He’s a minor character, and pretty much only around so Rachel can have a slutty phase. He’s basically the complete opposite of Finn in every conceivable way, which is why it’ll automatically never work out between him and Rachel, but I like him so much that I bothered to learn his actual name.
Why do I like Brody, you ask?
Why that’s simple.
BECAUSE HE’S NOT FINN.
Do I ship Brody and Rachel, you ask? Why, you ask?
BECAUSE HE’S NOT FINN.
Because he’s funny, nice to Rachel, cute, respects Rachel, smart, isn’t a douche to Rachel, he has a nice body, and HE’S NOT FUCKING FINN.
Rule of Glee: If it’s not Finn, and they’re not being a dick to Rachel, I ship it. It’s simple, really.
(Unless it’s Quinn)
So, yeah. That’s Brody.
Whilst we’re getting to know all these lovely and totally interesting new characters, Rachel is at Uni and she’s having a horrible time.
Now, remember that episode in the first season when Kurt gave Rachel a makeover to look like a sad hooker clown and everyone learnt the importance of what’s on the inside, and not focusing on looks?
Well, this is all overturned when Rachel learns that looking good solves everything and makes you feel good!
All with some assistance from Kurt, who teaches us how to get fired from a job he was lucky to get and probably didn’t deserve in the first place when he breaks into the wardrobe department of a top New York fashion magazine. Luckily his boss is the Mary Poppins of the fashion world and totes doesn’t mind giving his BFF a makeover while they all try on $1000’s worth of clothes and sing a little song.
In the light of her new found slutdom, Rachel almost burns down her loft apartment cooking a delicious vegan meal of duck for her new pal Brody, and they’re all about to get it on,
when in enters…………
Turns out Finn is just as useless as everyone thought, and managed to shoot himself in the leg with his own rifle. Despite this being hilarious and undoubtedly painful, he unfortunately makes a full recovery and is kicked out of the army, allowing him to return to our screens.
And just when Mr Shue was leaving… we were this close, people.
Finn seems confused that Rachel has been seeing other guys when he broke up with her at the end of last season, and so hangs around for an episode trying to make his drama with Rachel as important and screen-worthy as the shit going down in Klaine and Brittana’s lives.
Blaine cheats on Kurt, and sings a heart-wrenching, acoustic cover of Teenage Dream, proving once again that Ryan Murphy is evil and feeds off the tears and angst of his viewers.
Kurt walks away from him through the medium of No Doubt, suggesting that the two might be over and done with (!)
Santana has a ~connection~ with a girl over a pile of Virginia Woolf books,
and decides it would be best to put things on hold with Brittany – who has been having some… issues in Santana’s absence –
while she gets the lesbian out of her system. Um, you know what I mean.
She sings You’re The Best Thing That’s Ever Been Mine, and the nations weep.
After that emotional roller coaster of an episode (preceded by a slow choo-choo train of episodes) the producers decided it best to give the fandom five weeks to cool off. Five weeks.
And That’s What You Missed On Glee!
See you soon for the re-cap of post-hiatus episode: The Role They Were Born To Play or something.