Glee: All Madonna, all the time

KT just wants you to express yourself.

GLEE:  1.15 “The Power of Madonna”

This plot was so rambling, I don’t even know where to start. And while I’m all for girl power, the thing about how the boys don’t treat the girls very well had the distinct flavor of a Very Special Episode.

However… I do think that the music, and especially the “Vogue” homage made this a very special episode in the non-euphemistic sense.  I loved the girls’ version of “Express Yourself,” and Mercedes and Kurt were fabulous on “Four Minutes.”  They’re right, I think, about how underused they are, and they both have amazing voices — Kurt’s high line in “Like a Prayer” was gorgeous.  I hope the show plays out the results of their joining the Cheerios, too, which could lead to interesting places.

Speaking of the Cheerios, I loved their first number with the stilts.  Very cool to watch.  And I loved seeing that Becky Jackson is still on the squad and still hanging out next to Brittany.

And speaking of unexpected new members, I’m both extemely suspicious and a little excited about Jesse St. James joining New Directions.  Santana says she should know about spies (ha!), and I think she’s probably right about Jesse.  On the other hand, Jesse does have a better voice than Finn, so I’m thinking this is not all bad.  Cheers to Finn for being gracious in the end — though I liked Jesse’s line about having a sing-off for Rachel’s affections, as though that were a natural thing do to.  Maybe in Vocal Adrenaline, it is.

I wasn’t a big fan of the “Like a Virgin” number.  For one thing, I thought it was put together in a weird way.  Each couple was wearing similar colors, and the cuts from one couple to the next were pretty quick.  I don’t want to say that it was hard to keep track of who was romancing whom… but it kind of was.  And partly I think I was squirming because I feel so differently about those three couples.  Will and Emma – consenting adults who seemed comfortable with each other — I’m okay with.  Jesse and Rachel, I’m not — she looked so scared, and I prudishly think she’s too young, even though somehow Finn and Santana bothered me not at all.  Maybe I was okay with it because she was?  Or possibly my double standards are just as bad as everyone else’s.

Which I guess brings us back around to the boys trying to figure out “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” which I found uncomfortable in the Very Special Episode kind of way.  Ditto for Artie and Tina’s scenes — I want scenes for them, I do, but can they be not ridiculous?  I do kind of like the way Kurt considers himself one of the girls, though.

And I did enjoy Sue throughout the episode:  her obsession with Madonna, her story about damaged hair and Nazi-hunter parents, and her inevitable decision that Sue Sylvester is a unique, empowered individual all on her own.  Good fun.

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6 thoughts on “Glee: All Madonna, all the time

  1. Pingback: Raked

  2. Pingback: Thursday Open Thread: All the hype « Raked

  3. This entire episode made me squirmy and I don’t think it was because its focus was on sex. Friday Night Lights had a more serious sex talk and scene and it didn’t bother me. I guess it was the flippancy which Glee seemed to treat the subject that made me uncomfortable.

    First: Was that rachel’s voice coming out of Emma’s mouth when they were “singing”?

    I don’t think you’re prude to think Rachel’s too young. I definitely think so because she even admitted that she wasn’t ready so it was really difficult to watch “Like a Virgin” and her obvious discomfort.

    Now that I think about it maybe I should’ve been just as uncomfortable with Finn/Santana. I guess Rachel seemed more obviously not ready although Finn was being just as manipulated.

    I loved Kirk and Mercedes’ lines about their underuse “You just use me to belt out at the end” but I don’t know if the show is actually going to do anything about it. Especially with Jesse in the picture.

    I couldn’t help but think the show would improve if it cut down on some of its musical numbers. They’ve fallen into a pattern of 12 minutes of song time – which I’m sure take weeks to choreograph and produce – in each episode where one number might suffice. I was bored during Sue’s song (although it was nice to see her get a number), Express yourself, and What It feels like.

    I did the costumes for the end number. Each kid was wearing a style that really fit his/her character. I enjoyed that.

  4. Speaking of costumes, looks like the costume team got to have some fun on this episode, what with all the Madonna-esque looks running around the school.

    First: Was that Rachel’s voice coming out of Emma’s mouth when they were “singing”?

    My impression was that they had all three women on the one part and all three men on the other… but whether it was in the mixing or whether it’s just due to voice types, Rachel was a lot more noticeable than the other gals. The guys blended a little better.

    You may be right about the show needing fewer musical numbers. Personally I love most of them (though I agree about “What It Feels Like”) — the singing and dancing and spectacle is part of what I like best about the show. But I certainly think the show has room for improvement, so maybe that would help.

  5. I loved the pilot and I think they only had that one full number. Sure, I love the music and I’ll accept some numbers over plot, but when it creeps horribly into character development I get a little pissy.

  6. No, that’s fair. I’ve certainly complained before about this show and its slow to nonexistent character development. If fewer song and dance numbers would get us some good character development, I’m all for it.

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