Friday, March 18, 2011

Glee 2.15: "Sexy"

“Celibacy, ladies. Dig it!”

“Sexy,” not surprisingly, given the title and “Glee’s” tendency to make its episode titles directly reflect the episode’s theme, was about sex. Surprisingly, given the subject matter, this was not really a “very special episode.” The issues presented were handled in a much more complex way than that. And it didn’t hurt that a lot of the episode was actually really funny. Surprisingly, considering it’s billed as a comedy, I don’t really laugh at “Glee” all that much. This episode was the exception to that rule. Some of the humor was a little juvenile and embarrassment squick-y, but I laughed anyway. Finally, there was actual movement forward on several of the plots that have been sort-of building this season (I say sort-of because the season arc hasn’t been all that coherent). The show had been kind of stuck in neutral for a little while, so I most definitely appreciated that some things finally happened.

Emma has decided to be advisor to the Celibacy Club. The only two members of the club at the moment are Rachel (who wants to focus on show business) and Quinn (for obvious reason), but Emma is really gung ho about it. Emma has this amazing, frantic monologue (expertly delivered by Jayma Mays) defending celibacy, and it’s painfully obvious that she and Carl haven’t consummated their marriage yet, and she’s feeling self conscious about it. Later that day, Emma and Will talk about the Celibacy Club in the faculty lunch room. The conversation barely gets started when none other than Holly Holliday shows up. She’s subbing for the health teacher, so of course she has opinions on sex ed in general and celibacy in particular. She thinks celibacy is unrealistic, and she’s concerned about how clueless the glee kids are when it comes to sex. As Holly goes on, Will pays increasing amounts of attention to her, and he pretty much ignores Emma.

Meanwhile, Santana, who I guess is a little bored with Sam, propositions Brittany. Apparently it been a while since there was any making out, or anything else, between them. Brittany says that although she’d like to spend some time that way with Santana, she can’t. Because she’s pregnant. Word of this gets around school like wild fire, and poor Artie thinks his life is over. At rehearsal, Will asks Artie what’s wrong, and then Brittany chimes in to explain that she’s pregnant because she saw a stork building a nest outside her bedroom window. This is the final straw for Will. He pays a visit to Holly at her Jazzercize class (complete with 80’s workout attire!) to ask for her help. Holly says she thinks she knows a way to sneak some sex ed covertly into the next glee rehearsal.

I didn’t really think Holly’s attempt went all that well. Backed up by some of the New Directions ladies, she performs “Do You Want to Touch Me?” I thought it was kind of the most inappropriate glee rehearsal ever. I enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance of “F- You” during her first guest appearance more. That could be because her singing ability was more of a surprise the first time around. Emma is very upset when she hears about Holly’s lesson, and even though her fear of sex is taken to extremes in the episode, she absolutely has a point. I’m not at all a supporter of abstinence-only education, but there’s a middle ground between that and having students and teachers do a Burlesque-style dance in the middle of the choir room. Will sort of understands Emma’s point, and he offers to let Emma and the Celibacy Club do a sort of counter-performance in support of abstinence.

Sue, always on the lookout for ways to cause glee club related trouble in general, seeks out Kurt and Blaine at their favorite coffee shop hangout. She warns the boys that “New Directions” has decided to go in a “sexy” direction for their Regionals performance. Blaine is concerned because he recognizes that Warblers performances are usually pretty tame in that respect. He thinks the Warblers need to get “sexified” to have a chance at winning the competition. He gets a bunch of girls from Dalton Academy’s companion all girls’ school to test out a dress rehearsal of their new, supposedly sexier performance. The Warblers do a performance of Neon Trees’ “Animal,” and I thought it was the tamest “sexy” performance ever. I like the song, and I thought it was cool that Kurt finally got co-lead on a song (Blaine usually takes every solo for the Warblers), but poor Chris Colfer was AutoTuned to within an inch of his life. And his “sexy” face looked kind of constipated. Which turned out to be a plot point, so that was okay.

Holly actually turns out to be quite a voice of reason on multiple fronts in the middle of the episode. First, Lauren told Puck she wanted to make a sex tape because she wants to be famous like Kim Kardashian. Holly catches the two of them in the library researching how to make porn, and she manages to successfully convince them to abandon the plan by reminding them that what they want to do could be considered child porn. Then, Brittany is unhappy with her “relationship” with Santana because they only fool around once in a while and never talk about feelings, like she can talk to Artie. The girls decide to chat with Holly about it, and Holly offers to help them perform a song that will air all their feelings. They end up performing Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” and it’s one of the better performances I’ve heard on “Glee,” I think. Santana makes it clear that she has feelings for Brittany. She makes this even more clear in a later declaration to Brittany by the lockers, but Brittany shoots her down. She doesn’t want to hurt Artie by breaking up with him, but if she’s ever single again, she says she’d choose Santana. I don’t think this is a healthy approach to the situation (misleading Artie is not cool), but I’ll go with it to see where it leads Santana.

Will calls in Holly to practice a tango performance to a Prince song with him. I usually adore Matthew Morrison’s vocals, but he should really never sing falsetto. It was painful! Will and Holly kiss at the end of the number, but then Holly runs off. She says she doesn’t want to break Will’s heart. He’s much more of a long-term relationship person than she is. And that’s not the end of the relationship drama in this episode by a long shot. Emma and the Celibacy Club perform “Afternoon Delight” at the next glee rehearsal, which had me howling with laughter. Poor naïve Emma! She thought the song was about eating dessert with lunch. Carl takes the opportunity to ask Holly if she can meet with the two of them in her role as substitute sex ed teacher. At the appointment, were the writers kind of hang a lantern on the fact that using Holly as a couples therapist is strange by having Holly repeatedly remind Emma she’s not a doctor, Emma reveals that she’s still confused about her feelings for Will. Apparently that’s why she hasn’t been able to have sex with Carl.

In one of the more serious plots of this episode, Blaine asks Kurt bout why Kurt looked so odd during the performance of “Animal,” and Kurt reveals how little he knows about sex and how little he wants to know about sex (he covers his ears and starts to sing any time somebody asks him about it. Blaine doesn’t think this is healthy or even really safe, so he has a rather boundary-pushing conversation with Burt about it. He basically says that Burt needs to bite the bullet and have the talk with his son. Burt isn’t thrilled by Blaine’s presumptuousness, but he ends up following his advice, because, of course, in the world of “Glee,” Burt Hummel is the best dad ever. Even the talk is perfect. He gets a bunch of pamphlets for Kurt, and he reminds Kurt not to treat sex casually and that he is worth something.

The episode ends with some interesting couples forming. First of all, we see Finn get out of his bed, followed quickly by Quinn. They’ve been seeing each other and apparently having sex. I think I may have screamed at the television at this point. It still irritates me that Finn is written to be so dumb as to get back together with Quinn after the horrible, horrible thing she did. And I don’t think she even really likes Finn all that much. She just thinks he’s her stepping stone back to the top of the social ladder at McKinley. In the McKinley auditorium, Holly finds Will and lets him know that she’s got a substitute teaching job at another school. She also doesn’t want to say goodbye. Will convinces her to give a relationship a try, and they kiss. I don’t love this pairing, but it didn’t irritate me all that much. I don’t think Will is quite ready to get back together with Emma yet, and if he can learn something about himself from a (temporary) relationship with Holly, so much the better.

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