Monday, March 21, 2011

Glee 2.16: "Original Song"

Our always helpful guest blogger Sarah has agreed to blog the latest episode of "Glee" so I have time to bring you (few) readers of MTVP a little something extra. I'm going to be sprinkling in some FNL Season 4 recaps to try to bring us up to speed before season 5 premieres on NBC on April 15. With out further interruption, here's Sarah's take on "Original Song."


“Go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth. Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down. Keep it up and soon enough you’ll figure out. You wanna be a loser like me!”
- New Directions (“Loser Like Me”)

So I was glad we finally got to Regionals in this episode. It’s felt a lot of this season was not focused on an overall storyline, but with this week we actually had some forward motion. So this week’s episode starts off with music. The Warblers are doing “Misery” (not the version I like) as a possible Regionals set piece. It’s upbeat and a lot of fun. But you can tell Kurt’s not all that into it. At one point he’s more interested in his nails than the song. Once it’s over, Blaine asks what Kurt thinks and Kurt (read: writers actually listening to fan wank) says that it was nice, but that Blaine’s solos are numerous. It doesn’t feel like they are the Warblers. It’s more like Blaine and the Pips. I’m so glad the writers are addressing this because I’ve felt for a while now that Blaine is featured too much in the Warblers.

Meanwhile, over at McKinley, Rachel is singing another original song for Finn. This one is called “Only Child”. It’s only marginally better than “My Headband”. Finn tells her that when Rachel sings, she shines and that she needs to go to the place where she is when she sings to find the material she needs to write a song worthy of Regionals. Quinn is watching their little exchange, and she decides she’s going to be nice to Rachel so she (Quinn) can get to be prom queen. I’m really unhappy that Quinn has regressed to season 1 episode 1 personality. It’s disgusting actually.

We spend a lot of time this episode bopping back and forth between Dalton and McKinley. At Dalton, Kurt is whistling to Pavarotti, when all of a sudden the bird just keels over dead. At about the same time (I don’t entirely know how Kurt had time to change clothes, but whatever) Blaine is trying to convince the Warblers to change the colors of their outfits. Seriously? Mercifully, Kurt comes in to break the news about Pavarotti dressed in black and ends up singing “Blackbird” by the Beatles in honor of the bird. Definitely a good performance. I’ll have to look into getting the full version off iTunes. Slowly the other Warbles start to back Kurt in a nice little harmony and even Blaine joins in. The look on his face is kind of priceless at the end. It’s like he’s seeing Kurt for the first time in a new light. Which I guess is accurate in a sense.

And we’re back to McKinley. Will has gotten a cease and desist letter from My Chemical Romance to keep New Directions from performing one of their songs at Regionals. The song is “Sing,” which is the anthem Sue suggested for the group at the end of “Comeback.” We get a brief scene where Sue says she’s responsible for the letter (she informed the band of the song usage) and this spurs the Glee kids to decide to perform original songs. Of course this is mainly prompted by Quinn (and then Finn backs her) as part of her campaign to get on Rachel’s good side. All the kids are going to write original songs. It should be interesting.

After Glee rehearsal, Brittney and Santana are at their lockers and Brittney is sad that Santana is avoiding her. At least the writers have some sense of continuity. Santana is still upset that Brittney chose Artie over her, and now Santana is going to write a “heterosexual” song about Sam. The moment could have been touching if Sue didn’t blow it. She put dirt in their lockers. She really ought to be arrested for child endangerment (but more on that later). And we swivel back to Dalton where the Warblers are arguing over what song Blaine should sing. Blaine has finally had enough and says he wants to do a duet at Regionals. And he wants to do it with Kurt. Kurt is quite shocked by it and obviously over the moon. Surprisingly, everyone agrees (without even holding auditions).

Mr. Schuster has gotten everyone (sans Rachel and Quinn) rhyming dictionaries because they’re going to try writing an anthem of their own. Santana says she’s already been working on a song. It’s called “Trouty Mouth.” And while it’s got a nice sultry tone to it, the lyrics are dreadful and rightfully, Sam is pissed. Puck says he’s got a song too for Lauren. “Big Ass Heart”. It’s equally as bad and offensive as Santana’s. Though Mark Salling does a pretty good job. One thing I do have to say is that it is unrealistic to think kids who have never written music before can write vocals as well as instrumentation in a week. Especially at a level that will be needed to win Regionals. Moving on. The Glee kids like the song (the feel of it anyway), but Mr. Schuster suggests they keep trying.

Quinn has cornered Finn at his locker and asks him what he wants to wear to prom. He’s obviously thrown by the question, but Quinn fills him in. She wants to be back on top of the popularity pyramid and winning Prom King and Queen is what she needs. Finn tries to get out of it by saying they should wait to go public with their relationship until after Nationals. Quinn throws a fit (“scary Quinn,” as Finn puts it), and Finn agrees to reveal their relationship after Regionals instead. Of course, Rachel sees the end of the exchange. These kids really need to learn to have their private conversations in private.

Blaine finds Kurt decorating Pavarotti’s casket and says he’s got the best song for their duet at Regionals; “Candles” by Hey Monday. I’ve never heard the song before, but I guess it’s popular. Anyway, Kurt asks why Blaine picked him as his duet partner. We get this little speech from Blaine about how there’s a moment when you realize the person in front of you is the one you’ve been looking for all along. Blaine says that when Kurt sang “Blackbird,” that’s what Blaine felt. And they share their first kiss. It’s kind of adorable, especially the look on Kurt’s face when they pull away. He so wasn’t expecting that, not that he’s complaining of course. Blaine says they should practice and Kurt in a cute flirty way says he thought they were. And more Blaine/Kurt smoochies.

Mercedes has written a song too called “Hell To The No”. It’s got a fun beat and decent melody but like the previous attempts, the words basically suck. Including the line about having diabetes. But Will likes the enthusiasm too. But yeah, not Regionals material. So Mr. Schu tries to get the kids to dig deeper to a place of real pain. They start telling him about all the stuff Sue does to them (including throwing sticks at Mercedes) and they come up with a song title; “Loser Like Me.” Meanwhile, Rachel’s inspiration for her ballad comes from a really sad place. Quinn tells Rachel that she and Finn are together and that Rachel will end up alone. Rachel tries to tell Quinn that she and Finn had something, but Quinn isn’t interested. She tries to spin it by saying that she and Finn will stay in Ohio and start a family while Rachel goes off to bigger and better things. I can’t quite tell if it is sincere or not. But Quinn says the right thing to Rachel to inspire her. Rachel needs to stop living in her fantasy world. And she goes to write “Get It Right.”

Sue tries to brag to Will that she’s going to win. She faked the letter from My Chemical Romance, and she says she’s got songs for her kids to sing that pander to the judges. This year’s judges are Tammy Jean Albertson (read: Sarah Palin) and Sister Mary Constance and Rod Remington. First up is Aural Intensity and they sing “Jesus is a Friend of Mine” with lame sock hop dancing. It’s honestly painful to watch and I had to turn the volume off while they performed. Next up is the Warblers. The duet of “Candles” is pretty good. They don’t actually AutoTune too much, so you can hear Blaine and Kurt’s voices. I think Kurt needs to stay a little lower in his range. I know he’s a tenor, but he’s been developing his range this season and I like it. It is a slightly odd song for two guys to sing together, but I think they made it work. I liked the glow sticks in the audience during the song. They then break into Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” which was more their standard fare. The dance for this song was kind of funny, and Darren Criss totally got into it.

And now we get to New Directions. Finn tells Rachel before she goes on that she’ll do great. She says last year, he told her that he loved her, and she also says to listen to the song because she means every word of it. They start with Rachel singing “Get It Right’ (joined by the Glee girls). It’s actually a pretty good song. It has a decent harmony and it’s not surprising that it is a ballad. Lea Michele does like ballads, and we get a soaring note or two at the end per usual. They end with “Loser Like Me” which unfortunately is back to Rachel/Finn singing lead. They could have done so much better if they mixed it up more. But it was an upbeat, punchy number. They end with tossing cups filled with red glitter and confetti into the crowd as if they were about to Slushie them. Sue looks kind of freaked out.

The judges’ deliberations this year were only slightly less irritating than last year. Tammy doesn’t think Dalton should win because Kurt and Blaine sang the duet, and Sister Mary Constance thinks Aural Intensity’s song was cheap pandering. And she didn’t like to be pandered to when she was a stripper. It’s fairly obvious who the winner would be. There are only so many times the writers could say “oh you lost Regionals…try again next year” before it got old. So not surprisingly, New Directions is going to Nationals. The Dalton boys look a little sad about losing, Kurt especially. I’m sure he’s thrilled for McKinley though on the inside. Sue in typical fashion ends up punching the announcer in the face.

Kurt and Blaine are burying Pavarotti in the park. It’s a cute little scene. Kurt’s upset they lost Regionals because he really wanted to go to Nationals. Blaine says they’ll still be able to perform around town and that they got each other out of the experience. Lose Regionals, gain a boyfriend. I can see how that math works out. At McKinley, Will announces that they are going to give out an MVP award after every competition. It was a unanimous vote to give it to Rachel, and she gets a perfect “gold star” trophy. In un-Rachel fashion, Rachel is humble. She’s grateful for the support of the group, and the group is pleased to see her change in attitude.

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