This just in, in this week’s Glee political news: it appears that gays are Communists, judging from what Kurt’s wearing this week.
As one can see, he’s clearly sporting a co-opted Maoist Youth outfit with matching worker’s hat. You will find Marx & Engels in that satchel he’s carrying.
And then there’s Blaine, who somehow counters his Communist tendencies with … Orville Redenbacher chic.
Also, Blaine’s waving his satchel around saying, “mine’s bigger, bitch!” Nevertheless, I like the fact that they go to school not just dressed, but in full costume (it’s a state of mind, not just clothing), and I resolve to do so more in my daily life.
Back to dance booty camp. Mercedes is being a total nightmare and calls out Schue for favouring Rachel over her, time and time again. Again. Seriously Mercedes: you’re part of a high school glee club. In a year, you’ll be in college and, if you’re lucky, not getting rejected from Disney Cruise ship cabaret auditions. Just deal with it. But alas, did she listen to me when I yelled at my television? No! How come whenever I talk back to my TV while watching my stories, they don’t talk back to me? Seriously, they need live interactive TV more often.
So anyway, it’s clear that Mercedes has become uncooperative and belligerent. She’s the talented one who refuses to suck it up and work well with others, leading to a false sense of entitlement. What happened to being a team player and contributing by simply working with what you have, and not just showing up to complain? Mr. Schue might have expected better from people, and in this day and age, you don’t get gold stars for just doing “enough”, but for going beyond expectations. I appreciate and empathize with her frustrations at not being picked first for every solo, but the “sophisticated” image she wanted to project is beaten down hard by her diva outburst.
This leads us to the true emotional heart of this week’s episode: Mercedes vs. New Directions, not the phony Tiger Mom / Tiger Dad baloney they tried to fling at us with that A-minus what-have-you. We then get the most spot-on homage in Glee history: the re-enactment of “It’s All Over”, the famed mid-show number in Dreamgirls that leads into “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”.
If you look at the YouTube clip of the performance on the 1982 Tony Awards, you’ll note that this is a great fit. It also exposes Mercedes’s state of mind when Schue tells her that if she leaves rehearsal, she’d be out of New Directions. The lights come up, and she’s all alone. It’s stunning to her to know that New Directions doesn’t revolve around her, and a sobering wake-up call that talent alone may not carry the day. She should remember that when she leaves high school.
Back to clean up the Asian F story thread. Seriously, was this episode ever really about that A-minus? Not quite. In the end, Mike’s mom (who likes chicken feet in her salad according to Tina in season 2) is actually not a monster, but empathetic. And – no surprise – she herself was subject to Tiger Parents’ demands and gave up a dream to dance. While I understand that, I wonder: couldn’t she just have done it on the side, even as a hobby? I must say, however, that she looks very pretty and not at all like the Hello Kitty nightmare Tina sports every day.
I’d also like to point out that Mrs. Chang looks like she’s only about 37 while Mike looks 23, which would mean she probably had him at, what, 14? And here’s where I get smug: we Asians generally look younger than what we are, until we hit age about 60 or 65, in which case aging happens rapidly at any time within a three week cycle. For more information, see this cartoon. I give Glee points for casting Tamlyn Tomita, AKA Waverly from The Joy Luck Club.
And now, the dueling duet! Who will win the role of Maria?
As you can see, Emma is wearing a variation on the Russian royalty print that has been widely co-opted for their national sporting teams. (The manufacturer is Bosco Sport, I have one of their scarves and they are amazing, and I cannot buy it anywhere outside of Russia! Boo. Just for that, I hate her outfit already). Meanwhile, Mercedes is wearing what appears to be a draped lampshade and Rachel is on her way to confession. Somehow, both outfits work, maybe because they don’t detract from the song. Both sing the hell out of “Out Here on My Own”, and the judges cannot decide who will get the part.
Meanwhile, Emma’s got enough on her mind because her parents have arrived for dinner thanks to Will’s invitation, as a “surprise” for her. Surprise! For her, the surprise was about as welcome as her period arriving while wearing tight white slacks during a staff meeting. Here’s what she’s wearing when she gets the news, which is a smart but professional look.
Has she loosened up enough to make a trip to a store other than Anthropologie? Either way, I’m enjoying the short fall trench.
Here’s some nonsense that I cannot fathom: apparently, she was embarrassed to introduce Will to her parents because they’re “ginger supremacists.”
Apparently they are not only racist, they also coached her on using moist towelettes to wipe off glasses at restaurants where they are served by non-gingers.
WELL, NO WONDER EMMA IS JUST TOTALLY F***** UP.
I talked back to my television again, yelling “THAT IS NOT BELIEVABLE!!!” No one responded. Thank goodness my neighbours on both sides of my apartment are 1) out of the country and 2) deaf, so they couldn’t hear me yell. What’s really strange is that Emma is STILL obsessively cleaning. What, does she think that Mexican servers get inside her house and mess the place up? IS EMMA A WHITE SUPREMACIST? Seriously Glee folks, if you’re going to do pop psychology, at least think of the consequences of your prognosis. I for one like to think of Emma as neurotic, but not a racist.
Elsewhere, that sneaky Commie Gay Kurt is still rocking the Maoist Youth look, dressed on his way to a Mass Games rehearsal for Kim Jong-Il (it’s that time of year again, you know!):
Overlooked detail? The wraparound beneath the collar. Where is the top button? Under the collar, of course. Well done. I must look for shirts with this feature now. Otherwise, I cannot help but think of Kurt dressing up to re-enact One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch in his literature class. From now on, I shall think of Chris Colfer as being of Russian descent, and ponder how he sounds in a Russian-dubbed version of the show. На здоровье!
Rachel, meanwhile, suspects something is up. Since he’s a Communist, what’s her response? To run for class president, too, and her political stance would be whatever opportunist party would take her on.
What? It’s not as if she’s talented, rather, she’s clearly deranged and clinging to anything of note that would get her out of Ohio. Do you think she actually gives cares about her fellow students’ well-being? At least Kurt has a platform and political motivations, recognizing that his getting elected would help bring attention to the place of queer teenagers in high school. Britney would apparently be the first female class president of McKinley. Rachel’s motivations reflect only her naked ambition and have no ties to serving the school whatsoever. She reminds me strongly of Reese Witherspoon’s seminal performance in Election but without the pathos, subtlety or character development. Did I mention before that Glee just might be a cartoon?
It’s decision time for the role of Maria, and the judges decide … to split the difference and give them both the role on a rotational basis. It’s a bit of a cop-out, and the problem is that not even Mercedes would be happy with that arrangement. She asks point-blank if any other roles would be split, and when told the answer is no, she declines the role.
How ironic that she wears a necklace that has “love” on it. There’s been no love in this episode, only backbreaking work, competition and heartbreak. And ginger supremacists.
What a tough week for Emma. She’s got whacked-out parents, but she’s relieved that Rachel is agreeing to share the performances so that there’s some equality. See, Mercedes? This is what a professional does: they suck it up, they do what needs to be done for everyone’s benefit, so that everyone’s mutual needs and benefits are met, right? No? Okay then, go join that new club that Idina Menzel’s forming. I’d love to see you join up with that talentless kid with Asperger’s and watch you rip your hair out. That would be a scream. And I’d laugh loud and long.
In the meantime, let’s tell Emma that her flowers are floating away on her dress and … no? That’s on purpose? The dollar-store petals with the weird texture are supposed to look like that? If you say so, but someone’s got to tell her that the plastic doily work on a blouse is not supposed to constitute fashion, it just makes her look as crazy as her parents. (I did also notice that I have done the screencap of what might be her “O” face.)
The final outfit of the episode is completely ridiculous.
Why on earth is she wearing an outfit that matches the French classroom? There’s actually a French flag hanging on a wall that I’ve cropped out, but this is just plain strange. I mean, I never showed up in Spanish 200 wearing a shirt that screams “MADRID”, nor have I gone out with my German friends in a jacket that says “ICH LIEBE DEUTSCHLAND” in rhinestones on it. I have shown up at the Olympics wearing “CANADA” in big letters on my apparel because … well, there’s a time, place and occasion for every outfit, right?
Racial insensitivity aside, the most exciting part of the show was the discovery that Breadsticks delivers. Why can’t we have one in Canada?