GLEE 1.14: Hello, I Love You

Will and Emma

Psssst! Have you heard? GLEE is back!

I am certain other folks will go on at length about the Finn/Rachel/Jesse triangle, and Sue’s condo in Boca and casual contempt for Will’s hair, the or the way Santana and Brittany manipulated Finn — and especially Brittany’s observation that “dolphins are just gay sharks.” So I would like to go in a different direction and look at one of the show’s unsung pairings: Will and Emma.

Will crooned Neil Diamond’s “Hello” to Emma as they danced, and the admiration in Emma’s eyes was evident. The camera swirled around them in an approximation of the giddiness of love, and it was almost enough to make the viewer lightheaded and get swept up in the moment. Like Emma almost did. But she stopped things to reveal — in a painfully awkward moment — that she is a virgin. Jayma Mays packed so much embarrassment into that little half-whispered admission. She was actually blinking, and Emma never blinks. But her lashes were batting like crazy. “It’s not cool, I can tell,” she sighed. Will was taken aback, but handled it sensitively.

Of course it wasn’t long until Will was locked in an embrace with rival show-choir coach Shelby Corcoran (Broadway’s Idina Menzel). But it was more comic than cheating; it was almost as funny as Shelby’s line, “Most of the show choir directors I make out with are gay.” Will’s confused, aghast reaction shot was priceless.

As was Terri’s brutal, mean-spirited encounter with Emma. Jessalyn Gilsig kept her voice at a harsh whisper as she needled Emma about “Hello” being her and Will’s prom song. Mays returned Emma to that familiar unblinking deer-in-the-headlights expression as Terri dripped venom all over the dining room. And, in a final act of coldly calculated cruelty, Terri knocked a spoon out of alignment in Emma’s place-setting. What a monster!

Still, it woke Emma up. “How is you compromising yourself for my crazy any different than you doing it for hers?” she asked, suggesting he take time to explore who he is before seguing into a relationship with her. “Hello, Goodbye” was the perfect song to cap the episode, as Will and Emma were headed in different directions New Directions.

Taking a different direction myself, even considering Brittany’s aquatic non-sequitur and Shelby’s admonitions, “It’s like watching beige paint dry,” and, “I want a look that’s so optimistic it could cure cancer,” I am giving the laugh line of the night to Sue, so deadpanning: “I am engorged with venom. And triumph.”

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Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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