GLEE got off to a rough start for me this week, because I actually did not like the opening number, a rendition of “Ice Ice Baby” performed by Will (Matthew Morrison). I don’t have a problem with Morrison’s rapping – I really enjoyed his versions of “Gold Digger” and “Bust a Move” for example; it’s just that something about “Ice Ice Baby” left me cold. In fact, it wasn’t just Will. I thought the backing vocals were off as well. Maybe the song just wasn’t mixed properly from broadcast. I’ve been trying, but I can’t recall another performance on GLEE that I really actively disliked.
In another misfire, Sue Sylvester did another video, which meant the wonderful Jane Lynch got to perform with guest star Olivia Newton-John on a refurbishing of her hit “Physical.” I thought the vocals were electronically manipulated a little too much, but perhaps the producers had to do it to cover up some mistakes. Sue herself suffered from the mistake of giving Kurt access to her office, so he was able to get hold of video of Sue rocking out to the original “Physical.” The video went viral on the Web (after the gleeks uploaded it) and Sue was humiliated — on a global scale. Of course, in Sue’s case, everything is larger than life, right? Still, it was shocking to see Sue on the other side of the popularity coin – as the butt of “slow-motion laughter.”
Also strange was seeing Brittany (Heather Morris) was grouped with Artie, Tina, Mercedes and Kurt for a lot of the episode, which just made me wonder where Santana (Naya Rivera) was. (She only had a cameo as an angel in Rachel’s video) It just seemed wrong. Also wrong? Seeing Brittany out of her Cheerios uniform (wearing other clothes, you perv!). Not that parachute pants could possibly look good on anyone, but that was really weird to see her sporting something else, even if the get-up was totally appropriate for performing “U Can’t Touch This.”
While the word “glist” was funny, the subplot did not really connect with me. Nevertheless, the show recovered nicely and won me over long before the end of the hour. Bringing back Sue’s older sister, Jean (Robin Trocki), went a long way toward healing the rift with me. Sue gently interacting with her sibling never fails to choke me up.
Another plus: Emma (Jayma Mays) had a funny scene in which she finally showed some backbone (albeit one engineered by Sue’s manipulations) and chewed out Will in the middle of the teachers’ lounge. She noted she is working on her own issues, and then actually called him a “slut” for sleeping with April Rhodes (the recurring Kristin Chenoweth) and making out with Shelby (Idina Menzel). This episode also revived the idea of a Puck/Rachel pairing; Mark Salling’s voice pairs well with Lea Michele’s, but I still think her pipes mesh better with Jonathan Groff’s – even though I don’t like his Jesse. Of course, Finn is still in the mix.
That was evident from Rachel’s cheese-tastic take on the campy ‘70s song “Run, Joey Run,” which she filmed with Puck, Jesse and Finn all as the male lead(s) – much to the shock and dismay of the boys, Still, her video made for inspired hilarity. By the time the gleeks united for a soulful rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” these bright eyes had been turned around, and I was back on board.