I thought I'd try something new here at Dr. She-Bloggo, after putting my nose to the grind for the Great Glee Countdown. I am introducing the RBI Report, to be unveiled after each new episode of Glee, where I break down the episode in terms of the writing and direction. Comparing and contrasting Ryan, Brad, and Ian is now something I compulsively do when I watch the show, so I might as well make use of it! The R(yan)/B(rad)/I(an) Report commences!
Audition (written by Ian Brennan; directed by Brad Falchuk)
Overall, I thought this was one of Ian's best episodes. Remember, he's usually the one that inundates every bit of dialogue with the theme of the episode (the word "funk" is used approximately 29 times in - you guessed it - "Funk"). But "Audition" was surprisingly "audition"-lite, and I must commend Ian for the welcome change.
A theme was still apparent, though, through the presence of Rachel's closing number. "What I Did For Love" highlighted Rachel's (lack of?) regret for getting Sunshine sent to Vocal Adrenaline, and underscored both Quinn's betrayal of Santana to get the Head Cheerio spot back and Artie's impending plan to get Tina back from Mike - the things we do for love, people! Whether it be for the love of ourselves, the love of our status, or the actual love for our loved ones. Well done, Ian (and Brad).
Brennan also did a good job giving attention to each of the characters and cluing the audience in to what changes have occurred over the summer. Nothing felt like we were getting hit with a punch we weren't prepared for, and overall, that was a good thing. His opening with Jacob Ben Israel was the perfect way to re-introduce everyone to our Gleeks, all the while poking fun at some of the complaints about the show during the hiatus. Very clever.
What's great about Ian's episodes is that they're very larger than life - but sometimes it can go too far. I didn't love the implication that Sue was trying to frame Coach Beiste for child molestation, and I also didn't believe that Rachel would purposefully put Sunshine in actual danger by sending her to a Lima crackhouse (active or not). Each writer excels in writing different characters, and I would not say that Rachel Berry is in Ian Brennan's wheelhouse (Brittany, Santana, and Sue? Definitely). But, these are minor quibbles. Sue's line about the Indians selling Manhattan to George Washington for an upskirt photo of Betsy Ross is enough to make me overlook the episode's very few faults.
In terms of the direction, I just have this to say:
Seriously, the episode was beautifully directed. This is doing nothing for my crush on Brad Falchuk. Expect more fangirling in future RBI Reports, guys. Just sayin'.
Also, if you have a more clever name for this other than "The RBI Report," I'm all ears.
All gifs come from fight_the_sky over at LiveJournal. An awesome resource!