Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The RBI Report: "Goodbye"

If you wanted to watch a satisfying, cohesive, touching finale to wrap up Glee's original high school conceit... well, you're shit out of luck.  The best possible way to achieve this is to watch the first five minutes of "Goodbye," give or take a minute or two, then fast-forward to "You Get What You Give."  Then, shut off the episode.  Just turn it off.  Because the majority of the scripted scenes were cobbled together with the blowhard intent to be what Glee was originally - which wouldn't be an issue, except it's done so with the methods that Glee operates with currently.  So what resulted was a top-heavy mess of an episode, with rushed and shallow dialogue that forced false resolution, created unnecessary conflict, and ultimately brushed off some characters and relationships, while glorifying others.

"Goodbye," written and directed by Brad Falchuk

It's not hard to figure out what makes for a satisfying finale.  Glee even seems to understand this to a basic degree, trying to stuff in as many moments as possible paying off original dynamics and focusing on the growth and changes these kids have made.  Each senior (well, almost each senior) had an individual narration and scenes doled out to them to either honor their past or open a question for their future.  In theory, this isn't so bad.  But with Glee, "honoring the past" comes out "patting ourselves on the back for something that never happened" because the fact of the matter is that "growth" is rarely present on this show.  "Growth" and "development" are actually "boomerang change that will be in constant and unpredictable flux until we need to stop telling the story."  So almost every hearkened moment in "Goodbye" was marred with some aspect of self-delusion, like the writers were stubbornly trying to tell us (literally, through dialogue) that this is how it was all along, with the frustrating conviction of a really bad magician trying to cover up his cheaper tricks.  So not only was it conceptually flimsy, but the execution was pretty shoddy as well.

As for the future, it really doesn't bode well to have to tell the audience exactly what every character's plans are in one episode alone.  There are eight graduating seniors, and that's assuming that the audience doesn't care at all about the juniors.  (Which is probably untrue.)  There's just not enough time, and Glee did itself no favors for these resolutions in a few areas.  For "Goodbye" itself, the focus on the future was far too unbalanced between the focus on the past as well as between the individual characters themselves.  Characters who were shown to have had no actual plot about their futures were abruptly dropping their reveals casually into conversation, while others suddenly had unnecessary and overworked twists in their plans.  Surprise!  Santana suddenly has money to go to college, but she might want to go to New York instead!  Surprise!  Finn's going to waffle on this last-minute life dream of acting because he doesn't think it will honor his dad!  Surprise!  Brittany's not graduating and there's nothing anyone can do about it!  (Okay, fine, that last one may have been unnecessary, but it sure as hell wasn't overworked.  "Brittany who?" ask the writers, as the audience weeps.)

All of this should have been introduced way, way sooner.  With no time on the clock and choices to make, it became blatantly obvious which characters the writers care to bother with, and this was perhaps the most disheartening thing about the finale.  Its choices revealed a clear and undeniable pecking order when it came to this show's ensemble, and by displaying it in full view, the writers didn't really do what any good finale should: pay homage to the shoulders the show sits on.  In the case of Glee, it's the notion that every kid has a home in the glee club.  Outcasts and misfits aren't cast out; they fit in.  Even despite all these kids' differences, they became family; that is the whole story of the show.  And yet, there were precious few moments dedicated to this concept of "the group."  Remember in my "Nationals" recap, where I said the competition episode was too group-centric, and lacked individual point of view?  "Goodbye" suffered the opposite problem, and I suspect the writers would have done better to switch their approaches between the two.

It turns out, by episode's end, that the most important entity in this universe is not the New Directions, but Rachel Berry.  I still can't believe that "Goodbye" didn't end with the glee club in a group number.  How could it not?  It's perhaps the easiest thing to check off a "series finale" to-do list.  But instead, in an astounding lack of clarity by the writers, everything wrapped up with Rachel Berry, who, having postponed her dreams, was literally forced on a train to pursue her future.  This is a show about misfits in Lima, and it ended in New York City with Rachel leading her own cliché musical number.  Since when was this show The Rachel Berry Show?  I love (some version of) Rachel, and I am 100% okay with considering her a main character - if not the main character.  She is an emotional focal point, and there is little to argue there.  However.  This whole show is not her story alone.  This story is about the New Directions.  Marginalizing everyone else so that Rachel could have her big moment in New York City is beyond insulting.  It's a slap in the face, really.

(As an aside, does anyone remember the joke on 30 Rock spoofing young dreamers who burst into song when they arrive in New York City?  Rachel's Big Finish felt exactly like that... except no one was joking.  I must have a charcoal heart, because I think I would have paid actual money to see a homeless man yell at Rachel to shut up as soon as she started singing in Grand Central Station.  Honestly, I think Glee could have actually done something along these lines and pulled it off.  The show used to satirize situations like this, but then somewhere down the line they devolved into the very thing they were satirizing.  If a little such zing were introduced, it'd deflate some of the heavy emotion from the previous scene, and actually serve as a kickoff to next season instead of an overindulgent misfire at honoring the past.  Because I imagine S4 is going to [should?] deal with Rachel Berry negotiating her Dream New York with the Harsh Reality of New York.  If nothing else, having a vagrant shut her up would prepare her for potentially being around Santana more.  I'm not saying Homeless Man Yelling at Rachel would have been the #1 thing about "Goodbye" I'd change, it just amuses me and is somewhat defensible from certain angles.  Humor me; I need something to get me through writing this recap.) 

Rachel's decision to stomp off to New York and achieve her dreams wouldn't be so bad, if only it were her own.  This is a character who prized her own dreams above all else, and when finally having kicked open the door to achieving them, she made a conscious decision to close it again, absently hoping that it might stay unlocked.  Who is this person?  I'm all for embedding Rachel Berry in a friend group, and providing her with the social acceptance she did not have at series' begin.  However, every writerly decision made for Rachel in Season 3 has forced her into this development and made her pay the price for having friends.  It's been wedding, or dreams, and she's never been able to have both.  And she still doesn't!  

There are so many things wrong with this storyline.  First, I cannot even comprehend how quickly the writers were able to throw Rachel's resolve in reverse.  Her world fell apart in "Choke," when she blew her NYADA audition, and it's taken countless other characters hoisting up her self-esteem to get her back on track.  She pestered the hell of Carmen Thibodeaux, strong-armed a solo for Nationals so she could show off her chops, and finally this all resulted in what she wanted: an acceptance letter.  But as soon as she can't have her best friend and boyfriend at her side?  She won't take it.  It's as if the writers want us to be completely exhausted by how much screentime they devoted to Rachel's troubles, while simultaneously making her the biggest brat of all time for turning down something so many people - including herself! - fought so hard for.  If Carmen Thibodeaux knew about this, I guarantee she'd have a few choice words for Rachel Berry.   

The second thing that's disappointingly bad about Rachel's goodbye is that her decision was made for her.  Her one choice, all episode - to stay in Lima - was skipped by without any pause for consideration, which only weakened Rachel's current character.  We didn't see her make that choice; she just told us about it in narration.  It didn't help that she also told us she has everything she ever wanted out of high school, and that postponing her Broadway dream was like "coming to her senses."  Who is this person?  She is a stranger to me.  Then, when she's perfectly happy (so she says) to go get married, she's actually being hijacked and taken to the train station - where everyone is waiting for her, assumedly with explicit instruction from Finn to use force if necessary.  (A friend texted at this point and laughed at what Finn must have said to convince them to show up: "Come help drag Rachel on the train after I dump her in the car on the way there.  I'll buy pizza after.") 

The idea that choices are being made for Rachel "for her own good," is terrible writing. Glee went out of their way to force Rachel's story as The Most Important Story, given its place at episode's end, and yet, she is not the hero of her own story anymore.  That role belongs to Finn, her fiancé, who oh-so-nobly sacrifices their relationship and their epic love for one another so that she can pursue her dreams.  Now, I don't mind that they break up, and I don't mind that Finn might be more realistic about staying together than Rachel.  I don't even necessarily mind that he wants to "set her free."  However, this is something, that in order to be a good story, needs to be told in scenes where they discuss this.  It must come about organically, onscreen, with both parties contributing their opinions in order to reach a mutual decision.  And all characters' choices need to be their own.  There are no heroes here.  Foisting the sacrifice on Finn's shoulders and depriving Rachel of any choice is just bad storytelling.  And moments like Finn running after her departing train, which might, under different circumstances, actually be heartfelt, are instead just laughable and examples of Glee's hollow execution of High Cheeseball.

Of course, in their own way, the writers tried to set up Finn's all-encompassing decision by showing that he is, in fact, hesitant about his future.  Apparently now is as good a time as any to bring Finn's daddy issues back into the picture, and catch us all up on what he feels about the previously-pedastaled, now-tarnished image of his father.  Turns out Finn wants to honor his dad's legacy, which apparently doesn't translate into an acting career, and so he makes the offscreen decision to join the army, without discussing it with anybody.  (We assume.  It happened offscreen, so we can only guess.)  The break-up with Rachel was also specifically foreshadowed with another pointless wedding planning scene, where Finn felt a "weird vibe" from Rachel, like she might not be happy with her choice of husband.  (I think he may have just been sensing the pod person that has replaced Rachel since, oh, mid-season.)  I have absolutely no idea why this needed to be addressed, because it's not even really foreshadowing.  Finn broke up with Rachel so that he wouldn't hold her back in the wake of his rejection from New York, which is actually rather sweet, when completely lifted out of the bullshit that Glee wrote into the scenario.  It doesn't have to be such an inferiority complex, or established as an issue before the inciting incident (acceptance letters) even happened.  Mostly, I'm just annoyed that when Finn expressed insecurities, Rachel returned with a dubious, "you think I'm the one who's settling for you?"  Which is just gross.  Yes, writers, we know that Finn was a Cool Guy and Rachel is a Loser.  We thank him for being so charitable to lesser beings, and are glad that the lesser beings recognize their good fortune.

Actually, this concept ruined what would have been such a (rare) lovely moment in "Goodbye."  Will assigned the seniors to sing to the juniors, and the juniors to sing to the seniors - as a whole.  The seniors' performance, as a hand-off to the younger kids, was great!  The juniors' performance, however, was inexplicably written away from group inclusion, and instead penned as an specific homage to Finn Hudson himself.  I just... I don't understand.  This decision makes no sense, and only serves the greater obnoxiousness of "Goodbye" as an episode: some of these characters are more important than others, and everyone within the narrative seems to know it.  The same thing happened with Kurt's solo, which he dedicated to the "men in the room," because they were so noble and secure in their masculinity to not treat Kurt like an inferior for being gay.  Give all those boys awards, they weren't assholes!  Why was this written this way?  As far as I see it, Kurt hasn't interacted all that much with the boys, and in the beginning, they were distant and uncomfortable by his sexuality.  The only who hasn't been, in a scripted, storyline sense, is Sam.  And then they never interacted again.  But it doesn't matter, because straight people deserve a thank you for not being bigots.  Never mind Kurt's forgotten relationship with Mercedes, or the possibility of singing to his dad, or even having a bit more realistic scene dealing with the prospect of a long-distance relationship.

In fact, even though Kurt is probably #3 in order of importance, as deemed by "Goodbye," the episode didn't treat the character all that well.  The scene with Burt was nice in theory, although a bit misguided in execution.  I didn't love the idea that Burt basically said "I lost you when you started to become yourself," and while I love the idea that he would take a step into Kurt's world as a gesture to their symbiosis of differences, it was framed more as a "hey, remember when?" which really was there for the audience to benefit from.  I actually feel like Kurt would be scarred by watching his dad perform Beyoncé, and the gratuitous flashbacks to Kurt's performance were completely unfounded, and for the audience only.  (It's Kurt's POV!  Why would he flash back to watching himself perform "Single Ladies?"  It makes no sense.)  I would have much preferred Burt offering to sing with Kurt, in an embodiment of their "meeting in the middle" dynamic.  

The difficulty of Kurt's long-distance relationship with Blaine was also waved away quickly, perhaps because the writers knew he wasn't going to get into NYADA anyways.  And how awful that Kurt didn't have a single moment for the narrative to focus on his rejection letter?  He has been on the same path as Rachel this season, and while Finn and Rachel got their front-seat breakup to address Finn's future, Kurt is left completely unanswered.  It's not even that we don't know what he's going to do; I'm fine with a cliffhanger.  That's not the issue.  The issue is that we had no moment to mourn the death of Kurt's dream.  No, it didn't need to be a huge teary number like "Cry," but there needed to be at least a moment.  As it was, he got a rejection letter, then spiralled away from the narrative completely.  It wasn't even insinuated that he had any part in pushing Rachel into her future, when it seems, based on all characterization, that he would

Unanswered questions and ignored emotional reactions also plagued Santana's storyline, and, by extension, Brittany's.  Santana's future was decided for her (I'm sensing a theme) a few episodes ago, wherein Sue and Brittany got her a scholarship to the University of Kentucky.  Of course, we immediately wondered, "Santana?  Louisville?" - but Santana didn't second-guess it until "Goodbye."  She gives some consideration to ditching college and heading off to NYC, but wants advice from her mother.  Yes, we finally got to meet Mama Lopez!  Gloria Estefan was fantastic as Santana's mother, and I wish dearly that we were able to meet her sooner, and with more (read: better) content.  

As is, Señora Lopez appeared to want Santana to go to college, and that's when the bomb dropped.  And by "bomb," I mean "something dusted under the rug and used only once for another character's purposes and then forgotten about completely."  Brittany's not graduating!  This is just the final nail in the coffin on how terribly the writers treat this character.  (On any other comedy, Brittany would be the scene stealer.  For awhile, on Glee, she was.  Now she's basically a ghost.  A silent, one-dimensional ghost.)  The implications of Brittany's erasure as a member of the senior class (president, no less!) are nauseating.  I'm not just talking about how Puck got a multi-episode arc out of potentially failing, while Brittany's isn't a big deal.  It's more that Santana seems surprised that Brittany isn't graduating, which suggests that either Santana is not paying attention to her girlfriend, doesn't think her girlfriend has problems with her grades, or that the writers are just not on the ball.  I vote that last one.  It's half-assumed, by the characters in the narrative, that Brittany's too dumb to graduate and nothing can be done about it.  But the writers never fully incorporated this idea, which means they're operating on the assumption that as an audience, we too are just assuming that Brittany's too dumb to graduate.  Which means that the writers absolutely think that Brittany is too dumb to graduate, and never chose to address that as anything other than incontrovertible truth.  How insulting.

What's even worse about this is that even when Brittany's announcement is made, it's not manifested into any emotional depth for her character.  Santana is outraged, then it's simply presented as another option for her future - maybe she'll stay behind in Lima with Brittany.  What is actually a real character moment for Brittany is shrugged off in favor of Santana's precedence as a fixture on this show, as established since the middle of Season 2.  Santana ranks higher on the list than Brittany, so naturally, Brittany's story developments affect only Santana's incorporated narrative.  But even "Goodbye" swung the impact of Brittany's news away from Santana's emotions and kept it strictly as a reason to stay local next year.  The emotion of the scenario was never manifested onscreen in any way.  Singing to Brittany during "You Get What You Give" was cute, but not really in keeping with their supposed emotional state after learning Brittany's high school fate just a few scenes before.  Not only that, but I can't believe the complete and utter lack of focus on Brittany during "In My Life."  Here she is, sitting with kids a year younger than her, saying goodbye to someone she shouldn't have to say goodbye to, and yet, there's barely a close-up.  The performance is supposed to be about Finn Hudson, after all.  I can't help but think Santana would have walked out of that number for its Brittany-related implications alone.

Instead, Puck was given the furrowed brow and sullen stare, because he still had unfinished character business to wrap up.  Was he going to graduate, or not?  Somehow Puck's lack of class attendance and book smarts doesn't translate to the same doomed inevitability of Brittany's stupidity.  Truthfully, the payoff to Puck's storyline could have happened an episode sooner, and we wouldn't have had to slog through so much crap to learn his fate in "Goodbye."  But "Props" only gave him the chance to take his test again, and this episode had to see him through the sitting of it.  And, because the writers had nothing else to do with Quinn, they boomeranged her into Puck's storyline for the final conquest over European Geography, the high school diploma, and the show's own canonical history.

I don't know if you realized, but Quinn is in love with Puck.  She has no regrets whatsoever about sleeping with him even when she was dating someone else, and certainly no regrets about that transgression resulting in a baby that got her kicked out of her own home.  She slept with him because he had swagger, and not because she was feeling fat that day.  She would never give her virginity to someone so self-pitying and down on life as Puck seems to be right now.  The guy she fell in love with (remember, that happened) was a badass!  The guy she knew won football games and ate the contents of a pepper shaker on a dare!  No one deserves her love more.  Because yes, she loves him.

Now, here's the thing.  There was a lot of sarcasm in that last paragraph, and I apologize.  But before you yell at me, let me say this: I don't mind it in concept.  Quinn and Puck did have a baby together, and yes, that gives them a strange bond that they'll have forever.  I don't mind that Quinn would want to help Puck.  I don't mind that they talk about their relationship.  I don't mind that the writers want to give them a nod, considering they were set up as potential romantic interests early on.  I don't even mind the idea that after all this time without virtually any interaction, Quinn loves Puck.  In some way, she probably does.  However!  This was terribly written.  The execution on all of these concepts was absolutely atrocious.  

It wouldn't be as bad if the dialogue weren't so on-the-nose.  The suggestion that Puck needs his mojo back and a kiss could give him confidence isn't terrible - when it's a construct that manifests in a storyline that shows me, and doesn't yap at me about it.  None of Quinn's dialogue felt at all like someone talking about their own feelings so much as the writers funneling in all the support they could muster for a Quinn/Puck kiss at scene's end.  Do they not understand that Quinn and Puck having a complicated relationship is actually really interesting?   I actually like the idea that they have an unspoken bond, even if they didn't interact at all during Season 2, and only in the first act of Season 3.  But instead of speaking to the fact that there might always be mixed feelings for what transpired between them, Quinn had words shoved in her mouth that basically rewrote history.  I never felt like Quinn ever liked Puck because of his swagger.  She only started to like him when he treated her kindly, and then in a bout of writer irresponsibility, he was actually quite a jerk to her and the relationship dissolved.  The only connection they've reliably shared was Beth, and that's fine.  A baby is a huge connection, and will always have some relevance to their lives.  However, a baby does not equate romantic love.  And just because Quinn says she has no regrets about Beth and losing her virginity, does not mean that she always has, and I wish she had been given dialogue that addressed that nuance.  We saw firsthand how the Puck-Beth situation obliterated Quinn's established existence, and even if it was for the better, we saw her miserable for quite some time.  Ignoring that is insulting to Quinn, and Puck, and their relationship.  

So no, I don't mind what the writers were attempting to achieve in concept.  It's actually kind of a neat genderswapped Sleeping Beauty angle, you could argue, and I like the idea of having a kiss or meaningful interaction that doesn't appear to launch into a dating relationship.  There's a lot of subtle, complex emotions to play with between Quinn and Puck, but the writing razed them all to one oversimplified and misguided expression of love.  Honestly, this could have all been saved if there was some indication that Quinn was purposefully behaving that way because she knew it would work.  I don't mean to say that she "tricked" him, per sé, but it's the easiest fix for making sense of her sudden emotional expression.  In the end, I would have rather had a meaningful heart-to-heart that fleshed out the complications in Puck and Quinn's dynamic and given them a nuanced payoff to their stop-and-start but always-there relationship.  Alas, there was neither.

Unfortunately, this same cloud loomed over Quinn's other "Goodbye" scenes - with Rachel, and with Sue.  They did fare slightly better than Puck's simply because the writers weren't trying so hard, but they were still marked by some sticky moments.  With Rachel, Quinn basically surrendered to the constant struggle of Rachel trying to be her friend for three years, and manifested that friendship in the most healthy (read: least Quinn Fabray) way - she bought Rachel a train pass to get from NYC to New Haven.  This is actually an exceptionally sweet gesture, especially considering that Rachel hadn't even gotten into NYADA yet.  But the action was shuffled under by bad dialogue that basically amounted to "so glad we're friends now!!!" and washed away completely with Quinn telling Rachel that indeed, she and Finn are "meant to be."  Ugh, gross.  Look, I'm fine if Quinn's at peace with Rachel dating Finn now - for all intents and purposes, she really should be.  But her character arc is about so much more than letting her ex date a girl she once hated.  Looking at it that way entrenches the entire narrative in Rachel's point of view, and thus this inclusion was so clunky, because it's the Glee writers forcing their characters to talk in a way that only people watching the show would.  Quinn Fabray has no concept of "endgame," or "who should be with whom," because she is a character in this nutty world.  The idea that Glee is using its own characters to flat-out address other relationships as "meant to be" is weak - and cheap - writing.  And it's even more insulting that Rachel hopped on board, and told Quinn she always thought that about her and Puck.  Hark, is that even more heavyhanded setup to the Quinn-Puck kiss?  Why, it is!

The Sue scene fared similarly to the Rachel scene, in that it was conceptually strong, but suffered bad dialogue.  Sue telling Quinn she's retiring Quinn's old uniform is another great gesture, and I quite like the idea that Sue confesses admiration for Quinn, and pride over her perseverance in high school.  Quinn went through a lot, and I like when other characters recognize that.  (Partly because it's a rarity.)  But at the same time, Sue also dropped the phrase "You're better than me... you're slightly less evil," and there Glee goes again giving characters dialogue that would only be expressed by people watching the show.  Look, villains don't think they're evil.  Quinn doesn't think she's evil, and if Sue does, it's simply because she's Sue Sylvester and a comic villain.  I'm so sick and tired of the "villains" on this show talking about how "bad" they are.  Everyone is the hero of their own narrative, and the idea that Glee forces their own story constructs into the mouths of their characters is beyond insulting.

Of course, I'm making my way down the list of Important Characters (as Deemed by "Goodbye") and finally arriving at what is perhaps the most insulting material.  Mercedes Jones and Mike Chang were completely deprived of any narration or individual treatment whatsoever.  The writers instead forced their future plans into a rapidfire conversation, where we learned that Mercedes got a recording contract in LA, that fell in her lap thanks to Sam's "Disco Inferno" video, and Mike is going to school in Chicago?  I don't know; it went by so fast and transitioned so quickly to Santana that I got whiplash-induced memory loss.  We didn't even get any real moments addressing what Sam and Mercedes, and Mike and Tina are going to do with one half of their couples graduating off and moving away.  What, they're not "meant to be" like Puck and Quinn or Finn and Rachel?  They're not even going to have a brief and Nicholas-Sparks-inspired conversation about it, like Kurt and Blaine?  There's not even a random suggestion that one of them might try and stay behind, like Santana and Brittany?

Basically, this sucks, and is an easy summary of what went wrong in "Goodbye."  Mercedes and Mike are characters on this show, graduates in the senior class, and valued members of the New Directions.  The idea that they were shuffled so quickly aside to showcase other characters and their stories (which weren't even that good to begin with) just shows how frustratingly hypocritical Glee is about their theme of inclusion.  This trickled down even from story construction into the tiniest of scene choices: the graduating order was deprived any ounce of logic (aka, not alphabetized) and instead, the seniors crossed the stage in almost exact reverse order of determined importance: Mike, Quinn, Mercedes, Puck, Santana, Kurt, Finn, and Rachel.  Logic deprived?  Characters ignored while others were glorified, and group dynamics ultimately shuffled aside?  These were the hallmarks of "Goodbye," and it's especially frustrating to know that this is what we're given for the end of the show's original conceit.
 
Yes, technically, Glee is renewed for Season 4 and allegedly has some sort of "revolutionary" new framework up its figurative sleeve, with all the same characters.  But the first three seasons of this show were about these kids coming together, so their parting ways is indeed the end of an era, and deserved to be marked as such.  There's plenty of emotion to be found there, and yet Glee ignored most of it.  Truthfully, they knew where to find it, as there were two moments in "Goodbye" that felt emotionally authentic and well-written.  Actually, the writers got there so quickly that I thought perhaps the whole episode would be rife with this sort of happy nostalgic pain that goes along with closing a chapter.  "Goodbye" began with Will walking through the hallway towards his glee classroom, as the sound of "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" drifted towards him.  The number was the first performed by the original New Directions, pre-Finn, and the same fivesome were performing it again as a last hurrah, just for fun.  If this were not enough to get the emotions stirring, they actually cut back and forth between the two performances, as though Will were seeing his kids all grown-up and feeling like their first steps were just yesterday.  This was surprisingly fantastic, and one of the few believable and appropriate moments honoring Will's relationship with the kids - perhaps because it suggested Will as a father figure more than a best buddy. 

Unfortunately, this quality didn't last.  The only other emotionally resonant moment in “Goodbye” was the performance of “You Get What You Give,” wherein all the seniors got a chance to be adorable and teary-eyed as they said goodbye to the juniors as a group.  There was even a bit of clever choreography!  The seniors began the song standing, then got the juniors up and dancing with them, only to be left standing in the seniors’ place as the older kids sat back down.  A simple, strong action, right?  It communicated, through dance, what was happening in story.  Combined with all the permutations of endearing individual interactions, I couldn’t help but feel my heart swell at this.  If only the whole episode was just fun musical numbers where the cast cried and smooshed all their faces together.

So while Glee did carve out a few successful moments devoted to giving a curtain call to these characters and relationships that we've loved for three years, the episode ultimately failed to hit the emotional beats it needed to satisfyingly close the book on the original gang.  Fettered with shallow and expository dialogue, it forced false resolution, drummed up unnecessary conflict, and ultimately revealed a nasty hierarchy of individual characters' importance that trumped any suggestion that these kids are a family.  In short, it completely knocked its legs out from underneath it, in a stunning display of clueless self-sabotage and smug self-congratulation of the show's true purpose, meaning, and story told.

The RBI Report Card...
Musical Numbers: B
Dance Numbers: A
Dialogue: F
Plot: D
Characterization: C
Episode MVP: Brittany Pierce, because the writers don't care about her.
Poll: Will you watch Glee next season?

37 comments:

  1. When those two song dedications happened in rapid succession (Kurt's "to the men", and then the juniors' "to Finn") I nearly turned off the TV. This show is historically bad for glorifying men and ignoring or belittling women, but WHY was this even necessary at this point? Other than giving a big old "FUCK YOU" to the girls in the room, what purpose did this serve?

    It kind of grossed me out that Finn was apparently in cahoots with Rachel's dads, too. Like, here's this supposedly ambitious, driven, passionate woman, and the people making her decisions are three dudes. Really?

    By the way, have Quinn and Rachel *ever* had a conversation in which they haven't blatantly mentioned the fact that THEY ARE FRIENDS NOW, ISN'T THAT CHARMING? Gotta love that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Goodbye Glee. As much as the Samcedes moments made my heart jump, I sat back and realized how bullshit their ending was that the writers was giving me. They literally tired to pacify me and think I wouldn't notice the utter garbage filling my screen. They're lucky the actors have a beautiful chemistry together or I would have caught it sooner. Never again Glee. I'm not here for the Rachel Berry show; never was and never will be. Selfish, ignorant white girl problems aren't something I want to view week after week.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I bet it is tedious to spend so much words on such writing, but thank you for writing this. You articulate my feelings regarding this episode in a way I never could - and I really needed to eloquently rant about this ep because it was so disappointing. Every single point you made was completely accurate.
    And yet, in some magical way, I am so hung up on this show. I don't understand. How does Glee manage to somehow trick me in caring, when I realize all too profoundly how atrocious their writing is, thus the plot, thus the characters (oh how my heart aches for the once so amazing Rachel Berry), thus the entire show. I just don't understand.
    I know I'm going to watch season 4, and I delude myself into thinking that it's only because I want to follow Lea Michele's awesome acting, but they're gonna trick me again - into somehow caring enough to give critique and be angry at the writing. I fear I'm not going to escape out of this abusive relationship I have with this show, I don't even know if I want to, but I don't understand what's keeping me watching. What is the magical factor here?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my god. Thank you for that review. It expressed what I felt in such a beautiful writing. I think you should write glee not those... those... nevermind.
    I'm not sure if I'm going to watch, I've heard that next season will be "the blaine's show" if that happens then no, I'm not watching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have poked fun at Blaine in the past, but I think I'd rather watch the Blaine Show with his final high school year and seeing his friendships with the other soon-to-be-seniors grow and with more tension from Sebastian over The Rachel Show with her 'best gay' Kurt who isn't allowed to feel anything for himself because he has to be constantly supportive of Rachel and her hopes and dreams.

      Kurt you're a NYADA finalist... now stop celebrating your own victory and join the Rachel pity party posthaste! Kurt you nailed your NYADA audition!! Wipe away any joy, Rachel choked and you can't be happy now! Kurt, remember when you were humiliated by the entire junior class when they made you prom queen, you can't feel anxious now because your best friend forever just won the same thing for seniors and it's a huge triumphant victory, so slap on a smile, stand behind your best friend where you belong and put a glittering tiara on her head.

      Kurt, you didn't get into NYADA? No you can't wallow or discuss your other plans with your dad of boyfriend, you have to go to the train station and see off your best friend as she gets to live out your New York dreams!

      Delete
  5. There is only one thing in this report that I don't agree with and that's that you've still given this plot a D. This doesn't even deserve a D, not after three bloody seasons. This is not what you give to the people who've stuck with you through all your bad writing, Glee. No.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great review! I was really disappointed by the episode too, so much that I actually don't know yet if I should bother with season 4. I still can't believe what they did to Kurt. He did an amazing audition (even Carmen seemed to like it a lot), he didn't choke and didn't stalk her either and what does he get for it? Nothing.
    Everything was so clunky and if someone watches this and still doesn't get it's the Finn/Rachel show now then I don't know how to make it more clearer.
    I am actually a Quinn/Puck fan but their scenes were really disappointing. I wish we got more build-up. Quinn's dialogue would've made more sense if it was the beginning of season 2. But that's what happens when you keep using two characters for other storylines and then change their personalities constantly, there's a point where you need to give them closure and then it's going to look weird no matter what. I really wish they had handled it differently because I still believe those two could have such a great storyline. On a different show they would be amazing.

    Thanks for all the good times Glee but I think this is it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks so much for your review! Some reviewers are actually saying this was one of the best episodes. People were tweeting how emotional they were. I thought I was watching a different show. After accepting that it really wasn't a dream sequence, I felt like crying. It's so sad because I just love the characters so much. Oh what could've been...

    ReplyDelete
  8. thank you for writing this, i can breath again!:D

    ReplyDelete
  9. It was just... so terrible. It started off beautifully with "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat": nostalgic, sweet, and tying the graduation with our introduction to Glee. And then it just... I don't even know how it ended so poorly. Between ignoring the other seniors (way to leave us with literally no idea how Kurt is handling his NYADA rejection) and putting the final nail in Rachel's coffin (in what reality would RACHEL BERRY choose to defer her NYADA acceptance and only go to New York - only go to pursue her dreams - through Finn and force?), I am done. I can't watch this terrible show anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Brittany has been my favorite character since she lost her wheelchair in 'Wheels" and this season has been painful because it started out strong with her decision to run for class president and her refusal to allow Finn and others to insult her intelligence and then she mysteriously became mute while her story lines were given to Finn (Santana's recovery after being outed), Kurt (class president election) and Puck (no need for reminder there) respectively.

    I really appreciate your analysis about the pecking order of the cast working against the message of inclusion promoted by the show; somehow it makes me rage less about what they did to Brittany this season. You said a while back that the weakness of glee was that it sets up narrative walls and then knocks them down which leaves viewers confused about the rules of the glee universe. You were completely right and it's rage inducing. Failing Brittany has broken so many rules of the gleeverse that my head is still spinning. Academic eligibility for Cheerios was introduced in "Throwdown"; Brittany's involved in student government, the school paper, glee and cheerleading and not one teacher or character made an effort to talk to her about her grades (even when Sue and Will put effort into other seniors)... I don't know who hates Heather Morris but I can't deal with how this character has been treated for the last 18 episodes with no hope for improvement next year.

    I guess what I wanted to see last night was for Sue to take Brittany under her wing after it was revealed that she had failed. Sue has brutally mocked Brittany's intelligence for three years and even tried to shoot her out of a cannon but still gives her the lead dance position in every routine. I don't know why Sue would tell Quinn all that stuff when Quinn was only a cheerio for the first half of her sophomore and first half of her junior year. I don't buy that Quinn means that much to her when Sue has had more screen time with "porcelain", "jugs the clown" and "tweedledumb" in the last year than she had with Quinn. If Quinn's scene with Sue had been truncated or eliminated in favor of a scene between Sue and Brittany, they would have been able to show Brittany's perspective on her failure. Sue probably would still have been mean, but I would have liked to see some sort of respect between them since Brittany started standing up for herself in season 2 and since Sue has apparently been rigging Brittany's grades to keep her on the Cheerios. After showing Brittany some respect for suggesting the Louisville (not UK, for clarification - they're different schools) scholarship for Santana, I thought Sue might have something to say about Brittany's future or have some interest in seeing her succeed. At the very least, Brittany should be Cheerios captain next year, whoever the coach is. Actually, I want her out of Lima - she should go be a back up dancer for Beyonce or something. Or Fondue for Two should take off like Mercedes's youtube video did; I always pictured Brittany as a Kelly Ripa when she grows up.

    I won't be watching next year. This season has even made it a headache to watch the old first season episodes I used to love. Every character has been assassinated and every storyline has been made about Finn (who used to be kind of cute in a clumsy puppy way but now he's like a full grown saint bernard that pees all over everything and destroys furniture while glee writers keep throwing him bones). I don't know what drugs they are taking but I hope it makes the show fun to write because it hasn't been fun to watch for months now.

    All that to say, I love your recaps and think you're awesome. And there's always your reviews of Smash to stick around for. Have you thought about what you'll do for the summer with everything on break? Thanks for writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you about Finn stealing Brittany's part in Santana's coming out but I have to disagree about Puck and Kurt. As I recall, the class president story was Kurt's first, not Brits. As for Puck, having a similar storyline does not equal stealing. He's been academically bad since first season and while I agree that it's annoying that Brit's issues were not addressed and his were, that doesn't mean he "stole" her storyline. Finn stole her storyline in a place that had nothing to do with him, its different for the other two I think. They had their own stories which just happened to be similar to hers.

      Delete
  11. Thank you.
    Everything you wrote is what I felt. Especially about the blatant bias on characters.
    I like not to be told what or whom to like, I like to make my own opinion. I don't mind when my favorit character don't get focus, but to be neglected the whole season? it's a bit too much.
    Both Brittany and Mercedes had a storyline given to the writes to take since the 3rd episode of the season, Mercedes with her diva ways (yet never had that promised solo for a competition) and Brittany with the presidency stuff. The writers did they best to ignore this, only revisiting as passing lines on the last 4 episodes of the season.......
    with this sort of conclusion for a season, I can't help but feel that it was all a waste of my time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Every word of this review was truth. And genius. That Puck/Quinn scene may have been one of the dumbest in the show's history, and that's saying something. Dianna and Mark seemed embarrassed to be saying that retconny crap.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Am I the only person who saw the Quinn/Puck scene as Quinn being her manipulative self, but in a nicer way?

    Puck was going to crash and burn on that exam largely due to a lack of confidence, so Quinn decided to pull him out of that funk by, ummh, putting enough spin on their history that parts of it have now achived escape velocity, and laying a kiss on him. Which, to be fair, would work as a confidence booster on any teenager with a pulse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i did too. is like the only way to make the Sue's speech make sense about her being "less evil" than her. I didn't see Quinn confesing her feelings for Puck, I saw her as manipulating Puck to succed.

      Delete
    2. Agreed. She didn't seem earnest at all, took pity on him and tried to boost his confidence. What I hated was the fact that he sits there apologizing for the things he did and she tells him that she could never love him the way he is now, she fell in love with him when he was a jackass and thus she finds all his character development meaningless. I refuse to believe that they are "meant to be", absolutely can't accept that nonsense.

      Delete
    3. I have to admit that I did sort of take it as Quinn helping him get his groove back, but I am SO tired of having to bend over backwards to create head-canon to make sense of this shit. If that was the intent, the Glee writers failed to make it obvious enough for me, at least.

      Delete
  14. Thanks for writing this up. I've actually been reading your glee reports for awhile now, and geez, you've hit the nail right on the head. Especially for this finale. I was absolutely enraged by everything - honestly, the writers are such dicks and I feel sorry for the cast members to go through all of the shit. By the time I finished your report, I could not stop laughing, so thank you for the sarcasm! I really enjoyed it! I'd be lying if I said that I'm not an avid RachelxQuinn stan, but honestly, the whole "can't believe we're friends" convo is just overwritten. YES, WE KNOW THE ARE GOOD FRIENDS NOW. LET'S MOVE ON PLEASE. Don't get me started on the QxP scene. That shit came out of nowhere and was a waste of time. Ugh, that whole scene disgusted me. Quinn took like three steps forward in previous episodes and then she came tumbling down and went a bajillion steps back. I feel sad for Brittany though, because yes I completely agree with you, she was supposed to be that kind of character. As for the FxR deal, I'm glad they broke up. BUT. Ugh, what you said up there is true and I hate it. I hate that choices have to be made FOR Rachel. And even when they broke up, to me, it still seemed like Finn is the hero in all this. No. Maybe I'm saying this because I'm biased, but that relationship has been unhealthy since the start. I tried to go with it, but I couldn't; the negatives of that relationship outweighed the positives by a long shot.

    I think most of us know by now that Glee is a show where men are praised and women are simply shrugged off - and those who deny that, well...I don't know what you're watching. I think it's after 2x02 (Duets), the show lost it's mojo. They had some redeeming qualities in different episodes, but I don't think it was enough. This finale was NOT satisfying. It failed to bring the originality of what the show was supposed to be. The thing is, I just think that these writers don't even give two flying shits about their show anymore. They don't outline anything or think it through. You can tell with all of the writing, plot and dialogue. It's a shame, really, because I used to be obsessed with this show but I just lost hope for it altogether. Now I don't know if I'm gonna watch season 4. I didn't really watch the first few eps of season 3 to be honest. I'll probably do the same again, but I'm not gonna be too excited as I was when the show first came out.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Haha omg you are always spot on. But, since I want to be free from Glee, I have chosen to just be happy with that finale and expect nothing more. I have no plans to watch season 4 so, I feel okay. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Perfect review as always. And no, I will not be watching next season except through my tumblr dash and your recaps if you still do them (if any episode has a rating of B+ in plot, I might consider watching it)

    ReplyDelete
  17. You have said everything I thought about this episode, I was actually looking forward to Brittana + Mama Lopez scene til they opened their mouths and messed it up with really bad dialoge.

    There is no doubt in my mind Quinn Fabray is gay and in love with Rachel, I have a feeling in my gut that´s how Dianna sees her character (beside this past couple of episodes I have felt Dianna is really feed up with the crap "heterosexual" storylines for Quinn) so what do the writers do to prevent the gay from showing? They make them talk about boys, funny cause neither of them put much feeling to their words.

    I liked the Quinn & Puck moment, I felt it was Quinn´s way to apologize to him for calling him a Lima loser, there was no romantic love involved, and it was sweet of her to help him.

    -M

    ReplyDelete
  18. P.S: I´m not watching the season 4 Unless they fix their mess, which I doubt.

    -M

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for writing this up. Spot on, everything.

    I'm really torn about season four. Sometimes I just really hate that they made Blaine a junior. I started watching Glee to support Darren, and once I caught up, my hope was that everyone would graduate and Glee would just quit while they were (kinda) ahead. So I want to watch for Darren, Chris, and Kurt and Blaine's relationship. But I may end up doing what I did this season, which was skipping three or four episodes in a row and finding out if there was anything worth watching later on.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I was seriously disgusted by all the man-praising going on this episode. They didn't even try to be subtle about it this time either, they just straight up threw it in the dialogue. Really Kurt, you wanna dedicate your song to the guys in your group, who in large bullied you before New Directions, continued to make fun of you while in New Directions, called your stuff "faggy" and didn't actually interact with all the much? What about the first person you came out to, who told you she was your friend no matter what? Mercedes who? The girls who helped clean off slushy facials and had slumber parties with you? The girls who danced Beyonce with you? Clearly love and friendship and acceptance from GIRLS don't matter. Thanks for making that clear Kurt. And the Finn worship, AGAIN. Ugh. Glee has been offending me pretty much every episode this season, but I haven't been this disgusted since IKAG. If you hadn't mentioned it, I would have though Hodgeson wrote this episode.

    Also, congratulations Glee! You failed Britt! That means McKinley High now has (at least) 2 less national championships under it's belt, as any school funded team she was a member of is automatically disqualified from any and all competitions for letting a student with a failing GPA participate. So New Directions did not, in fact, win Nationals. But hey, Puck gets all the help he needs to pass one test (which he only managed a C on even though he pretty much knew which questions were gonna be), and Finn can't wash his own balls properly, so it makes perfect sense that a member of a winning Brainiacs team, the Senior Class President, wouldn't graduate instead of them. Pardon my language, but fuck you, Glee.

    The only good thing this episode was Rachel Berry getting to New York. The way she got there was completely screwed up, and yet another testament to the terrible turn the writers took her personality and ambition to, but New York is where she belongs. (As a side note, how on earth is Finn even going to get through basic training? He can't even handle Santana making fun of him, there's no way he'd be able to hack being constantly humiliated by his drill sergeant.)

    ...Fuck you, Glee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THIS so much!!

      thank you.

      Delete
  21. I feel really pissed off about Rachel. I've always liked her willingness to work hard and make sacrifices to get what she wants and what she wants is to be a star. Her struggle has always been to let other people share the spotlight, make friends and realize that other people matter. It would have been lovely if her price for managing to do that was getting to her dreams with the help of other people (Tina, Jesse). Instead, they make her give up her dreams for those other people and Finn have to practically force her onto a train? WTF, Glee writers?!

    In contrast, all the seniors who have never been shown to be as goal-oriented as Rachel are leaving partners and friends and family behind to go their things, no discussion required. Because that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  22. i enjoyed some bits: sit down you're rocking the boat (complete with gloves and tragic choreography), Schue's admission of blackmail (finally!), the end of Finchel! (FINALLY! even if the 'how' was tragically bad), Single Ladies wasn't perfect, but was an enjoyable nod to one relationship they somehow manage to not screw over... and i agree that the 'You get what you give' choreography was simple, yet powerful.

    but its continued lack of agency for female characters (will the real rachel berry please stand up?) and the absolutely nauseating Finn/man-worship.... just... i can't either. how did glee get so bad? was it always this bad and the singing and dancing just distracted me from its flaws? serious misogyny... oh look something shiny?

    Mercedes - saw some decent growth, even though they through her under the bus with a diva fit to get her there. i genuinely liked her leadership in the TTones and a few eps back she announced that she got in to at least one (maybe more) colleges. It seemed like she had her act together. But now, Sam violates her privacy by uploading a video (and simultaneously the privacy of Santana and Brittany who were also in the video and not asked if they wanted it published), but she gets a miraculous recording contract out of it and so it was 'for her own good', b/c the pattern is super clear that straight, white men know what is best for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tina - i think you wrote somewhere that Tina is 'sneaky awesome' and i couldn't agree more. she isn't neccessarily my favorite character (b/c she gets so little time) but this year, but two of my favorite episodes featured her heavily. go figure, RIB! in Props, we hadn't previously see any Rachel/Tina friendship moments (they don't meet in the bathroom and angstily tell each other how they are friends, now) but unlike that other friendship, we saw Tina step up huge and do something that a real friend would. Sure this ep had to be about the seniors, but maybe graduation could've stretched out over 2 eps to see what the juniors are feeling about it (beyond their adoration of hero!Finn) if we'd skipped some of the absolute garbage episodes like IKAG or the holiday wastes.

    Quinn - my new head!canon is that Quinn was using her manipulative skills (though is much skill required to manipulate Puck?) for the greater good of giving Puck the confidence to just barely pass his test. so thanks for that!! otherwise i just can't stomach that she was in love with him b/c he ate a shaker of pepper. maybe now that quinn and rachel have train passes, they will occassionally hang out and actually BE the friends they keep proclaiming to be. i thought Q and Sue was a decentish payoff, and am not bothered that Sue might think herself evil. i like that sue is about the only person to give credence to how tough quinn really had it. it wasn't just rich, white girl problems! but she wasn't really a cheerleader for all that long, just parts of various years... and like most relationships on the show we didn't see much meaningful interaction between the 2, but we were just TOLD about it once or twice. not that that means Sue couldn't still admire quinn's fortitude, but why exactly will quinn miss sue?

    Rachel - you kind of hit the nail on the head, so not much for me to say. he brain was clearly harvested by aliens somewhere early in the season and she's been inhabited by aliens ever since. Carmen would be furious if she knew that the girl who had annoyed her for so long to get another chance woudl just toss it away. I'll admit that Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith had me almost tearing up but that was on the strength of their acting and not their material. They just looked so convincingly heart-broken then i was moved a little. if i look at Nationals as the season finale, and Graduation as the coda that sort of sets up the next season (like Restless did for buffy, except this wasn't anywhere near as awesome) then i can stomach that we didn't end on the big group number and instead ended on the rachel berry show. we got that last week. but still, the HOW she got to NYC is just so wrong: ie, through no will of her own. the only thing worse, might've been if they'd legitimately tied her hands and feet w/ some rope and stuffed her in a suitcase. actually, that'd be better b/c then it would be clearly seen for what it was: the removal of her ability to chose her own fate.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Santana - oh, Santana. you've been my favorite character since middle season 1, probably around the Power of Madonna, when i realized you could sing! maybe she was never intended to be this way, but I always thought Rivera was playing her intentionally to convince us that there was 'something' there under the spiky, bitch persona and i've long had a soft spot for the bad-ass character with a walls around her nougaty heart. santana fan-fiction is a guilty pleasure of mine, but now I'm thinking i must've let my head!canon and fanon interpretations of Santana color my expectations from the actual character. I just expected so much more. How did she not apply to ANY colleges? Where the hell was Sue or Pillsbury (b/c at my school the guidance counselor's job was to help you apply to colleges!) back in the fall when the actual application process should've happened for everyone? Sue, this is your co-captain!! Who apparently, we learned in rapid fire dialog) helped you win a national championship in cheerleading this year.. and brittany had to be the one to suggest you help her find a cheering scholarship? i'm so disappointed for santana, b/c i have always pictured her as an ambitious girl who would make plans to get out of Lima... and so disappointed in Sue, who've i've always pictured as somehow having the best interests of the kids in mind (somewhere way in the back of her mind maybe). and while i liked that we met santana's mom, it felt like a combination of stunt casting with deux ex machina. and again perhaps too much head!canon, but i can't put how her parents are so supportive of her sexuality with the type of parents who get their kid a breast augmentation at 16/17!! it just does not compute for me. but mama lopez appears as both her birth mom and her fairy god mother.. don't want to go to Louisville, KY? here, take this money and blow it all in NYC. girl has zero plan, but just go have a good time dear. there are actually plenty of City University of New York schools that she could've applied to, except oh wait, NOBODY thought to get her to apply (including herself) and Schue was worried about her until months after application deadlines had passed.

    now that they've set up Santana and Rachel as the only 2 officially in NYC.... i'd would have thought they'd make one hell of a spin-off. They have odd-couple written all over them. Rachel and Kurt are too similar, but these two would be at constant loggerheads... and at least in the beginning pining over their lost loves. it'd be great, if it were written by someone like, say Joss Whedon! but no one in the #glee writer's room knows how to write stories about women, so we'd probably have some straight, white guy come in and date them both and get them to fight each other over him.

    ReplyDelete
  25. but i digress back to Brittany - you're right, she was totally a scene stealer early on. she had some of the best one-liners around, and they made sense in a weird sort of way, (and often showed some situational relevancy) plus her out of left field delivery was perfect. i know most people would agree that Morris is not the best actress in the lot, but i thought last year in either of the locker scenes, that she could at least handle a scene decently enough: not ace it like Michelle or Rivera but not bomb it either. the writers just went to that well of "stupid, blond, slutty, cheerleader" jokes so many times that it came up dry months ago. why do the boy morons graduate (including the one who cheated off of her papers) and she's got a 0.0? and really? 0.0?? you can show up, write your name in crayon and probably manage at least a D. doesn't the school have any rules about group participation requiring certain GPAs? She can't get a 60% in even the most remedial class? How do neither Sue, nor Santana know about brittany's 0.0 GPA? brittany has been a star cheerleader for years. santana is supposed to be not only her girlfriend, but also her long-time genuine friend... brittany used to be portrayed as the only person Santana was nice to, which lent a lot of credence to the thought that Santana loves and was in love with her. Since Santana applied exactly nowhere it sure isn't like she had so much going on to not notice? did she just not care? doesn't fit with my opinion of santana, but again i'll admit that maybe my expectation has been completely compromised.

    but back to the 0.0, this makes me think that Becky's GPA is higher... which brings up the disturbing concept of how Becky's sexual interest is played a gross (b/c as a Downs kid she isn't traditionally pretty) while everyone is more than happy to have sex with Brittany b/c she's a tall, slender blonde, though very likely on a much lower mental level. They keep portraying britt as too dumb to live, so i am a lot weirded out by her extreme promiscuity (which was never discussed once she starting getting semi-monogamous w/ artie) b/c she probably doesn't have the capacity to consent! i was/am a huge brittana shipper b/c they used to bring out the best in each other, but it is hard to ship infantile!brit with anyone, and i definitely want more for Santana than a live mannequin. what happened to the britt with the weird logic, or the girl who last year seemed to 'understand' santana and wanted to help encourage her to come out w/o actually forcing it. the one who appeared to have some emotional intelligence? was that britt a figment of my imagination? or reading too much fan-fiction? but i feel like brittany is the one female character who was never fleshed out at all. everyone started out as a stereotype of something, but most got some depth, while she stayed that way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. i want to like this show.... so much. i'm so in love with these characters, they are all so damned endearing: with their dreams and flaws, and in some cases amazing acting and singing abilities. the satire, the sarcasm, the ridiculous, etc: it all had so much potential! it makes me a little ill to see how it all turned out. shame, shame, shame on the writers for squandering such a gift. and please lets lock Ryan Murphy in a room where he can only come up with ideas but will have no input in how his shows are conducted b/c he's clearly good at conceptualizing but atrocious at actualizing: glee now officially joins Nip/tuck as a brilliant show with intriguing characters that tanked, hard.

    (apparently i had a lot to say too! i appreciate your reviews for getting me thinking and for putting voice to what i find so disturbing about this show. kudos!)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Honestly.. like the best review of the episode!
    Also I CRIED of laughter when finn ran after the departing train! lolololo

    Everything about the Brittana scenes I completely agree with! I can't believe how they treated Brittany, they COMPLETELY killed off her character. We all knew and LOVED Brittany as the funny/bitchy cheerleader with her random comments, but how they treated her this season is simply UNFORGIVABLE!

    I'm still so mad and to answer the poll question.. I like many fans of Brittany am CERTAINLY NOT going to watch S4 of glee! I just can't take it anymore, I only continued watching this shitfest of a season because of Brittana, but now they even can not save this show.

    Also how they keep fucking treating finn as a saint RAGES me. Ofcourse finn is NEVER at fault, what even is this load of bullcrap. I loved finn in s1, now I can't even look at his face without throwing something at the tv.. Instead of serenading him the club should have giving him a price of being the biggest asshole alive!
    But ofcourse I'll bet my leg on it that this is only going to be worse in S4, soo.. I'M OUT GUYS.. can't waste my time and money on this shitfest anymore.

    Congratulations glee, you just lost another viewer!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great review. Epic takedown of an episode that deserve to be eviscerated.
    Sorry if I've already said this here, but sometimes I feel like the writes & producers of Glee don't actually watch the show!

    Others have already pointed out that Brittany would be academically ineligible to participate in New Directions, Cheerios and Student Government. I agree. And if Santana didn't realize Brittany was failing (and skipping class), how well do they know each other.

    Speaking of academics, so many storylines this season have been built around one big idiot plot device.

    Finn, Rachel, Kurt and Santana applied to ONE college each(okay, in Santana's case it was done for here). This is just plain dumb and it presumes the audience is made up of idiots.

    Glee takes place in Ohio, a real place. I used to live in the Ohio Valley, it's hard to throw a brick without hitting a good university. Ohio State, Ohio University, Case Western, Miami University, University of Cincinnati, and if you google their alumni lists, there's a decent list of famous actors & singers have graduated or attended those universities.

    Glee has already acknowledged that Ohio State exists (the hockey playing bully got a scholarship to OSU). But even if we ignore all these fine schools, it's still stupid to depict the kids as only applying to one school.

    Changing the subject:

    What (badly auto-tuned) songs will Finn sing while fighting the Taliban next season? I wonder if they'll stick with that thread, or just ignore it.

    For most of the season, I've been watching the show for 2 reasons:
    1.Jane Lynch
    2.Heather Morris

    Based on what Murphy,Falchuk and company have done to Sue & Brittany this year, those two may not be enough to keep me watching next season.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is the best review of the season finale that I've read so far. In fact I had a moment of clarity while reading it. I was trying to work out why I was so bothered by a TV show and then I remembered that when I first started watching it I was recovering from a very long illness. The show gave me hope and I looked forward to watching it each week. I was so intrigued that there was finally a show on TV that spoke for the voiceless and that made me excited. however, the second half of season three has been a let down. As far as the finale is concerned I couldn't believe what I was watching. They had a whole year to figure out how to end the season and this was what they came up with? It’s so obvious that there’s a pecking order and I find this sad because I’ve invested emotionally in all of the characters on glee not just the ones that RIB decided to focus on. They couldn't even be bothered to give Mercedes a family and her relationship with Sam was glossed over towards the end of the season even though they're meant to be in love. I have no clue what was meant be going on between Joe and Quinn and the kiss between her and Puck was silly. Were Quinn and Joe together, or what? Mike and Tina were also dismissed. In fact Mercedes/Sam and Mike/Tina were portrayed from Santana's POV in the finale so we weren't allowed to know how they were feeling. I agree that the songs helped us to understand that these couples were sad about being parted but it wasn't enough. I thought the end with Rachel singing was totally unnecessary and hammy. To be honest I found it painful to watch and not in a good way.

    I’m not a “shipper” I’ve loved some of the relationship angst and I’ve also loved some of the friendships that have been built, eg Kurt and Mercedes and Quinn and Mercedes although they all crashed and burned and now everyone has to be Rachel’s friend. I don’t get why this is necessary. Kurt, Quinn and Santana all flocked to Rachel while Mercedes, Brittany and Tina were left out in the cold only to be defined by their relationships. I wasn’t sure what to make of Sam and Mercedes when they were first put together but I really do love them as a couple There has never been a relationship like theirs on TV so I was impressed when it seemed as though RIB were going full steam ahead with it. Flash forward to the second half of season three and it was like the writers either became nervous about it or they viewed it as a joke. This among other things, such as the fact that Tina was only allowed to be a star if she was Rachel has me wondering how inclusive the show really is. What I loved a bout Glee died a long time ago so I won’t be watching season four. I refuse to do that to myself.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...