November 16, 2010

Glee Recap: The Substitute

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Nick here again to fill you guys in on last night’s Gleegasm:In true Jesus style, the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow resurrects Tuesday nights and brings back the two most important things to this TV show that just haven’t been there lately: A PLOT and GOOD MUSIC! After last week’s episode, I was left confused and nauseated, having been put through two unexpected make outs, I was yearning for the good old days. And let me tell you, “The Substitute” has reinstalled my faith/respect for Glee.

This episode opens up with Sue Sylvester with her normal scheming tactics to take over McKinley High. This time, she has stooped to a new low: using a hideously dressed, ailing, corpulent student to sneeze on Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba), causing him to be sick with the flu, and leaving who, but Ms. Sylvester herself as principal.

Killing two birds with one stone, (sorry PETA and ASPCA members I know this term is archaic but suck it up) Sue also infects Mr. Schuester, causing him to hallucinate images of all the glee members in tiny cute, yet creepishly similar baby representations of themselves. Will stays home from school due to this illness, and a substitute teacher, Holly Holiday (Gwyneth Paltrow) fills in for his Spanish class.

Cut to a pair of hands caressing and helping Schu get over his cold, and who could it be but his crazy, zombie-like wife who will not die? SHE’S BACK! Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig) has returned to try and take Will back now that Emma is out of the picture. B(tw…where is Emma? If she’s screwing John Stamos, I wanna know about it!) As Terri makes Schu soup, we learn she is now seeing a therapist and is on some drugs, well more then the usual ones, and I for one can not watch. I’ve hated this biotch since the first episode and I can sense something is up. In a creepy babyish voice, Terri asks to take Will’s rectal temperature, we all feel like we’re watching a Paris Hilton sex tape…or a car crash…we can’t look but we have to. Schu denies the awkward sexual advancement and she throws him a copy of “Singing in the Rain” to help recover from his illness.

Despite her nominal resemblance to a stripper, Ms. Holiday makes Shu’s class interesting by making the class form sentences in Spanish referring to Lindsay Lohan’s drug problems. Kurt quickly recruits her to fill in as glee club advisor and everyone is excited to have a laid-back, fun-loving teacher who seems musically talented. Except for ….drum roll please…. Rachel. We could have guessed that Leah Michele would once again try to steal the spotlight…but I have to say, I miss the Rachel/Finn/Quinn love triangle drama. It seems this episode shifted to focus on Mr. Schuester and Holiday, but it proved to work, as this age-defying actress makes us forget her days of Shakespeare in Love and focus on her sexy mom bod.

The first song of the night was Cee Lo Green’s new single, “Forget You”. We all at Cornell (well those of us sober enough to remember) loved Cee Lo’s live performance, and I have to give props for Gwen and Glee for doing a great job at covering a contemporary hit. In a short, tight black skirt and boots, Ms. Paltrow proves forty-something is the new teenager as she struts her stuff and commands the attention of viewers. They all seemed lively and enjoyable, and the audience could definitely relate more to this spontaneous song than a predictable theme. And although her voice seemed slightly auto-tuned, I loved this rendition and Gwen’s robot. I could not help but sing along and after this performance I was screaming, YES YES YES and it left wanting more, and more. And would Glee answer my prayers? You bet your ass.

Principal Sue tries to cut the football team, and realizes her Cheerios would be left without people to dress like prostitutes and clap for. With this dismay, she decides to ban potato tots, after realizing the issue of obesity amongst the hungry girls of McKinley High who all strangely enough seem to get dressed in the dark.Cut to stage where Schu and Mike are performing. Will is way too peppy for this to be reality, and we allow dream sequence to commence. Before I go on, is anyone else always surprised when the creepy piano guy is just there sitting in the wings ready to play for the glee club? Hard to believe. Anyway, Singing In the Rain’s “Make ‘Em Laugh” was a great duo with the surprisingly athletic and dexterous Matthew Morrison and Mike (Harry Shum Jr.). The bringing back of classics is what Glee does best, and I think they pulled this one off. It was slightly lengthy for my liking but the timing and chemistry between the two was impeccable, and the number ends with both characters running up walls and doing flips. Rachel tells Schu Holiday has taken over the glee club. And Mercedes is dying inside now that Sue has banned tots.Ms. Holiday tries to loosen Rachel, and tells her something we wish we could all tell Lea Michele in real life, “YOU SUCK”.Cut to Will and Terri in bed, and let me tell you fellow gleeks, here is the big news of the night: There’s no other way I can describe it as, DUMB. Terri offers to rub menthol on Will’s back (I thought it went on your chest?) and like the she-devil of a witch she is, starts to get all sexy and make out with Morrison. At first, I’m like “Good Will!, stay away! You can do it!” as he rejects her once again. But like every man, he shifts gear and thinks with the little head instead of his big one. He succumbs to loneliness and his libido and gives into temptation. They start going at it, and I resort to my inner instincts of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. “PROSTITUTION WHORE!” I screamed as once again, Terri Schuester ruins everything. Thank God there were no tables around or they would have been flipped in true Italian temper-tantrum style. To Will, I have lost all respect for you, it’s like you’re so desperate you’ll make out with anything that moves. To Terri: in the words of Cee Lo Gree: “F*ck You!” I’m done. Hallie, take it away:The second half of the show started off with a wonderful performance of “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag” from “Chicago.”  If the writers were choosing a song from Chicago, they could have chosen something better, such as “All That Jazz,” but the performance was great nonetheless.  It was probably the best dancing we’ve seen so far from Lea Michele, and Gwyneth Paltrow was amazing as well.  Together, they made a very good pair.Hold on Hallie, I have one question. Where does this school get the money/props to do these grandiose and ostentatious renditions? Im pretty sure your average high school is not in possession of a huge light show and moving stairs let alone the clothes and glamourous outfits. And another thing. Do these kids go to class? I wish I had this free time to lounge about and sing show tunes. Sorry, I had to get that out. Back to you. Alright Nick, well I knew the episode would be interesting when Sue told Will that she would be the permanent principal of McKinley High.  Of course, she immediately fires him and makes Ms. Holiday the new glee club director.  Although Ms. Holiday was a little crazy, I’m glad she was made into a likeable character overall.  However, she decides to quit when she fails to help Mercedes get out of trouble for putting tater tots in Sue’s tailpipe.  When she visits Will to inform him of her resignation, Terri comes to bring him more soup.  In one of the greatest moments of the episode, if not the greatest, Ms. Holiday asks Will why his wife is such a bitch.  I’m definitely glad this made Will realize his mistake in letting Terri back into his life. Throughout the episode, I felt bad for Mercedes as Kurt continued to see Blaine more often.  On the other hand, I’m very happy for Kurt in that he’s finally found someone who truly shares his interests and to whom he can relate.  The scene at the restaurant when Kurt and Blaine were discussing things like their favorite cover of “Vogue” and Mercedes was falling asleep was hilarious.  It was clear that her obsession with tater tots stemmed from her feeling neglected by Kurt.  Hopefully, the new boy she likes, Anthony, will like her back.  Romance for both Kurt and Mercedes could be in the near future… The final performance of the episode was brilliant.  The mash up of “Umbrella” and “Singin’ in the Rain” worked perfectly.  Also, the choreography was phenomenal, especially the way the umbrellas were incorporated into the dance moves.  The rain on the stage created a very cool effect, and it seemed like everyone was really having a good time performing the song.  It was definitely a good idea to have Matt Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow perform the song because the episode was mainly about their conflicts.  It is always a nice change to see someone other than the glee club members perform because it is more unpredictable.  This was definitely the best number that has been performed on the show in a very long time.Yea, I agree Hallie, I miss the normal Finn and Rachel duets and such, but the combo of Morrison and Paltrow all wet and flashy made my night. This mash-up was not as natural sounding as “It’s My Life/Confessions” or “Halo/Walking on Sunshine”, but it was surprising and fun to watch. Overall, I say one of the better episodes of the season, and it proves Paltrow’s flexibility and longevity as an actress, her career is far from over.

Next week, tune in for the recap of episode 8, where apparently church bells are ringing! Carol Burnett guest stars and SUE IS GETTING MARRIED? Check back here next Tuesday to find out!

Original Author: Hallie Klein