My two favourite shows aired strong episodes this week, but certainly very different ones.
Glee frequently requires a suspension of disbelief and a ‘just go with it’ attitude. Of course if any teacher acted the way Sue Sylvester does, they would be fired in an instant. Yes, the slick production numbers would take weeks of rehearsals to be that polished, but the show works for me because of the funny oneliners, quirky characters and of course, the music.
I was a little nervous about the Justin Beiber themed episodes this week. The episodes that have featured one artist so far have been Madonna – a total icon, Lady Gaga – ditto although a newer less proven in the long term icon – and Britney Spears, not someone I am a huge fan of, but certainly a pop princess. Justin Beiber on the other hand?? I don’t know his music at all, just that he looks like a very young child and is a YouTube sensation.
I wasn’t offended by the two Beiber songs – Baby and Somebody to Love, indeed, the boys well choreographed performance of the second one was quite enjoyable, but the songs were not particularly memorable or iconic in my opinion. However, Sam’s resemblance to the Beib has always been noted so it sort of made sense.
The main plot surrounding Sue’s sue-icide attempt and her struggle to find meaning in her life after the defeat of the Cheerios was kind of contrived (as so many storylines are on Glee.) The idea of her hooking up with the Glee kids was even more unlikely than the football team joining. I especially disliked the hospital scene where Sue and Will made music with sick kids. Emotionally manipulative and a cheap attempt to pull at our heart strings. Don’t do that again Ryan Murphy please.
On the other hand, I enjoyed the Rachel storylines a lot this week. I’ll admit, I am a huge Rachel Berry fan! I think Lea Michele is immensely talented and having listened to virtually nothing but Glee in my car for almost 2 years, that girl can kill any genre (although possibly Living on a Prayer was a mistake). I also think she does a great job of Rachel’s extreme nuttiness, probably more so that when playing sad or emotional. I’ve moaned before, but I’ll moan again, Lea Michele has had short shrift this season, where Kurt has been the star for a lot of the time (although he didn’t appear at all in this episode.) The character of Rachel has been wildly inconsistent and her bitchiness to Sunshine and psychotic actions towards Finn in the early episodes made her very dislikeable. This is nothing to do with Lea Michele, but down to the writers. Maybe it’s just a case of balancing the characters, as she was very much the lead for most of season 1.
Recently, things have been looking up. The growing friendship between Rachel and Kurt and also Mercedes has been a welcome pleasure. One of Glee’s biggest frustrations is the inconsistent way characters are friends/enemies interact/ignore from week to week. Yes Quinn/Sanatana, Santana/Brittany, Sam/Finn, I mean you! So it is a relief the Rachel/Kurt/ Mercedes friendship seems to be sticking.
Sue tried to drive a wedge between the divas but I actually really enjoyed the little confrontation that led to a big diva-off of a song from Rent, Take Me or Leave Me. I’m not familiar with it, but the number was fun. However my favourite part of the feud? Rachel’s description of how to be a diva, pretty perfectly taking the mickey out of Lea Michele’s screwed up face singing style. Glad she can laugh at herself!
I’m uncertain about Puck and Lauren. I liked how ballsy and funny Lauren is, but is Puck’s pursuit going on too long? Surely he would have moved on to more receptive pastures by now. I quite enjoyed her I Know What Boys Like song – one I *did* know, but it was always a pretty throwaway song.
I listened to some of the music on YouTube before hand and absolutely loved Sing by My Chemical Romance as performed by Rachel and Finn. Didn’t know the song, but it is a great anthem. The Glee club’s performance was nicely rough and ready. After some of the elaborate choreography recently I like the ones with the kids standing around singing and thought it was pretty damn good!
On the whole a really enjoyable episode with a high Rachel quotient that kept me happy! I also loved Brittany as Rachel’s fashion pal who subverted her ideas – leg warmers, but on your arms. It was kind of a giggle to see Quinn, Santana, Tina and Brit in very Rachel Berry jumpers and short skirts!
Meanwhile, over at Lockhart Gardner, things were heating up for Kalinda and Blake, the battling PIs. While Alicia and her brother took a road trip and talked over her feelings for Will, Kalinda was once again wooed by FBI agent Lana, including an intimate dinner and a little footsie. However, who should be lurking outside but Blake. The scene that followed was so disturbingly charged, you were never sure if they were going to leap on each other to snog or throttle the other! That Kalinda really is a tease though, offering herself up to be patted down and doing pretty extensive body searches herself. Is she into him or is it all part of her manipulation? Lana also raised the bisexuality question, and it was a tad odd that both asked if she preferred women to men. No surprises that Kalinda gave typically enigmatic answers. However, after getting back her beloved baseball bat, she showed her true colours by belting Blake in the ribs and winding him, but not before we got one final tease. “I found your husband” Blake gasped. Oo er!
The case of the week was an up to the minute Social Network inspired case of a Zuckerberg like tech billionaire who was suing for defamation over a movie. I especially enjoyed the writer – obviously Aaron Sorkin inspired – being questioned on his drug habits. Ouch!
The episode ended with Alicia deciding to ask Will about that infamous second voice mail from way back at the end of last season. You know, the one Eli Gold deleted! Alicia’s brother Owen had got her to confess she was in love with Will, but also said she would not act on it as she was not the type to cheat. Seemingly deciding to take the bull by the horns, Alicia straight out asked Will what he had said. Disappointingly (but probably for the best) Will claimed to have just said he agreed they were doing the right thing. Is he just a coward? Possibly. While I love Alicia, Will has frequently acted in a very spoilt and arrogant way. I am not sure he deserves her! Plus it keeps the chemistry alive – which in my opinion is a very good thing. So many shows have ruined themselves by becoming obsessed with the love connections of the leads. Yes Moonlighting, but The X Files and more recently Bones jumped the shark. I am even a little worried about Fringe. So I am more than happy to keep things unresolved between Will and Alicia.
I started this rather lengthy article saying Glee was a sit back and enjoy show, where you sometimes have to disengage your brain. The Good Wife is like the complete opposite of that. You are constantly reading between the lines about what Will or Alicia or Kalinda really want or mean. The relationships are so fascinating and the plotting always perfectly constructed. OK so there are no song and dance numbers, but these two shows, as different as they are, are my weekly viewing highlights