Glee 316 Recap: Saturday Night Glee-itosis

Well, if there’s anything I like more than sticking my foot into a lawnmower, it’s the amount of whiskey I had to drink to finish this recap without having a panic attack about all the camp stuff on my to-do list!

Reader, this show has stumped me. It’s just so wildly inconsistent and arbitrarily wacky while also being almost aggressively culturally relevant, especially to LGBTQs — I just get stumped sometimes!

Is there a term for this? What this show has done? It’s not “jumping the shark.” Maybe it’s “throwing 45 sea lions into the ocean and seeing who comes out with a Sea World contract”? It’s a mess, this show, and even the most dedicated recapper would have trouble identifying meaning or attributing success to anything that ever happens, ever, save the occasionally transcendent musical number. I’m at a loss to discuss The Artist Presently Known as Unique or the Lesbian Cheerleader Sex Tape with any kind of creative or intellectual authority. But I will forge forward, because Glee recaps get ‘mad hits.’

All I ask of you, dear reader, that you give me the benefit of the doubt as we tread into these uncertain waters.

 

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We open in one of McKinley High’s many academically flexible classrooms where Blaine’s traditionally laser-sharp focus on Whatever 101 is threatened by his phantom foot’s desire to dance. It “should be dancing,” so to speak!

This leads us to the episode’s first dance number, “You Should Be Dancing,” which’s both terrible (the song) and amazing (because Brittany and Mike should always be dancing, it’s true). The law of The Diminishing Returns of Disco designates that disco songs feature the lamest lyrics in the history of music, and this song lives up to that reputation with aplomb.

brittany should be lap-dancing on santana, yeah!

Time out: Initially, I’d suspected Blaine’s purpose on The Show was to be Kurt’s boyfriend and inspire the Mini-Warbler — turns out he’s actually been brought in to cover terrible annoying songs I hate. Whether it be Katy Perry, that insufferable Train song, Maroon 5, whatever Robo-tripping fuckwad is responsible for “Cough Syrup,” that unfortunate “Somebody Who I Used to Know” duet or this rotten disco situation, Blaine is to this show what Pacific Sunwear is to the mall — a guaranteed site of appalling aural ‘entertainment.’

Anyhow — Santana’s shooting Brittany some wild Sexy Lesbian Cheerleader Eyes throughout the routine, which seals the deal on this scene — it’s a success. Besides, it’s always great when Glee leads with a song because it delays Finn’s first line and therefore delays my inevitable hatred towards the rest of the episode.

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We move on to another productive meeting of Glee Club, where Will’s angsting about the uncertain futures of his talented little squirrels, seeing as graduation’s just ’round the river bend and therefore it’s about six months too late to apply to college  — OH WAIT SORRY THIS IS GLEE ! — I mean, “this is the perfect time for a high school senior to apply to college.”

hmm, i knew i should've made finn out of play-dough, this wooden doll is all wrong

Will monologues Finn as having “all this talent but no self-esteem,” and although I think Will should strike that and reverse it, he does not, instead going on to add that “Mercedes is just as talented as Rachel and Kurt, but has none of the vision” and that our dear Santana Lopez has “all the ambition, but none of the focus.”

Snap to Santana —

Santana: “Blaine’s handsome brother said it best: college is a waste of time. I just wanna be famous, pure and simple. Don’t even care how it happens, I just want everyone to know my name.”

— after which Brittany nods like somebody who’s about to launch a sex tape on YouTube, because could Santana have possibly set that up more explicitly? Only if she’d ended her last sentence with “because they heard Brittany yelling it mid-orgasm.”

bottom line is: i'm the hottest baddest sexiest bitch on this show and my Emmy is overdue and everybody knows it

We then mosey over to Chez Sue for some Will/Sue banter that ends with Will selecting the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack for this week’s thematic gimmick which Sue says’ll fly with the anti-disco youth if they offer swag, like mattresses.

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Meanwhile in the quasi-hallowed hallways of McKinley High, Kurt’s generously extrapolating for us: “I’m thrillled you [Mercedes] got into Defiance College and Cleveland State, but what about NYU?”

What about NYU? Their application was due January 1st, numbskulls! AND it’s essentially the most expensive college in the entire galaxy.

i dunno, i was thinking about getting a job at six flags and commuting from home

Before I can finish squirting Cetaphil into my eyeballs, this fantastic convo is interrupted by Wade Adams of Vocal Adrenaline, Kurt & Mercedes’ biggest/only fan. Coincidentally, I’m Wade Adams’ biggest fan at this moment!

hey what's up, i'm here to steal the show motherfuckers!!!

After introductions, we smear into this semi-fabulous dream-sequence-ish thing as we hear how Wade would’ve preferred to meet Kurt & Mercedes — as her true self, “Unique,” a sassy lady who would’ve marched into McKinley wearing the furry remains of ten dead black bears, thus attracting the Sartorial attentions of Her Idols immediately —

Unique: “Kurt Hummel and Mercedes Jones, Unique worships the red carpet you two walk on. If you two had a love child, it would be Unique. And Unique’s grandparents would be Andre Leon Talley and Beyoncé, because only the best will do for Unique.”

(Sidenote: I’ve been told that, alas, this brilliance wasn’t precisely Team Glee’s idea — Alex, the actor from The Glee Project playing this two-episode arc was called “Kurcedes” by fans who dubbed him the Kurt/Mercedes love-child. He often performed in drag on the show.)

just when you thought nothing good came out of the glee project

Not only does her ensuing flashback about life in Vocal Adrenaline initiate our awareness of Jesse St. James’ return to Glee (HURRAH MELCHIOR!), but she also injects the scene with choice homosexy show-choir banter, gives Kurt an opportunity to preen and apparently provides both Kurt and Mercedes with an excuse to blow off class for the rest of the day to talk to Wade about her feelings.

Wade/Unique: “Ever since I was a kid, I would play this game. Where I would pretend I was a different person. The person I dreamed of being. The real me. I even have a different name.  Unique.”

Kurt kindly affirms Wade’s description of Unique, adding that he hopes Wade’ll have the courage to “be him” one day, which’s when Wade redirects – “Unique is a ‘her.'” Kurt offers a subtle “you GO girl” smile as Unique explains her visit’s ultimate purpose —

Unique: “Our regionals are this Saturday, and I want to go on stage wearing a dress and heels. Because that’s who I feel I am inside.”
Kurt: “Unique.”
Unique: “Yes. What would you do?”

Probably Kurt would don neon fishnet leggings stolen from a Dinah Shore go-go dancer, transform the skin of two purebread Dalmations into a skort set and top it off with a tank-top from Joe’s Crab Shack and call it an “ensemble,” but I don’t think it’s fashion advice Unique’s looking for.

glee: it goes there

According to The Internet, Unique is Glee’s “first transgender character,” so there you have it: this week’s groundbreaking gesture is a trans woman of color. Holy fucking shit! This is undeniably awesome.

Yet! I struggle writing about this because I suspect Murph’s not particularly knowledgable about transgender people and as much as I love this character and this actor and wish he’d won the 9-episode arc granted to Irish Breakfast and Teen Jesus rather than the 2-episode guest spot he did win, I guess I’m not as sold on this representation quite yet. Of course, it seems to unfortunately fall in line with Glee‘s new strategy to distract us from their shark-jumping to BREAK ALL THE GROUNDS — gay teen suicide! girl in a wheelchair! developmentally disabled fetus! gay male teen sex! — and part of the problem with that compulsive ground-breaking is that the execution can be sloppy.

So how do we feel about this? I feel like we’re set up in this scene to see Unique as Wade’s female “alter-ego” or drag persona, as the language she uses suggests that, because although she refers to Unique as “the real me” she also refers to her as an entirely separate persona — “a different person,” which’s more in line with a cross-dressing persona than a transgender one… and if you’ve learned nothing, my dear puppies and kittens, it’s that gender identity is a many-splendored thing with many elements and reducing it to a wardrobe choice or stage act isn’t accurate or fair. It’s not until later that she hints at being trans and it’s not until I googled it that I was certain it was the show’s intent. But again — I’m not sure! That’s what drives me NUTS about this show! I stopped trusting it and when holes appear, I’m never sure if it’s a clue or a sloppy mistake, you know?

I don’t know what to think/say and so I turn to you. Discuss.

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And when you’re done discussing, let’s cut to Glee Club, where the children marvel at Sue’s just-implanted disco floor while Sue/Will wax poetic regarding “Saturday Night Fever,” which Will describes as not just being a popular 70’s movie about a guy who picks up girls with lines like “Are you a nice girl or are you a cunt?” but also a movie that encapsulates the dreams of the Glee Clubbers themselves. Yes, just like Tony Monero, the Glee kids are merely young people working at proverbial paint stores who can relate to Monero’s dream to “get out of his old neighborhood in Brooklyn and get to New York City,” which’s gonna be a complicated dream to tackle considering BROOKLYN IS IN NEW YORK CITY.

as a wise man once told tony monero, "You can't fuck the future. The future fucks you! It catches up with you and it fucks you if you ain't planned for it! "

Lest we dwell, let’s cut to the glorious chase — a delightful dance-off! Winners will compete for a replica of John Travolta’s suit as manufactured by Becky Jackson, tailor to the stars, which Kurt clearly wants to wear and Puck clearly wants to sell on eBay.

i hope i get it

My notes for the dance-off are: “OMG A DANCE-OFF! this is so fun! I wish they never had lines.”

yes, just like soul train

Finn, thrilled to have the floor under any circumstance, stands square in the center doing that finger-to-hipbone-then-diagonally-pointing-at-the-air thing like a three-year-old who just marked his territory with urine, and the other kids are relatively fantastic with the exception of Puck, who needs to be told that gesturing towards his penis is not an actual dance move, it’s just gesturing towards his penis.

The scene ends with a group dance-a-long (during which Quinn is conspicuously absent) which sufficiently highlights the collective sexiness of these hormonal adolescents. And SCENE.
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Just a little timeout: to be honest, I enjoyed the first nine minutes of this episode as much as I’ve ever enjoyed Glee. It felt like old-school Glee, with its original cast, cute self-effacing humor, character-focused dance routines and quirky tightly-constructed personalities.

how can you be mad at these faces

Will’s flashback to his Glee Club winning Nationals with Disco and his confessed hobby of staging musical numbers with wooden dolls from IKEA remind me of the Will we once didn’t-totally-hate. Remember when he was just an earnest dork, rather than the oft-creepy, arbitrarily-irresponsible, overly-sexualized dork we’ve come to know and loathe? I’ve never liked Will, but I’ve hated him less than I do now.

We had Rachel fantasizing about some obnoxiously specific theatrical outfit (far away from Finn, I might add) and Kurt & Mercedes relishing in the glow of the fandom they’ve always felt they deserved. We met a new character who came out with a bang and instantly exuded a compelling, specific and entertaining personality, rather than the apathetic thunk of silence heard world-wide when Irish Breakfast’s melon first crowded our screens. We had some choice Sue Sylvester language and some Sue/Will jockeying that didn’t go overboard. We had a dance-off! We had all of those things!

Unfortunately, the show didn’t end there. So let’s move forward.

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Will crowns Santana, Finn and Mercedes Dance-Off Finalists but Finn’s ascension is our first hint that something’s amiss — clearly these accolades exist only to contrive a chance for Will to mentor his Three Admissions-Blind Mice regarding their collectively dismal futures.

if this is what the winners get, i'd hate to see what happens to the losers

Will’s got a special assignment for these three — they’ve gotta perform a song from Saturday Night Fever and, following said performance, must then share their hopes/dreams for the future with the class, just like THEY ALREADY DID TWO EPISODES AGO.

Anyhow, Mercedes rejects Will’s manipulative methods of inspiration, storming into the hallway while monologuing “Just because I don’t wanna rush off to New York and star in a revival of Sister Act doesn’t mean I don’t know what I wanna do with my life.”

Basically, Mercedes’ ambition is hot. It’s on fire, so to speak. It’s like a forest fire even Smokey the Bear couldn’t fight. If Mercedes were a housefire, she’d ignite the block. If Mercedes was a lubricant, she’d be KY Jelly’s Fire & Ice. You follow? Mercedes is hot LIKE AN INFERNO. Just like the song DISCO INFERNO!

my eyes enjoyed this

It’s a fun, sexy, tight number peppered with heaps of lustful glances between the Girlfriends Brittana and god DAMN Amber Riley is looking good these days and dare I say, this would make a fine audition for the revival of Sister Act. 

Ah yes, but does our lady have a dream? Indeed she does. She’d like to be like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and/or Aretha Franklin. However, Mercedes points out, her Dad the Dentist isn’t like Berry’s “two supportive parents,” ’cause her Dad thinks her dream is insane and Berry’s Dads just think her choice-of-life-partner-is-insane, and la la la Mercedes doesn’t know “where to start” getting a recording contract and so on and Will assures her everything will work out because “the cream always rises to the top.” Mercedes continues on the cream tip by assuring the class that her cream-status at McKinley may not carry over into Hollywood. There, she’d be “just skim milk” — in which case I’ll have a glass with an ice cube. That’s how I like my milk.

Of course, throughout the scene and musical number it’s clear Rachel and Finn have somehow found a way to interpret Mercedes’ emotional revelation as an opportunity for reckoning with their own insipid feelings about their idiotic dipshit relationship from hell which I am SO MONUMENTALLY SICK OF that I can no longer sit through their scenes, let alone recap them.

Whenever Rachel Berry returns to Glee to replace that whiney, severely-banged, lovestruck, Quiverfull moron they’ve stuck in her body, I’ll return to recapping her words and scenes but until then I JUST CANNOT.
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Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1758 articles for us.

89 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    I came late to Glee, DVDs in October 2011. I have yet to watch an episode on its actual air date, probably never will as I prefer to “watch” on Tumblr and Twitter. Lately, I have been pondering what Glee has/had as its intent. Can’t figure it out AT ALL but have come to the following conclusions:

    1) the creative part of Glee, RIB, other writers, use the cast as animated ventriloquist’s dummies, slotting them into situations to serve a “plot” with no regard for anything that has gone before

    2) the writers do not work collaboratively, seeming, in fact, to not even watch any episode they did not write

    3) some cast members have spectacular vocal skills but it is often the less talented ones doing too much of the singing

    4) the creative team wanted to make an entertainment vehicle about a Glee club, casting young people not yet well known – that some of the cast are now quite popular has made the creative team insanely jealous and so they are erasing any and all character development for these popular cast members

    I laughed quite hard in some places of your recap. I do not watch any scene with Finn in it. I miss original Rachel so much. I, too, have some factory seconds clothing with diagonal seams.

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa-before I go on reading, I must take a moment to defend: “whatever Robo-tripping fuckwad is responsible for “Cough Syrup,” and that unfortunate “Somebody Who I Used to Know” duet”.

    Young the Giant is a legitimately talented group of guys/musicians. I dig them. And the only reason Gotye’s song is unfortunate now is because the radio took it and laid some stupid beat behind it to play in their Saturday Night Mix Shows. Making Mirrors is an AWESOME album, as well as his earlier stuff.

    I realize this makes me look like the most pretentious hipster on the planet, but whatever. It’s true.

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      Nope, I totally agree about Gotye – the album is really good, and the original version of “Somebody Who I Used To Know” is really very beautiful.

      I *think* she was pointing out that the choice of turning it into a duet between brothers was…completely inappropriate. And kind of totally slandered the song.

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    haha your reviews are always hilarious.
    totally cannot stand Finn too and i’ve no idea why the hell so many people think he’s good looking! URGH! not when there are the real good looking guys on the show.
    yes and cough syrup was horrible.

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    Also, can I exude my undying love and affection for Riese once more?

    a) Using female pronouns for Unique – you’re the only reviewer so far that I’ve seen do that and it makes my heart swell with love for you.

    b) You need like 4 bottles of whiskey having to put up with all the Finchel bullshit.

    c) You’re hilarious and a goddess and I’ll probably embarrass you at camp.

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      No but seriously Riese this recap was so fucking funny i cried from laughter, not once, but thrice. I mean, COME ON THIS LINE:

      ” what I see on my screen are two homosexual couples, one Asian-American couple and one union of flour sack + Replicant! ”

      And all of the props for using female pronouns, hell yes

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        “Whenever Rachel Berry returns to Glee to replace that whiney, severely-banged, lovestruck, Quiverfull moron they’ve stuck in her body, I’ll return to recapping her words and scenes but until then I JUST CANNOT.”

        That made me LOL. My favorite paragraph of the recap.

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          YES all the comments about Rachel were perfect. Especially:
          “We then cut to the auditorium, where Rachel is explaining to Finn that despite dreaming her whole life about moving to New York to be a star amongst people who truly understand her, she’s come to realize that home “isn’t a place,” “it’s a person,” and that person is Finn. Then Gloria Steinem punched her in the throat and I muted the television.”
          This is probs my number one pet peeve, when shows totally throw out a character’s previous goals/wishes/personality/free will because of a romantic plotline. Also why can’t Finn, her “home” come to New York with her again? Am I confused b/c I haven’t actually watched one of their scenes all season without muting/fast-forwarding?

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    Why would the Glee Writers want us to see Santana and Brittany’s sex tape? Everyone knows that holding hands and, like, talking about the patriarchy or the evironment or some shit doesn’t get ratings.

    Also, Will calls in 3 students for a remedial chitchat, and two of them just happen to be Glee’s biggest people of colour characters? Classy.

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    I only watched the first 2/3 cause then my stream cut out and I couldn’t get it back and I’m lazy. So.

    But yes, thank you for using appropriate pronouns for Unique. I may or may not have twitter corrected Lea Michele for calling Unique “him” (I also may or may not follow Lea Michele on Twitter, WHATEVA, HATERS GON’ HATE.)

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      I tried to forgive Lea Michele by thinking she might be refering to the actor, Alex Newell. But I didn’t watch the Glee Project, so I don’t know how Alex identifies, or whether that was ever referenced/discussed on the Glee Project.

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          I did watch the Glee Project – I think Alex doesn’t know how he identifies yet. He’s very young, and doesn’t seem to have a lot of exposure to gay and trans folks. From the way he talked about himself, I dunno. I think he might be trans or gender queer. It’s hard to say. Some young people explore a lot of ideas after coming out, trying out how they feel about breaking from gender norms.

          That doesn’t excuse the show from doing a better job of trying to write the character of Wade and Unique in a way that is clear, thoughtful and sensitive, though.

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    I don’t blame you for not being able to deal with the Finn/Rachel scenes, I’m having a hard time making it through most of them myself. I’m not sure what they’re doing with this Rachel. Where is Rachel Motherfucking Berry?! Her crazy ass drive to succeed and her absolute confidence that she would? The girl that said “I’m like Tinkerbell. I need applause to live.” I want HER back.
    Not this “I’ll stay with you in Ohio until you figure out what you want to do besides stay in high school and be young forever” Finn appendage.

    I thought Unique just blew up “Boogie Shoes”. It was my favorite performance of the night, and considering that Santana had a solo wearing that slinky peach jumper thingy, that’s saying something.

    Santana is just sex on a stick and Brittany is smarter about people and relationships than she is about facts and reality in general. This show is so absurd and over the top with it’s plots and humor that I don’t use any real world logic to assess it, it’s better that way. I wish there were a glee universe where only the female members of New Directions existed. I would live there and watch them sing and dance and be pretty forever.

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    Santana on The Real L Word is probably the best idea ever.

    And I never even saw Rachel telling Finn that she was willing to give up NY for him or whatever, because when I saw that they had a relationshippy scene, I went off and made a sandwich. So in my mind, it never happened.

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    Was it a sex tape? I don’t even know if this can be discussed sensibly because of Glee itself – all these kids are having sex or have had sex but they thought before Holly that there were AIDS cucumbers and hot tub pregnancies and then you have the g-d squad that consisted mostly of Glee members who were conflicted about whether they could sing to Brittany for Santana but they’re buds with them & presumably see them together all the time? And then Figgins supposedly got complaints because Brittana even KISSED. The words “sex tape” denote actual sex but at times I’m not even sure these kids know what it is – esp. between two women. I would not be suprised if Brit posted a tape of them holding hands on her bed, kissing, and then Lord Tubbbington putting away the dishes, and then these dumbass kids referring to it as “sex.”

    I’m curious about it cause there were comments on the web whining why Brit wasn’t pilloried in same way as Finn for violating Santana. I guess as you say we don’t know what to think about the tape because we didn’t see most of it. I tend to think Brittany is a Machiavellian (sp?) genius who plotted everything including the non sex sex tape, even the spelling of whoreders (exposing her real feelings about the matter). I even think she might be where Will got his random remark about Santana being an attorney.

    Or Brittany released a sex tape and nobody cared. Which is possible of Glee, too. And I think Santana’s so head over heels that she wouldn’t care much if Brittany did, which is scary.

    Like most people I’m trying to figure out whether Brittany is a really great, supportive partner or a time bomb strapped to Santana’s chest. I lean towards the former but on this show who knows.

    Wade/Unique was pure joy, one of those performances that makes me not quit Glee (after talking shit innumerable times about doing so). I would watch 10 shitty episodes for another moment like this.

    Great re-cap as usual, and fast, considering everything you have on your plate. Thanks for everything!

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      INORITE

      Except I sort of hate it because I was so ready to leave this show for good if they had another ep where Brittana didn’t interact at all…and then they went and hugged and said “I love you” and sang to each other UGH and my little heart didn’t know what to do.

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    As a trans girl myself, I just have to say that I thought the Wade/Unique character was a train wreck. Nearly every trans person knows the frustration of being confused with drag and crossdressing, and this portrayal severely reinforced that.

    Now, if we keep tally of all the statements and cues regarding Wade/Unique’s character, it seems to indicate about 80% drag and 20% trans. But then factor in the things that almost all trans people experience (crippling dysphoria, fear of outing oneself, etc.) compared to the character (always chipper, outs self to strangers, etc.) and it’s more like 100% drag, 0% trans.

    Once again, Glee royally screws over a sensitive LGBT issue.

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      Yes, this worries me. I didn’t think it was a trans storyline until the “you identify as a man” comment – all indications were that this was drag.

      Now, I think authors should be able to represent all sorts of experiences, ones that fit with our stereotypes about a typical trans experience and ones that don’t, because there IS no one universal trans experience. It is possible that someone might experience their identity this way, or frame their feelings in draggy terms because that’s more acceptable in their community. I can imagine a perfect world where this character is one unique (har har) representation among many, and that their gender is explored in a nuanced way. Imagine a storyline where Wade begins living as Unique off the stage, or has to deal with the reconciliation of two identities.

      BUT, this is Glee, so there can be no nuance. And this actor got a TWO episode story arc, so it ain’t gonna be fleshed out much more than this. And there AREN’T other representations of trans people on mainstream TV, so this may be taken as what trans IS, by many people. So that worries me.

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      YES. Is it wonderful to see a trans* person of color on a popular TV show on one of the four big networks? Yes. And in an ideal world, we could all just enjoy the general genderqueerness and not worry as much about identification. But Glee’s creators have now specifically identified Unique as a trans* woman – which was not at all communicated clearly in the episode itself (and given that Alex is only scheduled to have one more appearance on Glee, likely will never be). I’m worried because this is the only recap I’ve read that uses the correct pronouns and because of the many comments by viewers I’ve read that express an understanding of Unique as a drag queen persona rather than a woman (and some of those comments have also been genderphobic towards drag queens and genderqueer people). I understand why this actor and character may seem like a built-in opportunity to feature such a individual(my understanding is that the actor often performed as a drag persona during the reality show), but it also highlights that Glee’s “diversity” (really only expressed in terms of sexual orientation – any racial/ethnic diversity is offset by the horribly offensive stereotyping) seems to be built around attention-grabbing rather than thoughtful portrayals of groups who don’t often see themselves represented in mainstream media. I can’t remember who, but someone once described Glee’s creators/producers as a little too occupied with self-congratulation regarding their “ground-breaking” character creations rather than focusing on ensuring that those characters’ portrayals are actually respectful and (somewhat) true to life.

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      Having watch the Glee Project, (admitting that out loud?!) I think they may be taking their understanding of Unique from Alex himself, who is not very aware about trans issues. From the way Alex talked on that show, he may genuinely be trans or gender-queer, but with not a whole lot of self-awareness and taking most of his cues about himself from Rupaul’s drag race.

      I think they simply wrote about him the way he talked about himself, without any sort of larger perspective on handling a trans character that was thoughtful or meaningful.

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        I think you might be right. I haven’t watched the Glee Project, but it did seem consistent with what someone who is very into the musical theater/singing scene but with no real knowledge about trans issues might think/say. Which would kind of make sense, considering Wade seemed comfortable performing “as Unique” (not how I think a trans person would actually represent it, but that seemed to be how they were talking about it, right?)
        I read the whole thing as the character being a confused teenager who has had very little exposure to other options (and maybe only knows anything from watching videos of famous performers in drag doing a super campy, over-the-top, diva-esque thing). I assumed this wasn’t meant to be the ‘normal’ trans experience (if there is such a thing), because Wade already had such huge amounts of self-confidence and stage-presence and so wasn’t the “typical” confused, self-hating, questioning trans teen who would NEVER consider outing herself on stage in front of hundreds of people, my god.
        Idk, man. As always, it’s hard to tell if this is Glee being stupid, confused and irresponsible, or actually doing a nuanced, amazing representation of a trans character in the very very early stages of defining her own identity.

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    Glad I’m not the only person who thought that “Somebody I Used to Know” song was incredibly overrated.

    I have a class this semester that conflicts with Glee. I got Hulu Plus so I could still watch it, but I haven’t used it much because I’m finding it so hard to care. But maybe I’ll watch this episode since there’s so much Brittana.

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    I thought the Wade/Unique storyline wasn’t extended as much as it should have been, but again, considering who wrote the episode I think I’m kinda glad they didn’t give it time to screw it up. I thought it was well done and I got that he was trans and not just a cross dresser after his last line to Kurt, so in a way I guess the simplistic way Glee used to explain it works? I wish Alex and the real life Rachel Berry had won The Glee Project instead of Dreads and Irish.

    I cried tears of laughter reading this recap (for reals) but I’m surprised you were actually quite positive about the Brittana storyline. Take the cute out of it and not only Santana is written completely out of character, we have another “Santana is being shallow/mean, and we need to teach her a lesson, so let’s violate her privacy in front of the school/world and have her understanding and apologizing afterwards”, in a true ‘I Kissed A Girl’ episode fashion.

    Also where is Rachel, you guys. She was my favourite character but I guess she can’t be anymore because she doesn’t even exist. ‘Finchel’ is the worst relationship I’ve had to endure on tv in years.

    Sidenote: I really love the ‘How Will I Know’ performance. I hope they don’t screw up the Whitney episode. But as with everything…

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    Well I don’t watch glee for its in depth storyline, I watch it because I love the music and it is an enjoyable show. They do a great job and while there may be a few misses here and there most are on the money. I heard a new version of we are young- glee sings it so much better. I loved the performance for cough syrup and someone I used to know. If I want to watch something serious I would watch ci or 60 minutes. It’s a bit of fun people. It sounds like this reviewer just hates glee, when you hate a show so much you can not possibly give a imps trial review. I guess that’s why I don’t take there advice on movies, what they normally like I think s crap, and what they a te I normally love. Each to his/her own I guess but it is light entertainment so sit back and enjoy the songs. The bee gees were great and I think they provided a good tribute to the generation and the music.

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      The whole “you’re entitled to your opinion, but your opinion is wrong” vibe of this comment is saddening.

      As a person in a frustrating, love/hate relationship with glee, I feel the need to point out that nobody hates glee more than the glee fandom, except maybe Riese, and talking about the flaws and letdowns, and having a chuckle at its expense, is some of the best fun of participating in that fandom.

      Considering this recap did draw attention to positives, I’d really hate to see your reaction to recaps of even worse episodes. :/

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          And we get defensive when someone from outside criticizes Glee… I think enduring it every week gives you the right to rip it to pieces, otherwise you can’t.

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      You seem to comment every time this site reviews Glee. If you hate the reviews so much why keep coming here to read them? Riese is entitled to her opinion on it. It’s her website. For the record, I complain alot about this damn show too. It’s not perfect by a long shot but I still watch it because it’s got elements that I do like. Mainly Santana in a pink jumpsuit. Have I mentioned that already?

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    I was surprised that I actually enjoyed most of this episode since I hated last week’s so so so so much. Maybe Glee is starting to approach acceptable TV again.

    Oh, and tangentially related, I did have a teacher apply to a school for me. Unfortunately, I could never, ever have afforded to go, so I went to the horrible Mormon college my dad worked at.

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    I would really like it if this show was called, “Four 4 One!” and featured best pals Mercedes, Kurt, Santana and Rachel singing ensemble pieces for 40 minutes and having fabulous adventures.

    That would be fine with me.

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    Am I the only one who thinks that all the Brittana stuff we’re getting now is only fanservice? Gah, I cringed at nearly every scene they’re in… it just seems *so* forced now.

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      Huh. I have never thought it seemed forced at all, it seems as organic as it ever has. Naya Rivera and Heather Morris have crazy chemistry together no matter what their characters are doing/not doing.

      I’m always amused by shippers in general, glee can never please all of them no matter what it does.
      My ship doesn’t get enough story lines, my ship gets the wrong kind of story lines; my ship doesn’t get enough songs, my ship only sings songs I don’t like; my ship didn’t kiss soon enough, they only showed my ship kissing to exploit lesbians; my ship needs more attention as a couple, my ship is only getting more airtime to placate fans. Even the freakin’ Finn/Rachel fans find something to complain about.

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        “Even the freakin’ Finn/Rachel fans find something to complain about.”

        Well, why wouldn’t they with this trainwreck of a story they’ve been getting this season?
        (Also, there are still Finn/Rachel fans out there?)

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          Oh, god yes. They’re all over Tumblr. And so snarky/homophobic to Faberry fans. Finchel is the home of Glee homophobes, which you wouldn’t think exist, but they really do.

          The collective convulsion of hate they spewed out when Faberry won that online shipping poll was really unnerving.

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          In fact, a large measure of my Finchel hate isn’t even to do with the characters on the show, although that is annoying – it’s to do with the hate-filled Tumblr reaction afterwards. Even if you block those creepers on Tumblr, they still show up on your dash.

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          The Finn/Rachel fans complaints aren’t usually about the crappy relationship story line, in fact they seem to love it in general. You know…”isn’t it romantic the way she will give it all up for her man…” kind of shit. I think all of these fans are teenage girls swooning over the idealized Prince Charming romance crap and fans of the teen dream football captain/hero/all around high school stud that Finn is portrayed as.

          They usually complain about them not getting enough screen time(?!) or enough songs together, blah…blah…blah. Some of the things most other shippers complain about.

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    “I’d call this episode a cock-tease, but I think this episode and this show in general has plenty of cock in it already, so I’ll call it a pussy-tease (despite hating the word “pussy” with a passion)…”

    I’ve adopted the phrase clit-tease for these situations, just a suggestion.

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    Your ambivalence about the whole sex tape thing and the trans storyline is refreshing to read. I feel the same way. I’m usually hyper-critical when it comes to “Glee” and issues of representation, but I actually kind of enjoyed this episode, minus the Finn. Then when I actually thought about the storylines a few hours later, I was like, “hmm…actually, that was kind of problematic?” But I’ve spent so much time getting angry at this show, I feel like I don’t have the energy anymore and I’d rather just enjoy the cute Brittana moments and block out the Finchel.

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    Everyone’s loving the sextape of us? GROAN.

    Why can’t Brittany and Santana act out their sexuality without being paraded about for a bunch of oafish rubbernecking fratboy douchenozzles? Why can’t they just be girls with agency using said agency to get sexy? It felt like they wrote that arc and shifted characterizations just so they could play out a lesbian cheerleaders do sex things for camera bro style fantasy/joke. Because lesbians having sex is just a bro style fantasy/joke. I just graaaa it’s so tired. It’s just tired.

    Also, Santana was a sassless out of character milquetoast in this episode. Therefore, Santana didn’t work for me no matter how mysteriously pantsless I became when she arrived in that white suit.

    Also, just because you have used the words boob, testicle, and/or poop in a sentence doesn’t mean you have successfully constructed a joke.

    Plus there was the whole business of giving up your personal ambitions to bask in the benevolent aura of your man. Gross.

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      “‘Glee’ Might Encourage Kids To Experiment With ‘Alternative Lifestyles’”

      I love how he is JUST figuring this out, after we had Kurt and Santana’s coming-out storylines, the gay boy couple’s first kiss episode and then first-time-sex episode, Santana and Brittany almost-making-out while joking about scissoring, Santana and Brittany’s V-Day kiss, the attempted gay suicide… Bill-O the Clown, you’re a little slow.

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    I felt like this episode was probably one of the better Glee episodes we’ve had in a long time, which is saying something because this is written by the same guy as I Kissed A Girl.

    This episode would have been even better if we could have just completely kicked out Finn, because while I did like his character development Finchel is just such a bad relationship that even this forced “solution” to their partnership issues is way too late and seems rushed.

    I had mixed feelings about the Brittana, because it felt like Glee was totally downplaying how much of a breach of trust releasing the sextape created, but I love Brittana too much and the fact that would Brittany so whole-heartedly help Santana achieve her dream proves what a loving relationship they have (unlike Finchel over here).

    It was also great to see Mercedes have screen-time for once, and the Unique storyline was absolutely wonderful. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of her in later episodes, and hopefully they will continue to present it as well as they did in this episode!

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    First. Anyone notice how pleased Brittany looked when Santana walked in the room in that white suit? I do not blame the girl. Santana in that suit is the best thing that has happened throughout this entire series.

    Second, alllll issues aside, I thought Unique was absolutely beautiful when she was performing and she did totally kill that song. Fantastic. Why can’t she join the show as a regular and transfer schools?

    Third, I was not offended by the sex tape story line and I don’t feel that it was forced to push the sexy lesbian cheerleader male fantasy issue. I guess I just didn’t read that much into it. I think Brittany thought she was being genuinely helpful. I mean, most of the famous people she is probably a fan of do have a sex tape that really kick started their career. So can’t blame the girl. :) Also, Santana telling Brittany that they made the sex tape ‘just for them’ really erased any bad feelings there might have been. Fantastic.

    Also also also. I hate seeing Finn and Rachel make out at the drop of a hat, especially when most of Brittany and Santana’s dramatic romantic scenes have… a hug. Like when Brittany helped get her girlfriend a full-ride scholarship to a college with a fab cheerleading program… they tell each other how much they love each other… and hug. Urgh.

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    I thought this was one of the better episodes lately.
    The disco music (I love it!), cute ’70s outfits, Brittany and Santana actually getting to interact with each other. Unique was totally charismatic and I loved her, though I agree that the show didn’t handle the trans* thing very well–I thought Unique was supposed to be a drag persona, too, until the line about how she didn’t identify as a man.
    Though aauuugh, Schuester’s comment to Santana about how her goal in life must be to fight for marriage equality (since she’s gay, clearly!)– I nearly threw something at my computer.

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      Santana should’ve told Schue off like so: “Bitch, I’m a RADICAL queer! Marriage is an outdated institution that reinforces patriarchy and I will NOT be fighting for it! Now, a trans-inclusive ENDA…that’s something I can get behind! Just ’cause I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean you know ANYTHING ABOUT ME! So step off, bitch!”

      or not…

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      I’m guessing that was fan fiction fan-service there, because Santana becoming a badass lawyer while Britt starts a dance studio is a fairly common fan fiction theme. And often, Santana goes to college on a cheerleading scholarship to get started on her legal career.

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          Well, there’s a heck of a lot of fan fiction out there, and once a popular story or two comes up with an idea, other people tend to build on it and it becomes canon or “fanon” within the fan fiction. It’s an interesting phenomenon. You see it most prominently with Rachel Berry’s dads – who appear in practically every single story that includes Rachel, oddly enough, while never appearing on the actual show. In season one, everyone had a slightly different take on what her dads were like, and around season 2, the characterization became pretty standard for both. It was weird when the onscreen characters were quite different than what had become standard characters in fan fiction with distinct personality traits.

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          Inaccurate. The term “Unholy Trinity” was actually coined in a Brittana/Faberry fanfic story before the term was introduced in TV canon. Also, the names for Rachel’s dads are arguably from fanon.

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    “like a three-year-old who just marked his territory with urine”

    I didn’t watch the episode, but thanks to my most precious nephew I know that look way, way too well…. And now I’m gong to laugh my ass off the net time he does it :P

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