Glee 312 Recap: The Spanish Teacher and Santana Are Too Sexy For This Show

Let’s time travel back to the early 90′s, when I was a ripe, blooming youngster enrolled in Sixth Grade Spanish with the same slightly off-balanced teacher who’d been attempting to teach me Español since Third Grade and had, thus far, failed. Specifically let’s time travel straight into “student evaluation” day, which involved discussing our successes and failures as students in front of the entire class — in Spanish — which is, obviously, a terrible way to conduct said evaluations. For me personally this limited my ability to speak of my achievements in anything besides trips to the baño or gusta-ing la playa.

Of course The Spanish Teacher’s first issue with me, Pia Luisa Campos (my Spanish Class name), was that I rarely spoke Spanish in class (although I passed notes in English near-constantly). “But when I talk and I mess up, you laugh at me,” I told her, ’cause it was true. She laughed at me a lot.

She told me, very seriously and in English, “Pia — we’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you.”

donde es el chiste?

Anyhow, it wasn’t true. She was laughing at me. Speaking of people lying about laughing, this week’s episode of Glee was slightly worse than being attacked by a herd of wild elephants and slightly better than Work It!

all my positive feelings about this episode could fit into this cup with room left for the spermal equivalent of octo-mom’s spawn

Nation, I cannot watch this program again. I barely survived the first time. Therefore I’ll be recapping from memory, guided only by pre-transcribed dialogue and Intern Grace’s screencaps, and I’ll be doing so with this facial expression and overall demeanor:

shake your bon-bons

Furthermore, I ought to warn you immediately that this might be one of the worst recaps I’ve ever written in my life, but NATION! — what am I supposed to do with this shit?

Because I’m uninterested in recapping the adult parts but this episode was mostly adult parts, lemme sum that shit up as quickly as possible so we can dig in to the handful of scenes featuring teenagers: This week on Glee, Will Schuster wore a series of unfortunate outfits, lamented his poor Spanish-speaking skills, fought with Emma regarding pamphlets-as-advice, and invited Ricky Martin into the Wacky World of This Episode to save Will from repeatedly embarrassing his white ass with increasingly wretched attempts to she-bang his personality all the way to Tijuana.

good news! the e-trade talking baby commercial will be featured in the next commercial break!

Furthermore, the episode deep-sea-dived into some of adulthood’s most fascinating life stages, like tenure-track teaching positions (the teachers are competing for one) and childbearing in mid-life (Sue decides to artificially inseminate herself ’cause this show is obsessed with non-traditional pregnancy). Then, we all rode the train to Trope-Town together wherein we encountered a Sassy Black Woman, amongst other tired racial stereotypes.

face/off

Alright, let’s get into the “recap”!

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We open in Taco Bell, where three gigantic young men have donned Authentic Mexican Heritage Gear to inexplicably serenade rows of gumdrop children with, I believe, “La Cucaracha.”

coincidentally, my worst nightmares have the same exact opening scene as this episode of glee

Hey Glee, The Three Amigos called to say that Mexico called regarding “what the fuck you think you’re doing.”

probably will win a golden globe for this scene

Will, aroused all episode by Finn’s triumphant future, travels “con sombrero” throughout the episode.

this is what a tenure fetish looks like

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Then, the Nazis (not to be confused with Radical Lesbian Feminazis), so epically disturbed by Will’s opening number and Sue’s relentless focus on her own ovaries, invade all the countries except for Greenland and Iceland.

and that’s where hitler hit a nasty cold front coming in off the arctic seaboard

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Cut to Will’s Night School class, which was invented especially for this episode, after which Will takes Ricky “Menudo” Martin out for coffee in order to say condescending things and showcase his own porcelain whiteness and general inability to be Michael Scott, which is the only way this episode would’ve been funny.

just grin and bear it, ricky, just grin and bear it

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Back in Glee Club, everyone’s sitting around thinking about how bad Finn sucks when Will blasts through the door with a marker and a word and this week’s word is “2030,” which is the year in which I’ll get over how much this episode sucked.

this is how many times brittany and santana have kissed in private

No but seriously, Will explains that 2030 is the year when Lima will be overtaken by Latin Hispanicos who only speak Spanish, which’ll make Finn feel like one of the depressed leads in the classic feature film A Day Without a Mexican.

The class, unanimously in heat due to the introduction of Ricky Martin to a classroom previously dominated by Finn The Human Shovel and Will Schuester, salivate over their assignment to sing crappy pop songs in Spanish.

i bet she’s one of those girls who can orgasm just from stretching at the gym

Ricky and the team bust into a chair-dancing somewhat-funny/entertaining cover of LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It,” although Finn’s Fimo ass somehow gets itself more screentime than Heather Morris’s Serious Dance Skills.

Irish Breakfast hand-jives, Ricky suffocates a keyboardist in a cardbord box, Brittany demonstrates Sex with Santana on a plastic chair, Sugar Motta does push-ups like a boss, and Santana demonstrates Brittany slapping her ass by slapping her own ass.

I’d like to announce we have reached the part of this “recap” where I’ve begun drinking some whiskey.

Photography © jmberman1 2009

Meanwhile Will sulks ’cause he’s not the Sexiest Snowflake. He ponders his worth as a man and his various manproblems, because let’s be real — somebody’s gotta think about that stuff all the time, and it’s not gonna be anyone else in the entire world because nobody else cares and never will.

and this is how i deserve to be beaten with a fist

You guys, Will is EPICALLY self-involved, maybe he needs a spinoff. It can be called “The MEMEMEMEMEMEME Show” and every week the assignment is to sing a song about yourself. You know, like um, “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”

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Mercedes and Sam are one step and a pole vault away from having a mega-secret affair and Emma’s real bad at her job. Emma’s a counselor who can’t counsel and Will’s a Spanish Teacher who can’t teach Spanish! This school is FUCKED and I am dRUNK anyhow!

look, it’s screentime, okay? just do this with me here because i need some fucking screentime in this weird show so i can use this hand sanitizer and lotion for free

Emma, an EXPERT on all things “desire-related,” offers very little in terms of ‘advice.’ However, in line with this episode’s casual borderline-racist nonsense, Emma offers a pamphlet for Mercedes…

like wow

…and tells them to stop talking to each other for a week and then decide their true feelings.

Mercedes: “I’m just trying to listen to my heart and I can’t hear what it’s trying to tell me.”
Emma: “Well, if you really want to listen, then you need to stop talking. I’m serious. You know, there’s a lot of communication in your lives these days. With texting and IM’ing and Facebooking, I mean you don’t have any quiet time with yourselves to make informed decisions on your true feelings – [points at Sam on his phone] -- for instance”
Mercedes: “Sam just tweeted that I smell good.”
Sam: “I won’t stop ’til it’s trending.”

Anyhow, this show is either racist or completely weird about race. Like whatever they’re doing — be it offensive, hilarious, or totally acceptable — it’s not working. It’s just not good. It’s lazy in the worst way ’cause it’s just like, leaning on race. Not being funny is always the largest sin, you know. We forgive the other sins if you make us laugh.

Let’s PAGEBREAK for funsies!

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Avatar of Riese

Riese is the 32-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 1720 articles for us.

75 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    I like Sam but he ruined ‘Hero’ for me. This is the best performance of it ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5T0I60lC3k

    I love how both Santana and that coach had the same “With WHOSE vagina?!” line.

    I like Ricky Martin but I really can’t stand his acting. Bring Holly Holiday back instead of him to be the Spanish teacher.

    I love that Santana stood up for her heritage/community.

    Also,I know it’s a tv show but this show really goes so far with how unrealistic/inappropriate the teacher/student relations are. I mean, Becky being told by Principal Figgins to tell a TEACHER that Figgins wants to see them in his office? Really, Glee?

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    i was literally eating a burrito when schue committed his matador atrocity and i had to throw half of it away because i was so sickened.

    p.s. longtime lurker here, but nothing brings me out of the internet woodwork like mr. schue doing horrible, creepy things to music and children

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      p.p.s. i knew this episode was going to be irredeemably bad when sue asked schue for his baby gravy and i was subjected to a mental picture of schue contributing to a holiday dinner in his own special way. i’m really sorry for sharing, but i’ve had to carry the burden of that mental image alone. i’m really done now, i promise. :retreats into woodwork:

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    “La Isla Bonita” was aight, but this entire episode should have been scrapped and replaced with Naya Rivera singing “Objection: Tango.”

    The lack of Shakira in this episode was super disheartening.
    The lack of Shakira in anything involving a lack of Shakira is super disheartening.

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    I thought this episode wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good, and I liked Santana overall, but it wasn’t bad. Is it sad if all I ask this show now is to please don’t be offensive?

    Also I thought the whole episode was self mockery. When I saw those pictures of Will as a torero I was scared because I thought they were going to be ignorant and unaware, at least it wasn’t the case.

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      Yea, that’s how I feel too. I mean, this episode wasn’t *amazing* or anything, but I sort of liked how this episode was dedicated to Will sucking at life, and how awful he was.

      Will was being a total asshole like usual, but at least the show was acknowledging that he was an asshole. Also, as bad as it was that “La Isla Bonita” isn’t by an actual hispanic person, I was honestly just relieved that Santana got a song/dialogue, seeing as she’s a main character who is hispanic, and whatnot. I was fully prepared for the writers to make no reference to that, but then she even got to call Will out on sucking at everything, or at least being an awful Spanish teacher. I could have done without her reminding him that he was a great Glee teacher, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.

      Also, I liked that Kurt was rightfully horrified that Finn and Rachel were engaged. That’s two entire character moments that made sense, its almost a record!

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        “Will was being a total asshole like usual, but at least the show was acknowledging that he was an asshole.” – yeah that’s what I mean, he is usually an asshole but the plot is trying to sell us that he is a really good guy, just like it happens with Finn all the time. At least this time the show acknowledged he was in fact being a huge douche.

        When Kurt went “SHUT UP!!? What about NYADA!?” he mirrored my two basic thoughts regarding that storyline, haha.

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    even though you warned that this may be a terrible recap, it was absolutely hilarious and spot on as usual! loved the line about brittany demonstrating sex with santana. also, kudos for linking to todd vanderweff’s work. he’s my second favorite glee recapper. he actually sort of liked this episode, but only because he was paying more attention to petting his cat than to the show, and because he chose to view it as a very dark, twisted story about will’s painful inadequacy.

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    Do public high school teachers really get tenure? I’ve only heard of tenure in reference to college or grad school professors.

    Schue is so bad and inappropriate I’m starting to expect he’s going to morph into the rapist cop that Morrison played on Numb3rs.

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      To the best of my knowledge, tenure is generally automatic in public high schools after a certain period of time. At my high school, teachers had a two-year probationary period. If they weren’t fired during that period, they had automatic tenure from then on out. This sort of system (one-year, two-year or sometimes a few more) is pretty common and is the reason why it can be really hard to get rid of useless teachers, especially since when there’s budget cuts and whatnot the first teachers to get fired are the newest.

      I didn’t actually watch this episode, but the “fight for tenure” like this makes NO sense. Unless Ohio exists in some alternate universe.

      That would be the only rational explanation. Otherwise it would mean that Glee has unrealistic plots and we all know that’s not true!

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        Glee is a show about a bunch of kids singing and dancing and having strange dream sequences and doing synchronized swimming. The teachers want to shoot their students from cannons and make up dance routines involving fireworks and giant stilts. Half of the faculty has committed fireable offenses, and Becky’s inner monologue is in the voice of Helen Mirren.

        This show is irrational and unrealistic and I don’t think it tries to be anything different. Except gay. I think it should try to be more gay.

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        The “fight for tenure” is actually only a thing at the university level. Public elementary, middle, and high schools across the US have automatic tenture after a certain number of years in the classroom (with varying rules about how long you have to be in the same school/district), but that’s the subject of intense reform currently, so it will likely change in the next few years.

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          Let’s forget about tenure for a second, and remember how you actually get a job as a teacher in Ohio. First you have to go to college and ACTUALLY STUDY A SUBJECT. Then you have to take A REALLY FUCKING HARD FOUR HOUR TEST that proves you know everything about said subject and it costs hundreds of dollars. And then you graduate and move back in with your mom because there are no teaching jobs in Ohio, and cry and drink wine, and fill out job applications every single day for about a year, and pray someone gets pregnant or fired and you can get a long term sub job. And then your entire first year is like a year long-job interview while you convince them they should keep you and not include you in budget cuts when the school tax levy does not pass. And if Ricky Martin comes in and takes your job, you don’t get to just be a history teacher instead.

          Glee writers, there are soooo many unemployed Spanish teachers who hate you for giving Will Scheuster a job because “it was the only open position.” Fuck that Glee writers. If you are going to make my profession look like a bunch of idiots, at least give Britney more screen time.

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    Also, while there were oh so many things to cringe at in this episode, I felt that whole Nene Leaks (forgot her character’s name) convo with Sue was entirely unnecessary and harsh. I really don’t understand where these writers are coming from and I feel incredibly foolish for even trying. Do they go to work everyday and use those creative writing games where storylines are printed on popsicle sticks and just choose at random to finish a script?

    I’m glad you guys tweeted back to the “This is How We Live, No Fucks To Give” article ’cause now I offically give no fucks about this show.

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    I literally couldn’t stand Mr. Schue from the moment the episode started until it ended. And that’s a first. The horrible opening sequence, and then him being a complete douche to Emma, and then him being all “I’m a white, adult, male” and therefore I know more about Latin culture than the hispanic, teenage, female in my class. It all just really grinded my gears.

    This says it all: http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lz2555hX2c1qgmqqpo1_500.gif

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    I thought that this episode was one of the best of the season, to be honest. Irreverent, sort-of funny in a disturbing way, and then with a giant PSA as the finale. I think (hope?) that the show is more self-aware than it gets credit for.

    Sort of related: Todd was also on-point when he said that this episode was strongly reminiscent of the first half of the season one, with its focus on ‘how life is’ in the majority of the US. Scheuster’s life is terrible and without direction, and he isn’t doing his students any favors. Seeing as how this episode was written by Ian Brennan, it maybe shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

    I’m generally with you, Riese, on most things, but I feel that we were watching different episodes of television on this one.

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    I don’t think the show’s writers intended to make Will Schuester anything but a hero from the beginning, so while it’s vaguely interesting to see that someone at Glee finally realized that he comes off as an ignorant ass, I think it’s far from them being self aware. I mean, if a show needs to devote the bulk of an episode to address one character’s unintentional shittiness, it’s reaching a whole new level of jumping the shark. And while I can see how Will’s self-actualization might masquerade as character development, it seems more like an attempt by the show’s writers to restore his likeability (Watch our Will Schuester consider the opinions of minorities!) and retain the status quo. But I suppose those of us still watching have come to accept that Glee traded decent plot and character development for itunes singles and flashy guest stars a long time ago.

    I’m also holding out hope that Quinn’s Yale acceptance was a terrible joke Idina Menzel played on her for trying to get protective services to steal her baby. : )

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    This episode was terrible and boring and I kept wanting to rip my eyes out and throw them at the TV. The only thing that kept me watching was Ricky Martin because there is a special place in my heart for him.

    Also, Santana’s Spanish is actually pretty bad but she’s the only good part of this show and that speech at the end was amazing so it’s ok.

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      Every. Single. Time. I see Santana speaking Spanish, I scream at my laptop “YOU SPEAK SPANISH LIKE A WHITE PERSON.”

      Modifiers:
      1. I am Chinese American, and I speak Spanish — let’s say intermediately/somewhat fluently/I can have conversations in it and often do when I do Activism(tm), but I don’t think I’m quite fluent yet.

      2. I don’t speak Chinese almost at all, so I actually have this irrational dislike of white people who speak Chinese better than me. Well..less dislike, more they-raise-issues-of-my-own-inadequacy-to-represent-my-ethnic-heritage-in-this-ridiculously-racist-country.

      3. Thus if someone shouted at me “YOU SPEAK CHINESE LIKE A WHITE PERSON” I would be kind of be amused, as long as they were also another person of color.

      4. Does this make it okay to shout at Santana on the TV?

      4b. Do I overanalyze myself? Almost certainly.

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    This episode had moments of: “What the ever loving fuck is this?” “HOT DAMN SANTANA YES PLEASE” and “When is this over?”

    This recap though, gave me this and made me nearly fall off the bed laughing: “I BET SHE’S ONE OF THOSE GIRLS WHO CAN ORGASM JUST FROM STRETCHING AT THE GYM”

    (She must get that from Brittany)

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    I could not agree more with this recap. This was hands down the worst Glee episode of yet. I’ve been pretty disappointed in this season in general, but this episode took the cake. So many bad stereotypes, so much bad music, and once again no lesbian action. The worst.

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    “Back in the auditorium, respite arrives in the form of Ricky Martin and Santana Lopez doing a strange but exciting duet to Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita,” because why do Spanish songs by Spanish people when you can do a Spanish song by a white person?!” – Exactly! I was waiting for Santana to do Shakira or something so I was really disappointed when she didn’t, but then I remembered that Madonna gave Glee rights to her catalog or something, so why bother with a new artist when you already have a song that has something in spanish on its title?

    Also, Naya’s spanish is really really bad, I wish the writers would stop forcing it into her dialogue.

    Also, Mr Martinez’s parents are from Chile, I’m from there too, that made me smile. That was the only part of the episode that I liked, that and Santana’s speech.

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    wow, there was so much wrong with this episode. One of the most glaring things I noticed was the whole plot line centered around Santana telling off Will for being an asshole who perpetuated stereotypes and then the show goes on to have Ricky Martin say that his parents were illegal immigrants.. I don’t know if it’s the unconvincing acting that did it or the hypocrisy but ..the dissonance! I don’t understand why Sue is having a child, since it does not make any sense in any context, but the scene with Nene and Sue made me vomit in my mouth a bit- what was that? Who says those things?

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    worst.episode.ever.!! i seriously felt like i was asleep with my eyes open while watching it, i couldn’t even feign interest if someone was holding a knife to my throat forcing me to like it, i would have just chosen the consequences..the only thought i had during the commercial breaks, when i was snapped out of my brief self induced coma, was that the glee writers must have the easiest job in the world..simply because they don’t write anything substantial, maybe ryan murphy is paying 1st graders to write episodes to cut costs due to low ratings, because certainly second graders could write a more substantial script with an actual plot, and that would just cost too much..i want to thank the glee writers for stealing an hour of my life that i could never get back..

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    I believe the chiste’s mostly on us, the watchers, for, you know, watching.

    I thought this recap was funny, in a sad, I-understand-your-lack-of-enthusiasm kind of way. I was laughing with you, Pia (and you do know how to break those pages like the best of ‘em—fun!).

    [PSI: El iTunes Store es la tienda musical número uno del mundo. Está disponible en América Latina y en muchos otros países. Descarga todos los discos de Glee™ ahora, y recibe gratis "La Cucaracha," auténticamente interpretada por Míster Guillermo Schuester.]

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    Dudes. Where is Tina? I was wondering if my eyes were playing tricks on me. But she wasn’t there. I like to pretend it’s cuz Jenna Ushkowitz was all “Um… Screw this show.” But she’s going to be on this train wreck for years and years.

    I was hoping for one of the glee kids to go “This is why I take French.” Or something because 1) A Little Less Conversation was just awful and 2) Why is everyone taking Spanish on this show?

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    - I thought the NeNe and Sue face-off was quite hilarious, especially with Santana referencing the “with whose vagina” bit later on. The Sue pregnancy story line however, was completely ridic as ush, I agree.

    - I actually thought Sam’s “and I wont stop till it’s trending” was incredibly cute. D’awwwwwwww. I can’t help that I like this couple. And as for the “racist aspect”, I’m pretty sure Emma would’ve given that “So you’re a two-timin Ho” pretty everyone, including white chicks, so I see no problem here.

    - Brittana canoodled during Mercedes song!

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      I thought the NeNe and Sue face-off was funny as well. If Sue being mean to everybody can be funny they why can’t her having a verbal smackdown match with someone be funny as well.

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    I’ve been watching Glee through my hands recently. It’s too embarrassing otherwise. However, I would pretty much watch Naya Rivera read a phone book, soooo. Ricky Martin was fun here too. Can he just make Will go away?

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    This recap totally summaries my reaction with this episode. I’m Spanish and -although no offended because, c’mon, this is the most Glee can do- I was relieved when the final credits appeared. They sang the crappiest songs ever -we have good music too, damn it!. Oh, and the whole “torero” Mr. Shue did? No, no, no! Most of Spanish people aren’t fond of that sadistic tradition. This episode probably wanted to be a critic to racism, but it ended being 43 minutes of offensive stereotypes and general crappy non-sense.

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    Santana made the whole episode worth watching for me. I beamed with pride when she stood up for her culture, given that most of the time, we, latinos are portrayed as bean eating wetbacks…

    This episode made me really hate Mr. Shue… who is probably the biggest pendejo (second to Finnocence).

    Finally, RICKY… oh Ricky Fucking Martin… I can’t deny that I have always had a man crush on Ricky, ever since he was in that novela “Alcanzar una estrella” and I was a closeted 12 yr old little lesbian… He is just… hmmm papasito… and him+dancing with Naya, Jesus…

    Where are my panties?

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    If anyone cares, mexican hipster boots are totally a thing. Except they aren’t actually worn by hipsters. People waer them in Texas clubs and you can get ones that are long enough to hold while you dance

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      THIS. Finn’s body roll was seriously the most cringe-worthy part of the episode. I actually started shouting “OHGODOHGOD MAKE IT STOP” and had to leave the room for the duration of the song.

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    Why the f*uck, Glee? I found this episode really disturbing. So many awesome songs in spanish could be on that episode, but no, they instead preferred to have bad latino stereotypes. I feel somehow offended by it.

    Also, if Ricky’s character is from chilean heritage, why don’t they make a research about the greatest hits of latin rock? La Ley is an example of good latin rock, and they are from Chile. Just sayin’… because if I begin to write a list of good latin music, I won’t end in this lifetime.

    I just think Glee didn’t make the homework and did a sh!tty episode that should never be mentioned.

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    My question about this episode was why did Santana appear rather more interesting in Ricky Martin’s sexiness than the average lesbian? Like… She was more into him than most of the show’s straight girls.

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