Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"A Night of Neglect"

After their month long hiatus that felt like eternity Glee is back on air and what better way to open up than with focusing the screen time on the neglected characters of the musical comedy. 

But don't forget the guest stars  Gwyneth Paltrow, Charice, and Cheyenne Jackson. I can’t blame you if you had completely forgotten about those last two – after Sunshine Corazon and Vocal Adrenalin coach Dustin were introduced in the season premier, they pretty much disappeared. So I guess it’s appropriate that they returned in “A Night of Neglect.” 

Here we were introduced to the Brainiacs and their clever ode to Nerdom handshake. With the cost of their trip to Detroit added to the Glee Club's fundraising goal, Will postured like the Nino Brown of salt water taffy. Not since Nipsey Russell tried to sell the last of the peanut brittle to buy new uniforms for the Central High Wildcats had I seen a more pathetic idea. Luckily the notion of a benefit concert was born and with it an amazing display of the many talented members of New Directions. 

Gwyneth’s guest stint as substitute teacher Holly Holiday had to come to an end eventually, but I’m still sad to see her go. She brought a fun energy to the show and I liked how Holly helped Will get his groove back after his relationship with Terri. With Holly leaving for Cleveland and Dr. Carl getting an annulment, it looks like everything is in place for Will and Emma to finally get together (yay!). But before I get ahead of myself, Sue did tell Terri that, “your time has come.” Uh oh, I think that could mean more trouble for Will.

Before the singing started though, we learned Brittany had a quirky knack for obscure trivia. She ripped through those Cat Diseases like Rosie Perez named foods that start with the letter "Q" in White Men Can't Jump. The League of Doom was a failure, but Sandy got my spirit award for his colorful costume complete with a custom made, Pink Dagger hat. Holly finished a close second for her portrayal of Madam Man Hands, Wallace Simpson. Almost had to declare her the winner after she referenced the scandalous death of Catherine the Great.

Sergeant Handsome deserved a bump in rank after his bevy of amazing one liners. While Dustin failed to woo Holly, Will's chances with Emma got a little brighter as he learned she no longer had a full house after Carl (John Stamos) cried uncle and had their marriage annulled. 
Sunshine returned and despite showing off her freakishly amazing voice yet again, I sort of wished she had waited until she was actually, all by herself, to sing that song. Mad respect for Shawty though, for having over 600 twitter followers. Preach! Last time I checked, I had 43....which is a pretty good one for me.

Sunshine's eventual no show did nothing but leave more stage time for the host of amazing performances by the regular cast. Tina absolutely killed it as she performed Lykke Li's, "I Follow Rivers." Despite getting cut short by the Heckling Club, I think she delivered my favorite performance of the night. Mike Chang was sexy plexi as he danced to Jack Johnson and executed a routine that would have landed him right on Mary Murphy's, Hot Tamale Train. I didn't much care for Mercedes' diva antics, but I did appreciate Lauren's suggestion to ask for a bucket full of green M&M's. It was a nice nod to one of the most classic and notorious musician rider requests which has been chronicled back to Aerosmith's earliest days. Mercedes more than made up for her behavior with her performance of Aretha's "Ain't No Way." Rachel although doesn't feature singing this episode which I might add doesn't go well in my books but it showed us a mature side of the diva and i definitely like it,.....maybe Rachel will finally get over Finn(come on he's just pathetic). 

Although the scene with her(Mercedes) and Rachel in the car was one of the more poignant ones of the season as she expressed her frustrations over her club mate's stardom. Santana's claws were never sharper than they were tonight as she threatened Karofsky. He'll probably now join the masses of other cowards who hide behind screen names and Internet handles while spewing their hate filled slander. 

Glee has always done an amazing job of addressing their critics while tackling relevant issues at the same time. Tonight's episode did well to address the continued problem of bullying while also shining the spot light on some characters who have not gotten their fair share of the fame.  I applauded the writers for not neglecting some of the more supportive roles and allowing them to have a moment to shine on their own.

While I enjoyed the performances, I don’t think the episode was perfect. Mercedes’ diva act was just silly (though she had a good point about Rachel always getting the solos). Sue’s League of Doom—including Pink Dagger, the Honey Badger, and Sergeant Handsome—started out pretty funny and then fizzled. On the plus side, Brittany and Artie on the “Brainiacs” Academic Decathlon team was brilliant (they were all over “Cat Diseases,” “White Rappers,” and “Hermaphrodite Nazi Sympathizers”). And the preview for next week’s 90-minute “Born This Way” episode looked fantastic!


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