Can it be? Two solid Glee episodes in a row? Considering I was planning to break up with this show, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Granted, Glee returned to material it knows it does well last night: Britney Spears covers and Brittany S. Pierce storylines. Brittany is the show’s secret weapon – she can’t be the star of the show, but when used correctly she can be responsible for some of the best episodes Glee does.
From Cheerios to Cheetos
I’m really more of a fan of what I’d call “Classic Britney” rather than the new crap she’s been putting out, but I loved a lot of the covers the show did and I’m glad more of the performances are interpreted as fantasy sequences again, rather than just “Hey, let’s put on an impromptu show in the library!”. (But did Marley really have to sing Britney’s most suicidal ballad because of Jake Puckerman? Ugh.) What I loved even more was how the show used Britney Spears’ own very public downward spiral as a model for Brittany hitting rock bottom – she’s been held back a year, Santana is away and too busy for her, and she was kicked off the Cheerios. They nailed the head-shaving, the umbrella incident, and the notorious VMA “comeback” performance. This episode was obvious FOX cross-promotion, even name-dropping how much money Brit is raking in right now for appearing on The X Factor, but it was done well.
Brittany has always been one of the best characters, but it’s a fine line for Glee to balance on. It’s funny that she’s so blissfully unaware, but how has this girl even made it as far as senior year? In general, Glee has always had a hard time balancing reality and fantasy. But all Brittany material is such gold that it wasn’t a problem for me in this episode.
Meanwhile, Rachel was still having problems with Kate Hudson in New York. I didn’t think Glee would be able to handle having storylines in Lima and New York, but so far the transitions are feeling pretty natural. I like seeing Rachel struggle at something, and her camaraderie with Kurt and with her new, hunky friend softens her. I also like that Rachel and Kurt live in a very large apartment, but at least:
a) Everyone comments on how big it is
b) It is essentially an empty warehouse
c) It’s a 45 minute commute from school in a bad neighborhood
So hypothetically, they can afford it. Kate Hudson continues to sparkle in the role of the bitter dance teacher. I think it’ll be a bit of a stretch when Sarah Jessica Parker hires Kurt to work at Vogue.com, but that’s the fantasy world Glee lives in and I’m going to be optimistic about it.
It was nice to see cameos from Santana (albeit via webcam) and Puck this week, too. (Puck saying “I got to get back to LA. I’ve got a date with a chick who was third runner up on The Bachelor” was my favorite line of the night.) They were both completely integrated into other storylines, so it didn’t feel like we were following too many characters.
So all in all, I really liked the episode. I felt like it wasn’t so much a second Britney tribute as it was a second episode devoted to Brittany, who happens to love Britney. So I was OK with the theme. Next week, Rachel gets a makeover – something I think we’re all ready for – and Sarah Jessica Parker appears. What did y’all think of “Britney 2.0″?