Apparently you've forgotten our deal, Glee: I won't goof on the fact that you keep hitching yourself to trendy musical topics and awkwardly using old Top 40 sings to teach that week's life lesson, and you won't mess with any of my favorite bands. This time, it's personal.
More on that later. The episode opened with Principal Figgins chastising Tina for her Gothness, which is tied to his frankly unconvincing belief that she and her ilk are actual vampires. Stripping Tina of her not-at-all dated look coincides with Rachel's discovery that Vocal Adrenaline are going the Fame Monster route, all leading to the weekly assignment: Lady Gaga.
High school dress code travails are older than I am, and that's saying something. Back in my day, the major proscriptions were against t-shirts glorifying alcohol and tobacco products (note to those born post-1990: cigarette companies were once allowed to advertise on most open surfaces). In fact, it was my casual remark to a coach my sophomore year that led to the banning of Corona Beach Club apparel at my high school. Don't hate me, class of 1987.
This week's episode (titled "Theatricality," which you could probably guess from the dozen times the word was spoken in an hour), also highlighted two rather disparate parent-child relationships, which I'll get to in a bit. But first, the Gag-ster.
I have to say, for an alleged Lady Gaga week, the show was somewhat less "ra-ma-ma" than advertised. The showcase number, of course, was "Bad Romance" (and count me among those who were mildly surprised that Santana was the one glee clubber who didn't look like a complete doofus during the song). It was met by enthusiasm by everyone. Everyone except Finn, Puck, and the rest of the straight dudes. Finn expresses his hetero misgivings to Will, who allows that the feminine contingent has sort of taken over. Finn's solution? KISS.
Let's be clear about something; "Shout It Out Loud" is a classic of Western culture, even when performed by a quintet of bland teenagers, but don't tell us "you did your research" when you apparently couldn't figure out Gene Simmons plays bass, not drums (that's Peter Criss); or that the star on Paul "Starchild" Stanley's eye isn't a Star of David (even if he is Jewish); or that your makeup is "inspired by the guy who replaced Artie (Ace Frehley) when he quit" when your makeup is clearly Eric Carr's, who replaced Criss. Vinnie Vincent replaced Frehley, and he had ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MAKEUP.
Is the band now coasting on reputation alone? Yes. Have they made several...regrettable musical decisions? Yes. Has' Simmons' willingness to put the logo on everything from caskets to ladies footwear made them a joke? Oh, hell yes.
But I've earned my right to complain: Destroyer was the first album I ever bought with my own money, I've been in the KISS Army since I was 9, and I watched KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park during its inaugural TV airing in 1978. The show's creators, on the other hand, couldn't be bothered to spend 30 seconds on Wikipedia to get their freaking facts straight.
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Rachel finally realizes Shelby Corcoran looks uncannily like her for a reason, and attempts to forge a belated bond. To Shelby's "credit," she essentially pulls a 180 regarding her initial intention to poach Rachel over to Vocal Adrenaline, then decides she can't do the mom thing. I think. I'll be honest, I fast forwarded both the Barbra ("Funny Girl") and Gaga ("Poker Face") numbers they sang together. Mostly because their whole dynamic is much less compelling when compared to that of Burt and Kurt.
The fun all started with Finn receiving the unwelcome news that mom has accepted Burt's invitation to move in. All this fits perfectly in with Kurt's plan, which once again raises the unpleasant question of why he seems to be the only gay person unwilling to accept that heterosexuality is just as genetically determined as the other kind.
Finn, of course, is less than comfortable, which culminates in his slagging off Kurt's redecorating as "faggy." Burt, understandably, takes excessive umbrage and, in one of the more powerful scenes in the series to date, tears Finn a new one and tells him to GTFO (as the kids say). Finn comes around in time to play knight-in-red-latex for Kurt when he's threatened once again by Karofsky and Azimio (who have, by now, conveniently forgotten all about that whole "Single Ladies" thing). The club comes together and all is, once again, right with the world.
Next week's penultimate episode promises the return of Sue and Terri, and another one of my favorite bands (Queen). If they start covering the Replacements, I'm outta here.