The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Super Bowl XLV (2/4, 2/11)

EW Description: “The one television event that everyone will be watching as the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers face off. Come for the game, stay for the lavish commercials and the Black Eyed Peas’ halftime show.”

If you’re coming here for sports coverage, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Yes, I’m beyond happy that the Packers won. I’m half Wisconite afterall. Can I tell you anything about the plays or the calls or anything? Hell no.

Here’s what I can tell you about the Super Bowl: The Packers won. The Black Eyed Peas sucked hard core. The ads were fairly disappointing, though there were a couple I enjoyed (Darth Vader Volkswagen is the first one that comes to mind) and many more that I loathed (the misogynistic GoDaddy commercials, anything involving that creepy ETrade baby). Most importantly, though, a new episode of Glee aired right after the game. Well, right after the presentation of the Lombardi trophy and some post-game analysis, but it was the next non-football related programming.

I have been ready to write off Glee for some time now. In my opinion, it’s never quite lived up to the magic of the first 13 episodes. It’s lost a lot of its edge. Rather than crafting a story and figuring out what songs will best complement that, I feel like the writers go into the episode with a list of songs they want to use and figure out how they can tie them together.

The characters have become caricatures and many of them are extremely unlikable now. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to continue watching Glee anymore. Then a lovely person named Darren Criss joined the show. I know he doesn’t have a huge part, but he’s an amazing singer and fucking gorgeous. As long as he’s on the show, I will continue to watch it. I’m even invested in a storyline related to Kurt, which I haven’t been for quite some time.

So, tonight’s episode had the potential to be awful. The McKinley football players are forced to join the Glee Club in order to teach them a message about bullying and make for a more unified team going into the big championship game. In a subplot, the Cheerios are forced to pick between Glee Club and Sue’s cult. Once the Cheerios realized Sue was perfectly okay with Brittany dying from being shot out of a human cannon in order to help her win a championship, Santana, Brittany and Quinn said bye-bye to Sue.

Surprisingly, though, this was a really good episode. There was a lot of humor in it, which I feel the show has been sorely lacking for quite some time. The story was actually cohesive and made sense. It set things up for future episodes. I feel like the writers have kind of forgotten they’re doing a TV series and not 22 stand-alone episodes, so it was a nice change of pace.

Now for the musical numbers:

California Gurls – This was very clearly a ploy to get the men watching the game to keep from changing the channel. It wasn’t an actual Glee Club number. Instead, it was a cheerleading routine with bike tricks and firework-shooting bras. Overall, it wasn’t terribly memorable.

Need You Now – It’s not a Glee episode without Lea Michele singing a ballad. Her and Puck have really great chemistry. I prefer Rachel/Puck to Rachel/Finn, so I was happy with this number. It was well done and I’m all for Mark Salling playing the guitar. It’s just plain sexy.

random Zombies song – I don’t even know what this was called. It was okay. Nothing too memorable.

Bills, Bills, Bills – I absolutely loved this song, solely because Darren Criss was singing lead on it. However, I do feel like this was an example of the writers wanting to have a musical performance with the Warblers and not being able to come up with a reason for it. It’s like they want to remind us Kurt is at Dalton now, but this song felt like it was shoehorned into the plot and it didn’t need to be. I’m not that upset by it, because it was a really great number. It just didn’t further the plot, except to remind us that the Warblers are going to be at Regionals. This episode didn’t need that, since that was the only mention of Regionals.

Thriller/Heads Will Roll – Holy hell. I think that might have been my favorite number that Glee has done thus far. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, YouTube it immediately. The make-up and choreography is absolutely phenomenal. Plus, this was a mash-up of two songs that worked really well together. Glee has a tendency to take two songs and put them together without it really making sense, but this was amazing. I can’t even describe it. Just watch it.

Overall, this renewed my faith in the show. This was one of the first episodes in a long time that I wasn’t checking the time to figure out how close the show was to ending. When it went to credits, I actually yelled at the TV because I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to it yet. Fortunately, there’s less than 48 hours to another new episode. Welcome back, Glee. Please don’t disappoint me anymore.

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