Review of Glee ‘Diva’

Sophie Warnes

glee 52350 300x156 Review of Glee Diva

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 13 series 4 of ‘Glee’

This series blog is following the Sky 1 broadcast schedule of ‘Glee’ in the UK.

Fans of Glee will be familiar with the show’s divas – and the fight between the members of New Directions to be the biggest and most dramatic diva. This week, while Emma (Jayma Mays) is panicking out about her impending wedding to Mr Schue (Matthew Morrison), Finn (Cory Monteith) is worried about what he should get the glee club to do. They’re uninspired, he’s uninspired, regionals are coming up, and he feels like he hasn’t really stretched or challenged them enough to take on the competition. Emma suggests that Finn makes a competition for the group: a diva-off!

At the mere suggestion of a diva-off, the group start trash-talking and then launch into Beyonce’s Diva. Not a fan of the song, I’m afraid, although visually the catwalk scenes were great – particularly with the addition of Blaine (Darren Criss), who’s trying to prove that men can also be divas. I was skeptical until he started singing Don’t Stop Me Now,which hitherto, was one of those songs nobody could pull off. However, I’m pleased to note that the performance was not terrible, and although Darren Criss will never be able to match up to Freddie Mercury’s talent, he gave it a good shot.

Apparently this isn’t even good enough for Emma and Finn, who have brought in Santana (Naya Rivera), diva extraordinaire, to perform an Ike and Tina Turner song. Naya is at her best when she’s channelling Tina Turner (anyone remember her River Deep/Mountain High duet with Mercedes in season 2?) – she’s just great at those powerful songs. Santana performs Nutbush City Limits with some cheerleaders from her college, which is strange because we learn that she’s dropped out of college because people didn’t like her “honesty”. So why do they all travel to Lima for one performance?

Sue (Jane Lynch) finds out about Santana dropping out of college and she’s rightly irritated because she helped her to get the scholarship – but she then offers her a job working with the Cheerios. Obviously according to the writers, you don’t need any qualifications to work with young people in after-school clubs. When Brittany (Heather Morris) asks Santana why she didn’t tell her she was coming back to school, Santana retorts that she hadn’t been told about Brittany and Sam (Chord Overstreet) – ‘Bram’. Santana thinks Sam isn’t good enough for Brittany and the two of them sing 80s duet Make No Mistake (She’s Mine). Personally I think Santana won that one but hapless Brittany still wants to be with Sam, because he thinks about things like where air comes from. Bless her – the two of them seem to be on the same intellectual level at least and surely Santana can do better?

One of the more shocking events in this episode is the Emma/Finn kiss. It’s so horribly inappropriate it’s unreal; both of them genuinely love someone else, both of them have never shown any interest in the other. I suppose once you figure that sex sells in a TV show, you want to milk it for all it’s worth – hey, why NOT have two entirely incompatible, would-never-like-each-other characters kiss at a moment when really, what we want is a few reassuring words. Since when was spontaneously kissing someone a substitute for saying something meaningful when they’re feeling upset? Good grief.

There’s some bizarrely unexpected drama this week from Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) too – she’s still crushing on Blaine, and apparently despite the fact that he is the most out-and-proud gay man on the show, she’s entirely oblivious. He’s come down with a cold this week and she keeps him well-stocked with cold medicines and chicken soup. They hang out and Blaine passes out from the medicine, just when Tina confesses she’s falling for him. She then straddles him which is where it gets painfully, horribly awkward – and rubs vapo-rub on his chest. When he’s passed out. I can’t be the only one who watched in horror as that played out.

You would have thought she would have picked up on the really obvious hints by now and realised that a relationship with Blaine will never going to happen. But evidently logic is not Tina’s strong point, particularly later when Tina goes full-on crazy. She uses her anguish at unrequited love (we’ve all been there! You will find someone better Tina!) against Blaine, giving her a good ‘reason’ (apparently; I can only really hazard a guess at what the writers were thinking here) to find her inner diva. She sings Madonna’s Hung Up, yoga outfit and all. It’s a great song for her to sing because Jenna can sing – although we don’t usually see this – and she does indeed seem to have reached a point where she is more ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ than she was before.

It’s frustrating that time and time again Tina as a character is given flimsy excuses for performing these solos. It would be nice if the writers could allow her to show off her inner diva without her having to insult Blaine or make herself look ridiculous, thus degrading her likeability and her plausibility. What teenage girl would continue chasing after someone even when they’ve been explicitly told that they just don’t like women like that? Even in a high school environment could you imagine the flack you would get for continuously pursuing someone and pretending to be his personal Florence Nightingale? He’s gay, you’ll get over it.

Over in New York, Rachel (Lea Michele) is being a nightmare. She’s surrounded herself with sycophants who won’t tell her the truth, she hogs the hot water in the apartment, and she’s acting like old Rachel Berry used to. You know, just being unbearably irritating. Kurt challenges her to a sing-off at the NYADA Midnight Madness event – where students attempt to out-perform each other and are judged by their peers. Kurt explains he threw the Defying Gravity sing-off in the first season because he didn’t want his dad to be embarrassed that his son beat a girl at singing a girl’s song. Unsurprisingly, Kurt wins the Midnight Madness sing-off, and Rachel is predictably huffy and upset, having once again been knocked down a few pegs. I bet it won’t keep her modest for long, though – arrogant Rachel will be back.

The episode ends on the best song this week – Girl on Fire, sung by Santana. She’s shown mentally saying goodbye to Lima and walking around New York with excitement at starting her new life. She turns up at Kurt and Rachel’s apartment and says she’s moving in – this is the second person to move in without Kurt knowing, poor kid. All he wants to do is just study at NYADA and find a new Blaine, he can do without the drama and yet more hair clogging up the shower plughole. We’ll see what happens next and if Santana’s ‘honesty’ is too much for the pair, as well as brooding Brody (Dean Geyer). Let’s not even get into the logistics of Santana suddenly moving to the other side of the country, and let’s ignore the fact that both Rachel and Kurt don’t get on with her very well. I’m sure it’ll work out.

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  • Suzanne Chaplin

    Except Rachel hasn’t nearly been arrogant all season until thy needed to give Kurt a win. She has been really great to Kurt and supportive. Seem the only person who had a problem was Kurt.

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