Review of Glee ‘Guilty Pleasures’

Sophie Warnes

glee guilty pleasures 300x225 Review of Glee Guilty PleasuresSPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 17 series 4 of ‘Glee’

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

This week, Glee meets reality. I feel this is necessary every couple of episodes, just so that I know that it’s actually rooted in the real world and not some weird place where everybody has amnesia and nobody talks about things that happened in the last week.

Some of the guilty pleasures are not really all that guilty – come on, how can Wham! be a guilty pleasure?! I loved the 80s get-up though, even down to the sunglasses indoors. Darren Criss (who plays Blaine) really rocks the 80s George Michael look, too.

I can see why Barry Manilow was chosen as one of the artists, and I love how Sam (Chord Overstreet) tackled it with relish, even going so far as to dress up for Copacabana. I don’t really like Manilow back catalogue, but everybody surely knows Copacabana –it’s such an infectious song!

Jake (Jacob Artist) wants to perform a Chris Brown song for his ‘guilty pleasure’ and is told not to by the girls, because he’s a huge misogynist. Oh my goodness, have I waited for Glee to address these real (and contemporaneous!) issues within the music industry! What’s interesting is that his reasoning for wanting to do it is that you should separate the artist from their art. This raises quite a sticky issue in terms of consumerism and what the act of buying something actually means. By buying Chris Brown’s song, are we implicit in condoning his terrible behaviour towards women? If we listen to Chris Brown’s songs, are we then saying that it’s ok to beat women, to behave like he has? It raises issues about ethical consumerism – though this isn’t fully discussed as the time dedicated to this section is very small. I am just so relieved it was even mentioned.

He decides not to do it, but amusingly, he misjudges and decides to sing a song from “another Brown”. I instantly cringed – please let it not be Bobby Brown! Of course, it is. It’s a good performance, but rather marred by the fact that Marley (Melissa Benosit) has a face like thunder throughout the whole set. She’s still not happy with him, because Bobby Brown got Whitney Houston hooked on drugs, but she realises he’s just being naïve.

Blaine’s (Darren Criss) secret pleasure is apparently Phil Collins. He sings with such angst and with so many longing looks at Sam that it’s fairly evident there’s really more to it than that. It’s awkward. Tina-awkward. But that’s ok because Sam is not totally stupid, and he realises that Blaine has the hots for him. And where that would really scare other men, Sam is totally fine with it and they “hug it out”. That’s fast becoming Sam’s catchphrase.

Kitty (Becca Tobin) goes on Fondue For Two with Brittany (Heather Morris) because Brittany, bless her, can see that “everybody hates you” and has decided to let people see the ‘real’ Kitty. I was actually beginning to suspect Kitty couldn’t possibly be a real person, as she is so spiteful. But evidently the producers have realised that fans have such hatred for her character, such unrepentant dislike for her two-faced bitchiness, that she’s nigh-on unwatchable. She is by far and away one of the worst things about the season, and that’s the top of a very long list (including scriptwriter/character amnesia which is a huge bugbear of mine!) So they wrote in a slot with Brittany – one of the most popular people on the show – to prove that actually she has feelings and guilty pleasures too.

It turns out that Kitty’s guilty pleasure is the Spice Girls. Now, I remember the Spice Girls vividly – I was an upstanding member of the Spice Girls club and when my sister met Victoria at our local swimming pool, I was green with envy. So the little Spice Girl in me is upset that the parts of the song weren’t given to the right one. I like that they mixed up the roles and gave, for example, Baby Spice, to Unique (Alex Newell) rather than go with the obvious role of Scary Spice.

Rachel (Lea Michele) eventually finds out about Brody – we knew it was going to happen, and we knew that it would come from the mouth of Santana (Naya Rivera) so it’s not too shocking. To her credit, she takes the news far better than Old Rachel would have – instead of crying and acting out about it, she realises that their splitting was inevitable and had to happen. It’s that part of adulthood that is so very difficult to learn to deal with – being mature enough to know when it’s time to let go and how to approach the ending of a relationship without it being too catastrophic or painful for anyone involved.

Radiohead’s Creep is an excellent song, and perfect for the ending of their relationship. Not so much because either of them are ‘creeps’, but more because they were together for the wrong reason. Rachel only really used him to get back at Finn, which we sort of suspected anyway, and Brody? Well, who knows what was going on there.

Now, where’s Finn gone?

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