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'Glee' - 'The Power of Madonna' Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 21st 2010 8:09AM
(S01E15) "I thought I smelled the cookies wafting from the ovens of the little elves who live in your hair." - Sue to Will

After being hyped to the max, did the Madonna episode of 'Glee' deliver the goods? Yes! It did! Not only were the musical numbers fun, inspired, and darn creative, but the storylines about sex, strength, confidence, independence, and individuality all blended well into the theme.

What would Madonna do? That was the question of the hour as everyone struggled with one thing or another. Some made the right decision, while others did exactly the wrong thing. But at least they all did it with Material Girl style.

Was anyone else holding their breath on that first number, with everyone dancing around on stilts? It looked downright dangerous, but totally fun, too. I thought it was fantastic, but Sue Sylvester called it "a sloppy freak show," noting that "somewhere Madonna is weeping." Somehow, I doubt that Madonna was weeping after tonight's 'Glee'-ful celebration of her music and style.

Who knew that Sue Sylvester was such a Madonna freak? She practically smacked Will when she learned that he'd given his students the Madonna assignment. And we also learned a little more about Sue's sad childhood, including the fact that she suffered through lots of hair product issues when she was a kid, and is thus horribly jealous of Will's beautiful locks. Of course, it didn't help when he told her, "Enough with the hair jokes. By the way, how's that Florence Henderson look working out for you? Maybe you should try a new setting on your Flowbee." Oh, snap. That sent her into a kid-tossing tirade down the hall.

I never thought I'd see Kurt and Mercedes join the Cheerios, but they managed to strike a deal with Sue. As they told Will, they never get solos in Glee Club, so being part of the Cheerios gives them a chance to shine. And shine they did on 'Four Minutes." Loved the marching band.

Even though I'd seen 'Vogue,' featuring Sue, it still blew me away. She really has a gorgeous voice, cone bras and all, and it must have been a blast for Jane Lynch. It was also amazingly done to spec based on the original video, though the additions of little phrases like "Will Schuester, I hate you." was inspired, to be sure.

The storylines of the three people trying to decide whether to have sex or not, with the backdrop of 'Like a Virgin,' was poignant, and I wasn't sure how things would turn out. Emma decided to take control of her body, and told Will she'd "do the nasty" with him at his house.

But every girl needs a guy like Will, someone who will say, "You took ownership of your body when you told yourself you weren't ready." That's a refreshing change from his almost-ex-wife, who lied to him about being pregnant so he wouldn't run off ... with Emma. Now he's with Emma, but sensitive enough to make sure she feels comfortable when the time is right. And good call on waiting for the divorce to be final.

Then we had Rachel pondering whether to have sex with Jesse, and Finn pondering whether to have sex with Santana (the dream sequence was pretty sexy). It was telling that Rachel didn't go through with it, but lied to Finn that she had. Meanwhile, Finn actually did go through with it, and told Rachel he hadn't, that he was "waiting for the right person." Why don't those two just figure out that they're supposed to be together?

I say that, even though Jesse seems like a pretty cool dude, especially now that he's in Glee Club. Finn even welcomed him in, saying, "Frankly, I need you. I'm tired of carrying the male vocals by myself."

Fun Quotes:

"I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know what I want. If that makes me a bitch, ok." - Sue, who claims that Madonna stole the line from her (and she's probably right).

"How do I stop a guy from getting mad at me for saying no?" - Rachel

"Let's work together to try to find a way to make them feel more confident about themselves." - Will to Emma, about the kids

"You have all the sexuality of one of those pandas down at the zoo who refuses to mate." - Sue to Emma

"I want to honor her accomplishments by doing a multiple media project with Mercedes." - Kurt

"The way to get a man to follow you forever? Take his virginity. Madonna wrote a song about it." - Santana

"Madonna belongs to me, and I will not be copied. It's in my contract. - Sue to Will

"It's been a daily ongoing pain. I mercilessly pick on Will Schuester's hair because I'm jealous." - Sue

"Mr. Shu, is he your son?" - Glee Club, on whether Jesse is his son (they DO look alike!)

"I am not down with this. I like being a dude." - Puck, on the guys singing 'Do You Know What It Feels Like For a Girl'

"As an honorary girl, I have to agree." - Kurt, on Finn's comment that guys objectify girls

Your thoughts on this fab Madonna episode?

What was your favorite Madonna song on 'Glee'?
Express Yourself56 (7.1%)
Vogue107 (13.6%)
Borderline/Open Your Heart89 (11.4%)
Like a Virgin167 (21.3%)
What It Feels Like For a Girl33 (4.2%)
Four Minutes126 (16.1%)
Like a Prayer206 (26.3%)

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Awful episode. This show has just about jumped the shark. There were something like 8 songs in this episode. Way too much...last season there were only like 2 or 3, if that. And most of the songs weren't in the style of show-choir.

In summary Glee seems to have fallen into the 'more is not better' trap. More hair jokes, more britney quotes, more tension between Finn and Rachel. It's not working. I fear that the corporate interests within Fox have jumped onto this show and pumped it full of songs in order to make more money.

April 23 2010 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Honestly, I haven't liked the show since it came back from it's hiatus. Last week's episode didn't have enough humor. This week's seemed very forced (like the writers/producers owed Madonna big time for something or other). Of course, I've never been a Madonna fan, but the whole Sue/Madonna worship seemed way out of character. Also, Glee is turning into too much of a Rachel/Finn show. They have a very talented cast - we used to see numbers from Tina, Mercedes, Artie, Puck, Mr. Shue and Quinn. Lea & Cory are good, but I'm sick of just hearing them over and over with a few lines here and there thrown to the others. With as much talent as they already had, did they really need to add Jesse to the mix? I agree with the Glee kids, Jesse go back to Vocal Adreneline.

April 22 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lyn2's comment

I agree with you on last weeks show (it was lack luster for sure), however this was only show #2 since the hiatus, so I'm gonna wait until I see a couple more episodes before I say anything too negative.

I like Madonna's music, so I really enjoyed this episode. I laughed a lot. I Tivo'd the show so I had no clue that I missed the last musical number until I read this article. I'm glad Fox is showing an encore though.

You're right, the rest of the cast are talented and I really think that the writers have more in store for us where they are concerned. I refuse to believe that they don't, seeing how Nip Tuck did an excellent job incorporating all members of their cast into storylines.

And you mentioned adding Jesse to the mix. If we're still watching I guess we better get use to seeing at least one more character since the show is holding open auditions for Glee hopefuls.

April 22 2010 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was predictable that Finn went through with having sex but neither girl (Rachel nor Emma) did. Not that I'm advocating or condemning any of them, but it was just too predictable.

I'm not a big fan of Madonna, but I thought the episode was pretty good. I didn't care for a couple of the song sequences - mostly Rachel & Finn's mashup (it's tiring watching them chase after each other while singing) and the boys' a capella near the end. The Cheerios were awesome.

As for the relationship between Rachel and Finn - to be honest, I'm getting tired of Rachel. I think most viewers were tired of her early on but I figured she had a reason to be the way she was (getting picked on by others, therefore was arrogant to protect herself) but the character is just super grating now.

April 21 2010 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Glee is meant to be irrelevant, camp and fun. Part of its charm is the fact that the show does not take itself too seriously. Everyone is pointing out plot holes and storyline issues but come on! Its not about linear story-telling and remember its not a drama. Its a comedy musical. It sets out to entertain and make you chuckle. Which according to the ratings and critics, is exactly what it is achieving. Nothing more. Nothing Less.

April 21 2010 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

""The way to get a man to follow you forever? Take his virginity. Madonna wrote a song about it." - Santana"

That was actually Brittany.

April 21 2010 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How can anyone say anything about the "voices" on this show when they clearly do not sing their songs. That's all studio tricks, synthesizers and auto-tune. The show itself is funny, but I simply skip the musical numbers because they are so painful.

Actually, it reminds me of a South Park episode that made fun of High School Musical. To me, it's hard not to laugh at how terrible the music is in this show. It's like they take already bad pop songs, and then turn them into something even worse.

Eliminate the stupid overproduced musical numbers, and this becomes an incredibly clever and humorous satire of American High School life. If the kids actually have talent, they don't need to be lip-synching and they certainly don't need their voices auto-tuned by a machine!

April 21 2010 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dan's comment

That is indeed what I have saying since the pilot, every song is over-produced. (I didn't mind it in this episode, have you ever heard Madonna singing live?) But it is a shame, like you point out the actors really have talent. And it is not only the singing, also the instruments are dubbed.
But I don't skip the songs, I totally like the choreography. They got also great dancers, just look at the Cheerios.

Tip for the creators: They should do an unplugged episode!

April 21 2010 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I couldn't disagree more. I would watch the show if it were nothing but musical numbers. The "plot" bores me to death. The stories are simply awful.

April 22 2010 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode...WAY..better than the last. Plus it had a lot more comedy

April 21 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Couchtime With Jill

I didn't think it would be possible for this episode to live up to all the hype, but I loved it. I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It was funny, there was tons of character development, great musical performances and solos from more people than just Finn and Rachel. I blog about Glee every week here: http://couchtimewithjill.blogspot.com/ - check it out and let me know what you think!

@ Abbenormal: Quinn already did a version of Papa Don't Preach back in the fall. :)

April 21 2010 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think you can watch this show for a cohesive story-line, it's really not what it's about. Sure they need a loose outline for the songs to fit into, and I think that's what they do. It's really about the songs, and since they got the Madonna tracks cleared it didn't much matter if the stories accompanying them made the most sense.

If you look closely at the clips from "Express Yourself" Quinn does have a baby bump, it's small, but there. If she was out in the real world with that amount of baby bump, People and Us magazine would be all over it.

My favorite parts other than the musical numbers have become Sue's hair comments and Brittany's one liners... I think next week I'll be making a drinking game out of it!


April 21 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was kind of hoping for a Quinn version of Papa don't Preach, but it was a fun episode, although a little too reverential to Madonna.

April 21 2010 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to abbenormal's comment

Quinn did "Papa Don't Preach" in "Hairography," with Puck on acoustic guitar.

April 21 2010 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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