'Glee' Season 2, Episode 2 Recap (VIDEO)
by Joel Keller, posted Sep 29th 2010 9:59AM
['Glee' - 'Britney / Brittany']
You've got to give credit to Ryan Murphy and company for rolling out the big, overhyped Britney Spears blowout in the second episode of the season. Most shows would leave such a "special episode" for November or for spring. But 'Glee' knows that the Britney coup was something that needed to be taken advantage of, and they had enough banked goodwill from their first season to be able to do it and make their fans squeal with excitement.
Almost going in, though, you had to know that story was going to be sacrificed for the music. So if you're a Britney fan or a fan of the show's musical numbers, it was a good episode. If you're a fan of the characters or story, well... better luck next week, right?
At least this time around, the way the Britney numbers were inserted was at least somewhat plausible; there was no scene where people point at Britney and go "Hey, Britney Spears at McKinley High! Imagine that!" No, most of the Spears numbers -- and all the appearances by Brit Brit herself -- were all done via nitrous-induced fantasy.
Now, how every member of the glee club that got in Carl the dentist's chair all happened to have Britney fantasies while they were there could induce eye rolling if this was any show besides 'Glee.' But at this point, I'll take having Brittany, Santana, Rachel and Artie starring in their own Britney videos, with cameos by Ms. Spears herself, via laughing gas fantasy than the alternative.
And the videos were well done. Who knew Heather Morris could dance like that? This episode was really a great showcase for her and for her lovably stupid character Brittany. From her explanation of being haunted by Britney because her name is "Brittany S. Pearce" to her observation that the fact that she can dance in her dreams makes her the most talented member of the glee club, we learned more about New Directions Brit than we've ever known in the past. My favorite line of hers was saying "This reminds me of the alien ship when I got probed" as she was sitting in Carl's chair.
In all the videos, Murphy and company hit on all the popular images of Brit Brit, but my favorite was seeing New Directions Brit with the snake singing 'I'm a Slave 4 U" just like Brit Brit did at the 2001 VMAs.
Spears' appearances themselves were mercifully brief, though seeing her in a Cheerio costume during Artie's fantasy just pointed out that, while she looks great these days, her days of passing for a high school student are long, long behind her.
On other fronts:
-- As soon as I saw Will write the words "Christopher Cross" on the board, I laughed. It felt like an obvious in-joke to me, something that uptight, white-bread Will would embrace, but a direction the writers knew we would never go in under normal circumstances.
-- Good move casting the ever-charming John Stamos as Carl. I loved how he tried to get Will to loosen up. To be honest, I can see Emma more with Carl than I ever can with Will. Maybe their discussion about Will backing off will give us the chance to see Will pursue more compatible mates this year, because there's nothing about the Will-Emma pairing that I'm looking forward to.
-- Why does Sue think that Britney Spears is morally corrupting to teenagers but loves Madonna? Maybe because Brit Brit threatened Madge's pop standing. Or maybe it's because they kissed on the VMAs. Not sure. But, weirdly enough, Jane Lynch's appearance this week was superfluous, even if it gave us the site of Jacob Ben Israel's disgusting butt sweat. Also, her grasp of American history is slipping even worse than it did last week; she's stringing names and phrases together like she's choosing them from one of Stephen Colbert's situation wheels.
-- It was good to see Jessalyn Gilsig in one scene as the deliciously vindictive Terri, but I wonder how she's going to get any screen time at all this year.
-- Artie as the football team's battering ram is going to be interesting. And it's hilarious that, as soon as Finn's back on the team, people pay attention to him again. But he seems to be loyal to Rachel... for now.
-- Is it me or is Lea Michele's Rachel wardrobe less silly this year? She looked pretty good when she changed out of her Brit Brit schoolgirl outfit into her "normal" clothes.
As I've said before, being a fan of 'Glee' means that episodes like this are going to be part of the viewing experience. Now that we've gotten the Britney experience out of the way, let's get back to some storytelling.
Check out our Skype Second Opinion of 'Glee'.
'Glee' airs Tuesdays at 8PM ET on FOX.
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