Glee Review: A Madge-ical Hour of Television!

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It's difficult to remember an episode of television as hyped as this week's installment of Glee.

Incredibly, though, the show lived up to all expectations, wasting no time in getting to the theme of the evening. We were instantly thrust into Sue's Journal, as our favorite cheerleading coach referred to the Material Girl as "the most powerful woman ever to walk the face of the earth."

Everyone except Puck agreed, of course, as he didn't see how Madonna songs could translate to the social choir. Enter a tremendous duet of "Borderline/Open Your Heart" by Finn and Rachel, as these two have mastered the concept of singing to each other, as opposed to simply performing with one another.

The actual plot of "The Power of Madonna" centered around female empowerment, specficially as it relates to sex. A racy subject matter for a series with such a teen demographic, no doubt.

But you can't focus a show on high school students and not tackle this topic. It was mostly handled well, depicting the pressure that both girls and guys have to lose their virginity, though a couple quick straddling and thrusting scenes during "Like a Virgin" may have crossed a line.

Power of Madonna

While the show's music was more of a focus than ever this week, there were actually a few major developments, as well:

  • Finn and Santana had sex.
  • Mercedes and Kurt joined the Cheerios.
  • Jesse joined New Directions.
  • We learned that Sue's parents were "Nazi hunters" and there's admitted jealousy behind her constant badgering of Will about his hair.

Okay, the final item listed might not be considered significant, or even entirely true. But my wife and I carry on a debate about whether or not Sue goes overboard with the hair jokes. My take? Impossible! Hers? A dozen per week is probably enough.

We now interrupt this review to bring you a new running feature: The Brittany Quote of the Week. This episode's winner?
Brittany: When I pulled my hamstring, I went to a misogynist. | permalink

Back to "The Power of Madonna." One of the best moments of the hour took place during Finn and Rachel's aforementioned duet, as they sung in the hallway and various students popped out in classic Madonna outfits. Is there any other singer in history who is so easily recognizable in so many forms?

Meanwhile, will the cast's cover of "Like a Prayer" trump its heavily downloaded version of "Don't Stop Believing?" It was quite the closing number, wasn't it?

It may have been topped by "Vogue," but many of us saw that number already last week.

Did the show have to force a few moments in order to make everything fit into the Madonna them? Of course. But if you want to analyze storylines and plot development, there are plenty of other programs out there. This is Glee. This is about the music, the dancing, the empowerment of high school dorks over the typical stereotypes that hold them down.

In those ways, the episode was a winner in every sense.

What was your favorite song from the episode? We've listed more of the funniest Glee quotes from it below. Take at least 4 Minutes to look them over and don't be afraid to share your opinion on each one. It's okay. Go ahead and Express Yourself...

Jesse: You tell me when you're ready, and I'll make sure I'm fastidiously groomed. | permalink
Will: Enough with the hair jokes. By the way, how is the Florence Henderson look working for you? | permalink
Santana: She's like a cat in heat. She talked about him yesterday and practically sprayed the choir room. | permalink
Sue: You think this hard. I'm passing a gallstone as we speak. That is hard! | permalink
Emma: Lindsay Lohan looks like something out of Lord of the Rings. | permalink
Quinn: Would you please stop talking? You're grossing out my baby. | permalink
Sue: What would Madonna do? Well, the answer to that question would normally be: date a younger man. | permalink
Sue: A la Madonna, I'll no longer acknowledge that any of you have last names. | permalink


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


My fav Will quote of all time is, Enough with the hair jokes. By the way, how is the Florence Henderson look working for you? I almost started rolling on the floor laughing best ep ever even though it was 3 eps ago


After all the "racy" plots and stuff that you guys consider "crossing the line" that Glee has dealt with, are you really surprised they'd do an episode about sex? Seriously? Yes, there might a lot of teens watching this show, but it's not Disney teenybopper thing that has to play it safe all the time. I hope Glee keeps doing that. Besides, in my opinion, teenagers can handle it. Darker is usually always better as long as they keep adding those hilarious touches and heart warming moments. I hope they keep the complexity and don't squander storylines and character-development opportunities though...there's so much plot on this show it's crazy to focus on each.


Where was puck apologising to quinn?! I want more Puck Quinn scenes! Also, I love Jesse and I don't understand why he didn't sing in the final song, his voice is way better than Finn's! I'm sick of Rachel and Finn being the only solos! I liked the attention that Santana, Mercedes and Kurt got this week! I want more castmembers to lead! Especially puck and quinn!




I know seriously! I want more Quinn and Puck scenes and solos. Because like Finn who "gets all the solos" he has a great voice as well. I was stunned they let Santana sing and what about those other guys..Shaft and the other Asian? I really liked Jesse. I think they have amazing chemistry but I still think he's got something up his sleeve. So I'm torn I guess between both guys... really any character on Glee could be shippable between Rachel,Finn,Puck,Quinn and now Jesse.. I think if you paired any one of them it would work great. About the Gaga episode I get what you guys are saying about centering it around a Queen or Beatles songs..but Gaga is current and it could be a fun episode plus I love Gaga so that makes me biased I just hope they have a brilliant storyline around the songs


Am i the only one that wants more quinn, puck and brittany scenes? seriously they all get like 3 lines an episode and thats it!


Loved this episode! I'm a teen, and I didn't realise just how poular all of her stuff is, I knew the tune and most of the words to every song!
I don't know wether a GAGA episode would work, I love her music, but in fairness there isn't a lot to chose from. Two songs is enough. Give Rachel and Shelby (her genetic mom?) pokerface, and give Kurt any of the other songs, and let that be that. If they do another sole artist episode shouldn't it be something like the Beatles or Queen?
Honestly I don't think a GAGA episode too soon would even scratch brilliance of this episode! Quinn defo didn't look pregnant during Express Yourself. I wish Quinn would be nicer to Rachel, and dump Puck already, they have no storylines as a couple! I hope Jesse is genuine, I'm fallen in love with him since the Hello duet, and I want St. Jamberry really badly, the name is too cool alone! And I can't believe Finn slept with Santanna, Rachel will be mad!
Oh My Glee, I cant wait for Home, the previews of Kristin singing Home from The Wiz is breathtaking!


Brilliant episode! I felt the plot was actually really cohesive in that it brought all the characters together really naturally and the songs were relevant to the storyline! Can't believe Finn went through with it though and slept with Santana, that's gotta have some repercussions further on! Loved playing spot the era according to the madonna outfits that mingled in the bacground of the halls. Sue just gets funnier and funnier each week! Love it!


Why on earth would Glee do a GAGA episode???? She can get a song, NOT an episode...


I wish they had shown the whole video for Like A Prayer, since the studio version is 5 minutes long, and it's one of glee's best renditions along with Don't Stop Believing and You Can't Always Get What You Want
overall I really liked the episode, except the whole singing in the corridors with the wind in their hair thingy, that's so cliché, but I'll have to get use to that I guess, since they are doing it all the time now
The way they integrated Like A Virgin in the episode was brilliant, everything about that sequence was top-notch.
I LOVED that mercedes and kurt finally spoke their mind, and how the writers made fun of themselves giving them those witty lines.
It's because of performances like 4 Minutes that I watch the show : I want it big and crowdy!
great job, but I still think those kids should see the sun more, everything happens in the school, don't they have an enormous field?

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Glee Season 1 Episode 15 Quotes

[Madonna is] the most powerful woman ever to walk the face of the earth.


Kurt: Mercedes is black, I'm gay: We make culture.