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Glee Review: Going Gaga!

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I've got a problem with Kurt.

I loved the episode "Theatricality." I was moved by Rachel and Shelby's reunion, I've already purchased their cover of "Poker Face," I laughed out loud at the Lady Gaga costumes, and I thought the Twilight/vampire references were hilarious and brilliant.

But let's talk about my problem with Kurt first.

He's a great character (played by a great actor), yet he was totally in the wrong last night. Yes, Finn crossed the line when he used the word "faggy," and I agreed with every word of Burt Hummel's speech regarding it. Still, take away that word and let's look at the fight that led up to it:

Finn was forced to adjust to a new family and a new living situation. He was sharing a room with someone attracted to him, which would be uncomfortable whether Kurt was gay, a girl or simply much older or younger than him. Finn had every right to be upset. So I wish the show had let Kurt realize the error of his ways for a change.

He's flamboyant and he's proud of being different and that's admirable. But Kurt is not always right. He's proud of being his own person, but he doesn't let others be who they are. His father is as understanding as can be, yet Kurt got mad because he took Finn to a baseball game. This week's episode concluded with Finn in a dress, coming to Kurt's rescue.

But why couldn't Finn be an athlete and a singer? Why couldn't he be someone absolutely accepting of Kurt and his lifestyle, yet want no part of it for himself? Sometimes, I wish the show would be less focused on standing up for the insecure minority and more focused on creating layered characters that break free from their stereotypes.

Simply put, Kurt owes Finn a major apology and I hope it comes next week.

Gaga-Like

But enough with my complaints (except this one: no Sue Sylvester?!?). I enjoyed this Lady Gaga-inspired hour thoroughly and here's why:

  • The outfits. Simply amazing.
  • Puck's serenation of Quinn and their baby was as moving as anything Glee has done. I was just like Quinn when it was over: speechless (but with fewer tears running down my cheek).
  • Tina to Will, regarding Figgins: "I think he thinks vampires are real." Will's response: "Me too." HA!
  • Also: Tina's mom thinks Kristen Stewart is a bitch.
  • The reunion between Rachel and Shelby was handled perfectly. It would be great if they met and instantly hit it off, but it would also be unrealistic. Instead, we get to see this relationship develop and, if we're treated to any more duets like "Poker Face," it will be an incredible journey.

What did you think of the episode? Enjoy the following Glee quotes from it:

Puck: While Jackie Daniels is a great name for a power boat or something, it's not great for a baby girl. | permalink
Kurt: What is your problem? It's just a moist towelette! | permalink
Finn: We live in Ohio, not New York... or some other city where people eat vegetables that aren't fried. | permalink
Brittany: You look terrible. I look awesome. | permalink
Rachel: When I was little and I was sad, my dads would bring me a glass of water. It got to a point where I didn't know if I was sad or thirsty. | permalink
Kurt: She changes her look faster than Britt changes sexual partners.
Brittany: It's true. | permalink
Tina: I know who I am and I'm not allowed to show it. It's like Communism. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
  • 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (72 Votes)

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

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Im really glad the people here argee with me. mostly i pityed finn based on the moving in thing. Kurts dads speech really made me mad. he will obviously loose finns mom anyway and where is finn supposed to live now. you dont say those things to a kid i loved santana in bad romance
liked shout it out loud
still unfortunatly cant like artie. i know im a terrible horrible person for that one. sorry! :(
i love mr shu -- show his ass any day

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Ok, aside from the Kurt/Finn situation - I've been loving "Pokerface" by Rachel and Shelby. I think it's soo awesome that they connect so well through song, after they decided something just isn't right between them. That was some great acting right there. So many emotions! Admiration, happiness, longing, sadness, ecstasy and you can just see that's what they've wanted for so long, I totally bought the mother/daugther connection. Amazing! I've watched that scene a dozen times...Shelby was wrong when she said Rachel's an adult and doesn't need her. She needs to stick around. Heck, I still need my mom, who doesn't?

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Okay, I agree that Kurt brought a lot of Finn's yelling on himself. I also believe that the gorilla sized bullying teammates of Finn's had a lot to do with it as well. The move also played a large part. I was surprised that the parents wanted to move Finn and Kurt into the same room when Kurt was gay. That is like moving a girl in with a boy. Especially with Kurt. Also, Kurt has been manipulating with everyone as far as their little family circle goes in an attempt to get closer to Finn. That's obvious. He did make friendly advances in the episode, but mostly he's stuck on Finn and can't or won't move on. Come on Glee writers, get him a real love interest. This is painful. Was Finn in the right? No, he was inappropriate and lashing out in anger, but he was justified even if he was harsh and inappropriate about it. Also, several parts of his long and slightly hysterical tirade weren't even about what was really frustrating. He had simply reached his boiling point and couldn't handle it anymore. Was Kurt in the right? No, I firmly believe he needed and deserved this, in fact, the altercation may be beneficial for him. It served as a wake up call about Finn and a way for him to see his father does accept and love him. Was Burt in the right? Yes and no. Yes, because based on what he heard, he was right, but no in that he was also inappropriate and acted with limited information. Also, just because I think this way, does not make me homophobic. I do not disapprove of Kurt's actions because he's gay. This is just the way I saw this situation. If you disagree with me, fine. I don't really care. Its a television program and you are entitled to your opinion. Please remember that I am also entitled to mine. Insulting me will not make you right. I noticed somebody before me implied that believing that Kurt had some guilt in the altercation with Finn makes one homophobic. Whoever you are, you are ridiculous. None of the messages I read implied homophobia. And my impression of you was quite negative for suggesting as much.

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Thank you so much for seeing the line that Kurt crossed, which set things in motion. I have a lot of sympathy for Finn, having to take all the blame. Kurt need to tell his father what really happened

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Finally, some Puck n Quinn lines.. yaaayyy :D
This is the best episode from the back 9..
The outfit, the emotional scenes between Finn, Kurt n Burt. also between Puck, Quinn n Beth.. I love them.. I cried 2 times.. I really into it..
I realy hope that Puck will gonna be there when Beth's born, and now i'm kinda optimist for QUICK :D

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Jay Dean -- I wish I could have put it as simple and straight as you did!

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While we might wish that Finn wouldn't have said "faggy," on the whole, Finn has less to apologize for than Kurt and Burt do. Finn was terribly upset and found himself in a terrible situation. He is least culpable. Kurt has had a crush on Finn. Kurt knows that Finn is not gay. Kurt manipulates both parents, trying to get them together for the sole purpose of getting himself closer to Finn. Premeditated. Planned. Intentional. Have you manipulated other people into relationships for your own personal gain? I think you probably haven't. Some might get a big thrill out of saying "Haw! Haw! Look at the dumb redneck and how scared he is of the gay guy!" Consider what it's like from Finn's perspective. He is forced to share a room, and share a bathroom, and sleep in the same room as someone who is sexually attracted to him. What if a boy was sexually attracted to a girl, and somehow got their single parents into a relationship. On what planet would it be considered acceptable for the girl to have to stay in the boy's room? No one would say that that is ok, yet that is the exact situation in which Finn finds himself, all courtesy of the manipulative person who is sexually attracted to him. As bad as Kurt's behavior has been, at least he is still a kid. What's Burt's excuse? Finn has never had a father figure. He's never had a male role model. He's never had a man to do guy things with and to teach him what it means to be a man. Suddenly Burt drops in out of the blue, and this whole new world is open to Finn. Burt even makes quite an effort to explain to Kurt just how much Finn needs a father figure. So what does Burt do? What does Burt do to the boy who has just started bonding with him. What does Burt do to the boy who looks up to him? Does Burt try to mediate the situation? Does Burt try to discover both sides of what is going on? Does Burt tell Finn that this is not how things are done? Does Burt tell Finn that this is not how a man behaves? No. Burt tells Finn that he is poison. Burt tells Finn that there is no place for people like Finn. Burt tells Finn he can't be in the same world as Burt. Essentially, Burt is telling Finn that Finn is an evil, sickening, murderous person who should be ripped out of the world. Finn's substitute father, Finn's male role model, tells Finn that he is unwanted and no good. And Burt is a grown adult. Have you told a child who looks up to you that the child is poison and you want no part of him in your life? I think you probably haven't. Now we're left with Finn. Finn has been moved into a new home without even being consulted. Finn is being forced to share a room with someone who is sexually attracted to him. Finn is very tense and nervous about the situation, just as a girl would be if she were forced to share a bedroom with a boy who is sexually attracted to her, but that she isn't attracted to. And what if this boy, who is sexually attracted to this girl, and she knows he is sexually attracted to her, came up and wanted to touch her face with the excuse of "Oh, I just wanted to help you with your makeup?" It seems perfectly reasonable that Finn, already high strung over the situation, might freak out. It's not a gay thing. It's not a homophobia thing. It's a being forced to endure sexual attention from someone to whom you're not attracted thing. Does Finn beat up Kurt? No. He's angry and nervous and afraid and he lashes out verbally. Would we prefer that he didn't use the word "faggy?" Sure. And we might prefer that no one ever argues again, and that the world be filled with hearts and flowers. Based on everything we know about Finn, does it seem more likely that he hates gays and is an evil wicked homophobe, or that he's a dumb kid who said something regrettable that reflects his anger in the heat of the moment rather than his deeply held beliefs? Have you manipulated people in a manner similar to how Kurt manipulated his and Finn's dad and mom, for your personal, sexual gain? No. Have you told an impressionable child who looks up to you that he is poison and he has no place in your life? No. Have you been in an argument and said something hurtful that you wish you hadn't said? For most people, that answer is probably yes. So I ask you. Who owes whom an apology? And should we really praise the "tolerant" lesson of this episode when what actually happened is that the person who is least offensive is the only one the show considers to have done something wrong?

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Kim -- I thought Kurt's father was making an easy politically correct point (see my earlier post) -- but missed what was going on (or, actually, the writers ignored plot and character development to date to make a socially responsible statement which they have been doing pretty blatantly in this set of shows). What WAS going on was Finn was being moved by parents who are responsible for protecting the children in their care into the bedroom of a guy who has made it clear he's crushing on Finn and plainly stalking him. As the reviewer pointed out, this situation is the same as an underage girl being moved into the bedroom of a guy who keeps asking her out and who can't seem to understand "No!" And who keeps it up, coming on to her once she's in the bedroom, including trying to help her out by using a wet wipe on her face. I don't see that it's any wonder Finn doesn't fear a Holden Caulfield like incident in the middle of the night. And please notice that in my example of a girl being put into a guy's room, that is the predator and vulnerable characterizations that fit Kurt and Finn. Only a couple of people have used the term "creepy" to describe this. And the trouble with your going all I-am-the-moral-police-and-get-to-say-what-is-proper-and-throwing "homophobic" at them is that the only way to prove one isn't is to put on a dress ... as Finn did. People can have close friendships with gay men or women without a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship EVER coming up. I had several friends in high school (maybe 4 I was really close to) and 3 of them and I were pretty much a clique. One of those 3, John, who happened to be senior class president, was gay ... although none of us knew it while in high school. He didn't tell us until after college (at Ohio State) and after art school in San Francisco. In retrospect, we might have guessed. Also, one of that high school clique really made some nasty remarks to John, and they never spoke again. John died of AIDS about a decade ago. I still miss him. Until very near the end he was in San Francisco and I, poor myself but without his expenses (and before all the free long distance plans), called him every couple of weeks to talk for an hour or so for his last couple of years. We could talk about books, art, music (of all kinds), gardening, and debate politics (and we knew each other well enough that we could debate without ever arguing). We could also talk about "the kind of run he had" as he put it -- regarding sex -- and my much much fewer and more modest heterosexual experiences. The fact that he was gay certainly made for specific experiences he shared in conversation and, I am sure, also shaped many of his political points of view; but there was nothing else other than being friends for as many years as we were between us, and not even a hint of anything ever came up. And, I wouldn't have had any problem sharing a room with him or undressing in front of him (and probably did back in high school during some summer drinking weekends). I also swear to you that I never once considered he would ever be interested in me "that way" either. It never came up. And a decade later, I still miss my friend. I also think Kurt (meaning the shows writers/producers) or the actor who plays Kurt and what he feels he must bring to his role, as a gay man, needs to rethink the Kurt-Finn dynamics. Kurt owes Finn an apology and he owes it both to himself and his father to explain to him his Finn-feelings because they are inappropriate to the circumstances of sharing a bedroom. I think the Kurt character might make a real friend then -- one he can discuss anything with and one who will be there as a friend (or step-brother) for the rest of their lives.

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I don't get why Finn has to be "understanding" about the whole situation with Kurt just because Kurt's gay. I mean if Kurt were a girl and manipulated everything the way Kurt did, we would all simply say she was a conniving little monster in the making and leave it at that. Instead, the writers allow Kurt to play the victim and get away with it. His being gay does not give him a pass to act and do stuff without any real consequences. And Finn had to grapple with his own issues about being uprooted with no warning. I agree that the "f" word was a line that shouldn't have been crossed but Kurt's dad and Finn's mom should also have considered Finn's feelings about rooming in with Kurt. Why did Burt expect Finn to act like an adult when, come to think of it, he and Finn's mom didn't act all that adult about the whole family blending thing, springing it as a surprise on a TEENAGER?

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To my mind this episode reflected the viewers response to the reaction about Kurt's sexuality. I think he overreacted the whole thing a little bit in some parts in the last couple of episodes and the whole thing about Finn's mother and Kurt's father was something that confused me a little bit. Specially because it happened too fast. But this episode and the relationship between Kurt anf Finn shows the two sides here - the ones who support Kurt's sexuality and those who don't. It's easy. Some don't like it and some love it. I personally think they came up with a storyline that is new and fresh and it's very usual this days. It's a good spin in the plot that Finn has to face Kurt's condition and the fact that he is behaving in order to please others and not himself. Because down the road, deep inside, Finn kind of envies how Kurt can express himself and show who he really is. On the other hand, I think that Shelby has to come back as a regular next season or at least another five episodes. I love her as Rachel's mom. I don't think Idina is too young for the role and you gotta admit the chemistry and the relationship mother-daughter are perfect. This two storylines that may sound like a cliche in other context are very believable and Ryan Murphy has come up with very intense lines that made me cry a river, literally. For now, I REALLY WANT IDINA TO COME BACK. SHE IS NOT JUST A WONDERFUL ACTRESS AND SINGER BUT SHE CAN SURELY PLAY THE ROLE OF RACHEL'S MOM PERFECTLY. Bring it !

Glee Season 1 Episode 20 Quotes

My mom won't even let me watch Twilight. She says she thinks Kristen Stewart seems like a bitch.

Tina

American teens are coming down with an enormous case of Twilight fever.

Figgins
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