Glee Review: Oops, They Did a Tribute Episode Again

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Don't hate me, Gleeks. But this was a terrible episode.

There was no plot, no flow, no attempt at storytelling whatsoever. Heck, "Brittany/Britney" wasn't even an episode of television. It was mostly just a mash-up of music videos, as various Glee characters did their best Britney Spears imitations.

Brittany S. Pierce

For about 30 seconds, it was very cool and impressive to see how well Heather Morris could pull off Britney. But about halfway into "I'm a Slave 4 U," I realized: I don't wanna see these actors impersonate a famous pop star; I wanna see them act as the characters I've grown to love, singing something that relates to whatever they are thinking or feeling, based on current storylines, relationships, etc.

The best Glee numbers connect the material to the characters in a very personal way. But most of these covers existed solely because there actually was a Facebook campaign for a Britney Spears episode. For perhaps the first time in television history, it's as if the fans wrote an episode - and the result was a mess of musical numbers that never came together at any point.

In its previous tribute episode, "The Power of Madonna," Glee didn't lose track of its storytelling. There were actually a few major developments, most prominently Finn sleeping with Santana and Rachel deciding not to do the same with Jesse. Each song helped to move the plot forward.

But, ironically, Rachel's rendition of "The Only Exception" was the only example of a similar single this week... and it was the only non-Britney cover of the hour! Moreover, every cameo of Britney herself felt out of place and forced.

Still, thanks to one number and a few memorable one-liners, there were some highlights:

  • The group's performance of "Toxic" was one of the show's best to date. Ideally, this would have been the only Britney number. The episode could have kept the premise of Will refusing to take on Spears, only to eventually cave and show off for Emma in the same manner.
  • Sue taught Becky how to make a citizen's arrest? Amazing.
  • Every line out of Brittany's mouth was funnier than the previous one. ("This room looks like that room on that spaceship when I got probed.")

What did you think of the episode? Were you happy to just sit back and let the show pay tribute to Britney Spears for an hour, or would you prefer a more organic feel to songs that fit into the grander story?


Editor Rating: 1.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (310 Votes)

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


they should do a paramore episode XD or at least more songs...they have meaning and would fit well with the show :D:D:D


Well it was better than that hypocritical, boring GaGa episode. I love Gaga and I HATED that tribute or whatever it was they did. I was dissapointed they were dream sequences but it was still a fun sorta-filler ep.


@Gianluca Quinn gave her baby up for adoption and Vocal Adrenaline coach (and Rachel's birth mom) Shelby Cochran adopted her during the the first season finale.


This reviewer is dead on - the episode was the worst one to date! It was like the writers got lazy and just wanted to plunk in a couple video remakes. I love Heather as Britney and think she is hilarious and very talented...but the rest of the episode sucked! Rachel is just getting grating to watch.


I miss the first half of the first season. Funny,witty, great songs, great character development and important issues. They're pretty much all the way, what happened to Quinn;s baby?


I was so looking forward to this episode because I grew up loving Britney Spears and I love Glee, but I thought everything was just a mess. Nothing about the plot made sense, and I agree the musical numbers felt forced. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing them recreate the Britney videos, and for the most part I thought it was a fun episode, but I would have liked it to flow better. It had the potential to be AMAZING, but as it was, I feel like it is one of the weakest episodes of Glee to date. I don't think every episode should be some heavy, hardcore moral lesson, but at least most of the time those plots and songs go together.


I loved the fact that Heather Morris had her "solo" finally! When you hear the candid interviews with her, she is so smart and funny. She was a dancer brought on to teach Glee how to do the Beyonce Single Ladies dance! Now look at her. In one interview she was like, I can sing! And she can. She was the best Brittany ever! Plus noone else would have been able to pull off those moves!
Lea's song from Paramore was extraordinary though. Love that song! Plus it fit with her character and Corey's.


I truly wish I hadn't, but I hated it. Worst episode ever.:(
I worked last night so had to record it and I am glad because it allowed me to fastforward through all of the anesthesia fantasy numbers! Ugh. Artie's "Stronger" was okay. And "Toxic" was good. Other than that, what a disappointment. :(


This episode was the worst glee episode ever. I mean, I have been a huge gleek forever, but they really let me down on this one. The whole show felt forced. The numbers were awful versions of brittney music videos. I mean, okay, if you are going to do a tribute episode that's great...but really at least have it move the storyline forward a bit. Rachel singing "Only exception" was the best of part of the episode because it had heart, meaning, and story behind it. Now look, before the Brittany fans out there come with their torches and pitchforks...I'm not saying the dancing wasn't awesome and I really enjoyed watching John Stamos. Of all the numbers Toxic was the best one, but I could have done without the fan commentary in the stands. But I was so put off by the attempt to recreate music videos I just couldn't bring myself to like it. Here's to hoping they go back to their original format for the rest of the season.


loved this episode! i guess its the dancer in me! im not a huge britney fan but i loved how they were able to recreate the music videos..and brittanys dancing was awesome! and the whole finn+rachel thing was so sweet.

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Glee Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Will: Who can tell me who Christopher Cross is?
Brittany: He discovered America.

I love that look of instant panic each time I try to change your routine.