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Glee Review: Duet To Me One More Time...

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If the Britney Spears episode of Glee was too light on story, and "Grilled Cheesus" too heavy on message, "Duets" was akin to the porridge on which Goldie Locks dined: Just right.

The varied songs fit in organically with the plot, a new character was integrated into the group and the show went back to correct one of my biggest problems with it. Let's go over all the things this episode did well:

Will and Sam

It made viewers care about Sam. Granted, we had already met this (fake!) blonde-haired jock, but this installment gave the character depth, personality and even a burgeoning relationship. Seriously, is anyone not rooting for Suinn now? With the exception of a smooth dating nickname, Sam and Quinn seem perfect together and we're on board to see where this goes. (No offense, Puck, please don't hurt us.)

It re-introduced us to Quinn. Since her baby was born, the Cheerio has fought with Santana and tried to return to her bitchy ways, but she's mostly just been absent from any main storyline. Until now, that is, as Dianna Agron - lip quivering, eyes watering - shined in explaining to Sam why she couldn't get close to anyone new. Great work on her part. And nice to have Quinn a relevant member of New Directions again.

It made me not miss Sue Sylvester. Okay, I'm lying. I totally missed Sue Sylvester. But Brittany's one-liners almost made up for the lack of Sue's (she thought Artie was a robot and a "duet" was a blanket) and it does make sense for that track-suited menace to not appear on a few episodes. She isn't actually in the group, remember.

It opened the door for actual depth to Brittany. It will be interesting to see if the show really follows through on Brittany dealing with her reputation at school, although this was easily my least favorite aspect of the episode. Should we really feel bad for Artie? The guy's legs don't work, but his eyes and his brain are fine, right? He must have been fully aware of Brittany's philosophy on sex and dating before he hopped/was carried into bed with her.

And, let's face it, Artie isn't innocent here, either. He's clearly not over Tina. The idea of him actually feeling used and hurt by his (shocking!) sexual experience felt both forced and too much like an after school special.

It made me crave breadsticks. I was assuming they'd be of the soft variety, though, weren't you?

It introduced viewers to scissoring: I won't reveal what this action is to ignorant readers, but to those of you in the know: Can you believe the show went there?!?

It course corrected Kurt. I practically cheered out loud when Finn explained to Kurt that he doesn't have a problem with gays, he just has a problem with how Kurt can come on too strong. As I wrote about at the time, Glee glossed over Kurt's role in the "fagot" incident of "Theatricality." Finn was wrong to have used that word and Mr. Hummel was right in going off on him about it - but, as Finn so rightly said last night, if he acted around a girl the way Kurt acts around him, there would be major repercussions.

Chris Colfer is outstanding and the character of Kurt is refreshing to have on TV, but just because he's gay doesn't mean he should be able to get away with any behavior he likes. Kudos to the show for re-visiting this concept. It's great for Kurt to be comfortable with who he is, but he still must be cognizant of how he treats other people who are different from him.

It gave us unique pairings. Sam and Quinn? Artie and Brittany? Santana and Mercedes? Great to see tandems we aren't accustomed to putting on performances... all of which we've captured in our Glee music section!

There's no new episode until October 26, so we'll have plenty of time to analyze this one. What did everyone else think?

** We'll be interesting Chord Overstreet tomorrow. Got any questions for the actor? Leave a Comment with them and we'll ask!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (108 Votes)

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

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Just watched "Duets." I loved it!! I also was glad to see Curt get called to the carpet by his Dad & Finn. I do feel for Curt but he was wrong and just 'cause he's gay doesn't mean he gets away with that stuff. I adore Finn & Rachel, they are so sweet and funny and Lea & Corey have the best chemistry. I like Sam but those lips still freak me out. Dianna Agron is so beautiful and a very good actress, enjoyed hearing her sing with Sam. And Artie, come on dude, you got laid by a pretty cheerleader, what you are complaining about?? I liked that they showed more depth to Brittany, are she & Santana bisexual, that just was yucky. But I have to say my only gripe about this ep: I miss Puck!! I would've loved to see him duet with someone unexpected.

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What does scissoring mean? I seriously don't know it.

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Four words: LISA KUDROW, BRITTANY'S MUM. That would be so unbelievably amazing, the two do look extremely similar (go back to the episode where she and Kurt and making out - straight-haired Brittany is like a mirror image of Lisa from the early seasons of Friends.) Also having Julie Andrews as Kurts grandmother would be awesome, although I doubt it considering she can't sing anymore.

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"The guy's legs don't work, but his eyes and his brain are fine, right?" I'm not so sure-- this is the character who somehow thought he'd be able to play high school football in a wheelchair (and somehow the writers are letting him!). I loved the episode too, but I have two main complaints: A) Glee makes its characters seem uncharacteristically idiotic sometimes. Artie's football dream is the perfect example- while someone in a wheelchair might secretly dream of this, I doubt they'd actually believe they'd have a chance to play. Finn also has at least one mini-joke an episode where he seems unbelievably dumb. B) Kurt is incredibly one dimensional. People say it's nice to have gay characters on television, but not when they only uphold gay stereotypes like Kurt does. The writers could do better.

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@M L. House- You pretty much hit on all of the points I was going to comment on.
And I have to say, even though Artie's "revelation" did seem a bit too convenient, i do love the avenue to brittany it opened up.(who knows, maybe we will get to see her come into her own at some point and maybe even start an actual relationship...) I really liked this episode, and i for one cannot wait until two weeks from now! On a side note, i kind of want to see the piano guy go at it. I have no idea if that actor can sing, but i kind of want to see him bust out into song. Did anyone see his face when Mike "other Asian" Chang spun around on the piano...i laughed.
I don't think they could, but it would be interesting to see if they, the show, could get away with doing an episode from his perspective. anyway, random rant over-
good episode!
Love the show,
i would like it even more if it didn't seem like they were "trying too hard." it is like they are trying to live up to the hype that it is....

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@Alice - The priest/schoolgirl costumes don't make the performancve offensive, or weird. And you don't explain how they do. In fact, that performance was one of the most delicious parts of this episode, underscoring the darkness at the heart of Glee, equating religious epiphany with sexual desire, and transgressing the boundaries that simple people erect in order to avoid having to think seriously. (See, e.g., the notions that someone can't be frank about sex, can't ridicule superstitions, and can't expose supersitions for the cover of morality they provide to pedophilia, not to mention torture, murder, and other evil). Please, Glee: More poop cookies, more grilled cheesuses, more irreverent Billy Joel/Gaga/Madonna routines, more snark... and less earnestness and less sentiment.

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So glad I wasn't the only one to not immediately get why Finn and Rachel's song was offensive *phew*.
I didn't see Rachel as having been dressed as a schoolgirl (I mean that's the character, a schoolgirl, so for me it wasn't as though she had done anything different to her appearance). Initially I just thought Finn was being goofy by dressing as a vicar, because the song was talking about being 'born again'. It was only after a while it clicked. I think he should have dressed as a priest, less subtle and would make more sense (the controversy in the Church was about priests not vicars, they wear different garb).

Bassaddict

Now THAT was the Glee I love !! Kurt's performance was AMAZING, though I ship Quick like, really hard, I thought Quinn and Sam were awfully cute, and the most extraordinary part : Finnchel didn't make my eyes bleed. I even found them pretty funny.

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Loved the episode! And I had no idea that Chord's brother was in Hot Chelle Rae! They're one of my favourite bands I saw them live while they were supporting Boys Like Girls :)
In regards to the scissoring I had no idea what that was until about ten minutes ago... and as an ignorant person it didn't even stick in my mind, it was at the beginning of the episode anyway & by the end no one remembers. I don't know why people are bothered about it, if I hadn't read this review and others then I would still be none the wiser. I thought the songs were awesome and integrated really well with the story though I didn't quite understand why Rachel/ Finn's second song was so offensive?

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Sam and Quinn had AMAZING Chemistry! I was glued to the TV during all of their parts together! New fave tv couple!

Glee Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Sam: I'm Sam. Sam I am. And I don't like Green Eggs and Ham.
Santana: He has no game.

He's the dumbest person on the planet, and that's coming from me.

Brittany
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