Glee Review: Don't Leave, Gwyneth Paltrow!

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There was just one small problem with Glee this week: I sort of want Holly Holliday to take over as the leader of New Directions.

Oh, sure, "The Substitute" offered up many reasons why that wasn't a great idea in the long run - not caring if your student gets arrested for a felony, for starters - but, wow, Gwyneth Paltrow gave the show a jolt of hilarious, talented energy on this episode, didn't she?

Gwyneth on Glee

For all the reasons we adore Glee, it has a tendency to bask in an air of smugness, preaching to viewers about various topics and coming across, as I put it last week, as more of a PSA than a TV show at times. But not this week.

This week actually incorporated storylines with character development with incredible performances with a guest star that slid in seamlessly to the show. In the end, there was one word for the hour, and it's a word that can be missing when the series veers too much in the direction of sending a societal message over simply being entertaining: FUN. Let's go over the reasons why...

Holly was unpredictable. Seriously, I love all the characters on Glee. But we know what we're gonna get every week: Rachel will act as a diva, Brittany will utter a dim-witted one-liner, Will will give some kind of motivational speech, etc.

But Holly surprised me with every scene. The first time we saw her, she was inspiring a class to learn Spanish by asking about Lindsay Lohan and then singing along to Conjunction junction, What's Your Function. Absolutely hilarious.

Small moments, big laughter. There were numerous funny gags during the hour. My favorites: The group trying to fool its substitute by swapping names and buttering the floor. Rachel wearing a mask when talking to an ailing Will. Kurt and Blaine only talking about "gay" stuff. Every action of Becky as Sue's assistant.

There was actual, realistic character development. This is a rarity on Glee. But Will and Terri went through the normal routine of a couple that has been together for very long and has trouble breaking up - fighting, make up sexing and one side finally realizing it's over - and Kurt and Mercedes also went through a typical issue that faces close friends: what happens when one of them finds someone else?

The one drawback of the episode? Just when I thought Terri couldn't get any more annoying, she breaks out the baby talk and... wow. Just... wow.

Overall, one of the funniest installments in Glee history and a welcome change from what has become a somewhat tiresome formula of the show forcing a theme down our throats. The only themes I sensed here were humor and entertainment, which are the main things I want from the show.

There was one message to kids, of course: Practice your bipolar rants. History can be fun!


Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (132 Votes)

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


Please, anyone, tell me that Gwyneth is staying!


I liked the episode. Best episode so far of the season. I really do miss season 1 type writing. I thought they said this summer Season 2 will be more development of our first glee characters. I haven't gotten that. Seriously stop with tribute episodes. I am glad they got back to "today type music." Why can't we start seeing more fight and power to win again. I could write this entire season in a notebook about how they need to do new bigger things like Vocal Adrenaline to beat them, and how to win the entire thing. I get it first season you can not win. But what about this season. We have had no story telling to gear them up for it. I get it the world right now is big on gays and bullying. You did an episode of that MOVE ON! Also, I am getting sick of this whole Kurt being gay story line. Every single week it is the same thing he talks about in just different words. Go back to Puck and Rachel and Finn and Quinn and Santana and the cheerios. COME ON WRITERS! You are going to lose your fan base FAST!!! Also, Forget you was the best performance yet this season. I am so sick of the bad lip-synching and voice being altered. Make them sound like they are really singing and have not been touched up. Please refer to Mercedes singing in church and how her mouth and words did not match up AT ALL!


I didn't think last nights episode was all that great. Yeah, there were a few funny moments, but most of the episode felt forced and random to me. Gwyneth Paltrow did a good job, but I felt like she was a little forced as well. All in all, just kind of a blah episode for me.

Whipped by damon

Glee is silly, it always has been but the reviewer is right..we've been low on simple silly fun this season so I loved this weeks dish and think next week will be awesome! And there is a longtime storytelling arc, sectionals & regionals..they are always looming in the background!


I want Gwyneth to stay, too! She and Mr. Schue are great together, ND needs someone like that to make it Nationals.
Rachel's attempt to take over the club was hilarious. Mini glee clubbers were ADORABLE. Sue realized being a dictator doesn't work, Mercedes had somewhat of a story, the club was having FUN again and they finally poked fun at the fact that Mr. Schue and Rachel have been total drags lately. Great dance numbers and a Singing in the Rain/Umbrella mashup. Yup, 5 stars from me. Oh, and...TOTS! I won't Forget You, Holly!


@Matt Season 1's, pregnancy theme and the groups' preparation for regional were a season-long story. Therefore they did long term story telling. Anyway that's my opinion, and you have your own. To each is own, right? I'm saying this to help the show improve through a viewer's perspective. Honestly, I'm trying hard to be engaged with the stories in season 2, but I just couldn't get engaged with it. Also I was not promoting the bullying of the gay-closet bully, I was referring how his character slowly revealed to be interesting. If I say I find the character interesting, that is the truth for me. You cannot tell me what I shouldn't or should like, right? Anyway, I'm still hoping the show's magic in story telling in season 1 will be revived. But honestly, I may just come back to watch it if I find it already engaging. Thanks for taking time to answer me though.

Matt richenthal

@Glee Girl in Manhattan: We have to accept that Glee doesn't really do any kind of long-term storytelling. I must also respectfully disagree that the closeted gay bully is interesting. I find him to be a totally cliched cop-out. Instead of dealing with the issue of bullying in a realistic manner - seriously, most are far more nuanced than the simple solution of someone repressing one's homosexuality - Ryan Murphy chose the easy way out and chose to tie this storyline into Kurt's sexuality.


No story! No story! No story! Gwyneth's talent is a waste in this episode. Why is Glee's story is super lame this season? Please bring back the fluid story phasing last of Season 1 and stop those tribute episodes, it kill the story continuity. Also Emma, what happened to her? I used to like her, but she's boring this season. I stopped watching it during the Chicago version of Lea and Gwyneth. The only interesting character this season is the closet-gay bully who kissed Kurt, too bad he had very little exposure. Sam character development is shallow, and too early for Blaine to keep appearing. And what happened to that Sunshine character who's supposed to rival Rachel? Wake me up when the show does.


Although I found Kurts mystical mouth of purse regurgitation histerical, the way blaine was written made me wish I was straight. The show is giving me hope that they`re going to try for continuity with figgins firing... but they`ve already dashed hope from me in this episode, with will being unfired



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Glee Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

Will: I thought we were friends.
Sue: That got boring.

My years-long quest for power has finally bore fruit.


Glee Season 2 Episode 7 Music

  Song Artist
Song Singing in the Rain/Umbrella Glee Cast
Forget you 2 Forget You Glee Cast iTunes
Make em laugh Make 'Em Laugh Glee Cast iTunes