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TV Fanatic Mid-Season Report Card: Glee 12/23/2010

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With our favorite prime time shows on hiatus, TV Fanatic is taking a look back at some buzzed-about programs and grading their performance this fall, with a look toward 2011.

Earlier, we examined House. Up now: Glee.

Best episode: "The Substitute." Gwyneth Paltrow simply radiated excitement and energy throughout this hour. The one drawback? It made me wish Holly Holiday was the leader of New Directions instead of Will. But it also showcased Glee at its best: great songs, funny lines and sheer fun.

Sectionals Song

Worst episode: "Britney/Brittany." This wasn't a showcase for storylines or characters. It just served as an excuse to feature a few Britney Spears songs. It came across like a shallow, paid advertisement for the pop star.

Best character: Brittany. She's done the impossible, out Sue Sylvestering Sue Sylvester in terms of the best one-liners from the season. Aside from cracking us up with her belief that "adultery" means acting like "a dolt," though, Brittany also caused us to tear up with her adorable sensitivity, as best evidenced in the Christmas episode.

Worst character: Will Schuester. It's hard to see where they're really going with Will. He creeped us out with his quasi stalking of Emma and he spends every episode lecturing the students. But can you blame them for not always listening to someone whose own life is such a mess?

Best performance: It's too difficult to choose between so many incredibly-sung renditions ("Teenage Dream" and "Le Jazz" would likely top that list), so gonna go with "Valerie" from Sectionals here. Seriously, I could watch Brittany and Asia Mike dance around on stage for hours.

Best cast addition: Sam and Blaine (tie). Sorry, can't choose between these stud muffins. All I can say is that their presence makes me hopeful that all will be okay when various characters graduate in 2012.

Hopes for 2011: Fewer societal messages, more focus on relationship developments. When Glee tackles an issue such as religion or homosexuality within the context of well-written, planned-out storylines, it can have an affect like no show on television.

But when it tries too hard to hammer certain points home (e.g. bullying), it comes across like a PSA that doesn't ever treat characters as human beings, but just as message-delivering props.

Overall grade: B.

Agree or disagree with our assessment? Sound off now in our Glee forum!

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

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    Will schuester has been the worst character from the beginning. So glad someone else said it.

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    Best episode: Rocky Horror. I loved this episode because it treated the self-esteem issue in a different-male point of view, it wasn't forced, the performances were great, dealt with some adult matters, and it was a lot of fun. Plus, i love the episode's opening. Another plus: although i'm not really fun of the hotness in Glee ("Britney/Brittany") it worked here because they actually mentioned the censure problem of the musical they tried to put together. Worst episode: Britney/Brittany. It wasn't a very consistent plot. Though he music was great (I'm hearing "Me Against The Music" at this very moment), the introduction of it in the episode felt so forced. Caused by nitrogen?? No one falls for that!! Plus, i think it's too sexy... Like, gross. Best character: Artie. I like this character because it reminds me why i loved the show in the first place: is a show for loosers, which i think has been forgotten a little bit with the addition of "super athletic Sam" or that sort of lesbian thing with Santana and Brittany... or the Britney episode. Anyways, i noticed Artie didn't just stay in the "if i can't walk, i'm nothing", he was really brave by joining the football team and also have been a really good-sweet boyfriend to Brittany. Worst character: Will. He runs a glee club that applies to accept the differences but in the very first episode teams up with Sue and makes fun of Beiste... he's always screwing things up. Best performance: Time Warp. I just loved that one because it featured the best of every character (i mean musically) and because it sorta put the joy back into Glee. Best cast addition: Coach Shannon Beiste. Like Artie said "tuff and bad ass in one hand, and tender and sweet in the other" ( or something like that). Hopes for 2011: A most substantial plot, to continue with the feeling that the show is for outcasts, the return of Charice, less evil Santana, less Will screwing it up, more Puck and Artie friendship, for the writters to put the plot over the songs (like Rocky Horror) and not the other way around (Britney/Brittany). Overall grade: B+

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    Best episode: Rocky Horror. I loved this episode because it treated the self-esteem issue in a different-male point of view, it wasn't forced, the performances were great, dealt with some adult matters, and it was a lot of fun. Plus, i love the episode's opening. Another plus: although i'm not really fun of the hotness in Glee ("Britney/Brittany") it worked here because they actually mentioned the censure problem of the musical they tried to put together. Worst episode: Britney/Brittany. It wasn't a very consistent plot. Though he music was great (I'm hearing "Me Against The Music" at this very moment), the introduction of it in the episode felt so forced. Caused by nitrogen?? No one falls for that!! Plus, i think it's too sexy... Like, gross. Best character: Artie. I like this character because it reminds me why i loved the show in the first place: is a show for loosers, which i think has been forgotten a little bit with the addition of "super athletic Sam" or that sort of lesbian thing with Santana and Brittany... or the Britney episode. Anyways, i noticed Artie didn't just stay in the "if i can't walk, i'm nothing", he was really brave by joining the football team and also have been a really good-sweet boyfriend to Brittany. Worst character: Will. He runs a glee club that applies to accept the differences but in the very first episode teams up with Sue and makes fun of Beiste... he's always screwing things up. Best performance: Time Warp. I just loved that one because it featured the best of every character (i mean musically) and because it sorta put the joy back into Glee. Best cast addition: Coach Shannon Beiste. Like Artie said "tuff and bad ass in one hand, and tender and sweet in the other" ( or something like that). Hopes for 2011: A most substantial plot, to continue with the feeling that the show is for outcasts, the return of Charice, less evil Santana, less Will screwing it up, more Puck and Artie friendship, for the writters to put the plot over the songs (like Rocky Horror) and not the other way around (Britney/Brittany). Overall grade: B+

    Reese-williams

    i loved the Britney episode. everyone who hates it says that exact reason, but i loved the performances, them really showing Mr Shue's uninspiring song choices and uptightness. Also, its Britney, you dont NEED a good storyline its kick ass either way! Toxic was my fav performance. As well as River Deep Mountain High. But also 'Duets' was my least fav episode.
    Mainly because the way Sam was just pushed on us for a long, over compensating macho im blonde and i want Quinn so imma show her my guns and mack on her after knowing her for 2 days thing. lol.
    yeah Sam is probs Worst Character vote for me. but i agree with the PSA shit. sometimes its like Ryan Murphy just writes this stuff for all the wrong reasons. its confusing :S

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    Best episode: Can't decide between Grilled Cheesus and Never been kissed. I felt really bad for Kurt during Grilled Cheesus, not only because his father had a heart attack, but also because nobody understood him. Kurt reminds me of myself concerning religion. Also the songs were great, especially : "Only the good die young!" I like Never been kissed, because the whole Beiste storyline just made me laugh SO hard. And when Karofsky kissed Kurt (Kurtofsky!!!) i was like : "LOLWUT". I didn't expect that AT ALL, so i was pretty surprised. Also loved the introduction of Blaine, Teenage dream was one of the best songs ever on Glee and i don't even like Katy Perry. Worst episode: Britney/Brittany. I don't like Britney Spears. The only good song in the episode was The only exception. I did like the storyline though. Best character: Dave Karofsky. He went from a really minor role to a BIG role during just one episode. The locker scene was incredibly well played and i can't wait to see what happens with him during the second half of the season. Worst character: Sam. I don;t know why. He's just a lil' boring. Best performance: Singing in the rain/Umbrella. LOVED that performance. It was so different compared to other group numbers. Best cast addition: Can't decide between Beiste and Blaine.... I think i choose Blaine because he also performs on the show. Beiste doesn't sing. Hopes for 2011: Karofsky's redemption, some Puckleberry, Mike and Tina staying together, Artie and Brittany staying together, Will and Emma back together, less themed (Britney and Rocky Horror) episodes. Overall grade: B+

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    @Irvin How can you say Grilled Chessus is the worst episode? You must be completely dead inside to say that is the worst episode. I'd like to hear your reasoning behind why you think it's the worst episode because i'm really curious. I loved that episode. It was so touching and moving. It wasn't the episode episode but it was better than the Rocky Horror episode and the Substitute.

    Tvjunkie

    I don't think Brittany/Britney was the worst episode but I think it was just done for the sake of showcasing Britney. The storyline of that episode was as weird as Brittany's teeth were blue. Although I have to give them credit cause the performances were good. Over-all, Glee has disappointed me this season. I still enjoy watching a few episodes here and there but not the way I use to. The storylines have not satisfied me and I think some episodes could have had better song choices.

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    @julien Oh, and is it really necessary to call someone mental for stating their opinion? Glee fans comes here to chat about Glee (Likes and dislikes), so you should be more respectful.

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    "jenny you've gone mental, how can never been kissed be the best episode? it was by far the worst! at least britney/brittany was fun and featured good music, but never been kissed was way too preachy, and the kiss was pathetic" I'm not exactly sure how it was preachy? Maybe you could go into more detail about that. I enjoyed the kiss scene, and felt it was very well acted. I also liked the other story lines (The Bieste story line) and how a lot of them weaved together. The introduction of the Blaine character was awesome in my opinion. The song selection in that episode was also strong. The Britney Spears episode I found to be complete garbage, and it really just lacked plot. Don't get me wrong I loved a lot of the performances, but the episode overall is almost painful to watch it's so bad. The writers were capable of way more.

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    I have to agree with Britney/Brittany as the worst episode. Jacob pretty much ruined Toxic for me and I really was looking forward to that song.