Glee Review: A Non-Asian F

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If an "Asian F" is the equivalent of an American A minus, what do I give this episode of Glee? An Asian Q? I really didn't care for it.

There were pieces here that made me smile on their own - Brittany leading a flash mob, Coach Beiste dropping one hilarious line after another, the mere fact that Emma has an autographed head shot of Vera Wang - but the show tried to jam way too much into a single hour.

Glee Flash Mob

Was it Mike's episode? The Asian dancing sensation was front and center for a welcome change, practicing on his own, teaching the group complicated moves, auditioning for the school play. He wasn't the kidding: the guy does have a lot on his well-toned plate!

Or was it Emma's episode? We met her racist Ginger Supremacist parents this week, a significant storyline that explained everything about Emma's OCD over the course of one meal. Heck, over the course of one course. Tremendous work here by Jayma Mays, as she made it clear why Emma earlier pretended her parents were ghosts. But I wanted even more, especially because I was distracted by the mention of Carl. Who the heck is that?!?

Was that the dude Emma randomly married and then the show ignored for about 12 consecutive weeks? I would have preferred more than a few scenes devoted to Emma's backstory. (*UPDATE: This was a joke, readers. I'm pointing out how poorly handled that marriage and the use of John Stamos was.)

Or perhaps this episode belonged to Mercedes? She was involved in The Ultimate Maria-Off, after all. Unfortunately, while the conclusion of Mercedes signing on for Shelby's rival choir holds intrigue, getting to that point felt a lot like season two. The bad parts of season two, that is, with a lack of character development and seemingly slapped-together storytelling.

Santana is simply back in the club?!? With no explanation?!? And Mercedes believes Mr. Schuester favors Rachel. Since when? Hasn't he clashed with her more than any other club member? By far? Moreover... why would the judges split the Maria role? Talk about a cop-out. When even Rachel and her ego can admit that Mercedes was better, there's no explanation for Beiste, Emma and Artie's decision except that it was a plot device to move Mercedes along. That's pretty weak.

There was simply too much going on this week, too many heavy-handed moments - from Mike's talk with his mom to Emma and Will's prayer to Kurt confronting Rachel to Mercedes making her prideful decision - that, by the end, I was more exasperated that emotional. A show can only ask its audience to well up so many times per hour before it turns more eye-rolling than tear-inducing.

Other thoughts:

  • This negative critique takes nothing away from the outstanding covers. We've collected them all in our Glee video section.
  • I did enjoy the nicknames bestowed on various characters. Mike is the Fleet-Footed Dance Ninja. Mercedes is Stealth Attack Jones. Rachel is the Garanimal-Wearing Ass Kisser.
  • Kurt believes if he wins school president, he can enact many changes that will "people like him." What could he possibly be talking about? This just played out like another chance to mention that Kurt is gay and there are issues involved with that. We know, Glee. We support the overall message. We wouldn't be watching the show otherwise... but chill with it.
  • Are they hinting that Mercedes is pregnant?!?
  • HA! Jacob Ben Israel held a straw poll. It was probably as meaningful as the actual ones in Iowa and Florida.
  • Due to the MLB playoffs, Glee will go on hiatus until November 1. Watch scenes from that new episode NOW.

What did everyone else think? Were you properly moved by Mike's story, Emma's background and the clash of the divas? Or is your head still spinning from all the storylines shoved into one episode?

And vote now: Who deserved the role of Maria?


Editor Rating: 2.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (299 Votes)

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


So... What was that whole thing with Rachel going to coach bieste at the end? It didnt talk any more about it or explain, and then they both get the role. What was that?


A love all the songs in this episode and that, for me, is enough!


Well, let me saying this "I dont care about the title Asian F, I think this eps was the best eps that ever I've watched in Glee all seasons"


I loved this episode alot. It was the 1st time the show paid attention to the people in the show besides the main 3 which are Rachel, Kurt, and Finn. Lets take Mike I didnt realize he could sing or how much he has to handle and be in Glee. I loved how it showed his struggle to please his parents and do what makes him happy. Loved Mercedes' arc I know alot of people are saying its out of nowhere but I believe it has been brewing for awhile because lets face it Mr Schue favors Rachel above all. If Rachel had stomped out of rehearsal like Mercedes did Mr. Schue wouldnt have kicked her out. He has to be pulled aside to give someone else the spotlight besides Rachel take Special Education he finally let others shine just to go back to the same old Rachel-Finn duet as the slowly walk toward each other for nationals. Some say Mercedes should work harder for what?? She should work hard just to sing behind Rachel and then belt out the last soulful note?? Im glad she got some of the backbone and sass that was lost in S2. Wemma I loved. I love that they didnt just wrap up Emma's OCD because its a serious condition and it takes time to get better. I also liked how they showed the cause of it. Even though I didnt like that Will went behind her back to invite her parents even after seeing how uncomfortable it made her, it was neccessary. He needed to see where she came from so he can know how to be there for her and help her. Loved Klaine as always. I thought it was sweet how Kurt put aside his desires to be there for his man. That shows that they are in mature loving relationship. Please RIB lets keep it that way. Overall it was a great episode not sure if its the best episode ever done but it was a great edition to an awesome season so far.


i dont like rachel at all. she is a dull character, unoriginal ( an abnoxious girl that wants stardom, shocker) i rather glee is focused on other characters. lets take brittany, she is prob one of the worst singers, however i enjoyed her song more than rachel's. the kurt things is getting old, we get it he is gay we knew since the first episode. the only thing from this episode that could lead to an interesting development is how when kurt and blaine are on the stairs, instead of showing love in public( which is something they have done before like holding hands or whatever.moreover it is clearly a thing glee approves and promotes) blaine just pats his shoulder. take it as you like, the way i saw it is that blaine is not confortable showing his emotions in public which might give out a clue of an arising problem. for me this episode was to rushed and poorly made. too much to cover. mike's story was a major filler. since it is the last season they should be going all in, but in an organized manner. i found mercedes attitude lazy and as a former fatty i feel where she is comming from but still she didnt had a valid argument. still she is right about will taking sides, kurt went through the same once if i recall correctly. overall as much as i dislike agreeing with a bad glee review i didnt like this episode.


I LOVE Glee and think Mercedes and Rachel both showed off their talent the episode. I personally think Mercedes' boyfriend is no more or less supportive than Finn usually is. In fact, so far random Mercedes boyfriend hasn't pulled a Finn and made a snotty comment right when his girlfriend obviously needed his support. I'm glad they have FINALLY given Mercedes a boyfriend (two seasons boyfriend free except for the brief Puck thing when he was using her for popularity was sad) and it is nice that is one who so obviously believes in her. Lets be honest. Mercedes has always been a diva (remember when she wanted to dry her hands on fluffy puppies), and Rachel has always been a vain, condescending, slightly selfish mess (remember all the times she had fits about not getting solos or her choice of music). Those two clash because no one really likes themselves and they are too much a like when it comes to thinking their fantastic. They have always been able to work things out (diva off last season when Sue tried to break up the club) and I think the whole split decision was the writers way to make it plausible for Mercedes to get mad enough to turn her back on Glee. I mean let's all be honest. Did anyone really care about that rival Glee club until Mercedes joined it? I know I didn't. I just felt the plot was a little lame and so far this season the characters aren't being very consistent. The whole Will kicking people out of Glee had me throwing my hands up. I could of sworn he once was all about working with everyone. Plus, don't they have to have 12 members to compete?


I'm sick off this diva-off story. I'd like to punch Mercedes in the face. How can she treat Rachel like that? And why does the writer wants us to believe that Mercedes is better than Rachel? And why does the writer making Rachel feel bad? Sure, Mercedes can hit high range note like a banshee, but who cares? Rachel clearly is the best singer in Glee so I hope the writers stop trying to make it look like Mercedes is better. I love Mike's plot. I wish it's not that easy to win over your mother though. Could be dragged into few episodes. Overall, for the covers, this episode is not bad at all. Brittany "running" the world is awesome, and although I loathe Mercedes, I still love her cover of "Spotlight" and the diva-off is great too.


@Noelle -- She did outshine Mercedes. Mercedes has a strong voice, but there's no feeling. In an example that's really obvious and so will toss it out here ... it's kind of like Mercedes is Robert Goulet or Jim Nabors and Rachel is Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra. Or, like they used to say about Liza Minnelli: She can belt out a song right up there with her mother, but she can't emote like her mother or sell a love song like her mother. So, to me, it was obvious Rachel won their sing-off -- which is why I'm confused by what the story wants us to believe. If you believe that Mercedes won (or, what I really mean, is if you believe Murphy and the writers intended for all of us to believe Mercedes won), then it seems to me to follow that all of her over-the-top charges against everyone were supposed to be justified and dead on. That makes me awfully curious what comes next (and maybe it is correct, it seems quite possible, as @Amy says above, that the point was only to get Mercedes into Shelby's glee club for some future plot development).


@Amy I completely disagree. Mercedes can, and has, sung circles around Rachel. If you listen to Take Me or Leave Me, Mercedes demonstrates a range and power that Rachel does not. And many songs alike. Rachel is very one note. Mercedes is not. The song they chose for the callbacks was strange. One, neither Rachel nor Mercedes could have done with that song even if they wanted to. Two, the song had absolutely nothing to do With West Side Story and the style was tremendously different. Three, neither came out on top in the end because, as I said in one, there wasn't much you could do with it. And I don't think you can say Mercedes got the "better" parts. If Rachel is as good as you say she is, she would have been able to outshine Mercedes no matter WHAT part she got.


@Keith Vlasak I mean, sort of...But that's working under the assumption that the role should have been cast solely on the basis of the callback song. The directors were obviously still struggling with the 'traditional' vs. 'risky' casting issue, and they needed to consider acting, dancing, work ethic, etc. Also, being double cast against a very talented person in a high school production with a full week of shows for yourself is not that bad; it's arguably normal, aside from the fact that a full week of shows is way more than one should expect in that situation. All that said, I am not sure what the intention of the writers was. Her little breakdowns throughout the episode were undeniably over-the-top and whiny, but it definitely seemed as though we were supposed to feel sorry for her as she looked at the cast list. Either way, I think it's safe to say that the ultimate and only true intention on the part of the writers was to give Shelby a strong singer in her new group; the fact that everything leading up to that point is emotionally muddled shows a poorly handled plot line (definitely not complexity).

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Glee Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

It's not about doing your best anymore. It's about doing better.


My alarm clock went off 30 minutes late. Sort of reshifted by whole schedule.