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+.


OMG I loved seeing Harry singing and dancing. We can finally appreciate his talents as a performer.


I couldn't disagree with you more :/
I liked the episode (not loved it) but i don't think that is has to be a "Mike episode" or a "Emma episode"... I like the mix of different storylines, some glee episodes are too slow for me (like last week) but this one was more entertaining and I like packed shows and I don't think that you need like half hour to explain a backstory or sth, sometimes less is more and leaves sth for more episodes....
Also I really liked all the songs, specially the dream girls part :P


Episode was good, from somebody who was starting to hate Glee. Seeing some signs that they are going to restart the Kurt drama, but I hope not. In the beginning I thought this show was going to be about equal opportunity, but Rachel took it over the way Elmo took over Sesame street. Would it have been that impossible for her not to be the lead for once? Mercedes kinda bitched out with her attitude, but Rachel's attitude is all around awful for two entire seasons and she's actually getting worse. School pres. too? Glee turned into Rachel plus back-up. Emma's story was good. Not tear inducing but I don't think the goal was to make anyone cry. Yay, they remembered Mike, only for a show that's supposed to be all righteous and preachy, I don't like how they keep pushing the Asian stereotype. It's starting to get offensive and I'm not even Asian.


The reason Glee is taking a break until November is because of baseball. I don't understand why sports need to invade network television when there are a dozen cable channels dedicated to it, but apparently Fox believes that it is more important to show this crap than it is to air a scripted television show with millions of fans. Anyway, Rant over. I really enjoyed the episode. Mercedes was being a total bitch, and I think it is mostly this new boyfriend's fault. I get he was supposed to be encouraging her to go for her dreams, but the way he did it was just wrong. He should not have told her to stop being friends with Rachel because they were competing for the same role and for solos with the chorus. There are better ways for him to encourage Mercedes--he could have suggested practicing her dance moves or working on increasing her range. Yes, Mercedes is a good singer, but she is lazy. She doesn't want to learn the dances for New Directions, so she'll probably feel the same way about West Side Story. Also, the reason they chose the song from Dream Girls was to show that Mercedes felt that she was being picked on the way Effie was. The difference of course was that while Effie was legitimately being picked on, Mercedes was not. She was put in the Booty Camp because she needs to practice her dancing and Mr. Shue knew that she wouldn't do that on her own. Her problem was that she believed that Rachel should have been there as well. Maybe she should have, but if there is one thing that Will doesn't have to worry about is Rachel practicing when she needs to. I don't think that Mercedes understands that in order to succeed she needs to work on her craft. She seems to think that she should have all of the best solos handed to her. I hope that this will have her growing up a bit. She has lost everything that has ever really mattered to her; switching to Shelby's choir isn't going to get her anywhere, and she'll be crawling back to the New Directions soon. The reason Kurt was so hurt by the fact that Rachel decided to run for senior class president was because he considered her his friend--probably his best friend. Also, he was probably worried that with her running, it would split the outcast vote. Brittany is insanely popular, and I think Kurt knows that he is going to need every last vote he can get to defeat her. By splitting the outcast vote, Rachel has pretty much handed the election over the Brittany (who I would rather be president over either Rachel or Kurt).


didn't Santana say that she got in because she is sneaking in behind Sue's back? hmm idk


Last night was too packed to give any emotional impact. I was SHOCKED to see a latino waitress serving the ginger parents. It made me realize that Glee is deeply lacking some latino presence. I love me some Naya Rivera but come on! With Broadway talent like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tony award winning Karen Olivo there is no excuse to ignore the latino community in the US.


Nothing will ever be good enough for critics (1st.we need less Rachel then we need her she is the star(2nd at my school when doing a musical production auditions were open to all students not just performing arts kids i think thats why Santana was there(3rd I felt it was perfect amount of time spent on all these characters which will probably continue in following episodes + these are the characters that people were asking to see more of.


Oh and Mercedes suddenly needing help with dancing is a new thing, she never had trouble before. Anyone who could keep up with the frenetic dance moves on 'U Can't Touch This' (possibly the one Glee routine that continues to reduce me tears of laughter EVERY time I see it) shows they can dance. I blame the boyfriend, he's a major douche and he needs to go. She was fine till he came along, we need Sam back!


I also believe that rachel was better no matter wat she said, personally I just perfer rachels style and time to mercedes' and I think that double casting the role of maria was brilliant......i really do hate critics, whenever I read their reviews I want to hit them upside the head with a frying pan, but if I had to pick one flaw with the episode it had to be the whole why is santana back ib the group? I was like did I miss something?


I lived this episode it was coalitions to have an episode about mike, he is one of my favorite characters....and the part with him and gods mon was awesome...i loved that I was getting choked up, and wat was going on with homage me want to we talk about him learning to sing? Cam we say amazing?otr was about time for q mike episode and thats wat this was, everything else was just minor... plot lives lines

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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.