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+.


I'm glad that other people found this episode to be a hot mess for the most part. Loved the parts with Mike, but what is up with them making all the female leads unlikeable? Rachel - back to being self-centered, unable to be friends with anyone, and incapable of thinking of anyone besides herself Mercedes - the diva attitude was annoying (yelling at Mr. Schue for calling her out for not giving a crap about dancing?) and the fact that she's trying to take down the New Directions is really irksome. Also, she got the freaking lead; double casting often happens in high school productions for the leads. Deal with yourself. Quinn - I know she wasn't in this episode, but I'm already hating the "I'm going to sabotage my baby's adoptive mom so I can be the mom...even though I obviously have no qualifications to be a 17 year old mother" storylines. Totally reprehensable. Emma - No, she's not being a b**** like the rest of them, but they're taking her issues a bit too far and heavy handed for me to want anything to do with her storyline Shelby - I know she's not a main character, but her nasty parting shot to Beiste made me kind of hate her. I still love the music, but it's getting hard to watch the scenes in between with everyone being so...ugh...


I totally agree with this review. This show is a hot mess.

Matt richenthal

@stella: I didn't like this episode and I very much stand by that opinion, but not sure where you'd get the idea that I always hate on Glee. Did you read my reviews of the first two episodes of this season? Please do.


Contrary to this review, I really enjoyed this episode of glee. I love how glee is really focusing on character development this season; it's so nice to see the characters we've loved from the start evolve.


Totally agree with Adam on this one: "What on earth reviewer!!? You must be way too tired or had a bad day because this ep. rocked!"
I often find that the review says the episode was bad and actually it was awesome. Guess you can't read the reviews here any more...


Thought the EP was entertaining and heartfelt. Seems like the reviewer, all though a great writer- is a little bit of a hater. But I guess that's what they are paid to do. "Take me (the show) for what I am. For what I was meant to be and if you don't give a damn..." I know mad corny , but this show, to at least this audience memberis over half full then half empty.


this is such bull. mercedes is not maria! you can't just belt out a song and then be like, yeah, play a character in which you don't have the vocal range to hit the high notes (tonight), you're not innocent or naive enough to act it. why is it that it's ok to see that kurt is CLEARLY not tony, but not ok to point out that mercedes is obviously not a maria. cast her as anita; she's got a strong voice and a fun personality. plus, sif mercedes would learn all the dances for west side story- she was so dismissive of booty camp. and this whol beyonce thing? i'm sorry, but nobody at my school was like, excuse me i deserve to have this part even though i have no experience in acting or any experience in anything! both rachel and mercedes could be much more humble. plus, when auditions come down to two people, they sing a song FROM THE MUSICAL. she wants to sing a dreamgirls song? put on dreamgirls. of course she sounds amazing as effie white- but effie is not maria. the unbelievability of this show is ridiculous


What on earth reviewer!!? You must be way too tired or had a bad day because this ep. rocked! It's easily in the top five of the series. Great songs, great lines, great stories and not a PSA. You need to understand and truly consider the nature of a show like Glee before you can start to make out of it reviews! Last review I will read of your's sadly as I believe we're seeing two different shows. Enjoy Negative Ville though!


I really liked this Glee episode. I felt that it was not a convoluted mess like everyone else says because I believe it was well-handled. The drama was there, the comedy was there, and the music was totally there (it didn't felt awkward or misplaced at all). And if people are gonna whine about what's the reason about this, why is she doing this, or what the hell was she thinking, let's just enjoy it people, if we just concentrate on what were watching a little bit more and let it's message be relayed to not only our eyes but our mind and soul, I bet we wouldn't find this episode convoluted, stupid,boring, or perplexing.


Yes! Mercedes IS pregnant! I saw that in a clip from next week's episode. Don't care for it much though. The biggest 'wtf-moment' for me were the last 15 seconds! Now it's really gonna be a diva-off. Two choirs competing eachother with on the one hand Rachel and on the other hand Mercedes---helll yeah!

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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.