Glee Review: La Cuenta, Por Favor!!

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Hey, Emma, do you have a pamphlet titled So, Your Show is a Complete and Utter Mess?

Go ahead and call me a hater, Gleeks, but come on. Can we just take a long, honest look at  "The Spanish Teacher" please?

Ricky Marton on Glee

Let's start with this: WILL HAS BEEN A SPANISH TEACHER WHO DOES NOT KNOW SPANISH. At all. One bit. As in, he doesn't know the Spanish word for "ears."

Why should we take anything seriously on a show that doesn't take itself seriously? It's been a running joke among critics for years now that Will is the world's worst Spanish teacher, but that was it. It was just a joke.

By acknowledging it here, the show is pretty much slapping its loyal fans in the face. It's admitting that it cares not at all about continuity or logic or living in any kind of real world. Which would maybe be fine... if it didn't then turn around and want to pass along societal messages about bullying or dreaming or, in the random case of Santana this week, respecting other cultures.

I mean, did she really go on a rant about Will stereotyping her Latino heritage? Did Glee - a series that features a gay student who talks about getting his period; a dumb football quarterback; a butch gym teacher; blonde cheerleaders; and jocks who throw nerds into lockers - really try to preach about stereotyping? No, right? I must have misheard Santana's speech.

From storylines that came out of nowhere (I can't even get started on Sue having a baby), we arrive at a romantic entanglement that, for Glee, I suppose has actually been a few weeks in the making. There are just a couple of problems with the Mercedes/Sam/Shane love triangle, most notably: ONE OF THE POINTS ISN'T EVEN ON THE SHOW.

Can anyone out there say they're invested in who Mercedes chooses? Or make any argument in favor of... either guy? As I've noted often in my reviews, we've seen her and Sam holding hands once and we've scarcely seen a second of her and Shane. Why is this even a difficult decision? Why would we think Mercedes has any attachment to Shane at all? Why would we not laugh out loud at Emma's suggestions that Mercedes and Sam not speak for a week... when they just spent MONTHS not speaking or being in each other's lives?

Far too often, Glee just expects its audience to feel something because a character gives a longing look or sings a sad song. There's no actual attempt to earn any emotion. It's just forced upon us.

The same can be said for Kurt chastising Finn for keeping his proposal a secret. We're supposed to be brothers, he tells his fellow New Direction, something he might as well have been saying to the writers. Yes, they are supposed to be brothers. Perhaps we could have seen them share a scene or two over the past dozen episodes in order to remind us of that and have us invested in their relationship.

Even when Glee does something right, it does something wrong. Emma's pamphlets have always served as a very funny background joke, they've always been reliable for a quick laugh. But even here the show couldn't resist upping the schmaltz to interminable levels, actually using a pamphlet to help Beiste teach her kids about cleaning their private parts, which in turn made Will realize just how lucky he is to have his fiancee.

Glee can't even do simple humor well anymore.

Can I find anything positive to say abut "The Spanish Teacher?" Ricky Martin does have a great smile. And the music, as always, was enjoyable. Nene Leakes is actually fitting in well to her role, too. You might even say she's the best thing about Glee these days.

But what does it say about Glee when that's the case?

What did everyone else think? Are you invested in Mercedes' love triangle? Do you mind that Will doesn't know Spanish? Should Sue have a baby? Am I way off base for complaining so often that there's no direction to any episode? Or do you agree that the writers truly seem to be making everything around the songs up about five minutes prior to shooting?


Editor Rating: 1.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.6 / 5.0 (312 Votes)

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


But I really think you might want to resign from reviewing Glee. I see so many positive reviews from happy, up-beat reviewers who ignore all the show's flaws. Perhaps the Glee fans just want an optimistic, song happy reviewer.


The weird thing is, I think your criticisms of this episode are absolutely accurate. That said, I still found this episode more enjoyable than almost any other this season. Go figure.


And I haven't even watched the episode yet and I agree with everything you said about Sam and Mercedes. How can I root for them if I don't know them? Same applies to the other big guy. Glee's big cast makes the show unique, but is also an extreme weakness.




I've said this before. Glee has over 20 main characters unlike a normal cast with perhaps 6. Glee doesn't have time to develop its characters. On top of the fact they inject music perhaps (this is a guesstimate) 20 minutes of the show? I will give it 20-25 minutes of pure dialogue per episode. There just is simply NO time for any kind of individual character development, couples development (besides Finchel maybe), or group development. Some characters don't utter a word per episode, sometimes a sentence if it's a lucky day. You're reviewing Glee like a normal show. While I agree with many of your points, this show is one where I turn off my brain and just enjoy the singing. I haven't even watched this episode yet :P.


I was once a complete glee crazy. My roommate hated me and the constant glee music in the background. I've watched the first episode... a million and one times.
I have to say though, I completely agree with Matt. Glee started loosing me in the second season, and now I haven't even watched the last few episodes. If it was always just supposed to be a show about singing, then fine. But after a great first season with pretty good character development, Glee set a precedent that it seemingly can't live up to anymore.
On another note, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone qualified to write a good review about any recent Glee episode. I'm constantly reading horrible things in the press - it seems the majority agree with us.


@Steve i wasn't being complimentary towards you. The idea that a reviewer must love every episode, even when it's crap, is ridiculous


You are right. I hate it. 1. Glee is set in freaking OHIO. Where are they going to get a legit Spanish teacher in freaking OHIO. The one time they do find a good Spanish teacher they give him the job. Makes perfect sense. 2. Yes. I absolutely love Sam/Mercedes an want that Shane guy to jump into the pool with weights tied to his feet. 3. Who gives a crap about Sue. And 4. I'll agree this episode was random and totally a filler but I still loved it. About time they had some Spanish music on Glee. It's not only gringos who like this show.


I seriously hate whoever does these reviews. Can we please have a fan of the show review. As "Kay" remarks, yes, I am going to hate this review because the reviewer just doesn't get it. I'm honestly done reading reviews on this site because they're from someone who doesn't like the show. Goodbye, TV Fanatic.


HAHAHAHAH glee crazies are going to HATE this review

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Glee Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

I was spending to much time flossing, I was missing my life.

Dave Martinez

To be a teacher is to offer students a gateway to the future, and I blew it.