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+.

Miranda wicker

Oof. I'm a die-hard Gleek, but this week was just painful to watch. It was a complete and utter train wreck from start to finish. If I bleach my brain as often as Ricky Martin has bleached his teeth is there any hope that I can erase this episode from memory? No? ::sigh::


I'm confused because Will was an okay Spanish teacher in Season 1 and now he can hardly form a coherent sentence? Holy plot device to bring in Ricky Martin! The joke wasn't that he was a crap Spanish teacher but that we never really got to see him teach it except here and there in Season 1! It was a funny episode though. The Sue wanting a baby thing didn't come out of nowhere considering her sister's death and now she has nobody. She was miserable during the Christmas episode. I'm sure she will be adopting a kid or something since she has no uterus. Emma kicked ass, though. And Santana was cruel to be kind which is just the way I like her.


I love reading the review and all of the Gleek comments prior to actually watching the episode. I often see many comments telling Matt to take Glee simply as a comedy and it ought to be reviewed differently. I don't exactly get what that argument means because even the best comedies, such as Modern Family or The Office, don't lack in the continuity or logic department. Honestly, I watch Glee only for the tunes now while frequently rolling my eyes during any non-singing moment. This show is almost a joke now. It really just is not what it used to be anymore.


Now I remember why I don't watch this show anymore. This, or Gossip Girl. Two shows that have completely gone off the rails.


This show is getting sillier by the episode. It's one thing for a show to be about fun and uplifting people, but it's a completely different thing to have to suspend disbelief completely in order to watch the show. Will being allowed to teach Spanish so long without knowing the difference between "muy" and "mas"...these sorts of things wouldn't happen in a real school, no matter how bad the state of education is in any public school district across the country. I just wish Glee would treat its audience a little more intelligently. Kudos to Matt for being an honest reviewer each week, because it would be an absolute shame if Ryan Murphy & co. kept getting away with these horrible storylines.


OK, let's face it--if Ricky Martin wasn't guest-starring, the ep would have flopped completely, but ooooooooooooo child....I needed a cigarette and a cold shower after Ricky's scenes. :-) I suppose the ep had its moments ("A baby?!!! With whose vagina?!?!?"; pamphlet entitled "Please don't hog my fiancee's nog"; the twist in Emma getting the tenured position), but they were few and far between. As for Nene, she can go now. Her diatribe last night was RI-DONK-ULOUSLY over-the-top--must we be subjected to "the real PE teacher of Lima"?


the only things that I enjoyed about this episode was, La Isla bonita and as will the choreography that Nene's had put together it was kinda funny and she slowly overthrows Sue from my ONCE BEST CHARACTERS IN GLEE ... And what is Rory still doing there I mean if I was Damian I would be long gone from Glee 'coz It gives him Nothing but crap... I mean what's with the non-sence... Mercedes/Sam/Shane love triangle? Shuester that been teaching Spanish for who knows how long and doesn't even know how to speak the language ? Sue wanting a baby while she is OLD if she wants a baby she can adopt one... Still, I kinda liked Kurts pepe talk even f like you said the staff didn't give us a glimse from there current relationship ? I'll try to watch the ext episode hoping that it will remind me of why I liked the serie in the first place


Sorry Gleeks fans but it looks like your retarder show is going down the drain this season....


Bit disappointed Sue has finally acknowledged she is older than her 20s (harvesting her eggs in the 70s), quite liked her deluding herself she was younger.
Am amazed that considering I have no idea who she is outside of the show the swim coach is fast become the best written character (dialogue-wise).
Am also amazed that considering it used to be that if the plot was bad you always had a decent song per episode to distract you, now the songs are the worst part (actually IN the show, listening WITHOUT seeing the cheesiness or highly choreographed nonsense posing as spontaneous, unrehearsed jollity can still be enjoyable every now and then). I hate this busting into song for no reason and being so polished, it's so 'High School Musical' (and I DON'T mean that as a compliment).


I quit watching this mess a long time ago but looked at your review to see if anything had changed. Obviously not. What is the chance this waste of time will be taken off?

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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.