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Glee

Glee Review: We Are The Champions

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Glee is the champion, my friends. The show kept on fighting until the almost-end. Glee is the... okay. Enough of that. You get the picture, right?

While I didn't love every single minute of tonight's two-hour smorgasbord of song, season 3 is certainly attempting to finish stronger than it started.

Puck as Blaine

Let's talk about what I didn't like from each of tonight's two episodes and go ahead and get that nastiness out of the way, shall we?

First, from "Props," I really wanted Tina's dream to last longer. It had the potential to be silly and fun and to liven the show up a bit. Imagine how funny it would be to see Puck-as-Blaine belting out a show tune. Instead, we got a literal "sing a solo in someone else's shoes" from Tina-as-Rachel and then Tina woke up and suddenly understood what it must be like to be Rachel Berry. Really? That's the best you can do?

I liked Tina challenging Rachel because Tina's right. She's an original member of Glee and she's been relegated to back-up dancer. Perhaps she'll have her time to shine next season, but I couldn't help but feel for the girl just a little bit. She deserves a standing ovation, too.

I was also a bit put-off with her pleading with Carmen Tibideaux on Rachel's behalf, and that's an irritation that carried over into Jesse St. James doing the same thing during "Nationals." We all know Rachel will get into NYADA, but the begging and the muffins and the voicemails and the downright stalker-like behavior was too much. Tibideaux was right. Every second she spends on Rachel's craziness is time she has to take away from another student who didn't choke at the audition. Rachel needed to hear and understand that, and while I think she did, it was still over-the-top annoying instead of over-the-top funny.

"Props" also helped me define what it was about Coach Beiste's domestic violence PSA that was so out of place, and I come at this from the place of someone who is a high school teacher and not only a casual viewer of the show. Mercedes, Santana and Brittany did not in any way, either now or two episodes ago, need to be involved as the impetus that made Beiste leave Cooter. Puck was enough for that.

Which is what happened to be my favorite part of tonight's first hour.

The Puck/Coach Beiste scenes tonight were amazing. Mark Salling and Dot Marie Jones nailed their performances and had me near tears. What worked about Puck's story line is that he didn't even know he was helping her. In reality, while a teacher may share parts of his or her personal life with the students in his or her classroom, he or she would almost never do so in the manner in which the domestic violence story line was carried out on Glee. To do so would border on a violation of professional ethics.

And yes, I realize that this is the same show where the Spanish teacher who speaks no Spanish wants to move his wedding up six months so that high school students can attend, but still.

It's not unlikely that in the course of helping a student like Puck, one who feels defeated and alone, realize his worth and value as a person, the teacher would also realize that the message she's sharing with him applies to herself. That's what happened tonight and that's what redeemed that story line for me. THAT was good story telling. And it gave us the short, sweet, masterfully delivered line:

Beiste: You are loved, punkin. You are not alone. | permalink

Perfect for the two of them, right? Listen up, writers. I need more Dot Marie next season, okay?

Other things I loved: The New Directions finally won Nationals!

Nationals or Bust!

I knew it would happen. I knew it had to happen. The progression of their competitions over the past three seasons has pointed toward this moment. And their set had been flawless, right? While judges Lindsay Lohan and Perez Hilton, as themselves, were debating which show choir would win, I'll admit there was a part of me, maybe the former choir member who now only sings in her car, who thought "Oh no! What if they don't win!? What if Wade "Unique" Adams and Vocal Adrenaline out-shined them up there." (Be sure to check out the Glee quotes page for LiLo's verbal gems.)

I may have held my breath while waiting for the announcement.

But, the New Directions were victorious, and they received a hero's welcome of streamers and confetti instead of slushee facials, even from the hockey players who'd beaten Puck up just a few days before.

The New Directions aren't the only ones who were victorious.

Sue got her Cheerios back and Will got Emma.

She was finally ready to have sex with him and told him so through a pamphlet left strategically on a desk where she knew he'd find it. How very quirky. And yet somehow perfect for the pair.

To make Will's year even better, he was crowned Teacher of the Year in a ceremony that finally gave us the gang singing "We Are the Champions." (Check out more songs on the Glee music page.)

But the best part of tonight was that it was a continuation of the circular trip the show has been taking over the course of the past few weeks. Rachel Berry said it best:

I mean, in a sea full of kids who are just desperately clinging to their own kind, we're different. We took the time to get to know each other and reach out and accept one another. That's our unique factor. And that's what I love about us.

Tonight, once again, the show reminded us that this is a series about misfits, underdogs who find their places with each other in the murky waters of high school. Once again, we were reminded of what it felt like to be in high school, maybe on the fringe of the mainstream, but swimming along with everyone else. We found our places, right? I know I did. And our characters did, too.

In these final episodes of the season, we've seen a return to the stories of the characters we fell in love with in season one. We've also seen how, when done well, new characters can be sewn into the fabric of this show in a way that makes us root for them, too. Something tells me we may be seeing more Unique next season.

Cheers, writers, for giving me characters I still want to see go from underdog to top dog, even after that messy middle of the season.

What did you think of "Props" and "Nationals"? Which musical performance was your favorite?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (34 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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    45 Comments New Comment Subscribe

    Kimberly-anne

    I don't understand why at NATIONALS aka the whole freaking COUNTRY! There was only three groups performing. Last year, we saw many different groups and then they announced the top ten. So why did they completely skip that part?? 

    THE MOMENT THAT STOLE THE NIGHT?!?!? The Brittana Kiss!!!! It's been awhile! I hope we get more in the next episode! It would have been even more epic had it was not followed up by a Fincel kiss. I am so sick if them! They ruin everything!!!! 

    Kimberly-anne

    to change her life for the better, yet those who actually knows about her situation (Santana, Brittany, Mercedes, Sue) and actually helped tried to help her got the cold shoulders. 

    Rachel Berry has never been one of my favorite character but there is no denying she is talented. Her performance was great at Nationals. But to me Edge of Glory was my favorite from New Directions. I wished it lasted longer. And my favorite from Vocal Adrenaline was Starships. 

    Kimberly-anne

    The two hour/ two episode of Glee tonight was good. Not the greatest but there were moments that were very memorable. I thought the whole character change up caused by Tina's fall was hilarious. The idea was awesome and it was very entertaining. BUT I thought it was very cliche and cheesy for this dream-like sequence to be the reason why Tina resolved her issues with Rachel. Part of me think it is laziness from the writers because they are just too tired to actually write out a solid way to end that storyline. Don't get me wrong, this storyline was very funny and I can't believe it is taking this long for Glee to do this, but besides for laughters, this wasn't a logical way to resolve this plot line. 

    I am glad that we revisited the domestic violence storyline, and at the same time we managed to combine it with another storyline that was occurring around the same time (Puck not graduating). What I did not like was how Beiste  singled out Puck to be the one to change her life for the better, yet those who actually knows about her situation (Santana, Brittany, Mercedes, Sue) and actually helped tried to help her got the cold shoulders. 

    Rachel Berry has never been one of my favorite character but there is no denying she is talented. Her performance was great at Nationals. But to me Edge of Glory was my favorite from New Directions. I wished it lasted longer. And my favorite from Vocal Adrenaline was Starships. 

    I don't understand why at NATIONALS aka the whole freaking COUNTRY! There was only three groups performing. Last year, we saw many different groups and then they announced the top ten. So why did they completely skip that part?? 

    THE MOMENT THAT STOLE THE NIGHT?!?!? The Brittana Kiss!!!! It's been awhile! I hope we get more in the next episode! It would have been even more epic had it was not followed up by a Fincel kiss. I am so sick if them! They ruin everything!!!! 

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    Agreed @Abi. Since 'Proud Mary' I've been hoping for another Amber/Kevin kickass duet at regionals/sectionals/nationals (whichever the hell it is) and every freaking time it was Finchel or some weakass other pairing (I don't count 'Blame It On The Alcohol' as that is a crap song and didn't do justice to their vocals). So boring and predictable (and I love Lea's voice).
    Wasted opportunity as their voices go together best on the show IMHO.
    Now Mercedes is going to graduate we probably won't get another opportunity for a duet with them, such a shame. Wish they were both leaving the show, they deserve better than the material and songs given them (and would be great in the music industry, can't wait for Amber's album).

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    Why on earth didn't Mercedes sing in the final song!? Instead it was Finn and Rachel as usual. I don't think Finn is even that good a singer.

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    I enjoyed this double bill it was fun and funny but I do have some questions re Sam and Mercedes. What are the writers doing with them? Perhaps there’s a reason why they’re so on and off but I can’t imagine what that could be. With other couples it's clear that they're together but with them the writing is so inconsistent and confusing. Is it the interracial aspect or something else? I mean if they didn't want Mercedes with the pretty blond (I think she's gorgeous by the way) then why did they even bother pairing them? I still think there's a lot they can explore with them and this is the show to do it so I hope they will. I always thought glee was about celebrating difference and not avoiding controversial issues or doing what other shows do by focusing on obvious “perfect” parings - perhaps not when it comes to race. Rant over! I liked Puck's story

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    Did you guys all forget that Shue is now a History teacher or can you just not let go of the Spanish teacher crap?

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    Technically, Will's teaching of what is essentially an extra curriculum activity should not have won him a teacher of the year award. Congratulations on giving the worst Spanish teacher in America a teacher of the year award!
    Then again... Is glee club extracurricular? The show seems to have it as an elective sometimes and an extracurricular activity in others whenever it benefits the plot.

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    Short, sweet, and to the point...I wholeheartedly agree with your entire review. While the show has been uneven, I'm glad that glimmers of old Glee are shining through and the writers, producers, directors, et al are finishing strong.

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    I think the reason Bieste's story worked so much better with Puck was because so many people don't like being told what to do. Whether it's realistic or not for her to share her story with the girls, her instinct was to feel defensive against their requests. Maybe it was hard for her to accept advice on her relationship from teenagers. It might make her feel stupid or might make her feel she isn't giving a fair chance to Cooter. I do think in situations like that, that people end up making the right decision based more on subtle help then outright advice. It wasn't enough to hear someone tell her what she should do. She saw herself in Puck and knew she wanted for herself what she wanted for him.




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