Glee Review: When Good Shows Go Bad

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Oh, Glee. You've gone and done it. You've thrown yourself head-first into the territory of Tuesday Night Special and you don't even care. I was willing to cut you some slack with the bullying and Don't Text and Drive PSAs. I was. I was willing to just look the other way and acknowledge that as your attempt to be relevant to modern teens.

But this? This week's PSA? It was straight from another planet. And I'm not talking about Brittany's suggestion that alien abductions should be the prom theme.

Play It, Puck!

"Choke" started off right. The girls are hanging around a locker talking in the hall about prom and the future and the things high school students talk about. Then Coach Beiste walks by and suddenly we've launched into a public service announcement about... domestic violence?

Excuse me, what?

Domestic violence, while a real issue, and one of which I am not making light, had - has - no place in this show and especially not with the sloppiest set-up known to man. We haven't seen Coach Beiste in weeks and suddenly she's here and being used to teach the girls a lesson that none of them seemed not to understand in the first place. And humanize Sue.

The ONLY good thing to come out of this story line - aside from getting Dot Marie Jones back on my screen - was "Shake It Out." That was awesome.

But I still want to know who in the writer's room decided we needed a weekly message? What happened to cohesive story lines and build-up that made sense? What happened to good story telling?

Now that my frustration over that is (sort of) out of the way, let's move on to the relevant scenes from the episode.

Puck needs to graduate. In true Noah Puckerman fashion, he plans to put the moves on the teacher in order to coax a passing grade out of her. And when that doesn't work, he'll just quit school and head to the West Coast a few weeks early. Until his dad shows up out of nowhere asking to borrow rent money and Puck sees himself in the future doing the same with Beth and decides that cannot happen to him.

Did we even know Puck's dad was a deadbeat?

The scenes with the guys rallying to help Puck and Finn's "No Man Left Behind" attitude were fun and a nice distraction from the PSA of the week. This is a show about a ragtag group of students who found themselves brought together through their mutual appreciation for glee club and the sometimes awkward friendships that formed as a result. Seeing them come together to try to help Puck pass, even if he still made an F, felt a little like the good ol' days of Glee.

And speaking of the good ol' days, Kurt and Rachel's NYADA auditions helped to bring this show full circle back to the beginning of Season 1. Kurt and Rachel (and Mercedes and Finn) were, and are, the heart of this show. Kurt and Rachel, from the beginning, have been the two with the big dreams. (That's part of the reason that "Saturday Night Glee-ver" made a little sense to me.)

This show has always been about Kurt and Rachel making it to New York after graduation. Now that Rachel has flubbed her audition and may not see her Broadway dreams come true, we're where we were in Season 1 - except this time Kurt's the winner that Rachel always was. He's the one coming out on top. As much as I love Rachel, as the song goes "you can't always get what you want."

I don't know what Ryan Murphy and Co. plan to DO with this "twist," but I do like that someone else is getting a chance to shine. And not just because he's wearing gold lame' pants.

What did you think of "Choke"? Do you think Rachel will miraculously make it into NYADA?


Editor Rating: 2.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (252 Votes)

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


I started out just like everyone here, a big supporter of glee. I no longer watch (not sad to say) and I can say the clincher would have to of been "Choke". The Beiste story line in particular. They took the previous story "you don't have to be the 'pretty' girl to necessarily get the 'pretty' guy" and flushed it down the toilet. And it pissed me off. The message for girls that aren't that "model" can still be loved turned into "your man's gonna hit you." Low blow. Manipulative. Poor story.


What? Rachel has always gotten what she wants? Yeah I am sure she wanted to be bullied. And this show has not always been about Kurt and Rachel getting to B-way. They pretty much just added Kurt at the end of season 2.


I think I may stop watching Glee after this episode. So absurd! What happened to the Wemma wedding and Quinn & Joe?!!!!


And Lea's been filming scenes for the show in NY this week, are we supposed to be surprised when somehow she'll get into NYADA after all?!!


I predict that Whoppi will see Rachel sing the Celine Dion song at Nationals, and she'll get into NYADA based off that, or at the very least, she'll tell Rachel to reapply next year and that she'll sort of guarantee her a spot then...that way, Kurt could defer too, and they'd still be on the show next year. At the end of next season, they could all go off together.


It was a wonderful contrast to the horrific demonstration of a "man" being violent. -Rileyford


I honestly don't see the need to criticize the episode. Yes I understand that they have been drowning in PSA's lately, but if you were looking for a serious performance why would you look to glee? Glee is famous for the way they spin words, songs and messages in a way that TEENAGERS can understand them. So yes, it was a very deep topic, but ME as a teenager understood the message a lot better than an adult would. My take on this show was never a huge story line with dynamic back plots and character development. Glee was never that. Glee is all about dishing out the juicy stuff and I believe they did a good job at introducing the subject. No they do not need to cover it in detail, if you want detailed lives of highschooler's then go watch Degrassi my goodness. This episode, the boys learned how to be men. To help each other out and ask for help when you need it. To realize that even the laziest of boys can still have a future if they really try. It was a wonderful contrast to the horrific demonstration of a "man" being violent. -Rileyford


It's just great to see Chris Colfer get two solo's in two weeks, I adore Blaine but he does get pushed to the front I had forgotten just how good Kurt is! In season one I would have been laughing at Rachel messing up her audition, but I have come to love her and I just felt gutted for her the last song she sang was just heartbreaking. I have watched Glee since the beginging I started to worry last season if it was going off the boil, but I think season three is much better.


and, what kind of message they think they are sending? if you are not beautiful, you don't deserve a happy relationship?


I LOVE PUCK, but that was not as good as it could be.
I can't comment the Kurt&stuff thing, because I'm sticking with, if you don't like it-don't watch
How dare they even mention DV like that? It was soooooo badly writen, to obviously just made to "inform" viewers about an important problem. WTF?! glee is a comedy show, and I didn't say anything when theg got to teen pregnancy, talked about being gay for 405493th time, about a car accident that made Q paralized,..., but, COME ON, they've gone too far with that stuff. just... don't OK? DON'T!

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Glee Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

I vowed not to speak with you unless William and Kate got pregnant, Liza passed, or unless one of us was in grave danger.


I spent the weekend sending your photo to ivory poachers who could make an absolute fortune selling your enormous white teeth on the black market.


Glee Season 3 Episode 18 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast cell block tango Cell Block Tango Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast not the boy next door Not the Boy Next Door Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast the rain in spain The Rain in Spain Glee Cast iTunes