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Glee Review: Hopelessly Devoted to Glee

by at . Comments

There's nothing I love more than to watch a good hour of Glee on Thursday nights. Tonight's episode, however, was more than just good.

"The Role You Were Born to Play" was excellent! Fantastic! Stellar! Outstanding! And a million other exclamations I'm probably forgetting! Seriously, Glee, that's how you do it.

Praise for Mercedes

I hope I'm not alone when I say that I really, really loved it all. If I seem to swing like a pendulum in my Glee reviews, it's because the show kind of does the same thing. I'm happy to report that the pendulum swung its way back to the positive side tonight. Now how do we get it to just stay put?

The episode centered around casting for the upcoming McKinley High production of Grease with Finn at the helm as director. Artie, who sensed Finn's hesitation, called in Mike and Mercedes to help with vocals and choreography.

Watching those two walk down the hallway was thrilling. I don't think I knew quite how much I'd missed them until they appeared!

But even as much of the old cast came back together, tonight still allowed the newbies to shine. In fact, the newest members of the glee club were thrust into the spotlight in a way that helped us get to know them better and root for their success.

And Ryder Lynn? Totally nice to meet you!

Sue's attempts to block Wade/Unique from playing the role of Rizzo were classic Sue. She's mean and hyper-critical, but she's expressing the concern she expects everyone to have. That is, will the town riot when they find that a boy, one who happens to identify as female, might play the role of Rizzo, a female character?

Finn, however, after going toe-to-toe with Sue Sylvester and having a moving conversation with Wade/Unique, cast him in the role anyway. Sue will likely be right regarding the backlash of this decision, and I'm interested to see how Glee will handle this.

This is a real concern for some teens these days, gender roles and fitting in, and Wade/Unique, summarized the issue for his character well.

I don't feel right in the men's locker room, but I can't go into the girls'. And I don't feel right in men's clothing, but I can't wear dresses every day. It sucks to never know your place. It's just nice, for once, to feel like I've found one. | permalink

While we often castigate Glee for its "lesson of the week," this is one that's timely and relevant. My hope is that going forward it's treated with the same level of poignancy as it was tonight.

The Jake/Ryder/Marley/Kitty square was even interesting to me. Marley is the quiet, unassuming girl next door. Will she choose the bad boy or the seemingly nice one? Will Kitty constantly get in Marley's way? These are but a smattering of the questions I found myself asking...um, myself....while watching. For the first time, I feel genuinely invested in these new characters we've been getting to know over the past five episodes.

It's always a good night when Coach Beiste is on my TV, even if her role tonight was to serve as Will and Emma's relationship therapist when last season proved that she has issues of her own to work through. One couple from "The Break Up" is safe:

Will and Emma are still together.

After agreeing to go to Washington, Emma finally explained to Will why she doesn't want to. (To read what Emma had to say to Will, and more, check out the Glee quotes page!)

If the writers didn't feel compelled to make Will such a thick-headed nincompoop sometimes, then they could've just had this conversation in the previous episode. Seriously, is it too much to ask that Will just be written as evenly reasonable all the time instead of just when there's a resolution at stake?

And speaking of break-ups, we learned that Kurt and Blaine have definitely broken up, though Kurt is refusing all of Blaine's attempts at communication. Seeing Blaine so emotional was both sad and humorous, as it was intended to be, I'm sure.

Do you know what I think facilitated the relative ease with which I was able to engage with tonight's story lines?

There was no New York in tonight's episode.

If I'm being completely honest, it was really refreshing. Dare I say it, but this might have been the best episode thus far this season because it felt like each character was given adequate screen time without rushing from one plot to the next and then back again like some kind of storytelling tennis match.

I love Kurt and Rachel as much as everyone else, but tonight proved that while they may have been the heart and soul of Glee in the beginning, it's possible for the show to evolve without them. Or rather, beyond them.

And that's the thing about high school that makes high school shows work. There will always be the mean girls, the jocks, the socially awkward ones and the weird kids who just want to fit in. That's what makes a show like Glee the kind of show people want to watch. There's something, or someone, in it for everybody.

What did you think of "The Role You Were Born to Play"? Did you miss Kurt and Rachel in New York or did you find that the entire hour passed before you realized you hadn't seen them? What do you think of the new characters after this episode?

And remember to visit our updated section of Glee music to download your new favorites!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (186 Votes)

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

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@Phil: In the film, Patty Simcox was an annoyingly upbeat student who thought the Pink Ladies were her life-long friends; I think it's a perfect part for Kitty because it means she can't be her usual bitch-self. Regardless, the character doesn't get very much screen time in the film; knowing that the play and movie are a bit different, perhaps she has a bigger part in the play. The character you were thinking of may be Cha-Cha DeGregorio who "steals" Danny away from Sandy during the big dance (in the film version anyway). I'm not sure who was cast in Glee's version (I wanna say Brittany on the strength of her dancing talent) because she didn't get her close-up like the major characters did.

Tvgarth

I think you're right...high school shows need to stay in high school. Though some kids move on, high school is still there and others get their moment in the spotlight, especially when a DIVA or two graduates and moves to NYC to find fame and fortune. Sure, every now and then we could check in on them but more to the point, they can always come home. Either they're on a break from their Broadway show or a hiatus, or just out of work...come back and see your old friends, but the focus clearly needs to stay where it belongs, at McKinley. Finn may fool us all as he finds his way and realizes his creative side is all that's missing. And let the kids gossip about what Rachel and Kurt are doing-give us a flashback or two but let's keep the new talent flowing where it belongs, whether it's a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior in high school...where EVERYTHING happens as kids mature into young adults! FUN with a capital F!

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I loved the episode. The problem I've had with the season so far is the constant jump from New York to McKinley to New York, etc. I'm really glad that they did an episode where we had McKinley by itself especially since the "Break-Up" was mostly in New York.
I really dislike Unique and I think I will continue to do so. I don't know if it's because I watched the Glee Project or just that it feels forced to me (probably both), but I really don't like the Unique angle and the screen time that he/she is getting. Also, I really hope that Sugar gets back into the show. Her and Rory (want him to come back so bad) together was one of my favorite storylines last year. Glad Ryder finally made it onto the show. He was a bit jumpy during the songs, but I think he'll be a great character going forward.
I like most of the "New Glee" guys and gals, but some of them just don't click for me. Kitty is the Quinn I was hoping for from the first episode of the series. She's a bitch, she's a bully, and she wants what she wants. Quinn was a great character in the long run, but she was too nice in the beginning. I really like Marley. She seems to be a nice girl that a lot of people will relate with. My biggest problem with her is that she doesn't get enough chances to showcase her voice. With all the songs Rachel was/is given, I think giving Marley a solo song or a good part by herself isn't too much to ask for. Ryder is new, but I really like his character. Seems a nice blend of Finn and Sam. Hopefully he has more depth as a character though. Lastly, Jake: I just don't get his character. It's obvious they want him to be Puck Jr. and run this show. The problem with that though is that they aren't writing him that way. So far he's Danny from Grease: he's built up to be a big, bad tough guy but he's really just a softy on the inside. At least Danny had the tough guy swag, but Jake doesn't even have that going for him. I don't know, hopefully he gets in a fight with Ryder and gets some bad guy status.
Okay, last thing and then I'm done: if they are so invested in Rachel and Kurt, why don't they get a new show? I love the old gang and always will, but I don't like how little time we get with the new kids while Rachel and Kurt deal with their own problems. Get a "GLEE: After High School" show that follows the cast from before. We can see how Quinn is doing at college, if Mercedes is becoming a superstar, and Santana being sassy as always. It'll let McKinley be the main point on the parent show while also letting the Rachel and Kurt lovers their own show to adore. I thought that was what they were going to do with Kurt, Rachel, Mercedes, Santana and Finn all possibly being in/near the New York area, but that, I guess, was never even talked about. Oh well, hopefully the writers can get the right amount of New York and Glee club screen time. Great episode and let them keep on coming!
P.S. Finn better not start calling Mr. Schuester, Will. That will just kill the show for me. Not really, but once Mr. Schuester, always Mr. Schuester.

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wow - so much hate in these comments .. i also am surprised at how much i loved this episode without kurt and rachel. I'll admit that i missed kurt more than rachel but that's only because her storyline stinks and kurt has no storyline. That's what made this episode great - something was actually going on -- oh and the songs sounded great too. The weakest part was the crying jag from unique which came out of nowhere and did not fit that scene, at all. I'm sure unique will kill her song - as she always does -- I just hope we don't have to watch her act anymore.

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I'm sorry but Unique sucks!! His acting is so bad, he does sing well but I cringe in his scenes. Why would they give so much screen time to someone who can't even act?!

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If you have a Porsche, why keep it in the garage? I watch because of Lea Michele's incredible talent. So while I didn't hate this episode I hope there's never another one like it.

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I'm glad they did an episode without Kurt and Rachel. Hopefully next week they'll be struggling with hurricane Sandy.
Kitty can sing. The new guy looks just like Robbie from My Three Sons.
I like it when Blaine sings but he's not right for that song.
Finn's outburst was exactly as it should have been. Sue's comments reflect the views of millions.
We need to know what broke up Mike and Tina and the exact status of Samcedes.
I saw Grease but didn't memorize the character names. Is Kitty cast as the woman who briefly diverts Danny from Sandy (in other words, the part she's playing on the show)? Glee is not known for subtlety.

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None of the new kids have that star quality that Lea has. Kitty is way too mean, Marley is boring, Ryder and Unique are the only new characters that are somewhat interesting. Please just focus more on the NY storyline or just give them their spinoff already.

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This episode was easily one of the worst ones in the history of the show by achieving the double whammy of being both offensive and boring. I was leaning this way after your last review, but this review sealed it; you have the absolute worst Glee opinions. I will no longer be checking out your reviews.

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borrring!!!!! i don't like marley girl, i find her so annoying, kitty seems great comapring to her. i love blaine, but his crying over kurt was teribble, like most things in this episode. only good thing is mercedes and mike, but why we didn't find out anything about them? hope with will gone we won't be seeing emma for next few weeks. and why so little brittany? she is like the best from the guys that are still at school.

Glee Season 4 Episode 5 Quotes

Wow. I've never seen Blaine so...Masterpiece Theatre.

Artie

Since Kurt and I broke up I haven't slept, I've lost my appetite, and I don't even gel on weekends.

Blaine

Glee Season 4 Episode 5 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast hopelessly devoted Hopelessly Devoted Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast blow me one last kiss Blow Me (One Last Kiss) Glee Cast iTunes
Song JukeBox Hero Glee Cast