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Glee Review: Roaring Applause for Starchild

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Glee's return following the Cory Monteith tribute was sure to be a bumpy one. The right amount of pathos needed to be balanced with a healthy dose of moving forward.

In some ways, Glee Season 5 Episode 4 managed to do that, but in others, it fell far short of the mark for a good return after such a heavy-hitting episode. There were some nice moments, but overall, this felt like a filler episode where nothing important took place.

One excellent thing to come out of the evening, however, was Starchild. Anything that gets more Adam Lambert on my screen is okay by me.

Adam Lambert Guest Stars

Many of the characters felt a little too recovered from Finn's passing, and since there was no explanation of a time jump happening, it sort of feels like Glee's tendency to make tragedies into After School Specials has struck again.

The New Directions went from mourning their loss to choosing between Katy Perry or Lady Gaga songs and being completely freaked out by some bizarre show choir which seems more like a Gothic Cirque du Soleil. 

I'm sorry, but Throat Explosions? Really? That's not even something which can be taken even remotely seriously. And yes, I realize I'm talking about a show where kids get an assignment to come to school dressed like either Katy Perry or Lady Gaga and then get suspended from a voluntary club for refusing. 

That particular story bugged me. Schue suspended Marley for standing up for herself when that's kind of the shtick of both Gaga and Katy Perry and suddenly I realize I've put entirely too much stock in the capabilities of a TV teacher who constantly misses the point of his own assignments. 

Regarding assignments, part of what made tonight not work is the fact that Glee has already done Lady Gaga once before. They did it better the first time around. And whose idea was it to bill Katy Perry as this wholesome girl-next-door? This is the same girl who had a hit about graphic sex with an "alien," right?

Sure, compared to Gaga she's "nicer," but I didn't exactly understand the lesson. And Blaine looked like a cracked out My Little Pony.

The best thing to come out of that lesson was Artie's voice on "Applause." Can he get a solo every now and again? (Check out the rest of the Glee music from tonight's show. "Marry The Night" was also spectacular!)

I want to care about the high school students, but episodes like this make it nearly impossible. I want to care that Jake might have cheated on Marley because Marley wouldn't let him get to second base, but the whining and ridiculously over-the-top way some of the characters there have been written make that impossible. 

Tina is a drama queen prone to histrionics. Sam is just dumb, and he wasn't always. All of the Cheerios need to be forgotten. Give us Blaine and Artie, and maybe Baby Puckerman, if only for his abs, in which case throw in Ryder, too, and let's get the heck out of Ohio.

Let's go, perhaps, to New York.

The idea of Kurt starting a band is silly. Completely silly. The five of them are just going to get together and sing? That's not a band, Kurt. That's a group of people who get together and sing. 

But still, this band idea is giving us Starchild, AKA Elliott Gilbert, and I couldn't be more thrilled with Adam Lambert being on Glee. If ever there were a natural fit for this series, it's Lambert. If he were in every episode from here until the end of the series, there'd be no complaints from me. Give him a microphone and some eyeliner and let him sing.

Rachel's line about singing "My Man" at her Funny Girl rehearsals was another subtle reminder of Finn's absence, one of only two on the night. I don't think he needs to be mentioned frequently, but seeing Will, or at least Blaine, Artie, and Tina, struggling just a bit wouldn't be a bad thing.

What did you think of Glee Season 5 Episode 4? Were you hoping for more mention of Finn? Did Glee do Gaga better the first or second time around?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (142 Votes)

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

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I hope they do more of a New York story line. Adam lambert was awesome I would love to see a love hate relationship develop between him and Kurt !

Mladen-tasovac

I really liked the episode. Tina-Unique-Kitty scenes were amazing. Sam-Penny scenes were cute. Too cute! Songs were not so good. I only liked WA. Kitty is hilarious. When she said "Bre" I died. :D
NY side was cool. I liked Starchild.
WTH was that with Ms.Schue and Marley. It was so dumb. And in the next episode he says something like "Freedome of expresion"?
Anyway it was a good episodeand I would grade it 4.3 not 3.0. You talked too much about guys in this review. What about girls? Kitty and Tina were so hot! It was so unnecessery. -.-

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Marley's character makes me sad. She has some really relevant insecurities that would be great for the show to address but instead they brush her off. Marley is probably the only character that is in any way like a real high school student but I guess that doesn't make the kind of show that Glee is trying to make?

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Go please no to anyone but Will struggling with Finns death the rest can't handle drama. I think the two mention were fine and best for Rachel. Down the line maybe Kurt or Will still showing some signs of grief would be good. Another episode that jsut shows it is time to go to NY. Sadly they are going force Sam and Blaine there so I hope they cut back on thier screen time a lot if they do.

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I was absolutely disgusted with how Mr. Schue suspended Marley, who went through an eating disorder, because she was uncomfortable with wearing a bikini to school. Does anyone else also find it a tad creepy how a teacher wants a 16 year old girl to show up to school in a seashell bikini? The character of Mr. Schue has gone from a complex character with an interesting story to a character who kind of just disturbs me. He's no longer the inspiring glee club teacher we all love, he's turned flat and seems to be written into the script because he has to be there.
Overall, this episode of Glee was really disappointing and proved that Glee has lost everything it used to stand for. It now sends a message that showing off your body is the best way to express yourself, no matter if you're comfortable or not. It upset me a lot, especially because Glee started when I was just beginning my teenage years and has gotten me through a lot of difficult times in high school. A disgusting part of the story, I'm so disappointed in it.

Miranda-wicker
@ Lina

I was disgusted too, and not because of the eating disorder thing. Former Schue would've praised Marley for sticking to her guns. Current Schue is an idiot character who, like you said, is only written in because he's contractually obligated.

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@ Miranda Wicker

I think she was suspended for not following direction and not being a team player. While I agree it was REALLY stupid to suspend her but she should have come up with a different gaga outfit and told her teammates. But Shue has been wrong in the way he has handled student since episode 2 when he punished Rachel for Push it an none else.

Miranda-wicker
@ Fred

I feel like they should've had Marley say she was a Katy doing Gaga who was doing Katy and then had Schue praise her for ingenuity. But even that would be dumb, kind of like the entire Gaga vs. Katy thing in the first place.

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Episode was terrible. The NY parts were the only thing worth watching. They seriously need to dump Lima and ALL of the Newbies and Sam and get the narrative to NY. I would dump Blaine too but we know that won't happen. Adam and Demi are great, it's too bad NY gets 8 minutes of screen time and Lima gets the rest. The Lima cast is a waste of air time.

Miranda-wicker
@ TJ

If current Sam were original Sam, I'd be okay with Sam going to New York as well, but now that they've made him Puck Light with regards to academics, I just can't stand him, which is really sad because I like his voice and his face. I just don't like what they've done to the character.

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@ Miranda Wicker

You have Adam, Demi, Lea, Naya and Chris but they keep on cutting back to the awful jungle crap. I don't get it.

Miranda-wicker
@ Mary

The only good thing about the jungle crap was getting to see Jacob Artist nearly naked. Seriously. That was it.

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@ Miranda Wicker

The writers try to make Sam an important character but they fail. I really hope they dump Sam and his stupid storylines in the second half of the season.

Miranda-wicker
@ Mine

The thing about Sam is that he had SO MUCH potential when he came to McKinley and then they sent him away and made him a teenage stripper and in the process of making him taking his clothes off for money they stripped all of his brains away too. Makes me sad for Trouty Mouth.

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Excuse me..I was distracted by Adam Lambert, what happened on the show? I don't know but I loved every minute of Starchild on my TV. His voice..his MTN is all I remember.

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Adam Lambert was so good. I have to say he was easily the best and most enjoyable character of the night. He was flat out amazing. Marry The Night was incredable. What a voice really who can sing like that. Also the man is gorgeous.

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@ Sue

I am with you on that. Adam Lambert all the way !!!!

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I feel like nothing the show did after the Cory/Finn tribute was going to make me happy so I was expecting to not be thrilled by this episode. The problem is that this wasn't a normal tv character death because of Cory dying and so they couldn't handle it the same way shows normally would. Normally when a show kills of a main character they can focus on the grieving process throughout many episodes but in this case that would have been insensitive to the actors. So, as much as I would have liked them to do Finn more justice, I can respect Ryan and his writing team for not exploiting the actors and their grief. However I feel like coming off such a heavy episode, this episode was the wrong choice. It was too upbeat and came off like they were just brushing the death under the rug.
Besides that whole situation I still wasn't thrilled with the episode. I could care less about the high school kids. Ever since I had heard they were moving Kurt and Rachel to NYC and basically writing off most of the other main characters I knew the show was going to be in trouble. Even though Artie and Tina (and technically Sam even if they came in a little later) are part of the original cast, they were always just supporting characters. The show really revolved around Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Quinn and Puck and by removing all those from the Lima mix and replacing them with characters that they haven't really made (speaking for myself) us care about, they made it so half the show is irrelevant. Yes I understand the show is called Glee so making the focus of the show not the Glee club seems strange but I personally would not miss the Glee club aspect at all at this point. Keep giving me the musical numbers in NYC and get Blaine graduated already and out there with Rachel, Kurt, and Santana and I would be in heaven. That is literally probably the perfect show to me at this point and I think Ryan needs to recognize that once all of the original/quasi original cast is graduated, he needs to move on from Lima for the last season and focus on NYC. I would hate to spend half of each episode of the final season focused on people I could care less about.
I do agree though about Adam Lambert. I have always been a fan of his since idol and his talent was definitely a bright light in an otherwise dull episode

Miranda-wicker
@ kandi1212

That is true RE Finn being more than just a character. I hadn't thought about it like that, but that's a really good point. But yes, this was the wrong episode to come back with as it felt trivializing of the fact that he's gone now.

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I'm with you...Adam in every episode, no matter what the theme, plot, or dialogue...just give him the microphone and let the boy sing!!!