[Gabe Liedman is a stand-up comedian, and one half of the Gabe and Jenny comedy team with Jenny Slate. But at the top of that resume it states that he is Videogum's Official Expert on this season of Glee.]
Duetz! Neato! I was pretty into this episode of Glee, it being an episode of Glee and all. Conspicuously missing, for the better, was too-seriousness and nonsense; conspicuously missing for the worse were Sue and Puck. Yo! Don’t do dat. Maybe Jane Lynch’s appearance on SNL this past weekend had something to do with her absence? I literally don’t know shit about shit. But if Puck and Sue are the price we have to pay for a couple interesting songs, Mercedes living up to her DIVINE POTENTIAL, and very little Theology 101, then so be it. I’m tuning in for funny bullshit, loud horsefarts, and Sam in the shower. This week delivered on all that and more.
The episode begins with some news: Puck is in juvie because he drove a Volvo into a convenience store and stole the ATM? But we never actually see him in the episode so maybe the real Puck is in real jail? Or sick? Yeah, you guys think that, I’ll give him back when I’m DONE WITH HIM. In the meantime, Naked Shower Sam is taking his place in Nude Erections. This makes Kurt all bubbly in his gaynus, and when the Gleetards find out that their assignment for the week is to scream an amazing duet (and the winning duo gets an all-expenses paid vacation to a restaurant called Breadsticks), he knows who his partner has to be. Kurt asks Sam to scream with him, pretty flirtatiously, and accuses him of dying his hair blonde; Sam agrees to scream a song with him because _____. Schwing?
Across town, Santana and Brittany the Perfect are making out, and Brittany the Perfect is INTO IT, but Santana’s very up front about how she’s just using Brittany the Perfect while Puck’s pecs are in the clink (“I’m like a lizard, I need something warm underneath me or I can’t digest my food”—Santana). I wonder how lesbians feel about male gayness being all sensitively-talked-about with tears and speeches on Glee, while lesbianism is exists only as a porn-for-straights non-issue which requires no commitment, no conviction, and means nothing in the grand scheme of a person’s character. They’re probably cool with it, yeah?
Santana the Non Lesbian OKAY? wants to sing her duet with Mercedes, even though (we’re supposed to know this?) Mercedes hates Santana’s sleek and hetero guts. Mercedes agrees though, because _____. Rachel and Finn rehearse their duet—“Don’t Go Breakin’ My <3” by Elton John and Kiki Dee. It’s pretty great; despite Finn’s cokey face-acting, his screaming has reached Rachel-level goodness (in its own way), perhaps through software (I’m retarded about that shit, never pick up on it unless the artist has decided that I’m VERY supposed to):
Then Rachel opens up for a sec about how her writers have turned her into a monstrous cunt, with the words and actions they’ve created for her lately. She convinces Finn to lose the duet contest with her on purpose, Shoeless Joe style, so that Sam, the newdest Nude Erection in town, can enjoy some glory. How big of her.
Mike is so scared to scream a duet with Tina because he is an incredible dancer with incredible ab definition and a Heaven face and what’s his number?, but he is very bad at screaming music notes. Tina’s not hearing that shit—there’s gotta be a spell she can do to make her too-hot boyfriend scream on key (a little sage, two eyes of newt, the musk sack of one Christine O’Donnell). She’s desperate to go to Breadsticks and have a non-Asian date with Mike (all they ever do is go out for dim sum with Mike’s mom), where the salads don’t have chicken feet in them (their words not mine).
Brittany the Perfect sets her sights on Artie for a duet partner. Artie’s confused because Brittany the Perfect has never talked to him before, or even made eye contact with him because “for a while [she] thought [he was] a robot,” but now she’s fake turned on by the idea of wheeling him around: “I just really wanna get you in a stroller.” WOW.
Naked Shower Sam is back in the locker room where it’s NO SHIRTS FOREVER, having a heart-to-ape-heart with Finn. Finn thinks it’s a bad idea for Sam to scream with Kurt because McKinley High is homophobic and that would be a “death sentence” (JESUS!). Sam’s like ‘fuck that noise,’ because he’s heard Kurt scream and thinks he sounds like Faith Hill, A.K.A. perfect I guess? Man, is this kid building a mystery or what?! Then he sashays out of the locker room (with a shirt on) and gets gang-Slurpee’d by McKinley’s nameless Football Bullies. Whoever owns the 711 in Glee, Ohio, is richer than a sultan.
Quinn witnesses Sam’s syruping, and decides to charitably bathe him in a sink. Quinn tells him about a time when she got Slurpee’d with a blueberry Slurpee and it made her pussy look like Avatar. Sam LOVEZ that shit, and starts speaking to her in Na’vi, which is the first clue we get that sister is NOT gonna plug his ponytail into Kurt’s any time soon. Gays do not speak Na’vi, we speak Nell’s twin-speak: taaaaay in a weeeeeeeuhn, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl.
Kurt’s nursing Burt, his dad from Guts, back to health (he’s gotta kayak against the current in an above-ground pool in a windowless stadium 12 years ago ASAP), and over salt-free carrot soup tells his dad what Finn thinks of his new crush on Naked Shower Sam. Burt takes Finn’s side—until Kurt can find someone as courageous and open about his sexuality as he is, he can’t go around cornering straight boys. Frowny thing. Kurt’s gotta be alone ‘til college, where gay grows on trees. If only the internet existed when this scene was shot… That’s the real tragedy. Major ups to Kurt’s sweater in this scene.
Then the whole world ended because Santana and Mercedes screamed their duet: “River Deep Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner. FUCK. Would it kill Glee to make every song as energetic, beautiful, soulful, fun, remember-y, and on-point as this shit?
Weirdly, the episode continued. Mercedes and Santana’s incredibleness makes Rachel reconsider her life—maybe she’s not going to have to Shoeless Joe the duet-screaming Breadstick competition after all? Bitch might fail fair and square. Kurt is also reconsidering shit, so he marches right into the locker room to chat with Naked Shower Sam while he takes another naked shower. Does this fucking kid host Dirty Jobs during third period or something? Not that I’m cumplaining about all the naked showers he takes, but, like, I went to school for a million years and managed to mostly shower at home. Anyway, Kurt tells Naked Shower Sam that he doesn’t need to sing a duet with him, and Sam’s kinda hurt in a naked muscular big-pink-lipped way.
Rachel and Finn need to DEFINITELY lose the duet-screaming Breadstick-off for some reason from a million hours ago, so they decide they’ll scream a duet that not only sucks but will offend everyone too. Sweeeeet. Kurt decides that since he’s so alone in the fucking world, and because gay boys are AT LEAST half girls, he’ll sing “Le Jazz Hot” from Victor/Victoria by himself as a duet:
It’s a fully-staged number, and glorious in its way—the Gleetards, including Naked Shower Sam agree. Then Naked Shower Sam and Quinn go on a fancy date to the empty Science room, and he flirts with her by teaching her how to finger the long wooden shaft of his guitar to make it squeal just so. She seems kind of into it (CAN U BLAME HER) until he tries to kiss her with his gigantic and gorgeous kielbasa lips, and she flipz. She can’t make out with some STUD, she’s supposed to be focusing on HERSELF right now (and focusing on herself I think she means upstaging Santana in life and making Rachel absolutely miserable), post babydrama.
Tina and Mike queef “Sing!” from A Chorus Line as their duet, which suffers not from Tina and Mike, but from being such a cheezdick Broadway goof “song.” At it’s best it’s un-listen-to-able, on par with “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” or whatever, and dredges up false memories (from watching too much TV) of a fat, pimply cousin being forced to sing during dessert at Thanksgiving. But, I guess those fat, pimply cousins are exactly who put prosciutto on the Glee craft services table these days, snorting up merch like it’s sweet, sweet Adderall (NEVER FORGET THAT THE GLEE CAST KILLED THE BEATLES LAST WEEK), so it’s understandable that every 10 numbers or so will have to be like this one. That said, Mike and Tina did their thing—Mike dancing all amazingly (LOVED the “Pleasure Principle” chair move), and Tina screaming the correct notes and words:
Then Artie and Brittany the Perfect have to rehearse their duet and Brittany the Perfect is not so gr8 at screaming. Artie gets all upset because he misses screaming with Tina (the way it changed the weather and all), and Brittany the Perfect is like ‘I’ll help you get over Tina.’ Then Brittany the Perfect lifts Artie out of his chair, carries him to bed, and takes his virginity, saying “for our duet, we’re gonna do it.” YAY/perfect.
Then it’s time for Finn and Rachel to scream their offensive-on-purpose duet “With You I’m Born Again” by Syreeta White and Billy Preston (and reperfectated (perfect + regurgitated) by Mariah Carey and John Legend last year). It’s a sappy old Motown deep cut, so it’s pretty offensive in some ways to make Rachel and Finn scream it, but they try and make it exxxtra offensive by dressing Finn up like a priest and Rachel as either a nun or school girl I literally can’t tell. Man, Glee does offensive by accident way better than they do offensive on purpose:
Then it’s time for Quinn and Sam’s duet, which is “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. I’d never heard this song before, which makes sense ‘cuz it’s a snore.
All the Gleetards love that shit, except for Kurt, whose balls are so blue he can barely go on. Meanwhile, Artie finds out from Santana that Brittany the Perfect is a mondo sex slut and has tons of sex JUST FOR FUN. Where’s a fiery stake when you need one?! Artie hates this info, so he dumps Brittany the Perfect. She’s very sad about it—she was looking forward to a date with Artie at Breadsticks: “I wanted to order one really, really long piece of spaghetti like in Lady and the Tramp. I’ve been practicing nudging the meatball across the table with my nose.”
Sam and Quinn win the duet-screaming competition because everyone votes for themselves except for Finn and Rachel who vote for Sam and Quinn. Rachel sees that Kurt is all hurt and lonely, so she tells him she wants to sing a duet with him just for the fuck of it, because he’s lonely, but he’s not alone. Cute.
Quinn and Sam go to Breadsticks, where he acts all goofy and says he’s not so gr8 with girls because he used to go to an all-boys boarding school. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a bunch of documentaries on that boarding school online for only $24.95 a minute with automatic re-bill? Also: yes, he did dye his hair blonde so that people at McKinley would think he was super-cool (the showers are helping, mami). Also: he’s not gay. Quinn decides that fuck-it this IS a date, and then gets all choked up for no reason (maybe part of the baby is still in her?), and the camera pans to the next booth, where Brittany the Perfect is playing out her Lady and the Tramp fantasy all by her lonesome. <3.
The episode ends with a duet of unGleemaginable proportionz: Kurt and Rachel scream Barbra and Judy’s version of “Happy Days are Here Again/Get Happy”:
If that’s not reckless disregard for the American gay death toll of late, me not know what is. Rachel and Kurt nailed it, and you could just tell they’ve been basically holding their breath for 39 and 12 years respectively to get to sing that shit on TV. Scream it, bitches.
Duets are great—fun, easy theme to plunge the Britney and Christ out of my craw. Also: nice distribution of screamportunities—I think we heard pretty much everyone’s voice besides Brittany the Perfect, Artie, and Schue, non? Oh, right, and Puck. But, yeah, duets: nice! Glee did an okay job of choosing songs this week, but here are some of my fav duets which woulda been way more chronic: