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TV Review: Glee – “Acafellas”

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This summer, I’ll be going back to review the season one episodes of FOX’s Glee. These are fresh reviews, not reposts, and I hope you will enjoy reliving the first season with me.

FOX’s Glee‘s third episode is “Acafellas.” In it, Rachel (Lea Michele) insults Will’s (Matthew Morrison) choreography skills, so he turns his attentions to forming a boy band called Acafellas. The New Directions set out to hire a new dance teacher, except Finn (Cory Monteith), who understands that Will just has bruised feelings, and they should fix things with him. Mercedes (Amber Riley) is depressed about being single, and is encouraged to seek out Kurt (Chris Colfer) as a potential boyfriend. Needless to say, this does not end well. At the same time, Sue (Jane Lynch) has her Cheerio spies pulling the strings to divide the glee club, and their actions are related to the unfortunate events above.

The main theme of this episode is confidence. Those that have it will achieve their dreams and be happy. Those that do not will fail. Many of the characters face various dilemmas of confidence.

Quinn (Dianna Agron) perhaps figures it out best, telling Sue that the cheerleading coach teaches her a valuable lesson. If one is confident, they do not need to bring other people down. Does this mean Sue is deeply not at peace with herself? There’s not much to indicate that that’s true, however Quinn has an excellent point. It’s why the Cheerios will soon stop trying to destroy the New Directions. It may also be why Sue will not be happy anytime soon. Luckily, things in the late season two episode “Funeral” hint at another path for Sue to find fulfillment.

Finn is confident that the New Directions can succeed, while Rachel is not. This leads Rachel, and the others, to seek out legendary choreographer Dakota Stanley (Whit Hertford). But despite all the effort it takes to land Dakota, Rachel eventually realizes Finn is right, after all, and Dakota just wants to change the club. He is an angry, little man, not at all happy. Whereas the New Directions are better off without him trying to change them. Thankfully, Rachel comes to her senses, and fires Dakota, finally listening to Finn.

Kurt is facing a serious lack of confidence, in that he can’t bring himself to come out of the closet. The fact that he has no trouble airing his flamboyant tastes and wearing “fashionable” clothes, but can’t bring himself to tell people that he’s gay, should help the straight viewers understand just how big a deal it is to admit one is homosexual. Or so I imagine, finding myself in the straight viewer category. This is a boy who shows tremendous courage every day in being himself, but has one big “secret” he cannot find the strength to admit. There’s hope, as he does come out to one person, Mercedes, in an incredibly sweet scene. The first of many for breakout star Colfer.

Mercedes is still struggling with being confident in herself two years later. She is just finding her first boyfriend as season two ends. This is sad, because she is extremely talented, compassionate, and has a lot of offer. She proves her brass with the only solo performance in the episode, “Bust Your Windows,” a fantastic demonstration of her sassy attitude. She is confident in her voice, but not with her body. Sadly, this is not an unusual problem. Having confidence in something about yourself does not automatically cover everything else.

“Acafellas” is brimming with wonderful guest stars. Among the top talent are Victor Garber (Eli Stone, Alias) and Debra Monk (Damages, Grey’s Anatomy) as Will’s parents. Both of these two are fabulous singers, yet neither get the chance to croon on Glee. They just show up as supportive parents. While they are great in those roles, it’s a little sad they never showcase their singing abilities. Will’s father’s decision to return to night school to become a lawyer is a decent explanation for why they have never returned, since that would keep him very busy. Yet they are now overdue for a comeback, with a song this time.

About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com