FOX’s Glee is certainly frustrating. After a great fall run, they completely dropped the ball during February sweeps, one of the most important times of the year for television, with several weak episodes in a row. Now, the ratings push being over, Glee returns with another good episode, “Girls (and Boys) on Film.”
Part of why this week’s installment works so well is the music that is used. The episode features the 500th musical performance ever on the show, as well as many other great numbers inspired by movies. From “Shout” to “In Your Eyes” to “Come What May” to “Unchained Melody” to “Footloose,” Glee chronicles some of the best know moments in film involving song. They also toss in a couple of mashups, such as “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend” / “Material Girl,” the same combo used in Moulin Rouge, and a Tom Cruise tribute of “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “Danger Zone,” as well as the old style, beautiful looking dream opening “You’re All the World to Me.”
That list in the preceding paragraph is quite a long one, and without a weak link in the batch. Many are used effectively for the ongoing stories, while others are entertaining choir room performances. Many of the cast are featured in these numbers, rather than just a couple of them, and everyone must have had a ball filming “Girls (and Boys) on Film,” which really translates on screen.
It does strike me as odd that the rest of the student body really gets into “Shout” as the New Directions run down the halls and dance on tables in the lunchroom. Were I their classmate, I would probably groan and say “Here they come again!” rather than clap and bob my head. However, it’s so entertaining that I can’t complain much, and I’m glad it’s included.
I’d also like to mention how much I loved Unique (Alex Newell) headlining “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend” / “Material Girl.” He has been such a pleasure to have in the cast this year, and her voice is amazing. I do have a little trouble deciding which pronoun to use sometimes when discussing the character, as evidenced by the previous sentence, but whether identifying as male or female, Unique brings something fun and powerful and, well, unique, to the show that I wish was used more.
Several of the romantic duos get screen time this week. Marley (Melissa Benoist) confesses to Jake (Jacob Artist) about her kiss with Ryder (Blake Jenner), which ruins their relationship. I’m disappointed by this plot in general because it does feel like a retread of season one. The quicker Ryder gets out of the picture and Marley is with Jake for good the better, even as I knowGlee won’t be quick about it because they have to stretch out the drama.
Even more unsatisfying is Finn (Cory Monteith) telling Will (Matthew Morrison) about kissing Emma (Jayma Mays). It is a dumb mistake in a bad moment on Finn’s part to kiss her, and he does everything he can to make up for it since. I understand Finn doesn’t want it to come out later, but who is he helping by telling Will now? It just upsets Will, who gives his “pal” the cold shoulder, as Finn deserves. I guess that’s what Will gets for befriending a student so closely.
I do like the way Will and Emma resolve their differences. Having her leave him at the alter sucked, but she has a point that Will has changed and has been away for awhile. Yes, she should have talked to him before the ceremony, but I’m glad they’re choosing to work through it, hopefully meaning an actual wedding, maybe smaller this time, in the near future, a much better option than a permanent breakup.
It is a little weird that Emma’s parents (Don Most and Valerie Mahaffey) pop up this week in “Girls (and Boys) on Film,” rather than during the wedding episode. It is firmly established they are at the wedding, but we don’t see them. One could argue there isn’t really a plot for them in the wedding episode, but then again, there isn’t really here, either. Just a confusing choice by Glee.