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TV Review: Glee – “Sadie Hawkins”

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The latest installment of FOX’s Glee is called “Sadie Hawkins.” Tired of being single, and with her eye on a boy, Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) pushes for a Sadie Hawkins dance at the school. She gets it, but it doesn’t solve her problem the way that she hoped it would.

With many of the fan favorite characters having graduated from McKinley last spring, sometimes Glee chooses to focus on the characters I consider the “B team.” Tina is very much one of those characters, and unlike some, which flourish under the additional screen time, Tina has yet to do anything that improves my opinion of her. In fact, just the opposite.

Tina’s crush in “Sadie Hawkins” is Blaine (Darren Criss). I know it’s natural for young girls to fall for gay guys, not fully understanding relationships and sexuality yet. But Tina is introduced to Blaine as Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) boyfriend. All of the time that she has known Blaine, there has never been any sign that he is even a tiny bit straight, nor interested in her. It’s fine if she is attracted to him, or harbors a secret that she keeps to herself, but making a move on him is stupid and weird.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Tina’s “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” She does have a pretty good voice, and I like that song. But that’s the only part of her story in the this episode that I liked.

Which leaves me hoping that Tina does not go to New York and continue on the series next year. I don’t mind if she pops in occasionally, as most of the alumni do, but to interweave her into the main saga longer than necessary would not benefit the show. Unless they improve her character, because I do think the actress could handle better.

Blaine, for his part, also has unrequited feelings. He is interested in Sam (Chord Overstreet). It’s not hard to see why, and the two do have good chemistry. Unlike Tina, however, Blaine knows it’s simply a fantasy that will never come true, and thus, keeps it to himself until Tina really needs to hear it. He’s acting much more reasonable.

Glee already went down this path, having students lusting after others who don’t share their sexual preference, in the early days of the show, when Kurt had a thing for Finn (Cory Monteith). It doesn’t need revisited.

One could make the argument that these characters are in high school, and their recent actions are reminiscence of how teenagers actually behave. The problem is, Glee is not consistent with that behavior, so when a plot like this comes around, it feels uneven, and does not make for the best episode.

The best part of the entire “Sadie Hawkins” plot is that it returns Lauren Zizes (Ashley Fink) to the show! Her role is brief, and she should have already  graduated, I think. She also acts completely out of character from what we’ve seen of her before, and I don’t buy that her man messed her up this much. It just doesn’t feel like the woman that character had grown into when we last saw her, even if that’s how her character was originally introduced. But I’ve missed Zizes (and Fink) so much that I am willing to overlook the writing flaws if they will only make her a recurring player again (or better yet, a series regular), and then effort can be spent on taking her back to her former glory.

Why is Sugar (Vanessa Lengies) in the Too Young to Be Bitter club? She can be annoying (to some, I actually like her), but she’s hot, and looks trump personality in a high school setting. Someone would have wanted to go to the dance with her.

Marley (Melissa Benoist) decides to fully go after Jake (Jacob Artist) this week. I feel like their back and forth isn’t progressing, but they’re good together, and I Marley and the rest of the girls, including Unique (Alex Newell), sing quite an enjoyable “Tell Him.” I hope this isn’t one of those will-they-or-won’t-they stories that is stretched out over three years, even though that’s probably exactly what it is.

Meanwhile, Kitty (Becca Tobin) wants Jake, but after he resists her sexual proposition, settles for elder brother Puck (Mark Salling). This pairing can’t possibly last, but for where both of these characters are right now, it makes sense for the plot. They will probably have lots of energetic sex. Let’s just hope that history doesn’t repeat itself and Puck knocks up another Cheerio.

The dance itself is kind of eh. We’ve seen so many dances on Glee, and I can’t say that this one is special. The performances of “No Scrubs,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” and “I Only Have Eyes For You” are good, but not great, and aren’t very memorable. Also, like in the past, the fact that the New Directions get to perform at their school dance, and the student body appreciates this, stretches believability way too far.

Sam is on a mission in “Sadie Hawkins” to prove that the Warblers cheated at the competition and get them disqualified. I’m confused. Didn’t the New Directions get third place? Knocking the Warblers out would not automatically put them back in. I’m sure some plot contrivance will occur where the other group also can’t compete, and the New Directions do get to continue, but why doesn’t Sam realize that? What’s his purpose? Just to get even with bullies? Also, steroids might help with the dance moves, but I can’t imagine it’s good for the voice, so why would the Warblers use these drugs?

In New York, Rachel (Lea Michele) has a tiff with Brody (Dean Geyer). Their argument is dumb, and Rachel is acting petty. I’m really not sure what the purpose of this scene is other than that Rachel asks Brody to move in, and because they wanted a moment that lasted longer than ten seconds, the writers tossed in a fight. Not the strongest bit of this episode, and that’s saying something.

Kurt, however, has a wonderful story in “Sadie Hawkins.” He is enticed by the Adams Apples, the NYADA version of glee club, and especially by their leader, Adam (Oliver Kieran-Jones, Episodes). But he is told that the are the losers of the school, and that he should stay away from them. Kurt decides not to listen to public opinion.

It’s a great Glee story, true to the series in every sense. The New Directions are losers, too, when viewers are first introduced to them, and they become something great. The Adams Apples may look like a ragtag bunch, but their “Baby Got Back,” presumably sung in Jonathan Coulton’s style to make them seem more odd, is terrific. It’s hard to believe that they are shunned by their peers, unless the style of music is just considered a lesser art form, but I’m sure Kurt will turn that around.

Kurt has always marched to the beat of his own drum, so it’s really no surprise that he would ignore advice and join up with the Adams Apples, especially when there’s a cute boy involved. Adam is a senior, so any romance will probably be temporary, tiding Kurt over until Blaine can get to the Big Apple next spring. I’m fine with that, as Kurt deserves a little happiness, and Adam should be a fitting placeholder.

Unfortunately, “Sadie Hawkins” is not a bright spot in the season. Zizes, Adam, and “Tell Him” don’t make up for the school dance itself and other weak numbers. The plot gets hokey, and goes off the rails a bit. However, it’s not a terrible installment, and if this is the weak point in season four, which I would argue that, so far, it is, it will still make for a fine season overall.

Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.

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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
  • zoe

    i love glee you guys rock