Glee 3x15 "Big Brother"

After the pre-hiatus episode of Glee containing 4 pounds of drama, with an additional serving of melodrama and doused with a side of heavy-handed drama…this episode was somewhat of a relief. In fact, about halfway through, Caroline (she’s back!) and I realized we were really into it.

If there was something that pissed me off last episode and made me take Glee’s side (no really), it was that the music went without discussion in the aftermath. Fair enough…I understand; it was very plot-centric and an overwhelming one to boot. But to act like Glee’s musical performances have not been the driving force of the show is some weird misconception to me.

Take this one for example…nice lead-in, a sweet vocal collaboration and mixed with some fun and light choreography. The result? A perfect little number.

If there was any one reason why this episode succeeded, it is this little sideplot. Kevin McHale and Dianna Agron always bring it, but this time, the writing matched up to their talents. Just a series of cute scenes coupled with some understated drama {Artie’s jealousy at Dianna’s short-lived wheelchair confinement, Quinn’s optimistically na├»ve perspective on her accident}. For the first time since maybe the Mike Chang performing storyline, Glee presented a storyarch and character development that shows early promise and a lot of potential down the road.

I am taking bets as to when the next batch of writers will mess this up. The over/under is set at two episodes.

I really don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand, it was a decent attempt at comedy and we got to look at Matt Bomer for over half the episode (not like I am keeping track or anything). Bonus points for this bit of genius casting – Bomer and Criss really could pass as siblings, right?! As far as that Duran Duran mash-up…Caroline and I had this exchange.

Caroline: Kurt Hummel
Caroline: World's least perceptive boyfriend
Caroline: Thanks for going back to Glee where you make me happy, Darren
Caroline: This is the gayest episode ever.
NRNW: This number is something
Caroline: I think this number just turned my cat gay.
NRNW: My lamp just turned gay
NRNW: I am digging this number though
Caroline: Me too
Caroline: I want a music video of it for my ipod
Caroline: Poor Blaine. His brother sucks.
NRNW: But he’s smexy
Caroline: True
Caroline: But you don’t usually care if your brother is sexy
NRNW: Matt Bomer is the exception to all
NRNW: His smile can cure world hunger

In short, it was a lot of fun even if the vocals got assaulted by autotune (Rest in peace sweet, angelic voices). Personally, I think “Hungry Like the Wolf” would have been great on its own.

But my more cynical side is starting to take over and ultimately, Bomer’s schtick went stale about half-way through no matter how hard he tried. Also, Criss is capable of many things as a performer and while he gets it right more then he gets it wrong, his domestic drama didn’t translate well or result in any payoff by the end. Not that I am surprised; Glee is notorious for this one-episode diversions and contrivances. But “Somebody I Used to Know” was horribly staged and not exactly a “must download right now” number when I am certain that number was anticipated to be an emotional knockout.

You know what though…why complain? I had fun with this episode and not just by poking fun at its offerings. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’ll double back for a second because we need to talk about this…

Skype chat…because I can’t, you guys.

NRNW: The Matt Bomer is the most handsome douche drinking game
NRNW: Guaranteed to make you wasted in no time
Caroline: If kurt picked out his outfits, he'd be a lot less twee and a lot more gay
Caroline: I just flailed
NRNW: OMG, this song
Caroline: FLAIL
NRNW: Wait, this is not a good song for him.
NRNW: He can't do angst...
Caroline: I DON'T CARE
Caroline: it's fu**ing epic
NRNW: OMG truth
Caroline: Don't worry about the performance. Fu**ing xtina
Caroline: He threw his shirt
NRNW: Bow the fu** down
Caroline: Fight club
Caroline: I feel so much angst
Caroline: And on the day fan service was redefined, we all just stood around in awe and watched.
NRNW: I am hysterical laughing
Caroline: This is the best thing that has ever happened
NRNW: This...my body...my life
NRNW: It reached no heights
NRNW: This montage is “Run Joey Run” esque level of hilarity
NRNW: level of hilarity
Caroline: I think we just fell off of some sort of campy clip
NRNW: His face in the shower
NRNW: well, faces in general
NRNW: Oh man...I don't care how much that song sucked vocally
Caroline: I was laughing to hard to notice
NRNW: Emoting enough emotion for the entire world
Caroline: He keeps doing that

Did this really just happen? You guys, Jesus Parrish just hooked us up with the most unintentionally HILARIOUS montage of all time.

Business first…you see what I mean when I say that the whole angsty Darren thing did not come together as it should? In my eyes, “Fighter” might be one of his worst numbers on the show because he was definitely not suited for it, even with him emoting every human emotion possible at the same time.

But believe me when I say that I am trying to hold back tears of joy in regards to…whatever this thing was. It happened and it was real. Campy, fan-servicey (in a good way), Darren’s many faces, Darren kinda slow-mo removing of his shirt to reveal…another shirt (albeit, in tank top form). Canon, boxing Darren and my new favorite of the Darrens…shirtless, back-waxed, sculpted torso, shower singing, enraged Darren. Photos are priceless and this Tumblr-esque photoset is making my life.

That is a new level of comedy and quite frankly, I would be fine if Darren got a solo montage in this vain every episode for the rest of forever. Yes, he may be the most overexposed performer on the show right now, but he continues to ruffle my funny bone (unintentionally) and make my pants move in a rush of excitement at the same time. Oh Darren…

Forgettable much? Although, the cast looks like they had a ball.

What else? Sue was back and in fine form, just in time for Jane Lynch to pad her Emmy reel be relevant again. A few hilarious lines and some select emotional scenes. The transparency is unwelcome, but why get too mad…it’s Jane Lynch and one of her more funnier appearances as Sue Sylvester this season.

The rest of the show, plot-wise, was more of the standard-faire. Joe (who I am liking a little bit) joined New Directions, which is not even shocking in the least bit. Puck was relevant for a good two minutes before, I assuming, heading to the back of the camera time pack. Before his time clock tapped out, he instigated a plot device for Finn and Rachel and their future together. As tired as this discussion is, I actually welcome this because their five-minute marriage ceremony is obnoxious on all fronts. So naturally, the episode concludes with more of their open-ended drama.

But by the end of the hour, I can admit I liked this episode (and not just because of the Criss montage of hilarious). Nowhere nears top-tier, but given I was anticipating some post-car accident Grey’s Anatomy level of drama, more ridiculous wedding Finchel suck and some more lesson of the week clunky dialogue, they mostly managed to avoid those evident pitfalls (the operative word here being ‘mostly’). This was one of the few times that Glee fired all of its big guns and was not a conceptual mess or had some misguided direction. After an uneven season (and erratic television schedule), that can only be a good thing.

Other fun Skype Chat…

(Senior ditch day library scene)
Caroline: Senior ditch day is supposed to be the best day of your high school life? Caroline: Man, that is a total over sell
NRNW: Apparently, weddings are barely a top-five
NRNW: Maybe 8 on the list
Caroline: Hahaha
Caroline: Prom wtf is that?
Caroline: Graduation
NRNW: Although last year, everyone lived and died by prom.
NRNW: Oh hey Puck
NRNW: How’s it going…you? Wait, who are you again?
Caroline: Oh Mark. Get naked.
Caroline: With his brains and your jaw line... you have a jaw line.
NRNW: Finn has brains?
NRNW: The one who learned from Emma's pamphlet how to wash his junk

Photo Credit: Glee/Fox
Screengrab Credit: NRNW
Video Credit: OnMusicGlee

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