Glee "The End of Twerk" Review: Split Decisions
This week in "Things Glee Willfully Misunderstands to Hilarious Effect," Mr. Schue threw a tantrum because Principal Sue decreed twerking to be inappropriate for the hallowed halls of McKinley, Unique was used as shorthand for an anti-bullying PSA and a transgender restroom story that never really got a satisfying conclusion (isolate your differences!), and in New York, Kurt ended up with a misspelled tattoo. GOOD.
We can scratch the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke item off our Glee End-of-Days Wishlist, but with surprisingly less enthusiasm than when I first stuck it on there. "A" for effort though, and hey, we even got a Bette Midler shout-out, sort of. Yay.
Schue's obsession with being edgier than the edgiest and most WTF named show choir, Throat Explosion, had him using Blaine's twerking video (WHY BLAINE?) to inspire the rest of the gang to shake their booties for art. Or something. I don't know. Does Glee even know? For a show that loves a good social justice party, Glee opted to completely avoid mentioning the racial issues surrounding twerking, and instead reduced the controversy to a Sue-hates-glee-club issue.
Sue hasn't been New Directions' big foe in quite a while, and as Glee knowingly heads off to that TV choir room in the sky, a deliberate attempt to return to the status quo seems to be a large part of this season's foundation. She was busy this week, between dashing Schue's awkwardly pedo-rific dreams of twerking teenagers and responding to Unique's bathroom bullying issues by bolting a port-a-potty to the choir room floor and probably violating like a bazillion health codes in the process. Despite my forever-rage regarding how the Becky's-got-a-gun storyline was ultimately handled, it is nice to have Sue back in all her egomaniacal glory.
In New York, Rachel began Funny Girl rehearsals and showed up in a wig just to test her director and also something about reclaiming her inner rebellion, which is how the whole tattoo adventure got started, which is when I started foaming at the mouth because my calm-your-titties-it's-just-Glee circuits got overheated. No legit Hep-C-free tattoo shop is going to ink two drunk-on-limoncello teenagers. I've spent a lot of time in the tattoo chair and seen a few Kurts make hilariously questionable tattoo choices, but the drunk ones were invariably asked to leave. It's a thing. A shop that isn't gonna kill you should smell like a doctor's office, not a bar. That's my token tattoo rant. So... deep breaths! It's just Glee and Glee runs on stereotypes.
Not gonna lie, though, I LOLed at Kurt's grammar-fail. That entire storyline was pretty much Kurt in a nutshell. He took it rather well, and "It's Got Bette Midler" is kind of amazing and would have made an even MORE amazing tramp stamp.
Rachel claimed to have chickened out of getting a tattoo, but she actually got Finn's name all small and tasteful and personal. I definitely teared up.
"The End of Twerk" wasn't the greatest follow-up to last week's genuinely good "A Katy or a Gaga" but it certainly wasn't the worst thing Glee's ever done. I wouldn't even put it on the list. It was disappointingly ho-hum and disjointed, with little overlap between the Lima and the NYC stories, or even between the pile of Lima-centric stories.
In the end, Schue gave Unique a key to the unisex faculty restroom, which may have spared her the bullying she was experiencing in both the guys and the gals' rooms, but seemed kind of odd and off and strangely indicative of the narrative issue plaguing "The End of Twerk": isolation. There was just a lot going on here, but none of it ever converged at a shared point or even alluded to being aware of the world outside of each character's micro-story, particularly when it came to Unique, who probably could've carried an episode on her own if Glee had bothered to take its time with her story. Exiling Unique to the faculty restroom—no matter how good the intentions were—seemed to reinforce the notion that Unique is too "unique" to mingle with the general population, that she's neither man nor woman, which certainly could be the case, but that's a decision for Unique to make, not the staff at McKinley.
Rachel and Kurt, struggling to reconnect to themselves in the wake of Finn's death, also could've used more screen time. The disruptive Lima/NY narrative split has been an issue since Rachel's class graduated and went their separate ways, though some episodes have handled it better than others. It's episodes like "The End of Twerk" that make me want to advocate for a one-or-the-other focus, though, even if it's just on an episode-by-episode basis.
What did you think of this week's Glee?
– Playlist shenanigans: Unique's "If I Was a Boy" was pretty. Marley's "Wrecking Ball" was boring. I never understand the point of doing a straight-up Glee-production of a song that's currently on the radio every ten minutes. At the very least, change up the arrangement a bit. Give me a reason to download it. Why would I want this lesser track if I already have the Miley original? /rant
– I just realized that Ioan Gruffudd is playing Rachel's Funny Girl co-star. OMG. Love him. LOVE HIM. After Jack Dawson, my tweenage Titanic crush was totally Fifth Officer Lowe.
– So I guess Ryder got over that catfishing thing?
– Marley knows about Jake banging Breh. Joy.
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