It was an “issues” episode earmarked for infamy, but in the end, Glee’s “Blame It On the Alcohol,” a musical morality tale about the horny highs and vomit-y lows of binge alcohol consumption, wound up being pretty entertaining. Drunk dialing, mechanical bull-riding, Ke$h-upchucking: All the basics were covered with wasted aplomb. Which got us thinking—what other burning issues facing today’s teens might make for compelling episodes? Here, then, are five plot pitches for Glee VSEs (Very Special Episodes), and the songs that will drive their points home.
1. The Safe Sex Episode
We know there's a similar episode coming up. But, if Glee wanted a sequel to "sexy" we'd suggest this: Spring Fever has hit the already horny student body of McKinley High, so Principal Figgins decides a complete revamping of the school’s sex-ed class is in order. As led by spicy substitute teacher Holli Holliday (returning guest star Gwyneth Paltrow), the members of New Directions learn of the risk-free benefits of outercourse.
Song: Salt n’ Pepa's “Let’s Talk About Sex” (performed by Holli, Mr. Schuster)
Instantly taken with the comely Miss Holliday, Mr. Schuster crashes class to lead the glee club in a painful white-rap version of the Do-Me Feminist classic. This impresses Miss Holliday enough to sleep with him later that night, warning, “So long as your double wrap your disco stick.”
2. The Steroid Abuse Episode
When it comes to cautionary tales about the dangers of performance-enhancing drug abuse, nothing will ever touch Ben Affleck’s terrifying turn in A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story. Still, there’s room for others, and Glee’s take—in which an epidemic of steroid abuse spreads from the McKinley High football team to the glee club—leads over-achieving diva Mercedes to inject HGH directly into her vocal chords in a misguided attempt at reaching inhumanly huge notes.
Song #1: Diana Ross's “I Want Muscles” (Performed by the Football Team)
The late-disco classic takes on even greater homoerotic overtones as the members of the football team harmonize about their desire to improve performance at any cost, all while scrubbing down in the showers.
Song #2: Kanye West's "Stronger"/Daft Punk's “Harder Better Faster Stronger” Mashup (Performed by New Directions)
Desperate to out-sing their rivals in the upcoming regional competition, the newly juiced-up gorilla-head gleesters attack this hip-hop/techno hybrid with 'roid-raging, carotid-artery-throbbing abandon. “Harder, better, faster, stronger” indeed.
3. The Abortion Episode
Glee has tackled teen pregnancy before, but it has yet to step up to the plate and have a character choose the Big A. In this episode, a faulty sponge accidentally impregnates Brittany with Artie’s love child. After much emotional back-and-forthing (Rachel’s mom Shelby reappears and offers to adopt this baby, too) they finally decide to terminate the pregnancy.
Song: Ben Folds Five's “Brick” (performed by Artie Abrams)
In the devastating climax of the episode, the lyrics to Ben Fold’s recollection of a high school abortion (“Up the stairs to her apartment / She is balled up on the couch”) mirror the action unfolding on the screen. Of all Brittany’s abortions, this one weighs heaviest.
4. The Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Episode
In an ambitious two-parter, guidance counselor Emma is rendered incapacitated by a series of increasingly bizarre OCD symptoms (including hoarding, scratching, cutting, hair-plucking, toilet-paper eating, chronic ventriloquism and sleeping with a fully powered blow dryer). Coach Bieste, Principal Figgins, and Mr. Schuster approach Carl, her dentist husband, to discuss staging a musical intervention. They do... and it goes horribly wrong. Meanwhile, every member of the glee club struggles with his or her own personal addictions.
Song #1: Bryan Adams's "Cuts Like a Knife" (Performed by Mr. Schue, Bieste, Figgins, and Carl)
Told by Carl that she's being taken to Costco for a bulk toilet paper run, Emma is instead brought to his home, where she is accosted by a rendition of the Canadian rock anthem, its lyrics ("But how was I to know/That you'd be letting go/Now it cuts like a knife...") taking on chilling new meaning in light of Emma's ongoing love affair with a Swiss Army multi-tool.
Song #2: Animotion's "Obsession" (Performed by New Directions)
The glee club chorus get down and dirty in the McKinley auditorium, each singing to the one thing they are obsessed with. (e.g. Rachel: a mirror. Puck: his penis. etc.)
5. The Video Game Addiction Episode
Lured into a digital universe of medieval pugilism by Mike Chang, the men of New Directions find it hard to distinguish between reality and the World of Warcraft online gaming platform that has taken over their lives. Even Mr. Schue falls victim to its seductive wiles, insisting students and faculty refer to him only as “Dargon Son of Esterhaad, Keeper of the Funk.”
Buckner & Garcia's “Pac Man Fever” (Performed by Finn, Artie, Kurt, and Puck)
In a delightful 8-bit throwback, the boys of New Directions perform a rendition of the early ‘80s novelty song—choreographed on a football field set up to look like a giant Pac-Man board. The girls, dressed in brightly colored smocks, stand in for the ghosts.
Post your own Very Special Episode ideas in the comments!