For the Love of Sue Sylvester, Just Shut Up and Enjoy Glee

When Glee returned on April 13 from a four-month hiatus, its fans (myself included) lauded the vocal talent and the snappy dialogue; its haters criticized the plot holes and over-the-top musical numbers. And many more middle-of-the-roaders (including one of our own) offered up some unsolicited advice on how to fix the show (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C). It seems that Glee's shiny, happy novelty has worn off; it's now one of the most divisive programs on television. But where is all this intense fervor coming from? Why can't everyone just let Glee be?

Yes, Glee is far from perfect, and last Tuesday's episode, "Home," proved it. Bringing back Kristin Chenoweth was pretty self-indulgent; her character, April Rhodes, was brilliant (and interesting!) in "The Rhodes Not Taken," but this time around she added nothing to the plot, save for her beautiful pipes. What's more, "Home" was heavy on the dialogue, an area where Glee often falls because most of its performers are better singers than actors. But like it or not, the show needs episodes like "Home" if it's going to accomplish its incredibly ambitious goal; can you think of another show on television that has successfully integrated musical theater and the mass-market platform of television? Because I can't.

Using cover songs instead of original scores was the show's first brilliant move; casting fresh talent instead of familiar faces was its second; and snagging Jane Lynch was its third. Sure, Ryan Murphy got in over his head when he started juggling so many different plot lines, but didn't we demand it from him? Didn't we ask for more Artie and Tina and Mercedes and Kurt and Puck and Santana and Brittany?

And why must we be so critical of Glee's cheesier lines? "I feel a duet coming on!" said April last Tuesday as she and Will launched into a very beautiful duet of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire," and I'm sure that many viewers' eyeballs rolled in unison. But have those people ever seen a musical? They're supposed to be a little campy! How would you transition from regular conversation to full-blown song?

There are so many more reasons to love Glee than to find fault with it. It's got a handle on tough topics like body image, sexuality, pregnancy, and popularity. It's got a cast full of big, beautiful voices and effortless dancers. And it's still in its first season! So let's all just sit back and enjoy the spectacle for a bit. Here are some of the interesting character developments from "Home":

1. Kurt's (Chris Colfer) get-close-to-Finn (Cory Monteith) plan backfired.
Kurt thought he could get more face time with Finn if he set up Finn's mom with his dad, but it turns out their parents really like each other, and Kurt can't exactly seduce his potential step-brother (even though his rendition of "A House is Not A Home" was a worthy effort). Plus, Mr. Hummel has taken a liking to Finn—and Kurt is jealous of their new bond.

2. Quinn (Dianna Agron) is not a huge bitch anymore.
After seeing Mercedes (Amber Riley) struggle to keep up with the dieting demands of being a Cheerio (which caused her to faint in the lunchroom), Quinn comforted her in the nurse's office and gave her the confidence to stand up for herself. Maybe all those grandmotherly teen-pregnancy clothes are having a nurturing effect on her mood.

3. Mercedes dropped the body issues.
And all in one episode. And she got to sing about it!

4. Will (Matthew Morrison) proved he's one of those guys who always needs a woman in his life.
Does he miss his ex-wife, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig)? Does he want to hold on to Emma (Jayma Mays)? Does he dare test the waters with April? And what about that little makeout session with Shelby (Idina Menzel)? He's got four women on the hook—and no one to keep him warm at night.

5. Sue (Jane Lynch) is caught in a web of lies.
A supposedly-savvy journalist gave Sue credit for Mercedes' solo performance of "Beautiful," when in fact Sue had pressured Mercedes to lose 12 pounds in one week. While I doubt she'll own up to her onerous ways, I have a feeling that the truth will come back to Slushee her in the face.

And here are the episode's five best quotes:

5. April, to Will: "I just had a sex dream about you!"

4. Brittany, to Mercedes: "Sometimes I add a teaspoon of sand."

3. Sue, to Kurt and Mercedes: "How do you two not have a show on Bravo?"

2. Brittany, to Santana: "I'm pretty sure my cat's been reading my diary."

1. Kurt, to Finn: "I feel like the guy who set up Liza and David Gest."

What did you think of the episode? And what do you make of all the Glee talk?


Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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THe show sucks now because, once again, the so-called underdogs, the so-called losers, the so-called ordinary kids now are in an exclusive clique of talented, gorgeous singers. And they are all either arrogant, or stupid, or sneaky. What's to love? (The first 5 episodes were awesome)
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AronHauksson says, 'correction the quote 3. Sue, to Kurt and Mercedes: "How do you two not have a show on Bravo?" is from the power of madonna not home.'

Check again. It's at the very beginning of Home.
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It's definitely not the same quirky show it was before. It feels like it's slowing down and being all mushy. Any show that pulls off 'Beautiful' is good, but it was simply lame to watch only the Glee kids come forward. It's becoming more like HSM and less like the original and realistic show it once was.
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It started to slide after about the 5th ep for me. But I hung in there.

Too much of Rachel looking constipated each time she sings. WAY too many effects on the vocals (I thought all these people could sing and should not need their mediocrity masked behind a wall of computer effects. Very predictable story lines.

At first it was "way out there wacky" and therefore hilarious, then fell into a boring pattern, rife with cliches and the characters became caricatures. But I hung in there.

Then something truly sad still calling itself Glee came back after the break. Oh it had Glee moments (far and few between), in a mishmash of confused story lines and under utilized characters - with subtly new hair dos. It seriously started to lose me.

Before the break, the Glee world had established itself - its characters, their motives (without giving it all away and keeping them intriguing), and felt like it was moving toward some over arching something. After the break (as someone posted elsewhere, the writers hit the reset button) it nearly redacted the previous world and added diluted writing and acting and became more formulaic than before.

That is why I gave up after the Madonna ep.
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who are liza and david gest?
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who are liza and david gest?
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simply not as good as it first was. and i hate that new dude from the other glee team vocal bla bla bla. his character is boring. also the sue syllveter charactoer should just die or something.
ps im kinda drunk
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Too many musical numbers in an episode. 5 in one episode gets nauseating.
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Not enought emma not enough quinn. For the rest i like.
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Haha good ending with the quotes! :D
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This show is like being stuck in a car where the windows don't role down, the air conditioning is broken and the only tape to listen to is milli vanilli...its like the backstreet boys on bad acid, I don't understand why so many people like this show?????
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What is wrong with people? WHY do they keep watching this crap show that deals with NOTHING but stereotypes and where they switch partners two times in every episode at least??? They are all so mindless and stupid, such stereotypes and trying too hard. Too dramatic,. too over-the-top, too slutty, too unfaithful, two-faced, well... everything bad. There is not ONE likable PERSON on the whole show, yet this show gets popular, becomes a hit and gets to stay??????? Good shows that entertain and HAS likable characters are in danger of getting axed. Omg, people are stupid these days, they don't like to think, they just like the same scenarios and the same stereotypes over and over...
Who wrote this article??? I mean seriously. They have "big voices"? CERTAINLY NOT! It's a musical with computerized-to-death vocals to try to appeal to the young and brainless.
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i like glee a lot and it's one of my favorite shows but this episode was just crap. The whole Mercedes feeling insecure about how she looks was annoying and they wasted a perfect actress for a show like Glee, someone who can act and sing great, with a boring storyline though I still liked it better than Mercedes's
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The episode was "ok", but I still love the show!!!! I am glad that we got to see the WHOLE cast, instead of just the Rachel and Finn show.
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love love love love!!!!
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I like this episode but there was less energy than usual Kristin Chenoweth was equal as usual : great and her caracter is really funny and touching. I think that the writers changed the show by changing the main caraters of the story of this epi. It was nice to not have the usual Rachel's "blabla"!!!
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i enjoyed glee more before. when it returned last april 13, i kinda felt it was a little different. maybe because they put too much of sue's brilliants lines (its my favorite part of the show---and i don't want to get tired of it soon), a lot of brittany's one-lines (same as sues---great but i don't want it to get too old) and i think the writers are unable to juggle the storylines as well as they did..in the beginning of the season every story gets a little progress...not its rachel today and mercedes tommorrow.....i liked it better when everyone (especially quinn and puck--who i think has had 7 lines between them in three epidoes) don't get any attention....they should try to organize the shows plot more effectively
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@ FoxMulder27 too bad "worser" isn't a real word :(
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Its like Nip/Tuck musical. Sue is Cristian, Will is Sean, they are both in marriage with those horrible actors aka good singers, dancers. Glee is nothing special!
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What a bad episode! Glee lost its potential after the hiatus, the story and the songs getting worse and worser. I hope the old magic of the show comes back very soon.
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I have to say I didn't love this episode, which was a surprise, but I didn't hate it either... I don't think my problem was with the Glee talk, I think the episode as a whole was lacking, what exactly I don't know. Maybe it's because the episode before this one was such a bang, and that's hard to follow up!
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the only reason its overrated: musical in a series .. brilliant.. its never been done before and its pretty entertaining...just let glee be...love this show!
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A lot of the cast is getting annoying, Rachel and Will in particular. Will is terrible at making decisions and, in the all-to-true words of Emma, is a "slut." If you identify with Will, re-examine your life.
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Glee is overrated plain and simple..
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April/Schu are great together!!
F### Madonna type show!
When Glee sticks to shows with substance(Madonna type shows are just made up to get the type of music), they are the best. Music is great when it has some substance for singing it!
Just an opinion!
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I'm just glad they gave a back seat to Rachel for once. Also happy that the back stage actors finally got something to do. Now we just need a Puckcentric and Tinacentric episode and we would be complete.
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hahaha i love the quotes :) brittany is hilarious
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I really wanted this episode to be the very best but truly it was just alright. I thought they could have made Mercedes' body issue plot in the same level of Kurt's coming out story in which it really had huge drama but it didn't. I also thought that there were too much going on happening in this episode. I wish they focused on one dramatic plot at a time and not have included Finn and Kurt's along with Mercedes'. Kristen was great but like you said, she was more of a filler and didn't really do anything to the story except make Will look like player. Although I have to add that seeing less Rachel was quite refreshing, but I wish this episode was better structured.
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It was a pretty decent episode. Less Rachel, more Kurt and Mercedes worked out really well.
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I love Glee! Last night's episode was ok... but I felt the episode was just a filler besides Finn/Kurt dilemma and Mercedes' determination to lose weight.

C'mon, a lot of pressure is on Glee- now that Ryan Murphy knows that Glee is one of the most popular shows on TV, he may be thinking, "Ok, now I have to do something bigger on Glee?" But it can be hard to do something bigger than what already is giant.
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Glee is my favorite new show. Although, Parenthood is giving it a run for it's money. There's more to the show if people will look below the surface. It's funny that the musical numbers of a musical television show may be the thing I enjoy the least about it. And when I say the least, it's relative, as I do love the musical numbers. This show is one of the more emotionally involved shows I'm watching at the moment. I love the whole package.
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quote number 3 is from Home. it's right after Mercedes explains why she won't wear the Cheerio skirt
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Glee is causing a ruckus amongst television fans because the set that likes it was too young to have ever seen "Fame" and the set that recognizes it for a bad repackaging of that cheesy program doesn't like it. It's probably a generational thing. I'm sure if Glee is still around in ten years (which I will go ahead and swear to the highest powers I can find that it won't be), then I'm sure my daughter will love it and I will still hate it.
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Brittany's deadpan one-liners get me every time
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correction the quote 3. Sue, to Kurt and Mercedes: "How do you two not have a show on Bravo?" is from the power of madonna not home.
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Whoops! Thank you leger. I'll fix that. --Stefanie
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Haha, all so true. Oh, and Will's wife name is Terri, not Sherri.
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