Glee Kissed a Girl: Did You Like It?

Did you find yourselves moved by Santana’s coming-out story in this week’s episode of Glee, “I Kissed a Girl?” I was weirdly divorced from the whole proceeding, and coming-out stories usually pull my heartstrings. If you recall, at the end of the last new episode, Santana slapped Finn, so "I Kissed a Girl" began in Principal Figgins' office with Santana facing suspension. Finn stepped in and called it a stage slap, which got her off the hook—but insisted the Trouble Tones and New Directions put aside their differences for a joint singing session. And the theme, apparently, was “songs that will force Santana out of the closet before Sue Sylvester’s attack ad airs, informing the world that she is a lesbian.” Sure, that’s a little specific, but you know how Glee loves its themes!

So Kurt and Blaine dueted on a P!nk song, “Perfect,” and Puck, whose mohawk has morphed into more of a Hitlerhawk with a tail fin, sang, “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Etheridge. Yes, it seemed as if it was going to be a very Lesbian Greatest Hits episode (except no Indigo Girls?! Go figure), but Puck directed that song squarely at Shelby. Got it, Shelbs? He’s the only one. Is it strange that the Parents Television Council was up in arms about the virginity-losing episode “The First Time,” yet a blossoming high school student-teacher affair seems to slipped by unnoticed? I find it kind of strange.

But Santana was still not convinced—not until Finn confronted her in the hallway. While telling her that a teenager who made an It Gets Better video wound up killing himself—which actually happened—Finn said, rather convincingly, “You deal with your anxiety surrounding this stuff by attacking other people, but someday that’s not going to be enough and you’re going to start attacking yourself.” Then he sang a slowed-down, sad version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” that really turned that happy, carefree song on its head. Suddenly, it was all about how men prevent women from being the people they really want to be, and their longing to be their true selves. Kind of heavy, Finn! But it worked: Santana broke down in tears, and thanked Finn and hugged him.

Meanwhile, Coach Beiste ran into Cooter the Recruiter, who Sue was using to promote a voter-friendly, heterosexual image, and if you slow down the scene on your DVR, you can identify the precise moment Bieste's heart ripped in two. And it wasn't because of all the fried pork she eats, but a result of seeing the man she loves with another woman. “I thought you and I were doing stuff and stuff,” she told him, in her emotionally articulate way. Cooter told Beiste that he likes her, but she gives him mixed signals and seems more like she just wants a bro who can spot her in the gym. No, Cooter has needs, and Sue satisfies those needs. Can you really blame him?

The third plot involved the school election. (And there’s still a fourth plot. Too many plots!) Kurt was starting to get nervous about his chances at winning against Brittany, so he took a pair of scissors to his sweater. No, wait, the outfit was supposed to look like that. Rather, he referenced how John F. Kennedy stole the 1960 presidential election with the help of corrupt Chicago Mayor Richard Daley—one of several weirdly dated political references, including Puck’s write-in vote of Ross Perot. Aren’t we in an election year now? Couldn’t the references have been a little more topical? Or is that too “edgy?” (Unless the references to a pizza chain in Sue’s attack ad was a nod to Herman Cain, but I don’t think it was.) I’ll just spill the beans right now and tell you what happened: Rachel stuffed the ballot box with Kurt votes, Figgins figured it out and confronted Kurt, and Brittany won! Go Brit! Kurt was understandably angry at Rachel (even though he planted the idea in her head), but was magnanimous toward Brittany. Honestly, I hated this story, because it forced Kurt and Rachel to act far pettier and more stupid than their characters actually are. Rachel was suspended for a week and barred from singing at sectionals, which is kind of a relief.

The fourth plot was the Shelby/Puck ridiculousness. After Puck impressed his math teacher with his accounting skills, he answered his phone in class. Shelby called him “because she doesn’t have anyone else.” So I guess that officially makes her a child predator now? The baby cut her lip or something and was in the emergency room. Puck took charge, ordering in a plastic surgeon to attend to his baby’s stitches, his assertiveness driving Shelby wild with desire. Cut to: In bed with the two of them. This plot really embarrassed me; I can only imagine how it made Idina Menzel feel. Shelby asked him to leave (“This is wrong,” she said. Ya think?), and Puck called her a coward and stormed out, running into Quinn’s arms for some revenge booty. Quinn stupidly admitted that she is just using him to make another baby (don’t tell him ‘til you’re already knocked-up, girl! That’s just Tricky Motherhood 101). Then Puck, Mr. Mature all of a sudden, gave her a loving pep talk in which he told her he imagines her living in Toronto. Amazingly, she didn't slap him.

Let’s wrap this up: Santana came out to her grandma, and her grandma reacted, well, not very grandmotherly-ly! She kicked Santana out of the house, telling her she’s selfish for making her feel uncomfortable, and that “the sin isn’t in the thing, it’s in the scandal, when people talk about it out loud.” They didn’t show what happened after that, but the grandmother ended up going to hell when she died, for being a horrible woman. She spent the rest of eternity regretting it. Beiste realized she might need a little help in the romance department, and pledged to the man who got away that she will fight to win him back. Then all the storylines were brought home with a rendition of k.d. lang’s “Constant Craving,” the ultimate Unfulfilled Lesbian anthem. In the montage, we learned that Burt Hummel was victorious over Sue Sylvester in the state elections, leading me to wonder why the rest of that ho-hum plot couldn’t have been summarized in the span of one song.

It wasn’t a terrible episode, but it wasn’t one of Glee's better ones, either. There was just way too much going on, and not enough of it was really particularly captivating, in the way that other arcs have been this season (I’m thinking of Mike Chang’s conflict with his father, and Blaine and Kurt’s fight and reconciliation in “The First Time.”) The emotional center of the episode was Santana, but like I said at the top, I was uninvolved. I just think the show has pushed her too far into cold and unlikeable territory over the past three seasons for me to suddenly find myself rooting for her. And I don’t buy her as a lesbian. I just don’t. Sorry. The entire plot has always felt like a writers' room construct to me, because what happens next? Is Santana going to suddenly be a nice person now? I doubt it—Glee loves its bitchy one-liners too much to sacrifice one of its bitchiest characters.


And now a few thoughts on the musical performances!


"F--kin’ Perfect" by P!nk, sung by Kurt and Blaine
Can we put a moratorium on P$nk songs, or however she spells her name this week, on Glee? They are the worst—cheesy like Broadway but masquerading as “rock and roll.” I know that sounds like exactly what Glee is, but the whole thing make it Glee to the power of Glee, and it’s all too much.


"I'm the Only One" by Melissa Etheridge, sung by Puck
I don’t know about you, but I always get uncomfortable when they sing to each other in the choir room, and everyone just bobs their heads and smiles. On the plus side, Melissa rocks and this is a classic. On the minus side, Puck’s mohawk.


"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper, Cover by Greg Laswell, sung by Finn with New Directions Boys
This was actually an interesting spin on a song we all think we know. Enjoyable.


"Jolene" by Dolly Parton, sung by Shannon Beiste
I loved this. First of all, it’s just one of the greatest songs of all time. There’s something about the narrative that’s just so sad and dramatic and even a little bit sinister, as if the singer might snap at any moment and kill Jolene. And seeing as how Beiste’s plot was the most emotionally engaging story this week, the two married together really worked wonders. Brava!


"I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry, sung by Santana and Rachel with New Directions Girls and The Troubletones
Snore. I’ve always hated this song coming out of Katy Perry’s sherbert head, and it had no place here. It’s a not a true lesbian song, it’s a straight-girl song. It’s kind of homophobic, actually. “I liked it.” Good for you, Katy Perry. You still have to sleep with Russell Brand.


"Constant Craving" by k.d. lang. Sung by Santana, Shelby, Kurt and Rachel.
Great song, but kind of watered down with all the tableaus and champagne flutes filled with urine and plot exposition and teary-eyed Kurts.


What did you think? Was the episode too dense and scattered? Or did you love all the overlapping plotlines? Did you feel moved or manipulated by Santana’s coming-out story and her mean, old grandma? What were your favorite performances?

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Oh yeah lol. This is the second review that i've read that where the writer claims that Santana is not believable as a lesbian. My response: It's really easy to convince people that you're straight...Ask my parents, friends, teachers teammates etc.



That's another thing that makes Santana such a realistic character. She isn't defined by our conceptions of sexuality. She's gay because she's gay. It doesn't matter that her sexual preference isn't reflected in her self portrayal. Not everyone is Kurt (though he has every right to display his sexuality however he chooses. I'm just saying that not everyone does, or has to).
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I'm confused by the position that Santana's storyline isn't sympathetic because she's so unlikable. This is probably the great "Glee divide" this season, because half of the fans (myself included) believe that Santana is the best character on the show, and the other half think that she's a terrible villain even more heartless than Sue.

I don't think that these are necessarily mutually exclusive positions. Santana is a total b*tch, but we understand why she's a b*tch. Does that justify her bullying? Absolutely not, but it makes her character that much more, dare I say- real. What makes Santana infinitely more realistic than Kurt is the fact that she's not perfect. She a villain, but she's a villain for a reason. Naturally, some people will focus on her b*tchy ways, while others will focus on what makes her b*tchy. Similarly, if a guy is caught robbing a corner store, so that he can feed his family, some will focus on the act of robbery, and some will focus on the conditions that influenced his decision to rob. There's no right way to look at these situations. How we perceive them depends on various factors including our backgrounds, outlook on life etc.

Personally, I love Santana. She is the most nuanced character on the show. I can literally place every other character on the show in a "good guy" box or a "bad guy" box, but Santana requires a bit more thought than that. Kudos to you Naya Rivera.
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I am sorry but i liked it. I do agree about the Katy Perry song but then again I think it was thrown in to lighten the mood. As far as Santana as a lesbian I think people have a hard time seeing that because of their preconceived notions of what a lesbian should look like. She is too cute and girly for people because it doesn't jive with what a lesbian should be. The irony is that two lesbian actresses are playing heteros fighting over a man. And Sue actually started dating him to deflect rumors of her being a lesbian. Brilliant if you ask me. I liked the overlapping plots but I guess it appealed to my add. I think the stage slap story line was a bit of a stretch but it was necessary to further the plot. As far as sexualizing just women I think the next episode when we see the guy stripping will take care of that. I think a lot of the comments that people leave here are based on what they are comfortable with. i personally don't care for Kurt becoming more and more fashion flamboyant. But then I realized that speaks more to my comfort level as a gay man and not what the character would probably do. less
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Toronto is awesome! Quinn should be so lucky.
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stopped watching. snooze.
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Meh. More kissing girls, less singing about it.
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Forget about the Puck/Shelby relationship. Since Puck told Quinn about it, and she wants her baby back, it's only a matter of time before that story line blows up (I'd say the next episode). The problem with having so many characters is that you're stuck with either...1. wayyyyyy too many plots per episode, and...2. Not enough of the people you do want to see (like Will and Emma)
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I agree that they have made Santana too unlikeable for me to root for her. Its also dangerous to show teens that if you are nasty to everyone you can still retain their sympathy. The entire Glee club get behind Santana in spite of how utterly nasty she has been to each and every one of them. That is too much sensitivity to ask of people who aren't old enough to understand that kind of emotional logic. in the real world, someone as spiteful as Santana would only be friends with the other nasty girls who would certainly NOT support her coming out.



This episode also made me feel old and conservative. Why was the I Kissed a girl sequence one step away from stripping. You know when they boys do group numbers they are very rarely sexed up.
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One small inconsistancy: at the start of season 2 Puck says he used his pool cleaning money to get a vasectomy, so he would be no use whatsoever to Quinn in the baby making department and he has never mentioned it again either.....

Didn't like the slowed down version of Girls JWHF either. It was quite tuneless. The sentiment was great it just lacked in execution.

And I want more RORY!!!! Damian only has a 7 episode arc, why aren't they ultilising him more!! I wanna see more of him before he disappears.

P.S: I loved "I Kissed A Girl", did you see the look on Rory's face? Bahahahaha!!!
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glee has never been one for consistency
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BEISTE SINGING JOLENE! BEISTE SINGING JOLENE!!!!!! This fact only would make the episode great! I also really liked the Santana plot. I think lesbians are not enough represented on TV (yeah, there are some GAY plots or shows even, but girls are underrepresented (I think)). However, Puck + Shelby ? Gross! And inappropriate! She is SO getting fired!
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I like this episode.because i like d song I kissed a girl.and d scene before that.i like that santanA was not suspended.i like that rachel was suspended,banned from d sectionals,put on her permanennt record.from cheating for britney. Good for her,she deserves it.I. like britney she is d president.go britney!
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I thought this episode was okay. Cheesy and preachy at times, as Glee usually is, but with a few really good songs. (GJWHF and Jolene, esp) I think if I felt like this whole lesbian storyline was a natural evolution for Santana's character, I would have cared more. I actually kind of like Santana and think she COULD be an interesting character to delve into, but, like Seth, I also do not buy Santana as a lesbian. Even that one episode where they show Santana and Brittany making out in one of their bedrooms, it totally just seemed like Santana was just a hedonistic whore who'd make out with anyone, not like she was really into it and a closeted lesbian. From the moment they started down this path of "Santana's a secret lesbian and that is why she is such a bitch all of the time", it seemed silly and contrived.



I always imagined that this is what happened: Lesbians and friends of lesbians watching Glee appreciated the fact that a TV show with gay characters gave gay males somebody to connect to on TV. And they wanted the young lesbians out there to have the same chance. And just like the gay men could identify with Kurt's coming out storyline, many lesbians felt like lesbians should have that too, and undoubtedly voiced their desire for a lesbian storyline as well. So then you can almost picture the writers sitting around saying, "People have been writing in and saying that we need a lesbian storyline. Which of the characters should we turn into a closeted lesbian? Which one would it be a super duper unexpected twist to turn into a lesbian? Hey, we're too shallow to think of any other reasons for why Santana is such a mean slutty jerk, what if we said it was because she is conflicted by being a closeted lesbian?! Perfect! High five! Kill two birds with one stone!" So then they wrote this artificial, lame-o storyline about Santana, that feels fake and unrealistic...



This storyline could have been done this so much better... I know this may sound strange, since in real life, coming out as a lesbian is anything but easy, but I think the whole, "being a closeted lesbian is why I am so mean and hurtful to everyone around me" feels like a cop-out for this show and for Santana's character (and let's be honest, is kind of insulting to actual lesbians). Like they didn't know how to give Santana any real, natural character depth or layers, so they just took the easy way out and made her a lesbian, because it's Glee and they're about healthy, modern "messages" so that's a good enough reason to play the story like this, right, enlightened audience? There were plenty of genuine, believable ways they could have given us a lesbian storyline on Glee, but this one still seems shoe-horned into the show just to check off a political correctness box.



Same with the whole grandmother thing. Glee, you can do better than this cliched caricature of homophobia. You didn't even pretend to give the grandma a valid reason for why she rejected Santana. These kinds of shallow depictions of the very tough situation of coming out to loved ones is disrespectful to both those struggling with coming out, and to those same loved ones who may have sincere but different beliefs about same-gender attraction. Just like you wish those "evil homophobes" would respect your viewpoint and lifestyle, with scenes like this you writers are implying that anybody who doesn't immediately accept a gay person coming out is a villain.



Sometimes people need time to process; sometimes people need to come to terms with the fact that somebody they love lives a lifestyle that does not align with the core beliefs that person has adhered to for their entire lives. Just because some may need some time to come to terms with this entirely new life situation doesn't mean they are evil.



So, these kinds of depictions do no favors to people struggling to come to terms with their sexual identity. It basically says to them, "either the people you love with be totally cool with and understanding about you being gay, or they will totally hate and reject you for it". Um, thanks, Glee, you just made the idea of coming out to their loved ones that much more scary to those already scared individuals. Pretty Little Liars handled this so much better-- more realistically, naturally, and honestly. (Um, not that I watch that show or anything...) ;-) So, bottom line, not a fan of the unengaging current storyline for Santana.
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I found it boooooring! I fastforwarded it to listen to the songs (recorded sorry!) and I did not even like 'em!

Coulda been a nice episode... what a waste!
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There are several reasons why I don't feel awkward with the Puck and Shelby storyline and even enjoy the drama.



One, and I realize this shouldn't be the case, but it just is, the student is male and the adult is female. As much as we would like to say it's the same as a female student, it really isn't.



Two, Puck is the father of her child. Shelby is genuinely attracted to Puck because he is a loving, caring father, not because she is a lustful cougar.



Three, the student is the one who is pushing the relationship. If the student was the one that was reluctant, then this would be a whole different story.



I, for one, am disappointed the story is going to be over soon. Now that Quinn knows, it's only a matter of time before she tells, Shelby loses her job, has to move out of state to find work, and take Beth with her.
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also, puck is eighteen. so its not illegal, it just a no-no
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I liked Santana's coming out storyline. I agree though, I don't really buy her as a lesbian. I hate this Shelby and Puck thing going on. It's disgusting. At first I thought all this stuff with Quinn has been out of nowhere and ridiculous. However, it's starting to make sense. The poor girl needs some help. She's lost.
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Mixed feelings, is all I can say about this episode. It had some strong parts and some very weak ones. What they do to Quinn is abominable and the whole Shelby/Puck thing is to yucky for words (especially considering that she's Rachel's mother, yes).

I love Santana. She can certainly be an uber-bitch and goes too far in her insults at times, but mostly she just says what everyone thinks, or at least should think and she's not apologetic. Of course they've driven that particular side of her over the edge mostly in order to push her coming out story, which then makes it difficult to sympathize with her, because she's not the victim being bullied, but in fact the bully. In that her story line does, however, compare with Kurt's bully Dave Karofsky, who was a closet case and bullied with violence more than words. And he came around eventually.

The story was quite overloaded, considering the vast ensemble cast it's hardly surprising, though, because they seem to want to squeeze as much in as possible, which means that the plot never goes very deep.

Loved "Jolene" and "Constant Craving". "I kissed a girl" was most certainly the most misplaced song in Glee history, but this is Glee after all, so I'm not surprised. Let's see what happens next, I've not given up on Glee just yet.
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Why is all about Santana being a lesbian?- Brit is in the relationship too, but no one seems to consider her a lesbian.
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I think it's because Brittany doesn't care about what people think, whereas Santana really does. Brittany admitted she likes boys and girls already too (to Santana) and it wasn't as big of deal for her personally. I think Santana struggles with it a lot more.
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Because Britney has accepted she's Bi and doesn't fight it. It's not as exciting a plot line.
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I loved the episode. Thought I wouldn't but I did, and think that this and the last were the best so far. I loved Finn, Santana, and how Puck dealt with Beth and Quinn. Only dislikes were how Rachel, and Puck acted when it came to the ballots and the secret, respectively.
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im glad to see im not the only one hesitant to warm up to santana! its the blair waldorf complex where it confounds me that everyone just turns a blind eye to every heinous thing santana says and does. like she broke up rachel and finn as well as sam and quinn in season 2, and right before finn said what he did, she was basically ripping into every single aspect of his life. she;s just so awful to all the characters i like more than her for me to root for her. i felt bad for her when her grandmother kicked her out but and the song finn sang for her was really sweet but thats it
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"Then Puck, Mr. Mature all of a sudden, gave her a loving pep talk in which he told her he imagines her living in Toronto. Amazingly, she didn't slap him. "

Thanks for reminding me you come from Douchebagville, USA.
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Actually, where I come from is Montreal. GO HABS.
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Oh God, even worse.
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Habs!
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I never watch this 'cause I'm sick of programs getting on the same sex making out with same sex bandwagon.... not quality programming to me - just voicing my view just like you voice your's is all - you watch, I don't
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If you don't watch then why, pray tell, are you here?



And b-t-dubs, the only "same-sex" kiss exchanged last night is when Santana kissed Brittany on the cheek at the election. Heaven forbid two people who love each other express said love. Sorry that isn't considered quality in your eyes.



So....booya.
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Posted because of the title of the article on the frontpage is why - same as you, I would imagine. :)
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Ho Hum!!!!!
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I accidentally turned this on (actually, my DVR turned off while I was sleeping) and the Glee was on. I haven't watched since the first 3 eps of the first season, and I honestly don't understand the popularity of the show. Bad lip synching, acting, and dancing? Check. Caricature homophobe football player? Check. Androgynous characters? Check. I guess it's all about being "cutting edge" for this show.
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to be fair, the football player transfered schools and has only been on one episode, where he showed up at a gay bar
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I don't usually have even moderately strong feelings about Glee episodes, but I came away from this one with a vaguely positive feeling. Because I like Santana I guess? Probably because she's unrepentantly bitchy. And I like Brittany, so the idea of Santana and Brittany makes me happy? Also, I was fairly okay with the song choices, though no Indigo Girls is a huge oversight and yes the katy perry song should have been disqualified if only for actually having a line about fearing the boyfriends disapproval in the song. But hey, deliberate misinterpretation is kind of what Glee does.
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probably one of the worst glee episodes ever.
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You must like crap then because this was anything BUT bad. This season has shown it doesn't need silly gimmicks or special guest stars or to run a set list in the ground of a popular artist. It just needs a good story and not cater to Lea Michele or Cory Monteith because there are other people on the show that can hold their own.
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the episode itself was ok, some good parts, some boring parts..



but honestly. only Jolene, Constant Craving, and maybe I Kissed A Girl were the only good performances.. I haven't particularly been a Pink fan since maybe her 2nd album, and i think Chris Colfer only does well with certain songs and this wasn't one of them. and I don't like Greg Laswell's version of GJWHF.. and Puck singing Melissa Etheridge was just weird. why didn't Brittany do any songs? seeing as how she's Santana's girlfriend, you'd think she should be doing one for her, possibly ITOO? but no..
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"They didn't show what happened after that, but the grandmother ended up going to hell when she died, for being a horrible woman" I don't remember this part of the plot but if you said it was their who am i to deny. I understand the grandma issue but i was kindof hoping we could meet Santana's parents. This is such an inspirational show at times that seeing Santana's parents accept her would have been powerful to watch especially because she is not so obvious about as Kurt was so it would be a bigger surprise. Anyone else think Santana should hook up with Emily off Pretty Little Liars and make a spicy Latina Salsa?
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Santana's mom will be on the show in January, she'll be played by Gloria Estefan. :)
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Is no one else a little creeped out by the fact that Puck is sleeping with the mother of the girl he dated, made out with. and almost slept with in the past. If this gets revealed I could only imagine Rachels reaction. Her biological mother is raising the baby of her boyfriend's ex and sleeping with her ex.
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Whoa, when you put it that way, it's a trip!
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I didn't LOVE the overlapping plot lines, but I didn't find them hard to follow. I think the elections sub plots were necessary conclusions because that's been dragging on for a bit. I don't know why you don't "buy Santana as a lesbian", but I agree that Santana is too far in the bitchy mean girl zone for this sort of a heartfelt plot line. Her Abuelita was cruel and is certainly going to hell. It was an alright episode all-in-all. I loved "Jolene" and I don't know how I feel about the sad version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
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I hated it, horrible episode.
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