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Glee: Plight of the Unicorn

Maybe it was the roll call of seniors in last week's premiere and/or Glee's recent emphasis on their post-graduation plans, but I was struck this week by:

A) What a truly unique show Glee is. Really.

B) The question of what the hell are these actors going to do when it's over. Glee is a very specific show with very specific demands, and even if it goes on to somehow involve the current senior class after graduation, the clock has started ticking. You saw what happened to Saved by the Bell: The College Years; such things just don't work out! Jesse Spano had to start stripping! Wait, breathing into a paper bag... oxygen returning to brain… okay, I'm back. Of course, it didn't help that "I Am Unicorn" seemed to be addressing these very issues, especially those having to do with Kurt.

Like, how well did this episode capture the challenges that face not only Chris Colfer, but a lot of talented gay actors? Gay men, whether they're actors or not, often know how to "pass"—unfortunately it's sometimes a survival skill they have to pick up. Beyond the complications it brings to daily life, I can only imagine how soul-crushing it must be when your career/living/hard-won celebrity is affected by your ability to appear straight, as has been the case for generations of actors. Chris Colfer's generation is hopefully the exception, and the music world is actually a little more flexible and accessible because the voice is kind of the star, but TV? Film? How many known gay actors play straight romantic leads? With the notable exceptions of How I Met Your Mother and Grey's Anatomy, I haven't seen it very often. It's kind of weird, when you think about it, that audiences HAVE TO KNOW there is AUTHENTIC SEXUAL CHEMISTRY going on between actors. Do we really need to feel like the actors could, possibly, be knockin' boots just to enjoy their performances? It's kind of voyeuristic and gross of us, the audience. Mr. Hummel's advice to Kurt was good and in keeping with Glee's tradition of being super supportive of the gay community, but also: If Kurt was the strongest option—if he was honestly the best Tony, and everyone in school knows he's gay—then why not make Maria a guy? It certainly would add a contemporary relevance to West Side Story.

Of course, then Blaine came along and blew away every version of Tony I've ever seen.

Wow. This was "kind of" a cliffhanger (WHAT IF HE AGREES TO READ FOR ANOTHER PART?! CANT STAND IT!), but Blaine had already said he was only interested in Bernardo or Officer Krupke, so if they ask him to read for something else, it'd be kind of rude, arrogant, and stupid to be like, "NOPE!" You shouldn't have to be less of who you are to keep the person you love.

But first, Brittany:

Brittany gave Kurt a speech that was written more for cleverness than for its relevance/necessity to the scene/authenticity of the character. It could've easily been ruined if Heather Morris and/or Glee's writers had overplayed or over stupid-ed it, but the moment was not only hilarious, it was believable. I was impressed! I would love to see Brittany in a movie all about her. So glad she's running for president.

In other news, Mr. Schuester has delegated direction of the school musical to Artie, Emma, and Coach Beiste. I like hanging out with these peeps, so that's cool, and West Side Story guarantees us a season of incredible music. I honestly cannot wait to see how the show frames the classic songs of West Side Story to have a whole new, poignant meaning, just as "Somewhere" did during Rachel's duet with Shelby.

Lea Michele, know this: You will never have a job this sweet again. You may work with bigger stars, you may earn bigger money, but you will never get the chance to sing a gorgeous Broadway classic with gorgeous Broadway star Idina Menzel and have it mean something completely new on NATIONAL TELEVISION.

The duet was a show-stopping moment, and the song as an anthem of longing between a mother and her daughter was especially meaningful given the angst going on between Shelby and Quinn. Tip of the hat to the writers here—having Shelby around this season is going to push the drama to its limit. Her reason for showing up at McKinley was a little weak, but who cares? It's a great game-changing move, and the more I can get of Idina Menzel singing at me, the better.

Oh, but Quinn, Quinn, Quinn. You are going to make me dye my hair pink if you aren't careful. This is a good look for Quinn, even if she is just dressing up like Rayanne from My So-Called Life. I love her as a skank, and although I was bummed when she returned to her Cameron Diaz-y look at the end of the episode, I'm very excited to see her become a baby-snatchin' villain. However: Does she have the right to renege on an adoption that happened so recently? In a legal sense, who knows, but otherwise I actually think yes. When she crumpled up while looking at a picture of her baby on the phone I cared a lot. Totally wasn't expecting to. In a show stuffed with over-the-top, Kodachrome characters, Quinn has consistently been as emotionally raw as an open wound, always ruthless and real.

And of course, even with a lot of cool stuff happening, my favorite moments of the show were the ones that let Jane Lynch speak uninterrupted. Bless you, Jane, even when all the original kids are gone I will watch you in anything you step in front of a camera for. Or behind a camera for—how fantastic are those campaign videos going to be? Hopefully very.

So, lots of big thoughts this episode! And also some big questions:

… Is it "disloyal" for Blaine to audition for/take the role of Tony, or is it bad for a relationship to limit yourself out of deference to your partner?

... After Glee, will Chris Colfer be able to land "straight guy" romantic leads? Was this storyline as much about him as it was about Kurt?

… Should Quinn try to get her baby back or accept that Beth is in better hands with Shelby?

… Is it kind of messed up that Shelby would start teaching at a school where both her baby momma and her own baby are students?

… Which West Side Story song are you looking forward to the most?

…Is Glee the best gig these actors will ever have, or just the start of their bright futures?

Comments (23)
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The episode was okay. Can't wait for next week.
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First of all, Blaine should get the part, simply because he's the best. Of course Kurt is going to be infuriously jealous and that's normal, he's a drama queen! In order to accept his 'singularity', he has to strongly believe that he's better than anyone else, so losing the part to Blaine will hurt him. But why should Kurt - or Chris - look for a straight male romantic lead? It's a challenge for actors to get out of their comfort zone, but the role chosen has to fit them at least a bit. What makes Chris unique is what we wanna see, and in a romantic male lead, he wouldn't be able to express it.

I think it's kind of weird that Shelby's back but it will develop some interesting plots regarding Quinn, who has the only relevant storyline so far. I am deeply greeding the fact she didn't sing a single song, even as a skank! The musical numbers so far sucked, they focused on Rachel, Blaine and Kurt. That is not fair regarding other actors.

I think it is definitely the best gig the actors will never. They may be brilliant but the 'Glee label' will probably stick to them for a long time. I hope they will be able to find their way out there!
More+
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Chris has already stated, in more than one interview, that he's not interested in the romantic leads; he said it would be much more fun to play a mentally unstable character in 18th century Prague. He knows where he fits within the industry and is making his own opportunities. Yes, at minimum, the scene in the garage was about Chris - referring to the film he wrote & starred in - "Struck by Lightning".
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i don't think it would be that disloyal if blaine took the role coz it's a great oppotunity for him and yes it's sad that kurt didn't get it but that shouldn't mean he'd want to hold blaine back from being the best he can be! but you just know that kurt's going to be all upset that and annoyed that things didn't go his way. sometimes you have to take a chance as it might be a once in a life time sort of thing.
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concerning Chris, there is a lot of other characters, i'd pick Gandalf over 'straight guy' romantic lead any day!
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I am also concerned with the lack of musical numbers. :(
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Actually, Kurt - and Chris - just need a visit from John Barrowman, playing himself. Been on and off Broadway as the romantic male lead in more musicals than you can shake a stick at and openly with his life partner for, what, 20 years, now?? Chris is one of the youngest actors on this show. No, he doesn't look like a macho male lead - yet. But he's growing up. And becoming a better actor is, hopefully, in the cards for both Chris and Kurt.



The laughter at his Romeo audition just tell us that Artie and Bieste and Emma are too close. They can't see the character past Kurt's bigger personality. "A prophet is never honored in his own country." Get away from Lima, Kurt. You'll go far.



As for Darren Criss being the "perfect" Tony? Seriously? I admire the guy's voice, but his mugging and grimaces as he sings really annoy the heck out of me.
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Hey, did anybody else love Chord Overstreet on The Middle? Nice to see he's still around despite no being on Glee anymore :)
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I think this show is getting worse, the best thing about it were the musical numbers, and they are almost gone!
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I'm enjoying this Quinn storyline a lot more now. I don't want her to get the baby back though. Beth is better off with Shelby. It's a good storyline though.
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I think my days are numbered when it comes to caring about Glee, even so I see bright future for Chris Colfer i think hes fantastic, so talented. As for playing a romantic lead, sure as long as he can break from the 'kurt' mold, absolutely.
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I guess we'll have to disagree about how "believable" Brittany's unicorn speech was.
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why can't Blaine be Tony if he is the best to play him? Kurt should be happy for him...

Quinn might be able to get baby back, by saying she was forced to sign papers, kicked out of her house, emotional trauma, she would have to get her mother on board. Hated her white dress at the end, I am loving Puck....Looking forward to "In America" but they probably won't sing it. would be very upset if they have Kurt play Maria and Blaine play Tony, we had too "much" of that last season
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You spelled Grey's Anatomy wrong...
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Staff
nice catch. fixed!
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i think quinn is being incredibly selfish (even for quinn) and also no court would take a babt and give it to a high school senior (yes she is the biological mother but i think it;s which could provide a better home which would be shelby). i loved will's speech to quinn, she is such a brat and he;s right, she really needs to grow up. that being said, i think she;ll try to get the baby back but won;t. and i loved puck in this episode! since sam is gone and finn has become so boring i;m glad they gave puck something to do and it even seems like he;s grown up a little! him going to see the baby was so sweet.
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I thought Kurt as Romeo was really good, it really pissed me off that they laughed at him. Especially Beast, she knows what that's like. Not a fan of the baby snatching, hopefully Puck will let someone know what's going on before things get bad for the baby.
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Kurt could play Maria..as a guy of course. That would be pushing WSS in a new direction. And his rendition of "I'm the Biggest Star" with the twirling knives was the best!
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1. Since Kurt is demanding a lot in this relationship, I guess it would be time for Blaine to start doing something for himself, and standing up for what he wants. He does want the part.

2. Return question: Should Chris Colfer wnt to?

3. I'm getting a little tired of the very much played out storyline of teens babysnatching their kids back, but it is believable. And Quinn really does make every scene she is in believable. Although I very much think that Shelby is right in saying you need to do what's right by your child, not necessarily by you. Quinn hasn't learned anything from Shue's speech.

4. I liked seeing an adoptive mother wnting her child's biological parents into the family.

5. Sorry, can't stand West Side Story

6. Probably the best gig. It has acting and performing in one, and seeing as only some of them can act believably well, especially when they have to pull off some real scriptwriting (I'm sorry, not a fan of Glee storylines, I watch it for the music only), their roles will be quite downsized after Glee.
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Your pictures are the opposite of the word "funny".
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'Glee' might not be the biggest hit of some of the actors' careers, but I'll bet it's the best thing. I can't think of another musical/comedy/drama that actually worked, much less gave its cast members the chance to showcase so many of their talents. ( You know that the older actors realize this and are reminding the younger ones constantly!) I'm really curious to see how the show plays a few years down the road. Most shows aren't like Seinfeld and still fun a decade later. ('King of Queens' and 'Yes Dear' reruns are already stinking up the airwaves like out of date milk.) I'm suspecting, though, that Glee will still hold up.
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the episode was nice, but apart from Somewhere, I didn't like the other two songs.. and it's pretty lame for Kurt to limit Blaine, if it had been the other way around all the Kurt fans would be like "aw heeeell no!". as for Quinn, she's getting stupid.. she wants "custody" of a kid she gave up for adoption nearly two years ago? no. that shouldn't be legal. who cares if you didn't want it then and have grown up and now want it. if it was just a foster kid or was in an orphanage then sure that might have some sort of grounds, but not if the baby was adopted.
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... I don't know... the question is, would Kurt get the part if Blaine doesn't? Or would they still pass him over? 'Cause then it would be stupid if Blaine doesn't take the part! So... If I were in Blaine's shoes, I would ask the directors who would get the part otherwise!



... Chris Colfer will NEVER be able to land 'straight guy' romantic leads... He's a character of it's own... But he'll be seen, no doubt, just with is pretty gay face :)



... She should be insanely angry with Shelby for coming back! This would never have come up if she didn't come back! Then fight like hell to get her baby back. She never fully wanted to give Beth up in the first place. Shelby's own fault for coming back. *rooting for Quinn!*



... I guess this one's answered.. :)



... none per se... I'm afraid they're going to change them like they did 'rolling in the deep' from Adele, last season. That was so sad...



... I think the less obvious actors will triumph! Not Lea Michele or Cory Monteith...

Rather Heather Morris and Amber Riley. I love Heather Morris :)

And Glee!
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