I gotta say this episode of glee kinda sucked. I think Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays and, in particular, Chris Colfer were stunning but this episode was just so pretentious. Mercedes and Finn just seemed to be pushing their faith on everyone and Rachel was the worst of all. She practically assaulted everyone with that ridiculous song she sang. Not a whiff of religion in the first season of glee and all of a sudden the cast are devout evangelists. Finn's Grilled Cheezus was just weird. Though I must say that Puck was outstanding in this episode. He and Kurt were the only ones to give an accurate depiction of how teens feel and react to religion these days and that Billy Joel song was brilliant. They also handled the gays vs. God issue very well. This episode had lots of good points but they were ruined for the most part by the sickening holier-than-thou attitude that is usually only seen in clergymen in their 70s.
PS was it just me or did Mercedes sound like a chipmunk when she sang in this episode?
For an episode that was supposedly meant to show the promotion of religious tolerance - they did a horrible job of showing the converse of that, which is tolerance for those without religion. Kurt's every slight insinuation of not believing was met with mountains of "but you HAVE to believe" and "because we're doing something we believe in, we MUST be doing the right thing". Every other member of the club absolutely barraged Kurt for not wanting their prayers and belittled him (Mercedes' "I'm sorry that you're feeling bad Kurt, but..." then her insistence on being allowed to shove her beliefs in his face stands out as one of the worst instances).
I appreciate that religion is important to many people and that students should be allowed to practice their beliefs - it is only teachers that shouldn't be trying to get students involved in anything faith-based. However, this episode tried to make it seem like the poor oppressed faith-believing students were the ones being wronged, not the kid suffering his comatose father while also having to be told that he's wrong for not believing and not having the teacher stop the bullying. And all this in an episode that purports to be tolerant. They say that for every anti-religious comment/scene they had a pro-religion one, but really all they had were atheist scenes balanced against anti-atheist scenes. None of the atheist scenes were anti-religion, just anti-being-presumed-religious and anti-being-forced-to-hide-being-non-religious. Almost all the "pro-religion" scenes were scenes about how the atheists have to suffer without god and how you have to believe in God.
Finally, they should have brought in a consultant for their portrayal of the atheists because they clearly had no idea what they were talking about. While there are some atheists who doubt in times of troubles or disbelieve because they are disappointed in their prayers not being answered, they are generally in the minority. For the only two atheists to be shown as these minority types just echoes the theme that this episode really just bashed atheism and made it seem like the belief of a bunch of angry, bitter, hurt people who really just don't know what's best for them. For Emma to attack Sue's support of Kurt not wanting to deal with the Glee club's prayers was just the cherry on the top of this intolerant pile of hate - she's more concerned about him being supported in his non-religion (because obviously he needs religion to get through this rather than support for who he actually is) than she is about helping him deal with his father's coma as the atheist he is. What a bunch of crock.
Ugh, everyone keeps talking about the controversial topic, there was barely any topic or acting - just RUBBISH songs. The Britany episode was just all pop and fast moves, which was at least more fun than this, but what happened to a good mix of music with a tie in to the moment. This show is starting to bore me.
After last week's episode, which was embarrassingly bad and devoid of any meaningful content or character development; we have yet another well below par episode without any memorable songs or scenes. It looks like the show's lost its way and jumped the shark and I seriously wonder if we'll ever see any episodes as strong as the season one pilot or the Road to Sectionals. The only highlight of the episode was Kurt's rendition of I Wanna Hold Your Hand and how closely the actor playing young Kurt resembled the teenage Kurt - that's some inspired casting there. I'm afraid the other songs were quite dull and made me resist the temptation of fast-forwarding through them.
Glee, in this season, has been mediocre at best and godawful at worst, I just hope its writers will pull themselves together and up the ante before more viewers lose interest.
i have to say i'm not a religious person and i had an issue with the way kurt's lack of faith was handled during most of the episode, i felt like it was being attacked wich is horrible. everybody y free ro believe in anything they want and say out loud and no religion should ever be judged, but in the same way, people should never judge someone for saying "i don't believe in god". i think such a sensitive topic shouldnt be trivialized and i would have enjoyed the show a lot more if they had focused on kurt's situation, wich was strong enough. i liked only a couple of songs. not the strongest episode for me.
"Glee" has proven before, that it can handle difficult subjects in a good way, but I had feared, that this one might be too much, so I'm actually delighted, that some pretty good points were made there even though of course it couldn't provide too much depth.
IMHO this episode got stronger and stronger as it went on and it gave us three beautiful and amazing scenes in a row. The first one was when Kurt took part in the service at Mercedes' parish. I guess, he still didn't believe in God after this, but he gained strenght from all the good thoughts and the acceptance he experienced and "Bridge over troubled water" was such a great choice of song and it was performed in a brilliant and moving way by Amber Riley (who I actually believe to have the most amazing voice in "Glee" anyway). The second scene that really touched me was the one between Jean and Sue Sylvester. It hadn't come to me as much of a surprise when we first met Jean after we had seen with how much respect Sue treated her cheerleader with a Down Syndrom, but I'm still surprised about and touched by the beautiful scenes between Jean and Sue and to see Sue from a totally different angle and while Jane Lynch is amazing in every scene, IMHO she is at her very best in the ones showing her with her sister. The third scene I really loved was Kurt at his father's hospital bed, telling him how much he believed in the two of them. If anybody still should need prove that Chris Colfer is an extremely talented actor, deserving every nomination he could possibly get, what more could they ask for?
So here's why I didn't score it higher: This for sure was Amber Riley's, Mike O'Mailey's and most of all Chris Colfer's and Jane Lynch's episode. Everbody else looked pale and kind of unconvincing against them. Sure, I enjoyed how Finn worshiped his sandwich and in a totally naive way thought it had some magical power. I was surprised and disappointed though that he never ever even tried to use one of his prayers for the sake of Kurt's father. Another downside for me was, that IMHO this time Lea Michele seems has taken on a song that was too big for her. She is an incredibly good singer, I totally give her that, but IMHO Barbra Streisand's interpretation of "Papa can you hear me" can't be matched, not even by her.
Religion can be a show killer if done poorly but luckily for Glee it paid off. Hallaluah!
I did almost cry as this brought up feelings of my own father's passing but I'll keep this as inpersonal as possible. Kurt's lack of faith is something we can all relate with in one way or another. We've all had moments of why do bad things happen to good people?
Also am I the only one who wants to visit Mercades church? The choir, the people, and of course the hats :)
Keep up the good work Glee writers. Don't let the momentium go down or season 3 could be a disaster.
Its understandable why Chris Colfer and Mike O'Malley were nominated for Emmy's. When Kurt sang I Want to Hold Your Hand, and then there were the flashback scenes, there were just so sad and moving. It was so different from the constant band of music videos that was last weeks episode and there were actual reasons for songs to be sung. While I know Glee maybe a comedy and some people are not lovers of the serious tone of this episode, it's nice to have something really deep and emotional once in a while, and shows development with the characters. Though the grilled cheesus was kinda silly (in a good way), and I can't believe Finn actually ate it after like a week :/ Also I loved Kurt's church hat, just BRILLIANT!
Wow. I'm not the most religious person out there, though I am very spiritual, and this episode was great an episode that made me laugh and cry a little. Which is why I think this episode deserves so much more love than it is receiving at the moment. Whether or not you are religious or not, this episode is one that I think everyone should see. I love how everyone's personal beliefs did not get in the way of their friendships and such. Oh, and the scene between Sue and her sister Janey was the scene that made me tear up for sure! So sad! The whole episode was very interesting and even the songs were great! Chris Colfer did a great job in this episode. The scene in which Emma explained God and certain events to Finn felt true. In short, it was all a great episode that made me laugh and tear up...just a little. And also left a smile on my face afterward. A must-see episode!
Okay, after two dismal episodes, it seems the Glee train is back on track. It's still not quite hitting on all cylinders, but it's definitely moving forward again. I'm glad they did away with the "music video" approach to the songs that cluttered the first two episodes. One of the best things the writers did in this episode was to remain focused on an actual storyline and give all the characters that focal point to work around. This was a difficult episode to watch at times, because it was very moving and very heart-breaking at different points. While I'm not a fan of shows taking on issues of religion, especially in an effort to degrade an evangelical Christian point-of-view, I will give the show credit for not diving off the cliff of totally bashing Christianity. I appreciated the discussion between the kids on their views of spirituality and God, especially Mercedes confronting Kurt's atheistic stance. So often, Hollywood takes every opportunity to portray characters of faith as weak or flimsy. It was refreshing to see Mercedes taking a stand for her faith, not apologizing for it, even going so far as to invite Kurt to join her at church. I know the religion topic is going to come up later in the season, so I'm hesitant to give too many plaudits to the way the writers handled this single episode, but they certainly provided a good framework for what's to come.
What I'm quickly growing tired of is how the writers are 'dumbing-down' Finn every week. The whole idea of Finn praying to "Grilled Cheesus" was absolutely ridiculous. Even a dim-witted jock wouldn't be that inane. While I can acknowledge that hormone-fueled teenagers can 'pray' for juvenile things on a regular basis, it seemed out of character for Finn to get so upset at being the last one to find out about Kurt's dad, yet not even consider praying for him. Either make him a complete fool, or make him the compassionate, caring young man they allowed him to be in Season 1. The writers can't have it both ways, so please make up your mind and stick with it.
This episode did feature the best music of the young season so far. From Puck's bouncy rendition of "Only the Good Die Young" to the group's closing song "What if God Was One of Us" the music in this episode was fantastic. Kurt's moving arrangement of the Beatles "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was unexpected and powerful. Even Finn's take on R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was handled well, though it did reveal the weakness in his voice when compared to Kurt, Artie and Puck. Finn's vocal capabilities seem to be more suited to upbeat pop and rock songs rather than power ballads. The writers also seem to be uncertain of what to give Rachel to sing this season. Her take on "Papa, Can You Hear Me" was good, but uninspired. Unlike Finn, Rachel is better suited to tackle the power ballad and high-energy Broadway show tunes. All things considered, I'm finding myself preferring to listen to Kurt and Mercedes sing rather than Rachel and Finn. The writers need to correct this and provide their leads better opportunities to show off their talents or risk turning them into caricatures of themselves.
Oh, one more thing. Where are the new members of New Directions that we heard about all summer long?
I gave this episode a high score only because of Kurt. 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' never made me cry before, and I was amazed that it could. This kid is amazing. However, the subject matter was disturbing. The indoctrination continues - this episode was a little heavy on the churchy, preachy side. And for the final number, the white, angelic costumes on the group were a bit much. Thankfully, Kurt stood his ground at the end and admitted he still didn't believe in God, but he believed in his father. I was going to give up on this show completely if he were suddenly 'converted' at the end of the hour! And as cheesy as it was (and I guess that was kinda the point), 'Poppa Can You Hear Me?' was fantastic. The girl can belt. However, in normal circumstances, just because you can belt Streisand doesn't mean you should.
That was not my favorite episode because I prefer funny glee than emotional glee!
At the bigining Finn discovering he made a grilled cheesus was really funny. another good thing about this episode is when Kurt is singing I want to hold your hand. This version is according to me really good and really made sense at this point of the episode.
The religious debate in the episode did not really make sense for me but I think it's because I'm not american. I think it was a good way to do the episode after the Britney one! All the song were really nice too.
I was pretty harsh on Glee last week; I thought the show made a mistake in focusing an entire episode on one musician when the show should be about the characters and the plot development. Instead, we got a re-hash of Britney Spears music videos with Glee characters taking the role of her. I found it funny in parts (mostly Britney and John Stamos' lines), but the rest felt strange. Tonight's episode was better, but still didn't feel quite as great as last season's episodes.
The theme this week was religion, and we got a powerhouse performance from Chris Colfer as Kurt. I've always found Kurt to be a great character, mostly because his family life is one of the more explored and fleshed out and it makes sympathizing with him a lot easier. His dad has a heart attack and it brings the question of faith to the Glee club. Meanwhile, Kurt sees Jesus on his grilled cheese sandwich, and he begins praying for the first time in his life, believing the appearance of God on his sandwich to be a divine sign. These two plots combine with one another and what we get is a surprisingly touching and interesting look at religion from a show that seems like it would mock it more than pay tribute to it.
However, that doesn't mean that I didn't find parts of it unbearable. The writers of "Glee" have the tendency to dumb down their dialogue to increase drama and tension. This means we get sad moments, but at the expense of it coming across as overly melodramatic. There were plenty of these lines throughout, and I feel the show does better when focusing on quirky comedic type lines. The show doesn't pull off drama well (although as far as Kurt's plot goes, they did a great job).
Jane Lynch brought her usual A+ work, and comtinued to show us a more serious side, while Matthew Morrison was practically non-existent. It was cool to see Puck get some more lines and to hear Finn sing "Losing My Religion," which I've always liked as a song. However, it frustrated me the way the entire group turned on Kurt initially because he had his own beliefs. To each his own, I say, and seeing Mercedes and everybody flip out on him because he didn't believe in God was insane. It made for a good payoff, but it definitely got under my skin.
Either way, tonight's episode was a great follow-up to last week. Next week appears to be good, but I really hope they can find a way to focus on story lines instead of these random thematic episodes. They're entertaining, sure, but it's no wonder this group doesn't win. They just sit around and sing. It makes for entertaining television for the audience, but at the expense of a directionless plot.
After an overly expository season opener and an episode devoted to popstar imitations, Glee finally returns to the form that makes it so remarkable and unique. This was a heartfelt story about pain and friendship, loss and love and the way music not only expresses our feelings but also sustains and connects people in times of crisis. This is the kind of story that Glee tells so well, with a mixture of honesty and hope and served with a cocktail of tears and laughs. Bravo to the cast (especially Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, Jane Lynch and Cory Monteith), but also to the writers who weren't afraid to tackle a potentially dividing issue so early in the season.
And "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" has always been one of favorite Beatles tunes, but this episode let me see it in a whole new way.
After a ball (no Mercedes or Kurt solos at regionals plus a 5 minute labor), a strike (first episode this season not really all that good), and a swing and a miss that takes out the catcher (Brittany - worst episode ever), Glee came back with this one. I'm trying to think of how it could have been better - but can't. From laughs to pathos to song choices - perfect.
*This* is why I love the show. Great lines (Puck continuing with Jewish songs - Billy Joel!), Kurt - well, pass the tissues... Mercedes' choir... Emma's counseling... Nothing is perfect - I always expect a small miss. But there wasn't one. This episode highlighted the strength of the ensemble. Hit the right emotional notes. Plus - not a formula to play a "star's" (use that term very loosely with Ms Spears) catalog, but songs are a part of the show's flow rather than a distraction.
Sue wonderfully multi-dimensional in this one. Shue not a doormat. Rachel part of the ensemble rather than the lead... And Kurt - please remember this episode at Emmy time.
*addendum* after watching twice more - yes, the cheese sanwich was cheesy (sorry) - but Finn's "Losing my Religion" made up for it. It is rare to see religion handled as it was here. There's no "right", no perfect religion, no promises that religion is the answer - just a mix of lots of wonderful music which supports the story, and a wonderful story it is... Now, please pass me a tissue or six while I rewind to listen to Chris Colfer's version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" again (for probably the tenth time by now).
Usually on *Glee*, stories revolve around some odd quirk that one of the cast members is currently having, but this episode deals with the very serious near death of Burt Hummel, Kurt's father, and Kurt's spiritual crisis.
In tonight's *Glee*, we are treated to a very rare, and very compelling hour of television that I had great reservations about initially. Usually on *Glee*, stories revolve around some odd quirk that one of the cast members is currently having, but this episode deals with the very serious near death of Burt Hummel, Kurt's father, and Kurt's spiritual crisis and how his lack of spirituality comes at a great worry to the rest of the gang.
I rather enjoyed the fact that the writers decided to cut out all of the typical Glee neuroses when dealing with such sensitive subjects as death and religion. We can attribute a lot of that fact to the plethora of musical numbers in the episode tonight, almost all of which had some serious emotional power behind them. Kurt's rendition of the Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was by far the biggest surprise of the night, and it was definitely the biggest stylistic change from the original that the show has done. The original Beatles's standard was by far a happier and lively song, but tonight's version by Kurt cuts deep into the soul by a radically melancholy styling. It should be taken as a prime example of how chord progressions and tone can completely change the feeling of music, even if it's using the same words.
Originally, I was worried that the writers would play very heavily on the religion aspect of the episode, or more specifically, adhering to a Christian religion. In today's ever increasing secular world, the writers take a great risk to impose any type of religion upon an unwilling audience. Fortunately, the *Glee* writers recognized this and treated the subject with great respect by not imposing any one religion upon it's viewers, but rather the concept of spirituality as a whole, and the need to "believe in something...because life is too hard to go though alone without something to hold on to." This entire idea manifests itself in the interactions of Kurt, and his desire to push away from those with faith and to push all concepts of faith out of his life. It's a view that, sadly, is shared by too much of the modern world, but in tonight's episode, we see how the serenity offered by faith, whether in God or family, can turn even the most hardened hearts.
As a teenager a bit confused with his faith, this episode touched me deeply. This episode, to me, was very serious with only slight touches of comedy.
I like a lot of things in this episode including:
- Emma standing up to Sue about Kurt, and in return finding out about Sue's sister, which was very interesting
- Quinn, Mecerdes and Rachel, though they are from different religious groups come together and pray for Kurt's dad, Burt
- The songs fitted in well with the story
- Finn prayed for different things- to win football, to touch Rachel's boobs and to become quarterback again. All these things came true, but each time with a bit of extra help, so I realised praying can work out differently than you expect. Also, some things you can't pray for, you just have to do yourself. I don't believe this episode was trying to force anyone to believe in anything. What it was trying to say was that we all believe in different things, but we can all come together.
It would be easy for a Christian or non Christian to get frustrated at this episode. They could argue that it's focus on the "Grilled Cheesus" was beyond a joke or that it was to focused on God and spirituality. From my point of view, I thought the episode did a fantastic job of both being light hearted but then willing to dig a little deeper and delve into spirituality. It was also good to see a genuine reaction to why someone hates church and then to see a church that is actually graceful,not as they are often portrayed, where the church uses strange alien dialog or attempts to claim only it is right. This episode held some fantastic moments and real insights into peoples' struggles with faith and others trust in faith. It was great to also see the final discussion between Sue and her sister where there is an offscreen story shown of the love they have for each other and the faith she has to even pray for Sue.
This episode will move you and make you think about your reaction to life or death situations, and also the reality of how you view God. It creates a genie myth of God then eliminates that idea. One of it's strengths as well is how Kurt doesn't suddenly switch he's view on faith, nor does the episode end with a "miracle" or at least not a glammed up one. It ends real. However you view it, whatever you think, it is definitely moving.
Chris as always was amazing. He sung really well, and in my opinion, the arrangement they did for "I wanna Hold Your Hand" was just awesome. And those scenes with young Kurt and his dad just made that song unforgettable. And young Kurt really looks like Chris, very well cast.
Finn was a failure. What's with the grilled cheezus? He's a teenager! Not a brainless teenager. I will say that having Jesus talk to you from a grilled cheese sandwich is almost as believable as having Jesus talk to you from a carved stone, but that's only because of my beliefs in God. If Finn actually believed in God, he wouldn't think he was talking to him through a sandwich. And I expected him to express more about his relationship with Kurt's dad, but instead he didn't even think of praying for him. There was only a short less-than-a-minute scene where he was pissed he was the last one to know about the situation, and that was it. Nothing more.
All Rachel did was take time away from other characters this episode. Puck was amazing. His voice is much better than Finn's and I definitely miss him a lot. I also wished to hear more from Quinn since she was one of the people who defended religion. And Sue was also pretty amazing.
Overall, I felt the attention was too drawn to Finn and Rachel, who had nothing to do with the plot of the episode. The story line should have stayed with Kurt, Mercedez, and maybe Quinn.
Faith is a very sensitive and difficult topic and Im not sure I like the way it was handled here. Because I sort of felt like they promised a moving speech but instead just told a joke. Not in a way that they made fun of the issue, more like they bit off more then they could chew and made a mess of things. The Hummel drama would have been enough for an episode without all the religious stuff. Because with adding it to the mix neither story line got what it deserved, in my opinion. I sometimes change my opinion when watching the episodes second time around, when all the things arent just jumping out on me and I can concentrate more on teh details but I really dont feel like watching this ever again. It had great performances though, especially by Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith. and I would really like to hear the whole numbers because especially the boys songs sounded pretty awesome. But I just dont get the point of this. At all. Its like the show is trying to do too many things at once and instead of building something impressive it all just falls apart under their hands. Its rather sad to see.
When the title is Grilled Cheesus you might expect an irreverent take on Jesus and religion, and it was that, but it was also a more serious look. For instance, Kurt, who was an athiest, questions his non-believe when all his friends try to support him by praying for his father, in their various faiths. On the other hand, Finn, who announces a new found faith, has actually seen the face of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich, and thinks it has given him a direct line of communication and special favors. He ends up questioning his faith, at least the grilled cheese sandwich aspect. When the quarterback is injured, allowing him to take over the spot, he feels guilty, as if the prayer request caused the injury. Finn and his cheesy faith is mocked. Finn performs "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. and someone (Amber?) questions why is it okay to have a song about losing your faith, but not about finding your faith? BTW, on the news tonight there was a report of a woman who saw the face of Jesus in her MRI. Kurt sang "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles. Instead of a romantic song, Kurt does it in a slow and almost spiritual sounding version. It is a song that he directs to his father. After his mother died he got a lot of comfort from his father, and just touching his hand made him feel better. When his father is in the coma Kurt talks to him and asks him to squeeze his hand if he hears him.
Amber asks Kurt to go to her church, and there is a great scene where Kurt is the only white person there, and he has a fabulous hat, like the one's the black church ladies wear. It is a man's hat, but with a really flambouyant feather. One of the church ladies is actually wearing the same hat, and they exchange knowing looks. Amber, though she is only a high school student, leads the choir and is the soloist. This was a bit of a stretch, but since this is Glee I will just go with it. They do "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel in a gospel version. Rachel asks him if he will allow her to raise their children in the Jewish faith, and when he acquieses, she rewards him by letting him get to second base. Thank you, Jesus, he says. In another scene Rachel sings "Papa Can You Hear Me" by Barbra Streisand, and this could refer not only to Burt Hummel, Kurt's father, who is in a coma, but also to her Jewish faith. Sue Sylvester opposes letting the Gleeks express their faith in song, as it would be a violation of the separation of church and state, and she tries to enlist Kurt to file a complaint. Sue Sylvester seems like she is using this rule because she is really bitter about something. Later, we see a reason for her to question God's existence that reveals another side of Sue. Anyway, Grilled Cheesus takes a look at the connection of religion and spirituality with music and artistic expression, and finds that they are intertwined, and that it is hard to separate them. As a group, the Gleeks do "One of Us" by Joan Osborne. It asks the musical question: "What if God was one of us?" It is a great choice, as it could be taken both seriously and irreverently simultaneously. Just like this episode of Glee.
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