Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 18 of FOX's Glee, titled, "Choke."
I initially thought I would write this blog post thinking I would hate the latest episode of Glee. However, while I didn't find it completely detestable, it is still wrought full of inconsistencies that make the show incredibly hard to love. At least for me. And I'm pretty easy to please.
The problem with Glee most of the time is that it juggles way too many storylines, often dropping them along the way. And then later, they pick them, tie them with a little bow, and toss them away just as fast. This is the same with the characters, which is why I think The Glee Project brings the main show down, filling it with unnecessary, one-dimensional, and plot-less add-ins. We already have little time devoted to the main cast, so why add more people that, frankly, no one really cares about? How is it possible that Rory (Damien McGinty) got screen time while Quinn (Dianna Agron) got none? What is Rory still doing on the show? Oh, that's right. Filling out his contractual episode obligation.
"Choke" focused on three separate and unrelated plots. The main storyline was (debatably) the one surrounding Beiste's encounter with spousal abuse, which came completely out of left field. Don't get me wrong, I think Dot-Marie Jones did a wonderful job, but there was no build-up to this story. It was just... there, which makes the writers seem careless and like they're just grabbing PSA ideas from a jar. And this is where Glee fails. Their attempts to focus on real problems suffer because they just touch and go, like when Karofsky attempted suicide in "On My Way." That scene matched with Darren Criss singing Young The Giant's "Cough Syrup" was one of the best Glee has ever done, but it's like they put all their energy into that one moving scene and then decide, "Okay, we knocked those seven minutes out of the park. Now let's move on to other, less important things."
Which brings me to another topic of discussion: character continuity. A lot of the characters have changed since the beginning of the series, and I don't mean naturally growing as people. I mean that they do things that are completely out of character. Let's take a look at Sue (Jane Lynch). She started off as the villain, a evil, psychotic, politically-incorrect tyrant. Now she's doing nothing but being a nice person, which is obviously not what Lynch won the Emmy for. "Choke" saw the return of the original Rachel Berry, someone who would kill (probably literally) for fame and stardom. I liked this Rachel before she turned all melodramatic and "I want to get married ASAP!" on us. When she messed up her NYADA audition and broke down, I was completely for that. It was heartbreaking actually, because she wanted it so much and within that one minute, it all just slipped away. And can we please stop dumbing down Brittany? It was funny for the first season and garnered a few chuckles the second, but now she's just a one-trick pony that can dance and sometimes sing.
That doesn't mean the episode was a complete mess by any means. It was actually one of the stronger of the less-than-pristine season. The musical numbers (sans the ones sung by Puck) were really quite good. "Cell Block Tango," "Not The Boy Next Door," and "Shake It Out" all had wonderful renditions, so I commend Chris Colfer and the girls that aren't Lea Michele or Dianna Agron. The first time Lea sang "Don't Rain On My Parade" I was blown away, so I was excited for her to sing it again, but alas, it was short-lived. When she sang "Cry," it was pretty good but borderline manic depressive. As for the other numbers, I could have lived without them (and the entire Puck storyline, to be honest). Sometimes the way episodes are set up, it makes me feel like the first order of business for the writers is to find songs and then write the plots, which would explain the lack of consistency throughout the season. That's probably not the case, but I like to think it is, so just let me wallow in it.
I'm hoping this slight increase in episode quality and plot development means that the remainder of the season will only get better from here, but I'm not going to hold my breath. And don't forget we have to go through Prom. "Again?" Again.
Random Thoughts on "Choke"
Puck's dad shows up out of no where and asks for money. Puck gives it to him. Puck is inspired to graduate, but too bad Father Puckerman never passed down the intelligence gene.
I am surprisingly enjoying NeNe Leakes' guest appearances.
I rolled my eyes so hard at the entire "Glee Guys Working Out" scene.
An episode called "Choke" that features a good deal of spousal abuse. Swift!
Editing Error! When Rachel is about to perform with Kurt, her hair is curly/wavy, but when she sits down in the audience, it's straight! Messup or just lightning-fast straightening?
Glee reminds me every week how unappealing it is to be sung to.
So, readers, how do you feel about the latest episode? Or did it miss it because you quit the show when I technically should have as well? Do you think NeNe Leakes' teeth are really made of Ivory? Important questions!