[Gabe Liedman is a stand-up comedian, and one half of the Gabe and Jenny comedy team with Jenny Slate. But at the top of that resume it states that he is Videogum’s Official Expert on this season of Glee.]
Wuh-oh, how you be so epic all of a sudden, Glee?! Jesus, I have so much to say! After weeks and weeks of gimmicky music-themes, wonk-ass guest stars, and a whole lot of nothing (WHICH WAS ALSO FUCKING PERFECT, DON’T GET ME WRONG), you come out of the gate this week swinging?! Who knew you still had it in you to be funny, sappy, sexy, and ridic-in-a-good way?! “It Gets Better” INDEED! Now, shit wasn’t perfect, but it was loaded, and halfway through this episode I found myself thinking “oh, I’m actually into this” and MEANING IT, for the first time in a while. The episode started out in the boys’ locker room, where it ALWAYS SHOULD, with Sam and Finn in side-by-side bathtubs (weird—that’s how my screenplay starts too!). Finn’s bath is all hot and steamy, but Sam’s is FREEZING COLD, because his penis needs a break from all the not-fucking Quinn’s doing with him, since she’s all “I don’t want another baby I need to throw out.”
Finn shares his trick keeping his balls pink, not blue, when Rachel locks up her pussy after kissing-only: he remembers the time he almost killed a mailman with his car last season when that joke was HILARIOUS. Then Sam notices that across the locker room, Coach Bieste is rocking a ferocious wedgie, and instantly his throbbing footlong (editorializing) becomes as limp as a sweet potato fry done wrong. Sam’s anti-bone is going to be Coach Bieste!
Puck is back from juvie with his signature mohawk and laughable attitude. Sectionalz are coming up, and Schue’s got the poop on the competition: Nude Erections just has to beat a bunch of old geezers from a Continuing Ed. hospital or some shit, and a bunch of prepsters from an all-boys school. To Gleepare for the competition, Schue tells the Gleetards they need to have a battle of the sexes (boys v. girls not tops v. bottoms), and Kurt has to be on the boys’ team, not the girls’. I THOUGHT IT GETS BETTER . What’s more: Team Penis-Havers must sing a song meant for girls, and Team Period-Getters must sing a song meant for boys.
Puck got sprung from the clink on the promise that he’d do a ton of community service, and he decides that his project is going to be Artie. He pushes Artie around in his wheelchair for practice, and then we see Kurt get pushed into the lockers by FOOTBALL BULLY #3. Kurt is fucking sick of that shit, so he tries to stand up to FOOTBALL BULLY #3, but FOOTBALL BULLY #3 is all “don’t make me unleash THE FURY” which is his nickname for his fists?
High on adrenaline, Kurt tries to talk the rest of Team Penis-Havers into dressing up like The Supremes in feather boas and sparkly gowns. They’re not so into it, so Kurt stomps out of the room. Then Sam starts making out with Quinn and just when his penis thermometer reaches a boil, he pictures Coach Bieste in a negligee, butchering a side of pork ribs, and instantly cools down. Ooopsies, he’s so proud of his trick that he moans “Bieste” into Quinn’s tiny earhole and she’s confused.
Quinn has a sit-down-and-talk with Sue about the whole Sam/Bieste incident and Sue gets SOAKING WET with schemes. She’s been trying to have Coach Bieste fired since last time it came up, weeks and weeks ago. All she’s gotta do is create a Mary Kay Letourneau (FUCKING GORGEOUS NAME, DOYOYOYO) situation out of this, and Bieste’ll be out on the street in no time.
Meanwhile, Puck’s decided that part of his community service for Artie is going to be to make him some quick cash (normal), so they decide to sing at school (actually normal for these weirdos) for cash (uh huh…) and their song of choice is “One Love” by Bob Marley? Yooooof. It’s always good for a laugh when unnamed children on Glee appear behind the real actors and start playing the drums or guitar or trumpet, but nothing’s made me snarf my vodka and apple cider harder than the steel drum players in this number:
LOLZ, ugh, how awful?! So awful it’s perfect? I guess everyone has their own thresholds for that, and mine’s wherever Glee tells me it should be. I will never listen to this song again, though.
Artie and Puck make $300 off their doucheformance, and Artie tells Puck he really wants to get Brittany the Perfect back, even though he bitch-screamed at her about having sex for fun LIKE AN ANIMAL (very few animals do that besides us). Puck’s all “let’s use this cash to go on a double d8 with her and Santana.”
AND HERE’S WHERE SHIT STARTS HAPPENING, just in time.
We know Kurt stomped out of the Penis-Havers’ Gleehearsal when his dragdea was vetoed, and now we see where bitch stomped off to: the all-boys prep school Schue mentioned four hours ago! He instantly meets Blaine, a dreamy homo str8 out the J. Crew Juniors catalogue (fuck, I’d PAY for that), who’s all: JUST IN TIME, ME AND MY BOYFRIENDS WERE ABOUT TO SCREAM A SONG, YOU LOVE DOING THAT TOO, RIGHT?!
They run through the halls of
Versailles the school holding hands ‘til they reach an opulent millionaires’ lounge where Blaine’s boyfriends are ready to perform! Blaine and his boyfriends scream “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry (woof) a capella style with so much beat-boxing (triple-woof), with Blaine on lead vocals and all eyes on Kurt’s reaction. Blaine’s classmates are SO FUCKING INTO the performance that they simply can’t stop Arsenio-ing; meanwhile Kurt’s so fucking hard his Spanx jump online to Yelp a good tailor who can work with stretchy fabrics (I learned on Project Runway that this can be a challenge).
Honey, change that lyric about “skin-tight jeans” to adorable gray flannel slacks and I’m IN.
Meanwhile, across Ohio, Tina and Mike sneak into a science classroom to make out, and right before they HIT IT, Tina lifts up Mike’s blouse, admires his abs, then calls him “The Situ-Asian,” or at least that’s what I heard. God, I hope that’s what she said—it’s just awful enough to air. Tina’s familiar with Sam’s cool-down method, so right before she gets TOO HORNY TO SAY NO TO WHAT MIKE WILL NEVER ASK HER TO DO, she pictures Coach Bieste doing ballet and dries right up.
This super-complicated and entirely uninteresting (at this point) Coach-Bieste-as-anti-Viagra plotline makes its way past Schue’s helmet right into his earholes, and he’s PISSED. If any member of the faculty should be on his kids’ mind when they’re bumping pocketbooks, it should be HIM.
Back at Delicious BoyMeat Academy, Kurt’s having a sit-down-and-chat with Blaine and two of his boyfriends, and he is wearing an INSANE peacoat vest?
Blaine shares that he too had been bullied for being gay in high school, and that’s why he packed up his bindle (“Step-dad, where’s my Kaboodle?!”) and enrolled in a school with a zero-tolerance policy on bullying.
Yes, there’s been SO MUCH TALK everywhere lately about bullying, and so many incidents being reported on where bullying has led to tragedy across the country lately (and always). And it’s tempting to get all jaded and feel backlash-y against the media for turning the topic into something almost trendy, what with their fists made of ham and all (anyone catch Madonna on Ellen saying that bullying gay kids in school is like The Holocaust?). But, overall, I’m glad this shit’s happening instead of not, and whether anyone’s helped by it or not will be a difficult thing to measure with any accuracy, or intelligence, and it’s only going to be visible in like ten years. Just remember: we’re adults, so all this shit aimed at young teens will always feel a little saccharine and disingenuous to us (have you seen the Christmas episode of My So-Called Life lately–that was like my Schindler’s List when it aired). I really wonder what it’s like to be a teen gay in the closet right now, when the media is working triple-extra overtime to say “come out, it’s okay,” or at least “if you get beat up for being gay it’s wrong now”—does it feel good? I was so desperate to NOT BE GAY (a very convincing vibe to put out there, trust) that I really squirmed whenever I saw gay-shit in the media, all “oh, I’m not into this, I’m into Stone Temple Pilots or whatever you tell me I’m into, I’m just holding this cassingle of “Groove is in the Heart” for a friend,” but that was a different time, and every individual has unique experiences (“ya don’t say, asshole!”—you). Oh, right: Glee! So, Blaine’s gay, doyoyoyoyoy, and he was bullied, and that’s why he goes to Delicious BoyMeat Academy. He ran away from his bullies, but that’s only one option: the other option is to stand up to them.
Puck and Artie crash Team Perdiod-Getters’ Gleehearsal to bully Santana and Britany the Perfect to their faces, which turns them on, because MEDIA BIAS. The two boob’d pawns agree to go on a double date with Puck and Artie. Also, Coach Bieste has caught wind of that retardo thingy everyone’s doing with her in their head, and asks Schue what the deal is. Schue tells her exactly what’s going on, and DOYOYOYOYOY it hurts her feelings, almost as much as it hurts my feelings that plot device is so complicated and unnecessary?
Then it’s double d8 time, and Puck brags about how his pecs made him the king of Juvie, and everyone was afraid to steal his breakfast items, or something. Then it’s time to exit and fuck, but Artie won’t skip out on the check like Puck wants him to, so Puck takes both girls home and Artie is like “aaaaw, maaaaan.”
FINALLY, it’s time for Team Period-Getters to scream their damn shit, and what a performance it is! They scream a mash-up of “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Start Me Up,” with Rachel as Bon Jovi and Mercedes as Mick Jagger, and everyone in Mad Max leathers. I <3’d it—even Rachel was lovely to watch, after a decidedly un<3able appearance on Conan:
During the number, Kurt gets a text from Blaine that says “courage,” and Schue gets a note from Sue, via Becky, that says she wants to see him in the auditorium. Schue shows up to find Sue onstage with TWO CONFETTI CANNONS because Coach Bieste has quit her job, Sue’s budget is back to its inflated self, and she’s feeling great! She even manages to say something hilarious and quotable for the first time in weeks:
SUE: It was your kids who made it happen, Will, it finally occurred to them to stop singing all that nonsense about how awesome it is to be alive, or ugly, or whatever the point is you guys are always trying to make, and instead, they just got mean.
SCHUE: Wait, Coach Bieste quit?
SUE: I believe I just said that, Annie Sullivan, you want me to sign it into your palm?
Kurt gets shoved again by FOOTBALL BULLY #3, but with a fresh hit of courage from his iPhone, he decides to stand up for himself ferociously. Kurt follows FOOTBALL BULLY #3 into the locker room and screams in his face about how fucked up it is to bully gay teens, and almost gets punched in the mouth; BUT, INSTEAD, FOOTBALL BULLY #3 KISSES HIM IN THE MOUTH AND EVERYONE IN AMERICA PASSED OUT AND KURT LOOKS DESTROYED. Then I remembered—didn’t this character come out to Finn last year? Still: SURPRISE, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Schue sits all the Gleetards down to tell them about what their complicated nonsense has done to Coach Bieste, and they feel terrible. Then, Puck gets called into the Principal’s office because his probation officer is not impressed with his fake community service bullshit. She threatens to throw him back in the clink for being an asshole, and Puck literally flips the fuck out, throwing shit around and acting like a maniac. Good call!
Blaine shows up at McKinley to help Kurt confront FOOTBALL BULLY #3 about the kiss-doing. FOOTBALL BULLY #3 flips out and kind of attacks Blaine, but thankfully doesn’t do any real damage to his face or body. When he storms away, Kurt explains that what’s the most fucked up about FOOTBALL BULLY #3 kissing him is that it was his first kiss, which is sad . Blaine offers to buy him lunch because I guess he doesn’t have to go to school today, just wear the uniform.
Schue shows up to try and stop Coach Bieste from leaving McKinley, and she says the phrase “follow my bliss,” which hopefully was ironic? Then she explains that she is str8, and no one ever thinks she’s pretty, which hurts her feelings A LOT. She’s also never been kissed, so Schue tells her she’s pretty inside and out, and then kisses her, without doing any weird shit like making her think he’s interested per se. Despite my better judgment, I found this scene really touching, and also a reminder that this show’s by the Nip/Tuck psycho—a show I <3’d for a brief period just because of shit like this. Remember that time Matt figured out that he was kind of into trannies because he fucked his tutor, so he picks up a tranny from a tranny bar, fucks her, then is really grossed out with himself so he brutally beats her, and it’s disgusting and schocking, and then the tranny comes back with her tranny mafia and beats him up even worse and they all piss on him? Just saying. Coach Bieste is not a trans individual, and I’m not trying to draw any direct comparison here. It’s just amazing sometimes what happens on Ryan Murphy shows. This scene was sweet.
Puck decides he needs to skip town because doing real community service, like picking up litter off the side of the road, is “ghetto.” EW, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Puck really can’t go back to juvie because he was anything but the king there—in fact EVERYONE stole his breakfast, and on the first day someone ripped his nipple ring out (yuck). Artie begs him to stay and makes a deal with him: Artie will tutor Puck while Puck picks up trash. I don’t see the appeal, but it works for Puck.
Kurt gazes longingly at his new locker décor—ransom-note-style letters from a magazine that spell out “côuragé” and a framed photo of Blaine—when FOOTBALL BULLY #3 comes by for one more shove. What a homo. Then it’s time for Team Penis-Havers to scream their number, which they’ve dedicated to Coach Bieste and her duality between tough and tender: a mash-up of “Stop! in the Name of Love” and “Free Your Mind.” It’s alright (actually it’s pretty tragic and terrible, but fuck me if I don’t love En Vogue):
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, then the shit was over. I know it was cheesy, and syrupy, and it’s pretty ridiculous that FOOTBALL BULLY #3 just up and kissed Kurt. And it’s tiring, hearing all this shit about bullied teens when the Republicans have just taken back the House, we’re fighting 2 ½ wars, unemployment is thru duh roof, etc. But, Glee is pretty much exactly the right place for this kind of confectionary take on Hot Topixxx—it’s not reaching the bullies, NODOY, but it’s reaching the victims, and making them feel pretty and strong, and most importantly, not alone. It IS fucked up for kids to be ostracized because their proto-sexualities are detectably left of str8—kept me in the closet until I was 20. I’m happy that there’s an actually-funny, actually-entertaining show with a talented, diverse cast who take on too-big issues for the edutainment of the Karaoke Generation. Is it perfect? FUCK no. But it’s popular, and fun, and silly, and responsible-for-the-most part, in its way, and if you can’t tell by now, I’m a fan.