Tuesday, September 25, 2012

GLEE 4x2: "Britney 2.0"

Glee's second Britney Spears tribute focuses more on the meltdowns than the music, as the New Directions attempt to save Brittany from self-destructing. In New York, Rachel struggles to prove that she's sexy enough to learn the tango. Seriously.

McKinley| No matter how much the Glee characters change, there will always be two simple ways to describe Brittany S. Pierce. Girl can dance, and...girl is really dumb. Having somehow managed to slip through the cracks of the Lima Public School system last year with no parents and a 0.0 GPA, Brittany is feelin' good and ready to take on her second annual senior year. Sue on the other hand, has other plans. Concerned that Brittany's idiocy is bringing down the curve for the rest of the Cheerios, she strips the head cheerleader of her title and throws her off the squad. And thus begins the mental and emotional downward spiral of a character who gets fleshed out once a year, usually during the second episode of the season*.

Because he's sometimes paying attention to his students, Will notices Brittany's decline into sweatpants and brings in big gun Emma "Reaction Shot" Pillsbury to try and get through to her. This is where it is decided that they need to '...bring Britney back' - but not literally because Spears herself isn't in the episode this time. Since Will has never met a lazy assignment theme he didn't like, he rushes to the choir room to inform the New Directions that Britney week is back, bitches. While I wish I could tell you that each song was carefully chosen based on the characters' struggles and their subsequent dedication to helping out a friend...this is a tribute episode and they used most of the good tracks in Season 2. 

Meanwhile, on the unofficial Glee spinoff known as Marley, the writers are trying to make The Girl Who Would Be Rachel a fully-formed character at a breakneck speed. She's got her eye on Jake, but Unique is quick to point out that he has loved and left every single girl at McKinley in the two weeks that he's been on school grounds. Despite a rousing rendition of "Womanizer", Marley can't say no when Jake finally suggests that they hang out. He's still got some BAD-ASS ideas about that stupid glee club, and to prove it he mashes up Britney with an Aerosmith ballad. So they can duet. Acoustically. BAD-ASS.

Will realizes that there's only one way to reach Jake, and that soon it will be too late. So he picks up his flashing red "Emergency Cast Member Return" phone, which transports Puck from Los Angeles to Lima for a single, camera-spinning scene. Turns out it wasn't nailing a bunch of girls that made Puck a man, it was...the glee club? It's a throwaway line, and I hope to never learn what it actually means. Then Puck leaves, without seeing any of his other New Directions friends. Which is weird. And just when you think that Jake has learned a valuable lesson, he pulls a dick move and starts dating Kitty. Poor, poor, Marley. 

After she beats the shit out of Jacob Ben Israel (JBI!), the gang realizes that they need to put Brittany front and center to help her feel better about herself. They give her the pity lead in the pep assembly, and she somehow convinces everyone to lip sync the number, which of course blows up in their faces in front of the entire school. She resigns after a severe scolding from Will, but Sam rubs his 7 brain cells together and figures out that it's all just a cunning ruse! She is recreating Britney's darker times in order to get to the part where she stages a triumphant comeback and gets paid $14 million to be on X Factor. They have a sweet moment where we learn that maybe stupid people are just smart in different ways, and Brittany/Sam is now officially my favorite couple on this show. Make. It. Happen.

*See "Britney/Brittany" from Season 2, and "I Am Unicorn" from Season 3.

New York| Rachel and Kurt are the newly-proud renters of a ludicrously enormous Brooklyn loft, and are ready to take on the world together. Kurt will be applying for an internship at Vogue.com, and Rachel resolves to find a way to make Cassandra July see that there's some sexy in her Schwimmer. Since Cassie can't just be an alcoholic, she's also a crazy YouTube trainwreck who smashed an old guy's ringing cell phone during her first big performance - and was understandably blacklisted for it. 

Ms. July's misfortune really brings out the go-getter in Rachel, who decides to employ Brody in putting on a sexy Britney number in class. When Cassie is unimpressed, Rachel's ambition bubbles over and causes her to lash out in front of everyone. When returning later to apologize, she learns a very valuable lesson about self-control. Or something. 

Brody comes to visit Rachel with a housewarming orchid that night, and confesses that he finds her sexy and wants to make out with her all the time. She's still hung up on Finn (Remember him? Anyone?) though, and stops him just as he leans in to kiss her. He says that he'll respect her boundaries and leaves, but Rachel then proceeds to paint over the completely pathetic Finn graphitti she made earlier. I hope that Finn doesn't show up unexpectedly just as she's decided to move on!

Quotes & Commentary

"Our plucky little Ewok waddled her way to a respectable C+." - Sue to Brittany, on Becky's far superior letter grade on an algebra test

"I'm not speaking to you. I know you joined a gang." - Brittany to Lord Tubbington, who is inexplicably dressed in leather

"I mean about Brittany's downward spiral. The whole singing 'at' her thing isn't really helping." - Blaine, realizing that singing really can't solve everything

"You're late...and dressed like a Walgreens underwear model." - Cassandra July to 'sexy' Rachel

- Despite all evidence to the contrary, I enjoyed this episode. The plot may be whisper-thin, but it manages the tribute without fundamentally changing any of the characters. So, progress!

- Showing that Becky spells her name "Bocky" cracked me up and made me smile. More Becky Jackson, please.

- Along with Dianna Agron, Jayma Mays is no longer credited as a series regular. She could be dead before graduation.

- This is a Sugar-free episode. And no, they don't ever mention her.

- Their version of "3" is surprisingly great, but why is Joe singing about threesomes and sinning? Seeing Quinn wear a cross was ironic (because she was a slut), but Joe seems to be a straight-and-narrow Christian. I really wanted this to be addressed.

- Kurt really doesn't have anything to do in this episode, save for act even gayer than usual. He better not become Rachel's sidekick, or I will vomit. In related news: Here's hoping the New York stories start to get better.

- Stoner Brett is really bucking for a recurring role, isn't he? J'accuse!

Blaine Corner

Song Ranking

#1 "Womanizer"
Performed by Unique, Tina & Marley
Originally performed by Britney Spears

#2 "Boys / Boyfriend"
Performed by Blaine & Artie
Originally performed by Britney Spears / Justin Bieber

#3 "3"
Performed by Joe, Tina & Sam
Originally performed by Britney Spears

#4 "Hold It Against Me"
Performed by Brittany & The Cheerios
Originally performed by Britney Spears

#5 "U Drive Me Crazy / Crazy"
Performed by Marley & Jake
Originally performed by Britney Spears / Aerosmith

#6 "Gimme More"
Performed by Brittany & The New Directions
Originally performed by Britney Spears

#7 "Oops!...I Did It Again"
Performed by Rachel
Originally performed by Britney Spears

#8 "Everytime"
Performed by Marley
Originally performed by Britney Spears


Coming up, on Glee:
The battle for student council begins! Sarah Jessica Parker makes her debut as Kurt's Vogue.com boss! Chord Overstreet is shirtless!

  • "Celebrity Skin" - Performed by Brittany & Sam (Preview)
  • "A Change Would Do You Good" - Performed by Rachel (Preview)
  • "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" - Performed by Blaine (Preview)
  • "The Way You Look Tonight / You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" - Performed by Kurt & Isabelle Klempt (Preview)

"Makeover" airs Thursday, September 27th at 9pm on FOX. Recap posts on October 2nd. 

Related Articles:
Glee 4x1: "The New Rachel"

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