Love was in the air on Glee this week, with new love, old love, and career love taking center stage to strains of The Beatles. Oh, and there was also some Sue Sylvester thrown in there, but that was a song of a different tune.
On the career love front, it’s a bumpy ride for Rachel. She’s dragging herself along in her Funny Girl auditions, not really making any waves. The pompous people around her don’t have faith in her potential. Do you? Will all her ambition and singing into hairbrush microphones pay off? We all meditate on the problem with a walk-and-sing through the Big Apple. (“Glee”’s representation of New York City is so idyllic and post-cardy that really, what else can you call it?) Mirrors mean introspection in filmic language, right? Rachel’s feeling introspective.
But she’s finally working a real job as a waitress with Santana, following her around like a puppy and angling for pep talks. The restaurant also turns out to be the perfect setting for impressing her possible Funny Girl director and co-star with a jazzy dance number. All workplaces should have jukeboxes. I’m not sure about the choreography here, but those majorette uniforms sure are cute. And God, does Santana ever NOT totally kill it? Why’s Rachel the one grasping for stardom when Santana’s got the blazing star power? (Disagree? Let’s debate this!)
Back in Lima, the Beatles assignment is in full swing, starting with a history lesson in why The Beatles were awesome underdogs. But this isn’t about history – it’s about NATIONALS! And love.
Artie and Kitty are still an item (I tried to forget). They have some cute carnival fun. As awful as Kitty is to pretty much everyone around her, she’s surprisingly romantic with Artie. But it’s a secret! Until Tina tries to help in the most annoying way possible! I get it, she means well, but still. Kitty’s unexpected sincerity is growing on me. I also appreciate a women who can sling a good insult. And that perky ponytail!
But it turns out Tina’s being annoying because she’s lonely. There’s some deep psychoanalysis for you. The Glee Club guys woo her with an oldschool number as a way of pitching themselves to her as prom dates. Once she’s paired up with Sam for the big dance, we can rest assured she won’t be meddling anymore. Lonely b-tches be crazy, right?
Blaine and Kurt are still the most appealing couple on the show, partially because they have two of the best voices, making for the best-sounding lovey duets. Also, they both appreciate the value of polo shirts and fancy neck wear. Soul mates? Not sure, but their dance number was sure appealing.
Kurt’s dad is the bastion of good sense and realistic romance in this episode. He doesn’t tell Kurt how to answer Blaine’s proposal, but he does stress the real joy and difficulty of true love. Blaine’s formal proposal provides a great opportunity for some blasts from the past: The Warblers! The deaf choir that made you cry (don’t lie, you cried)! And practically everyone else in the world is present to gawk at Blaine’s love – does anyone else find these kinds of public displays deeply embarrassing? But Blaine says all the right things, and it pays off.
I vote yes on the issue of Kurt + Blaine 2gether 4ever. But teen engagements don’t have a very positive history on “Glee”, so I’m not buying my bridesmaid’s dress yet. Will the writers use these nice young men as another teachable moment about Waiting Till You’re Older? Like, they did it with straight kids, but they’re equal opportunity fun-wreckers, so now they have to do it with the gay kids, too? I don’t care if delaying marriage is good common sense – it’s bad TV. It’s not fun or romantic or sweepingly grand the way all-consuming young love is.
The only area of this premiere not lovey-doved to the brim is Sue Sylvester. She’s back in a big way with her usual battle cry. It’s ridiculous fun, but it hasn’t been fresh since the first season. And now she doesn’t have her sweet sister to play off of when we need to be reminded she’s actually human and not a man-eating lizard creature (with excellent antique book-hunting skills). I guess that’s why she had a baby? To add a little humanity to her image? ‘Cause Becky’s gone now, too. Her current military campaign against Figgins – taking his job, making him school janitor, pouring Grade D meat slurry on him – is more of her usual terrorism. Kind of boring, aside from a few laughs at the expense of the gay foot fetish community. It also feels incongruous with the rest of the episode. Or perhaps that’s the point – to highlight the extremes of the presence and absence of love.
Let’s instead focus on that “Yes.” That “Yes” is exciting, right? Even if you vote no on Kurt + Blaine in the long run, you still have to admit that “Yes” was exciting.
Hannah McIlveen is a freelance graphic designer and TV-obsessed writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. She grew up riding horses and reading Roald Dahl books, got an art degree, and then spent the next several years moving around the country and watching television. Her greatest goals in life are to write good stuff, produce a web series, build a house with her husband, and have six cats at once. Hannah has contributed to BitchMagazine.org and is a staff blogger for the soon-to-launch TeenSized.com. She also writes her own daily blog, Click Watch Write. Hannah can be accosted on Twitter @ClickWatchWrite.