Last night's episode of Tunebots: A Musical had our kids feeling sad and neglected, unable to raise funds for their big trip to Nationals. Also Will was sad-ish about Holly Holiday. Yes, Ms. Paltrow was back, squeezing out another song.
Hi Gleekheads! Your usual recapper Brian Moylan has the day off today, so I am pinch hitting, and boyyy do I not know what to say! Writing about Glee is hard because so many people really, really love it like it's their best friend or something, but then also I suspect so many people kind of hate it but watch it every week and get mad at themselves (but secretly happy with themselves) when they're moved by one of the song-blasts. So what tone do you take without upsetting either side? I don't think you can, so this is just a preemptive way of saying "Sorry!"
The episode! The episode was called "A Night of Neglect," and it was all about two kids sitting on the living room rug watching TV shows they shouldn't be watching while their parents drink and fight in the kitchen. No, no, that would be depressing. It was really just about the glee kids feeling, once again, that nobody loves them. See, they have to raise a buttload of money to go to New York City for the big Nationals jamboree, and all Mr. Noodleshair can think of doing is selling taffy. Oh Mr. Noodleshair and his old timey ways! Isn't he supposed to be in his late 30s? So he was in high school in the early '90s? I was alive back then (I know, pretty crazy) and I'm pretty sure people weren't walking around in knickers and spats and straw hats selling taffy to girls promenading down the school house hallway carrying parasols. I'm pretty sure taffy was pretty dorky in the early '90s same as it's dorky now. So that doesn't make sense!
What also doesn't make sense is: Why does everyone hate the glee kids so much? I don't know. I know that Singing Is Dorky when you're a pimpleface, but I kind of feel like if there was this group of kids who routinely blew the damn doors off with their tuneful banshee wails, people would want to see it. Y'know? I think people would like it when Mercedes pumps up the good time jams and Puck does his sexy growly Jewbadour (no?) thing. Not everyone, obviously, some people would stay away, weeping and furtively masturbating in the gymnasium equipment cage (I'm looking at you, Karofsky), but I think a lot of people would be pretty into the glee club at this point. Call me crazy! Maybe I'm just blinded by the fact of living in these super-changed, post-Glee times and I don't remember what it was like to live in a world where Glee didn't exist, where everyone hated singers like they hated and feared actors in the Elizabethan times. Still, I'm nagged by this persistent feeling that the whole "Everyone hates glee club" thing is a bit played out, n'est–ce pas? But OK, let's just go with it.
So everyone hates and wants to murder glee club, and that makes the gleemurs (yes?) feel sad. So Noodles has a great idea. Why not embrace their loser status and have a "Night of Neglect," singing neglected songs from neglected artists throughout musical history (musical history being America between 1960 and today)? Yes! A terrific idea! "Hey, I know you hate us, but do you want to come see us sing songs nobody likes by artists nobody cares about?" "Yes. Yes I do." That's totally how that conversation would go! Good plan. Everyone liked it. Oh also, and Artie, Mike, Tina, and Brittany got all butthurt because no one remembered that they were trying to get to Nerd Finals for their trivia club and so Noodles was like "All right, let's add them to the fundraising tally," and everyone felt fine. (It was also revealed that Brittany is a savant when it comes to knowing about cat diseases, so that's good.)
Rachel naturally thought that she herself was a neglected artist, so she wanted to sing Celine Dion's "My Fart Will Go On" (she just can't stop eating Rene's burritos!), and everyone was like [eye roll]. Mercedes got upset because she wants to be the diva, so the girl with the glasses, Puck's lady friend, was all "If you want to be treated like a diva, you have to act like a diva," so she told Mercedes to make all these crazy demands — puppies to dry her hands with, bowl of green M&Ms, Kurt chained to a pipe and made to dance sexy to "Goodbye Horses" while he weeps — and Mercedes did and everyone was like [eye roll]. So that was THAT business. Sigh.
Meanwhile Noodles was totally butt-crazy in love with Holly Holiday, played by the indefatigable suggestion of gold atoms that is Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth was back, babies! Yeah she and Noodles are making hot noodly sex together (and beautiful music! they probably sing while they're doing it to drown out the sound of Gwyneth's bones grinding to dust) and Noodles is soooo into it. Holly is less into it. She's a rambling woman, gotta go where the sub gigs take her, and she can't make a commitment. This bothers Noodles and he spends a lot of time poking at his hard shellacked hair in the mirror feeling sad about it, but what can you do? Well, you can go flirt with Emma Pilsbury. One day at lunch Emma looked miserable and Will asked her what was wrong and she said "Oh, Noodles. John Stamos left me." And everyone was like "Whaaaaat?" Because wasn't John Stamos supposed to be like on this show? I thought he was joining the cast? Like the way Rob Lowe was joining Parks & Recreation? I thought we were all happy about this because thank god someone from television made it out of the '80s alive? Guess not. Sorry, Stamos. So yeah, Will was like "What happened?" and basically Emma said that it was easy to get a divorce because she and Stamos had never consummated the relationship. And Will was like "You've never had TB?" and Emma shook her sad head and said "No, Will, it means to do it. We never did it." Will was shocked, and then saddened. So he washed grapes with her or something and they shared a tender moment as they ate the grapes and Will said "I'll always be there for you" and Emma was like "Do you ever wonder if you let the best thing pass you by..." and we alllll knew what they were talking about, including Holly Holiday who was watching from the window. She looked sad but resigned and that's all there was to that.
MEANWHILE (there is so much going on on this show every episode) Sue was up to her Sue Stuff™, namely scheming about how to sabotage the gleemurs' (deal with it) fundraising efforts. Her best idea was to assemble a justice league of villains to help her. So she blew her conch shell and summoned Will's ex-wife, Sandy Ryerson, and Cheyenne Jackson from theater. She gave them each nicknames — Honey Badger, The Pink Dagger, Captain Handsome (or something) — and individual tasks. She dispatched Sandy to be a mean heckler at the comeback show. She sent Cheyenne Jackson to seduce Holly, and thus break Will's spirit or something. And she sent the ex-wife to... well, that remains a mystery. But yeah, Sue's legion of doom skittered off into the night to do their nefarious things.
Oh. So, Cheyenne Jackson is the coach of Vocal Adrenalin, the rival glee squad which counts Charice, Filipino singing sensation, among its ranks. There was a small plotline with her last night, turning up to join forces for New Directions because she knows what it feels like to have nobody care. She bellowed out "All By Myself" and good lord she is a singing space alien. I know they autotune or vocally fix-up a lot of these kids (looking in your direction, Agron) but I really don't think they did that for Charice. "Girl can blow!" - Randy Jackson. So that was fun, if completely pointless, because later on Cheyenne found out that she was doing the Neglect show and told her she couldn't. Oh well.
Cheyenne found out from Holly Holiday, whom he attempted to seduce. Holly was teaching in class pretending to be Wallis Simpson, because I think Ryan Murphy and crew wanted to see her do that old-timey socialite voice she's done on SNL and stuff, so that was kind of fun. In that it's funny to watch Gwyneth Paltrow affect the timbre and tones of old aristocracy when she herself was born under such humble circumstances. You know how that is. But yeah, Cheyenne went into her classroom and did a whole seducey thing and everyone was like "Oh, Cheyenne" and Holly brushed him off. But Will saw the whole encounter go down and stormed in and threatened to beat up Cheyenne. Hahahhahahaah. Can you imagine a fight between Matthew Morrison and Cheyenne Jackson? That would be the silliest non-fight in the world ever. "Oh no, I can't fight! I'm late for the Gypsy Robe ceremony! Gawd, Cheyenne, gawd. Hey, did you like 'Summer Rain'?" So that was very funny, but very sad for Will because he is continuing to doubt Holly's commitment to Noodle Motion. Can this couple be saved?
While all that feelings drama was unfolding, Sue was tasking Becky, one of the football dudes, and the nerdy egghead guy with the crazy hair to be hecklers with Sandy at the big Neglect benefit. They all had their own reasons for liking to heckle — NCIS message board trolling, anti-Mubarak Twitter accounts — so they jumped at the opportunity. So all the evil pieces were in place and it was time for the concert.
Kurt and his boitoi Crisstal arrived (they were basically the only audience members, sad) and were immediately harassed in the hallway by Karofsky. Why was Karofsky wandering the halls of the school at night? Nobody knows, but it's OK. Just go with it. So yeah he was there and was mean to Kurtsy and Crisstal and they were like "We know the truth, we know the truth," referring to Karofsky's enormous Kurt-boner, and then Santana (the besssst character) stepped out of the shadows and did a Woo-style "Oh no, ya di'n't" at Karofsky because he'd given her a facial earlier (ew) and laughed about it and she was mad. Karofsky was scared of Santana and ran away weeping. She asked the two bois what they meant by "We know the truth" but they didn't answer. But I've a feeling that secret will come pooping out soon enough!! Kinky Karosfky threeway, with prep school uniforms a'flyin'? Only if Ryan Murphy writes that episode.
Um, OK. I think we're ready for the singing? We're ready for the singing. The singing! Tina came out and jammed to a song I'd never heard before, sorry I'm not a music master, but it was going well until the hecklers got to her and she ran off stage in tears. Everyone was like "What are we going to do about these terrible hecklers?" and Holly was like, "I got it." So she went to talk to the hecklers in a room (they were just all in a room, I guess) and gave the following speech:
I get it. We live in a culture of insults. I mean we're constantly bombarded with these images of people who are richer than us and happier than us, and have more interesting sex than us, and it makes us feel terrible. You know, we tear them down to feel better about ourselves.
Didja get that? Didja see what GP was doing there? She was talk to you. To me. To everyone who's ever made fun of her. I dunno. I think we were supposed to feel kind of moved or thoughtful, resting our chins on our hands saying "Huh...," but I didn't feel like that at all? I think I just felt like Gwyneth Paltrow used the one likable thing she's doing these days, namely her Gleeformances, as a platform to talk about how rich and happy and sexy she is? I mean, that's kind of what happened, right? I get it. We do live in a culture of insults, both anonymous and attached to faraway names (like mine — I'm terrible and going to hell, but it's a living), and I can't imagine what it must be like to be the target of them. It's why I'd never want to become terribly famous. But, if I were rich and happy, like Gwyneth implied that she is, does that automatically mean I wouldn't find GOOP ridiculous? I don't think so! I think I would always find GOOP weird and tone deaf and not but a little braggy. I also would find Mario Batali telling the same lame, overcompensating story about Paltrow eating a huge pan of paella over and over again ridiculous and annoying. I'm sorry. I guess that makes me a "hater"? I guess I deserved that lecture? OK, whatever. Thanks for the teaching moment, Gwyneth. Appreciate it. Can't wait for your next GOOP full of tips for the average working mom.
Sorry. Ugh. ANYWAY. The hecklers didn't really care about Gwyneth's words of wisdom, but they left anyway. At some point, and I forget if they were still in the audience or not, Mike Chang did a patented Mike Chang dance, and lemme tell ya, Harry Shum could harry my shum all night if he wanted to. Boy can dance. After that there was this whole dramz with Mercedes and Lea Michele where Mercedes refused to go on because she wasn't going to sing last and everyone was, again, like [eye roll] so Lea Michele ran outside in the rain to talk to her and she was really nice and said "You have as good a voice as me, you just have to be more assertive" or something, and so Mercedes agreed to come back in and sing, and Rachel let her close the show. Which is all well and good, but once again I'm bothered by the inconsistency of the Rachel character. One minute she's this insane singing Tracy Flick, the next she's just a sweet gal with empathy. I know that if they pulled both ends of the spectrum in a little closer toward the middle it would make her character less Exciting and Funny and whatnot, but it would at least make her a bit more consistent. As it stands, I'm beginning to worry that she has a schizophrenia problem.
While all that was going on, Holly Holiday came out on stage in a long black dress and rattled an Adele song (up top) about giving up on love and turning tables and stuff. It was good. I mean, sure. Way to go Gwyneth. You are rich and happy and have great sex. I am poor and unhappy and have no sex, and when I do have sex, it is bad. The song was all freighted with meaning for Will, who was watching in the audience, and Will knew that he and Holl-Hols were going to be no longer.
Next up it was Mercedes' turn to tear down the chandelier and she did just that on a very good Aretha Franklin tune. Sandy Ryerson got really into it and gave up the old heckling game. He even said he'd pay for the trips with his drug dealing money, and the kids won their Nerd Finals because the last question was about, omg, Wallis Simpson being a hermaphrodite Nazi. Yay! This of course made Sue very mad, so she turned to her third weapon, Will's ex-wife. We don't know what her evilness is going to be, but you'd better believe it'll be... well, it'll be something. Who knows.
Out in the hallway, Noodles and Gwyneth broke up for the time being, she is going to teach French for a few months in Cleveland, but she'll be back. Oh she'll be back. Richer and happier than ever!
I think that was it, Gleeeeekz! What did you think of the episode? Did Gwyneth's lecture sink in? Are you a changed person now? Or are you still poor and miserable and sexually neglected?