Glee: Season 3, Episode 21 – Nationals

It’s the second to last episode of Glee’s (what’s below “middling?”) third season. Otherwise known as the Nationals Competition episode. Otherwise known as the deathmarch to the finale. Ugh…hurry up and graduate, and then get cancelled.

So Glee is almost over for yet another season. Should everyone go into their caves hibernating until a new season blooms anew? Or should we scorch the earth upon which Glee survives so that we don’t have to deal with it for yet another year? Should anyone ever watch this show ever again? It’s hard to say. I can say with authority that By That You Mean will forgo recaps next season, or at least they will take a much more diminished form.

But that’s the future. Let’s pause, look back, and talk with one of the writers of this most recent episode…

Apparently, it’s time for Tina to finally have her episode…3 (4?…no, she is apparently a Junior) years after the start of the show. A tongue-in-cheek introductory montage does not excuse the racist, unclear, blatant absence of her character otherwise. Wasn’t she like, among the main characters in the pilot?

The thing is, Tina did deserve an episode…just not this episode! And if we are to believe she truly is a Junior, is she younger than Kurt? Oh god my brain hurts. Zing! Obviously brain injuries result in people in your life comically swapping bodies. No need to see a doctor! Turns out…she can sing.

I loved every single character swap. Maybe the best was Mike Chang as Anonymous Glee Project Winner No. 4 (the dreadlocks guy). Or maybe Santana as wheelchair-bound Artie. Or Sue and Will as each other. Or Quinn as Sugar Motta. Or Artie and Mercedes as lesbian lovers Brittany and Santana. Like I said, it was all great.

Yes, I agree. In the writers room I firmly argued that THIS should have been a theme episode. Oddly, the worst to write for were Rachel as Tina and vice-versa. It’s a testament to the campyness (/bad writing style?) of the show that such varied characters could be so easily identified even when portrayed by vastly different actors. If there ever were an SNL parody, it should be compared to this.

Can Cooter please be run over by a train?

We are working on just that. And that train derails and somehow ends his whole family, I wanna say. And his name is stricken from the English language. What I’m saying is, we all love this character so much. Jokes. Dot Jones [as Coach Shannon Beiste] is, indeed, not a bad actress. I doubt we will see her in anything not produced by Ryan Murphy, but I guess what I’m saying is I wouldn’t mind writing for her again. With or without autotune.

Were any of the added characters this year supposed to resonate with the viewers, in the hopes that they could replace the graduating seniors [whose real life careers won’t be so shitty that they will need to reappear in cameos] after this season? Because who do we have?

Well there are the several Glee Project winners and non-winners. Sugar Motta. Coach Beiste…who is not a student, obviously. Blaine…who is not graduating? Honestly I can’t remember if he’s a Senior or a Junior. And that’s it. We, the writers, are obviously just going to introduce a new slate of characters next season.

Honestly that sounds like a great idea. Can you discuss a little about how you maintain such excellent character consistency?

You mean like how Santana and Brittany wear their Cheerios uniforms while they rehearse for the glee national competition in a hotel in Chicago? Well, Emma has severe germaphobia, so when she was in the hotel we made sure to include a scene where she pushes a communal luggage cart around and then immediately runs her hands through her hair. Because that makes sense. Then we couldn’t let Diana Agron have her final performance in a wheelchair, so we decided Quinn can basically all of a sudden not only walk but now dance too.

Lindsay Lohan appears as herself. Perez Hilton appears as his thinner self. That gay guy from Entourage appears as some random fake politician. Triple gross. What does it mean when the gay guy from Entourage was the highlight of the group?

I am friends with him.

So I have to say that the “Edge of Glory” performance was enjoyable. In many ways Glee is at its best when it emulates Gaga. Shiny, simple, catchy. But most importantly, when it’s selling this pseudo “I’m different, but that’s OK” mantra.

Obviously the vocals were heavily produced and joined together in post-production, but yes we wanted to make sure to include several singers. In real life, an a Capella group would rely on more than just one female vocalist to pull off the ensemble sound. In other words, it was fake up until the edge of being almost real.

Rachel’s rendition of the classic Meatloaf “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” was, without any hint of sarcasm, truly powerful. That voice was made for a ballad like this. It had the benefit of building from softness to something really hard.

Once again, I agree. It was simple and yet recognizably resonant. Most importantly, it made sense for the character. [Pats self on back.] You would think that Glee should and could deliver this more often, but what you don’t realize is that the successful songs like this require the countless dull numbers to underscore their scarce appropriateness.

Possibly, but in stark contrast, we have the “I can’t handle the pressure of being the embodiment of all things weird” subplot with Unique (sp.), yet another not-winner of The Glee Project. We don’t care; just give us more drag performances. Well, maybe more drag performances with less lazy drag and less lazy vocals and less lazy eyes all around.

It was exceptionally lazy drag, all things considered. But it was necessary. We wanted to make it clear that this was the first time Vocal Adrenaline was not impressively superior in all the superficial ways.

Holy fuck, they finally won. It almost makes the past three seasons worth it as a viewer. “Take me to your best friend’s house,” was not the first song I’d imagined for the celebratory post-victory song, but it was well edited into a montage of fake champagne, cheering, yearbook signing, and adult intercourse. As it should be. You earned it, Will Schuester. This show should never return after this episode. It was as close to an appropriate conclusion as we are every going to get.

But Ryan Murphy cannot hold back! So we all will be subjected to the tyranny of yet another season of Glee. Don’t let go, you’ve got the music in you…next week.

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