Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ridiculous and Lovable...Britney vs. Glee

Last night's Britney Spears -centric episode of Glee pulled the show's highest ratings to date.  It's no surprise; the show's target audience would have grown up with Britney as a major figure in their lives.  When her first hit single "...Baby One More Time" came out I was ten years old, in the sixth grade, and wore fuzzy little pom poms in my hair even though my tastes would have skewed more to "My Name Is," "The Dope Show," "Just a Girl," and "The Kids Aren't Alright" (what can I say, my tastes were at least diverse, if superficial).  Though I will not deny that none of this music held as special a place in my heart as *NSYNC's self-titled debut, obviously.

Moving on.  The Britney/Brittany episode was a perfect example of everything that's been wrong with the show since its first season's back nine.  Not even an attempt at an interesting storyline, a handful of increasingly-unimaginative music videos strung together awkwardly, and yet redeemed by an expertly delivered one-liner or musical performance.  Where the John Stamos dentistry extravaganza, Mr. Schuester is somehow less into Brit Brit than Christopher Cross, and OCD Emma is suddenly less uptight than Schue, fail utterly, Heather Morris and a few moments of Jane Lynch save the day.

Heather Morris is easily the best dancer on the show, and while I think a hell of a lot more could have been done with Britney's greatest hits being transposed to McKinley High, getting to see her blowing Spears' familiar dance moves was pretty amazing.  Britterline's cameo was a completely unnecessary piece of stuntcasting that cheapens the quality of this show that is too beloved and new to have to rely on gimmicks like that.

The Artie-centric performance of "Stronger" was a completely missed opportunity.  The original video used chair-dancing as a means of voodoo proxy, and that could have been a great way to portray Artie's insecurities falling away as he joins the football team.  New Directions' take on "Toxic" was lovely, musically, but the Fosse dancing with Mr. Schue joining in was creepy and not that sexy.  Lea Michele's final song was very pretty but made zero sense and just left me confused.  Not that I care, now that Rachel's been written into one of the least likable characters on television.  Except for the Jewish gossip blogger, who is being far overused.

I really do hope that the writers and producers wise up and try to bolster the storylines more as the season goes on, as this show's legacy will not be remembered by iTunes sales charts alone.

Glee, Tuesdays at 8pm on Fox

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