Glee Episode 6 Vitamin D: I want a new drug

Glee’s sixth episode, Vitamin D, was like a shot of Vitamin E for me — E, as in entertainment. For the first time, this show’s characters, plot and performances swept me up completely without the aid of intermittent musical fixes.

This show had only two numbers: the boy-girl competitive mashups of It’s My Life/Confessions and Halo/Walking on Sunshine, respectively. Yet in all the many scenes around them, I never missed the rousing and fun song performances that have set this series apart. I was enthralled enough by the story.

So much emerged this week, including the fact that Terri and Sue are not just unsympathetic. They’re evil. Terri contemptuously gave the Gleeks amphetamines to boost their sagging resolve, revealed that she thinks her husband is an idiot, heartlessly insisted she’d do nothing to help Quinn with her pregnancyn (except to take the baby off her hands — as if she could keep it secret from Will that she herself is not pregnant — please!) and treated everyone the way Sue does: as subhumans.

As for Sue, she tripped an elderly school nurse to send her down some stairs and into a coma. ‘Nuff said.

Ryan Murphy, do you have issues with women, or are you going to paint any male characters with the same broad brushstrokes of callousness and wickedness? Just asking.

On the plus side, Rachel showed dawning self-awareness that being among friends in glee is more important to her than being a star yet an outcast, and she even offered to help Quinn (another hell-bitch in the making), then held her head high to show she, at least, knows how to do the right thing. So maybe there is hope for the female of the species on this show — even with Emma being such a sweet but neurotic basket case.

Will continues to be oddly clueless to things going on around him, but at least his heart’s in the right place, and he doesn’t strike me as being stupid. Perhaps his flaw is misplaced faith in people or a rare trusting innocence. Either way, he’s a good guy. Case closed.

Whatev, this episode swept me up like no other since the pilot — and as I said, without the boost of wall-to-wall music, as in that show. But that said, I adored the two mashups — even if they were upper-enhanced.

And let’s not get self-righteous and PC about the stimulants that helped fuel them. It’s not as if a lot of great rock ‘n’ roll over the decades hasn’t also had the benefit of such — er, medicines. Besides, I like to believe that much of these energized performances’ greatness was because the performers simply had it in them. Try giving a bunch of untalented kids some uppers and see how artfully they perform. And other than some manic moments (Finn obsessively twisting his mic, Rachel blurting the intro like fast-talk competition), they did evoke much of the same boisterous singing and dancing we’ve been seeing all along, just amped up a bit. Also, sorry hometown girl Beyonce, but Halo sounds better up-tempo, so  freneticism served the song.

Besides, the kids learned their lesson, going straight and returning to glee as an inner high, not an artificial one. They want a new drug, and it’s not in a pill. It’s the heady stimulation of glorious self-expression.

Oh how I love this show. It almost makes me embarrassed, given that, for many years, I was paid to analyze and critique films, TV, music and pop culture as a journalist, and I tried to do that — fairly, honestly and without fanboy myopia. But Glee is different. Glee is special — special enough to embrace full-bore. From concept to casting to song choices to execution, it’s the most beautifully designed and artistically realized TV show I have ever known on TV. And after a quarter of a season it’s not disappointing me. It’s actually getting better.

From the top!



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