Glee blog review Season 2 Episode 11 ‘The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle’: Fumble!

You know I love Glee, which is why it pains me to see my beloved show fumble the ball, as it did with Sunday’s post-Super Bowl hypefest. After a slew of exceptionally strong episodes to finish the season’s fall session, Glee returned with an episode slavishly pandering to a post-Super Bowl crowd, and thus disregarding a coherent and workable plot.

This episode will play fine eventually on DVD, by hitting the Jukebox function and simply savoring the songs. All four featured numbers were strongly impressive, especially Rachel and Puck’s soulful spin for Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now and Finn and company’s rousing rendition of ’60s British Invasion hit She’s Not There, fittingly enough from the Zombies. That certainly dovetailed with the Thriller performance later on the football field, which was creepy, funky fun.

But again, the best musical performance of a Glee episode came from a competing group: The Dalton Academy Warblers. Their spirited Bills, Bills, Bills from Destiny’s Child was my top song pick of the night. I couldn’t get enough of it online before the show, and it was great seeing it big-screen Sunday.

Then again, it was completely and utterly superfluous to the plot, whose context didn’t serve the song at all. Of course, given how flimsy and mismanaged that plot could be, it was just as well.

First, has anyone forgotten that the last Glee episode was set at Christmas? So now it’s January, I suppose, or maybe even February at McKinley, since a Valentine’s show quickly follows, and they’re still playing football? Uh, no — they wouldn’t be. Talk about doing the Time Warp. And for the girls to fill out the roster meant all nine players would be playing both sides of the ball (offense and defense), and with the girls lying down in possum positions, wouldn’t the score have been around 95-0 by halftime? And why, at the end, would an opponent needing only to take the snap and take a knee to run off 10 seconds instead go into risky deep-snap shotgun formation, and also be scared and intimidated by guys wearing silly zombie makeup, so that they cough up the ball? Is your intelligence insulted yet?

Hey, I routinely embrace Glee‘s flights of fancy and allow it all sorts of artistic license, but there are limits, and all this was too much. That’s not to mention Sue’s hackneyed temper tantrum and warmed-over extremism, with the goofy plot element of wanting to shoot a cheerleader out of a cannon. Also, it made no sense that Sue could and would reschedule an entire nationals competition involving many other schools, and deliberately do so to prevent her Cheerios from fulfilling their first obligation to appear at their school’s championship football game. And hasn’t this kind of scheduling conflict been done before (once by former football coach Ken in setting practice hours, and another time when his and Emma’s wedding collided with Sectionals)?

The violently belligerent jocks also are getting so, so tiresome. Perhaps jocks should file a class action defamation suit and put an end to this. I dunno. Glee likes to fight stereotypes, yet it stereotypes all but a small handful of athletes from various sports as lockstepped, dimwitted haters. Lighten up, OK? Find someone else to be the foil or spark conflict. The slushie thing has been done — to — death.

At least there’s still Tuesday’s Valentine’s show, where things should pick up. Stuff the stunts and the gimmick casting (Katie Couric, who needed you?) and Glee easily can regain its stride as the best show on TV. But after a thrilling Super Bowl game, Glee’s followup for me, was less Thriller than It’s Not There.



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