I’m not a young girl, so I don’t have Bieber Fever. But I’ve long had Glee Fever, and I’m not particular about where my favorite show gets its music so long as it’s well done. And with that in mind, while I agree with Finn that Justin Bieber’s music isn’t great, I loved its delivery and its integration into the plot of Comeback, a Glee episode both routine in its plot elements (boy-girl bonding and breaking of bonds) and entertaining in its execution.
Beyond the silliness about Rachel’s stunted style sense catching on without her as a model, the show’s chief plot development was that Sue will coach Aural Intensity (often pronounced “Oral Intensity”), one of New Directions’ competing groups in upcoming Regionals. (Does that mean Regionals will feature four groups instead of three this year, counting Vocal Adrenaline and the Dalton Academy Warblers?)
I think it’s great that New Direction’s in-school foil now has more at stake than simply a few budgetary dollars, and will be in direct competition with them. So yes, well done. This is a great place to shift Sue.
But does it work, technically and logistically? Consider this:
How good is Aural Intensity? Are they really a rival? Rachel claimed Aural Intensity kicked ND’s butts last year, when all they did was unimpressively mash up Olivia Newton-John’s Magic and Josh Groban’s You Lift Me Up, heard briefly backstage over a tiny speaker, and in fact finished second to Vocal Adrenaline’s first place after thus sucking up to two of the judges. Big deal.
It’s also odd that a teacher at one school can coach a competing team at another. But then, the same teacher at one school was judging them all last time. Chalk it up to Glee’s bent for widely stretched artistic license. And, oh yes, btw, Aural Intensity is from a school in Fort Wayne, Indiana — not even the same state. How exactly is this going to work again?
(UPDATE: I heard a different name on the “Blame It On the Alcohol” episode for Aural Intensity’s home–don’t recall what it was–but it wasn’t Fort Wayne, Indiana. Could Glee be ignoring previously established details in its own series “bible”? It’s certainly done so by failing to acknowledge in all of Season Two whether or not Quinn lives with Mercedes, a major plot point established at the end of Season One.)
Oh well. No matter. What’s important is that Glee delivered a fun, lively episode even without the strongest songs.
In an irony, the best song by far for me was the rousing group number Sing by My Chemical Romance, yet Rachel insisted it just wasn’t up to competition status. I beg to differ. But I like how her qualms set up the show to introduce original music instead, and for the first time. That needed to happen. (Of course, note to Finn: Just because Rachel’s a great singer wouldn’t necessarily mean she could write a great song.)
I also loved how Lauren’s I Know What Boys Like was set up, allowing a dreamlike POV of everyone in class in their underwear (albeit, modest underwear). So let me get this straight: Easily offended and overly protective moms are OK with their young kids watching Glee and seeing such scenes and hearing words like “bitch” and “nuttage,” but they go ballistic when, outside the show, Lea Michele bares some skin on the cover of Cosmo, an adult women’s magazine that young kids shouldn’t be reading in the first place? Go figure.
But the true star of this show was Sue, whose presence pulled the tots’ cancer ward scene out of exploitative disease-of-the-week territory and into the glories of showing Sue’s fleetingly revealed good heart. Heck, she even looked good singing the emphatic, fist-pumping Sing with ND.
As for Justin Bieber fever, it was fitting that ND performed his music, but silly that the high school girls would uniformly melt. They seem a bit old for Bieber’s demographic. Fickle Quinn did get what was coming to her as a result, though, and I liked that. Sam deserves better, because even if he is a doofus, at least he’s sincere. Has Quinn learned nothing? She seems to become enlightened, then reverts to sheer self-serving manipulation. And btw, is she living with Mercedes, or what?
Now we can look ahead to Rachel’s wild-party bash, Blaine’s I Kissed a Girl moment which in truth should mean nothing, and perhaps an original song or two.
Is the season heating up? Is Glee Fever spreading? Are some singers’ haircuts and dance moves more important to fans than the intrinsic value of their music? Are these rhetorical questions? Is “yes” the answer to all of them? Should I stop now?