Glee blog review Season 2 Episode 15 ‘Sexy’: Was that good for you too?

Was Sexy the best Glee episode yet? If not, it’s certainly one of them, IMHO.

Based on the five songs issued before last night’s airing, I knew it would be one of the strongest episodes musically. But story strength — that was a big question.

Now it’s not. I mean, how eventful can a show get?

First, subversive substitute teacher Holly Holliday (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to liven things up, as only Glee’s most fun character can do. Then we learn four-month newlyweds Emma and Carl never have had sex, and thanks to Holly, we learn Emma’s not even in love with Carl, but still with Will — who doesn’t know this yet.

We also learn that Finn and Quinn are an item again, and in one brief aside, we’re informed what I’ve wondered all season: Is Quinn living with Mercedes, as was the plan at the end of Season 1, or not? The answer is “not.” She’s back home with her now-divorced mom.

We also learn that Santana and Brittany are more than best friends with benefits. They actually love each other. And Santana’s touching vulnerability and tears while she and Brittany backed Holly on Landslide was Naya Rivera’s best scene ever (well, outside of her bravura lead vocal for Bad Romance).

We also hear one of the most heartening and meaningful “sex talk” speeches imaginable from the always reliable Burt (the irreplaceable Mike O’Malley), who cautioned Kurt that sex should not be indulged in lightly — that it involves one’s sense of self-worth and emotional connections. There you go, Kurt — you got the sex talk about being gay that you demanded from your straight dad. Only it wasn’t about gay sex (Kurt got pamphlets for that), but sex in general, and more importantly its spiritual consequences. In fact, this was a sex talk that any parent could give a child of either sex and of any sexual persuasion. Thank you, Glee writers.

That wasn’t all, but that’s a lot for an episode which crammed more narrative, humor, pathos and superb music into one show than just about any Glee I’ve ever seen.

And as for the music, color me ecstatic.

I’m a rocker at heart, and Holly’s fiercely energized, vibrant and oh-so-sexy Do You Wanna Touch Me did rock ‘n’ roll — and Joan Jett — proud. Then she showed rock’s range in the tender Landslide from Stevie Nicks (who visited the set, I hear) and Fleetwood Mac, one of the greatest yet most underappreciated bands in rock history. Loved the bluegrass tinge to it, too.

Prince’s Kiss sounded good, but what really clicked for me was draping it in a tango. And Neon Trees’ Animal, which I’d never heard, was the most melodic and catchy tune of the night, though the edit’s focus on an oh-so-gay Kurt and Blaine subverted the supposed purpose of trying to send schoolgirls into a frenzy. Make up your minds.

Starland Vocal Band’s Afternoon Delight was, of course, the night’s sole novelty song, not meant to entertain us musically so much as with perverse amusement. But in case you didn’t know: Pitifully out of touch Grammy voters gave the group awards for 1976’s best new artist and best vocal arrangement, for Afternoon Delight. Oops. (After a string of subsequent failures, the group disbanded in 1981.)

Performing it as a wholesome anthem to America, Emma, Rachel and Quinn looked like the Lennon Sisters of The Lawrence Welk Show in the early ’70s, and it was a hoot that Emma thought the lyrics concerned desserts and not nooners.

I really don’t see how Glee can top this show as it heads into Regionals next week, where it will lean on two original songs which aren’t show-stoppers. And though this season seems preordained to send New Directions to Nationals, I don’t see how the Dalton Academy Warblers won’t win Regionals instead. Heck, they’re even getting their own Glee album.

And BTW, isn’t it awkward that last season’s hugely successful (ahem–National Champion) Vocal Adrenaline hardly gets mentioned anymore? Are they in a different region now, somehow? Makes no sense.

I do wish Glee’s writers would recognize major loose ends and not keep them dangling, which they easily could do with a half-line of dialogue, as they did last night with Quinn’s living arrangements. Uh, we’re you’re audience, ya know. Let us in on things. Glee isn’t a mystery series. Open up and clear things up.

But Sexy, I’ll take. This was one sexsational show, and not just for the sultry dance numbers and hot-topic discussions and reveals.

Face it: Our precious little song and dance show is TV’s only real musical, and for those of us who love musicals, that’s a huge responsibility. But last night, in prime-time delight, Glee more than lived up to it.

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