You guys, before we talk about last night's Glee I have a confession to make: I have never been kissed.
Actually, that's not true. What I meant was I have never seen the film Never Been Kissed.
No, that's not true either. I saw it with my mom when I was twelve on HBO. It was ok.
By now we've established that there are many different types of Glee fans who have their own wildly differing opinions about what makes a good episode. I'm the type that doesn't mind when the show leaves reality far behind just as long as it goes full-on into fantasy. That's why I enjoyed the controversial "Britney/Brittany" and Rocky Horror episodes; they were pure spectacle and everything else came second.
Episodes like last nights are a lot harder for me. They ostensibly take place in a real high school, yet nobody - teachers, students, coaches, NOBODY - acts like they would in real life (with the exception of Kurt. More on that below). They don't even act like human beings. From A-story to C-story, "Never Been Kissed" was pure artificiality, which wouldn't necessarily be problem if Glee didn't insist on teaching me lessons about acceptance. I don't know about y'all, but that's not why I tune in each week.
Let's get to the nitty gritty. The most preachy storyline in "Never Been Kissed" was Kurt's, but it was what I thought worked the best. That all has to do with Chris Colfer acting the hell out of that role from week to week. His is also the one character the writers have mostly succeeded from keeping from being a parody. It ain;t always been that way. For a good deal of the show's first season Ryan Murphy and Co. seemed intent on using Kurt as an easy punchline, but Colfer's too good and I imagine the character resonates too much with fans for it to be left that way. Now Kurt has become the figurehead on Glee's warship to teach America to really see each other, man.
This time out Kurt is, quite realistically, getting bullied for being the only out kid at William McKinley High. Also realistically, Kurt says "Fuck it," and jets over to Dalton to see what the all-boys boarding school scene is like. What he finds is fantasy fodder for every other gay high school boy in his position. Dalton is a place full of snappy uniforms and lush decor. It's a school where everything stops for a group of boys to sing Katy Perry to each other, acapella. Everyone at Dalton accepts everyone else and strangers/spies are greated by kind boys with bedroom eyes who dish out wisdom and immediately become their best friend. Oh, but it's hella expensive so don't even think about applying, Kurt.
Viable option or not, Kurt's trip to Dalton gives him the courage ("Courage" "COURAGE") to stand up to Stock Bully No. 1 who keeps pushing him around and is, surprise surprise, totally gay for him. That revelation was a yawn but I support Glee's continued efforts, preachy though they are, to send support out to gay teens everywhere and be like, "Hey, some people are gonna be shitty to you. That totally sucks, dude. Sorry about that."
In an emotionally ickier story of acceptance, Coach Beiste has become the guys' (and Tina's) go-to thought exercise to cool them down during a hot make out sesh. Everything about this was weird, especially Tina apparently getting turned on when Mike Chang introduces the idea and then grossing herself out by picturing Beiste in a tu-tu. Then Beiste asks Will what's going on (which I don't necessarily buy) and he tells her (which I definitely don't buy) and ends up sucking on her face to cheer her up. Coach Beiste has never been kissed, you see, and all she really wants is a pity tonguing from a co-worker to ease the pain. I call bullshit, Glee, for inferring that the serious emotional scars that lady probably has can be eased by Schuester's mouth and an En Vogue mash-up. Bullshit!
Lastly there was the silliness of Puck and Artie, William McKinley's new Odd Couple. Artie wants Brittany back? Alright, whatever. $300 worth of Bob Marley busking? Sure, fine. I don't have anything to say about this storyline, actually. If I hadn't taken notes I would have forgotten about it already.
Stray notes and quotes
I would watch a full Glee episode of Coach Beiste in surreal set-pieces like chopping meat in the hallway or smoking in a tu-tu.
The Warblers really did do a good job with that Katy Perry tune. I wish Glee would back off the auto-tune, though. It really shows in the acapella numbers.
I thought Gwenyth Paltrow was gonna be in this episode. I guess she's in next week's. Maybe she's one of The Hipsters.
I love that Breadstix is now a running joke.
I didn't mention the girls' Bon Jovi/Stones mash-up. What did you guys think? I thought "meh".
Artie wears tight clothing and high-heeled shoes but that does NOT mean he's a prostitute!
"Now I'm picturing the two of them making out during an episode of Who's the Boss."
"Leggo my Eggo." "You should be our nation's president."
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!