“Asian F”

Posted on October 05, 2011

NOW do you believe us when we say that Glee season 3 heralds a return to greatness for the show? We’ll even be magnanimous and admit that we were wrong when we predicted that this season would be all about the four main characters of Finn, Quinn, Rachel and Kurt. Happily wrong; because the long-neglected Mercedes got her moment in the sun. And not only was it a spectacular moment, it was a series of them and the episode ended with the promise of more to come. Even better, it wasn’t just an all-Mercedes episode (although we would have been fine with it if it was). The show managed to look in on and advance the stories of Brittany, Mike, and even Emma.

But it wasn’t a great episode because they checked a few neglected characters off a list. Sure, it was great that they did that, but what really struck us was how tight the script was and how well the songs were integrated into the story. Rather than trying to turn the show into a factory of downloadable songs for teenagers, the creators have returned to the idea that story matters most and when you give the characters believable moments you can get your audience swept up in the emotions of it all without resorting to cheap, maudlin tricks like killing off a minor character with developmental disabilities or having Rachel learn an Important Lesson from a quadriplegic. It’s as if the creative team sat down, looked at what had and hadn’t been done with the characters before, and realized that there was quite a bit of untapped dramatic potential there. What a concept.

First up: Mike Chang, a character who basically had no character up till this moment. We’ll leave it to people more qualified than us to answer the question of whether the script went too far with the Asian stereotyping, but we found ourselves unexpectedly choking up when Mike danced with his mother. It was a beautifully rendered quiet moment in a show that has never been very good about doing the quiet moments. Props must be paid to Harry Shum, who’s never shown much talent in either acting or singing prior to now. He nailed the feelings of fear and confusion a teenager in his situation would naturally feel and it all came out in his spectacular audition for the school play. We love West Side Story as much as the next 2 queens, but we always cringed at the idea of gang members doing ballet, but that was the hottest version of “Cool” we’ve ever seen. If nothing else, you’ve gotta applaud Glee for introducing Sondheim to a generation of kids who’d probably never be exposed to his works otherwise.

And speaking of dancing, MAN is that Heather Morrison a freaking dynamo or what? Her number was the best thing we’ve seen on this show in ages. The girl can out-Beyonce Beyonce, for god’s sake. And once again, kudos to the writers for making it hard for us to take a side on the whole “who should rule the school” debate. Both Brittany and Kurt make compelling arguments, but unfortunately for Kurt, Brittany makes you want to jump out of your seat with a fist pump and a “FUCK YEAH!”

But as much as we enjoyed the work being done on other characters, it’s the Mercedes story that really made this episode. The show has too often glossed over the undeniable fact that Rachel Berry is not the only powerhouse in New Directions and having Mercedes act as her backup singer is a disservice to her and one that increasingly made no sense. No glee club would feature people like Quinn and Finn in competition and leave a talent like Mercedes’ in the background. Do we love the idea that the only black character in the club is now the angriest character on the show? Maybe not, but in this case, her anger is quite understandable. Everyone really does tiptoe around Rachel in that school and Mercedes has every right to be fed up about it. “Out Here On My Own” was a beautifully sung and edited number, but from where we were sitting, it was pretty clear that Mercedes nailed the number in a way that Rachel didn’t. It’s time for the adult characters to start asking themselves why they play down her talent so much. When Emma and Beiste informed Schu that Mercedes was neck and neck with Rachel for the part of Maria, he was surprised and slightly irritated by that fact. He needs to be called on that more often and someone needs to tell him that he’s favoring Rachel because she sings the kinds of songs he likes the best: showtunes. There’s a subtle racial component to the story but you’re not being hit over the head with it; namely, that Schuester is favoring “white” culture (such as showtunes and classic rock) over African-American culture (like R&B and classic soul).

And we were so caught up in the surprisingly deep storylines and fantastic numbers that we never even saw the final scene coming, even though it makes the most sense. NOW we understand why the writers introduced a second glee club to the school, as nonsensical as the idea seems on the surface. Having Rachel’s rival switch to the team being led by her biological mother is going to make for some fantastic conflict – especially since Rachel knows Mercedes is right.

Oh, and one more thing about Mercedes: we never really got into this before but we always hated the way the character was costumed. Why was such a self-proclaimed diva wandering the halls of McKinley in such hideously ugly outfits and no makeup? Why wasn’t she dressing the part? Now we know: because up until now, she never really believed she was the diva she said she was. We’re not sure we love the idea that Mercedes has self-confidence now because she has a boyfriend, but if that’s what it takes to get this character to look and act in a consistent manner, we’ll take it. She never looked prettier than she did in this episode.

And finally, there’s Emma’s story. We DETEST the idea that Will is going to “fix” her through the power of love and singing. That closing number was, unfortunately, a terrible way to end what had been an almost perfect episode. But we suppose we should look on the bright side. The show has always treated her OCD almost solely as a joke up till now. We don’t want them to turn towards a melodramatic examination of her disorder, but we’re happy to see it treated like a disorder at all instead of just as a joke. There are ways you can do both and we think this episode managed to straddle that line. You can still have funny lines like “Honey, would you like me to iron some bacon for you?” while at the same time acknowledging the seriousness of her affliction. That this script managed to do both, as well as managing to introduce so many plotlines that intrigue us and make sense for the characters only reinforces what we’ve been saying about this season: we’re seeing not only a return to greatness for the show, but the possibility that it’s going to reach new heights this season. For the first time in a long time, we’re excited about Glee.

[Photo Credit: Fox]

    • http://twitter.com/JoeRoch Joe Roch

      I love you guys! — but I’m not sure that ‘West Side Story’ really introduces kids to Sondheim’s work, considering he was only the librettist.

      • Leslie Streeter

        True, but it’s better than nothing. And it’s interesting – you two nailed my feelings on Mercedes and her anger, and why she is going about it the wrong way but still justified in feeling like the second banana. Another site’s commenters were all “We hate her!” and I was like “Are we watching the same show?”

        • MilaXX

          Wrong way? I think Amber had every right to call them out on their preference to Rachel and to go where she gets the recognition she deserves.

          • Leslie Streeter

            I mean that she did it like teenage girls do, without a lot of grace. She’s right. But she wasn’t really trying in the beginning – probably because she has been so used to not being the focus, and just put up with living in Rachelland until she snapped. Again, not gracious.

            But I ain’t mad at her. What I meant was that I think she’s right! And it baffled me that other people didn’t on some other boards. Their opinion. But I was behind her.

            • scottyf

              I am DESPERATELY trying not to think this way, but I’m wondering if the other people you are referring to might be separated right along the color line–or at the very least, the cultural line. I’m praying that it’s not another case of “we accept your role, as long as you stay quiet and marginalized.” What I am excited about is a story line that actually challenges the status quo and gives those folks (at least the ones willing to listen) another point of view–something to think about in terms of how people different from themselves may view the world.

            • Leslie Streeter

              Scotty…I think that may be true. I think that TLo, who are the soul brothers you speak of, get it. Some people get it no matter what their race or background. Me and my Afro and ashy brown elbows get it, for real. I adore Mercedes but am troubled by the way she was written – it’s like the show is just beginning to see what it did to her early on, and that they needed fans to say “You know…why does she have to just be sassy or fat” to make an adjustment. I was accused my whole life of having an attitude where other girls were just speaking their mind. And that is so, so hard to shake, especially if there are moments where you really need to be taken seriously and no one takes you seriously. Like the Black Girl Who Cried Diva.

            • scottyf

              I take you VERY seriously, my erudite, eloquent, and Divastastic friend. :-)

            • Anonymous

              What I am really troubled by are all the comments about – what is wrong with her? What is with the bad attitude? Why was she pretending to be hurt? Have stomach issues? Ankle problems?  I just want to scream…”Have you not once, not for one single second in your life, ever felt so unsure of yourself deep down, that all you knew to do was cover it up on the outside with a big helping of attitude or deflection about physical pain or some minor trouble as a defense mechanism until that backfired on you and then you realized you had painted yourself into a corner and then you realized you were trapped there and didn’t know how to get yourself out and no one was reaching a hand out to you and you were also too proud to ask someone either and all you wanted for someone to see that it was all an act….” DEEP BREATH….

              I mean, really?!?  is the human experience not as universal as I thought?  Damn, people.  Hug the girl.

            • Anonymous

              What I am really troubled by are all the comments about – what is wrong with her? What is with the bad attitude? Why was she pretending to be hurt? Have stomach issues? Ankle problems?  I just want to scream…”Have you not once, not for one single second in your life, ever felt so unsure of yourself deep down, that all you knew to do was cover it up on the outside with a big helping of attitude or deflection about physical pain or some minor trouble as a defense mechanism until that backfired on you and then you realized you had painted yourself into a corner and then you realized you were trapped there and didn’t know how to get yourself out and no one was reaching a hand out to you and you were also too proud to ask someone either and all you wanted for someone to see that it was all an act….” DEEP BREATH….

              I mean, really?!?  is the human experience not as universal as I thought?  Damn, people.  Hug the girl.

            • scottyf

              Who knew I’d be going to church in a T&Lo post about Glee? 

              *cools himself off with a cardboard fan that has a picture of Jesus on one side, and an ad for Jones’ Funeral Home on the other.*

            • http://twitter.com/pinup_ghoul Pinup Ghoul

              You need to write a book. Or at least a blog.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              You know, I was accused for YEARS of faking illnesses and/or being a hypochondriac because I complained about my stomach hurt and being queasy all the time.  My mom would take me to the doctor, he’d find nothing wrong, and I was faking.  Right up until I ended up in a mental hospital after an OD because I have SEVERE clinical depression. 

              When I was then placed into intensive therapy, my shrink informed my parents that my stomach issues were neither:  the same nausea center in the brain that causes morning sickness (which I later had particularly vicious bouts with) can be aggravated by the chemical problems of clinical depression.  I was, in fact, sick to my stomach, and it wasn’t a matter of a psychosomatic symptom of the psychological problems — it was a symptom of a very severe chemical imbalance.

              People saying that stomach issues are being “faked” always bugs me, because there are a lot more explanations than that, all of them far more complicated.

            • Glen Coleson

              You know it hasn’t occured to me until i read your comment CeeCee, that while i’m neither black or female, Mercedes story is pretty much my own when i was a kid. I was a theatre kid and i knew i was better than most of the others but i didn’t have the same confidence and got used to living in their shadow. Poor self-image plays into that and i’d fake illness sometimes to deal with the emotional pain. Now that i think about it my junior year i lost the male lead of the musical to the boyfriend of my schools version of rachel. Eerie…

            • Anonymous

              I am Caucasian but I truly understood Mercedes’ issues and I didn’t think it was about race (Caucasion coming into play, perhaps). I thought it was about always being “second”….always in the background. I think it could be perceived as a racial issue (and that might make it more multi-dimensional) but I think it is about more than that. To be honest, I think writing it as a racial thing and Mercedes anger as a racial thing would be easier for the writers—-I think appealing to that feeling of always being “not first” or forgotten is more universal and can appeal to people regardless of race or gender. I think this story line did that brilliantly.  I found her anger completely justified and deserved.

              To be honest, Glee’s characters have been very stereotypical— awkward dumb jock, pretty bitchy blonde cheerleader, hot dumb cheerleader, self-absorbed artsy diva, flamboyant gay kid, quiet intelligent Asian, black diva, “thinks-he-is-cooler-than-he-is teacher”, etc….those are all societal stereotypes. It has always bothered me a little that Glee plugged kids into those roles, including Mercedes.  

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

              I can’t help but wonder whether or not they have any minorities on their
              writing staff.  As a Caucasian, I think I can be very empathetic to the
              perspective of minorities, but it would be presumptuous to think that I could really accurately tell a story from that perspective.

            • Anonymous

              comment deleted

        • MilaXX

          Wrong way? I think Amber had every right to call them out on their preference to Rachel and to go where she gets the recognition she deserves.

      • Anonymous

        You’re correct, of course, but it’s more exposure than say, jamie fox’s seminal work “blame it on the alcohol,” which i’m sure was sadly better known to the audience than than sondheim prior to this ep.

        • Anonymous

          Rachel also referred to “originating a role in a new Sondheim musical” while breathlessly running through her life plan in the first episode of the season. Perhaps this is a subtle campaign of Sondheim-pushing? I HOPE SO.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719457376 Molly Adrianson

        That’s what I was thinking, but it introduces the name, and that’s a start.

      • r0ckmypants

        He wasn’t the librettist, he was the lyricist. Arthur Laurents wrote the libretto.

      • http://twitter.com/KathrynTewson Kathryn Tewson

        “considering he was only the librettist.”

        Actually, that’s in doubt by a lot of people.  Listen to “Cool” and “A Boy Like That.” Both of them sound like nothing Bernstein ever wrote, and EXACTLY like Sondheim.

      • Anonymous

        As stated Sondheim was the lyricist but from what I understood with this collaboration and with Jules Styne on Gypsy, he was very much involved in the shape of the songs and did influence Berstein and Styne to push themselves into new directions

      • Anonymous

        As stated Sondheim was the lyricist but from what I understood with this collaboration and with Jules Styne on Gypsy, he was very much involved in the shape of the songs and did influence Berstein and Styne to push themselves into new directions

      • Anonymous

        Forget Sondheim, what about Balanchine!?

        • Meghan Redding

          Balanchine had nothing to do with West Side Story. That would be Jerome Robbins. But they weren’t doing his choreography.

          • Anonymous

            Oh I know, I just tend to follow things to their root.

          • Anonymous

            If you want to see gang members doing ballet, see Robbins’s West Side Story Suite danced by New York City Ballet.  As good as the standard choreography in the musical is, it’s thrilling to see an expanded version done by danseurs and ballerinas.

    • Anonymous

      Yes I enjoyed it and stunned to see Ralph Malph as Emma’s daddy

      Speaking as an asian man I did not feel they went too far with the asian stereotyping with the Mike Chang junior and senior. It still exists though to a lesser extent and they nailed his dad. Chang sr was respectable, soft spoken yet very intimidating. There is a reason someone like Mike Chang is usually is in the background and quiet. He just does what’s expected and what he’s told.

      I liked the Mercedes story. This is the way it should have been done instead of that story line when she got all diva making crazy demands. Loved the Dream Girls re-enactment and loved how they even slipped in Mike Chang for that. Yes they addressed something important. No one, not even Mercedes herself, ever seriously saw her as being Rachel’s equal. Even Kurt never saw her that way. Her boyfriend was the first person to really believe in her. That was clear from the parallel pep talk in the wings during the callback. And of course Rachel could see the change in her performance

      And Brittany just rocked it out in her number

      • Anonymous

        That really struck home with me, what you just wrote. I was (and am) fortunate enough to have had many people believe in me, but I still remember freaking out over the phone to my high school boyfriend about some test or paper or god knows what, and he said, “I believe in you.” And it totally transformed my attitude. As much as girls (and boys!) want to be completely self-sufficient, throw your hands up at me, etc. with regard to the opposite sex, it can’t always be true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-McBee/100001434205659 Frank McBee

        Except Rachel has said she was as good as her.

    • Anonymous

      I just don’t understand the idea that Mercedes has been ignored. She’s had six less solos over three seasons than Rachel. 

      • Leslie Streeter

        But plotwise, she’s been marginalized. And the big competitions? Finn and Rachel.

        • http://twitter.com/NC_Meg Megan

          Or Quinn and Sam. WTF is that.

          • Anonymous

            That was crazeballs. I think maybe they were trying to focus on the two power couples (except Quinn and Sam were a TERRIBLE power couple), but. No. No glee club, a cappella group, choir, etc. will ever be very good if it can’t recognize its resources and use them appropriately, and that was a CRIMINAL mis-allocation of airtime to talent. You know. In the fictional world, where I no longer run a singing group.

      • Anonymous

        I think the she’s been ignored in the sense, even though her voice is as good as Rachel’s, (albeit in a different style), no one sees her as star material. A lot of the glee club gets exasperated with rachel but they still see her as “The Star” and the one who will secure them that national title. 

        The Mercedes story also plays into the plotline that Rachel is realizing she’s isn’t as good or as special as she lead herself to believe

        • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

          this and this. i think you’re right about how the others see rachel. and M hit on it too last night. they all side step around her (Rachel) because they see her as the golden goose, when in fact M is just as if not more talented. she just isn’t as much of a raging bitch face like R is about her talent.

          • Anonymous

            http://gleeks.tumblr.com/post/11063990227
            I’d argue that no one ever seems to worry about hurting Rachel’s feelings.

            • jayme glynn

               No kidding. I can’t even count how many times the rest of the Glee club have called her bossy or annoying or made her feel like a complete outsider…

            • Anonymous

              Could it be they say those things because it’s true?

            • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

              I think she meant more about daring to suggest that Rachel isn’t always the best singer in the room. Sure they give her crap for her clothes and personality, but never EVER for her talent. She gets the lead. Always. Even if someone else is better.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              And when Mr. Schuester DARED to suggest that maybe she wasn’t always going to be the lead, she went running off the school musical because he didn’t appreciate her talent.  That is a child who has been pampered too long and needs somebody to start knocking her back if she’s ever going to survive Broadway.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-McBee/100001434205659 Frank McBee

              Two years ago she has grown since then and they did not give her the song still and she came back becasue she wanted to be a part of the team.  No one ever forgives Rachel mistakes but every one else seems to get a pass.

            • Anonymous

              Are you serious?  She sent a young girl to a freaking crackhouse because she was jealous and didn’t want to be upstaged!  I would love to hear your excuse for that crap.

      • http://twitter.com/laylagalise laylagalise

        You’re right if you’re only counting complete songs that are solos instead of songs that they have solos in. Last year, Rachel sang solos in 28 songs (I read this online yesterday) and Mercedes sang solos or was featured in 10 songs– that means that Blaine and the Warblers (13), Santana (11), Finn (14), and Kurt (14) sang more than she did.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

          Thanks for making that distinction–I knew that Rachel had to have sung way more than 6 songs more than Mercedes!

      • Anonymous

        You’ve answered your own question with the solo count.  lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineKatz Catherine Katz

      I was so happy with this episode!  The whole thing.  I don’t like the “Fix You” aspect, but showing where it built from and the concern was fine with me.  Ralph Malph was pretty convincing as Emma’s dad, too.  I wouldn’t mind him singing, either.  And, Harry Shum, Jr.  That’s all.

    • Jacqui

      Watching them prepare for West Side Story makes me miss Musical Mondays!!

      • Anonymous

        Agreed!  I pine.

      • Anonymous

        AGREE AGREE AGREE!

        When was the last one? They are my second favorite parts of TLo right after the Project Runway recaps. PLEASE TLo, bring them back!

    • Valerie Smith

      I did wonder about the cast list at the end.  Did they forget about Bernardo?  Kind of an important part.  

      • Anonymous

        Me too!

      • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

        Yes!  Very important part!  Love me some Bernardo!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Waddell/10401341 Heather Waddell

          I’m guessing it’s Puck, since he’s the only “important” male character who wasn’t listed and hasn’t actively declined to participate.

      • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineKatz Catherine Katz

        Anita, too.  And they even mentioned Officer Krupke in last week’s show and he wasn’t on the list either.   That’s a mighty small cast list!

        • Anonymous

          Santanna is Anita…no brainer on that casting

          • Anonymous

            And Kurt is Officer Krupke.  Which….ok.

            • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

              Which is STUPID. Why do they keep name-dropping Krupke? All he does is follow the Lieutenant around. It’s not much of a part at all. Kurt would make a FANTASTIC Baby John. Or he could be Action and sing “Officer Krupke” OR he could be Bernardo which isn’t a HUGE singing part but does have some singing to do. He’d be a great Doc, and we could see some high school makeup aging skills. Krupke is STUPID.

            • Anonymous

              I totally agree with you!  Officer Krupke has about two lines in the whole show!  There are so many other parts that they could give to Kurt.  He could be Chino, or Ice, or A-rab, or Lieutenant Schrank.

            • Anonymous

              Now I’m trying to picture “Gee, Officer Krupke” and…snort.

        • Onika K Morris-Alleyne

          Kurt got the part of Office Krupke (not a singing part, so huh?). Santana got Anita. Does Bernardo even sing in the show?  IIRC, the singing parts are Tony, Maria, Anita, Riff. There’s chorus work for the other Sharks and Jets, and a couple of one-line solos within numbers, but those are the heavy-lifters singing-wise.

          • Anonymous

            He sings a little, but no more than the other Jets and Sharks who have solo lines here and there, IIRC.

    • http://profiles.google.com/alison.sigman Alison Sigman

      I have yet to watch an episode yet this season, but if you guys are excited about it, the two guys who got me to watch it in the first place, then I’ll pull my episodes out of DRV hiding.

      • Anonymous

        I’m with you. I didn’t start watching Glee ’til I read TLo’s reviews last year and at many times was underwhelmed by individual episodes. Had decided to forgo, but tonight I’ll get on the ‘puter and see what all the talk is about.

        • Anonymous

          Everytime I make the effort to catch-up, I’m sorry I wasted the time.

        • Anonymous

          Everytime I make the effort to catch-up, I’m sorry I wasted the time.

    • http://twitter.com/siao siao

      Mercedes annoyed me to no end in the episode. Obviously others didn’t think the same, but to me she seemed lazy, unwilling to put in the hard work like everyone else and relying on raw talent alone. I loved the rest though, especially the Mike Chang moments, which for some reason felt like they were taken from an Asian drama.

      • Anonymous

        I’m with you on this. I’m glad to see Mercedes getting a storyline and Amber getting some more screen time, but I’m not sure that portraying the lone African-American member of the club as lazy and entitled is really doing her any service. Not to mention the fact that she – like Kurt – is totally wrong for the part she wants and demonstrated that by selecting a completely inappropriate song for her audition.

        Rachel can be annoying and abrasive and is prone to diva fits, no question. But she *works*. Her work ethic was established in the pilot and while it’s nonsensical that she wouldn’t have known before now that she’d need some stage experience to get into a performing arts school, she’s had to borrow the school auditorium to rehearse because her neighbours threatened to sue. Plus, while she’s not a perfect vocal match for Maria, she’s a lot closer than Mercedes. I kind of can’t believe the directors were willing to double-cast the Maria part, honestly. 

        • scottyf

          I understand that Kurt wasn’t considered for Tony because the directors found him too effeminate and wanted to go with someone who was able to appear more traditionally masculine. Other than vocal style, why is Mercedes wrong for the part?

          As far as inappropriate songs choices for auditions: I cannot count the number of gigs I booked as a young actor precisely because I went in with an unexpected song choice, while everyone else was singing a song for the show. I can understand the point about having them sing a selection from West Side Story at the callback, but I think it serves Mercedes’ character to have her choose a popular song.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not simply vocal style, it’s vocal range.  You can’t sing Maria as a belter.  Not even Pattie LuPone can hit those top notes as a belter.  Lea Michele is a belter, too, but she is a soprano, so one could pretend that she has a legit top in hiding somewhere.  And she does type Maria better.  Same way Amber types Effie.  Doesn’t mean you’d roll that way in a high school, but (shrug)

            • scottyf

              “And she does type Maria better.”

              A cold chill went down my spine upon reading that sentence. You just became every casting director, every board member, every person I ever had to convince to give me a shot because, in their world, I didn’t fit the “type.” And I guess I’m a better person for it. And since (praise the heavens) I got a vast majority of what I wanted, I in some small way got them to realize that limiting their choices gave them an incredibly small talent pool–and a very narrow vision of the world. 

              And a strong possibility that they just missed the best person for the job.

            • Anonymous

              What’s wrong with there being a best option? Somebody has to be the best.

            • Anonymous

              scottyf,

              Look, I’m not saying it’s right, just pointing to that certain reality that you (and I, for that matter) have experienced.  My own experience is that a lot of directors don’t have a lot of imagination so if the director has an easier time seeing you in a part, it does help your odds.  

              Personally, I had the singing voice of a sweet ingenue and the looks of the villainess.  I didn’t fit a type readily as a result and it was a pain in the ass.

              Rachel’s petite with the big-eyed thing going.  Major ingenue.  

            • http://twitter.com/pinup_ghoul Pinup Ghoul

              I’m the opposite! I’m short and I have a very ingenue look to me, but I’m a dramatic soprano. I’d be the least intimidating Queen of the Night ever. I feel your pain, Glammie!

            • scottyf

              “And she does type Maria better.”

              A cold chill went down my spine upon reading that sentence. You just became every casting director, every board member, every person I ever had to convince to give me a shot because, in their world, I didn’t fit the “type.” And I guess I’m a better person for it. And since (praise the heavens) I got a vast majority of what I wanted, I in some small way got them to realize that limiting their choices gave them an incredibly small talent pool–and a very narrow vision of the world. 

              And a strong possibility that they just missed the best person for the job.

            • Anonymous

              Wow, I’m surprised my post actually went through; whatever script this site runs usually crashes my work browser.

              Anyway, my comment was mostly about vocal style. Maria is an operatic soprano role; Rachel is vocally wrong for it, too, but she’s closer than Mercedes, and also has ballet training, which would help in the pas de deux.

              Re: typecasting, sure it’s wrong, but it happens, and the directors already did it once, with Kurt. They didn’t choose Blaine over him, they rejected him outright because he didn’t fit the “type” they were looking for. Actually, given that they were willing to split Maria and gave Riff – the white leader of a racially-segregated gang – to Mike makes their rejection of Kurt even more hurtful in retrospect (and I say that as someone who got real tired of St. Kurt over the course of S2).

              In any case, I think both Kurt and Mercedes would have helped themselves if they’d chosen audition songs that at least demonstrated that they could meet the preconceived needs of the role.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              In our high school version of The Sound of Music, Capt. Von Trapp was played by an extremely dark skinned (for a white kid) guy with black hair.  Couldn’t have looked less German without being of non-European descent.  And Maria?  She was half Pacific Islander. 

              Rachel may never have to face competition from an African-American actress on Broadway, but I certainly wouldn’t want my half-Chinese daughter told she can’t ever have a part in a school production because there aren’t a lot of Chinese parts in school plays. 

            • Anonymous

              Typing can be colorblind.  When I say Rachel types I’m referring to her general young, big-eyed, petite presence. 

              I live in an area that’s pretty mixed.  So the local production of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown had a diverse cast.  Charlie Brown and Sally were Indian.  Shroeder was Chinese.  Nonetheless, Sally was small and perky.  Lucy was bigger went to a bigger girl with a loud brassy voice.  

              Someone else mentioned, and I agree, the one Glee clubber who has the right type of voice for Maria is Tina.  And she would have typed–she could come off as young and naive, which suits the role of Maria.  

              Mercedes, on the flip side of things, would type reasonably well as Dolly in Hello Dolly–more so than Rachel, even though Rachel is modeling herself on Babs.  Come to think of it, the Dolly in my high-school production was rather like Mercedes.  

            • scottyf

              Where we radically part company is in the concept of “type” in and of itself. Only when a playwright includes a description of a character (and even then, with a grain of salt), or the physical attributes are integral to the story do I consider it in casting. As a director, I am much more interested in the artist who can convey the essence of what I want to bring out in the overall story. One of my favorite pieces of all times is a play called Playing Juliet/Casting Othello written by a brilliant playwright by the name of Caleen Sinnette Jennings. In it, a dark-skinned, heavyset woman is cast as Juliet, and struggles with the issue of “type.” The director, a white woman, assures her that she was cast because she is a phenomenal actor. However she has been told (and believes) over and over again that she “should” be playing lesser or different roles.

              For me, theatre is about breaking boundaries, and exploring the world from new perspectives. It is not a place to accept the status quo. To once again quote the great Bertholt Brecht: “Art is not a mirror with which to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

              Okay, I know it’s human to stereotype to a certain degree, but I make a real effort to be conscious of it and correct it if possible.  I keep trying to imagine Mercedes as Maria, and I have to admit, I have a really hard time with it. I’ve been trying to dissect it a bit in my mind to determine why that is–I was worried at first that it my mind wasn’t accepting it because of her race.  Then I realized that if she were a petite black girl, I wouldn’t blink an eye.  It’s just hard for me to visually buy Mercedes and Blaine because of her size.  Blech, I have a big girl bias that I didn’t even realize until now.

            • Anonymous

              Scottyf,

              I have no problem with not typecasting.  My point is a more general observation about what happens–which is that actors do get typed and typing *does* affect what roles one gets.  Since I don’t type readily, I know exactly how frustrating the typing thing is.  I also know how common it is–and how early it starts happening–my big-eyed long-haired kid has been cast not once but three times as Snow White–each time by a different director at a different group.  She’s all of ten.  

              Though it’s interesting where you make your caveat–you’ll consider type when there’s a description or attributes are integral to the story.  WSS is, of course, about a conflict between some Euro-American kids and some Puerto Rican kids.  Would you cast Maria as a germanic-looking blue-eyed blonde?  Would it work if Tony were African-American?  Would it be whitewashing the story if both leads were light Caucasians?  Even if they had the best auditions?  What about age?  

              Someone else mentioned the obvious gap in the whole story–Tina Cohen-Chang is the one who has the right kind of singing voice.  So why wasn’t she part of the Maria story line?  

              I don’t think there are, by the way, simple answers to all of this.  It’s a bit case by case.  

            • scottyf

              I agree there are no simple answers. And the debate over color-blind and non-traditional casting still rages on. I think my visceral reaction had more to do with the idea of “that’s just the way it is.” Since the same phrase has been used in America to deny women the vote, black people equal rights, and gay people the ability to openly serve their country. At some point someone in all these instances answered back with: “that may be the way it is, but it’s not the way it ought to be.”

              As far as my casting strategy is concerned: if I was casting a color-blind (a concept I’m not particularly fond of)  production of WSS (which I’m assuming the Lima production is), of course I would consider a blonde Maria who can fulfill my needs for the part. I personally would never choose a piece like WSS if I didn’t think I could cast it honoring the story as written (even then, it doesn’t mean I would limit my choices to wispy Latinas). It’s like the musical Once On This Island, which, in case you’re not familiar with, is a re-telling of Andersen’s The Little Mermaid set in Haiti. In the first song, we learn who the story concerns:

              ..and the peasants: Black as Night
              eternally at the mercy of the wind and sea.
              .

              It’s very clearly a story about intra-racism among people of color, yet it is a favorite with white productions. I have seen some beautiful versions that tell one part of the story very well, but no matter how wonderful and heartfelt, I walk away thinking that they haven’t really told the story the playwrights originally wrote.

              I DO however believe in non-traditional casting. A vast majority of plays do not depend on a specific ethnicity to work. It’s just they have been, held ransom so to speak,  by a Eurocentric society. Sweeney Todd could have been a black, or East Indian man in 18th century England. And what a delicious possibility to explore racism through the musical. I’m always looking at ways to destroy the idea that we have to see the world simply from the point of where things are.

        • Anonymous

          Totally disagree. I don’t think Mercedes came off as lazy at all. They actually listed off several things that she was doing in addition to Glee club. There is a line about how she doesn’t have any time to eat except before dance rehearsal. Which is a really bad idea. I mean in reality they were just setting up for the Dreamgirls bit. So she could have “pain” without the preggers. I don’t know. Taking the series as a whole I think Mercedes is justified. They have always talked about Rachel and propped Rachel up and the only time Mercedes has gotten close to having a song in the competition it was taken away from her. That’s why she joined the Cheerios. A lot of this has been brought up before. It’s not new at all. Push people too far, plus all the hormones and bam (!) you get smacked down.

          And on the subjects of voices: I don’t think Rachel is a great choice for Maria and I think Mercedes would have been better. If not JUST because everytime Rachel sings she closes her eyes so much that it would cut off the connection to the audience. Yeah Maria is a bit lighter/airier/non-poppy, but I think they could have made it work. And it would have been a nice twist on an old classic.

          • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

            I’m with you. She wasn’t at all being lazy. She was at all the rehearsals, and she was trying. She has a legitimate point that crappy dancer Rachel isn’t at Booty Camp because Rachel always stands in the middle of the stage and sings while everybody else dances around her. It’s bull, and Mercedes was right to point out the discrepancy. That dance move is hard for ANYONE to do, regardless of how in-shape they might be or their body type, and it’s utter crap that Schue let everyone else stop doing it and stand there watching Mercedes do it alone until she got it right. Bad teacher.

            • Anonymous

              “Crappy dancer Rachel” has been doing ballet and going to dance recitals since she was a toddler. It’s true Lea Michele may not have Rachel’s dancing ability, but it’s established in canon that Rachel can dance – she wouldn’t need booty camp. (I actually don’t think Mercedes did either, she was busting some sweet moves in “Bust Your Window” in S1).

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002797009692 Andy AB

        I have to disagree here. Not that she isn’t putting in as much work as the others, because she’s not, but there was a lot of “I don’t feel good” and “I’m in pain” stuff thrown around… I think that an actual medical issue may surface later on in the season.

        • Anonymous

          I found myself wondering if she’s going to turn up pregnant — after all, that is what Effie White was going through when she was accused of malingering in Dreamgirls in the very number they recreated last night.  And she did want to barf, which I’m told is a common side effect of being pregnant.

      • Anonymous

        I couldn’t agree more.  I wanted to slap Mercedes in this episode.  She decided she was fabulous and unappreciated so she threw a temper tantrum instead of putting in the work.  I thought Schu completely in the right (similar to his moment with Quinn) when he told her if she walked out the door not to come back.  Rachel has certainly had her diva moments over the seasons which have made her character extremely hard to pull for – I feel that this is exactly what Mercedes is doing now. 
        Since we’re comparing the two, I think Rachel is growing more this season.  She has had some really touching moments where she has learned that while she may be hot shit in her small town in Ohio, that may not take her all the way to New York, NY.  She also begins to realize she’s dating a boy who will most likely take over his step-dad’s garage while she goes off to try and make it in show biz.  Rachel definitely has her “Rachel diva moments” but overall I have found her character to actually be developing a little bit.  Mercedes is still complaining about her lack of stage time and respect – which has been going on since season one.   
        As far as setting up conflict and giving us a reason for having Idina Menzel’s second glee club at the school, the story works.  If they’re trying to make the audience feel bad for Mercedes for playing second fiddle to Rachel, well, it didn’t work on me at all.  

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          No, Schu was totally in the wrong to tell her not to come back — because when Rachel decided to quit last season because she felt unloved, he couldn’t wait to have her back!  How is it okay when Rachel does it, and it just means they need to show her the importance of teamwork (by going right back to giving her her own damn way), but when Mercedes does it, he needs to stand up to her?

          • Anonymous

            My only point is that I’m happy Schu told her not to come back, I would want him to do the same to any member who behaved like that.  I know that people are arguing that he gives Rachel special treatment, but I don’t want to sing Mercedes’ praises for throwing a tantrum, knocking over a music stand and telling Schu and the rest of her supposed friends that she has outgrown them and is, essentially, better than them.  Rachel wasn’t even there – Mercedes attacked Finn, Tina, Kurt, etc. 
            I guess I’m also frustrated because I want to see Mercedes actually work towards what she wants, not just decide that it’s her time to shine.  Mercedes did the same thing during the Night of Neglect episode, and Rachel had to go talk to her out in the car and ask her to come back.  I agree with the point Rachel made in that episode – if you want the lead from me, get off your ass and come and take it.
            I’m curious to see if the writers give us any clue what Mercedes’ plans are.  Does she think when she graduates from high school that a record label is going to meet her in the parking lot because she’s talented?  Mercedes is coming across very immature to me right now and pretty bratty.   

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1539480086 Rachael Dickson

      I thought the episode was exceptionally good, with great songs and good plot and character development that hasn’t been seen in a long time. Emma’s parents were hilariously awful – it really does toe the line of “disorder that we can laugh at a bit” well. I do completely agree though – “Fix You” was a big fat kerplunk at the end of a great show – the staging with white t-shirts and blinding light was so cheese-tastic I couldn’t stand it. 
      I thought the Dreamgirls scene was FABULOUS. And the Mercedes plotline was perfect- she was justified in her, but she approached it about as sensibly as any high school girl would. And I don’t necessarily see the boyfriend as changing her – more helping her with her self confidence and helping her understand her full potential.
      I wish y’all would do a run down of the individual numbers like you used to! I’d love to hear your opinion on some of the ones you didn’t mention.

      • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

        Since they can no longer post clips via Hulu, I guess they stopped doing that. 

        By the way, does anybody know the name of the actress who plays the rich girl who can’t sing? I’m dying because I can’t remember where I’ve seen her before…

        • http://needtherapy.tumblr.com skadi1

          Vanessa Lengies.  She was in Joanne in Stick It (at least, that’s where I recognized her from).

        • Laura Duncan

          Her name is Vanessa Lengies. I know her from Waiting.

      • http://twitter.com/pinup_ghoul Pinup Ghoul

        With you on Dreamgirls. If a revival happens and she doesn’t get the part of Effie, I’ll be shocked.

    • Marie Drucker

      I wondered if the Mike “Asian F” storyline came out of this past year’s hoopla over Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” Which is about a Chinese-American mother pushing her kids very hard. The author got a lot of flack for the book — and I haven’t read it — but she claims she was just writing from her perspective and trying to be thoughtful about it. Others have said that her parenting — and that of other Asian parents — is too strict. Just a thought. Of course, she didn’t invent the stereotype.

      Keep coolie cool, boys!

      (I love all things Sondheim and am a children’s librarian… I might sing to my kids all day today…)

    • Anonymous

      I’m going to interject on behalf of all things music class (hey-o former music teacher) to say that West Side Story is standard in jr. high and high schools. If they dont see it in music class, then they are shown it in freshman English (or whenever they read Romeo and Juliet). 

      Secondly, I cant get behind this episode at all, and I found myself angrily yelling at the boyfriend to turn it off near the end. I will excuse the absurd plot lines filled with unrealistic stereotypes. Mercedes leaving Glee for a guest star’s rival rag team? Great, but you know, like the rest of the former deserters, that she will be back and will share her spotlight. They are setting her up to be the star for next season. And she cant be that with a storyline about tots as her main source of drama. No one, also, should be allowed to ruin Dreamgirls. Changing the lyrics to fit the plot? Hells no. And if she pulls an Effie and gets preggo… I will write a letter. A STERN ONE.

      And Rachel. OMG. DO NOT GET ME STARTED. Dear God, Rachel… no one wants to be Maria. While she may sing a lot, her lines are boring, her character is weak, and her songs are not impressive. You want to be the star? Play Anita. Everyone remembers her.

      Mike Chang was the only redeeming character last night, but you just know that his dad will find out, but will have a light bulb moment where he realizes that Glee is good for his son (Harvard be damned… even though, as an Ivy League employee will tell you that a varied amount of extracurricular and talents boosts your application ten folds).  

      Rant done.

      • Anonymous

        Actually I dont think Mike Chang Sr will have a light bulb moment, at least not right away. It would take a while. but Jr has mom on his side and she can counter him enough to force him to back off a little

        • Anonymous

          I’m seeing this go the way of Quin’s mom. Give it time. He’ll show up at the show and realize just how talented his son is. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            Quinn’s mom never realized her daughter was talented or that they had done something seriously wrong as parents by kicking her out when she needed them — Quinn’s mom got dumped and couldn’t handle the thought of being alone, so when her husband betrayed her, she went running back to the daughter she had sacrificed to make him happy and decided that her daughter should just be fine with it.  That’s still the episode that pissed me off the most, because Quinn should have told her where she could shove her offer to come home. 

      • Anonymous

        Amber Riley has confirmed that the character’s not pregnant…

        As for Rachel wanting desperately to be Maria and not realizing that Anita is the character everyone remembers?  I actually think that fits right in with her small-world, high-school senior, laser-beam focus on “success” and how she defines it.  Maria is the female lead.  She wants that role.  period.  She doesn’t have the maturity or emotional depth right now to understand how or why Anita might be the better, more interesting, more challenging or more memorable role to take.

        • Anonymous

          Excellent point. I did not consider this at all. 

        • Emily Scott

          Okay, I’m relieved to know a pregnancy is not in the cards because that sure seemed like what they were projecting, especially when drawing all the parallels between Mercedes and Effie.

        • Isadora Paiva

          Rachel I get, but all through this episode I kept thinking that the whole Rachel vs. Mercedes going after the role of Maria was stupid, because Rachel really is more suited for that (weak) part. Mercedes should be given Anita’s role precisely because she was better at the audition and has a more soulful voice and charismatic stage presence. It seemed contrived to simply forget the part that made Rita Moreno win the Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy.

          • Anonymous

            I agree Mercedes would make a fantastic Anita–in fact, a better one than Santana–and it smacks of typecasting yet again to give the role to The Latina when The Black Chick, in this case, would have done better with it. I feel like the writers gave themselves these major casting storylines and then when it came to what roles the other characters would get, they just kind of tossed them off in five minutes. So of course Santana got Anita.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

        Pregnant Mercedes is the FIRST THING I thought when they showed her getting sick and having a crazy short temper.  I really hope they don’t go down that road.

        • Anonymous

          Next guess: eating disorder or cancer.

          • Anonymous

            I really, really hope it’s not the latter (or the former, for that matter). [Spoiler Alert!] Isn’t one of the characters going to die this season? [End spoiler]

      • Terence Ng

        The odd thing is that my own strict Asian parents encouraged me to do all these extracurriculars in addition to getting good grades because it would get me into a good school. At one point, I was in 3 AP classes, swim team, running a Catholic youth group I didn’t believe in for middle schoolers (don’t ask, I’m ashamed), the debate team, the school play, orchestra, and started a GSA (which my parents didn’t know about). It’s a natural extension of the Asian stereotype of parents pushing their kids to succeed in all realms, including the arts, because they know that schools want more than just good grades now (and rightfully so), so it’s strange when I encounter the conceptualization of that stereotype as being rigidly anti-arts programs and primarily focused on grades only (and maybe one sport).

        Perhaps we’re dealing with a stereotype that has evolved with the times, if that makes any sense.

        • Anonymous

           My work with college admissions has shown that stereotype of all around perfection to be true. Plus, no counselor anywhere would tell a student to quit an extracurricular because of an A-.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          Yeah, my brothers-in-law both were forced to do an Eagle Scout project, run Sunday school classes, compete in Band  competitions plus other various things. 

      • scottyf

        As a director, I vehemently disagree with the idea that Maria is a boring and weak character. As an immigrant coming of age in a hostile world, she is the only character who has a true emotional arc. I don’t know if your judgement about her character comes from the movie version, or from the play itself, but it is often the director who makes the choice of a character’s temperament, based on her/his concept of the show.

        Oh, and if you will forgive me: Dreamgirls is not Shakespeare. And even his works get adapted :-). I think it was an incredible use of that number.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, I’ve also had the privilege of directing (as a high school teacher) and acting in different versions of West Side Story and I am familiar with both the play and the movie. I just saw the stage version a couple weeks ago and thought it was brilliant. HOWEVER, I still find Maria to be poorly written. I’ll give you that she has a true emotional arc, but I disagree that she’s in any way strong. Just as I am more interested in Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, I’d rather hear Anita’s story in West Side. Just personal preference, I suppose. As with all theater, you are correct, the director can take it any way.

          And believe me, I know Dreamgirls is not Shakespeare, but it was way too easy to put that in to Glee and give an Effie like character an Effie song. I find it campy and just irritating to change speak-songs structured in plot movement just so you can give a little reference.  

          • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

            Glee? Campy? God forbid! 

          • scottyf

            Anita doesn’t really HAVE a story. We really don’t know learn much about her from the script itself. She’s the nurse in R&J, wouldn’t you agree? She’s there as a convention to represent the argument of cultural assimilation. Of course the tragedy being that she ends up agreeing with Bernardo.

            As for Maria’s strength: well, she’s been marginalized like so many other female leads in musicals. It certainly isn’t written in the script. Who says she HAS to be played that way? She disobeys her brother (the authority figure) and listens to her heart. That takes strength of character, imho. And while it would have been great to have found a Latina to portray her in the Wise production, I thought Natalie Wood played her with a good amount of fire and resolve. I think they did a decent job of capturing that in the recent Broadway production as well.

            Like you, I had the privilege of directing young people in  West Side Story. It was a city-wide production and I was lucky enough to get to work with some incredibly talented young actors from the Latin American community. I can tell you that our Maria was anything but boring. :-)

            • Anonymous

              The scene at the end of the movie when Maria picks up the gun and says “How many can I kill, Chino, and still have one bullet left for me?” makes me cry like a baby every time I see it.  I never thought that Maria was a boring character.

            • Anonymous

              I think it boils down to what is on paper versus what is in the flesh.  A great director and actor can take very little on paper and manifest something unforgettable whereas a non-creative director/actor can make you forget the most well developed character.  (I go back to Waiting for Godot, a play I must see live at some point because on paper, I loathe Beckett.  This is why I never wanted to direct – I benefit from good direction.)  

              Anita doesn’t have an arc – agreed – and Maria decidedly grows up – and yet Anita is the showier role.  Hell, Roxie is the lead in Chicago, has terrific numbers, and everyone remembers Velma (who also wins the awards, come to think about it.)  

              You’re making me wish I’d seen the recent Broadway revival, though, and WSS isn’t even one of my favorite shows.

          • Anonymous

            Well, keep in mind what Rachel’s supposed to be like–she’s a singer much more than an actor.  Maria may not be the most interestingly written female character, though I agree she has an arc and is kind of the heart of the show, but the girl has some *great* music.  And Rachel would be all for that.  Mercedes, too, for that matter.  Neither of them have been portrayed as actors.  

        • Anonymous

          But the actress playing Anita always wins the Tony.  I don’t know about boring or weak, but not having seen West Side in awhile, my overriding memory is that Maria is young and falls in love.  This throws her in the realm of many (most) 40′s – 60′s ingenues that get upstaged by the “supporting” female role.  The Ado Annie’s, Miss Adelaides and Anita’s of the world are generally more fun to play and more fun to watch.  

          On topic with the discussion, I temper this with the perspective that I was an alto and not a size 4 in high school / college, so I was NEVER going to play the ingenue.  So of course, I find them boring – ( besides, they always get the guy, even if he does die at the end.)

          • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

            AGREE SO MUCH. I’m SO bored with the “small cute soprano gets the tall handsome tenor” storyline.

            • Anonymous

              What tall handsome tenors?  They tend to be such a short, round group.

            • Anonymous

              True story. Tall handsome basses all the way.

            • Anonymous

              It must be the alto in me that played viola and loves cello, but give me a baritone – short, tall, young, old – I don’t care.  I don’t want a guy that sings higher than I do.  Give me John Cullum (preferably 30 years younger) or George Hearn (ditto) any day.

              Ok, so off topic, but…

      • scottyf

        As a director, I vehemently disagree with the idea that Maria is a boring and weak character. As an immigrant coming of age in a hostile world, she is the only character who has a true emotional arc. I don’t know if your judgement about her character comes from the movie version, or from the play itself, but it is often the director who makes the choice of a character’s temperament, based on her/his concept of the show.

        Oh, and if you will forgive me: Dreamgirls is not Shakespeare. And even his works get adapted :-). I think it was an incredible use of that number.

      • Anonymous

        Yup. West Side Story, hella standard. So standard that when I found out one of my best friends hadn’t seen it (and she wants to be an immigration lawyer! Hello?!) I immediately sat her down and made her watch it. She, uh, she didn’t really go for it, but at least I felt better.

    • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

      I question whether we could judge that Mercedes was the right fit for Maria from what we’ve seen so far.  She hasn’t shown the ability to really sing that kind of music yet because they’ve never given it to her.  I’m sure she can, but Out Here On My Own wasn’t the way to do it.  Why not have both divas sing a West Side story number as is usually done at callbacks to see who best fits the role.  We already know Rachel can do it, so it would have been nice to see if Mercedes could as well.  Sorry, I’m a musical theater performer, so I wanted to see it done right.  I know, I know, it’s Glee, not reality.  That was my only beef with the episode.  Otherwise, I thought it was really stellar.  Brittany especially rocked, and Mike dancing with his mom certainly did bring a tear to my eye.  BTW, Cool is my favorite number from any musical, so I was so pleased to see Mike do it.

      • Anonymous

        Am I the only one who thought Mercedes would make a great Anita?

        • Sobaika Mirza

          She would, but Santana would nail it better. Then again, the best vocal match for Maria is TINA so let’s not get caught up in all that.

          • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

            EXACTLY. Neither Rachel nor Mercedes has ever demonstrated that they can hit the ridiculous high notes that Maria grabs in her duets with Tony.

          • Anonymous

            Very true.  Why wasn’t Tina even in the mix?  IRL, you think she’d be considered for that part.  Her singing range works, she has an upper register and she’d work as an ingenue.

            • Anonymous

              I’m pretty sure she sang one of Maria’s songs in her original audition for the glee club, for god’s sake. (Did she? If not, pretend I didn’t say “for god’s sake.”)

            • Anonymous

              Not for her audition, but yeah, Tina sang “Tonight” in Season One.  She cracked the top note, but that was a plot point.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ruthieoo Ruthie O

      Thanks, TLo, for writing these reviews. You are the only reason Glee is back on my DVR, and I couldn’t be happier! Another sign that the show is improving? That tiny scene where Kurt gives Blaine the flavors. It was nice because the scene referenced the last episode’s major conflict. Last season, there would be big conflicts and issues in one episode, and they would either never be spoken of again or not for another five episodes. It was a nice, quiet resolution and nod to last week, and a sign that the writers are now valuing consistency. 

      Also, I’m I the only one who thought the big revelation of this episode was that Mercedes was sick? Her stomach pains and bad ankle in rehearsals seemed to be foretelling something. I was relieved she was okay, but I hope they aren’t directing her to feel pain under the premise that big girls are bad at exercise and movement. 

      • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

        I thought they were setting her up for a pregnancy storyline, hence the Effie tie in.

        • Leslie Streeter

          And Effie, we all got pain. (Sorry. Had to.)

        • Leslie Streeter

          And Effie, we all got pain. (Sorry. Had to.)

      • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

        Seriously — I couldn’t figure out whether they only had her “in pain” to set up the Dreamgirls bit, or if we were going to end the episode with another g.d. pregnancy or a “big girl has a heart attack!” moment.  

        Or she was just malingering, which is kind of the side I came down on at the end. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

          Or she’s overweight and the moves were really too much for her to handle.  I don’t think she was overacting or faking anything- It’s not easy to just pop up and down like that, even if you’re totally fit.  I think she was just realistically asking her body to do things it’s not in a shape to do.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720742723 Sarah Winningham

            I think they were trying to gingerly address Mercedes weight. On the Glee Project there was somewhat of a focus on how difficult/embarrassing Hannah found the dancing compared to the thinner kids, she tried to be professional and power through it – but with Mercedes they are emphasizing how, though she may be as naturally gifted as Rachel, she has yet to put in the work or willingness to be ridiculed in pursuit of fame.

            • Emily Scott

              I think you’re right about the writers’ intent, although it was handled so gingerly that it admittedly went completely over my head. I think it’s also worth noting that all of the others girls in the Glee club have been dancing for years (most probably from childhood) so Mercedes is starting way behind her peers. If we ever got really deep with her character I wouldn’t be surprised if we find that that fed into her lack of confidence as a performer.

              The funny thing is that during the “Cool” number, I noticed one of the football players in particular (longer, curly hair, was on the far right in the final group dance) who was a bigger guy but who danced just as well as those who were much thinner than him. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of thing, but it was good to see a reminder that great dancers come in all sizes.

            • Anonymous

              the bigger guy has been in a few episodes (i remember him from Safety Dance and the zombie numbers) and he was a performer on America’s Best Dance Crew.  his group was called “heavy impact” and it was made up of all big dudes to show that people of any size can have talent.  they were my favorites!

    • Anonymous

      I take care of two families of Chinese-American children and it’s been an education and somewhat of a culture shock for me. In my family, my parents would be overjoyed with an A minus but with my Chinese children, anything less than perfect is considered a disappointing failure.  The kids that I work with are really impressive, smart, accomplished, excelling in every way – except they often seem unhappy to me. I am sure that the Tiger Moms would say that their children’s short term happiness is not the goal but they are preparing their kids for a  successful future. That is why, even though I enjoyed the Mom’s supportiveness of her son, it was jarring and not true to life, at least based upon my experience.
      Overall, great episode which revived my love for Glee.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ruthieoo Ruthie O

        I imagine you meant no offensive by this comment, but what you are implying is that when a person of color acts outside of his or her cultural stereotype, it is unrealistic and jarring. This seemingly harmless philosophy is exactly what keeps the roles for Asian performers limited to nerds, uptight parents, and martial artists. 

        • Anonymous

          Just based upon my limited experience with a small sample size, I have observed that the children’s preferences are not always the highest priority. Honestly, these kids are really impressive but having seen interviews with the woman who wrote the Tiger Mom book, I saw that this is the way it’s often done in Asian households. And man, do they get results with that method of child rearing. Maybe “jarring” was a poor choice of words because I loved that Mike’s Mom went the way that she did, but it struck me as possibly a tad unrealistic.

          • Sobaika Mirza

            So you are admitting to very limited experience with a small group that does not reflect Asians as a whole, let alone an Asian-American football player from Lima, Ohio in the context of a musical-comedy television show.

            For what it’s worth, I’m a South-Asian American. My culture has very similar stereotypes about culture, upbringing, and education. I didn’t find them pushing the Asian angle too hard (it is a large chunk of who we are, especially first-gens) and was pleasantly touched by the scene with his mother. Nothing unbelievable about it… especially considering the actor, Harry Shum, is an Asian-American professional dancer and actor.

            • Anonymous

              I too am Asian American and I was also surprised by Mike’s mom’s reaction and described my surprise in an earlier post, as did someone else whose parents are Asian.  It seems to me we did a really good job beating someone over the head here with the “racial sensitivity” stick when she was trying to make an honest observation.  She even tried to qualify it with further descriptors.  Eventually she left the board.  A little excessive.

            • Sobaika Mirza

              I really don’t think anyone here beat someone over the head. If we’re going to talk about race and stereotypes then one should be prepared for a frank discussion and differing opinions.

              And regarding this thread with the “Guest” (do we know that person left the board because of the two posts responding to her?), much worse things have been said about Ricci’s forehead.

            • Sobaika Mirza

              I really don’t think anyone here beat someone over the head. If we’re going to talk about race and stereotypes then one should be prepared for a frank discussion and differing opinions.

              And regarding this thread with the “Guest” (do we know that person left the board because of the two posts responding to her?), much worse things have been said about Ricci’s forehead.

            • Terence Ng

              I don’t see anyone here “beating” anyone else. Yes, she admits that she works with 2 families, and then went on to say that viewing Chua’s interviews about her book also leads her to conclude that “this is the way it’s often done in Asian households.” Responders just questioned whether drawing that conclusion is valid or not.

              Three families, even with someone who claims “this is the way it’s done” (and is Amy Chua really the authority on how most Asian-American families parent?), isn’t really that much to go on to think “Hm, I guess this is how most Asian households are,” or make a claim on something seeming realistic or not when you think about it.

              That’s like me saying that I know two girls who suck at math and I saw Britney Spears give an interview about how in her family, all the girls were bad at math, therefore, from my limited experience, most girls are bad at math and Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls is unrealistically good at mathematics.

            • Anonymous

              Sincere question, because this was the first thing I thought of when I saw her original post, (which did have her profile attached and that + her additional attempts to explain herself and then revert to “Guest” = felt in over her head and left the board to me and that’s a shame).  Is it ok for me to feel like Mike’s mom’s reaction was surprising?  After all, I’m basing it on a technically limited sample of my own family and therefore it is a stereoetype.  And yes, worse things have been said about Ricci’s forehead, but it’s much more damaging to have it implied that you are a rascist when that wasn’t your intention at all.

            • Terence Ng

              No one implied that she was racist, only that the reasoning behind her conclusion of how “most Asian households” function lacks validity. There are plenty of studies that show that Asian American students deal with far more psychological and stress-related issues than their white counterparts, particularly girls, but those are based on legitimate study sizes investigating personal and environmental factors, not just one or two personal experiences and media portrayals.

              The conclusion is not necessarily wrong, but the method is, and having that pointed out and debated is not an ‘attack”. It’s attempt at exploring critical thinking.

              Personally, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Mike’s mom was unsupportive or if she was supportive. My parents would have been supportive (my parents also ballroom dance as their personal hobby), but I can see where any parent would be unsupportive, and Mike’s mother being supportive would be a nice moment regardless. The “arts are a waste of time” trope isn’t necessarily unique to Asian parents, as you can see with the whole underlying Sue Sylvester plot and and the contentious debate about arts programs that have been raging in this country since the rise of the “Red Dragon” for the past two decades and all that who-ha. I could definitely see the idea of a strict, silent, father who disapproves of the arts as a waste of time being just as natural for a character like Puck.

              Anyway, whether you’re surprised based on your own experiences is fine, because you are surprised based on your own experience, not because you experienced the upbringing of all Asian households and found it to be true. My own “sample” is based off my personal experiences with my parents and my siblings, cousins, friends of family, etc. 

              But the issue is that it makes more sense to look at what you’ve experienced, knowing how limited it is, and question whether or not that is the case for most people, instead of just assuming from one or two experiences that it is true.

              There are two possible statements: 

              “In my experience growing up in an Asian household, my parents were strict, so this stereotype reflects the reality of MOST Asian upbringings.”

              or

              “In my experience growing up in an Asian household, my parents were strict, so this stereotype reflects the reality of MY Asian upbringing.”

              The latter statement, limited to on one’s experiences, is the more factual statement to make. It is far more dubious to extrapolate blanket truths (“this reflects everyone’s experience) based solely on one’s own experiences than it is to extrapolate relative truths (“this reflects my experience”).

      • Terence Ng

        As my own experience, my parents were strict in the way you described, but they were also incredibly supportive. I had numerous breakdowns as a kid, but my folks were always supportive, and they eventually felt that they had indeed emphasized grades more than content. Regardless, while they forced me to do a lot of things I didn’t want to–violin, for example–they were things that were important to me later as skills, and I did outperform many of my peers, and I doubt most of that was innate.

        And when I elected to do things that I thought were fun, like a bit part in a school play, they were incredibly supportive. Part of them probably did it because they knew that having a well-rounded experience looked good on a college app, but they were also cheering enthusiastically at swim meets, making spaghetti for swim team dinners, and buying tickets each night to the school play I was in as I flubbed through some Shakespeare.

        I really encourage you to not base your perceptions of what’s true to life on 1) two families you interact with out of hundreds of thousands and 2) in the limited capacity that you interact with them at this specific period of time in their lives. You might be dealing with two sociopathic mothers, or only seeing the kids in a demanding aspect of their lives and not in the loving times, or not tapping into cultural modes that you aren’t trained to recognize from your cultural background.

        • Jessica O’Connell

          EXCELLENT RESPONSE.

          As I wrote earlier, I was raised by a Chinese-American mother and was expected to get good grades and be involved in many extracurriculars, but my mother was also supportive and usually understanding when I did badly on a test (and I’m talking worse than an A- here) when I had truly done my best.

          Two families and a few televised interviews is not a sample size, so I would encourage the Guest to not make any assumptions. It’s true that Asian-American students are usually very high achievers and grades are often stressed as being incredibly important at home, but that does not make Asian parents cold. A parent of any race or ethnicity can expect good grades without it being uncharacteristic of them to support their child in something that makes them so obviously happy. I thought that each of these characters was written very well and I hope that in your further exploration of the world, you’ll realize that they ring true to life. Asian parents are not all one thing or another, just as White, Black, Latino, or any other parents are not.

          • Terence Ng

            Right. My mom initially was critical of my awful Chemistry grades, but once she remembered that she never passed her own chemistry exams, she was more understanding, but encouraged me to keep at it anyway.

            It’s fine to identify with stereotypes. They exist in the mind for a reason, and all stereotypes have some truth to them, otherwise they wouldn’t be stereotypes. Amy Chua obviously exists, and somewhere out there, there IS a flamboyant gay man, a girl who’s bad at math, a woman who’s a terrible driver, etc., but the danger is when you’re  presented with a contrary example–Mike’s mother, Gareth Thomas, Danica McKellar, Danica Patrick, respectively–and you’ve bought into the stereotype so deeply that you immediately reject it as being somehow untrue or “unrealistic”.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            Can I trade your Chinese-American mother for my mother in law?  :)  Honestly, she would have never been that supportive of her kids in Mike’s position, ESPECIALLY once she saw how unpopular Glee is…  Perception was big for her, as is achievement.  Happiness means nothing.  Oh, and she also is very cold as a person, fulfilling even more of the stereotype.

            On the other hand, my husband’s best friend is also Chinese and his parents are two of the warmest, most supportive people I’ve ever met.  In fact, they are “more” Chinese than my husband’s parents, because they lived in China until about 15 years ago. 

            In my experience, Asian-Americans do tend to place a much higher importance on achievement and status than some other groups, but that certainly isn’t true for all of them. 

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        My friend, a second-generation Thai-American, said that her experience was very similar to Mike’s, even more extreme. I won’t go into details, but she didn’t think “Asian F” was a stretch at all. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          Yeah — my husband used to get crap from his parents for his straight A’s (in a lot of AP classes as well as normal ones) because he wasn’t working as hard as they thought he should or as hard as his sister who was busting her ass to get C’s.  I’m not totally sure what he was supposed to be doing to raise grades that couldn’t get any higher, but apparently they thought if it wasn’t hard for him then it didn’t count….

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Not once in more than 10 years of discussing such things with my mother in law have I EVER heard her use the word “happiness” when talking about her children and what she wants for them — it’s ALWAYS success.  Everything is about making her children “successful” with no thought to how miserable her definition of success may make them.

        That said, I’ve known other Asian parents who weren’t that way at all — my own husband for instance.  I think a lot of young Asian parents who grew up in the US and had those Tiger Moms grew up to resent the constant pushing and are moving away from it themselves.

        • Terence Ng

          I think harry Shum Jr.’s parents would be a pretty good example, too. Obviously Harry’s already done what Mike Chang wants to do.

    • http://twitter.com/Hey_Ashton Ashton Reese

      I have always been a huge fan of Harry Shum – he is fabulous! And if you haven’t – you should check out his work as Elliot on the LXD (legion of Extraordinary Dancers) on Hulu (http://www.hulu.com/watch/162538/the-lxd-elliots-shoes). 

    • Lori

      Great recap of a wonderful episode.  It took two years to lay the foundation but like a glee club or a team they can now have a contribution, large or small, from every player.   And a budget to do it all justice.   Even the camerawork was better, which is so key to the dance scenes.

      And there will always be room for the great one-liners, like my favorite from Coach Bieste:  “I kicked a fire hydrant when I found out Ace of Cakes was canceled, hence the crutches.”

      • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

        I have to say, it was refreshing to get a break from Sue Sylvester in favor of more Coach Bieste. I think she’s an awesome character and really funny. Loved the Ace of Cakes line too. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

          Wow.  I didn’t even notice until you mentioned it that Sue Sylvester wasn’t on last night. I love Jane Lynch, but now that I think about it I think I’m just over Sue.  It’s tired at this point.

    • Anonymous

      I have the biggest crush on Harry Shum, Jr. Last night’s episode might be my favorite of all time. I especially loved his interaction with Tina when she said “Point taken.” Those two are interesting and I want to see more! 

      Mercedes acted a bit bratty but I think she has a right to be angry. It has to be frustrating when you know you’re better and your competition knows you’re better, and everyone is still afraid to give you your due. I like that she believes in herself now. also she looked amazing in the first audition scene, in that black dress. 

    • Anonymous

      Oh also with the Mercedes getting sick all the time I really thought they might be going for ANOTHER pregnancy storyline. Please don’t, show. 

      • MilaXX

        I think I must be the only one who didn’t think pregnancy from her getting sick. I saw her getting sick the result of pushing herself and nothing more.

      • http://profiles.google.com/jenlindsey Jen L.

        I saw her getting sick as a fake-out, honestly.  My youngest sister used to fake being sick to get out of all sorts of things when she was younger.  I think she just didn’t want to be in booty camp anymore because she was “better than that.”  That part of the storyline annoyed me a bit – everyone else was working hard, why shouldn’t she?

        • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

          Why did you see it like that? The show went out of its way to point out that Mercedes is busy and wasn’t eating other than immediately prior to dance rehearsal. That meant she was wolfing down her food, which can absolutely cause stomach cramps even if you aren’t doing strenuous dance moves right after. I think she did work hard, but that her being the only person left doing the move while everybody else watched was the last straw. Especially because Rachel is a crappy dancer but wasn’t pulled to Booty Camp.

          • Anonymous

            She’s not the only busy one, though. Finn and Puck have football. Santana and Brittany have the Cheerios. Kurt and Brittany have their campaigns to run. Mike apparently has to study his ass off to keep his dad happy. And Schue was working Finn just as hard last week as he was working Mercedes this week.

            And, as I said upthread, Rachel has been established as having dance training. Lea Michele can’t dance particularly well (not much better than Amber Riley, anyway) but Rachel doesn’t need extra help.

          • Anonymous

            Also, they made a pretty big point about Mercedes’ motivation/determination levels towards the end of last season. Remember when that nincompoop–I forget his name–decided their nationals performance should be built around one lead singer, and they were all auditioning for that lead? Well, even though nincompoop had an obvious bias towards Rachel, he still brought up a pretty valid point with Mercedes. She admitted she didn’t spend a lot of time practicing–for her it was enough to show up and belt it out. Whereas Rachel has consistently been shown to be single-minded in her determination, relentless in practising, honing, brainstorming…whatever could make her a better performer or gain her more opportunities in the spotlight. Given that Mercedes-as-less-motivated has already appeared in the story, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that many of us took this episode as a continuation of that precedent. There was certainly room to see it your way, too, however, and I think writing it that way is part of what makes this episode so successful. Lots of room for discussion!

    • Britney Drumm

      You guys nailed it, as usual. Glee fucking brought it last night. Finally.

    • Anonymous

      And yes, Harry Shum is gorgeous, wow, why didn’t I see that before?

      • http://twitter.com/pinup_ghoul Pinup Ghoul

        He is. As is the man that played his father.
        I agree, this was the first episode where I thought, “Damn, Harry Shum is sexy. I’m just now noticing that. Weird.”

        • Anonymous

          Oh, people, I’ve been on that train from day one. Welcome aboard.

    • http://twitter.com/meg_a_wo_man Megs

      Is it just me, or does anyone else think Mercedes could be pregnant? I mean what else accounts for her feeling ill multiple times during the show.  I was expecting that news to break, or for her to have an appendix burst or something.  

      • http://twitter.com/DarthJaeda Jaeda Laurez

        According to Amber Riley’s Twitter, she said Mercedes is not pregnant. 

      • Anonymous

        Apparently, Amber Riley tweeted that Mercedes is not pregnant.  But with all the parallels last night to Dreamgirls, it certainly gave the impression that’s where they were going.

      • Anonymous

        Amber Riley has been tweeting that mercedes is not pregnant.  Thank god.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        Could it be that Mercedes’ facade finally breaking down and her aches & pains the result of hiding self-esteem issues under divatude? It seems that her connection to Effie in Dreamgirls is not the pregnancy, but of dealing with pressures of being different, yet trying to fit in using extra attitude, losing everything because of the attitude and gaining it back when she learns to define herself on her own terms.

        • Anonymous

          THIS.

        • Jennifer Coleman

          I’m going to roll with this a minute longer.
          It seems that (yeah, since I’ve seen a whopping 1 episode) that the character of Mercedes really was created AS Effie. At first glance, she is the hardest character of a group of misfits, to assimilate into the mainstream world that they inhabit. Her bravado is a brittle facade for having to deal with being thought of as second class, due to her appearance. Her boyfriend knows she is worth more & told her. Rachel, her competitor and therefore most accurate assessor knows M’s star power, but she didn’t communicate that to Mercedes. None of her friends ever lifted her up in that way, hence her remark to Shay. That knowledge finally brought out her paranoia, making her lash out at the glee club and envision the devastating Dreamgirls sequence of her friends & teachers seeming to turn on her (which interestingly was shadowed by all the comments on various sites today calling her lazy, having a bad attitude, ridiculous to even think she’d be Maria, etc). That’s why she’s called Effie, but everyone else retains their show names.
          Maybe this was her story arc from the beginning-to move her out of the shadow and burden of conformity into something more genuine before she graduates. We’ll see.

          • Anonymous

            Rachel gave her a total pep talk in Night of Neglect, despite Mercedes’ idiotic demands. I don’t have a problem with people criticizing the show, first and foremost, for treating Mercedes badly (and there are arguments for Schue, Kurt and others’ poor treatment of her, too). But Mercedes, just like everyone else in that group, has had occasion to be horrible to Rachel, and I’m kind of tired of people piling on the character just because she’s driven or they find Lea Michele irritating or whatever.

            I really hope you’re right about the aches and pains being a manifestation of psychological distress, though. That would be both a) a lot deeper than I’d ever expect “Glee” to go, and b) the most interesting storyline the poor girl has had in 2.2 seasons.

    • Anonymous

      i have been singing to myself “cool” this morning.  he was fantastic.  as many happy moments last night also many sad moments.  so very Glee indeed.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      Yeah, Joe I love TLo, too!
      Last night’s ep was the FIRST Glee episode I’ve ever watched, ever. I’ve been boycotting it thus far due to my perception of having their cast members of color relegated to the back row, and utilizing that Stereotype that Refuses to Die: the sassy, black, full-figured diva. Because of the universal buzz about this ep, I decided to test my pre-conceived notions and found a show that dealt directly and unflinchingly with my concerns and set up, a plotline that has the potential to hash out some real deep issues; there was Mike’s story, a little  standard-issue, but very moving nonetheless; that dance number from Brittany that was incredible; Rachel, who I didn’t dislike as much as I thought and the Emma storyline, that made me remember just how much I enjoyed the good parts of Nip/Tuck – the cruelty lamely masked as care (by her parents), the broken standing up to those that terrorize them and hopefully embracing their perceived ‘defects’. That speaks to Mercedes’ position-even though she’s the angry black woman right now, she has justification, if I’m reading you correctly and most likely, will be on a big journey to gain serenity this season. The boyfriends in general seem a bit weak, but maybe it was the constraints of the episode. All in all, I’ll be back, but if it devolves to being focused on the dating habits of the attractive white leading characters, as it gets portrayed on the main TV websites, it’s getting dropped like a hot potato!

      • scottyf

        You. Better. Preach.

        At the end of this episode I was shouting at my TV at Soul Brothers T&Lo, in my best Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes: “DAMN YOU TLO!!! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!! I was hooked. But it was also that anxiety I get when I let myself become vulnerable with a new love interest, and have to brace myself for the possibility that it’s not going to work out.

        It was some of the best writing I’ve seen in a long time. The fact that they look somewhat unflinchingly at some frequently glossed-over topics is so enticing. What a concept! Giving characters of color three dimensions! I too don’t mind Mercedes being cast as the angry black girl this time. She has reason to be. I’m angry. I’m angry when I read some of these posts and realize that so many people still live in a white-washed world. They can’t seem to look past preconceived notions of everything from their favorite musical, to the President of the United States. Very much like Schu in the case of Mercedes.

        Okay. Calm now.

        Do you know how much I LOVE the fact that they have paired Mercedes with a big black dude? In this day and age, that’s almost RADICAL for television. And to make him loving, and supportive! I cried when she said that it was the first time someone had told her that she deserved the limelight.

        T&Lo said…
        “There’s a subtle racial component to the story but you’re not being hit over the head with it; namely, that Schuester is favoring “white” culture (such as showtunes and classic rock) over African-American culture (like R&B and classic soul).”

        THIS is why I call them Soul Brothers. They get that a show that only features plots from a white perspective only service a part of the viewing public. I am PRAYING that the writing staff includes people of color and will continue developing stories like Mike’s and Mercede’s.

        • MilaXX

          Your summary of the Mercedes issue is spot on. Like many other stereotypes the Angry Black women is based on fact. I’m happy to see the show getting to the underlying reason rather than rely on the stereotype.

        • Anonymous

          Scottyf,

          So you’re just starting with Glee.  It’s a rough ride.  The show will go places and do things most shows won’t and it will also at various points let you down big time.  Mercedes has needed a real story line for years.  Let’s hope that this one doesn’t disappear.

          When it is good it is very, very good and when it is bad it is . . .

        • Anonymous

          Scottyf,

          So you’re just starting with Glee.  It’s a rough ride.  The show will go places and do things most shows won’t and it will also at various points let you down big time.  Mercedes has needed a real story line for years.  Let’s hope that this one doesn’t disappear.

          When it is good it is very, very good and when it is bad it is . . .

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think the racial component was subtle at all.   It is bad enough that as a character Mercedes has been largely marginalized through two whole previous seasons with nothing to actually 3-dimensionalize her as a person.  But now we add lazy and entitled to it.  it is pretty sad because her identity markers are all negative stereo types of black women or black people:  Shes fat, sassy, has food issues, has a weave, is a Diva, relies on raw talent, feels ‘entitled’ instead of working hard and is now considered lazy.  I found it frankly insulting.  The argument would have been just as valid if not more so and proven Mercedes’ point if they had her hustling as hard as Rachel.  But she has never been a ‘person’ on this show.  So to do this at this late date with no real depth or recognizable history to draw on just makes her look even more unsympathetic and whiny.

          • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

            I’m really over people calling Mercedes lazy. Just because she didn’t want to be the ONLY person continuing to attempt a stupid dance move that Schue has decided is a staple of show choir by herself while every other remedial dancer in the club (except Rachel, who is a LOUSY dancer yet was excused from Booty Camp) watches her because remedial rehearsal can’t continue until she gets it right (not like Finn got it right. Or Puck. They all just got tapped out for the hell of it) doesn’t make her lazy.

            • Anonymous

              The “Mercedes is lazy” thing is a callback to season 2 in an astonishing example of continuity on a show that barely knows what that means. Jesse St. James called her out for her lack of preparation during the solo auditions for Nationals. Now, Jesse’s an ass, and also was biased in favour of Rachel, but Mercedes flat-out admitted she didn’t practice and prefers to coast on “heart.”

              And, again, Schue worked Finn just as hard last week as he did Mercedes this week.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think the racial component was subtle at all.   It is bad enough that as a character Mercedes has been largely marginalized through two whole previous seasons with nothing to actually 3-dimensionalize her as a person.  But now we add lazy and entitled to it.  it is pretty sad because her identity markers are all negative stereo types of black women or black people:  Shes fat, sassy, has food issues, has a weave, is a Diva, relies on raw talent, feels ‘entitled’ instead of working hard and is now considered lazy.  I found it frankly insulting.  The argument would have been just as valid if not more so and proven Mercedes’ point if they had her hustling as hard as Rachel.  But she has never been a ‘person’ on this show.  So to do this at this late date with no real depth or recognizable history to draw on just makes her look even more unsympathetic and whiny.

        • Anonymous

          Will has, himself, performed songs by Kanye West, Young MC, Sisquo and Prince, not to mention all that horrible New Jack Swing he did with Acafellas. The ensemble has, either in the choir room or in other settings, performed pieces by Ike & Tina, the Supremes, Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Aretha, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Usher, Jill Scott, Dionne Warwick, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, MC Hammer, James Brown, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson and Sammy Davis, Jr, among others.If people want to say Will’s choices for competition are white-bread and favour the white kids in the club, I won’t argue. If people say the show’s done a disservice – multiple times – to its characters of colour, I’ll agree vehemently. But of Will Schuester’s many, many faults, I don’t think racism is one of them, or at least not any more so than any other white person, I suppose. And in any case, Will has no control over the decisions made re: the musical, he’s not involved.

    • Anonymous

      The Mercedes-Rachel thing was the only thing I didn’t like about this episode (except the idea of Will ‘fixing’ Emma of course). For one thing, it seems rather glaringly obvious that the part of Maria–any of the parts in a musical–demand not just vocal talent, but acting. You could see some of both in Rachel’s (first) audition, and it helped that she was singing one of Maria’s songs so you could see her in that role. And just like Kurt showed tremendous talent in his audition but was not suited for the part of Tony, Mercedes’ vocal talent doesn’t mean she’s right for the part. I think they made her a very unsympathetic character in this episode. She was shown as unwilling to put in the extra work, unwilling to be a team player, and decidedly ungracious. She seemed to think her natural fabulousness should be enough. I couldn’t believe I was pulling for Rachel, but there you go. Also, maybe the glare on my screen was the problem, but I didn’t see Will being annoyed at Mercedes’ success; I rather thought he took it as validation for pushing them so hard.

      • Alexa Suarez

        I was definitely pulling for Rachel as well. I don’t see how Mercedes did better with that song than Rachel did–perhaps her vocals were better but she wasn’t showing the kind of emotion/acting ability that rachel was/always does when she sings, and isn’t that what you need in a musical? The show just never has convinced me that Mercedes is a real rival for Rachel. And I just found her annoying last night.

        • Anonymous

          “The show just never has convinced me that Mercedes is a real rival for Rachel.” Agreed. Perhaps because the only ‘role’ we get to see Mercedes playing in a song is that of ‘diva’. She plays that one well, but as far as I can remember, we don’t really get to see her doing anything else.

          Is Mercedes a junior or senior this year? I thought she was a junior, but then she made some statement in this episode about her senior year, so not too sure. If she’s a junior, and they were having that much trouble deciding, seems to me it’s a no-brainer. Or at least my high school always favoured a graduating student when in doubt.

          • Anonymous

            Senior.  Amber Riley has said she’s been told the character is a senior and will be graduating this year.

            • Anonymous

              Doesn’t Mercedes make a reference to it being her senior year during the episode–how she’s not going to waste it playing back up to Rachel?

            • Anonymous

              Yeah, that’s what I thought. But I thought an earlier episode had her a year younger than the Rachel-Kurt crowd, so that’s why I was confused.

            • Anonymous

              Doesn’t Mercedes make a reference to it being her senior year during the episode–how she’s not going to waste it playing back up to Rachel?

          • Anonymous

            I’m pretty sure that’s the standard of how it works. Both in terms of opportunities (younger students will have other chances) and in terms of experience and talent. A senior who’s spent three years in the trenches of high school musicals will, on average, do a much better job than a talented sophomore, unless the talent gap is very wide.

      • Anonymous

        I’m so glad you mentioned seeing Schu’s reaction as a validation and not annoyance.  I kind of agree with TLo that Schu is (perhaps subconsciously) favoring “white genres.”  But there’s no way he was annoyed at Mercedes for improving herself and doing well on the audition.
        And I’ll also agree that they should have done the call back with songs from the show, and probably some line-reading.  Yes, Mercedes did a great job on the call back song, and perhaps did sing better than Rachel on it.  But in no way does that mean that she’s better for the part of Maria.

        • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

          Agreed. He took it to mean that his “tough love” approach worked on Mercedes, just like he thinks it worked on Quinn last week. How wrong he is.

        • Anonymous

          The more I think about it (which just shows you what a successful episode this was, that I’m spending time THINKING about it, for crying out loud!), the more I wish they’d let us hear Mercedes sing, ‘I feel pretty’. It’s a prissy little song that Rachel is of course very well suited for in style (I don’t know anything about voice). I would have loved to see what Mercedes could do with it–could she give it a new power, a different resonance? I wish we’d had the opportunity to hear her sing against type. The kinds of songs she sang for auditions–no one has ever been in doubt she can own those.

          • Anonymous

            They should let them sing the song “I Feel Pretty”,  why couldn’t it have been played in each of their voice range.  Mercedes would have handled it as she looked at her  boyfriend.  The first person outside of her mother(Niece Nash, hint) to tell her that she was pretty.

    • CQAussie

      Last night’s Glee ep had us dancing, cheering and tearing up!  Bravo, writers, well done!

      As Asian kids – both my husband and I responded well to the Asian F thing.  It’s not a made-up thing and it didn’t go too far. Mike’s Dad is pretty much a dead on for most Asian Dads….quiet, polite, devastating.  Asian parents can be brutal – my husband’s were more so compared to my own but we both knew what was expected of us.  And yes – most Asian kids heard The Speech about acceptable (note – not potential….acceptable…) careers….which are…in order….Medicine, Law or Engineering.  Accounting/Business is also acceptable as a back-up.  It was surprising though for Mike’s Mom to be supportive.  That’s usually rare, to be honest.  It was a nice touch and believable too….it reminded me of my mum….who mellowed out A LOT after the titanic clashes we used to have because I refused to go into Medicine.  I guess she finally remembered what it was like being forced to do what her parents wanted and not what she was passionate about.  Made me a tear up a little.  I was really happy to see Harry Shum Jr get more stretch in his character.  Here’s one Asian kid who broke out of the mold and made a name for himself doing what he loves =D  

      We were also blown away by Mercedes and her plot lines – absolutely about time!  I can’t wait to see more.  I think her bf showed her that she’s fabulous already and said it explicitly….several times.  Until Mercedes realised it too.  Perhaps it’s different coming from someone that Mercedes is vulnerable to and in love with versus say a gay best friend or a fellow diva.  Rachel usually gets a lot of her strength from Finn too and I don’t necessarily see it as overdone.

      Heather Morris is DA BOMB, we LOVE her.  She has SO much more personality than Santana and Quinn combined and wow, girl can dance!  The Kurt and Blaine story line also seem to be working well although I sense some tension down the line is in store.

      The Emma/OCD/Will plot line is working for me too – I think Will’s attempts to fix her will blow up in his face inevitably and as a couple they will have to find a way to move forward together…..with Emma having to do some exorcising of her demons.

      • CQAussie

        P.S.  Still grooving to “Spotlight” =D 

      • Anonymous

        Fellow Asian kid in the hizz-ouse!  I was also reminded a lot of my childhood and the really brutal criticism I received on a constant basis that I now know was meant to be motivational.  I agree that I was surprised by Mike’s mom – not just by her being supportive, but also that she was willing to stand up to his dad with him.  And no – not just because of the gender issue – in my experience, Asian parents are lockstep together on almost every issue.  They just are.  Family life/raising of children is a mission and they go about it with a military precision that is almost frightening.  Disagreements don’t happen between the parents in front of the children and certainly not “against” one of the parents by the other who’s siding with one of the children.  It was an interesting twist on the dynamic for me.  And well played by Harry Shum Jr and all the actors in this epiosde.  I thought the entire episode was a great sign of things to come, honestly.

        • Anonymous

          I hear you. My own parents were not as harsh as they could have been. There was that quiet, unspoken expectation of us. And of course you prefer the quiet pressure since the when asian parents yell they can put the combined fear of God and Satan in you. I think it’s easy to forget how much each generation embraces the tiger mom stance varies. My folks in hindsight were more motivated by a desire for a good life their sons and daughters. They pushed us all for a good education and security having lived through the communist takeover. My sisters encouraged their kids, all gifted, but never pushed. Some of the kids have done amazing things, some haven’t.

          Looking back at Mike Jr and the way he was presented, it’s clear Dad, who seems most likely an immigrant, is the one who’;s embraced the old tradition of how to raise the kids. He probably had no objections to Jr’s activities as long as his grades were not compromised. It’s clear Tina, a girl who dresses goth and has dated outside her nationality, is not acceptable to Dad. Yet he would tolerate her as long as the grades were not compromised. It seems likely that any concession how Mike Jr could live his life was due to his mom. The casual american clothes, the dancing, glee and the fact he is allowed to date Tina at all probably was due to any quiet persuasion on her part.

        • Anonymous

          Wow. Well, based on this comment, my parents were Asian parents in disguise. This is extra-ironic because everyone mistakes me for either Asian or half-Asian. THE TRUTH COMES OUT. (Also, hi, I seem to be replying to your comments a lot.)

      • Terence Ng

        Ugh, I had those same conversations, especially the “hobby, not a career” convo. Plus, my sister was the artist, so I had the pressure to be a doctor/lawyer/professor, but I eeked out with public health, which was medical enough to convince my folks, but obscure enough to confuse them and keep them from raising a stink, while social justice-y enough for me. Half in jest, of course, though I do with I struck out with a bit more courage that Mike’s mom talks about.

        On the other hand, my cousin was pretty free to do what he wanted (and my sister as well) and my uncle was stern, but highly involved, and my aunt was pretty laid back about it all (though always a worrier in private). My uncle was the highly involved Scout Leader of my cousin’s boy scout troup, which was pretty different from my dad. It’s interesting, because my aunt and uncle were always telling me that I should do what I want to do and not do what my parents want me to do just because it’s what they want.

        I have no doubt that CeeCeeLee’s experience is genuine, but on my own end, my parents did fight in front of me, my mom always had opinions that were different from my father’s, even in parenting (which sometimes caused those altercations). In general, they were in lock step, but my dad would sometimes think she was being too hard on me (like my mom being upset that I would get a “satisfactory” instead of “outstanding” on my in-class conduct). Still, with all these helicopter moms in the US, I wonder if parents in general can now be sorted into “uninvolved”, “well involved” and “too involved” without regard to race.

        Also, my experience was that if an extracurricular was my reason for not doing well, it was expected that I bring up my work in both, instead of backing out of one to focus on the other…and my folks were both immigrants. Its not to say that my childhood was hunky dory; I experienced a lot of the same emotions and experiences that I’m reading from the episode and from the other Asians posting here, but my parents and Asian parents I was also familiar with had plenty of exceptional behaviors to the “Tiger Mother” stereotype.

      • Terence Ng

        Ugh, I had those same conversations, especially the “hobby, not a career” convo. Plus, my sister was the artist, so I had the pressure to be a doctor/lawyer/professor, but I eeked out with public health, which was medical enough to convince my folks, but obscure enough to confuse them and keep them from raising a stink, while social justice-y enough for me. Half in jest, of course, though I do with I struck out with a bit more courage that Mike’s mom talks about.

        On the other hand, my cousin was pretty free to do what he wanted (and my sister as well) and my uncle was stern, but highly involved, and my aunt was pretty laid back about it all (though always a worrier in private). My uncle was the highly involved Scout Leader of my cousin’s boy scout troup, which was pretty different from my dad. It’s interesting, because my aunt and uncle were always telling me that I should do what I want to do and not do what my parents want me to do just because it’s what they want.

        I have no doubt that CeeCeeLee’s experience is genuine, but on my own end, my parents did fight in front of me, my mom always had opinions that were different from my father’s, even in parenting (which sometimes caused those altercations). In general, they were in lock step, but my dad would sometimes think she was being too hard on me (like my mom being upset that I would get a “satisfactory” instead of “outstanding” on my in-class conduct). Still, with all these helicopter moms in the US, I wonder if parents in general can now be sorted into “uninvolved”, “well involved” and “too involved” without regard to race.

        Also, my experience was that if an extracurricular was my reason for not doing well, it was expected that I bring up my work in both, instead of backing out of one to focus on the other…and my folks were both immigrants. Its not to say that my childhood was hunky dory; I experienced a lot of the same emotions and experiences that I’m reading from the episode and from the other Asians posting here, but my parents and Asian parents I was also familiar with had plenty of exceptional behaviors to the “Tiger Mother” stereotype.

    • Denise Robinson

      “The Mercedes story also plays into the plotline that Rachel is realizing she’s isn’t as good or as special as she lead herself to believe.”   Exactly. I know that many fans of Rachel want her (along with Kurt) to “take on the world and conquer Broadway”, but Rachel (along with Kurt) have to deal with the fact that there are many other Rachels and Kurts like them out in the world. That they’re going to have to develop a thicker skin in order to survive in the performing world. Mercedes has dealt with feeling second best on this show for a long time and she shouldn’t have too anymore.  

    • Anonymous

      Mike Chang’s storyline was outstanding and Harry Shum’s acting during the scene he was dancing to his inner conflicts was heartbreaking.  I bawled when he danced with his mom.  I also thought Brittany did a fantastic job with her number as well.  I’m on the fence about Mercedes.  I love how she and others are questioning that Rachel isn’t the only talented singer, but combining that with her unwillingness to dance made no sense.  It made her seem lazy and not motivated.  I don’t know.  I do agree that Quinn would never have been spotlighted at sectionals last year and not Mercedes.  Still, the show is on a great trajectory for the season.

    • Anonymous

      You nailed it when you said that Glee has turned away from the trend of just being about the downloads. I’m SO happy to see real plot this season! And yes, I am thrilled to death that they are introducing Bernstein/Sondheim to a whole new generation.

      Brittany rocks. Team Brittany!

    • Anonymous

      No pregnancy for Mercedes, according to Amber Riley’s tweets apparently.  Thank God.

    • Jessica O’Connell

      While I do think they play up A LOT of stereotypes on the show, I think they hit the nail on the head regarding what a lot of Asian kids go through and how they feel pressured by their parents. If you see my last name (not sure if you all can), don’t be fooled by the utter Irish-ness – I’m actually only a quarter Irish and am half Chinese. At times, my mother has been a very stereotypical “tiger mom,” including always asking where any points were missed if I got a 95 on a test rather than a 100. I’m also STILL being asked to become a doctor or a psychiatrist, so I think that was all right. Like Mike Chang, I wanted to go into the arts when I was in high school and, while I wasn’t necessarily discouraged, I wasn’t encouraged either. And an A- being an “Asian F”? Hell yeah! It was for me!

      Ok, now that you all know way more about me than you ever wanted to, just want to say that I agree, it was a great episode. I love the song “Fix You,” so I was less upset by the ridiculous and somewhat insulting message of it in this context. Instead, I try to just look at it as Shu wanting to help Emma rather than wave a magical musical wand and fix her. Also not a huge fan of Mercedes’ confidence finally coming through because of her boyfriend, but at the same time, I think it is more that she is finally seen as the star by SOMEONE who truly (seems to) care about her. Also, for any girl at that age, having a boyfriend can, and usually is, a huge boost to the self-esteem, as unfortunate as that is. So it’s realistic, even if a little saddening.

      I also liked the very short moment between Kurt and Blaine, that demonstrated how afraid they are to show a lot of affection towards one another in school. I have a feeling that that was a very small hint at some interesting stuff to come for them. You could just tell they wanted to hug as Blaine sort of patted Kurt on the shoulder. Maybe that means we’ll see some Dave Karofsky soon?

      Excited to see what they do next! Though I’m annoyed that we’ll have to wait until November to do it.

    • Anonymous

      Emma’s despair last night was so palpable.  I felt for her in a way I’ve never done before. 

      • Anonymous

        I agree. And as to the last song about fixing, it didn’t exactly bother me. I mean, it is totally wrong for Schu to feel this way, but it is also realistic. I have family members with anxiety/depression issues and also addiction, and I know that feeling where you in reality you are so powerless over the situation, and want to fix it so much, and that if you could just love them enough, somehow you could make them better. And when Schu grabs her hands when she is wringing them, that was heartbreaking. It hurts him to see her in pain and acting out her problems, and his urge is just to physically stop her, as if that does anything to change the underlying anxiety that is causing her symptoms. He wants to help her, and yet he is going about it completely wrong, thinking he has some sort of power to “fix” her. I am interested how this will play out.

        And just in general, I am sort of annoyed with people who want people’s reactions to be all “good” or all “bad”. Like, was Mercedes likable or obnoxious last night? Some of both. She was really realistic. She has genuine reason to be mad, and at the same time, she wants that to be the total explanation, that she is just the total victim. When I was teaching high school, this was like 90% of all the students I knew. No one ever took responsibility for their situation.

      • Anonymous

        I agree. And as to the last song about fixing, it didn’t exactly bother me. I mean, it is totally wrong for Schu to feel this way, but it is also realistic. I have family members with anxiety/depression issues and also addiction, and I know that feeling where you in reality you are so powerless over the situation, and want to fix it so much, and that if you could just love them enough, somehow you could make them better. And when Schu grabs her hands when she is wringing them, that was heartbreaking. It hurts him to see her in pain and acting out her problems, and his urge is just to physically stop her, as if that does anything to change the underlying anxiety that is causing her symptoms. He wants to help her, and yet he is going about it completely wrong, thinking he has some sort of power to “fix” her. I am interested how this will play out.

        And just in general, I am sort of annoyed with people who want people’s reactions to be all “good” or all “bad”. Like, was Mercedes likable or obnoxious last night? Some of both. She was really realistic. She has genuine reason to be mad, and at the same time, she wants that to be the total explanation, that she is just the total victim. When I was teaching high school, this was like 90% of all the students I knew. No one ever took responsibility for their situation.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      I loved the exchange between the casting guys and Mercedes when she asked if any OTHER parts had been double cast, and they said no, and then Artie said, “Don’t make this a stupid pride thing,” and she snapped back “Oh it’s a pride thing, but it’s not stupid.”  Damn right, Mercedes, you stand up for yourself.

      I LOVED the Effie number, but I really started to get uncomfortable towards the end- and I think I was SUPPOSED to.  Seeing a black singer surrounded by a group of (mostly) white people telling her how her actions are wrong- it really made me squirm.

      I’ve been refreshing all day waiting for this review, and I’m so pleased TLo loved it is much as I did.

      Also, holy CATS Heather Morris.  I love that Sue was even bopping along.

      Hated the Ginger Supremacists gag.  They could have made the parents horrible for some less irritating reason, but I suppose they wanted some campy craziness to keep the show in goofball territory.

      Oh, oh, and I like that the numbers went back to that fun “how much of this staging is really happening and how much is in the singer’s head?”

      • Anonymous

        I was trying to figure out if they were trying to make the parents actually racist (which they are) or just nuts (which is also true). Like, do the parents really love red hair, or are they using that as a cover up for their real white supremacist beliefs?

        • Emily Scott

          I think they were thinly veiled racists who were both polite and clueless enough that they would never ever think of themselves as such. I actually thought the ginger supremacist angle was a clever tweak of the “heritage not hate” line that I have heard, living in the south, from people who wear or fly the Confederate flag and don’t see it as remotely racist (note: I do not think that all people who display the Confederate flag are therefore racist; I believe people are more complex than that). It was both a nice bit of dark humor (which makes complete sense considering the brains behind this show) and a much better/more subtle way of approaching the issue than having them be total caricatures who spout racial slurs.

          Interestingly, I thought it was less their ginger supremacy and more their complete insensitivity towards Emma that has led to her OCD. If I can play armchair psychologist for a moment, it makes sense that after growing up with those parents, Emma would choose to be a guidance counselor.

          • Anonymous

            Could also be an answer to the horrible “ginger-bashing” that happened a few years ago thanks to that South Park episode. What irritated me about it is that there’s already an explanation for Emma’s OCD in canon: she tells Will in S1 that her brother pushed her into a trough at a dairy farm and since then she’s been unable to stop showering or consume any milk products.

          • Anonymous

            I guess I would flip what you said about the complexity of individuals a little bit: I think the idea that the word “racist” equals “irredeemable Klan member who should be killed by firing squad” is a bit of a cop-out, and we’d be much better served by understanding that people who are not 100% terrible in every way are often still racist, Stars and Bars or no. Otherwise we end up committing the “there are no racists” fallacy.

            I completely agree, though, that “ginger supremacist” was a great way to approach the “heritage not hate” line of thinking.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12432538 Nariman Celia Alkhatib

      I dont mind that mercedes’s confidence is partly comming from her boyfriend, sometimes you just need someone to believe in you and boost your confidence, and if that happens to be a man then ok.. dosnt have to be, but for alot of women it turns out that way

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

        And I think she just needed SOMEONE to tell her she was great, be it friend, boyfriend, mentor, etc., and it just happened to be her boyfriend.

    • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

      ahhh!!!! when it was over my first thought was “i cannot wait to see what TLo says about this. I bet they will love it.” I honestly didn’t realize just how much the show fell in season 2 until I sat and read your posts. They basically voiced the tiny things that had been bugging me but that I didn’t want to acknowledge. 

      Agree on the why does M dress like a fug thing. I’ve never understood that. But I loved the plot with her bf and him telling her (the first time ANYONE has said it) that she was better than Rachel. I think this episode was perfection and I’m SO EXCITED for the next one.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XB3MVZPDY5V3KQ6AO7ED7QU5WI Carey

      All I can say is that at the end of last night’s episode I found myself thinking: Finally, Glee is back.

    • Anonymous

      wow, based on this, I might actually watch the whole episode soon, even if i have to pay!

    • Alexa Suarez

      I’ve seen some previous comments that have said they really felt for Emma this episode like they never had before, and I completely agree. I’m glad they’re taking a more serious approach to her issues. Like someone else has also said, I love love love the song Fix You so the ending didn’t bother me that much. The staging was kind of awkward though, you’re right about that. But I didn’t see it as “Oh boy Will is going to heal her OCD with the power of song and his love!”. I saw it as someone who is in love with someone with a psychological disorder who wishes they could help, but there’s really nothing they can do but be there for them. I’m sure Will wants to be able to “fix” her because he loves her, and the song was him expressing that. I felt like the number was expressing the kind of helplessness that anyone who has been in a relationship with someone who has issues that they wish they could fix for them but can’t has felt.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly.  Will explicitly says before he sings that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.  I don’t think the song is not about how he’s going to solve all of Emma’s problems, but more that he’ll be there through it.  He’s not going to abandon her.

        I actually really like the direction of the Wemma story line because it deals with the issues the characters have always had instead of bringing in multiple half-assed love interests to create problems.

    • Onika K Morris-Alleyne

      Chang Sr. did have a throwaway line about the ‘college consultant’ saying that glee wasn’t a big earner in terms of admissions points.

    • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

      the only plotline i didn’t get was the “i’m not feeling well” thing from M. Amber Riley said on twitter that she’s not pregnant, so why was she suddenly so hard up and unable to try as hard as usual?

      • Anonymous

        I wondered if they did that so to keep in line with the lyrics of the Dreamgirls number

    • Onika K Morris-Alleyne

      I completely agree with this.  Plus, it was made clear last season that Emma is undergoing therapy, so the show IS treating her condition seriously.

    • http://twitter.com/thisiscarlijn Carlijn Kruidhof

      I disagree with the ‘Fix You’ thing. I don’t think Will is trying to ‘fix’ Emma, I think it just means being there for another person when they need you. Coldplay did not write that song about fixing a person, it’s about a death in the family. 

    • Anonymous

      They did the Mercedes as the poor little diva storyline last season. I hated the storyline then and I hate it now. She is a high school student, not an actual star, she shouldn’t talk to her teachers the way she talked to Mr. Schu and she shouldn’t expect that just because her voice may be “better” she can act up like a child. I’m really starting to dislike Mercedes.

    • Anonymous

      Did anyone notice Ralph Malph as Emma’s dad?  So THAT is what happened to Malph.

      Ralph Malph is a Happy Days character…for those that don’t remember…

    • Anonymous

      Did anyone notice Ralph Malph as Emma’s dad?  So THAT is what happened to Malph.

      Ralph Malph is a Happy Days character…for those that don’t remember…

    • MilaXX

      I loved this episode for all the reason you mentioned; Amber’s singing and  Heather’s dancing were just 2 of the highlights. I don’t mind the minor quibbles when the overall show is this good and strong. Amber KILLED every song she sang last night. JHud even tweeted her after hearing her sing “Spotlight”.

    • MilaXX

      I loved this episode for all the reason you mentioned; Amber’s singing and  Heather’s dancing were just 2 of the highlights. I don’t mind the minor quibbles when the overall show is this good and strong. Amber KILLED every song she sang last night. JHud even tweeted her after hearing her sing “Spotlight”.

      • Anonymous

        That’s awesome!

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      “I try to just look at it as Shu wanting to help Emma rather than wave a magical musical wand and fix her.”

      That’s exactly how I read this as well.  It was a song about his wish to be able to help her, and that rings true from what he’s been trying to do all along.  It’s not possible- he’s not a therapist and no one can “fix” OCD by just wanting to, but I thought the emotion behind watching someone you love suffer and WISHING you could fix their problems was genuine.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      “I try to just look at it as Shu wanting to help Emma rather than wave a magical musical wand and fix her.”

      That’s exactly how I read this as well.  It was a song about his wish to be able to help her, and that rings true from what he’s been trying to do all along.  It’s not possible- he’s not a therapist and no one can “fix” OCD by just wanting to, but I thought the emotion behind watching someone you love suffer and WISHING you could fix their problems was genuine.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      I just wish they’d given her parents a more realistic crazy than Ginger Supremacists.

      • Anonymous

        I thought that Ginger Supremacists was being played as code for White Supremacists.  They just didn’t have the guts to fully go there, but it’s hinted at very strongly during their scene, from their obsession with genetics to the way they clean their glasses in the flashback after a Hispanic waitress serves them.  I wish they had clarified it, instead of backing away by turning it into a throwaway ginger joke, because it helps explain a lot about Emma’s mental illness and makes her character much more sympathetic to me.

        • Anonymous

          I think they worried that a straight supremacist plot would be too heavy.  But yeah, they competely coded it–down to the whole blondes and blue eyes will disappear in 50 years obsession that supremacists have.  

          One thing that confused me, though–they mentioned Will having blue eyes.  Matthew Morrison’s eyes have always looked brown to me . . .

          • Anonymous

            I wasn’t sure so I looked up pictures of Matthew Morrison on Goggle Images and his eyes are blue.  They’re a darker blue that might be hard to pick up on television.

            When Emma’s mother said she didn’t like his “wooly” hair I thought the implication was that she was worried he might be Jewish.  They were seriously creepy and if the scene was suppose to be played for laughs I sure wasn’t laughing!

            • Anonymous

              I don’t think it was exactly played for laughs, as much as it was kind of a serious satire of the white supremacist mindset without having to get into real racists.

              Woolly–I thought possible African blood, but whatever.

              Morrison’s eyes still read brownish to me, but I guess he’s in that hazel-ish range where they look greenish, brownish bluish depending on what he’s wearing.

          • Anonymous

            There have also been news stories about how redheads are likely to disappear eventually: it is a recessive gene and they make up only about 5% of the world’s population. Doesn’t make Emma’s parents’ attitude acceptable or, you know, sane. But there’s at least been basis in the media for their “beliefs.”

            • Anonymous

              Has that not been true for a long time, though? I mean, how is it news? Stories like that are dogwhistles aimed at people who are afraid that a tide of immigrants will end America As We Know It and their privileged white existence (I’m not saying these things are necessarily thought or felt in so many words, but those are the undercurrents). I am ALSO not saying, for the record, that merely reading such a story and thinking “huh, that’s an interesting notion” and then moving on with your life makes you such a person. That’s why it’s called a dogwhistle; the people who aren’t primed to hear it miss most of the message.

            • Anonymous

              Oh for sure, absolutely. I wasn’t trying to excuse Emma’s parents at all, more saying that that may be what inspired the writers to create them in the first place.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      I just wish they’d given her parents a more realistic crazy than Ginger Supremacists.

    • Joyce VG

      I couldn’t agree more.  I only cautiously watched this episode for Mike Chang’s storyline and wound up loving the whole episode.  Miracles do happen.

    • Joyce VG

      I couldn’t agree more.  I only cautiously watched this episode for Mike Chang’s storyline and wound up loving the whole episode.  Miracles do happen.

    • Anonymous

      This was such a great episode. The Dreamgirls sequence was showstopping.

    • Anonymous

      Jayma Mays is so completely misused on this show. Just wow. I felt for Emma in a way I haven’t felt for any of these characters in a while. I was actually welling up at the end. And I didn’t mind Will’s ‘Fix You’ performance. I saw no arrogance in it, but rather an expression of the depth of his love and empathy for her and it was very genuine and touching, two things I’ve stopped expecting from Matt Morrison. The whole cast has really been delivering this season.

      However, I felt that they did so much retconning of established character characteristics to make Mercedes’ story line work that I was a bit disgusted with her by the end of it. Since when does Schue, who is always yelling at Rachel, blatantly ignoring her when her hand is raised and using her as his teaching moments to get the other kids involved even when they don’t deserve it, favor Rachel? And “no one ever wants to hurt Rachel’s feelings?” Seriously? I felt like I was in a parallel universe after I heard that line said seriously. Are we talking about the same girl and her established interactions with the people of William McKinley HIgh School and the people she semi-pathetically calls her family? I’m trying to remember more than a couple interactions with these people that wasn’t designed to be hurtful. I think Mercedes came out of this looking really awful to be honest. And I thought they purposefully chose the more belty parts of ‘Out Here On My Own’ that the general musical audience has by now been trained to find impressive for Amber to sing. She sounded great, but certainly not “better” than Rachel/Lea. The whole thing was so contrived.

      And Mike’s story line I felt resonated with more than an Asian audience. As the child of strict African parents, I’ve lived his story and it really touched me. I loved the actors they got to play his parents, and Harry was also good.

      I have higher hopes for this season. Don’t let me down Glee.

    • Anonymous

      I loved this episode! Although I think they’re giving Matthew Morrison too many songs he can’t pull off. He sounded silly in the Dreamgirls number and in the Fix You song also.

    • Anonymous

      Ryan Murphy sure does revel in stereotypes-the fat lady eats a pound of pasta for lunch and loves television centered around cake?

      • http://needtherapy.tumblr.com skadi1

        She’s not fat, she’s an athlete.  Athletes carbo load all the time.  Have you ever read what football players eat the day before the game?  It’s insanity.  And she doesn’t love TV about cake.  She loves reality TV.  Her pets (cows?  I can’t remember) were named after the Kardashians, and she referenced other reality TV shows several times.

    • Anonymous

      Last week was a relief, this week actually made me sit up.  Not so much the story lines, which were fine if a little rushed (Mike Chang’s entire life story in ten minutes), but because the musical numbers were well-integrated and unexpected.  I loved the use of a minor Dreamgirls number to push through the Mercedes plot.  Loved seeing “Cool” and Heather Morrison was dynamite.

      Just the best musical numbers in ages..And I’d rather have Will’s character trying to help Emma and admit he doesn’t know what to do than some of the other things we’ve seen Will do.  Plus, he got to sing.  People hate Will so much that Matt Morrison’s singing is woefully underused.My one hope is that they’ll find some way to have Matthew Morrison sing “Maria” instead of Darren Criss.  Morrison has the vocal chops for the song, Criss doesn’t.  Has Morrison ever played Tony.  He’s kind of made for the role.But, then, the actuall singing requirements of West Side Story are a bit of the fly in the ointment.  Neither Amber Riley nor Lea Michele are legit singers and Maria’s very much a legit role.  Michele’s closer–and types the part–but in the non-Glee world, neither of them would have the right voice for “Tonight” as it’s actually written.  On the other hand, Santana just sort of is Anita.  As in no one else comes close.

      Hmmm, it would be interesting to have a legit female singer in Glee world sometime.  

    • Jen Wang

      I get a little fed up with the idea of Asian parents somehow being the only ones who don’t want their kids to be musicians.  I’ve studied music through college and grad school, and everywhere you go, regardless of race, there are parents who are worried their kids won’t be able to feed themselves if they pursue the arts as careers; there are parents who foist their dreams onto their kids; there are parents who are worried, but have made tremendous sacrifices to support their kids’ dreams.  People only talk about Asian parents wanting their kids to be doctors and lawyers because it confirms a stereotype.  They don’t talk about how being financially secure in a prestigious field is what plenty of recent immigrants of any race want for their kids, or what plenty of rich parents expect of theirs.

      • Jen Wang

        (That said, I didn’t think their treatment of Mike’s Asian-ness was any better/worse than how Santana & Mercedes’s race informs their characters.  Here’s hoping that, like them, he’ll get to do other things, too.)

        • Anonymous

          My sense of it is that Mike Chang is supposed to be first-generation and Tina is supposed to be third or fourth generation.  So Tina gets the pressure Mike feels, but her *own* parents don’t seem to put the same pressures on her.  She’s supposed to be a good student, but she’s always been pretty open about how her goal is to be a performer.  Plus, her dating Artie didn’t seem to raise issues at home.

          We just don’t see anything of Tina’s family, but I think there’s some idea that there’s more than one kind of Asian parent at McKinley.

          • Terence Ng

            Well, Tina is either adopted, of mixed heritage, or lives in a mixed race household, since her name is Cohen-Chang…

            I totally agree with Jen, though. Is it that rare to encounter parents of any other race that don’t want their kids to take on careers that are high paying and ensure them a secure future? It seems like the phenomenon of looking for validation of pre-existing expectations. I believe that Asian parents are harder on their kids, so every time I see an example of that, it validates my opinion, while I fail to notice examples of the opposite, or examples of parents in other races behaving similarly.

            I also wonder if there’s a confounding belief to the stereotype that has more to do with generational status than race. I’ve had friends who were first generation of other ethnicities who had similar upbringings, so it could be a possibility.

            • Anonymous

              Well Jenna Ushkowitz is adopted, but Tina seems not to be.  Nor does she seem to be mixed race.  They’ve never explained the “Cohen”.  I think it’s kind of a leftover homage to Jenna’s last name.  

              My whole experience with the Asian parent thing–as a non-Asian who’s always lived in areas with sizable Asian communities is that the generation makes a difference.  I know kids whose parents fit the Tiger Mother stereotype.  I also know adults who rebelled against that type of upbringing and are trying to raise their kids differently as a result.  I have one friend, born in Hong Kong, but mostly raised in the U.S. whose form of rebellion is to homeschool her kids Waldorf style.  It’s about as over-the-top as Amy Chua, but on the other end of the spectrum.

            • Terence Ng

              I don’t think they’ve ever shown her parents, so I figured that with her last name, Tina is supposed to be at least in a half-Jewish American household.

            • Anonymous

              I know, but she referred to her father being the head of “Asian” vampires and she doesn’t look mixed or making any references that would indicate she is.  Except for that “Cohen” slammed right in there.

              But, heck, I can’t figure out why somebody named Artie Abrams seems to celebrate Christmas.

            • Terence Ng

              It could be that both her parents are Asian, but one of them was adopted, thus taking on the Cohen surname. Mystery is afoot!

      • Anonymous

        Generally speaking, PREACH. Also, they talk about Jewish parents, too. Or at least they do where I grew up.

    • narita_rayna

      i liked the casting choice for emma’s parents.  as great of a singer as rachel’s bio-mom is, im WAY more interested in meeting her 2 gay dads.  

      also, the drama’s fine & im relieved to FINALLY get some mercedes time.  but the funny.  i miss the funny.  its been a long ass time since the show was funny.

      • http://twitter.com/NC_Meg Megan

        I can’t believe this is season 3 and she’s about to graduate but no 2 gay dads yet. I also want to meet them.

    • Maggie Muellner

      Where is Karofsky? I didn’t necessarily expect a story line involving him right now, but I did expect to see him among the football team members in the locker room scene. Or did he graduate?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720742723 Sarah Winningham

        He will be back in a few episodes in a supposedly shocking manner that is being kept very hush-hush, so there will presumably be a reason for his absence. As he is by far my favorite character the suspense is killing me…

    • http://twitter.com/noelster_sf Noel Adolph

      loved this episode (except for the title). hopefully they carry this momentum forward and/or let ian brennan script the remaining episodes. he’s apparently the only one with a gift for writing episodic tv on staff (ryan murphy, i’m looking squarely at you).

    • http://twitter.com/noelster_sf Noel Adolph

      loved this episode (except for the title). hopefully they carry this momentum forward and/or let ian brennan script the remaining episodes. he’s apparently the only one with a gift for writing episodic tv on staff (ryan murphy, i’m looking squarely at you).

    • http://needtherapy.tumblr.com skadi1

      Next to the Joss Whedon episode, this is my favorite so far.  Mike Chang and Brittany were just amazing.  It was so great to see Mike get some actual story.  And, every time Heather Morris dances, I get shivers.  Also, I have those socks she was wearing.
      I liked that the theme of the episode (which I would call “Who’s got your back?”) was pretty subtle, and told through story, rather than just dialogue.
      I don’t think they went too far in the Asian stereotyping.  I had two Korean roommates in college, and both had MAJOR issues with their parents, and their major choices.  One was an art major, who was frequently told that it was only okay because she had two older siblings who were doctors.  The other one was a medical technology major, who fought with her parents CONSTANTLY because she wasn’t pre-med.  There is a lot of pressure in Asian culture to succeed in very specific ways.  It’s not all bad, because it comes, I think, from a very loving place, i.e., parents want the best for their children.  It just feels a bit oppressive when it’s not the life you want for yourself.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jenlindsey Jen L.

      They were donkeys.  Which was hilarious!  And Ace of Cakes was an awesome show, I’m sad it’s gone too.  Not sad enough to kick something, but still.

    • Anonymous

      No, I don’t believe you. The show sucks.

    • Anonymous

      No, I don’t believe you. The show sucks.

    • Anonymous

      The thing I found the most unbelievable was the school crowd’s response to a dance number. In the past, it would have earned them all a slushy to the face but this one incited a “fist pump” response? Was it because Brittany was dressed like an empowered slut? That was the only moment I found didn’t ring true aside from anything involving Mr. Schu singing. He and Rachel annoy me to no end. 

      • Anonymous

        The song is girls rule the world so getting the girls and a few guys up to join in makes sense.  Generally speaking, girls will respond better to this situation than guys.  If it was a guy doing that number the boys would have gone for the slushie in the face.  Girls are going to get down with the movement.  And regradless, Heather Morris NAILED that number to the wall and painted it red.

    • Anonymous

      What I thought was great and REALLY interesting about this episode was the  all the complicated testing of allegiances.  Do you root for your step-brother or girlfriend, your boyfriend or yourself, your best friend or your gender, your family or your own dreams?  Do what’s best for yourself, or your friend, or  what’s most ‘fair’?  And we, as audience, are in the same position as the directors of the musical and the characters.  I love that the writers don’t make it an easy choice for any of us/them.  Rachel or Mercedes?  Brittany or Kurt?  Whatever we choose, someone we like is going to be disappointed.  In a competitive world, everyone’s happiness is built on someone else’s disappointment.  Mercedes’ boyfriend tells her just before the callback, “You want this more” and that’s what everyone tells themselves before the callback, the big game, etc.  Everyone wants this more.    

    • Anonymous

      So bummed that Mercedes didn’t get Maria. Like the setup. I haven’t watched Glee since the Justin Beiber episode last season (just got too crappy) so I am glad to be back! Anyway I really really wanted Mercedes to get the part! I think a more soulful Maria would update the show in a perfectly Glee way. I saw the new Les Mis a few months ago and the woman who played Eponine was amazing! I had never seen the part (in real life) be acted so well and yet so passionate with the singing. In the review of the show the actor was criticized for her too “pop” voice and that she couldn’t hang with the “musical theatre” voice. Yes she is black. All I could do after the show was shake my head and give a “mmm-hmm, bish please.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/betsy.gottesman Betsy Gottesman

      But they spent like, half of the last episode talking about how no, Kurt
      isn’t really right for the part of Tony, and in that episode the Glee
      writers were overtly arguing that the answer to that is to write parts
      for these types that are forgotten (the Kurts and the Mercedeses). They
      even have Burt come right out and SAY it, it’s that overt.

      So if
      that goes for Kurt, it goes for Mercedes too. Maria is not a belter
      role. It’s an airy, thin Soprano role if there ever was one. It doesn’t
      make sense from the standpoint of the show to go out of their way to
      make the argument in episode 2 and abruptly go back on it in episode 3.

      The
      point Glee was trying to make in Episode 2 was that there should be
      more Effies and more Angels written as leading roles in shows, and if
      people aren’t writing them, Kurt and Mercedes need to create them. But
      Maria and Tony are not Effie and Angel.

      • Anonymous

        Hmm…which makes me wonder if Kurt will be the next to join the other glee club?

    • Anonymous

      TLo says: “There’s a subtle racial component to the story but you’re not being hit over the head with it; namely, that Schuester is favoring “white” culture (such as showtunes and classic rock) over African-American culture (like R&B and classic soul).”
      Except when he tries to Rap, of course. That makes his abuse of black culture loud and proud.

      • Anonymous

        Hee!

    • Elizabeth Winer

      It has always bothered me that while “Glee” claims to be set in Lima, OH, the show does not accurately represent the population of students attending the public high school.  If “William McKinley High” is supposed to represent “Lima Senior High” (same colors, same mascot, etc) then there should be an equal, if not more, population of African American students to white students.  I hope once some of the current class “graduates,” they will be replaced a few more African American students.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, now I believe.  I watched for the first time this season largely because it featured some of the “minor” characters.  While some plot lines remain ridiculous – I mean in what world would Kurt run for class president? – it was still a very engaging show and I loved Mercedes’ performances as well as Mike Chang’s audition. 

    • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

      “Fix You” reminded me of when Schue tried to get Emma to just eat stuff without washing it in season 1, which is why I found it a bit patronizing and insensitive to mental illness. BUT this time there was also a component of Next to Normal– the “I wish you could be better and I wish I could be the one to do it but I can’t and I know that and it’s KILLING me that I can’t help you”, which made it more tolerable. My biggest gripe with it was that it was yet another ending of a cheesy treacly emotional song with everybody in matching outfits on stage swaying to tie everything up together. Blech. Though it IS better than yet another Rachel Ballad to end.

    • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

      Schue might yell at Rachel and give her crap, but she always gets the solo in the end, doesn’t she? And they have long stopped pretending to have competition for lead between Mercedes and Rachel or Kurt and Rachel. Rachel assumes she gets it, and there’s no reason for her not to- she always does.

    • http://ifyouseekamie.wordpress.com/ Amie

      Have we ever seen a slushie in Brittany’s face? I honestly can’t remember. Last episode she said something about how she’s slept with every boy in the school and is really popular, so I could absolutely see them responding like that- but only because it’s her. It also had some shades of Mean Girls with everybody joining together for a minute to remember that girls are awesome.

    • Anonymous

      It was Mercedes’ night for sure but DAMN!!!! Heather Morris is the BOMB-DIGGITY-DEE!!  Watching her belt it out and dance her ass off in those stiletto boots was fantastic.  We have seen glimpses of her talent but this really sent it out there.  I wasn’t too wild about the “Effie, you f**ked it up” song from Dreamgirsl (I know that isn’t the title but…).  I’m not really sure what the motivation or story was supposed to be, Mercedes is working her ass off, coming into her own andout from the shadows.  Having that number seemed a little off to me for some reason.  Great epeisode, nonetheless.

      • Anonymous

        I wish they hadn’t done quite so much cutting in HeMo’s number: I’d really just like to see that girl dance. (The “Safety Dance” flashmob from S1 is one of my favourite numbers for that reason, you get to see her and Kevin McHale just boogie.)

        I think the other thing re: Brittany’s run for president that I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned here is that it’s not really about girls running the world. She’s using that as her platform, but what I think she wants to create is an environment that’s safe enough that Santana can come out and they can be together. At first she thought Kurt being President would be the way to achieve that, but after Santana gave her the pep talk, she decided to run herself. (And, let’s face it, she’s got a better chance of winning than either Kurt or Rachel.)

        • Anonymous

          Interesting.  Hadn’t thought of Brittany strategizing, but, hey, why not?  Damn, that girl can dance.

          • Terence Ng

            I would love to see a Harry Shum Jr./Heather Morris dance off. They both have such excellent dance credentials. Professional choreographer vs. Professional Beyonce back up dancer. Sparks, baby!

    • http://toodles.yelp.com AWStevens

      Prediction: Mercedes will turn out to be pregnant. 

      Meanwhile, I have NO problem with the “Fix You” song or Will’s desire to help Emma with her OCD.  “Fix You” always makes me tear up a little.  It reminds me of when my favorite Aunt died and when my dad died.  But here’s the thing… I have never taken those lyrics literally.  “And I will fix you…”  Always meant, I’ll cheer you up, I’ll support you, I will help as much as I can.  Because it is impossible to FIX people.  I think every do-gooder knows this including whoever sings this song.

    • Anonymous

      Dear TLO, I don’t watch Glee but I had to click on the caption to see what all the glee was about.  While I have no idea why any of the show developments you describe are exciting, your affection for the show and characters is endearingly cute!   Who knew my HBICs were such softies!   In case you were wondering, HBIC=Head Bitches In Charge.  You guys rocks!  

      Your loyal bitter kitten.  

    • http://twitter.com/wednesdaydreams Natalie

      The Asian stereotyping was pretty spot on though, pretty much everyone and myself had parents like that. All Asian parents want at least a doctor or lawyer in the family. It is known. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/dreamsofwednesday Natalie Ng

      Also I thought Mercedes was a Class A prick. Rachel wasn’t being selfish, and she doesn’t always get what she wants and EVERYONE SEES FIT TO BULLY HER. Rachel works her butt off to be the best at show choir as she possibly can. She probably takes vocal lessons, we’ve seen her take ballet and dance. What does Mercedes do? Not even try. Granted, they just started to introduce this plot that she’s been lazy but whatever, she’s been all talk from the start. Girl can sing but she can’t perform. Rachel is a star because she can both sing, and perform, AND she works hard. If there was one thing Rachel did wrong in this episode, was that she should have told Mercedes she was better. Because she was. A voice can only get you so far. 

      And you know what was the most hilarious thing about this episode? The fact that both of them got chosen as Maria and a Season 1 Rachel Berry would never have accepted it but here, she did. With a lot more grace and she swallowed her pride— not that she needed to, I have no idea what she was smoking when she said she thought she was not as good as Mercedes…

      Also I was very disappointed in Kurt. Some friend he is to deny Rachel a chance of running for student council president. I’ve had friends who ran against each other for student council president and they were nothing but supportive for each other. Real friends wouldn’t behave the way he did. Rachel did it to secure her future, and she probably won’t even get it considering how unpopular she is. What is he so insecure about?

      the show isn’t back on form. it’s exactly the way it’s been since the second half of season 1. Characters who regressed and out of the blue character “development”. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/dreamsofwednesday Natalie Ng

      As an Asian I have to say that the Asian stereotyping is pretty spot on.

      I thought Mercedes was a Class A prick. Rachel wasn’t being selfish, and she doesn’t always get what she wants and EVERYONE SEES FIT TO BULLY HER. Rachel works her butt off to be the best at show choir as she possibly can. She probably takes vocal lessons, we’ve seen her take ballet and dance. What does Mercedes do? Not even try. Granted, they just started to introduce this plot that she’s been lazy but whatever, she’s been all talk from the start. Girl can sing but she can’t perform. Rachel is a star because she can both sing, and perform, AND she works hard. If there was one thing Rachel did wrong in this episode, was that she should have told Mercedes she was better. Because she was. A voice can only get you so far. And you know what was the most hilarious thing about this episode? The fact that both of them got chosen as Maria and a Season 1 Rachel Berry would never have accepted it but here, she did. With a lot more grace and she swallowed her pride— not that she needed to, I have no idea what she was smoking when she said she thought she was not as good as Mercedes…Also I was very disappointed in Kurt. Some friend he is to deny Rachel a chance of running for student council president. I’ve had friends who ran against each other for student council president and they were nothing but supportive for each other. Real friends wouldn’t behave the way he did. Rachel did it to secure her future, and she probably won’t even get it considering how unpopular she is. What is he so insecure about?the show isn’t back on form. it’s exactly the way it’s been since the second half of season 1. Characters who regressed and out of the blue character “development”. 

    • Terence Ng

      I thought the episode was pretty great. I think the clear reference to the 1982 production of Dreamgirls was really cool. :)

      I was a little put off that while Mercedes’s boyfriend was supportive he also fell into the trope of encouraging girls to compete with one another rather than working together. He cut her off, told her what she did and did not know, and essentially set her against Rachel. Sure Mercedes needed a fire lit beneath her, but did it necessarily need to come at the cost of her friendships? Girls can’t be friends and competitors, only competitors? The same thing is echoed with Rachel and Kurt.

      I kind of saw the dual casting coming, but that’s also because the same thing (it’s almost shocking) happened when I was in high school. Are dual castings really uncommon?

      Mercedes seems a bit justified, but unless there’s a really good reason for her “sick” thing–did they want it to be fake-ish or was it supposed to be legitimate?–it comes off as her being somewhat entitled and lazy. Realistically, she could just feel like she’s being pushed to much; every person has their own limit, but it came off as her wimping out a bit. There’s an interesting John Henry-ism argument to be had here, though. Should she have powered through and proved herself through convention or rejected the paradigm and go elsewhere (which she ended up doing)?

      I think the Asian F thing was intentionally hyperbolic (the drug testing, etc.), but when Mike actually starts freaking out about it, I thought it went a bit far from lighthearted to serious and therefore exaggerated. But then, if you interpret it as how Mike interprets everything, regardless of how it actually is (you only see his projection of his father in the serious bits), then I think it casts it realistically regardless of whether Mr. Chang’s attitude is realistic or exaggerated. The way Mike freaks out resonates with my own experiences, so I feel for him. My folks also hold the arts as a career in low esteem and appreciate them as hobbies. I had the same talks with my folks.

      But his mother’s reaction doesn’t seem far-fetched to me. The mom explains exactly why she supports Mike: Because she experienced the same thing. As a human being, it seems completely reasonable that she’d have a 50/50 common reaction: Continuing the parenting style after experiencing it herself or rejecting it, and she fell on the latter reaction. She still views it as something that needs to be earned though, like any exploit that Mike has pushed himself to achieve, so it feels organic to me.

    • http://twitter.com/NC_Meg Megan

      Oh thank God she’s not pregnant. I can’t handle another teen pregnancy storyline. (Maybe I should stop watching shows for teenagers.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/premal.laxman Premal Laxman

      Am I the only one who thought “It’s All Over” didn’t really make sense to the plot?

      • Terence Ng

        I think the song was a bit more exaggerated than the actual situation, but it fits. It just would have fit more if Mercedes had been “bitching, nagging, and screaming” for noticeably more than one episode.

    • http://www.facebook.com/premal.laxman Premal Laxman

      Am I the only one who thought “It’s All Over” didn’t really make sense to the plot?

    • http://twitter.com/pinup_ghoul Pinup Ghoul

      Amber Riley is INCREDIBLE. I’ve always said that if she put out an album, I’d buy it without listening to it first, because I know it would be amazing. Of course she should be featured more… she doesn’t do that horrible between-notes squeaky thing that Lea Michele does. They’re both great singers, but I hate the squeak.

    • http://www.facebook.com/annette.borg Annette Borg

      A lot of people here say everyone doesn’t care about hurting Rachel’s feelings. While I do agree that most of the time, she’s a doormat for minor insults, everyone always seems to “bow down” to her talent when it comes to performances. Does anyone remember the whole fiasco first season where she QUIT glee because the major vocal lead was given to Tina? She threw a temper tantrum and left. Ever since then, it seems as if Mr Schu just hands her the lead every single time. If I was there and my talent was almost always either undermined by someone else or used as a last vocal in a song, I’d be mad too.

    • Stephanie Hao

      Thanks for the awesome recap, TLo—went to go catch the episode after I read it! I think what I’m most amazed at is that Mike got the role of Riff. West Side Story is my favorite musical, and the thing is, it’s one of those where casting by physical type is pretty much necessary because the whole thing is about racism. So it never even crossed my mind that Mike would be anything but a Shark, even if he did learn to sing, because casting him as a Jet would be casting against physical type (for example, Francisca, one of the Shark girls in the movie, was Japanese) And so I’m so, so surprised and so happy that they went there and made him Riff, simply because he did justice to the song and killed that audition—he was absolutely the right choice for the part, and it’s so nice to see him come out of the background for once and earn a starring role.

      As for his storyline, I’m an Asian-American who went to a high school that was 20% stereotypical Asian overachiever and I loved it (although fair warning, I read and loved “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” as well). The extent varies, of course, but that stereotype exists for a reason and I actually thought they handled it well, with his mother balancing out his father. That dance made me all sniffly. The only thing I think is at all eyebrow-raising in his story is that Mike is on the football team instead of playing tennis, piano, or violin (that was mine), which are more respectable and have more potential for winning awards. ;)

      Also, I do think Mercedes is a better vocal and character match for Anita, but if she doesn’t want to dance, that’d be a huge problem for that role. As a couple others mentioned, I wish they’d had to sing songs that sounded more like Maria. At the moment it’s really hard to imagine her singing the part, from what we’ve been given. Especially on the song “A Boy Like That/I Have A Love,” it’s much easier to hear her on Anita’s part than Maria’s.

      And finally: why in the world is Kurt not Baby John?

      • Terence Ng

        You know, I DID wonder what the mental projection of his father’s logic was that he would think “dancing can lead to injury, which will kill his career,” but not “high impact, aggressive football will result in injury, which will kill his career anyway.”

        • Stephanie Hao

          Exactly. Did you catch what career Mr. Chang was implying, btw? I’m not sure how a sprained ankle could kill a medical or legal job, especially since he’s not even in college yet.

    • Anonymous

      I think you’ve got Mercedes a little wrong. The way I see it, she’s still just play-acting as a diva – I don’t think she’s ever really felt like one. Think about it – she’s the Effie character in her own fantasy! (Effie is badass, of course, but not the diva. Beyonce is the diva.) And her “Spotlight,” while awesome, was a Jennifer Hudson not-really-being-a-diva song. I’m not complaining, though. I think her character has more nuance and dimension this way, and I actually find it annoying when she resorts to being just a “sassy black diva.”

    • Anonymous

      Oh but one more thing: for what it’s worth, I still think Rachel/Lea is the better singer. It shows whenever she’s singer softer, she can be more subtle while still showing incredible range, whereas Mercedes only really takes off when she’s belting.

      • Anonymous

        Yep.  Even when Mercedes is supposed to have the better performance, I don’t really see it.  The couple of times I’ve chedked out live performances on line, it becomes clear just how much better Lea is than most of her fellow performers–though Amber is also good.  They kind of damp down Lea Michele in the production phase to make her fit in a little better, I think.  But it’s not an accident that she’s the one with the Broadway resume.  Of course, I’d say the even bigger difference is in acting.  Michele’s quite capable, Amber Riley hasn’t shown much range. I’ve thought that, more than anything, has limited her storylines.

    • Anonymous

      Haven’t watched it yet, but if they continue the West Side Story arc while they continue the two glee clubs, they have an opportunity to play out the musical through the season…  W Side Story is at some level about race, but Romeo and Juliet wasn’t– in a big way it’s about how people divide themselves into groups that are hateful and hated.  Lots of potential there… 

    • Tam Duong

      Asians don’t call “Asian F’s” Asian F’s… The whole Mike Chang part of the episode felt really unsincere to me, way too much stereotyping.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

        Neither do white people, or anyone else that I’ve ever heard of.  The whole point of Glee is that they openly identify stereotypes that most people just think.  That kind of exposure can have a really positive influence when people see just how ridiculous it is.

      • Stephanie Hao

        Nah, we just call it straight-out failure. ;)

    • Marie Radanovich

      I didn’t believe TLo Last week when they said the show was improving–yes, it seemed slightly better, but I figured the writers simply pulled together their meager talents to produce a semi-watchable premiere, and would soon go back to the Random Conflict Generator for plots.

      But this episode showed such a marked jump in quality that I have hope for the season. I went from fast-forwarding through episodes (last season) to caring about the characters again. And there was subtlety, like when Blaine gives Kurt a shoulder squeeze while looking around at the passing students. Or Will’s jutting chin when he thinks his “tough love” approach is working. And the fact that the musical is a running project that exists in real time, not a Theme of the Week.

      It was surreal, like aliens had taken over the show and done a reverse Invasion of the Body Snatchers where the pod people are now human again. Just goes to show how important writers are. :)

    • Anonymous

      It’s not just great or better, it feels different. It feels like a different show in tone, from both Season 1 and 2.

    • Anonymous

      I thought the Mike Chang Billy Elliot-ish storyline was so much more compelling than the bazillionth  diva off between Rachel and Mercedes.  I guess it annoyed me partly because we’ve traveled this storyline road before (this is like what, the fifth or sixth diva off,  and Mercedes did get cast against type before to play Frankenfurter), partly because Mercedes was pretty much a total bitch at the dance rehearsals, and party because I thought Rachel was clear winner for the role of Maria.  Mercedes didn’t bring a frail vulnerability to her callback audition while Rachel did, so I saw more Maria in Rachel,  and as a result the whole “Mercedes was better than me” thing was confusing.   If anything, I came away from the episode thinking Amber doesn’t strike me as a great fit for Maria, but damn she makes a killer Effie.  What Rachel did to Kurt was uncool, but I empathized with her sudden crisis of confidence better than I did Mercedes’ tantrum.

      Anyway, everything about the Mike Chang storyline was phenomenal, from the writing to the acting and the casting for his parents.  The dance with his mother made me a little verklempt, not gonna lie.

      • Terence Ng

        What makes Kurt’s big final statement weird is that if he knows that 5 years later, it won’t even matter what they were doing in high school, how much can he really take running for class president so seriously? People run for president because they either really want to be president and think it’s meaningful, or they think it’s important enough to look good on a resume later.

        If Rachel–and by extension, he–isn’t going to remember it, then why take it so seriously himself? I get feeling betrayed, but it makes the idea of everyone scrambling to find something to make them shine last minute kind of moot if Kurt outright states that it won’t matter much in the future.

    • Anonymous

      Agree.  I also think Lea’s belting doesn’t get as annoyingly shouty as Amber’s belting can get sometimes, though Amber’s voice can be more soulful. 

    • http://twitter.com/amndad amanda lynn

      was anyone else reminded of Scott’s first solo number in ‘Strictly Ballroom’ when Mike was dancing?  http://youtu.be/bDXVCXbH38I 

      also: can we begin a drinking game for whenever Will threatens to kick someone out of glee?

      and: Kurt – dude.  just once, sing a song written for a man.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t believe i didn’t catch it sooner, but no wonder the writing has gotten tighter and generally more awesome, two words: MARTI NOXON.

    • Anonymous

      I was close to giving up Glee til this episode. Mercedes—wow, wow, WOW! I honestly don’t know who is the better singer/performer—Lea or Amber. And I loved Harry Shum in this episode. He deserves to become a break-out star from Glee.

      One of the best episodes Glee has ever done.

    • Anonymous

      That version of “Cool” was as good as I’ve ever seen.  And I’m a West Side Story nerd. 

    • Anonymous

      I am still fuming…cable outage (first significant outage since 2004 and that was from 3 hurricanes) and I missed glee.  I have to wait until Wednesday to see it.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neil-Robertson/100002916150303 Neil Robertson

      Is it just me, or has it crossed anyone else’s mind that Mercedes might be pregnant? Just saying…

      • Anonymous

        First thing I thought when Mercedes was sick during practice…she’s pregnant.  Then when she joined up with Rachel’s bio-mom for alterna-glee club, I was pretty darn sure.

        • Anonymous

          Yep. That and the tie-in with Dream Girls.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

            There have been about a hundred comments about that already.:) Amber Riley has tweeted that Mercedes is not pregnant.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CJ2DQZARBUBUUGHOQAHU4JVULI Heather

      I feel like everyone’s so focused on whether or not Mercedes is as talented or more talented than Rachel that everyone’s forgetting to ask the one question — who is better in the ROLE of Maria? As much as I think Merecedes/Amber has an amazing voice and is QUITE the leading lady, I just don’t see her in any way, shape, or form playing Maria. Maria is a timid, shy, sheltered girl. I don’t see Mercedes being convincing in that role, but not because of her race, but because she has almost TOO strong a presence, if that makes sense.

      What I kept screaming at the TV is that Mercedes should play Anita! Talk about shifting around the cultural/racial stereotypes. And Mercedes as all the sass, spunk, etc. It is a scene-stealing role and she would have OWNED that role.  I saw the most recent broadway revival of West Side Story, and while the actress who played Maria was wonderful (she had a sweetness to her voice that I find rare in sopranos), the Tony award went to the actress who played Anita. 

      I, for one, liked the last song with Emma and Will. I don’t think they are implying that he thinks he CAN fix her, just that he wishes he could fix her for her own sake — he wants to help her heal and doesn’t know how.  I’ve had some pretty bad depression in my life, and my husband (who loves me very much) often felt helpless because the problem was within me and there was little he could do aside from tell me he loved me.  The scene struck me as tender and loving, it almost made me cry.

      • Anonymous

        I think that Amber could actually make a very interesting Maria.  I agree that “sheltered” is important to Maria but I would be interested in a staging that translated Maria as sheltered because she’s been trapped/caged by her life to date rather than sheltered because she’s inherently frail.  It would be different from the versions I’ve seen — and I vaguely remember the show acknowledging that — but I don’t think it would damage the play.

        I should mention that this is very different from the issue of Kurt as Tony.  To me, Tony does not have to be butch or macho or poetic or white or black or latino or thin or fat …. but he does have to have a believable romance with Maria.  I think Chris Colfer could play that easily but Kurt, the character, evidenced none of it in his second audition. Kurt certainly could have gotten there with the help and advice of a director but the character didn’t display it naturally. 

        Admittedly, it’s been years since I last saw West Side Story so I could be misremembering how faithfully it conforms to Romeo and Juliette.  Also, my reaction is colored by my feeling that Mercedes did outperform Rachel in the auditions — not just vocally but I thought that Rachel’s facial expressions were distractingly exaggerated.  From reading this thread, it’s clear that we each responded differently to the performances so I mention this not to persuade anyone but to note my own biases.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CJ2DQZARBUBUUGHOQAHU4JVULI Heather

          Art is Art, and it is subjective, so we SHOULD respond differently, that’s half the fun :)

          I can see your point about the different definitions of sheltered, I probably have a bias as well beacuse I’m so used to the Natalie Wood version and the one I saw on Broadway. But I guess the common thread between R&J and WSS is that the romance is based more on infatuation than love — it’s almost nonsensical, even for a fairy-tale. Especially in R&J, aren’t they practically pre-teens?  

          So tying that back to Mercedes… if we took the approach that she was more of an angsty/frustrated kind of sheltered, I’d have a hard time believing that the second she sees Tony, she is in mopey lovely-dovey la-la land ;) 

          But your idea really does intrigue me!

          Oh, I love discussing these things with other theater geeks :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/ehormell Eric Hormell

      Holy crap, this was a good episode! Finally!

    • Jenny Hansell

      This episode was a step up from last season, for sure. But here’s the thing. Yes, Heather’s a dancing dynamo. But as I watched it with my young daughters I wondered if there will ever come a new style of dancing that doesn’t look like strippers.  These girls are supposed to be in high school – can someone please invent a style of choreography that is fun, sophisticated, appealing and doesn’t look like they want to grind their lady parts into anything that moves?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Guarino/13902216 Joseph Guarino

      What about Johny Depp and Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd? Go cruise the Youtube comments section. Teenagers will be gobbling that up for years to come.

      I think the story would be more powerful if it was a role either Rachel or Mercedes could play. Mercedes is obviously wrong for the part (and Maria is supposed to be Puerto Rican, but we won’t go there). Not because she’s black but because she doesn’t sing like that and she wasn’t pressed to at any point. Vocally, both Mercedes and Rachel are stuck in a particular ghetto.

      Still, Mr. Shu could’ve picked a show that had a good part for Mercedes. But wasn’t she Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror? That’s definitely the lead…

    • http://twitter.com/jeremyhowardboo Jeremy Howard Beck

      “If nothing else, you’ve gotta applaudGlee for introducing Sondheim to a generation of kids who’d probably never be exposed to his works otherwise.”
      You guys DO know that Sondheim did the LYRICS for WSS, and that the music was by Leonard Bernstein, right?

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        You DO realize that NOTHING in the SENTENCE you just QUOTED actually CONTRADICTS that?

        God save us from pedantic theater queens.

        • http://twitter.com/jeremyhowardboo Jeremy Howard Beck

          Okay, #1, I am not a theater queen. West Side Story is probably the only musical I’ve ever loved ever.

          #2, You’re right, there is no contradiction.  But there is a glaring omission. To talk about the virtue of introducing West Side Story to a new generation, while naming Sondheim and notably not naming Bernstein, who actually wrote the music, is significant.  That’s all I was saying.  

          If someone had made a similar omission talking about something fashion-related, you guys would be all over that, and rightly so.

    • Anonymous

      Kudos to the show for giving us an episode where we can debate whether the characters’ actions were justified rather than discussing whether or not the conduct was in character.  I think it’s a credit to the show that it was completely unsurprising that Artie, Coach and Emma would try to cast both Mercedes and Rachel as Maria; it was completely unsurprising that Rachel would accept while half-heartedly still trying to take the bigger spotlight; and, it was completely unsurprising that Mercedes would turn it down.  FWIW, I’d have done the same thing as Mercedes but regretted it later.

      Also, this may reveal too much of my unfortunate taste in television but this thread reminded me of the controversy following Season 4 of the Apprentice.  In that finale, an African American man (Randall) and a Caucasian woman were the finalists.  Throughout the season, Randall had been far and away the best qualified to win (actually, way too well qualified to work for Trump) though he appeared to stumble a bit in the final task.  After Trump picked Randall, Trump then asked whether Randall would mind if he also picked the other one as his apprentice.  Randall objected so Trump didn’t do it.  The internet fire-storm attacking Randall was really heated …  Some of the discussion here has really reminded me of the discussion then about whether or not Randall should have been willing to share the spotlight.

    • Anonymous

      Note: Many, many high schools have more than one “Glee Club” or show choir as they were called in my neck of the woods…I went to a small rural high school and we had two…it’s rather like having a Varisity sports team and Junior Varsity, though. Our second show choir was girls only since far more girls than boys wanted to sing and dance on stage.

    • Eric Zhang

      Speaking as an Asian American, I’ve always thought that Glee had some of the most nuanced representations of Asians in mainstream media, particularly for a show like this that can so easily dive into tired and exaggerated stereotypes. Yes, Mike’s story line this episode follows a long tradition of Asian kids with overbearing parents, but I don’t think it necessarily fell prey to the kinds of representations we’re so used to seeing of Asians in media. It’s hard to judge the father himself from a single scene and I hope they bring back the storyline so we can watch the character development. In my opinion, they handled his character fairly well for what he is – a plot device. (I’m mostly just glad that they didn’t make him speak with a ridiculous Ching Chong accent!)

      Tamlyn Tomita definitely stole that scene, and I hope to god they bring her back. She’s always been, for me, one of the strongest Asian American actresses on screen. She has a beautiful sense of subtlety in her facial expressions and body language and made me choke up because she reminded me so much of the experiences I’ve had to go through with my own mother (I decided to apply to art school against her expectations). I think it’s impressive that they were able to write such a complex storyline in the short amount of time they gave to Mike, especially given the melodrama this series is known for. She must’ve been on screen no longer than five minutes and already she’s one of my favorite characters.

      • Stephanie Hao

        This. Especially the part about the lack of Mr. Yunioshi accent, and Tamlyn Tomita. She was heartbreaking.

        Hmm. Have they given any details about Tina’s hyphenated parents? If they start going down the guest star route again (God forbid), Lea Salonga might be nice as her mother, and at least bring some substance. Or I don’t know, maybe Sunshine’s overbearing stage mother? It’d be fun and against type :)

    • Anonymous

      Hi Scottyf,

      First, thanks for your thoughtful discussion.  I’m glad you’re watching Glee because I look forward to reading your take.

      And for all of my mental shoulder shrug about the existence of typing, I actually really appreciate someone fighting the good fight about it and awakening me from my middle-aged slumber to remind me that it’s worth doing.    

      I know “Once on an Island”, and though I live in ethnically diverse area, the local professional production had some very *pale* islanders.  I know, also, they actively recruited performers of color.  

      As for WSS and Glee, Lea Michele (Rachel) as I recall, is part Cuban, but she’s playing a non-Hispanic character, while Naya Rivera, who plays a Latina, is both Hispanic and African-American.  Reality being its usual more complex self.

      While I love hearing the WSS music, I actually wished they’d picked something like Hello Dolly–for which both women actually have the right kind of voices and the typing issue gets switched all around.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1133424434 Maria McGarry

      To summarize: the show has gone from a jukebox musical to a Sondheim/Showboat/songs integrated into the storyline in a sophisticated way musical.  And I’m talking more than the music.  
      If it ends up somewhere Rogers and Hammerstein-ish, I’ll be happy.  Just, please, no Andrew Lloyd Webber.

    • Anonymous

      Sondheim???  What about Bernstein?!!!  I love Sondheim as much as the next theatre geek, but it’s Bernstein’s music that makes WSL so distinct and fabulous!  And, oh yeah, loving GLEE 3 so far!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713709401 Randy Noak

      I loved this episode too, but I did have a problem with them making the two divas sing “Out Here on My Own” to audition for Maria. The simple fact of the matter is that Mercedes doesn’t have the vocal range, or head voice to actually sing Maria in the same way that Rachel does. Would it be an interesting casting choice? Possibly, but they’d really have to rework the music to fit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Josefina-Madariaga-Suárez/100002964685796 Josefina Madariaga Suárez

      I really liked the episode, but am I the only one who felt that Mercedes’ boyfriend was only in her head? He only interacted with her, their relationship came out of nowhere and he was way too comprehensive and mature for a teenager. And nobody else seemed to notice him, not even mention him. As much as I’m enjoying the new season, that story seemed a little weird and off-place.

    • http://twitter.com/drnels Nels P. Highberg

      I’m not a fan of this season.  It’s too much of a change after last year.  Last year was all about confronting bullying and finding people who love you for who you are.  Now, this season is all about turning on those who love you for who you are.  For some reason, Brit fighting Kurt after trying to help him really upsets me.

      And why wasn’t Puck cast as Bernardo instead of put in the chorus?  I guess this means we’ll never see Puck and Santana do “America.”

      • Stephanie Hao

        Unfortunately, even if Puck does get to be Bernardo (I don’t think it was specified what he’s doing), he won’t be performing “America,” since only the film version has it as girls vs. boys. The stage version (which would be the one that gets licensed out to be performed) has it as Anita vs. Rosalia—maybe Tina will be Rosalia? It’s a shame, because I really love the film version. It develops the Sharks a bit more and really makes “America” even more amazing.

        • http://twitter.com/drnels Nels P. Highberg

          I think the entire cast list was posted, and they made a big deal about the football team being the gang behind Mike, which is why they (including Puck) all appeared in his audition.  And Kurt didn’t get a part at all!

          I think, as per every other year of this show, the musical will be canceled before they get too far into it.  Isn’t that the running joke of the yearly musical?  Cabaret, Rocky Horror, both canceled, so I assume this will be, too.

          • Stephanie Hao

            I do hope Puck is Bernardo, though (neither he nor the role of Bernardo were on that posted list), since, as a number of commenters have noted, he’s the only one who could really do it who hasn’t already declined or been cast. It seems a waste to have him as an ensemble Jet when there’s a leading role up for grabs. His newfound dancing skills would definitely be utilized there, too. :)
             
            Kurt was listed as Officer Krupke (the very last line) on the posted cast list in the episode, which makes no sense at all–he’ll basically be a non-character. Song title notwithstanding, even Lt. Schrank has more presence than Krupke does, and Kurt doesn’t read as Krupke at all (physical stature, demeanor, voice). I really don’t understand why they didn’t give him Baby John or A-Rab. What with the casting issues for Maria and all, I wonder how well the writers know the play. Hmm.

            Of course, if you’re right and the musical does get canceled, they won’t have to worry about any of this at all! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13810915 Mary Scheidegger

      [q]…Schuester is favoring “white” culture (such as showtunes and classic rock) over African-American culture (like R&B and classic soul).[/q]

      Speaking as some one who went to a small mid-western all-white high school (this wasn’t segregation — there just weren’t any people of color — any color — within 50 miles of where I grew up) … you have to consider your base. The vast majority of the student body at WMHS is white (whether or not that is pc casting is issue for another debate). I think they do pay attention to R&B and soul. My high school choir teacher [u]loved[/u] gospel. You know what it sounded like for 75 white kids to be singing gospel? Not good.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamia-Sixtyeight/100001315305964 Lamia Sixtyeight

      Yawn…this show is done. Not even your recaps are capable of making me want to watch again after that horrible last season.

    • http://twitter.com/drnels Nels P. Highberg

      And I know we’re supposed to feel for Mercedes, but she did have a lead in last year’s musical before it got canceled.

      Really (and I’m not sure if I already posted this here or elsewhere), I thought both Mercedes and Rachel were both rather bland, but I think that’s because they had to sing in similar styles and with similar phrasing so they could be edited together.  Frankly, both performances bored me, and I don’t see what Mercedes did that was so noticeably better or even different than Rachel.

      And did Artie tell Mike he made that song his prison bitch?  Rape jokes on Glee?!?

    • Amanda in Austin

      All this, and Ralph Malph!

    • Taylor Hatfield

      How could you not see the second Glee club was meant for Mercedes? It will be her army vs. Rachel’s, and I’m so excited. I expect Schue will do yet another thing to piss the kids off, they’ll bail for the hipper glee club with Mercedes, and he’ll have  to reform again. Of course, I hope it’s more surprising, but watch me be right!

    • http://twitter.com/lightningvsbug Kallie Markle

      I appreciate what is clearly a return to the fine form that made me excited after the pilot, but I’m SUPER leery of a “Mercedes is pregnant” storyline. I realize teen pregnancy is very common, but do we really need it again so soon in this group? 

    • Anonymous

      Finally got to watch it.  I don’t think Mercedes is pregnant;  I think she is ill in some other way.  Don’t know what it means yet, but I hope it’s not some life-threatening plot twisty thing.  

      I still think the West Side Story theme is going to be played out in the larger school community through the year.  And I agree with the person who posted earlier that Mercedes has a great gift– her voice– but she has never learned how to work the way Rachel works.  And the fact is that natural talent is not enough– I’ve known terrific high school athletes and musicians who didn’t make a career out of it because they just weren’t willing to put the work in.  Rachel doesn’t have Mercedes’ pipes, but she has worked hard for it every step of the way– maybe it hasn’t made her a nice person, but that’s her character flaw that she’s going to have to work out for herself.   Mercedes has finally figured out that she has something worth fighting for– her talent– but she hasn’t figured out yet that fighting for it means showing up for the the work.

      I’m going to be interested to see how they work out the fake-Aspergers-can’t-sing-girl against Mercedes.  

      • Anonymous

        Also (just watched it again):  there is so much in this episode about whose dreams these kids (and grown-ups) are living– from Mike Jr. and Mike Sr. to Emma and her parents, to Rachel and Mercedes looking to their boyfriends for part of their self-worth,  (and Rachel trying to push Finn to be something he’s not)…  And “Asian F” could be taken to mean anyone doing less than their best, or using excuses to deal with their own challenges.  At some point, all of these kids are going to have to make their choices and take responsibility.  Emma is going to have to face her OCD (I think she is– she at least recognizes that it’s a problem), Quinn is going to have to face her own choices, Kurt has had to face his own “unicorn-ness”–  

        And last, can I make my own “whine’ which I haven’t seen here yet?  I was our school chorus piano player starting in sixth grade– in four different schools, I was the one who did the playing, the accompanying, rehearsals, performances, etc.  Couldn’t they find a nerdy skinny studious tall girl to be a dorky pianist– instead of the middle-aged guy who clearly doesn’t fit into the school at all?  

    • Anonymous

      “introducing Sondheim to a generation of kids who’d probably never be exposed to his works otherwise”

      Now all I can think of is Emma singing “Not getting married.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-McBee/100001434205659 Frank McBee

      What is that bullshit everyone tiptoes around Rachel exactly when has this happened?. She is bullied by her own team mates. Mr Shue doesn’t even call on her when she raises her hand.  That is the biggest BS line glee has ever uttered.   The 2 times yes only 2 times Rachel was a diva about a solo she ended up not getting them anyway. 

    • Anonymous

      But whose ‘best’?  When will you people come down from your ivory towers and realize that your perception isn’t always correct?  You are narrow minded and unwilling to accept that there are other truths out there besides your own.  Take a trip down with the rest of humankind and understand that you don’t have all of the answers…not by a long shot.

    • Anonymous

      You are a disgrace and one of the major stumbling blocks to actors who are pigeonholed in a biased casting director’s box.  “Types” are only in your head.  I would hope that one would be judged by their talent….not elevated to be what your cultural bias says is 

    • Anonymous

      How much harder does she have to work?  When I read foolishness like this, it becomes quite apparent what one’s real issue is.  You will bitch and complain no matter what Mercedes does….which says more about you, I suppose.