Glee: The Spanish Teacher

Posted on February 09, 2012

We will admit right upfront that we’re caught up in the whirlwind of New York Fashion Week and that we watched this episode a full 24 hours late, on iTunes, on a laptop in our hotel room. But to be perfectly honest, we don’t think any of that has anything to do with what we’re about to say.

We have no idea what to make of that episode.

Is it us? Because we really haven’t had the time to check the twitter machine or read other recaps, but wasn’t this one of the oddest – and dumbest – episodes the show’s had in a while? We swear we could feel the cast’s embarrassment, but maybe that was projection on our parts. We realize plenty of people have been hating the show for quite some time (and inexplicably tuning in every week), but we thought there were good parts to this season and it felt to us like the creators were at least trying (but not always succeeding) to avoid the show’s most common past mistakes. Did they all take the week off and hand the writing chores over to some interns? Practically nothing about this episode made any sense. Forget realism; that’s not what we’re talking about. The show’s not interested in it and as a musical, it more than has the right to go that route. But people still have to act in a way that seems recognizable and make some sort of sense, even in a fantasy setting where 30-year-old high school students break into song all the time. Let’s run down a few things, shall we?

The newly tenured school counselor (tenured school counselor?) advised two students going through some emotional turmoil that the way to deal with it was to NOT talk about it. No matter how much they want to.

The Spanish teacher doesn’t speak Spanish. Now, that would be quite the satirical commentary on our modern educational system except we’ve seen this teacher actually teaching Spanish to his students before. And we have an impossible time believing that it took Santana speaking up before anyone even noticed. He’s been teaching Spanish for years and no one picked up on that fact that he doesn’t even have basic vocabulary skills?

The cheerleading coach – who, we might add, is also up for tenure, which is something we can’t quite wrap our heads around – is going around asking high school students to donate their sperm so she can have a baby by one of them. Nothing comes of this. We can accept a lot of ridiculousness from this show, but come the fuck ON.

Later, she asks the one person she hates more than anyone to father her child. Because he was “always” kind to her. Except anyone who watches this show knows that’s not true.

A night school teacher of about 40 years of age is asked to come in to the school during the day to sing raunchy songs and grind his hips with teenage girls because this will educate them somehow. And hey, Ricky’s a very charming performer, but he was wasted here. And while he was good with the material he was given, we thought most of the musical numbers were kind of lackluster.

We ask again: Is it us? You can expect to have your suspension of disbelief tested all the time with this show, but not IN EVERY SCENE and with EVERY character and plot development.  We kept having to take breaks from it because it kept annoying us. EVERYONE was saying and doing things that just didn’t make any sense. We have so many questions. Why the fuck was Will suddenly outrageously offensive with is ethnic prejudices? Why did he give such an awkward, sweaty performance at the end when every other time we see him perform, he’s smoothly giving it his all? Since when did Emma write all the pamphlets in her office? Do high school guidance counselors and cheerleading coaches normally get offered tenure? Why do people keep calling Will “kind” and “a great teacher” when the stories constantly go out of their way to show us exactly the opposite? Why is Emma teaching kids how to wash their taints? And finally:

How the fuck did NeNe Freaking Leakes wind up giving the best, most believable and entertaining performance in the entire episode?

What the hell does THAT tell you?

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