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Gleeview: Duets
mjacton
Rating:  PG for language

Spoiler Alert!

One of the major themes of this season of Glee seems to be to make the characters even more like themselves.  In some cases, they are almost parodied, like in the first episode ("Audition") when Will realized the kids didn't enjoy his rapping as much as he thought they did or that his music choices weren't all that popular amongst the glee clubbers.  In some cases, it's just a matter of more screen time, like with Mike, Tina and Brittany.  Santana is even bitchier while she has a few more softer moments.  Finn is dumber with the occasional burst of insight.  Kurt is the exception that proves the point.  He hasn't changed much, except in this episode he's realized he needs to respect other people for who they are as much as he expects them to respect him.  Rachel, on the other hand, is even more selfish and, therefore, more willing to be cruel to get what she wants.

Overall, I think this is a good thing.  It keeps the show from getting stale and taking itself too seriously.  A lot of people are complaining that the show doesn't have the same thoughtful storylines that it did in especially in the first 13 episodes (evidence:  less rivalry between Quinn & Rachel, Rachel is with Finn so no triangle, etc.).  I agree that the storylines have changed, but I don't agree that they've become more shallow.  I think it's subtlety, and that's easy to miss by definition.  So, what does this have to do with the current episode?  Well, not a lot except I think it actually proves the point.  In this episode, we saw Brittany and Santana being Brittany and Santana (Brittana) for the first time since "Sectionals."  We saw a lot of more of Mike and Tina, and Rachel admitted that she was selfish and wanted to be better and even in doing so she did a fairly selfish thing.  And, even though he didn't even appear in the episode, Puck is in juvie so he's even more of a bad boy than he we've seen before.

I like Sam, but I'm reserving judgment on his connection with Quinn.  I think there's better than a 50% chance that they'll take his character down the road that leads to Kurt.  In fact, Jane Lynch (Sue) herself has confirmed that Chord Overstreet's character was to be Kurt's "love interest."  Whether that means going beyond Kurt having an unrequited crush on him or not remains to be seen, but I think it's headed toward a relationship between them.  So, at some point, the Sam/Quinn relationship will probably morph into a supportive friendship rather than a romance.  Just speculation.

I also liked the Artie/Brittany storyline in this episode.  Starting with the Brittany/Santana bedroom scene, we got to see further into who Brittany is.  She is a slut, to put it bluntly, but I think it's because she wants human connections.  I also think she wants to really be with Santana, but obviously Santana is resisting.  So, she went to Artie for the relationship she wasn't going to get with Santana.  She may actually have developed something close to feelings for Artie by the end, too, but I think ultimately she wants more with Santana.  I hope they think about exploring that, at least as a friendship.  I thought they had some chemistry.  And, the part with Brittany pushing the meatball along with her nose made even my heart melt a little.  She just wants somebody to love her.  Is that too much to ask?

I promise that at some point we'll get back to the Sue Sylvester quote block, but she didn't even appear in this episode, so it's not my fault this time.  Today's quotes are for Brittany.

Favorite Quote:
Artie:  I'm just a little confused.  You've never even made eye contact with me.
Brittany:  I know.  For awhile, I thought you were a robot.

Honorable Mention
Will:  What's a duet?
Brittany:  A blanket

Brittany (to Artie):  I just really want to get you in a stroller.

Music Rundown:
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John (& Kiki Dee)--This was another solid duet by Lea Michele (Rachel) and Cory Monteith (Finn).  As I've mentioned, they're voices do blend well together.  I don't know how much I like this song for them, but they did a good enough job.

"River Deep Mountain High" by Ike & Tina Turner--I like this song, but to be honest the choreography was pretty distracting.  It imitates some of the choreography Tina Turner used in her performances so it either didn't age well or didn't translate very well to a high school choir room with two girls in a cheerleading uniform and modern dress.  I have to give Naya Rivera (Santana) and Amber Riley (Mercedes) credit.  They're good singers, and they produce a good duet.

"Le Jazz Hot" by Julie Andrews from Victor Victoria--Chris Colfer (Kurt) did a really good job with this.  And, as flamboyant as this was, they could have gone even further with it.

"Sing" from A Chorus Line--This was just fun.  I liked that they made fun of Mike's at least supposed inability to sing.  I don't know if Harry Shum, Jr., who plays Mike, sings in the group numbers or not, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't a voice that can stand on its own or even in a duet.  So, good for them.

"With You I'm Born Again" by Billy Preston (& Syreeta)--Musically, this was pretty great.  Visually, it was (intentionally) weird and (again intentionally) vaguely offensive, although vaguely is a little mild.  It was kind of funny though, I have to admit.

"Lucky" by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat--This was honestly my favorite song of the whole episode, and with three duets in which Lea Michele participated, that's saying a lot.  Dianna Agron (Quinn) can sing, people!  Oh yeah, Chord Overstreet can too, I guess, and their voices blended really well.

"Happy Days Are Here Again"/"Get Happy" by Barbra Streisand & Judy Garland--In an episode without the "Lucky" duet, this would have been hands down the best of the episode.  It was definitely amazing.  I'll be downloading this to iTunes very soon.

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