no personal business on company pond (ellydash) wrote,
no personal business on company pond

We are entering the Hunger Games of show choir competition.

You know when you're doing yoga, and you're holding this impossible position, and the instructor says "Ten more seconds!" but it's actually like thirty, and you keep holding it because ten more seconds and it's almost over and you've come this far and fuck it, you're going to make it all the way because it's a matter of personal pride?

That's how I feel about Glee right now.

Happy things first:

The only thing I didn't love about that bodyswap interlude was that we didn't get to see Jayma!Shannon and Dot!Emma, because how amazing would that have been? Chris!Finn was maybe my favorite, just because he hit the body language and voice out of the park, but Mark!Blaine, Dianna!Sugar and Amber!Brittany all killed me (especially Mark, who obviously gave that ~performance everything he had). And Jane needs to dress like Will Schuester all the time. Holy hell, that look works for her. *___*

Tina having more screentime and two(!) songs made me generically happy, in that I like Jenna, especially her voice, and I like what little characterization we have for Tina, and I want Tina to have good things. This is the happy section, so I'm going to stop there for now.

As much as I wish Glee hadn't gone there in the first place with the domestic violence plot, it worked a lot better in tonight's episode than it did a couple of weeks ago, largely because the writing gave Shannon some more agency. Not just that she left, although that was part of it, but that her story was her own, for the most part, instead of a cautionary tale for the girls. Dot acted the hell out of her scenes, and I don't know that I've ever been as chilled by anything I've seen on this show as I was by that shot of her handling the knife in the sink. It wouldn't be Glee if a woman didn't gain emotional strength from a man, but even though the larger context, as always, is gross, Puck and Shannon are wonderful together. It makes me happy to imagine McKinley hiring Puck on as Shannon's assistant coach next year, because I want them to be BFFs who hang out and drink beer and sing songs and play darts in bars and encourage each other to be doper people (spoiler: Shannon's already reached maximum dopage).

The stories we don't get on this show are usually the ones that interest me the most. Sue's reaction to Shannon leaving Cooter was one of those moments. Did Sue figure out at some point that Shannon hadn’t already left him? She didn’t look surprised at all by Shannon’s revelation, just incredibly emotional, and the way that she hugged her – no hesitating, entirely self-initiated – was something she hasn’t ever done with anyone except Becky or Jean. What made her react that strongly? What didn’t we see?

Rachel hasn’t sounded as good on anything in ages as she did on “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.” I’ll go so far as to say that after DROMP, it’s the best performance she’s ever given; even thinking about it while typing, I’m getting chills, and as a character moment, it was pretty powerful. Paradise by the Dashboard Light was the best group number in a really long time (and a good showcase for Cory’s voice, for once). It made me really nostalgic for S1, which, more than anything, is a good indicator of what it was able to ~conjure up.

New Directions winning would’ve been obvious/inevitable even if the spoilers hadn’t leaked early, but I’m glad for them, and ngl, I got teary, seeing them so happy. The way the school welcomed them back was nice, too, even if it didn’t make much sense. I’m sad, though, that the moment felt a little muted for me by all the fuckery that’s been the last two years. I wanted their victory to have the emotional impact that “Journey” had on me at the end of S1, and it just – didn’t. That feels bad, and sad, and a little hollow. I really love these characters a lot, and they’ve come so far, but everything they’ve done has been in spite of shitty, shitty, offensive writing that’s done whatever it can to undermine all the feelings its audience had about this show in the first place. There’s only so much this cast can do, in the end, to fight that.

This was supposed to be the happy section! Whoops.

Onto the angry-making stuff:

Glee seems to think that addressing its major systemic problems with meta quips is satisfactory, and it just isn’t. Not on any level. You don’t get to flat-out ignore Tina for three seasons and then start your episode with “Yeah, Tina’s gotten fucked over a lot! What’s up with that?” And, on top of that, you really don’t get to dump your shitty writing on the head of Rachel Berry, and blame her – a character – for the fact that you didn’t give Jenna anything to do for three seasons, so once again we get a situation where it’s All A Girl’s Fault. And on top of THAT, you don’t make Mike Chang tell Tina how ungrateful she is for not wanting to take a backseat anymore, and that she should just sway in the background because Rachel is the greatest. And worst of all, you really, REALLY don’t get to make Tina learn her lesson and to shut her mouth and then have Mike Chang smile at her because it’s not fucking Glee without male affirmation.

On the list of offensive things this show’s done, the Wemma sex scene, for me, ranks somewhere in the Top Ten, which is saying something. I’ve been sort of morbidly curious to see how they were going to have them do it, and I guess I should be grateful that at least it wasn’t the centerpiece of a Very Special Episode, but that’s all I’m happy about. The sex comes out of literally nowhere – the last time we saw Will and Emma interact physically, she was recoiling from him – without any build-up or contextualization whatsoever. It’s presented not as a mutual decision by two consenting and healthy adults who want to express their attraction and love for each other, but as Emma literally giving Will her vagina as a reward for winning Nationals and being a great teacher and I can’t even finish that sentence. “My man is a winner, and he deserves to be treated as such.” Let the horror of that sink in for a second: Emma isn’t anywhere in her own dialogue, other than through her connection to Will. It’s all about what he deserves, which is apparently sex, and the implication is that he’s waited so long, and been so patient, and done such a great job with everything, that he now gets access to her body. Which is so fucked up on so many levels that I can’t even BEGIN to talk about how fucked up it is.

And that isn’t all! To some extent, the show’s been surprisingly okay with establishing that Emma’s OCD isn’t something that magically disappears overnight; it’s been a consistent part of her character, and I’ve appreciated that her issues are still present, even though it appears she’s working on them. And I might even have been okay with the two of them having sex as long as it wasn’t presented as some magical, healing, immensely satisfying event, but mental illness doesn’t work like that. Emma has never been okay with being touched. She’s terrified of germs and being messy and everything that sex is about, and there wasn’t even a damn nod to her being nervous or working through her fears, just afterglow. (Which, somehow, is so powerful that even Sue Sylvester notices.) There’s an incredible deficit of public knowledge about what mental illness is, and how difficult it is to cope with and work through. To disappear something so intrinsic to this character in order to give Will fucking Schuester what he deserves implicitly suggests that a disorder is something that can be disappeared. That plays right into the common notion that if you’re sick, you should – and can -- just get over it already. This isn’t just gross and misogynistic, it’s actively harmful stuff.

Other observations:

- My heart leapt a little at Unique saying she should think about transferring schools. Not getting my hopes up, but that’s one of the few things that would make me actively want to tune in for S4.

- Stop with the “he/she” already, Glee, and make it clear once and for all that Unique’s a trans woman, not a cross dresser or a drag queen, which are DIFFERENT IDENTITIES. (I’m going by Unique’s own dialogue, which outright says her “true” self is Unique.) It’s not like Sue and other characters referring to her as “he/she” is unrealistic, but the popular perception of trans* people is warped, and the messy references aren’t helping much.

- How do you bring back Jonathan Groff and not let him sing DDDDDD:

- Seriously, though, Jesse and Rachel talking only made Finn and Rachel hurt more, although I did love the look on Jesse’s face when he saw her with Finn, because it was basically, “Oh, Rachel, why are you wasting yourself on him,” and that is an opinion I share.

- Mark Salling’s dramatic acting's really improved leaps and bounds. Remember how awful he was during Never Been Kissed? His scene with Shannon in the locker room really moved me.

- What the hell was the point of Mercedes getting sick, except to get Tina and Quinn into the Troubletones? It would’ve been so much more effective and interesting if Tina, rather than decide to fade into the background like a good girl, had demanded a featured part, and after Will said no, the other Troubletones girls offered to let her join them (and Quinn too, because why not?).

- Sue called Shannon Dick Butkis! I had Sue call Shannon Dick Butkis in a fic a few months ago! It's a little thing, but that made me squeal a bit, ngl.

- Oh god the preview for next week oh god that Sue/Quinn scene oh god I’m going to be such a wreck ;________;
Tags: post-episode party
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YOU AND I APPARENTLY SHARE A BRAIN OR HALF OF ONE OR SOMETHING HOLY SHIT. So much of what you said here about Emma and Will I just spewed all over tumblr a few minutes ago, omg.

SHAAAAANON. I love her, I love her SO MUCH, and she acted the shit out of everything tonight. I was shocked to pieces that the show actually handled that reasonably well, and god, that scene with the knife, god. And then Sue hugging her! I can't even rage too hard about Puck ~helping her, because it was actually fairly passive; him expressing his pain was the catalyst for her realization, instead of him directly intervening and telling her what to do, which is restrained for Glee. Markward was great too, and it ended with them singing Taylor Swift, and I want them to be BUDDIES FOREVER and they both help Will and Sue come up with ridic ideas for Glee and the Cheerios respectively next year.

SO MUCH WORD on the "ha ha we made a joke about our failures NOW WE DON'T HAVE TO FIX THEM EVER." And jfc Mike, I believed in you! You're the last guy on the show who's never done anything douchey or mean! I'm going with your theory that he remained bodyswapped with Finn for the whole episode.

THE BODYSWAPPING WAS FLAWLESS. WHY WAS THAT NOT THE WHOLE FUCKING EPISODE. Even for all the shit, I will never not lol at Dianna!Sugar, Markward!Blaine, Chris!Finn, and Cory!Kurt. And eeee Amber!Brittany! Everyone was hilarious and awesome, and Matty Fresh looked like he was having a blast letting his true douche colors shine through, and JFC JANE WAS SO HOT.

I want Unique to transfer schools RIGHT NOW. My only fear is that if she does join ND, they'll either ignore or ruin her because Glee. I liked Nationals -- the songs were great, both ND and Unique (and Rachel HOLY FUCK) killed, and Unique getting MVP and ND winning were right and earned.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL WILL SCHUESTER IS AN AMAZING EDUCATOR YOU GUYS. And he took the opportunity to ~prove it by grabbing Quinn's ass onstage. I can't decide if that was pure Will or if his Matty Fresh was showing.

In conclusion: Jesse and Rachel are soulmates forever and ever.
Oh my god, I saw your post and was like WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT, DID OUR BRAINS TALK ON THE ASTRAL PLANE, because yes, yes, yes, a million times yes to everything you said.

Can there be a whole season of bodyswapping? Look, if Glee wants me to get on board with Finn/Rachel and Will/Emma, then Chris!Finn, Jenna!Rachel, and Jane!Will are the only way that's going to happen, so let's just do this.

I completely and totally missed Will grabbing Quinn's ass onstage (probably because I was blinded by rage over the Wemma stuff) and I am kicking myself for it and also frantically looking for gifs on tumblr. OH, WILLIAM.

Still not over that scene with the knife. It was so tonally different from what this show usually goes for, in a way that reminded me of Will almost assaulting Terri in S1, but with even darker implications. I think it was the way Shannon was holding it as if she were weighing her options; that she wasn't in immediate physical danger at that moment made it even more chilling. Not to mention the fact that, as Shannon herself said last week, she's an incredibly non-violent person, so the fact that she'd reached the point where she was scared and threatened enough to weigh using the knife on him made my stomach twist.
It's ~magic~ woooooooo. :D

Jane is just perfect as Will -- she's got Matty Fresh's "I'M SO PROUD OF YOU *SNIFF* *ADJUST ERECTION*" face and his one-sided smirk-smile thing down pat, and the body language, and everything, and it is hilarious and arousing. ♥

Re the ass-grab, if I knew how to make gifs, I'd make you one, because I could not BELIEVE he'd done it! And it comes right after she kisses him on the cheek, so that's probably what ~emboldened him.

That's interesting that you linked it to the Will/Terri scene, because the two most tonally dissonant scenes the show has ever done were both about the worm turning for people who had been abused by their partners, and almost becoming violent in response. Will was scary, but it was framed as an emotional response to his discovery of how profoundly she'd lied to him -- it was immediate, explosive despair. With Shannon, like you said, it was absolutely chilling, because we saw her holding the knife, weighing it, and making the decision not to use it but keeping it in reserve. That was a deep, deep well of terror, and I gasped when she said she'd been sleeping with it under her pillow.

If Glee were a good show, I'd think that they meant us to read the Shannon/Cooter scene alongside the Will/Terri one, and that Shannon's and Will's differing responses reflected not only their very different personalities, but also the specific ways in which they'd been abused: Terri's abuse was emotional/verbal and about subtly (well, sort of subtly) undermining, manipulating, belittling, and lying, and Will exploded outward and used the only advantage he had left, his size and strength. Cooter was much more aggressive in his verbal/emotional abuse, and then escalated to violence; Shannon was afraid for her physical safety, and coolly, almost numbly, took steps to mitigate her fear. But of course Glee isn't a good show, and between never acknowledging Will as having been abused because he's the ~hero who ~saves everyone, and the show's constant need to humiliate its female characters, we've probably put more thought into this than anyone on the writing staff ever did.
I say this alot but CAN YOU STAGE A COUP? PLEASE? I'll help!

Honestly, the only thing I really liked was the Rachel/Jesse interaction. __________ I am so frigging sick of Rachel/Finn, so Rachel/Jesse was like a breath of fresh air~!

And Unique. I want more Unique.
LET'S ALL STAGE A COUP TOGETHER. Every week can be a fantastic mix of Will being inappropriate with his students, Mercedes and Santana getting all the duets, Sam doing impressions, Kurt and Blaine being ridiculous dorks together, Quinn and Rachel having a ~secret love affair, and Sue, Shannon and Emma being awesome BFFs.

The Rachel/Jesse interaction made my heart flutter a bit, ngl, and now I'm fanwanking his conversation with Carmen into a retroactive admission for Jesse into NYADA because WHY NOT, and also if he goes to NYADA with Rachel it'll just end really poorly for Finn, which is all I want in life right now.

The Rachel/Jesse interaction made my heart flutter a bit, ngl, and now I'm fanwanking his conversation with Carmen into a retroactive admission for Jesse into NYADA because WHY NOT, and also if he goes to NYADA with Rachel it'll just end really poorly for Finn, which is all I want in life right now.

I swear to God, like, five St. Berry NYADA fics popped up on my timeline before the episode ended. It was like the PTB opened the door a smidge and the St. Berry fans just busted in! I'm already feverishly fanwanking an imaginary S4 with Kurt, Blaine, Rachel and Jesse living in a high rise in New York together since I've decided I'm not watching next year. >:(

I dunno, this show makes me so angry because it could be so much better if the writers weren't so incompetent. Sigh.


May 16 2012, 08:29:31 UTC 4 years ago Edited:  May 16 2012, 08:32:15 UTC

Your thoughts are my thoughts on every single level. JSYK.

The Tina storyline simultaneously pissed me off and delighted me, ugh. I just don't know how to feel about it. On the one hand, I loved getting a glimpse at Tina and who she is and what she brings to the team, and yay for Jenna singing! Also, just about everything about the bodyswapping was hilarious. The non-hilarious part, for me, was how it was used to justify the way Will favours Rachel and the poor attitude Rachel has when it comes to teamwork, and to make Tina look selfish and bad, imo. It literally turned into a Rachel Berry pity party, showcasing how hard her life is in order to dismiss how hard Tina's life has been. As far as the actual distribution of the solos goes, I'm of two minds:

a) It is Nationals, and in most productions I've been in seniority has received an advantage, and it's seen as fair. So on that level, I agree that Tina ought to wait her turn this time for her chance to shine. BUT.

b) That doesn't IN ANY WAY excuse the fact that Tina has pretty much never gotten a competition solo, or any kind of recognition at all from her peers or the writers. The way the bodyswap was written completely stripped away the context already given during Tina's rant: that she has been putting up with this in silence for three years now, and she's had enough. Understandably so. If that rant had been cut, and all we'd seen were the bodyswap scenes, it'd come across like Tina's being greedy and stupid, asking for too much, trying to push Rachel out of the spotlight, when all she's really asking is for some kind of recognition for all she's done for the team.

It's like, both of them have had it hard. I feel so, so much for Rachel, and one of the things I love most about her is her drive and her ambition. But I don't like the way the writers chose to justify it by pushing another character down. Particularly a female character, since, I mean, this is RIB.

Oh god, Puck and Shannon made me feel all the feelings. I absolutely see what you mean about it being another goddamn storyline resolved with a man helping a ~weak woman~ out, and the pattern that Glee follows in that respect is infuriating on every level, but somehow I was able to overlook it with this storyline? IDK if it's because she's helping him too, offering to assist him in preparing for history and supporting him, or if it's because it's Puck Puckerman and I have a hell of a soft spot for him when he's being a dope person. Either way, I simply adored them both, and like you said Markward has definitely improved, which helped.

Rachel-thoughts: oh god, she killed me in Nationals. KILLED ME. Watching her solo, all I could think is how desperate she's been all season, and how stressed, and how she's slowly buckled and lost her dream and lost her true love -- performing. And then she rediscovers it, up on that stage, singing that song, and you fucking see it in her face, even before she notices the NYADA lady whose name I always forget. It was just such a beautiful, beautiful moment, and I may have cried, and I might even be tearing up just writing this. That was Rachel's moment, and Lea killed it in every way, shape, and form. Absolutely flawless. Now Rachel just needs to realise that the wedding is a terrible, terrible mistake that she rushed into in order to preserve at least part of her dreams from a younger, more innocent age, ditch Finn, and go to NY with Kurt where she can fall in love with Jesse/Mercedes/Tina/anyone who won't ever, ever ask her to give up her dream and with whom she can cultivate a mutually respectful relationship. Thank you and goodnight.

/sane out
I honestly don't think I've had my hopes up for a Glee episode this season like I had for bodyswap, so to have it blow up in my face kind of ruined both episodes for me, to be honest. I know it's my own fault for believing it would be better, but. (NO BUT REALLY HOW DO YOU RUIN BODYSWAP. IT'S BODYSWAP. And you have a hilarious cast! H o w.) Every time I thought I was about to enjoy the episode again, they threw another reminder of how Tina should just know her place and I sadface'd all over again. That said, I did get ridiculously emotional when Lea was singing her solo and when ND came back with the trophy.

I suppose I'll just entertain myself with how Mercedes probably thinks she fever-hallucinated some of Sue's most unorthodox healing methods, but that really was Olivia Newton John transporting a mystery package into the room while glaring at Sue. Also, the iguana.

Damn you, show.
- Mark Salling’s dramatic acting's really improved leaps and bounds. Remember how awful he was during Never Been Kissed? His scene with Shannon in the locker room really moved me.

RIGHT. The entire time I was waiting for the extra-extra special Mark Salling second-hand embarrassment to kick in. Because, yeah, Never Been Kissed, holy god.

But it never did.


May 17 2012, 06:44:30 UTC 4 years ago Edited:  May 17 2012, 06:49:24 UTC

late to the party but -

i am actually still confused about unique's character - kurt & mercedes referred to wade/unique as "he" (and following that last episode, i imagine they've been corresponding? or at least that kurt & mercedes would know what pronouns to use at this point in their friendship with unique), but kurt squealed "girl" to unique when he came in to give unique a rose, but that could be a figure of speech. mostly, my confusion comes from the way wade talked about unique in this episode. i don't have the quote handy, but it was something like "i can't bring her out" which is a phrase that i have heard used in regards to drag personas, but have never heard a trans* person say about their true identity (although that could be limited experience, idk). it sounded very much in this episode like wade talked about unique as a drag persona more than anything else, but that could be sloppy writing or any number of things!

i talked about this with my mom, and she rightly pointed out that it might be confusing for me, but it's probably more confusing for the fictional unique (/wade). which is totally true! knowing the breakdown of your gender identity at age sixteen (or whatever idk) is something that can happen but should not be expected of you, and it's totally legit for wade not to be sure if they want to be unique onstage, or if they are unique. but lbr do we really trust glee to be that nuanced about it?

it's conflicting for me because i love the character but i wish there were clarity, because doing drag and being trans* really are two incredibly different things that should not be confused (although because it's so hard to navigate the gender binary, it is totally okay for a person to be unsure if they are into drag or if they are trans* or both or neither, gender is kinda confusing and you have to take it at your own pace). glee needs to clarify what pronouns unique (/wade) prefers and use them. the bonus part is that it means the character gets more lines, which would be baller.

i'm not even touching that emma storyline with a twenty foot pole. uuuuuuugh. i did like her black and white dress? that's something right?

man i'm so happy about the way brittana's been treated in these past three/four episodes, so that's made me really optimistic about glee lately. i mean, the prom episode with them was kind of a big deal, and it was a big deal to me to look over and squeeze my mom's hand when santana dipped brittany. also, brittany! good lord i love brittany to pieces

that said, rib+ needs to yank the chastity belt off of kurt and blaine.

dot is incredible, puck can act, i don't have anything original to say about this that you haven't said already

but!!! can we just give it up for motherfucking lou eyrich for the incredible costume work? with something like a dozen characters who often shop from the same four stores body-swapping, and you can tell who is supposed to be who just by looking at what they are wearing? that is hard work! amazing.

oh also this is going to sound really mean, but i would love tina's storyline so much more if jenna were a better actor. she's got a wonderful voice, and she's gorgeous, but her delivery is about as believable as the fake orgasms of every woman will schuester has ever slept with tbqh
- Mark Salling’s dramatic acting's really improved leaps and bounds. Remember how awful he was during Never Been Kissed? His scene with Shannon in the locker room really moved me.

RIGHT. The entire time I was waiting for the extra-extra special Mark Salling second-hand embarrassment to kick in. Because, yeah, Never Been Kissed, holy god.

But it never did.