At least Maria's pretty. Not as pretty as Rachel, but few people are. Anita is also cool, though I initially mistook her for Maria's mother. Due to the Tony's-unfortunate-face factor, for a while I just made the picture tiny and envisioned the Glee characters instead, mentally recalibrating all their lines with the right voices. This plan was thwarted by the fact that Movie Bernardo is really quite swoon-worthy (so, the polar opposite of Glee's choice), and single-handedly flipped my support from the Jets to the Sharks. The point of this movie, obviously, is to pick a side. That's what I got out of it.
I still don't really see why the movie is so iconic -- I frequently found myself snapping "Get to a point!" and fast-forwarding certain extended musical and/or dance scenes whose choreography did not earn the screentime -- but I'm glad I watched it. Even if my primary feeling may or may not still be "But really, can't we just have the Glee cast perform the entire stage play on film?" (I'm going to need roughly three nights to squee myself silly at the notion of Blaine & Rachel acting out Tony & Maria's scenes)
So, here are some things I thought and/or compared to Glee. I remind you that I only saw the movie once prior to tonight, was bored by it at the time, and until Glee stirred it up had forgotten all of the details, including the important "this story is a Romeo and Juliet retelling" part.
-WTF, Glee, now I am more confused by/angry at your handling of "Tonight" than ever. Why were they still reading off scripts at that point? Why were they not, I don't know, getting all up into each others' personal space and starting to act at that point? Was it really so important you use a flawed premise to destroy Artie's character and as;djflaskdfjsdf (trailing off into spitting rage at memories I'm determined to block). In short, your description of what the song was about makes no sense. Also, I have a YouTube date with it to apologize.
-Also you, Something's Coming & Somewhere, whose significance I could not appreciate without context but are totally passable now. (Not you, Cool. You still suck.)
-Songs Glee did way better: America, whose frequently harsh, tuneless rendition here made me recoil like an angry cat. The movie's ending is funnier, and some things it does all right (namely the guys' chorus or Bernardo), but the ladies, not so much. "A Boy Like That" was about on par
-Bernardo/Anita = OTP. Forget you, cover romance! Plus, his scenes with Maria consist of him being charmingly complimentary and overprotective. Favorite other relationship.
-I think part of why I couldn't love this movie was the ridiculous notion that you would fall in love and decide to get married after fifteen minutes and one kiss. Not even the starriest of my Disneyfied notions of romance are buying that crack.
-Which is not to say that I did not find all the kissing extremely pretty. I mean, in the script, which in my head is played by two pretty people and based on the movie's silhouetted outlines.
P.S. dear all movies of today, that is how you handle bedroom scenes
-Favorite scenes were probably "America," anything with Anita & Maria alone, and the rumble. The rumble was one of the few parts where I perked up and glued my eyes to the screen. Violence is the answer! Speaking of which, I also really liked the last scene. Maria's final speech is one of the things that'll stick with me.
-I didn't get the significance of the tomboy Jet, but she was the only one of them I liked. All of the fic! Need her entire life's story!
-I was also fond of the detective, Doc, and pretty much anyone else who had any part of going "You punks are idiots, shut up and simmer down, what is your damage," etc.
-Holy unexpected attempted gang rape, Jets. WHAT EVEN WAS THAT. I especially love how I saw nothing suspicious about any of that until Anita was literally on the ground. At no point did it occur to me that her going there might be dangerous.
-On a final note, Natalie Wood is a very pretty woman. I realized I knew her name but didn't actually know what she looked like until now. Or how she died. In super-coincidental timing, apparently they just re-opened an investigation on that, and for the record, I would totally believe that Christopher Walken and/or Robert Wagner were guilty of something. The one is the creepiest thing since David Bowie, and the other just seems icky based on my exposure to him on NCIS and nothing else.
Glee, 3x06, "Mash Off"
I could talk about how both bullying and gay themes are so last year at best, boring and stupid at worst. Or I could talk about how the show is now at least 25% of the way through the season and has yet to come up with an episode I adore. I probably will. However, I think I'll mostly try to maintain my Pick Out The Positive campaign (with the usual quarantine for things too awful to ignore) and talk myself into thinking it's a better episode than I felt it was right after I finished watching, because according to my notes, some pretty incredible things happened.
1. Don't Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl >>>> Hot for Teacher. You're gross, Glee.
2. Will & Shelby. Voices in song. SO MANY DREAMS COME TRUE. Apparently his voice can be suited to country if you just give him an acoustic guitar. And her, wow, I completely forgot her cover was supposed to be a Lady Gaga thing because it is not recognizable as such in any way. If you need me, I'll be gazing at their faces and telling all the kids (and Emma) to get their butts out of sight for a while; this show is now about two incredible music teachers who fall in love. Who is Blaine? Busy correcting my crush allegiance, can't hear you.
This is probably my favorite non-hilarious part of the episode. From the previews I was so afraid they would be at each other's throats, so it was beautiful to watch them team up to excel at what they do best. I could watch the Mom & Dad of Glee Club lead these kids forever. My little heart swells up with pride every time I watch this section.
3. I am going to throttle the director of this episode for the asinine slow-mo close-ups in the dodgeball fight, but the song wasn't bad. Neither was the basic premise of the scene, actually; if not for the way Santana's fucking smug superiority complex wins out, causing me to flash white-hot with murderous, strangly rage, I would watch it more. Hit Me With Your Best Shot & One Way Or Another blend together surprisingly well.
4. Can both groups lose the mash off? I definitely preferred New Directions, but only on principle and/or because they featured Quinn for a minute. Can't we default the win to the teachers, though?
5. Song 300 was desperately boring -- Adele and Santana and Mercedes all rolled into one? what fresh hell is this -- and I'm pretty sure it would have been even if I wasn't too busy rolling on the floor and laughing myself breathless from the preceding scene to pay attention. I just don't understand how an all-girl group is managing to go so completely musically wrong.
(but Finn whispered in Rachel's ear during the performance, and as I had recently dubbed him my hero, this makes him good enough to date my girl, and subsequently make this scene cute.)
...the remainder of this discussion has been moved to the bottom of the review.
- Banning dodgeball is so 2001. And my response is the same now as it was then: don't be a pansy. All gym-sanctioned dodgeball games have clear rules that you cannot aim at the head (or above the chest at all), and it is a squishy ball with great give. Yes, it's CAPABLE of stinging if hit just right on bare skin, but soccer balls hurt more if you block them with your body.
"I believe it is an equivalent to modern day stoning."
p.s. Violence is not only OK, it's usually the answer. Especially on this show.
- Dear Rachel: not that I wanted you to be president, because it's a boring and thankless job and you have the much better "dog walker" on your resume, but SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Just for that, of the candidates, I'm voting Hockey Guy.
I. Hey, remember how Puck/Rachel was the grossest thing ever and I was so happy we never did it again? And remember how it was awesome when Will made out with Shelby because it was like age-appropriate Will/Rachel? So it's like that, but reversed and EXTRA NAUSEATING because older women with younger guys is unwatchable for me. I don't know why this way always strikes me as a creepy Oedipus complex whereas I only see intellectual equality or hot mentorship roles the other way around; probably it has to do with ingrained gender stereotypes, but I really don't care.
Apparently it was at least shot down within canon (I don't know, I skipped all those scenes due to lingering Ick factor), but I can't tell because people are still talking about it everywhere. Shut it down.
II. Santana is -- allow me to consult my thesaurus -- horrible, awful, evil, vile, godawful, disgusting, deplorable, despicable, nauseating, hateful, bitchy, super-bitchy (etc), skanky, abominable, atrocious, contemptible, dreadful, horrendous, loathsome, shuddersome (new vocab word!), amoral, a degenerate, and just all-around downright repulsive. I don't understand how people like her. Her entire character consists of being mean to people just for the sake of being mean, whoring around town, and then crying and making people feel sorry for her because it's haaaaaard being a secret lesbian and no one understands her unique pain.
When I mentioned wanting to stuff her face in a blender last year, those feelings have not gone away with time, and they were running especially high this week. On the other hand, eventually this episode kind of metaphorically did that. I found it cathartic, especially since Finn has not ruined it with dumb apologies yet, and I get two weeks to enjoy this state of affairs before he does.
+ "Paid for by Angry White People for Sue Sylvester." *raises hand* Can I join Angry White People? My sector will support the other side, but otherwise it seems like a group I'm inherently already part of.
+ Kurt, doing what he does best to win my heart: storming into places full of anger and hurt. (taking Sue to task over her campaign ads)
+ WHOA, KURT TIMES TWO: Running to the aid of bullied kids ("Stop it, stop it! For god's sakes, he's bleeding," comes the emotionally overwrought plea, which was too much for the context but absolutely perfect for a mental sound bite). It is like a tiny little taste of the gay bashing incident my head has been determined to involve him in since Karofsky threatened him. Alternatively, it was not hard to imagine this exact scene playing out in elementary school; how old were the kids when the "boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" shirts came out? Backstory, backstory.
Voice: Your latest version of the incident is going to involve an actual modern-day stoning, isn't it?
RS: Well, not a fatal one.
+ Rachel & Shelby's moment in the auditorium full of rec letter requests and "I'm proud of you" warmth. ALL THE FEELINGS. Not to mention the number of canon-endorsed scenarios presented for missing scene stories with the following piece of paper:
+ Side note: I really do like Ms. Corcoran's girl-power club, and if I were a random-passer by who did not know anybody at McKinley, I'd want to be in that one. I'm enjoying watching her teach almost more than Will at this point, just because she too is everything I want in a teacher, but as a woman, she has the advantage of being someone I'd be more comfortable actually approaching and talking to.
+ Blaine's reaction shot to "I refuse to be bullied." Yep, that's the one:
+ There was also a bit in the You & I number where I caught him looking at Quinn all suggestively. So that's a thing in my head now.
+ Mr. Schue sharply yelling at the disruptive boys during Speech Time to knock it off. Yeah! Don't interrupt
+ jumping the gun so as not to interrupt my flow at the end: I always find it so impossible to believe when Sue gets serious & sincere, but I keep looping the scene in her office in awe. What might this show be like if she were a compassionate, caring teacher all the time? 30% more wonderful?
+ And best of all: Finny-Bear, today you are my hero. REVENGE ON FEMALE SATAN. I flailed, using broad, dramatic gestures for added emphasis and flair, for roughly five straight minutes after he outed her, laughing so hard I made myself sick. So much pent-up, jaw-clenching anger (o hai, that is also what my face looked like), the way the fuse ticks down to zero until Santana runs herself out of chances to walk away unharmed before he plays his ace in the hole.
I came back from that, unpaused and promptly began flailing again when I discovered it didn't stop right there; no, he kept going for what, three or four more glorious lines? Each keenly designed to eviscerate her more, relentless, one after the other. His intelligence comes out in the most unexpected ways. HERO!
And it STILL wasn't over. Quote: "THE LAST FIVE MINUTES OF THIS ARE SO GREAT. SUE IS A LESBIAN, DON'T TRUST HER (I knew the insanity of this town would come in handy one day). SANTANA BAWLING. STRANGERS WILLFULLY WRECKING THE LIFE OF A HIGH SCHOOLER FOR POLITICS. FINN ACCIDENTALLY (AWESOMELY) LIGHTING THE MATCH TO THIS FOREST FIRE. I can't even begin to focus on the great aspects of Mr. Schue playing concerned teacher after the SHEER GODDAMN HILARITY OF PEOPLE BEING CRUELER TO SANTANA THAN ANYTHING I HAVE EVER DREAMED OF OR HOPED FOR.
(*is distracted by Mr. Schue watching her leave with concern* Wow. That part is really appealing, though.)
At this point, I'm pretty much dead, but damned if I didn't rally myself for one last round of Santana having an epic meltdown and assisting in her own further public humiliation (final scene of shrieking, slapping). At which point I began howling all over again at her endless misery and haven't stopped since. This is even better than the time they elected Kurt Prom Queen and proceeded to laugh him out of the gym. *reconsiders* Well, equally good.
Are we clear yet on how much I enjoy wanton cruelty toward people I dislike? Sorry, I'm trying to combat an entire fandom here. Besides, knowing her and this show as I do, the next episode will probably be one rah-rah fest of togetherness and she'll come out of it happier and more popular than ever before.
I just don't get why everyone is all "Shock, horror!" about Finn outing her. If it were that big of a secret, you'd think she'd play her cards closer to her chest, like she did for the first 1.5 seasons. More to the point, since I will accept that being outed by someone else is a big deal, there was really only one way to cut Santana down. Everything else was just bouncing off of her with no effect. When someone bullies you, you retaliate in kind, using any weapons you've got: all is fair game when someone attacks you first. And that, children, is why I recall exactly zero instances of being bullied in school.
[EDIT: Just for you, kids, here is an immediately-post-ep missing-scene fic rec for the Brittana fans: Never The Way You Plan.]
But, all things considered, this episode suffered from the usual problems of an uneven balance between good, evil and whiny. By this time last year, I had a clear frontrunner. Season 3, I continue to be disappointed in your lack of epic awesome; #7 better deliver like it has the last two years.
Update: ...it's called "I Kissed a Girl." Somehow, unless Blaine has rejiggered his sexuality again, I do not foresee it ending up in my top two for the season. *watches preview* In fact, go to hell, episode. I'm giving you the same treatment as 3x05: all spoilers, reviews and rigorous screening processes will be put in place prior to my attendance.
Wait, wait, WHAT IS THIS INCREDIBLE THING I AM SEEING ON RAISING HOPE?
Sorry, play that back again, Jimmy & Sabrina are practicing kissing (for when they play husband & wife for Fake Thanksgiving with Burt's parents)? THERE IS KISSING HAPPENING WAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE FOR MY OTP. Pretty, innocent, consequence-free kissing. I don't believe this. And I love it. Who needs a canon ship when you can have all the visual benefits? This may be the TV thing I am most grateful for this season...