PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: there is no dog on earth that is softer than a baby Golden. It is a sheer puffball of the softest, fluffiest cotton you have ever felt, magnified by ten.
How I Met Your Mother: The Magician's Code
Part 1: Loved the mini stories (for future reference, the story of the stupid Door O' Mystery is everyone hiding in a closet to freak Marshall out when he opens it), Lily's obstetrician and the middle name being "Wait For It." Hated the entire labor plotline. It was like every stupid thing I'd feared for Jim & Pam's first baby, but where The Office was too classy for that, this show is all on board for as much stupidity as possible.
Part 2: Loved Barney's magic trick proposal itself (pretty sure Kurt wore that key necklace to Prom, by the way). Hated that it was a proposal for Quinn. Don't even care that Robin is the Mystery Bride, because it suddenly feels like this was a foregone conclusion but right now, I DON'T EVEN CARE. I literally have no feelings left in my heart for the BroTP unless they suddenly get unexpectedly cuddly or gushy in the feelings department. And even then.
Also, Ted/Victoria continues to be handled in the worst possible way at every turn, causing me to build nothing but resentment and spite. Because you know what I love even more than cheaters? People who can't figure out whether they want to get married until their actual wedding day. Also, shut up, Zoey was his perfect woman and I will hear nothing else. By "she was married," did you by any chance mean "she left her damn husband to take a chance on Ted"? Because that's what I remember being significant.
Glee, 3x20, "Props"
I loved the vast majority of this, so I stuffed the negativity down at the end.
"Guy Talk"? I'm A Guy
I for one very much enjoyed Kurt's frustration at being repeatedly ordered to wear a dress, which everyone seemed rather offensively unsympathetic to. It's like everyone has forgotten what a huge deal this was in season 1, about not being treated the same as Finn. We talked about this again during WSS. We just talked about his frustration with Blaine being the alpha gay and him, well, not. I maaaaaay have a long history of thinking of him as half girl myself, but that was the old me. The Post-Klaine-Awakening Me respects and rather loves the fact that Kurt can be best described as dainty the way Blaine is dapper, and he's happiest gossiping at pajama parties with the girls, but he still brings a male perspective to things and he's very much a boy.
Come, come, Tumblr. You know you want to give me all of the fics. "And handsome," Blaine says with deliberate emphasis, is a phrase that should crop up somewhere in your writing, for example.
[EDIT: Mr. Cellophane vs. Mr. Blaine. Kurt realizes where he stands. He can have his dignity, until it gets in the way of what the group wants. The above phrase does not crop up in this, because it is better.]
tl;dr: I love that Kurt stands his ground despite increasing iciness in his responses (my heaaart). The concerned looks Blaine keeps shooting him don't hurt, even if the only overt mention we get is that brief snippet in the mall.
I still don't know whether to laugh or cringe at the Halloween flashback, but I will never argue Klaine scenes that involve them being together outside of school.
Let's Go To The Mall
I was so happy that the sneak peek of Tina falling in the fountain was released first, because I danced around for days on the fact that we got to see a) Kurt and Blaine at the mall together -- THIS IS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION OKAY -- and b) Blaine rescuing Tina (my favorite headcanon friendship, and if they do not utilize this next year I will hurt people) and Kurt pointing anxiously, because damned if he's going to ruin his outfit fishing around in mall fountain water.
Aftermath: I love the exasperated looks Blaine shoots at Kurt over his comments about Tina taking the expensive fabric with her. Part of my headcanon is that Tina is his Rachel, and that while we won't get the full effect until next year, he is fiercely protective of her. (and I just had a flashback to the Lady Gaga episode where my then-glorious bully slammed Tina and Kurt into the lockers, causing the latter to go off. Moral of the story, everyone should be fiercely protective of Tina)
Anyway. It's kind of hard to tell whether it's Tina's own hand or Blaine's touching her hair at the end, but I choose to believe it's Blaine and his hands-on approach to make sure she's okay.
Invasion of the Body Swappers
Kurt as Finn: CHAMPION. Literally nothing made me happier than how fun Chris had jumping into this role. Struck By Lightning already proved to me he can in fact play straight, but this sealed the deal. He had everything from the slouch to the stupid proud grinning to the oddly intense Finn Pep Talk Voice down pat.
Rachel as Tina: OTHER CHAMPION. I'm glad they picked the blue-streaks look, because it was perfect on Lea Michele, and I feel like everything she did was really subtle, but my brain was enchanted on sight with all of her body language and overall demeanor.
Quinn as Sugar: HONORABLE MENTION. For having no lines, she did amazing things with her face. I loved that happy yawn/stretch she did, not least because it allowed me to ship Quinn/Sam for a minute, and snacking on her gum at the same time...beautiful, Dianna, just beautiful.
I don't even know what to call this but I ship it.
Also, literally just noticed his hair is a different color.
Tina as Rachel: Most obvious when singing, I think -- the wig was super distracting to me, for some reason -- but I was so happy having her in the spotlight it was hard to pay attention to how well she pulled off the character.
Finn as Kurt: I did not think this would work at all, but I was totally charmed. His little smiles were adorable.
Puck as Blaine: everyone keeps saying he had Blaine's mannerisms down perfectly, but I could not see past Mark Salling's face. *shudder*
Blaine as Puck: so glad he had nothing to do except yawn and blink stupidly in the background, because if that horrifying "hair" had gotten any more spotlight I would have been traumatized for life. I tried to point out to my brain how useful it would be for all those cancer fics, and my brain was like, "Yeah, we don't do that. That's the beauty of cancer fics as opposed to actual cancer."
[edit: Chord Overstreet is now trolling everybody. Or making the above idea easier to visualize, depends on your POV.]
Joe as Mike: Did he just get hotter? Like...a lot hotter? The hat was fetching, and the little rubber-kneed dance move was wonderful, even if he didn't seem so much like Mike as just some random awesome new character. Hint: this show needs more Samuel Larsen.
Brittany as Mercedes: Acceptable.
Mercedes as Brittany: She made me laugh with her imitation of Brittany's deadpan vacancy-behind-the-eyes, so that's a win. Frankly, my favorite part was when she and Artie shared a peck on the lips. I cackled for joy. Best Brittana kiss ever.
Artie as Santana: Bow. The ponytail twirling and hood-eyed condescension brought tears of mirth to my eyes.
Santana as Artie: meh. Still too much Santana in that.
Sugar as Quinn, Rory as Sam, Sam as Rory, Mike as Joe: literally did nothing of note.
Sue as Will, Will as Sue: were equally amazing in terms of getting their characters spot on. It was both appalling and fascinating. Mainly I am now curious about seeing Matthew Morrison with gloriously shiny, straightened hair more often. It's like 3 shades lighter and looks so much softer.
The most important things to take away from all of this are:
1) How freakishly hard I ship Finchel as played by Chris/Jenna. I might even just be straightforward shipping Kurt/Tina. I don't even know. It's confusing and wonderful. I kept waiting for them to cut to the shot of them making out.
2) I have seen at least one person ship Rachel/Goth!Rachel. This seems like an acceptable solution to me, although obviously what they meant to say was "they would be awesome as twin sisters." First twin meme I have not loathed on sight! Get on it, Tumblr.
This was precious in context. Here Rachel-as-Tina sort of looks like she's plotting how to kill Tina-as-Rachel.
3) You couldn't really make fanfic out of it, but it is a source of endless daydream potential to think about all these bodyswaps, and then imagine the rest of the series like this. It really stretches your brain. And just think how many scenes you can play with like they're brand new now.
Obnoxious Fake Klaining
It's easier if you remind yourself that this is how Tina sees them (or wants to see them), being excessively affectionate. Still, the affectionate hand-holding as played by Cory and Mark stung a little, and when we got the head on shoulder I officially blew up. "Okay. Now Glee is just fucking with me." I cannot even calculate how long I have been dying for a background head-on-shoulder moment during a song. You are interpreting the wishlist wrong again, show! Photoshop this problem immediately, Tumblr.
Honestly, my favorite part with them was that itty-bitty background fight about Chandler. They both got the tones down so perfectly (passive-aggressive snippy and lovingly exasperated, respectively; I particularly loved the gesture of Not!Kurt brushing off his boyfriend's shoulders) that I continually forget that wasn't really Kurt and Blaine. My head substitutes the voices; it's spooky.
The first time I heard "I Won't Give Up" on the radio a month ago, my first instinct was that it was already a Glee song. It just had that "this sounds appealing but wrong" aspect to it. In retrospect, I think I was just recognizing that the lyrics were lovely and totally ruined by having this boring, whiny dude sing it. Unfortunately, by this point in time it has been thoroughly ruined with overplay, beyond the point at which Rachel can rescue it. Which sucks, because Rachel's voice is exactly the rescue this song has been begging for. I would have probably loved it if Glee was the first place I'd heard it. Anyway, really nice montage. One of the few moments Rachel has gotten to shine on her own and remind me why she was once my favorite.
I was really on board with her later "this is what it's like to be me" speech until she listed "keeping my boyfriend physically satisfied" to her list of things she has to fit into her overfilled schedule. Are you KIDDING ME. Gross. Gross and disappointing. Not that I want to hear her talk about how much she enjoys it, god no, but it still leaves a really sour taste in my mouth when she phrases it like that. On bright side, it allows me to direct all my anger and loathing straight at Finn for being such a stupid, stereotypical, one-dimensional BOY. (in a much less awesome way than Kurt)
I nearly always tune out the "That's what you missed on Glee" as irrelevant white noise, but holy crap, that was some self-aware perfection this week: The Glee club's been ignoring Tina all year long. Actually, she kind of got ignored last year too. Actually, Tina's sort of been ignored the whole time, and she's been in the New Directions since like forever. The first time she got a solo, she insisted she was bad and forced Mr. Schue to give the song to Rachel, and every solo since she's either gotten booed or started crying uncontrollably. No one noticed that she went from dressing punk to dressing Goth to dressing like a go-go dancer in 60s swinging London. She even got Mike Chang into college and hardly got a thank you. Sometimes people don't even seem to know her name.
The bold line is my favorite, because the evolution in Tina's appearance is matched only by Kurt, and I have always been curious about what it means and why does no one ever comment on it. Oh, and I loved the thousand and one appropriate flashback clips they had for all of the things referenced above. It's like they wanted to really make us aware that they are aware of how much they suck at writing her character
In addition to loving her opening hissy fit (I still can't believe Schue says "I put you in charge of costumes!" like it's a giant honor with a straight face), I thought it was really lovely when Mike rushed out after her. I was all geared up to finally actually SHIP THIS, and then all he had to say was "You're being selfish." Still...I kind of loved everything about their interaction anyway? I like swiftly-resolved conflict. The text fight was especially glorious. I want to learn how to text solely so that when someone asks what I'm doing, I can say I'm having a text fight.
Also, awww, I love behind the scenes stuff. The group sewing session is the kind of thing this show needs more of.
Friendshipping To The Moon
"I was singing Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat when Finn and Puck were still throwing slushies at us." Right in the heart muscle, show. That does sting. Although, in fairness, she took undisputed lead vocals on "ABC," and it was one of the best performances of the year.
I still can't believe how many scenes the two of them got (or how disappointed I am in myself for failing to properly cover them; sorry, I'm still in a daze). It was magic. Sheer magic. Whether in reality or the alt version of it, their interactions were priceless. Just seeing them in the car put the biggest, stupidest grin on my face, and even though I do not agree with Stalker Rachel's methods of harassment to cheat her way into NYADA (I love Whoopi Goldberg. Her every scene should not be a painful exercise in secondhand embarrassment), it fills up a special warm place in my heart when effusive praise from other people's mouths bubbles forth for her. I love how it's just not possible to hate Rachel. Her magic powers eventually win over everyone.
As for the final number, I want to love it but I keep forgetting a) what it is called ("Flashdance ("What A Feeling)" and b) how the melody goes. Still, they just looked so HAPPY singing it that I might put it on my lsit of favorite performances for the season. That they sang it at Tina's request is particularly sweet. I've never seen the grade differences make a difference before (for the obvious reason of "nobody bothered to specify grade differences before this year"), but this is the first time where I got a sense that Rachel might actually be an intimidating presence. Not in the way Santana is outright terrifying, but where you don't hang out in the older girl's friend circle and actually talking to her one on one is sort of intimidating, especially after she went from being the group's social outcast to being ridiculously popular.
P.S. This has nothing to do with Tina or Rachel, but as I lack a "miscellaneous" category, this comes closest. I just want to point out how much I love this shot and how instrumental this was in me deciding that Joe and Sam need to strike up a friendship immediately:
"Is that a movie?"
Words Like Knives and Swords Like Weapons That You Use Against Me
Let's just say that I hated everything about the Bieste/Puck storylines, with the awesome exception of Puck getting his ass kicked before brandishing a knife (both of which are things I have long wanted to see, except for stupid knife turning out to be a prop). But I hated nothing so much as the horrific butchering of "Mean." Why do you hate me when I show you nothing but love? Do you know how long I have been dying for them to cover a Taylor Swift song? Do you know I excited I was when they picked one of my favorites? Giving it two of the worst voices is just...mean.
Super happy for Rick that he got into Ohio State, though! I expected nothing less of him. I am not kidding, I am more invested in his future than I am in Noah "Human Garbage" Puckerman.
As for the Unnecessarily Continued Adventures of Domestic Abuse... "You really think someone can change that fast?" Judgmental ladies, what if the punch was aberrant behavior? Do you believe someone can change from loving to abusive that fast? The episode continued to do a piss poor job of showing me why she needed to move out, until the very end, when he went from apologizing to insulting in the same breath, and then his general ugliness of face and personality finally made "move out" the winning choice by default. This storyline still didn't deserve a tenth of the time spent on it. I don't care who loves you, Beast. Go the hell away. You have not been relevant since Will kissed you.
In conclusion: my ability to rank episodes gave up and died after 3x16, but I'm sure this is going in my top half. Might even get pretty high. I feel like it might be one of those sneaky better-with-age devils, given how many times I have watched clips from it this week.
One hour to decide if I'm going to buckle down on "Nationals" or watch Glee live. I don't know if you know this, but I am literally not emotionally prepared to deal with their graduation. I have spiraled into a tiny mini-depression this week that consists of reading my senior year journals and yearbook signatures and crying my eyes out over endings. Watching everybody disband, on the cusp of flying away, was one of the worst events of my life and reliving the situation is, frankly, traumatic.