The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Useless

Santana was so spirit animal material in this episode. Except I am neither Hispanic nor Lebanese and that's really neither here nor there... I present to you guys a post that lacks any and all italics.











So here I am, and everything still hurts, so saying something along the lines of "everything is Glee and nothing hurts" would not only be redundant, it would also be false. Also, I've flailed and squeed and generally made a complete mess out of myself for the past couple of hours and now I want to do this properly. A proper technical discussion about 2x18, Born This Way.

Terribly sorry for the coloring, by the way. Do I always apologize for the coloring? Seems like it. I know I prefer yellow over anything else but sometimes yellow doesn't work with certain lights but I full speed ahead color it that way anyways. There's three others that I didn't include up there because the coloring made the pictures look more blurry than it should but yeah, onwards. 

There's no denying that things have been wonky with Glee lately and it's gone way past the plots. Sometimes, when a show overuses crazy ass plots and story lines - and for the purposes of this post, I'll use The OC as an example - they still manage to retain the essence that originally made the show magic in the first place. Like, at the end of the first season when Ryan leaves Marissa and also at the end of the fourth when Marissa dies. I think that everything in between that was strictly The OC, like I can just tune in randomly to a scene not involving any of the main characters and know right off the bat, oh, The OC's on. I won't say that the show was perfect because hello, Mischa Barton, and I won't say that The OC had perfect (or even all that good) pacing because some episodes lagged terribly (I should know - I have ran this show on marathon from start to finish straight). But what the show did get right was tone. I think for the most part it might be the music selections, something which set the show apart from other shows. Gossip Girl also does a good job with music selections. It's nowhere near as memorable as The OC, but it's surprisingly not all that bad for a show that went downhill ever since the first season wrapped up.

I think that music is probably what sets the show's tone, more than acting or story lines or what have you. And that's probably where Glee went wrong. Original Songs, despite having some of the strongest plot material since the show returned from hiatus with The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle (which had Bills, Bills, Bills, which kind of interrupted the flow of the story, if you asked me, and thus made the whole episode shaky from that point forwards - not to mention the absurdity of Finn's involvement in the Cheerio's plot) still wasn't Gleeful enough and I think that it's mostly due to the pacing, which was just all over the place and one thing that shouldn't lead to another actually led to another and it was just messy. Everything went really downhill from Silly Love Songs and Blame It and Sexy were just terribly executed despite having strong enough material to form something worth the effort.

So here we have a fifty something minute of Glee, which was supposed to be the go-to episode for accepting your flaws, all revolving around Gaga's Born This Way (stop trying to push things, for God's sake. Night of Neglect was the only episode since Blame It that didn't try too hard to be "out there" - and may I remind everyone of the horror that was RHGS? - and it was drop dead boring) and... it was so flat. It just sort of built something up at the beginning and like a poorly constructed souffle, it just sort of collapsed in on itself. Not even Chris's magical rendition of As If We Never Said Goodbye quite saved it (and as a Kurtsie, I am happy and not even obliged to say it but it was breathtaking and it literally made my jaw drop and I couldn't do anything at all, just stare at him, stare at perfection - but from a completely separate vantage point, the fact that the song ran a little on the long side might have contributed to the already growing problems this episode faced with pacing).

I don't really know how this could possible be fixed because the problem is so internal and it's not at all on the surface, not something as easy as "take out this scene and we've got it!", because it's more or less the underlying feeling of something is wrong. But I will have this to say though: while the "ninety" minutes were enjoyable and some of the plots actually made sense and I didn't mind Quinn's insane back to the past trip or Lauren's straight up bullying of Quinn or the whole Santana and Dave thing because it ended in Kurt coming back to McKinley (although after reading all those fanfiction, gotta admit, the whole thing was sort of anticlimactic), they shouldn't have stretched themselves so thin. Maybe if the story line had been played for a span of a couple of episodes instead of crammed and jammed into one whole "ninety" minute thing, it could have been better? Rachel's story line, while petty, was actually surprisingly not all that bad and I for one didn't mind watching it. Finn was quite sweet to Quinn and even though Quinn's changed beyond recognition (although she still sometimes does remind me of the You Keep Me Hangin' On Quinn), it made the Fuinn shipper in me rejoice. SOWK was, as we all already know, flawless beyond compare, and I don't care if you don't care about The Warblers, I love them and am going to be forever saddened by the fact that I'm not going to see them anymore. (Still going to Twitter stalk them, of course!) And I really enjoyed the accompaniment for SOWK and I've Gotta Be Me. It's been a while since I've enjoyed the music more than the performance and it's nice for a change. Although, straight up, SOWK was gorgeous as a performance and Darren fucking killed it. And then resurrected it back from the dead.

Now that I'm done discussing pacing (the conclusion of which is, Glee, fix your pacing because that was "ninety" minutes of not crap, per se, but couldn't you just see the whole thing being so much better?), I'm doing tone. Tonal is a word. But I think it's more or less something like tonality or has a direct connection to that so I won't use it. Why are these sentences even included here? Anyways, yeah, tone. The Front 13 did a good job of keeping things consistent, tone-wise, and I definitely remember the growing sense of hopelessness I get after each and every Back 9 episode. This whole episode was largely inefficient because of its tone and I'll get through everything, scene by scene but I'm afraid I'm not up to pictures because my Photoshop is shitting on itself right now and I'm thinking of Uninstalling it and Installing it again. But that takes ages. So anyways. Oh, by the way, I'm going to continue by exclusively discussing about the tone of the scene unless I get sidetracked (which I probably will) and start to get bogged down by the acting or dialog or plot.

It kind of starts off where Night of Neglect left off, which was in the auditorium and one of the reasons Night of Neglect failed to make me feel anything at all is because of the fact that mostly the entire episode consisted of only the original Glee people plus Emma, Sue and her minions and Holly Holliday. It created a sort of bubble that made everything the show was centered around before, WMHS and its students, exist outside of that bubble and it was all like an elaborate dream. So to start off in the auditorium again with Booty Camp was sort of smart, I guess, because it eased the story in instead of smacking them in the middle of the hallways straight off the bat. Maybe it would have been more Glee if the scene was in the choir room but whatever. And the entire scene sets up Rachel's nose job story line and moves them along to the next scene, Rachel's doctor's. Pace-wise, it's okay so far. And, like I said, despite being kind of stupid, the Rachel's nose plot wasn't poorly executed. So there's definitely that. And the fact that they zoomed in on Rachel's nose, cut to title card, and zoomed out from Quinn's was nice.

Ignoring the fact that Santana's dressed kind of like an Eskimo, her "if you don't like it, change it" speech was one of the only things in the entire episode that reminded me of the fact that, yeah, we are in fact in Season 2 of Glee, and we're actually on the eighteenth episode. In fact, Santana's entire story line was the only constant reminder. The rest was a mixture of a bunch of different Glee episodes presented and compressed into one episode. (Will's "what you'd most like to change about yourself is the most interesting part of you" reminded me of Ballad when he told Rachel that one day, she'll find someone who will like her, flaws and all).

Every time a Wemma scene pops up, I can't get over the fact that they've been through so much crap. And now that Carl is gone, it seems like they're starting from square one again. I'm still torn over the whole Emma story line. The way she was forced to come to terms with her OCD was kind of unsettling. I don't know, this probably has nothing to do with the tone of the scene, it's probably the script and maybe Matt and Jayma both interpreted the plot in a different way. As much as I would love for them to just give up Wemma, I know they are as endgame as it gets so I'll have to endure every single confusing scene of theirs until the end of Glee. And even if they graduate the current cast, Will will probably still teach Glee and that probably means more Wemma for us to enjoy.

To be honest, I'm kind of getting tired of Santana putting Brittany down. I know Brit's not the brightest bulb on the tanning bed, but the fact that she's always being mentally insulted by Santana bugs me a little. If Santana's just saying them out loud, it might have a completely different effect but she's internally feeling all of this for Brittany so shouldn't she be less... ruthless towards her? The Santana/Karofsky situation was, like I said, the only thing that reminds me that this is a Season 2 episode is these two.

Can I just say that it's a bit weird that they're making the Lima Bean everyone's go-to hangout place? Not that I'm complaining and not that it really matters but it disrupts the tone. Probably another reason why Klaine shouldn't be in The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle. Having Mercedes and Rachel hang out with them then was great and all but it's disruptive. The Lima Bean kind of feels like Kurt and Blaine's place, so having anyone else there just makes me jump straight to scenes from Silly Love Songs or Blame It On the Alcohol. It's not anything against the narrative but it does weird things to the tone of the show. I think someone else said it better (although I can't remember who and from what post) when they said that the reason they're glad Kurt's back at McKinley is because it's too disruptive to the narrative and tone to have him be at Dalton all season long.

I love Santana in this episode, actually. Like Nisa said, she's so mean but so sad. It's like she's unwilling to admit it, but everything she's doing, she's doing it for Brittany. "I've gotta gay" reminds me of something they've actually done before, actually, which was The Substitute scene with Mercedes's daydreaming a pink purse falling out of Kurt's mouth and while not necessarily the same premise, it's still an unwanted interruption.

I'm trying to enjoy all of these things but they keep messing with the tone, it's annoying. One of the most horribly executed thing the episode has managed so far has got to be Faberry. The reason Faberry worked so well, all those moons ago, pre-Sectionals when Rachel tells Finn the truth about Quinn's baby and they meet up in that alcove, with the blue and cream color palette, and Rachel tells Quinn that she could punch her anywhere but the nose, was because of their dynamic. And just like I can't ship Fuinn anymore because of what they've turned into, the people they have become, I can't say anything good about Faberry anymore because in this instance, what made them great as a pairing or just friends in the first place doesn't work anymore. The auditorium scene where they're supposed to write a song together was pitch perfect, I think, and a good set-up for this episode and I thought that given the fact that I liked that scene in Original Songs, I would like all the Faberry in this episode as well but it kind of sucked, actually.

I think what it all comes down to is the fact that Quinn's a fake. That she used to be Lucy (and seriously, where in hell's name did they get that from? I don't use the term "out of left field" loosely, not when it concerns Glee, but this kind of jumped a few sharks, don't you think?) and she's not perfect Quinn from Season 1. They tried so hard to warp Quinn into a believable character but there's so many other places to take her, after what she's been through with the pregnancy, a whole of a lot of other places than this. To be even more honest and to avoid risking sounding like a broken record, I like Quinn's plot. I like the whole prom queen thing and I didn't even mind the fact that Lauren Zizes was involved. But maybe it's Dianna (and I'd hate to say that, really) or maybe it's the script but the whole thing was so off. Rachel and Quinn and then later on Quinn and Lauren was a mixture of that Sectionals scene and the auditorium scene from Original Songs and then some and it just didn't work. I also didn't really like I Feel Pretty/Unpretty as much as others do. It's not the harmonies, I think, because Quinn and Rachel's voice mash up surprisingly well together. But other than the chorus, the rest of the song wasn't as vocally strong as I would have liked it to be.

Also, the directing in this episode was so... Maybe the Finn and Quinn locker scene knocked me off for a while or maybe it's the whole damn thing but it's just so weird.

I've come this far and my Photoshop's still fucked up so I'll just end this here. This Is My Blog™ and I can post whatever I want, complete or not. I'll just slowly back away now. By the way, I didn't make sense to you? Good. I didn't make sense to myself neither. 

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