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Glee Review: "Grilled Cheesus"

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It's safe to say that Glee is the only show on television that could depict a character dressed like Britney Spears one week, replete with a snake wrapped around her scantily-clad body, and tackle the topic of religion the following week.

But while I thought the show paid disservice to its characters and any sense of storytelling on "Brittany/Britney," I was blown away by the mature way it broached God, atheism and spirituality on "Grilled Cheesus."

Praying to a Sandwich

Let's start with the performance of Chris Colfer and hand this actor an Emmy nomination for next year already. He was simply incredible.

Throughout the hour, I was assuming Burt Hummel would awaken from his coma and Kurt would acknowledge that God played a role in his dad's recovery. But the show resisted such an obvious, politically correct resolution.

I don't wish to start a debate on religion (and I ask readers to be courteous and respectable in their comments below), but it was refreshing to see Glee not espouse any one message or points of view on the episode - aside from the overall idea of tolerance.

We were treated to a number of various takes on God, some humorous (Finn wants his kids to "totally go to Jew church and wear those hats and eat that salty orange stuff with their bagels."), others serious (Why should Kurt believe, he asks, when God "makes me gay and then makes His followers go around saying it's a choice, as if I'd choose to be mocked every day of my life?"), but all treated with respect and all realistic.

There are people out there who really do believe they've seen Jesus Christ is something mundane as a sandwich, and those that thank God every time they touch a boob. There are also those that take Emma's practical approach, leaving the big questions as a mystery and blaming everyday occurrences of the non-supernatural, and those that don't believe... but clearly want to. Like Sue Sylvester.

In the end, this was the most serious episode Glee has ever aired (though Brittany was still around to tell us that whenever she prays, she falls asleep; and to ask if God was an evil dwarf) and it could have been the most predictable and cheesy.

Instead, it provided the best showcase yet for Colfer and also for Mercedes as a singer (I LOVED "Bridge Over Troubled Water"), while giving viewers a chance to laugh, cry and simply think about how an issue such as religion can touch so many people in so many different ways. Bravo.

What did you think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (274 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I can't believe that people are actually hating on Grilled Cheesus. Really? Underneath all the fun and stereotypical characters Glee has taken on some tough issues and started doing it straight out of the gate. Whether you love or hate the fact that Kurt is a gay Atheist, or Finn was praying to a grilled cheese, let's face facts... The teen years are full of confusion regarding just about everything including religion and spirituality. Glee managed to tackle this grey area, bring in a few points of view, and gave us a lesson in tolerance. Kudos to Glee for bringing us Grilled Cheesus. This is the only show in creation that could bring us a straight forward episode involving religion and spirituality and make us laugh, tear up, and remember our own teen choices (good or bad) without brow beating the audience.

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@Brent - everyone has their own opinion on religion. Emma was just telling Finn that so that he doesn't start getting false ideas. She wasn't telling him to stop - just that not everything is controlled by god. I am a christian and I think they handled this episode very well. I believe that people should stop 'dissing' the episode because they made Kurt an atheist!!! that was his opinion in life, and he believed that, even if god existed, he wasn't good. and he would've been angry at god for doing that to his dad! But in the end, he accepted the others prayers...or said that he should've, which is practically the same thing! But I think it's plain rude for you to dislike that. there are plenty of people in society who are atheist...and Kurt is the shows representation of them! Now stop moaning!!! I loved the songs...but @Bex, they put in unpopular good songs because they can't just do songs everyone knows. Like I knew most of the songs in this episode, but in previous episodes I've never heard any of them! I can't believe people are seriously taking such a bad view to this episode. They tackled everything that society has to say about religion! As well as those who don't believe it. Those who do, and those who find it in weird places!!! I think Finn just needed to realise that he didn't need to pray to a 'grilled cheesus' to get his prayers answered...and that he can do things himself...it's not always fate. Awesome episode!!! Loyal viewer forever. I hated the Britney episode...but every show has its bad episodes!!! That was Glees. And they just need to get into a steady storyline first. and there might already be one - just everyone appears to be too oblivious to notice!

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Wow, hated it! It was stupid and one-sided to the left! You lost me as a viewer!

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I hated this episode to the point I may not continue watching Glee. I am fine with having a show which displays certain values I don't agree with. However, as a Christian I felt there was a very strong anti-God and discriminatory message the show made. Finn is one of the few with faith and it involves praying to a sandwich and disrespecting Jesus. He eventually loses his faith because the guidance counsellor who seems to have faith talks him out of any practical point to his faith. "God doesn't answer silly requests because he has more important things to do" was the gist of what she said. Sue's sister has faith, but she is mentally handicapped so she get's a free pass from her simple naive mind. Kurt just pissed me off. Came across like a whiny, bitchy religion bigot. There was no balance in the show. I didn't think it had to end with God answering the prayers, but at least try to be less obvious in it's clear disdain for faith and people of faith.

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For me, the only really bad part of this episode was Finn's arc. Yeah some of the other characters were a tad annoying (with forcing their faith onto someone who was asking for them to lay off a little) but they were well written and it was all intended.
Finn however is just becoming more of an idiot as the show goes on. Fine he thinks he's seen Jesus on his grilled cheese (won't get into the stupid naming it 'Grilled Cheesus' which was fine for the episode title but not for him to keep referring to it as throughout the episode, if he really thought it was Jesus surely he'd show some respect and call him his proper name), but when thinking he REALLY grants wishes and they come true he doesn't use one for Burt (who he seems to care about and also with the knowledge of what it's like to lose a father you'd think he'd want Kurt to NOT experience that, being his friend)?!
That was just stupid. The guy is a total bonehead. I used to think he was just a loveable dipstick, but now I think he's a total moron.
Thank goodness the other Glee members are smarter (even Brittany tried to help Kurt with her assignment!!!).

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Apparently I am the only one who hated Kurt's Rendition of I want to Hold Your hand. I guess because I am really into the history of music and what not. I guess we are all entitled to our opinions. Mine being that the worst part of the episode was Kurt's singing that song, and by singing I mean ruining it.

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I hated Kurt's rendition of the Beatles I want to hold your hand. Yeah great story and what not, I just didn't think that it was very well performed. I know all the songs are auto-tuned but this one was autotuned to freaking death, and it was more obvious in this one than in others. But other than that I liked it.

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I like what one of the posters said here, I do not like that they make people who don't believe in God because they suffered some kind of adversity in life. I have a gay daughter and I do not blame God when she suffers discrimination, I blame the small-minded people. There isnt a God anywhere in any religion doesnt want His/Her subject to be happy. If you do not believe in God or a power high above, fair enough, but do so because you think so not because you cannot get what you want (in Sue's case, her sister to be normal, in Kurt's case, not to be put down by non-gay supporters).

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wow, this was a bad episode actaull7

Anna-maria

I LOVED this episode! I am an atheist but I would never do what Kurt or Sue did, I would appreciate the prayers, and although I think religion is just another fairytale or myth, it's hard to say I wouldn't turn to prayer in a moment like that..that being said, I loved the episode and I can't believe how they found a such a perfect little Kurt, he's Chris's clone!