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Glee Review: Let's Hear It for Love!

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As you might expect on a Valentine's Day-themed episode titled "Heart," Glee sent a message to viewers this week: Love conquers all.

Even eye injuries. Even scheming parents. Even long-held religious beliefs.

The only problem with the installment? We never actually saw what love had to conquer. Indeed, Glee skipped over every possible tense moment or conversation and just cut right to the sweet stuff, eventually concluding, appropriately enough, in The Sugar Shack.

Rachel's Dads

Rachel and Finn get into a legitimate argument over cohabitating and possibly rushing into marriage before knowing important traits about each other? Eh, why bother showing us how this couple actually moved past the disagreement and cut to them in bed. It's Valentine's Day after all!

Mercedes breaks the heart of her boyfriend, to the point that she can't even be with the person she loves so dearly and it forces her to sing the world's saddest, most emotional ballad? Eh, why actually depict her chat with Shane? There's a song to sell on iTunes!

Joe - a character we're introduced to and who instantly anchors the heavy, profound topic of Christianity versus homosexuality - is initially hesitant to sing for a gay couple? Eh, why depict any kind of struggle or realization? Let's just have him get over it and croon!

As it so often does, Glee tossed out a number of potentially intriguing storylines here... only to simply skip past any kind of build-up or earned resolution in lieu of as many songs as it could squeeze into an hour. These people aren't characters any more; they're just a set of vocal chords and limbs, uttering a few lines of dialogue to try and set a tone before jumping into their next cover.

I really do not want this to turn into a biblical debate - please be respectful in the Comments - but allow me to say/ask this: Almost everyone who still loves Glee tells me the same thing: Relax. Lighten up. It's frickin Glee! It's not meant to be taken seriously!!! Now... I have never bought into that because Ryan Murphy has made it clear he DOES intend for Glee to have an impact on society (see Kurt, bullying storyline).

But let's say one accepts the premise that Glee is meant to be taken as nothing but mindless entertainment -- in that case, is it really appropriate to actually delve into Christianity and homosexuality? To throw around bible quotes and interpretations? That goes to the heart of my constant issue with the show; it's anything BUT mindless entertainment. It brings up MAJOR issues, yet doesn't take them seriously, or doesn't follow through on them, or wraps them up in a corny, unrealistic, obvious way (hey, let's make the high school bully gay, and then let's make him fall for Kurt!).

The response from Gleeks to my criticism should not be for me to relax; it should be for the series itself to relax and actually air light, fluffy, meaningless episodes, not ones that tackle religion, sex, marriage and monogamy. Glee wants to come across like its profound by touching on various buzzwords and topics - but then it just gives up and solves everything with a song.

Were there aspects of this episode I enjoyed? Absolutely.

I'll take as much Jeff Goldblum as I can get and I hope this isn't the last we see of Rachel's dads. Forget couple's nicknames, they formed the first ever family nickname in television history: HudsonHummelBerry. (Sounds like a Ben & Jerry's flavor I'd totally eat.) They also sort of stole Ellen DeGeneres' motto with Honesty. Respect. Dance. But I'll let it slide.

I laughed at Kurt asking if all Irish people carry around four-leaf clovers, and at Puck asking Rachel when the baby was due. Figgins made me chuckle with his "Finchel" reference and Sugar was also funny here and there, but like the food item after which she's named, this character is much better in doses.

There was far too much of her here, as well as far too much of many characters we barely know. Sugar. Joe. Karofsky. They all received a lot more screen time than Puck, Mike, Tina and Will, not to mention Emma, Sue and Beiste, who didn't even make an appearance, even though one of them is engaged, another is trying to have a baby and another just got married.

You'd think those facts would warrant some Valentine's Day love, wouldn't you?

But that would only be true if Glee was interested in any kind of continuity. When do you think we'll see Karofsky or Joe again? These guys pop in, dominate an hour because the writers conjure up some love theme for their characters and then just disappear for weeks.

And, yes, us viewers know Darren Criss was sidelined so he could briefly appear on How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. But Blaine wasn't actually on Broadway. Is there a reason Kurt acted SO shocked at his appearance? Do they not text and/or talk on the phone? Is he not allowed to visit? Why wouldn't Kurt have been aware of his well-being all along?

Is this a small complaint? Of course. But it goes along with the way Glee just insults its viewers by abandoning all semblances of logic.

So, yes, Gleeks, this is another negative review. I loved the performances, especially "Stereo Hearts" and "Cherish," but I fail to see why they can't be combined with consistent storytelling. If you're going to set up conflicts - such as Rachel and Finn's fight, and the God Squad's take on Santana/Brittany - is it really asking too much to depict how those conflicts are overcome?

What did everyone else think? Do you care about conflict resolution or merely about fun songs? Did you feel Mercedes' heartbreak or feel unattached to relationships (with Sam and with Shane) with which we've scarcely spent any time? And do phrases uttered tonight - such as Let's hear it for love! (Will) and That's what being Christian is really about. (Quinn, not long after she tried to set up her baby's adopted mother in a drug sting) - make you want to smile or vomit?

Review

Editor Rating: 2.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (303 Votes)

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

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Ssalunkhe

Finally Rachael and Finn getting married in episode 14 "On My Way".

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The first season of glee was fantastic. It focused on the talent of a group of kids performing for an art they loved. Now we have homosexual encounters more so than a healthy man and woman relationship standard. At first it was only a small issue but as time goes on it is beginning to become very distasteful and my family will be no longer watching this program if priorities are not identified. What happened to a group of young people chasing a dream and performing art tastefully and family oriented. Maybe you should consider changing the time it hours to a much later time since the sexual issues are very distubing and not prime time material.

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I completely agree with Matt on this review. Seasons 1 and 2 of Glee were mindless yet clever, hilarious and not-necessarily-PC entertainment...and I always enjoyed it! Season 3 has definitely slipped. Now I watch it to be loyal to a TV show I once knew and loved. The story line is EVERYWHERE,and the valentines day episode was so cheesy and awkward with too many tear-streamed faces that it was annoying to watch. Writers of Glee so obviously want to address society's most debated issues -- but they do so in such a poor, illogical way that they make themselves look dumb in the process. Not only that, they way they bring up issues are so awkward and unnecessary. Why force a uncomfortable/bad story script when you could just get back to what makes the show AWESOME: the characters and their abnormalities - like Sue Sylvester (the one wants to shoot Brittney out of a cannon)and Brittney (the stupid Brittney who thinks Santa Clause is real). What has gone wrong??

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I'm sorry but did anyone besides me flip out seeing Aaron Hill in this episode?! For those who don't know, Aaron Hill played "Beaver" in Greek on ABC Family

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Glee frustrates me. If you compare the first season to the current one, it's the difference between night and day. Glee *used* to use songs to highlight the excellent writing and storytelling it showcased. Now, it does nothing but promote radio singles and the occasional campy throwback like Love Shack. Take Joe for instance. They took about two minutes to introduce his character, explain his background, and then they threw him into a cover of Stereo hearts. It was a *great* cover. But what did Joe have to do with the rest of the story outside of his three lines, and his song? Glee deserves the backlash it's been receiving.

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Your review was pointless and absurd. Glee is "entertainment". Pure and simple! Without music, the vast majority of people, would simply wither and die. I am almost sure, that you can read between the lines, and follow the character's resolutions to their situations, without the writers and producers having to explain it to you in depth. This is an "intelligent" show. If you can't figure it out, turn the channel and "review" something that you can understand. you want to watch a program that resolves all of your "life's questions", and puts you in a depressed state of mind, watch a drama or a crime show. It isn't any wonder why our countries have such high crimes rates. It's BECAUSE people watch that garbage on television. It's hard to commit a crime if you are listening to some astoundingly talented youngsters, such as the one's on Glee. My advice is, if you are looking for great entertainment, and a show that makes the world a better place to live, tune into Glee.

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I think the reviewer is being treated unfairly..back in season 1 and sometimes in seasons 2, he gave it good reviews because it was a good show! I have only watched a handful of episodes from season 3 and though i intend to catch up, it's mainly because i want to see where the characters go. the writers cannot fling about such heavy issues as bullying, sexuality, disorders and then btrush them off with a song and dance. glee was so good in season 1 because the songs fitted the storyline,they enhanced each other and were believable. nothing was wrapped up easily and at moments it was sad but it was real and i was rooting for that group of lost people to succeed. now, i barely recognise the people that i loved back then and most of my friends agree.

Amygirl

Glee IS meant for entertainment. It is a comedy. It does tackle issues that teens today face with (mostly homosexuality to be honest) but I find for me at least that's not their main focus. I don't watch Glee to become educated, I watch because it just is silly and the music just adds fun to the show, or annoyance sometimes! I get you have to analyze the show as part of your job, but one time try watching Glee without any expectations: just music. You will enjoy it more. I'm not saying you should write a review with that perspective in mind however, it's fine to be analytical.

Amygirl

I know Glee has problems overall, but I liked this episode. Tina sang..! 3 stars already. I liked to see that Karovsky (sp) has had character development. No, we haven't seen it, but it was there and I'm happy to see him accepting himself, although I doubt he loves Kurt. Rachel's dads bring in a obstacle for Finchel, I wonder how that will play out. Most likely Rachel will find out and not want to marry a guy without her parents' permission. There was Santana getting sensitive again... sheesh pick your battles. So what if you can't kiss your gf in the halls? I hate all kinds of PDA... just ban it all! And for her to pick with the religious people was mean. They are allowed to have whatever opinion they want on homosexuality as long as they don't try to impose it on anyone. Artie and Rory getting all "dominant" is just so stupid in a ridiculous way, I get Sugar is rich but crap she's not Wonder Woman!
I ENJOYED this episode. I watched it without analyzing it, which is your job.

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You're not alone in your opinion that Glee has sunk, but that isn't the point. All those other people that say they've stopped watching Glee aren't the ones writing this review. THAT is the point.

Glee Season 3 Episode 13 Quotes

No single people allowed. They're sad. They're boring. And they don't exist in my world.

Sugar

Don't sweat the small stuff. And it's all small stuff when you're rich.

Sugar
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