Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Glee "Grilled Cheesus": Oh, God!

When I heard that Glee was going to tackle religion, I was understandably skeptical. But Glee often seems to work best when it amps up the degree of difficulty and mostly sticks the landing, as it does here. Religion is always a tough subject, and couple that with Kurt's objections to God having extra unintended levity (thanks to recent tragic events) and you have a recipe for face plant. "Grilled Cheesus" plays both sides here magnanimously, though, and somehow manages to be the best episode in a young season, even with the handicap of having a high schooler praying to a sandwich. (If you're going to do sandwich worship, hard to go wrong with this one.)

I guess it doesn't hurt that much of the drama revolved around Mike O'Malley as Kurt's dad Burt, probably the series favorite recurring character. The relationship between Kurt & Burt resonate more than any other in the series' short life. Even Sue Sylvester was mostly in check here, as her role ended up being fairly serious, thanks to the go-to tool for humanizing her -- her relationship with her older sister.

The music choices, as per usual, are all over the map thematically, even when the theme is so clearly laid out -- religion. Songs are chosen based on keyword searches (tags = "God" "Religion" "Catholic" etc.) and then given a minimal amount of contextual set up to plug the selection in. Rinse. Repeat. "Losing My Religion," while missing the point of the song's lyrics, worked o.k. as it's a song style that's not played out for the series, and the slow motion technique used during the fantasy portion of the song was reminescent of early 90's era music videos (and helped the song seamlessly cut into being a rehearsal performance). I really wanted to like "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" as much as everyone else seems to have, but my gag reflex kicked in when the auto-tune got revved up early in the song. Extra points, though, for whoever did the casting on the younger Kurt (wow).

BEGIN TANGENT: When the final number kicked in, "One of Us," after throwing up a bit in my mouth, I was reminded of a story I'd once heard about producer Rick Chertoff, The Hooters and a resistant Joan Osborne. Hooters members Eric Bazilian (songwriter) and Rob Hyman (who gets credit for 'discovering' Osborne) were working with Chertoff and Osborne on the album (Relish) and this song was sprung on a reluctant Osborne. She's since come to terms with it (a hit is a hit) but at the time, the story goes, she felt like she was strong-armed into first including it on the album, and then as a single. For someone who claims to not be religious at all, Bazilian has gone to the religion well many times, perhaps thanks to early success with the concept with early favorite "All You Zombies," a song centered on Moses receiving the ten commandments. (Ok, that was a long and probably unecessary tangent, but I did just legitimately work the word 'Hooters' into this post -- let's see if that gets us any traffic ;)

Glee - Episode 2.03
1. "Only the Good Die Young" - Glee Cast [Amazon] [iTunes]
2. "I Look to You" - Glee Cast [Amazon] [iTunes]
3. "Papa, Can You Hear Me" (from Yentl) - Glee Cast [iTunes]
4. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" - Glee Cast [Amazon] [iTunes]
5. "Losing My Religion" - Glee Cast [Amazon] [iTunes]
6. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - Glee Cast [Amazon] [iTunes]
7. "One of Us" - Glee Cast [Amazon] [iTunes]

Previously: "Britney/Brittany" (Episode 2.02)

1 comment:

pinkberry said...

seems everybody is watching the show....