Happy New Year!
Did everyone have a good 2012? You all excited about 2013? I am! But mainly because thirteen is my lucky number so I’m hoping 2013 will be my lucky year. Also my birthday is in a few days so I’m super excited about that!
Although you know bored out of school because school won’t start back up for me until the beginning of February. So I expect to be battling with writer’s block and then not on and off these next few weeks. Ugh you can feel my eye roll from here. Seriously why is it when I have no time I have all these brilliant ideas but when I do have time my brain decides to shut off?
It seems counterproductive or something.
So anyway most websites (at least the ones I visit) usually do a Top (Insert Number Here) of (Insert Year Here). So since I have my glee blog here I am going to do a list of my own.
(Also I should really stop writing lists because I feel I am writing way too many of them.)
So I decide to do a top ten glee episodes of 2012 and ONLY 2012. So that means I’m rating all the episodes we got in 2012 from season three episode ten’s “Yes/No” to season four episode ten’s “Glee, Actually”. So any and all episodes are available for this list and maybe I’ll do like the top five worst that we got for the year too or something in another post.
(Spoilers up until season four episode ten “Glee, Actually”. Also remember this list is opinion based and that I am only covering episodes from the year of 2012 regardless of season. Also this contains a lot of ranting, applying real world logic to glee and drooling over Matt Bomer. You have been warned.)
Oh side note since I talk about Unique/Wade Adams in this. If I have Wade then I call her Wade (guy clothes). When Unique is Unique then I call her Unique. I don’t know if this is proper etiquette and if it’s wrong then someone please correct me but it’s what I’m doing right now. Until someone corrects me.
10) “The New Rachel” (season four, episode one)
This is the episode of what my friends and I call “The Beginning of the Era of Cautious Optimism”. Now I know must people were all like ‘I’m going to jump ship because you know my favorite character isn’t going to be on all the time’. Which cue eye roll from me. I think this is fascinating. I mean hell I remember before season three started a lot of critics said that there needed to be new blood in the cast this year because the old blood was getting…whatever blood does when it gets old. I mean I was really hopeful after seeing this episode and so was my friend who I live-blog (is it live blogging when it’s over emails?) with during the show. Well not super hopeful but like I said cautious optimism.
All of the stories presented were compelling. We see how graduates Rachel and Kurt are currently fairing (not so well for Kurt who really needs a hug). We see that the New Directions left have gotten really full of themselves and that they do need to be torn down a bit in order to be built bigger and stronger. The new characters introduced…well at least Jake and Marley had stuff set up for them that could provide interesting stories for the season. Jake’s journey in having to accept his family and Marley with her mother that leads to the eating disorder subplot. Kitty is well…a bitch and I don’t like her at the present and didn’t like her on first meeting but I am trying to give her a…somewhat fair chance. Brody is um pretty? He has very lovely abs. That’s really all I can say about Brody.
We also get Cassie who I kind of adore because you know someone needs to show Rachel the real world. That you can’t just want it hard enough or stalk someone into giving you a second that you need to honestly work for something. (Does Rachel learn this? Um…I think that’s a discussion another post).
So why is this episode at number ten? The writers are still getting used to the new format. From a narrative standpoint it did flow together as well as it could in the circumstances. Plus I don’t really have anything to compare what glee is trying to do here. However, there were clear conflicts that were resolved along with threads weaved in to be explored later in the season. Still though rewatching it there is a feeling of growing pains here that keeps this episode from being higher on my list. Still it’s a fantastic start to a season that has so far made very very cautiously optimistic because I want it to do so well.
9) “Saturday Night Glee-ver” (season three, episode sixteen)
Maybe I’m a very weird person but when I heard that glee was doing a disco episode I let out an embarrassing squeal of delight. OHMYGOD I was so excited guys! It’s not even funny how excited I was. I don’t think disco is terrible. I think it’s hilarious. It’s just so cheesy and so wonderful. And yes we got you know Disco Duck out of disco and well we can blame on the seventies being the seventies and everyone was on drugs. Still. I was excited. I didn’t even have my usual tribute episode trepidation. I just wanted the disco music.
And I prayed for the white polyester suits. If you hate or dislike this episode okay but it’s just on the list due to just the wonderfulness of this concept to me.
Although I am sad that they didn’t do Le Freak. Sigh. I can’t get everything but what I got I was happy.
There was the addressing of the seniors who don’t seem to have a set plan for their lives: Mercedes, Santana and Finn. (Although why wasn’t Puck brought in on this? I mean I know he had that whole pool cleaning idea but couldn’t someone have included him or something?) And well it was interesting. I’m willing to buy Mercedes getting a recording contract from the Disco Inferno YouTube video thing because that does happen. Plus it’s not like she’s a big star she’s going to be doing background vocals so I’ll add points for realism. Santana learning that there are good and bad types of fame? Yes. Okay I am with you on this lesson glee because again it is a lesson and legitimate separation of a type of fame that you want and a type of fame that you would rather not have.
And then we get to Finn.
Sigh. Oh Finn baby darling why do the writers love to mess with you so much? I mean it’s not as bad as Will or Kurt but yeah they love to give you the shaft don’t they? So let me ask something guys.
Where the fuck did this actor thing come from?! What the hell?! I would have bought you know anything other than this acting thing because it came totally out of left field. Finn wasn’t even in the school play. Why would he want to be an actor otherwise?!
Ugh. Headache coming on. And it’s glee induced.
So I liked Mercedes and Santana’s lessons just fine and I also loved all the disco music. What else did we get? Wade “Unique” Adams who I freaking adore and would love to be best friends with forever and ever. She is sassy and funny. And okay Alex Newell desperately needed some acting lessons which judging by season four he got but Unique was what she needed to be at the time. Unique is just funny and sassy and struts like she’s owns that goddamn stage.
When they brought Unique back for season four on a more permanent basis there was some pretty epic dancing going on to to Boogie Shoes.
Oh yeah Boogie Shoes. That’s all I have to say because there is no argument because Boogie Shoes is just awesome. And you are a liar if you did not shake your boogie to that song.
8) Glease (season four episode six)
Okay see? This is a lot better than what we got when glee decided to do West Side Story. Look if you want to talk about having your first time and the like great more power to you I understand. However, what made that episode suck was that they mashed it up with West Side Story. Dude if you’re going to make a school music a thing then at least give it an episode. It deserves some respect here because dude it’s freaking West Side Story.
And I get that real world logic doesn’t apply to glee I really truly do but NO ONE called Artie out on telling Blaine and Rachel to get laid? Really? Seriously? Rachel basically admitted it to Finn and I would have been totally fine with him punching Artie because that is the most dumbass thing I’ve ever heard ever.
Also you know you could have thrown in some of the more updated version with the Spanish and whatnot. It would have made a lot more sense then that damn The Spanish Teacher episode (season three episode twelve). Just saying.
So “Glease” is what I think a school musical done right looks like. Or well as much of a school musical as it can be. Still though everything felt so much more cohesive than what we got with The First Time. The songs matched what was going on well. There were no weird cuts like with the directing in The First Time. Everything made sense in context and the music to how it was shot. The only thing that makes me twitchy about it is the well Kitty getting Marley to have bulimia through shrinking her clothes. It doesn’t make the bulimia story line any less compelling it’s just something stupid and makes me want to cut off Kitty’s high pony.
Then there’s Santana coming back because what? But Glee logic doesn’t need to have much I suppose.
Despite that flaw (and to me it’s more of minor flaw check out Glee and Social Issues if you don’t believe me) it’s a very well written and put together episode. And the music oh dear God the music. I like Grease but I love Glease especially There Are Worse Things I Can Do. That is one of the most perfectly casted and recorded and shot songs since I Feel Pretty/Unpretty mash-up in season two episode eighteen’s “Born This Way”. I love that song so much that even if the rest of the episode was utter crap it would have automatically placed number ten on my list. But the rest of the episode is good so it places at eight instead.
(Watch for the guy clearly staring at Wade who I think is supposed to be singing in a fantasy sequence.)
7) Thanksgiving (season four episode eight)
What didn’t this episode have? There was Slapsgiving 2012. Quinn is dating her married professor and getting way too involved in Marley and Jake’s romance. Kitty manipulated her idol like a champ. Santana was the only one who figured out something was going on with Marley. However, she didn’t tell anyone. We had Isabelle continue to channel her Carrie Bradshaw. Drag queens in Kurt and Rachel’s New York apartment. Plus some closure on the Death of Klaine: The Relationship. OH! And we saw wee!Marley! I love it when we see the wee versions of the glee cast.
Oh! And the Rosedale Mennonites!
It’s like a Thanksgiving meal. Overstuffed with goodness although your Aunt Martha’s crusty mashed potatoes somehow get on your plate and they aren’t so good. So yes there were flaws with the episode. Rachel instantly forgiving Brody for sleeping with Cassie. And where was Rachel having this huge problem with Brody teaching her? Dude I saw none of that. And we got cheated out on Rachel auditioning for The Glass Menagerie? What the hell? You made such a big deal out of it in Glease that shouldn’t we at least see the damn thing? Or what? We can’t show Rachel Berry having actual failure in New York? Ugh. My head it hurts. Then we have Kitty manipulating Quinn. Seriously Quinn is dating Professor McSmokesaPipe making your IQ go down or something? Because the Quinn I knew would have totally called her out on that. And Santana! Why the hell are you telling Quinn your suspicions? I get it the Unholy Trinity is sacred but dude! Tell someone else! God! See these are your Aunt Martha’s crusty mashed potatoes that somehow get on your plate and taste awful. The rest of the episode and the music numbers more than makes up for it.
Although the Warblers picking out songs that don’t match their boy band image continues with Whistle: the song about blowjobs from Flo Rida. Along with Live While We’re Young. I can get Live While We’re Young because it fits their image but seriously…Whistle? And yeah yeah I know I know Paradise By the Dashboard Light is a song about having sex in the car. But A) you don’t put Meatloaf and Flo Rida in the same category or comparison because that is just insulting and B) Paradise By the Dashboard Light is a MILLION TIMES BETTER than freaking Whistle! Why are we even having this conversation?
Also you probably want to know my thoughts on Gangnam Style. I don’t understand how this got popular. But I don’t hate the song. It’s got a fun beat to dance too. And actually the whole song is a comedy/parody song if you do the research. Also I do appreciate the effort it took for them to learn the song. Seriously guys Korean is a hard language to learn and I applaud Jenna for learning it and giving a dynamic performance. It was a fun number. I don’t hate or am really that annoyed by it. It is what it is. Plus isn’t the whole theme of Sectionals Foreigner? I mean I know Finn mentioned that at some point. So yeah New Directions at least fulfilled that. And yeah you can make the argument that One Direction is foreign because they’re British but that is like the laziest thing in the world to do. So yeah props for them.
6) Big Brother (season three episode fifteen)
Matt Bomer I love you. You are just so freaking pretty. And the fact that you and Darren Criss play brothers on TV makes a scary amount of sense.
But you are just really really pretty and I love you in White Collar and I know you have a great singing voice. So naturally when you were casted as Cooper Anderson I swooned and squealed and prepared to see your pretty, pretty face.
And you Matt Bomer did not disappoint me. Or the general glee viewing audience. God you’re pretty. And you have amazing abs. And you’re a good actor and daddy and husband. Wow your husband is really really lucky.
…I should say what I like about the episode now shouldn’t I? And not talk about my giggling inner Matt Bomer fangirl.
Okay. We got Blaine shirtless in the shower. I’m always pro shirtless guys on glee. Or when the girls show a lot of leg. I’m pro fanservice on glee. Sorry. So we’re dealing with the aftermath of the whole Quinn texting and driving thing from season three episode fourteen “On My Way”. Oh God. That wheelchair subplot. Okay that whole thing is there and it exists and the wheelchair subplot is stupid very. very stupid. Everyone pretty much agrees on that and it leads to that whole “Quinn dies of a broken heart because she is a wheelchair from texting and driving because she does it in every universe. Because when glee club doesn’t exit Quinn dies.” (Um…what?? Ugh I’m not getting into that again.)
I mean it could have been more interesting if she wasn’t better by prom. Does physical therapy work that fast on spinal compression injuries? What I’m saying is that if you’re going to do something like this then do it with respect and don’t half-ass it. I mean we already had the whole crazy Quinn in the beginning of season three and now you’re putting her in a wheelchair.
Do the writers want Quinn to be like a character from a bad soap opera? Because seriously they’re kind of checking off all the boxes there.
Okay so wheelchair subplot? Stupid. However, pushing how it was developed in future episodes aside, this is a very good episode as a starting point for it. We have Artie and Quinn interactions which come off as very genuine and their voices sound good together. Both of their songs are fun and strong. We also have some good denial of Quinn about her condition (which does get better but we didn’t know it yet) and we have some good Artie characterization too. Namely since Artie probably went through the same thing after his own accident.
Now moving onto the Anderson brothers plot, this is just gold. It’s not even due to the fact that I have a huge screaming crush on Matt Bomer and Darren Criss. They just really act this well. I love Bomer’s Cooper who is this pretty boy ditz who is self absorbed but not a bad guy. Cooper just doesn’t know any better. Blaine’s exasperation over his brother along with the feelings of competitiveness feel very true to me. I have a lot of friends with siblings, which is my base for judging the sibling relationship here since I’m an only child, and the Anderson brothers relationship is a legitimate one.
I will grant you it does get a bit incest-y with Somebody That I Used to Know (seriously why would you sing that to your sibling)? However, Bomer and Criss have a natural chemistry that feels like their siblings. Plus they get two duets which are both epic, epic things. I sincerely hope we see Cooper on the show in the future because I would like to see more of the brother’s interaction.
Now just on Cooper himself. Even if I had no clue who Matt Bomer was before this episode, I would have walked away loving him. He has amazing comedic timing. His voice is incredibly and he pulls of the dramatic stuff well. I’m just glad he was exposed to a wider audience (because cable versus network and all that jazz) so people could see his awesomeness. Plus you have seen the Transformers 4 audition tape right?
5) Goodbye (season three episode twenty two)
It’s the end of an era.
The moment the original five of New Directions was doing Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat, I was already reaching for the tissues inside my robot tissue cozy and hugging my glee pillow. I was outright sobbing when Will started to sing Forever Young. I was crying at every song. God my poor glee watching partner because I was just getting nostalgic and shit during our online chat during the episode.
I’m a sentimental soul. So sue me.
However, I have issues with how the episode ended. Again it’s because I’m applying real world logic to glee logic. But seriously writers…that was a dick move at the end of the episode with Finn and Rachel. And I don’t like Finchel that much anymore. I was in the camp of cheering when they broke up because yes let them be free and independent people. Good!
Why didn’t you do that here? I mean yes it would make Finn a massive asshat breaking up with Rachel on their wedding day (and God I hope the Fathers Berry get their deposits back on like everything for that wedding) but how is sending her off to a train station and leaving her in relationship limbo for several months even a good idea?
How does that make sense glee writers? I mean yes we get independent Rachel with her raccoon eyes dressing well…(God that makeover still doesn’t sit right with me) in the big scary city of New York where she will persevere with her Rachel-ness goddammit. You still have Finn being the bad guy.
And you ship off to boot camp. Which I admit is less out of left field but…I’ll get into that when I get to season four episode four The Break-Up.
Need I say that Rachel, who I will admit has an amazing voice I am disputing this, but she got into NYADA by stalking Carmen Tibideaux after she choked her audition twice. But fine you know what? Fine. Kurt’s in NYADA now so I’m not going to get into this. I will say this comedy is harder than drama. That is in like every basic acting class there is. The reason Carmen gives Kurt in season four episode nine’s “Swan Song” for him not getting into NYADA is total b.s. to me. But whatever.
That part aside. The rest of the episode had me in tears. Everyone was growing up and leaving and then there were people staying behind. They were in that choir the last time together. They won Nationals and worked so hard and became their own little dysfunctional family. And I was an absolute mess. I will give the glee writers this: they know how pluck on a fan’s heartstrings.
Speaking of plucking on a fan’s heartstrings…
4) The Break-Up (season four, episode four)
This episode is one of the best episodes of season four. Seriously there is only one other season four episode on this list after this. What can I say about “The Break-Up” that hasn’t been said?
It was sad but adult. People grow up and grow apart. What I’m saying is that this is a realistic portrayal of relationships post high school. There is distance and you are finding a new life for yourself without that person and sometimes you just grow apart. It happens and it sucks. But at the same time it’s necessary. This episode was necessary. Because if we didn’t have this episode then this wouldn’t feel like a legit growing up experience.
The break-up of Brittany and Santana was the most adult break-up. Santana realized that she was feeling attraction toward other women and that so she doesn’t hurt Brittany they should both take a break. They both still love each other but they also recognize that there is a distance between them. Santana realizes that in order to save their friendship they need to take a break just for now. This is legitimate and grown-up. I applaud this scene. It was one of the most raw emotional scenes between Brittany and Santana since “Sexy” (season two episode fifteen) and doing Landslide.
The break-up of Kurt and Blaine was…messier. I mean I knew like instantly when Blaine showed up at the door that something was wrong. When he was singing the acoustic version of Teenage Dream it hit me that he cheated or did something like that. It came out of nowhere though. Now not the reason behind cheating the resentment and the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Both Kurt and Blaine didn’t realize how hard a long distance relationship like theirs would be. It’s a common mistake. They should have had a talk about it. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty like that. But I still don’t like how the cheating came out of nowhere here. I don’t know it just felt out of character for Blaine. But I supposed when Finn was the other man in the Sam-Quinn-Finn relationship triangle in season two I felt the same then. I don’t know it just didn’t feel right to me. I agree that Kurt and Blaine did need to break up. They both need to explore themselves because I think they both defined themselves by Klaine.
Rachel and Finn finalization of their break-up was…painful. Dear God it was painful. It was just…why. I think Rachel and Finn have become that couple that were good together in theory but their combined neurosis were too much to take and it just exploded and you’re left thinking dear God why did this happen? Also why make Finn look like such an asshat writers of glee? Also Finn following Rachel at NYADA? She looked like she was doing pretty well there. Where is Cassie and those bullying ballerinas? I don’t see how Rachel was having this supposed hard time. Sorry this is for another article at another date. They should have made this official months ago. Rachel just KISSED Brody in the previous episode before Finn showed up! What the hell girl? You kissed a guy when you weren’t sure if you were on or off? I agree with Rachel’s rant at Finn for running away like that but I don’t know everyone felt pretty broken up to me at the end of Don’t Speak. Still talk don’t sing your issues out dude. This is the moment where you got to do it.
Also Kitty and Jake broke up and Will and Emma had a fight. Ooooh. How dramatic.
Okay so here is my application of real world logic to glee logic. And I don’t know how the US Army works in boot camp so please if you are serving in the armed forces take my apology but this is common sense right? Why would you polish a freaking loaded gun? And do you get a semi honorable discharge in boot camp? Is that a thing? Also even if the gun was loaded Finn, at this point, should have known where the safety is. I’m pretty sure the US Army doesn’t hand you a loaded gun until you can put that damn thing together blindfolded. A more sensible approach would be if Finn had a flat feet and didn’t know it. I’m assuming that is still an issue right? Flat feet? If he got a hairline fracture from those boots and was discharged due to having flat feet then you know what? I could buy it. It would seem plausible and stand up to scrutiny. You didn’t have to shoot the guy in the thigh is what I’m saying.
Please try a little bit harder with the research glee writers?
Still fallacy in logic aside the episode was great. The music choices were good and well chosen.
Plus The Scientist which was just such a gut punch it was heartbreaking and amazing at the same time.
3) Props (season three episode twenty)
This episode made me really really happy. The top three episodes are the top three because I couldn’t find anything that legitimately annoyed me. Or if there was an annoyance then it was short lived and died through multiple rewatchings.
“Props” is just so epic.
The body swap scenario. I can’t even. This was fifteen minutes of awesome and is a prime example of why I love Ian Brennan! Plus you tie it into Tina who has been a character often shunted to the side and yes it is totally legit. I loved it. Everyone’s impressions of each other where dead on and Jenna freaking killed that Celine Dion song. I don’t even mind that it was basically a look at how hard Rachel has it ploy.
It was just spot on and hilarious.
Plus we get Bieste taking back her own power from Cooter, who if you remember from season three episode eighteen “Choke” was abusing her. The whole domestic violence subplot was kind of shoehorned in. However, there was a good solid resolution to the story. Bieste takes back her own power and then she helps Puck take back his. Dot Marie Jones was just absolute fantastic during these scenes and seriously she is being robbed at the Emmy’s. She deserves at least one.
Then we get Puck and oh baby rip out my heart why don’t you? You just see him slowly go down this spiral over the episode. How he feels like he will always be a Lima Loser. And then Shannon has that heart to heart with him and it’s just so emotional between these two people who have tough exteriors but have soft creamy filling.
Then they do Taylor Swift’s Mean and oh it was just absolutely perfect.
2) Nationals (season three episode twenty one)
They finally win Nationals. After all that hard work and all that drama and all those tears and seriously guys all that drama they finally win Nationals!
I couldn’t even feel the least bit dirty at watching this version of Lindsay Lohan there. THEY WIN NATIONALS YOU GUYS!
Seriously there is nothing I can say here. New Directions wins Nationals. They do it after three years of being a glee club. They do it and you relish that moment alongside them.
I really can’t say anymore here because mostly the episode is just music with plot chunks thrown in. And the music we get is amaaaaaazing. Seriously Paradise By the Dashboard Light is on repeat on my iPod and I love Starships. All the music is perfection in Nationals.
NEW DIRECTIONS WIN NATIONALS!!!!!!
1) Dynamic Duets (season four episode seven)
This is the best episode of 2012. Why?
I legitimately cannot find a thing to complain about it. Most of the message boards I’m on also cannot find any major faults with this episode. Most of the critics and reviewers I follow also cannot find any major faults in this episode.
…You guys know how rare this is right? I mean yeah I’m sure there are some people who thought it was okay or even bad but no one that I know or follow feels this way. They all adore dare I say love this hour of superhero crack. I love you Ian Brennan. I truly do.
“Dynamic Duets” has a good balance between surreal and the real. It has a good balance between comedy and drama for glee. This is the glee that fans remember. All of the music is perfect. Finn finding his place as a pseudo teacher is perfect. Blaine’s struggle with his inner villain is perfect. Sam pulling Blaine out of that inner struggle is perfect. The songs are perfect. The costumes are perfect.
Glee handling this one episode focus on Ryder discovering he has dyslexia is one of the best things that this show has done (for one episode focuses/plots) in a long, long time. God I love you Blake Jenner.
This episode is also a really fun throw out to superhero movies. People in this episode either start to battle their villains (Ryder), continue to battle them (Marley in a subtle couple festering lines) or defeat them (Blaine with his feelings of guilt and Finn with not being sure if he can do this). It’s a great episode. I can’t say enough good things about and no one else I find can either. So that makes it number one of 2012.
NEXT TIME ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: Glee and Social Issues Part Three: Brittany and Unique in Bisexual and Transgender Depictions
Notes: So what are your top episodes of 2012 you guys? Sorry this took so long to get out. Hopefully now that the holidays are very well over I can start forcing myself to write on a regular basis.
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