Happy Halloween fellow Gleeks, Ghouls, and Goblins!
I love Halloween. It’s an excuse to dress up and be weird and get free candy. Or if you’re over twenty one drink a lot of beer/wine.
My plans follow a boring, predictable yet comforting pattern.
Come home and hide from trick or treaters in a dark house watching movie marathons/Halloween themed television episodes I like.
Among them? “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” (season two episode five).
Yeah. I kind of like this episode of Glee. It’s bad. It’s God awful but it’s that special kind of bad that Glee gives where it’s SO BAD that I love it.
Let me explain.
“The Rocky Horror Glee Show” is a bad episode of Glee. Let’s just clear the air. We all know that it’s a bad episode. The plot is weird. The characterization is bad. The music and the set pieces are the only things that honestly saves it.
So why do I like it so much?
See this is an episode where atmosphere and spirit come into the play.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show and its source The Rocky Horror Show are both wonderfully camp pieces of amazingness. It embraces and subverts the B-movies of the 1950’s. It’s interactive (really really interactive). There is a random stage show at the end of the movie. There is just so much cross-dressing and people in skimpy clothing. The movie looks like it’s budget came from what was coins could be gathered from the director’s couch. The conclusion of it? The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a long strange journey. But it’s one everyone needs to take once in their lives.
The whole show is amazing in that way. It truly gives no fucks what you or anyone think. It’s other and embraces the otherness.
It’s actually a logical fit for New Directions in that way. They are the other of McKinley High and they embrace their otherness. The whole episode filmed in a very strange way. Adam Shankman, the director, pays homage to some of the scenes and camp of the source material. The look of the episode (especially the costumes) is really just spot on for it. It builds up this fun and playful atmosphere.
The writing just doesn’t match it.
It’s the writing that’s the major flaw in the episode.
Let’s start with Will shall we?
It’s hard to like Will Schuester since his character gets consistently crapped on by the writers. It’s really, really hard. Dammit though I like Matthew Morrison too much. Though part of me has to wonder if Matthew ran over someone’s dog or something.
Because for serious guys, why do they like to destroy Will so bad? Really. Why?
So Emma is dating Dentist Uncle Jesse (yeah I know he has a name but we all think of him as Dentist Uncle Jesse). Dentist Uncle Jesse is helping Emma overcome some of her issues stemming from her OCD. Will is not thrilled that Dentist Uncle Jesse is helping Emma overcome it. So he kind of latches onto her newfound love of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in order to bond with her.
He has New Directions perform it as the school musical.
Uh….really? You’re doing Rocky Horror? The show were the audience routinely yells “Asshole” and “Slut” at the two main characters, throws things, talks back, and generally has a lot of sex and rock and roll for high schoolers? The main character is an evil alien scientist who spends the entire show in women’s lingerie and creates his own sex toy. Then he has sex with both Brad and Janet.
High school? It would have to be edited and all the fun parts taken out! Plus this is McKinley right? Them doing that show would not go over well.
Or maybe it would. The club’s popularity fluctuates.
But hey it’s okay! As long as their parents sign waivers and Mike Chang is going to be Frank N Furter.
Until his parents say No and it’s Mercedes who takes over.
She does a pretty good job. Though I wish they didn’t go R&B here. Frank N Furter is meant to be a rock star.
I always like how the parts are just randomly assigned versus actually have auditions.
Oh he also joins the cast as Rocky and kicks Sam out of his spot because Sam didn’t want to wear the tiny gold shorts.
To Sam’s credit, they are really tiny.
Needless to say the whole thing kind of blows up in Will’s face. He awkwardly seduces Emma and gets his shirt ripped off. He attracts the ire of Dentist Uncle Jesse who is playing Eddie when it’s told of this.
Ultimately he comes to the conclusion I did about the show and New Directions. WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE A BETTER BASIS FOR THE EPISODE INSTEAD OF WILL WANTING TO HIT ON A WOMAN IN A RELATIONSHIP! So they perform it for themselves.
Now I know what you’re thinking. That sounds bad but hey we get a half naked Matthew Morrison getting fondled in a near about a sexual awakening.
Bright side right?
That may be true. And oh God the eye candy. God bless the eye candy.
All around it was just really bad decisions on the writer’s part for the character.
Oh also Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf pay Sue a visit to get her to stop the show because it’s too immoral. It’s actually really funny if you know you’re Rocky Horror history as they were both in it.
The other place where the show falls flat is the male body image storyline.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is something that needs to be talked about. Guys feel just as much pressure as the ladies to look a certain way in society. It’s a good episode to at least get it started because the majority of the play/movie a lot of the cast is in their underwear. It will bring up a lot of feelings about self consciousness. Especially in teenagers already insecure about their bodies.
Basically it was the start of an interesting discussion for Sam about how eating disorders affect men. It, like so many other things with Sam, never went anywhere and he started stripping in season three.
The other male in the group that was affected by the body image thing was Finn Hudson. Granted the only thing they did after that was have Santana crack jokes about how fat he was.
To Cory Monteith’s credit, it was really believable to me that Finn would be intimidated by well the other male members of New Directions. I always found Cory attractive though so it honestly didn’t make sense why they would keep calling him fat. If he was having body image issues then wouldn’t that have exacerbated it? Again, it was a potentially interesting plot point that ultimately just went to becoming a cannon fodder for mean spirited snipes.
The episode as a whole was bad.
The parts were it really shined was the music. The staging was exquisite, the costume were fun, the atmosphere captured the camp of the movie. Everything that wasn’t the writing basically was perfect in this episode. They needed a better reason for things to happen and exist in this episode. It needed a better overall plot and the big “C” word her Continuity.
Continuity is key.
It just never happened.
So love “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” and hate the writing. The writing was terrible.
Have a Happy Halloween!
And remember…it’s just a jump the left.
NEXT ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: The Top Five Dropped Plotlines That Really Shouldn’t Have Been Dropped
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