Glee Report Card: You Get An Asian F

Just as I’m starting to get back into Glee, Fox has to go and throw a hiatus in my face. IN MY FACE. Now I just feel cranky and ashamed. But Tuesday night’s episode was good enough to tide me over for a while—there were some solid emotional moments (most of which didn’t make me cringe at all!) and plenty of good performances. So let’s take a look at those songs.

Performed by Mercedes (with Brittany and Tina)
Originally performed by Jennifer Hudson
This was probably Mercedes’ best song in a Mercedes-heavy episode, so I wish they hadn’t let the credits roll over it. Time constraints are time constraints, but it really takes away from what was otherwise a very good performance. Either way, this set the stage for the episode well, with Mercedes looking for her moment in the—say it with me—spotlight. While I do have to lower the grade for the intrusion of the credits, I’ll throw in some bonus points for Rachel’s horrified reaction faces.
Grade: B+

“Run the World (Girls)”
Performed by Brittany, Santana, and the Cheerios
Originally performed by Beyonce
“Asian F” was also a dance-laden episode, for those of you who are into that sort of thing. Heather Morris is such a fantastic dancer that I’m actually a little bit attracted to her. (Holy shit, did Glee turn me straight?) That having been said, this whole number was way too on-the-nose—not to mention unnecessary in an already overstuffed episode. The pep rally was just silly, and I don’t buy the sudden swell of support for President Pierce just because she’s female. Remember when she didn’t know where babies came from?
Grade: C

Performed by Mike
From the musical West Side Story
Yay, it’s Mike Chang’s moment to shine! And he totally nailed it. Harry Shum, Jr. is the best dancer on this show next to Heather Morris. He’s so good that—well, suffice it to say, I’m gay again. And while we’re on the subject, daaamn he looked good in that tight black tee and jeans. “Cool” was a great choice for Mike: it doesn’t require much vocal range, so he could pull it off without being Auto-Tuned past recognition. Definitely the most dynamic performance of the night. Sucks to be you, everyone else!
Grade: A

“It’s All Over”
Performed by The Glee Club
From the musical Dreamgirls
All the Glee kids playing musical theater dress-up? This is the show I signed up for. Mercedes is totally Effie White: she’s rightfully pissed because she’s underappreciated, but she’s also such a brat that you can’t always root for her. I didn’t even mind that Glee tinkered with the lyrics a bit, because it made perfect sense as a number taking place in Mercedes’ head. And seriously, girl, we do all got pain. Oh, one note: whatever Kurt was doing, he needs to never do again. Almost ruined the whole thing for me.
Grade: B+

“Out Here On My Own”
Performed by Mercedes and Rachel
From the musical Fame
Anyone else underwhelmed by the big diva-off? “Asian F” was an episode of great performances, and this should have been the big climax. I don’t know—maybe they shot their wad on the Dreamgirls bit? I just didn’t get chills from either of the performers, nor did I think one was noticeably better than the other. It didn’t help that I was sick of both of them by this point in the episode, but I’d say Mercedes and Rachel got upstaged by just about everyone else. Give Maria to Santana. Or fuck, give it to Mike Chang in a wig. He’ll feel pretty.
Grade: C+

“Fix You”
Performed by Mr. Schue and The Glee Club
Originally performed by Coldplay
Guys, I am conflicted! I have basically no interest at all in the Mr. Schue/Emma relationship, but this was legitimately sweet! I didn’t shed any tears, but my lip did a full-on tremble. Am I pregnant, or was this just the right song for the moment? I also loved seeing all the kids’ reactions to the cast list going up. The magic of musical theater! But “Fix You” sort of lost me with the big finish. Next time just let the moment play out naturally! Restraint, Ryan Murphy. Learn to love it.
Grade: B

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