I hope you’re sitting down right now, because I’m about to blow your mind. Not only is Glee still a show that’s airing week-to-week, but it’s also about to celebrate its 100th episode. Not only that, but they got Gwyneth Paltrow to come back and continue to dazzle us with her own personal brand of cringeworthiness. She’ll be reprising her role as substitute teacher Holly Holliday for the two-part episode, which starts tomorrow at 8 PM ET on FOX. And lucky for us, we can already listen to her cover of Pharrell’s “Happy.”
The awkward thing about this cover is that Pharrell’s version, especially at the Oscars when Lupita Nyong’o was involved, actually makes me feel happy. That’s kind of the point of the song, no? Unless it’s some sort of reverse psychology thing or a Shia LaBeouf art project, I’m pretty sure that “Happy” is meant to make you feel happy. But Gwyneth’s version makes me feel sad. And also a lot of other synonyms for sad. Like forlorn and somber and depressed and even crestfallen. Because, even though I’ve heard Gwyneth sing before and she certainly isn’t bad, per se, hers is not the kind of voice I want to get up and dance to. It’s as lifeless as her diet. I don’t think she feels like a room without a roof. I think her room has a very well-made roof that isn’t going anywhere.
There’s just such little vibrancy and interest in her voice. The backup singers sound like they’re having approximately 100 times more fun than Gwyneth. And that says a lot, because being relegated to the background of a Gwyneth Paltrow cover wouldn’t make me feel very jolly. I’m certainly no American Idol judge, and I can’t pick out exactly what’s wrong with her vocals besides the overall quality of ZZZZness, but all I know is that I need to go watch some puppies and/or Ryan Gosling to boost my spirits after listening to this. Or maybe I’ll just listen to the original. That’ll work too.