'Glee' Recap: 'Cool' Mike Chang Has the Mom We All Want (VIDEO)

Mike ChangThe Glee producers promised us back story on some of our favorite but under-represented characters in Season 3. And boy did they bring it in the third episode. "Asian F" gave us a Mike Chang -- aka Harry Shum Jr. -- who doesn't just dance his ass off. The hottie can sing!


They nestled his story line right there in the middle of Rachel Berry and Mercedes duking it out for the coveted Maria role in West Side Story, but with the whole episode named for the A- that brought his dad to school to demand Principal Figgins give his son a drug test, let's just say it. They have finally recognized the little diamond who's been cutting a rug in the background. In his own audition for Riff, Shum gave a version of "Cool" worth Officer Krupke setting down his donut and coffee and racing out to take a look-see:

And yet, his Dad thinks he should give this up! For chemistry? When he's this "Cool," he's hot?

America, this is what it's like to be the kid of a Tiger Mother ... or Father in this case. And it has nothing to do with being Asian. It's just being a kid who, like Mike Chang, doesn't ...

... want to be a surgeon or a lawyer, Mom. I want to be an artist. I want to be special. And the only time I feel special is when I do ... that.

Watching Mike's mom both accept him and vow to help him face his domineering dad, I couldn't help thinking THIS is the kid who they've been missing on the show. If you love Glee because it's got one kid from every corner -- the goths, the gays, the football players, the cheerleaders, the pregnant teen, the drama kids -- you had to wonder, "What about that kid who seems to have it all and goes home to parents who 'just don't understand'?"

Even Kurt, busy bemoaning the fact that being a gay guy still doesn't get him any sympathy when Brittany can sing a Beyonce tune and work some girl power against him to swing the class president vote her way, has the world's coolest Dad at home. And we've heard ad infinitum about Rachel's dads, haven't we?

But outcast has many definitions. Cool at school can mean miserable at home. And when Mike's mom (played by Tamlyn Tomita by the way) showed up to find him dancing when he should have been off with a chemistry tutor to bring that "Asian F" to an A, then admitted she never had the courage her son did, I know my heart was aching. Waltzing around the room, telling him she's there for him, she may have just been a TV character, but she was the best mom a teenager could have. That's pretty true for most kids: they've got one parent who they just can't please. And if they're lucky, they've got another who realizes that and does something to fix it.

And for the Glee touch, did I mention her son can sing? His chops might not measure up to a Mercedes take on Jennifer Hudson or Mr. Schue giving us Coldplay, but we've got real family fireworks and some powerful pipes to bring Glee back to its first season glory. Harry Shum Jr. and his "mom" nailed it.

Darren Criss is already calling this the best Glee episode ever, and it better be ... we won't get a new one until November! What do you think Gleeks?

Image via Fox

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