It’s such a tricky dance, when you take on a beloved cult classic. Do you pander to the geeky obsessed fans, who are few in number but loud in voice, or ignore (and possibly alienate) them and do whatever you want, thereby earning their wrath? Glee walked a fine line -- and I’m going to complain. They can take it. They’re probably expecting it, anyway.
The opening was remarkably true to the movie. Musical Number #1: "Science Fiction Double Feature" was sung by Santana (and featured her perfect lips), and it gave me chills. It led directly into “There’s A Light," just like in the movie, and I almost didn’t have time to yell, “What’s between your legs?” before Rachel sang, “There’s a shining star.”
Will has his knickers in a twist because Emma’s OCD symptoms are getting better after she went to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror with Carl. He gets bit by the competitive bug and blurts out that he lo-ho-hoves that show, and what a coinkydink, he’s having the kids perform it.
Brittany had only one funny line this week, but it was a humdinger. When Kurt asks what she’ll be for Halloween, she says, “I’m going as a peanut allergy.” That IS scary!
Sue Sylvester’s news commentary, "Sue’s Corner," gets the attention of some the new owners of the TV station -- played by Barry Bostwick (Brad) and Meat Loaf (Eddie)! -- who want to fan the flames of local outrage. Her crazy rants are just the thing they need to up their ratings. She can infiltrate the show, rail against the “secular progressive agenda” taking over the school, and turn it into the best rant ever, maybe even winning a local Emmy award (is that a real thing?).
Rehearsal brings us Musical Number #2, “Dammit, Janet,” with Finn as Brad and Rachel as Janet. Standard fare. Fun to see the costumes, but there’s no showboating and nothing special.
Sue joins the show as The Criminologist. Shue knows she’s up to something, but what can he do but go along with it? Various machinations lead to various students dropping out of the show so that others can swoop in -- Carl as Eddie, Mercedes as Fran-N-Furter. Carl’s audition is Musical Number #3, “Hot Patootie.” He’s no Meatloaf, but he’s fine -- after all, he used to sing!
(Did everyone catch Santana and Brittany, my new favorite lesbians ever?)
It’s dress rehearsal, and Musical Number #4 is “Sweet Transvestite" -- the only true reinterpretation of the night. Let me start by saying that as usual, Mercedes nails it, she’s awesome, she has a great voice, she has fun with this part as anyone would. And now, release the geekery: What? “Sensational Transylvania” instead of “transsexual"? No pause before the word “tension” for me to yell “sexual"? No time to ask, “But what about those nasty symptoms?” It is hard to give up Tim Curry. I celebrate the new, but allow me to mourn the absence of the old.
All right, I’m better now. When Carl busts through the wall two scenes early, because he “feels his entrance” earlier, Shue needs to take a stand. He fires Sam from the Rocky role, saying it’s too risque, and asks Emma to rehearse Musical Number #5, “Touch a Touch a Touch Me.” This is the only legitimately sexy, chemistry-laden scene of the episode. Whoo! Hot in here! And I love, love, love Brittany and Santana spying on them exactly as Magenta and Columbia do. But. “Bad fretting” instead of “seat wetting"? Urrrrrgh!
In an effort to boost self-esteem as saggy as his abs, Finn takes a walk through school in his undies and nearly gets suspended. The principal relents, but warns that Finn’s motivations are murky, and he can’t back Finn up if he goes too far. When Shue gets an accidental sneak peek at the "Sue’s Corner" designed to ruin him, he confronts her -- and admits she’s right. He has crossed a line; the show is too sexy for high school. He cancels it, snatching Sue’s daytime-Emmy dreams from her grasp.
He admits to Emma that he was only doing the show to get close to Emma -- but Carl is making her better, and if he really loves her, he’ll respect that. He also apologizes to the kids for having to cancel the show, but he reminds them that when he was going to see midnight shows of it in high school, it was for outsiders and misfits. They may not be able to perform it for the school, but they can do it for each other, which is what we were all really doing in those dank after-hours theaters.
So we get Musical Number #6, “The Time Warp.” Kurt is great as Riff Raff; Brittany is uncanny as Columbia. And just like that -- it’s over. Part of me is sad. Part of me is relieved I don’t have to experience some kind of creepy reenactment of “Don’t Dream It, Be It.” Ya dig?
Next week, Puck’s out of rehab, Kurt might switch schools, and Bon Jovi’s in the hizzouse (songwise, that is).
How did you like the "Rocky Horror Glee" episode?
Image via Fox