Prom. It's supposed to be the most important night of any normal high school kid's career. And it may be the first time Glee has truly bridged the gap between normal high school experience and life in Lima.
We've been dreading the New Directions taking on Rebecca Black's "Friday" all week, but now that the prom episode is over, I think I finally get it. Ryan Murphy? Writers? My apologies for ever doubting you.
See, the whole premise of tonight's show was off-kilter. The kids who get slushied were the best possible candidates for prom king and queen? Like prom could turn freaks and geeks into royalty? I was about ready to give up the ghost and grab the remote (I hear there's this dancing show over on ABC) when Rachel launched into Adele's "Rolling Into Deep" and Jonathan Groff wandered in (remember Jesse St. James?), and I had to stay.
And I'm glad I did. Because this was a Glee prom, not that Disney movie everyone's talking about. What we saw was Glee getting real.
Real kids. Thinking prom was going to give them the chance to suddenly be a princess (Mercedes), to wash away a teen pregnancy scandal by replacing it with a crown (Quinn), to quash a bunch of "plays for the other team" rumors by dancing with a guy (Santana). Kids being ridiculously simplistic because they've been sold a bill of goods about this mystical prom experience. As Quinn told the girls, "You can get married as many times as you want, you only get one shot at your junior prom."
Eh. I'm jaded. My junior prom date turned out to be gay, although he only officially told me so last year (love you T!). But think about how we approached Rebecca Black's silly song and tell me who's been disenchanted by the trappings of youth? Fits, doesn't it?
Basically, if you missed any of it, prom belonged to the boys and their series of flops. Artie tried to win Brittany back after acting like a jerk last week. He sang her a song about how hot she is, in this case Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," which Mercedes correctly pointed out was written for a BABY. Teenage boys, take note. This NEVER works.
And then, of course, there's Finn, who is threatened by the return of Jesse and thinks he can date Quinn but still weigh in on Rachel's love life. He tells Rachel to be careful with Jesse, then ends up getting in a fight with him AT the prom. We all know this is just building up for a rebirth of Finchel. But perhaps a Backstreet Boys intervention is in order first? Maybe a little "Quit Playing Games With My Heart" to get the Finnster to buck up and make the hard choices about who he loves?
Choosing wasn't the hard part for Kurt. As we know, he's out loud and proud, and unfortunately not so good at taking advice from the people who love him. Convinced that he's quashed the homophobia at McKinley, even compelling the closeted Karofsky to cry real tears of anguish over his history of bullying, Kurt is ready to take Blaine to the prom.
Unfortunately, this is where the ladies and their dreams and the boys' rather dimwitted views on the world collide. Karofsky is the new king. Which, frankly, FITS in a high school. He's on the football team. He's popular. He's not on the receiving end of a weekly slushie.
But of course, the moment we've all been waiting for. The prom queen was ... Kurt?
Yup, Glee's writers let the kids at McKinley play a prank on the gay kid. They got ... political. And like the insane choice that was "Friday," I'm going to have to give it to them. It was something real kids would do, but it still had that Glee edge as Kurt realized he had to OWN this if he wanted Lima to see he's not just out loud but proud. So I leave you with the Glee take on "Friday." Has it grown on you yet?
What did you think of the prom court at McKinley? Would you have had it any other way?
Image via Fox