skyfyre: Sumeragi Hokuto from X/1999, Smiling (dodged *that* bullet)
skyfyre ([personal profile] skyfyre) wrote2012-10-24 02:25 pm
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Glee "Pilot"

So I wasn’t kidding about going to watch Glee. And I thought to myself, why not write about it? I’ve been having trouble writing the Star Trek ones. This way I can see if I suck or if Star Trek sucks, when it comes to these things. It’ll also be interesting to do this for something modern that I’ve already watched.

Also, It’s my blog, and I’ll do what I want on it.

So a recap of the first episode of Glee, simply called “Pilot,” because I can. It kind of got ridiculously long. Like, has to be two posts long. Whoops.

We open to cheer leading practice. Everyone smiles and does their routine. There are flips, and techno music that I can’t even pretend to recognize. This is gonna be just like Bring it On! Awesome! I love Bring it On. The routine ends, and we cut to Sue Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch, otherwise known as The Talent.

Sue: You think this is hard? Trying being water boarded, that's hard!

It is totally going to be like Bring it On. Only offensive.

Only Glee is not actually about a cheer leading squad. Instead we are going to follow Will Shuester, the Spanish teacher at William McKinley High School, who just pulled into the parking lot. I think the fact that his muffler drags on the ground is meant to make him charming or something.

Will walks through the parking lot towards the building, passing some of his students on the way, including the named characters of Kurt, Puck, and Finn. Either he doesn’t notice that Puck and Finn are about to throw Kurt into a dumpster, or he doesn’t care. Either way, this is sadly normal for Kurt, and will be a continuing theme for him.

(I love Kurt most. At least until my very favorite character gets introduced in season two. That character is going to be my Bones of Glee. He can do no wrong. Even when he’s being a complete idiot. But that’s not for an entire season.)

Anyway, Will speaks Spanish for the first of maybe five times he speaks it on the show. He then walks away as Kurt does, in fact, get dumpster tossed. Finn very nicely lets Kurt take off his very expensive and (I assume) fashionable jacket and satchel before getting tossed. Finn also looks kinda bad about it, but this doesn’t stop him from letting it happen. Good job, Finn. Let’s hope that this can be a failing that you can grow on.

So Will goes about his day, which includes wistfully staring at a trophy case. This case includes a trophy that, we learn later, the Glee Club won back in ‘93, while he was a member of it. There is a picture of the former director of the Glee Club, who reminds me of my sophomore English teacher to a degree that is scary. She used to give us extra credit if we sang to her. Good times.

There is a plaque under her picture which includes a quote I assume she said. It reads “By its very definition, Glee is about opening yourself up to joy.”

Okay, Glee. You feed me that line again later in the series. You know what you did, Glee.

Speaking of directors of Glee club, the current one totally felt  up a student. The girl who we will learn is Rachel Berry does not look pleased about it. The student looks kinda iffy about it, too.

The next day we go to the teacher’s lounge, where there is a bit of talk about budget cuts, because that’s kind of supposed to be the excuse for everything on Glee. Sue comes in, and in a show of decency offers coffee to the caffeine deprived teachers. Because it’s her cheerleaders going over budget that took the coffee pots away. Her bad, y’all.

Emma Pillsbury (who is totally Charlie from Heroes and it took me ages to place who she was it was terrible) says some stuff about not knowing that cheerleaders were performers, which wasn’t very nice of her to say. Cheerleaders are totally performers. Did she not watch Bring it On?

Did you know that Bring it On is a Broadway musical now? Though I think it’s already closing. Too beautiful for this world, I’m sure.

Anyway, Sue goes off to do an interview with some media outlet, because her cheerleaders -- the Cheerios, if you’re curious -- are awesome. She name checks the iPhone, which on the one hand is probably product placement, or the other hand may be a weird class thing. Will can’t afford to fix his muffler, the school can’t afford a coffee maker, Sue is wandering around with an iPhone. How expensive were those in 2009?

And then they gossip about Sandy, the former glee director, getting fired. Will doesn’t care about why Sandy got fired. He cares about who’s going to take over glee club. Because Will has a youth to recapture, dammit.

Will goes to Principal Figgins to talk about glee club. The budget cuts rear its head again, as Will will have to pay $60 a month to keep the club going, for reasons that are never fully explained. The club will also have to use the costumes that they already have, which is how I know that Glee is completely fictional, because there’s no way that the costumes they end up using on this show are ones that the school already owned. They try for this episode. They don’t try very hard after that.

Will comes up with a new name for the glee club in the middle of the night, literally sitting up suddenly in bed. The new glee club name? New Directions. Which in no way sounds like nude erections, omg you guys, get your heads out of the gutter.

Will holds auditions for New Directions, and thus we gain some new characters.

We start with Mercedes Jones, the requisite sassy black girl. She auditions with Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”

Kurt Hummel auditions with “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago, possibly because of that incident earlier where no one noticed that he was being horrifically bullied. Also, he’s a natural counter tenor and can hold notes like nobody’s business. I still love him a bunch.

Tina C. will eventually have a last name. She’s a goth Asian girl with a stutter, and auditions with “I Kissed a Girl,” which probably doesn’t actually have anything to do with her character, if only because the Glee writers actually have no clue what to do with Tina.

In the background, Brad plays the piano. Brad doesn’t actually have a name yet. Brad has no spoken lines. Brad just plays the piano and judges. He judges so hard.

Then we properly meet Rachel Berry. She gets a voice-over and everything, like what Will’s been having the whole episode. She auditions with “On My Own” from Les Mis. Her voice over lets us know that she got Mr. Ryerson fired because what he did was so wrong, and not because he gave some other boy a solo that totally belonged to her, omg. She has two dad’s, who are an interracial couple, so she is clearly incapable of being offensive, because look at her background! Rachel posts a lot of videos of herself singing on MySpace, which I guess was still a thing back in the long past of 2009? Or Rachel is just that uncool. She signs her name is a gold star at the end.

Rachel: It’s a metaphor, and metaphors are important.

Looking back on it, Rachel has some of my favorite lines in this episode. Metaphors are important Rachel. Just don’t tell the science majors that, they’ll look at you funny. Those jerks.

Anyway, there was a lot of exposition in the space of Rachel’s song, which she gets to sing more than a bar of, because she’s the star of the show. The gold stars really are a metaphor!

Unfortunately, star or no, she still gets cyber bullied on her totally hip and with it MySpace page. She also got a slushie thrown in her face. Later, an actor will describe being slushied as like being bitch slapped by an iceberg.

The moral of this story is that William McKinley High School is not a safe space for people who are different.

(Once, I was watching Glee with Dad, and he expressed confusion as to why Rachel wasn’t popular, because she was pretty enough to be. This shows that Dad didn’t know girls in high school. All it takes is for one more popular person to decide that you’re not cool, and it can be over for you. Sadly, Rachel has all sorts of traits that can be used to make her unpopular. The actress playing Rachel used to get shit because of her nose. High school is a terrible place.

Alternatively, this is Glee’s way of punishing ambition.

Also, I should totally make Dad watch Mean Girls.)

So glee rehearsals start. The rag-tag group starts by practicing “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” which will be the only song from Guys and Dolls in the entire show, and that makes me sad because I love Guys and Dolls. Also, the lead is being sung by Artie Abrams, who actually currently has no name and we never saw him audition. We did briefly see him next to Tina when she signed up. Also, he’s disabled and wheelchair bound, which makes him singing “Sit Down” ironic.

Rachel: There is nothing ironic about show choir!

Oh, Rachel. I don’t care what anyone says. I love you, too. Not as much as Kurt, or the season two character we have yet to meet. But I do love you.

Anyway, her firm opinion about irony -- and the fact that the group actually kind of sucks -- causes Rachel to storm out of rehearsal.

Will follows her out, and finds her on the bleachers of student angst, watching the cheerleaders practice.


Will and Rachel have a talk about Rachel’s talent and Glee club. Will tells Rachel that she’s the best kid in there, which I hope she doesn’t repeat to the other kids, because, wow, blow to the confidence. Rachel explains she needs a male lead who can keep up with her vocally. Because, clearly, Artie and Kurt are talentless hacks.

The heart of this conversation is really about how Rachel doesn’t want to waste her time/youth. She also wants to be liked and to be important.

Rachel: Being part of something special makes you special, right?

Oh, sweetie. Come here and get a hug.

There is also this line:

Rachel: I can’t keep wasting my time with Glee. It hurts too much.

Which is funny, because now in it’s fourth season, half the fandom is going back to this line and thinking “MY GOD. RACHEL IS A PROPHET.”

There are some very unhappy fans out there.

We then turn back to Will, who is informed by a less than amused Principal Figgins that they really can’t keep the program. Will makes a deal that if the Glee club doesn’t place at their regionals competition, then the program can be cut. Figgins agrees on the condition that Will monitors after school detention without pay.

I’m not sure that’s legal, but whatever. Figgins is tired of Will’s shit.

We then meet Will’s wife Terri at her place of work at Sheets and Things.

Terri: If you can’t fold a fitted sheet, you cannot work at Sheet and Things!
Me: Shenanigans! No one can fold a fitted sheet!

I fold fitted sheets by balling them up in shame and despair. It works for me.

Terri is presented to us as a total bitch. She feels that no one around her does anything right. She’s kind of a terrible person. And she wants a baby, which is important because of plot reasons.

These days I’m pretty uncomfortable with just randomly hating Terri. I don’t know her life. It’s not her story, so we don’t get to see what it is that made her who she is. I’m also not really cool with portraying a woman as a total bitch, just to make the man more sympathetic. Let him be sympathetic on his own merit.

(As the series goes on, I like Will less and less. You know. Spoiler alert.)

Terri goes storming off to deal with a customer, and Will is given a free sample of marijuana from the now drug dealer Sandy Ryerson.

It’s good to know that after he stops being a teacher, Will can still have a career.

We then have a scene where we explain the social hierarchy of high school. Will’s trying to recruit more performers into the club, and he recognizes cheerleaders as performers. Sue explains, in her own Sue-like way, that having Cheerios join is a terrible idea. Children need the lines and boundaries or something. Mostly she just doesn’t want to lose her Cheerios.

Intercut with that, Emma explains that maybe kids fall into those castes of popular kid or geek or whatever, but they’ll also follow the leader. If Will gets the popular kids on board, others will follow. During this, Will helps Emma get gum off of her shoe, which isn’t really all that important, except he says “there you go, Cinderella.” If he’d been listening to the whole “metaphors are important” thing from earlier, he would have figured out some things so much earlier.

Part Two

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