Fighting with the Sky

Glee: The Rhodes Not Taken

Posted on: October 1, 2009

as-april-rhodes_324x476I really enjoyed this episode.  The main storyline was that Will decided to bring back a former star of glee club.  April Rhodes (played by the amazing Kristen Chenoweth) was only three credits shy of graduating high school so Will convinces her to finish her high school degree so that she can join glee club.  The only problem is…she’s now an alcoholic.  The glee club doesn’t accept her at first, so she has to try to win them over.  She gives Kurt alcohol to help bolster his confidence, she teaches Mercedes and Tina how to steal things, and she does *things* in the shower with the guys on the football team who are on glee.  Will catches on to this and tries to get her to clean up so that she is not a bad influence.  But she turns up for their performance at the end of the episode drunk and Will has to kick her off the club after the first number.

The secondary storyline was that Finn decides he wants to go after a music scholarship so that he can go to college and support Quinn and the baby.  But to do this, he needs Rachel to rejoin the glee club.  He leads her on and flirts with her to the point that they end up kissing and Rachel decides to come back to glee.  But as soon as she returns, she finds out Quinn is pregnant and Finn is the father.  She stands up for herself and gets mad at Finn for using her and quits the glee club again.  But she’s not happy in the musical.  During the performance at the end of the episode, after April is ousted, she offers to help out because being the star doesn’t make her feel as special as being the friends of the people in glee (awww).

I was really happy to see Kristen Chenoweth in this episode.  She’s an amazing actress and an even better singer (side note: I was really upset when Pushing Daisies was cancelled, but I’m really happy that Chenoweth won the Emmy for her role in it).  But I really didn’t like her character, even though she acted it really well.  It’s just an old stereotype.  The drunk, (kind of) middle-aged woman who is trying to relive her glory years.  And doesn’t care what affect she has on the people around her.  And her performance of “I Don’t Even Know His Last Name” with mainly the high school boys was kind of disturbing.

But I am really glad that Rachel stood up to Finn about him using her to get what he wanted.  I do think that Finn does actually have some romantic feelings for Rachel, but that’s not what he was thinking about when he did what he did.  He was thinking about Quinn and “his” baby that he has to support.  Good for him, though, for stepping up and trying to do what is right for him and his baby.  But he didn’t have to lead Rachel on the way that he did.  As Rachel points out, he could have told her the truth and she would have come back.

And again, we didn’t really see a lot of the minority characters.  April teaches Mercedes (the black girl) and Tina (the quiet Asian) to steal, which I was very uncomfortable with.  She gives Kurt alcohol so that he has the confidence to “be who he really is.”  But the storyline, again, focused around Will, Finn, and Rachel.  I get that they are the leads, but it would be nice to at least see the minority characters in more than just the secondary storyline — occassionally.

I am also kind of glad that the show didn’t focus on pregnancy, which is has the past couple of weeks.  I’m really not liking how they are portraying pregnant women so it was nice to see a storyline that did not make Quinn or Will’s wife Terry (I remembered her name!) seem crazy.  We did see one scene where Terry was taking an interest in Quinn’s pregnancy, but it was very minor.  I understand that these are very important storyline’s in the show, but it was nice to not have them the focus, even if for just one episode.

Glee is turning around for me.  At the beginning of the series I wanted to like it so much that I didn’t see the problematic aspects of it.  Then I think I was focusing too much on the problematic aspects as a way to compensate.  But I do think that Glee is turning itself around and turning into a really great TV show.

Also read meloukhia’s review (especially concerning the treatment of Artie and people with disabilities in the show) up at this ain’t livin’.

1 Response to "Glee: The Rhodes Not Taken"

I’m sorry, but I don’t agree.

I loved Kristin Chenoweth, the singer and actress, but I hated the character. She should have bombed on stage, because she was DRUNK. How could she dance and do all those spins when, off stage, she could barely walk?

I also hated that Rachel had to come in and “save the day.” There is WAY too much emphasis on The Stars of the show — the group should have performed the second half of the concert without April, and one of the other girls, who knew the choreography and the songs because she’d been practicing with them all along, should have taken April’s place. Rachel could have helped out in the background, but should definitely not have been The Lead.

I also had a huge problem with Will hearing that their rival school was cheating by repeatedly failing their star singer, and instead of reporting this UIL violation, he thinks, Dude! I can cheat too! April left school 15 years earlier, at the age of 18. So she’s 33. And they put her on stage with 15-year-olds? No. Not cool. She’s even older than the glee coach! Nobody had a problem with that?

*sigh* I’m really angry with the show because I wanted to it be SO GOOD, and instead it’s doing all these things to upset me.

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