In my online video last week, I mentioned my distaste for the teacher/student lip-lock on "Glee." But that was not the only time the show felt off-kilter this year, indicating once again that the makers had a good idea for one season but lost all inspiration in the second.
This week's episode seemed a rebound, albeit one which still had problems. Julia Fuller, a reader of some of my ramblings, asked an obvious question: Why did the school's production of "West Side Story" seem to consist of kids from New Directions? Yes, Santana is in the splinter group now, but still -- weren't there students at the school who embrace musical theater but not show choir? Of course, there are many times when McKinley seems to be the least populated high school in Ohio, its student body consisting of a few small and overlapping groups.
Other issues: The weird continuity which had Kurt's father campaigning -- a continuation of the previous episode -- but ignored the Puck and Quinn arcs from the previous shows. The Puck arc will apparently pick up again in the next episode, but both he and Quinn qwere on emotional/narrative hold this week, as if the episode was meant to be self-contained. As much as I like the songs of "West Side Story," I could not forget that the use, even overuse, of them in this episode was just one big old product-placement for the theatrical showings today and the release of the special-edition Blu-ray of "West Side Story" on Nov. 15.
And there still seemed to be some timidity in the handling of the physical relationship between Blaine and Kurt, certainly in comparison to the Finn/Rachel physical contact.
Also, my Rachel Fatigue is unending, and I cannot understand why Finn has not dumped her, especially after that whole get-it-over-with moment.
Yet I still thought the episode as a whole was all right, and an improvement on some other telecasts this season. I liked the way both Kurt and Finn wanted romance in their relationships -- that neither was just in it for the sex. In fact, the episode was really romantic, not only for those couples but for Coach Beiste, who deserves more love in her life (and who is so well played by Dot-Marie Jones). Finn's facing the limitations on his life plan was also done effectively -- although I wish Rachel would get a similar moment where she is told she is not as good as she thinks. (Her NOT getting cast as Maria would have been a much better dramatic move for the series.) And there may be more to say about the cost of love, especially in light of Blaine's committing to one object of affection, Kurt, has meant giving up others, in Dalton and the Warblers; his near-straying last night certainly suggested his ambivalence about his choice.
But I wonder again where Blaine's parents were when he decided to change schools. Add that is just one of the many glaring flaws in "Glee." But, as much as I disliked what it did a week ago, I was more inclined to like it this week. I just cringe when I imagine where it might go next.