Glee Recap: The Guilty Pleasure Principle

glee chris colfer richard simmonsCall me crazy, but I don’t really understand the concept of guilty pleasures. Not to get all Lima Heights on you, but I likes what I likes — and I’ll tell ya what I want (what I really, really want) in my life and on my iPod, be it Spice Girls or Was (Not Was) or even Billie Piper.

And so it goes without saying that I had a blast watching tonight’s music-heavy installment of Glee, which centered around the New Directions’ kids confessing their hidden obsessions with Barry Manilow, ABBA, Phil Collins, Wham, Bobby Brown and the Spice Girls.

Yes, I’d kill for an hour that put the NYC storylines front and center and eased up on the less dramatic Lima proceedings, but I’m tired of bringing up that gripe every week. (Oh wait, I just did.)

So if you were too busy watching “Fondue for Two” on YouTube, here’s what you missed on an episode straightforwardly titled “Guilty Pleasures”:

IS THAT A ROLL OF BREATH MINTS IN BLAINE’S POCKET OR WAS HE JUST HAPPY TO BE HUGGING SAM? | Blaine, worried by the sight of Sam stealing pasta from the cafeteria, offered his pal $50, which prompted Trouty Mouth to admit his guilty pleasure/secret skill: He wasn’t hard up for food, he just digs making macaroni art. With Mr. Schue out sick with the flu, the dynamic duo took over New Directions and asked everyone to reveal their most embarassing musical obsessions via song. When Blaine, however, couldn’t reveal his dark truth — a major crush on Sam — Sam let him off the hook, revealing he’d known all year and, frankly, found it flattering. The duo hugged it out, and the bromance continued!

KITTY GETS HER CLAWS TRIMMED | Brittany called out Kitty for being “a two-faced lying slut who no one can trust” during an appearance on Fondue for Two, which prompted the catty underclassman to make more of an effort with her New Directions cohorts. In the process, she caught the eye of Artie — and since Sugar seems to have dissolved into a pan of boiling water — don’t be surprised if romance ensues.

JAKE SHOWS WHAT BROWN CAN DO FOR YOU | Jake got chastized for wanting to sing a Chris Brown tune (ewwwww!), then changed his mind under pressure from his female glee-club buddies. His subsequent followup on Bobby Brown didn’t sit well with Marley, either, but she forgave and they smooched and I hate to say it but they’re boring me silly right now. Give Ryder something to do, folks! What happened with the Manti Te’o business?

RACHEL MAKES BRODY AN OFFER HE CAN REFUSE | Despite Brody moving out of their apartment sans explanation, Rachel kept talking about reconcilliation, and so Santana leveled with her: He’s just a gigolo. Rachel promptly confronted him with a wad of cash, wondering if it was enough to buy his time for dinner, but from that dig bloomed a mature conversation. Brody said he knew Rachel had slept with Finn when she went to Ohio for Schue’s wedding — am I remembering it wrong, or didn’t she basically admit it to him (as part of what seemed like an open relationship) when she got back to NYC? — and he knew she still loved him. Rachel revealed his suspicions were true: She loved Finn and was maybe using Brody to make him jealous. And now it was over — well, after a rousing duet on “Creep” that Rachel pretty much dominated. Oh, and they’ll try to be mature and peacefully coexist at NYADA, so let’s not expect any more Brody drama. Rachel thanked her roomies for tipping her off, pronounced herself ready to audition for Funny Girl and maybe even ready to date older men. Say what now?

Grades for this week’s musical performances…
Sam, Blaine and New Directions: Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” | Grade: B+
Sam: Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” | Grade: B
Blaine: Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” | Grade: B
The New Directions’ Ladies: The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” | Grade: A-
Jake: Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” | Grade: B
Rachel & Brody: Radiohead’s “Creep” | Grade: A- (so happy to hear Lea Michele going for broke!)
Rachel, Kurt, Santana and New Directions: ABBA’s “Mama Mia” | Grade: B (why can’t the NYC folks ever do a song start to finish without Ohio butting in?)

The Week’s Best Zingers
“Just curious: Are you gonna go over to his house and straddle him while he’s passed out and rub some ointment on his chest?” –Sam, razzing Tina after her announcement about Mr. Schue’s flu

“Two things: That cat has about three weeks to live, and this fondue smells like hot, acrid barf.” –Kitty, making her introduction on Brittany’s internet show

“I like to fart around old people and watch the look on their faces because they just assume they did it.” –Kitty, confessing a guilty pleasure

Kurt talking about his boyfriend arm pillow and creepily/amusingly mentioning “Bruce’s warm, nonjudgmental embrace.”

“He beat up a windo at Good Morning America!” –Brittany, arguing to Jake why he shouldn’t cover a Chris Brown song

Your turn. What did you think of “Guilty Pleasures”? What was your favorite musical performance? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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160 Comments
  1. Jodee says:

    I think this show has just gone so downhill in the last few seasons. Perhaps it is time to end it. I’m still watching it but I am not enjoying it nearly as much as I used to. The way it is being set up it will continue to be partly in NY and partly in Ohio. getting terribly bored by the whole concept….

  2. Lisa says:

    I couldn’t agree more about wanting NY to sing songs without having Lima chime in! I don’t know who the music supervisor is this year but what do they have against Lea Michele? Either she’s getting garbage that doesn’t show her range or she’s forced to sing with people who can’t compare vocally! I hope the show focused on NYC next year because I am over Lima!

  3. Sean C. says:

    I love how the show was (deservedly) noting what a horrible human being Chris Brown is, at the same time as portraying Finn’s assault of Brody as a romantic gesture that made Rachel swoon. Ugh.

  4. ggny says:

    I really wish the spinoff happened. Rachel,Kurt,Santana in NY and Finn,Punk,Mike in LA

  5. The guilty pleasures were all “oddly” ones more appropriate for people a little older — like the writers.

  6. DTowner says:

    Best line for me was a subtle one from Kurt to Rachel: “I named him Colin after that non-threating boy in Secret Garden. I know how much you like him.” Hahahahaha! More NYC, more Santana/Kurt/Rachel scenes. I did like Unique in the background of the Mamma Mia scene, though. Lol.

  7. topsyturvy says:

    The only problem was the shorts Blaine and Sam wore in the Go-Go number were NOT as short as the ones in the Wham! video. Historical accuracy people!!!

  8. Mon says:

    Does anyone else miss the old monotone Brittany? I really hate to say it because I love Heather Morris, but her attempts this season to give Brittany more “personality” are just cringe worthy… acting was never her main forte and now I’m starting to see why! Now I see that the wonderfully deadpan, dim one-liners were perfect because they suited her limited range.

  9. SteveO says:

    This episode really helped Glee somewhat redeem itself for me, as every subsequent season has been getting worse and worse. There were a lot of good moments this week. For one, this episode didn’t have Mr. Shue or Finn in it, which was a relief as both can get annoying. Even more of a relief was a break from the syrupy, boring, gag-inducing relationship of Jake and Marley. With the exception of the Chris Brown controversy, we didn’t have to endure the sickening, overly dramatic, and cliche-driven back-and-forth between Jake, Marley, and occasionally Ryder. Speaking of the Chris Brown controversy, I was rather disappointed that Jake caved and didn’t perform his song as planned, and even more surprised that the girls still seemed to have a problem with his eventual song choice. That aside, however, the Bobby Brown song gave Jake the perfect opportunity to show off his incredible dancing skills, and helped remind us of the fact that the Glee club does have some real talent floating in its pool of self-created drama.

    The song choices this week were great for the most part, and—despite my mixed feelings on Glee’s growing trend of breaking the “choir room performance” realism the show started with—the “costume party” flashbacks were fun to watch. (I had forgotten how cute Blaine looks without neatly-combed hair!) Rachel’s breakdown during her conversation with Brody was a great glimpse into Lea Michele’s amazing acting talents, and resulted in what I think was my greatest relief about this episode: the final break-up with Brody. The fact that he was hotter than Finn wore off really quickly for me, and after a while I started hating him…..and not just because of his dishonesty. There’s just something about Brody, Jake, Marley, and Ryder that bothers me. I don’t know if it’s their dialogue, the way they talk, or the way they’re always trying to be (or pretend to be) the “goody two-shoes” that just makes them seem less real or unnatural or like the writers are trying too hard. It’s not surprising, though. In their frantic desire to cover all bases, Glee is becoming notoriously guilty of contrivance. Every issue under the sun has to be addressed, and there just magically always happens to be a Glee club member with said issue. Characters pop back and forth between Lima and New York like it’s nothing, all to be in the right place at the right time. (And Sam and macaroni art? Besides adding nothing to the story, that one came out of nowhere.) The list goes on. Glee in general just feels like one big set-up, and not in a creative way anymore. This episode thankfully took a small break from the weekly wade through stupid drama and focused more on feel-good moments and great music (the latter of which has become mostly an after-thought lately)

    All-in-all, the episode had more feel-good moments than “gag and roll your eyes” moments, so that’s a plus for Glee, given their track record of late. I really hope they get their footing and keep getting better, because watching Glee shouldn’t have to be a “guilty pleasure.”

  10. Robin says:

    I don’t really care for Blaine Sam pairing at all…but I really loved Blaine’s cover of “Against All Odds.” I may just have to buy that!

  11. Princess Adora says:

    As a Spice Girls fan and general purist, I’m irrationally bothered that the proper Spice Girl did not sing the proper lyric – I know they’re catering to the actors’ voices but like I said, irrational.
    That may have been the only time I’ve enjoyed Against All Odds :) But I had to vote for Creep (although NOT a guilty pleasure!) because Lea killed it!!

  12. Boiler says:

    I do agree with the people that say the Lima side has not had any plot movement. If this is to continue that has to be figured out. However, as far as performers, the only male better than those in Ohio is probably Kurt. Obvioulsy Rachel and Santana are the best of the women but I also really like Marley and Kitty as well as Tina.

    I’ve advocated before that this should either be an hour and a half show or a longer season so justice could be done in both places, if the writers can figure it out.

  13. Kobe Busia says:

    I loved this episode, I thought it was great and solidly written. 1st of all, I’m glad that Matthew Morrison and Cory Monteith were out of the picture, because I didn’t want to see them. I love how Sam took an active role in this episode, and how he and Blaine came up with “Guilty Pleasures” for the assignment of the week. Blaine’s crush on Sam is ridiculous, and Blaine knows that if he keeps it up, he’s gonna set himself up for heartbreak, but for now, let’s just see how it continues to play out. On the New York side of things, thank God Santana was finally able to expose Brody as a gigolo to Rachel, and I’m glad Rachel broke it off with him, but at first when that scene was going on, I was afraid that Brody would try to justify his actions and make Rachel seem wrong, but thank God that didn’t happen, and I liked how Rachel thought it was sweet how Santana called Finn over to defend Rachel’s honor. The music in this episode was INCREDIBLE!!!! Spice Girls (even though I don’t like them), Bobby Brown, Phil Collins, Wham!, Barry Manilow, and ABBA. Every song was just insanely awesome, and I had fun the whole time, it was a rare episode where the songs were back-to-back. I’m glad the Glee club was able to do this on their own, and I would love for this type of situation to happen again. Honestly, both the New York and Lima sides of each episode are really great. I don’t know why people think it’s terrible, it’s convincing and timely. Now one thing would really help turn things around, and that is to get rid of Samuel Larsen and Vanessa Lengies, they have nothing to do, and sometimes they’re never around, they’re wasting their time on the show. At least Blake has story arcs that focus on him entirely. Which reminds me, Ryder’s online mystery girl situation was completely dropped this episode, but who knows, maybe they’ll bring it back and continue it I hated the way the girls were so against Jake wanting to do a Chris Brown song, and what Jake said was true; You should be allowed to separate a person from their work. Other than that, this episode was flawless and solid. 9/10.

  14. Kelly says:

    Can you please improve Blaine’s grade on “Against All Odds” because unlike the other songs on Glee, this song was sung live, not mastered, autotuned, and was freakin’ awesome? Thank you.

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