Whose idea was it to focus an entire episode of "Glee" around the entire cast starring in remakes of Britney Spears videos brought on by hallucinations from generous doses of nitrous oxide given by John Stamos? Can we give this person a prize, something like an open-ended contract to keep writing for this show until it goes off the air or until they actually "deliver" on the shark-jumping Christopher Cross tribute episode?
Maybe I was wrong last year when I wrote that they'd better not overdo it with tribute episodes this season.
"I'm a Slave 4 U". A. What better way to use Heather Morris (an amateur actor/singer but a great dancer) than to doll her up as Britney and turn her loose to dance the bejeezus out of Brit's best ever single (complete with iconic snake dance from the 2001 MTV Video Awards). Finally, an episode of "Glee" where the dancers get to actually do something instead of being background characters who are rarely heard from. Wat better way to pull it off than during a Britney Spears week (i.e. real singing talent optional)? This was HOTTT. It doesn't get an A-plus because then I'd be claiming that this basically a perfect performance and one of the best two or three songs in the history of the show, and I'm not ready to do that yet because let's face it, it's still the start of the season and we wouldn't want everything to be downhill from here onward, would be?
"Me Against the Music". B. The chemistry between Madonna and Britney c. 2003 is difficult to pantomime, even with two hot make-believe cheerleaders. This was efficient and professional, but the sexuality felt somewhat forced.
"Hit Me One More Time". B. Lea Michele is a bit lost when she has to sing something as simple as this, and let's be honest, there is NO room for vocal calisthenics on most Britney Spears songs (and most definitely not on this song). Small bonus points for going against type with the not-so-innocent schoolgirl look.
"Stronger". C-. All the soap opera storylines from last season have vanished without a trace -- Quinn's pregnancy, Rachel's search for her mother, Mr. Schue's marriage falling apart, all of them are gone, undone. With the exception Rachel and Finn as a couple, we're back to where we were one year ago -- Artie likes Tina, Quinn is a Cheerio again, Finn is back on the football team, Mr. Schue likes Ms. Pillsbury, etc. And in yet another throwback to the start of last season, here's "Glee" grasping for novelty points by doing a dance number with the football team. There were a few interesting dance sequences, but that's about it. Surely they can think of something better to do with Artie than having him join the football team, which is a storyline I don't think anyone is buying.
"Toxic". B+. Remaking the song as a mid-tempo rock number = big win (I never did like the plastic production style and frantic pacing of the original). Any performance with Mr. Schuester tends to be great, especially if he's doing something embarrassing and/or inappropriate within the story (both apply here). And don't forget about the Charlie Chaplin hats! Well done, Glee.
"It's a Britney Spears sex riot!!!!". A+ line. Jane Lynch is taking it to another level this season.
"The Only Exception". B-. I'd never heard this song before (by the band Paramore), and it sounded OK I guess. I didn't understand why they tried to pass it off as some big weepy moment to end all weepy moments. That massive overstatement kinda ruined the song for me.