Gabe Liedman is a stand-up comedian, and one half of the Gabe and Jenny comedy team with Jenny Slate. But at the top of that resume it states that he is Videogum’s Official Expert on this season of Glee.
So, the season finale of Glee, you guys! For a show that thinks it’s suuuuuper funny, this episode didn’t really try so hard to make anyone laugh. In fact, it was a solid hour of dramatic ends-tying-up in unsurprising ways, with maybe three jokes thrown in, of which maybe two were pretty funny (the one about Tina only having 2 Facebook friends, her parents, made me LOLOLOL). And, you know what? It worked for me! It’s not that I was moved, or impressed, or excited, or turned on, or even really entertained by this episode; but, I was satisfied by it, and sometimes, I guess that’s supposed to be enough. I give it a C+, a passing grade, and better than a lot of the grades other people have given me over the years, so pulverize THAT and put it in your vaporizer, academia. My expectations were high a couple days ago, but by the time the show started, they were down at zero where they fucking belonged, and in the end, I’m a happy person. Oh, and a Glee fan, still! Class dismissed!
The episode started off with us learning that Sue’s going to be a judge at Gleegionals, because she is a local celebrity, and her opinion is worth more than other people’s. That sends Schue into a self-righteous tizzy, scripted largely by his hairdresser, who is a blind woman from the ‘90’s. The Gleetards are also worries as fuck—if they don’t “place” at Gleegionals, their favorite afterschool activitiy (slowly becoming bald, and ugly, and too fat to fit up the stairs) will be cancelled for good! Also, pretty cool that they don’t have to win, just “place,” which means come in 2nd out of 4, but they don’t see it that way. They see it as an excuse to weep and weep and weep until all the assholes watching them at home feel like they have to weep as well.
Quinn has a hormonal flashback to the time Puck knocked her up. They are making out on a couch, he is feeding her wine coolers, and she is reticent about giving up her prized v-card. She’s all “what about Finn” and he’s all “you won’t care about that dumb ape in five years,” and she’s all “I’m the president of the virginity UN” or some shit, and he’s all “you’re not fat” and then they SLAM. We don’t get to see any of the good shit, but I can direct you to some pay-per-view online documentary sites that’ll give you a pretty clear idea of what happened next. “You’re not fat” is the ultimate turn-on for all women, I’m pretty sure—even fat ones—the only risk you run is that it makes them soooooo fertile. Try it out!
Schue hosts a pizza party at his bachelor pad for all the Gleetards. He wants them to feed their zits all the grease they need to “place” at Gleegionals. But the Gleetards are saaaaaaaaaaaaad, about how their club for assholes is definitely going to be OVER after Sue the celebrity votes “No” on Prop Dork, to eat the pizza that Schue refinanced his helmet for. They’re even too sad to sit around in a circle and rattle off songs that might be chill to scream at Gleegionals, which was the other reason Schue flung open his beaded doorway curtains for. Rachel suggests that instead of nominating songs to scream during Gleegionals, everyone should go around in a circle and say what they’re Thankful for since Glee Club’s been in their life. And that, my Pretties, was the very first ThanksGleeving (they eventually skinned the neighbors alive and stole all their tobacco seeds and covered their corpses with small pox Snuggies).
Schue goes to Emma for guidance—all the devils in her head give killer advice, if they can smell quality tear-salts on your cheeks. Emma reminds Schue that there was once a day, during the Pilot of the TV show he lives inside, that even he felt like he should give up on screaming bad songs at the top of his lungs with a group of assholes in ill-fitting tops and become an accountant; but, he found the strength (L’Oreal’s Extra Strength Hemp-Based Bush Polish For The Head) to Glee on. Schue’s Dispatch-tape-for-a-heart feels all good and happy when Emma says that memory out loud, but then it feels BAD BAD BAD when she tells him that she’s dating her dentist (because he can numb her COMPLETELY before it’s time to hug), but they have not yet F.U.C.K.E.D.
After school, Schue goes for a joyride in his cum-splattered Ford Taurus station wagon with AM radio only and an open can of Pringles Pizzalicious on its side in the trunk from the previous owner who had to sell it in the newspaper for $100 to cover his glue huffing addiction, when suddenly the most interesting song in the entire world comes on: “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey! Schue’s memory-curls picture the Gleetards screaming it back in the Pilot of the TV show he lives inside of, and he has to pull over into the shoulder of the road to cry and cry and cry and cry and cry.
Finn confronts Rachel about stealing all the bananas from the cafeteria, and she’s like “maybe they’re just not in season,” and he flies into a rage and rips a lady’s face off, and then she goes on Oprah. Then Finn tells Rachel that the Gleetards need a strong leader, now more than ever, because they are weak and scared and Monkey hate living in diorama in zoo with fake tree. Then, he kisses Rachel, passionately, from the <3, and I was like “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!” because I was wearing my virtual reality helmet during the episode and I’ve always wanted to kiss a famous TV Chimp (Nurse Jackie, consider yourself off the hook for now)!
Schue’s sick of all the moping and the “we won’t succGLEEd” tattoos on all his slaves’ hearts. Emma, and the radio in his stinky car, have reminded him that shit’s not about winning, or even “placing,” shit’s about the journey—THE BAND CALLED JOURNEY. So, without any further ado, Nude Erections (thanks, the Monster who realized that that’s what New Directions sounds like!!!) will sing a medley of Journey songs at Gleegionals, which is sure to make everyone on the judges panel vote “YAAAAAAY! this reminds me of the last episode of The Soprano’s, I think, and also frat boys I wish would rape me!”
Suddenly, it’s time for Gleegionals, without so much as a rehearsal montage for fuck’s sake, and the celebrity judges are introduced: Josh Groban, Olivia Newton John, the local anchorman who fucked Sue then cheated on her in 2009-ish, and Sue Sylvester—champion cheerleading coach, and author of the upcumming memoir I’m a Winner, You’re Fat. Eh. I bet there were four too many meetings about that book title.
Up first is Aural Intensity, which is a hilarious name when you say it out loud, who sings a mash-up of some Josh Groban queef and some Olivia Newton John queef, because someone has done some esGleeonage and they definitely knew who the celebrity judges were going to be. The Gleetards are backstage pooping in their Spanx about it, but Schue calms them down with what I think was supposed to be a joke—they have a secret weapon, and the secret weapon is Finn’s dancing. Then Finn tells Rachel he <3s her soooooo much with his <3, and then it’s SHOWTIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nude Erections sings the fuck out of their Journey medley, opening up with a Finn/Rachel duet of “Forever Yours” (AWESOME SONG, NO HOMO), which bled into a full cast rendition of “Any Way You Want It” (with Rachel and Finn still on lead, but Puck has a little solo too), and ending on a reprise of the song they farted all the White House windows back to sand with, “Don’t Stop Believin’” (with solos for Finn, Rachel, Puck, Santana, and a massive howl by Mercedes to indicate a key change). It was a good performance, despite the Tori Burch for UPS costuming, check out the audio:
During the Gleeformance, Quinn’s mom shows up in the audience, Botox’d within in an inch of her life, fresh off the set of Saw 6: Even Cindy McCain Saws the Blues. She indicates, with her eyes BUT NOT HER FACE FLESH that she is proud, and has missed her daughter, who has been robbed of stagetime by the criminals behind the TV show she lives inside of.
The Gleetards are sooooooo proud of themselves, and Quinn’s mom drags her casket-in-a-purse backstage to make her eerie presence known. She tells Quinn she kicked her Fox News dad out of the house for cheating on her with some “tattooed freak” (JUST LIKE WHEN SANDRA BULLOCK GOT 9/11’d!!!!!!!!!!!). She wants Quinn to forgive her for the FUCKING HORRIBLE AND TEMPORARILY LIFE RUINING AND TOTALLY ABUSIVE thing she did to her, making her be homeless while pregnant and all, and come back to home to live with her in the mansion of fancy horrors. Quinn seems kind of touched for a second, but then we learn her expression is just that of a young woman whose water is breaking!!!!!
Then, there was this commercial for ABC Family’s “Huge” with Nikki Blonsky (the alleged vagina kicker), which made me choke on my takeout Middle Eastern.
Vocal Adrenaline finally takes the stage in some of the most hideous outfits ever conceived of. They looked like a coming-down-from-Meth-but-planning-to-do-a-lot-more-once-the-paycheck-I-stole-from-my-roommate’s-purse-while-she-was-masturbating-clears support group uniform. They screamed “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Wayne’s World, with Mr. Jesse St. James on lead vocals. Boy can S.I.N.G., and whoever choreographed this number should get a medal of honor from the My Fantasy League of Dance Critics. It was GORGEOUS, and whatever limp dicked future husband of mine directed this episode made a pretty “artistic” choice during this scene, cutting back and forth to the delivery room where Quinn was pushing a baby out of her butt. As the music swelled, her labor shrieks of “let me go” and “no, no, no, no, no” became one with the Muzak. Not so much in this studio version, but use your imagination-heartz:
Jonathan Groff can fucking wail. Take that, Ramin Satoodeh of Newsweek, which I should’ve mentioned back in late April but failed to. Your article from awhile ago was a piece of shit, which is probably your favorite snack (high in Vitamin Shit).
Anyway, “Bohemian Rhapsody” whipped the crowd into a tizzy, of sorts, who ALL had glowsticks to wave back and forth. Rachel, who either did or did not accompany Quinn to the hospital (OR MAYBE SHE WAS IN BOTH PLACES (this shit’s like Lost, that old TV show about churches)), watched the performance from the back of the room and glared at her ex-beau the whole time. She is pissed, even though she and Finn are in <3 with each other’s <3s. Then we see Quinn and Puck’s baby, Beth, and she is the cutest fucking shit in the whole motherfucking world.
Then there was this commercial for ProActiv where Katy Perry has the stiffest, most voluminous Rachel in history. If I gave one fart about her and her bullshit, that fart would’ve imploded in on itself and taken the whole borough of Brooklyn with it when I saw this. Instead, I could only marvel at the ‘90’s-ness of her whole goddamn game—she’s like Cool Runnings as remembered by Donatello the Ninja Turtle, she’s so fucking ‘90’s. Take it in, my lovelies:
Oh, and also, Riley from Buffy is in Knight and Day, and even though he’s bloated and has a mustache, I’d still sit on it.
Right, but, Glee. Why is this recap in real time, commercials and all? BECAUSE. Backstage at Gleegionals, Rachel has a talk with MILF Rachel about the future. Rachel’s all “Vocal Adrenaline is OVER, you should come teach at McKinley—there’s so much you could teach me (about what to do with cocks, and stuff),” and MILF Rachel’s like “I’m done with teaching, I want a real life already.” Burn.
Over in the judges’ chambers, the judges are discussing the shit they’ve seen, and Josh Groban LOVES Nude Erections. But, Olivia Newton John is all about Aural Intensity, and re: Rachel’s singing skills, “brunettes have no place in show business.” LOL. Then, the true celebrities all gang up on Sue Sylvester because they don’t think she’s famous enough to be considered a celebrity judge, and this hurts the feelings we’ve learned she has over the course of this season. She starts to identify with the dorxxx in Nude Erections—her soul is all but dripping in emotion-Slurpee. Then Sue gets to read the judges’ results onstage, and Nude Erections come up empty-handed, having lost to Vocal Adrenaline and Aural Intensity. Sue makes some eye-acting-moves like maaaaaaybe she fuck’t ‘em on purpose.
Puck and Quinn go to view their daughter through the window at the hospital I only know about because of movies and TV, and Puck tells Quinn he <3s her with his <3 (his <3 is behind his PECz). Then MILF Rachel shows up out of nowhere and is like “which one is yours? Oh, wait, I can tell, nevermind, goodbye forever!” Normal…
Emma’s brain devils don’t take the news of Nude Erections losing, therefore losing their practice space and all school board funding, well AT ALL. She screams hatred right at Principal Figgins’ face, and Schue looks on with the tiniest boner in Ohio. After she is done her tirade of dementia, Schue tells her to calm the funk down, then he tells her he <3s her with his <3, and then he kisses her mouth with his mouth (the scene of him gargling with boiling hot bleach for hours must’ve been edited out due to time). To celebrate, Emma blinds herself with Lysol and then listens to Girl, Interrupted forward and backward while pulling out her underarm hairs one by one (I think that was edited out, too).
The Gleetards are at peace with their defeat, but first they want to say thanks to Schue for teaching them that even douche bags whose owners force them to rap can have beautiful curls if they just put the time in. So, they bring him to the auditorium, and tell him what makes them thankful about him, and even Matt Rutherford HAD A FUCKING LINE ALREADY (LOLz, that actor’s first name is DIJON <3 <3 <3 <3). Then, all the Gleetards and Schue cry SO FUCKING HARD while the kids scream “To Sir With Love” by Lulu and the Mindbenders across the auditorium to Schue’s perch at the directors’ desk. There were sooooo many great solos in this number, basically everyone in the cast either solos or duets on this number EXCEPT BRITTANY AND MIKE which is literally DISGUSTING AND WRONG. For fuck’s sake, let them scream! With moves like theirs, their screaming’s got to be at LEAST fine! Sue walks in during the song and is moved to tears as well.
The number is pretty fantastic, take a listen:
Sue comes by the Gleehearsal room to fuck with Schue a little bit while he’s cleaning up. At first, she’s mean, FINALLY delivering a funny speech of hatred:
“I know you think I’m heartless, and you may have a point. I spend large segments of each day picturing you choking on food. And I recently contacted an exotic animal dealer because I had a very satisfying dream where the two of us went to a zoo and I shoved your face into one of those pink, inflamed monkey butts that weeps lymph. And I know you think I’m a bad person, because I remain unmoved by your nattering of trite platitudes to your ill-shapen students about how the human condition can be improved by just singing about it. And I’ve proven that I can wipe you, and your Glee Club, off the face of this Earth. But what kind of a world would that be, Will?”
…but then she turns all soft and gooey, and we see that not only did she vote for Nude Erections to come in 1st place at Gleegionals, but even though they didn’t even come in 2nd, she’s not going to let Figgins shut the club down! No Doy! It’s all cloaked in “what would I be without my nemesis” bullshit, but at the end of the day, it’s really because so many people watch the TV show she lives inside of, and the fucking shit can’t end now.
Schue is so grateful for the non-death of Nude Erections that he sits his slaves down and gives them some song payback by screaming “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by The Disney World Commercials From Several Years Ago in their faces, with Puck on backup/harmony. It’s a beautiful arrangement, and may have manipulated a few more tears out of my face if I hadn’t just seen some schmoe sing it on America’s Got Talent five minutes before Glee started. But, it’s a pretty song, and even Sharon Osbourne peed cobwebs out of her tear-holes over it. Please enjoy:
Schue plinked the ukulele, while Puck pec’d the guitar, and the whole thing was very fucking touching. During the song, my limp dicked future hubby cut away to MILF Rachel adopting Beth, Quinn and Puck’s daughter, and that was also touching as shit. Awww, she’s going to be such a sexual mom.
And, well, I guess that’s how she ends: crying, tied up in a bow, crying, singing a sappy song, crying, looking forward to the future, crying, holding a baby, harmonizing, making amends, admitting that your <3 <3s who it <3s, crying, crying, crying… I think it was a fine end to the first season—I would’ve loved if it was funnier, or had better music, or more sex, or more intrigue, or set something up for next season, or if it had been all about Brittany, or if Mercedes had had a fucking number for fuck’s sake, or, or, or. But, fuck it, it’s Glee, it’s stupid and sappy and gay and fun and cute and easy and when it wants to be it’s hilarious and insightful. Last night it didn’t want to be—it wanted to be touching and corny, like the oeuvre from which it was diarrhea’d, and I can make myself be okay with that.
Just make sure that next season is fucking hilarious, which it obvsnodoy will be. “How will it be, if Sue doesn’t hate Nude Erections?!” you might be asking right now. Well, how the fuck should I know? I don’t. No one does. Empty bottles of nail polish write this fucking show on the insides of empty Ramen cups in the bottom of a Broadway reject’s unsorted recycling bin, and that’s what makes it so fucking magical—that all the life-sized people fit into the TV screen, and when they sing, music plays. It’s magical, and I’ll miss it this summer. Oh, a tear! A real human tear! My face is raining!