Videogum

Glee S01E21: Thank God They’re Not Even Capable of Being Any Funkier

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.

When I heard that Glee was going to do a funk-themed episode this week, I immediately put myself on a gun waiting list, and drew up suicide notes for all the actors. If there’s one thing Glee is not, besides good and sexy and original and non-anti-Semitic and unpredictable and worth-watching and cool and inspirational, it’s FUNKY. Whoopz, funk? But, actually you guys—this episode was NOT BAD AT ALL. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!! I mean, it wasn’t particularly funky either, but thank GOD. The last thing this world needs is Schue pimp-limping around in a Dr. Seuss hat with bright-blue dreads and gold front teeth. What would people say?! They’d say “I can’t remember why I need to get my eyeballs removed, but I have an appointment at 11, can I take my lunch early?” Instead, this was a fast-paced and funny episode with a mixed-bag of musical numbers, and so much fucking Sue Sylvester I ALMOST forgive them for leaving her out entirely last week. ALMOST. Oh, and is Emma dead or some shit? Did the devils in her head tell her to move away from Ohio and sweep up the entire Appalachian Trail and then she died of exhaustion? Did she hear about the BP oil spill and completely fucking freak out? Who cares? (I cares.)

The episode started off with Rachel and the other Gleetards finding out that Jesse has transferred back to Carmel High, and now he’s singing with all his friends in Vocal Adrenaline. They have a homosexual tradition called The Funkification (been there) where they show up at the competition’s school and do a big choreographed number right on their stage to psych them out and mark their Gleerritory right before Regionalz. This year, McKinley is the competition and “Another One Bites the Dust” is the number. The Gleetards are psyched out alright, because the number is dynamite, and Jesse is a stud. Sorry, Rachel, but he is.

Vocal Adrenaline’s gone one step further, and T.P.’d the Gleetard’s rehearsal room, and everyone falls into a deep depression. What’s more—Sue is back from her one-episode hiatus in full Sue-mode, and announces that she plans to turn the rehearsal room into her trophy annex. The Cheerios are competing in Nationals this weekend, and Sue just KNOWS she’s going to have one more trophy to display, and it’s not going to fit in her office (unless she puts it on her desk chair and sits down REAL fast). Her announcement begins with one of the MANY MANY amazing Sue-quotables in the episode, all of which more than made up for her absence last week:
”Listen up Glee Clubbers, for those of you whose hearing has not been damaged by massive doses of Accutane…”

But, Schue’s not going to take that lying down—he prefers reverse cowgirl—so he puts his protective helmet to good use and stands up to Sue by taking one of her zillion trophies and breaking the shit out of it. It. is. awesome. Schue’s all emotional and confident because today is the day he and Terri finally sign their divorce papers. They do it, and Terri’s all “you’ll always be that 16 year old boy to me,” and Schue’s all “I love beautiful corduroys.” He is happy to be done with Terri for good, and he regrets staying with her as long as he did. He wants to make sure that none of his foster-dorkz have any regrets in life, so he encourages them to retaliate against Vocal Adrenaline for Gleeing all over their holy spaces.

Puck and Finn take the retaliation lead, and slash the tires of all of Vocal Adrenaline’s matching Range Rovers. This is a major crime, no doy, and MILF Rachel is furious. One jug is like “how” and the other one is like “rude!” MILF Rachel, Schue, Principal Figgins, Finn, Puck, and obvsnodoy Sue have to have a sit-down talk-about in Figgins’ office to discuss the boys’ punishment. Sue wants no Gleeniency for the boys, and it’s here that she out-Sues herself with a genius-speech of memory-shattering proportions:
“That’s what they said about a young man in Chicago, in 1871, who thought he’d play a harmless prank on the dairy cow of one Mrs. O’Leary. He successfully ignited its flatulence and the city burned, William. That young terrorist went on to be the first gay President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.” LOLOLOLOLz, 1871.

Puck and Finn agree to pay for the damage they did with their pecs ‘n paws by getting after-school jobs, and then Figgins hits on MILF Rachel because her long beautiful head hair reminds him of his long beautiful chest hair, and they both like spicy food (one can assume).

Schue’s in such a funk about Terri and Vocal Adrenaline and the fact that he can’t afford a flight down to the Gulf to dip his head in the wetlands and grease up for a year, so he ALMOST buys a bag of pot from Sandy the Perv marked “Chronic Lady” (named after my first album of Adele covers). But he chicken-tenders out, and decides to harness his funk into art, or some shit, because as he puts it: FUNK = soul + anger, and he’s got one of those (he’s got an equals sign tramp-stamp).

Schue wants all the Gleetards to think of an awesome Funk song and sing it this week, and Mercedes gets aaaall cocky because she’s the funkiest lady in Funkytown. But, she’s got some competition from Quinn who NEEDS to get funky, because after all, FUNK = false eyelashes + bareback sex. She’s more pissed off and soulful than ever, what with the baby she’s been lugging around in her shift dresses and peasant blouses for the past 50 months.

Rachel, on the other hand, is in too deep of a funk to even sing about it (prove it (PLEASE DON’T PROVE IT RACHEL)). Her <3 is BROKED, and she goes to Schue for a nice skull to cry on (the tears just bead right up); but, Schue’s too distracted by his own funk to give two funks to Rachel’s funk. After all, FUNK = biceps + still listening to Smash Mouth. Rachel’s <3break gives Schue an idea that weirdly didn’t occur to him 18 episodes ago when Sue fell for the news reporter asshole: the way to defeat Sue Sylvester is to make her fall in love, and then break her froze-ass <3 into a million jagged pieces of Hell rock.

So, in a scene that will go down in history as one of the weirdest fucking things ever put on tape, and that includes aaaaaaall of Xtube, Schue lures Sue to the rehearsal room after dark to seduce her with an incredibly ass-centric rendition of “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus & Chaka Khan. Now, this is one of the greatest songs ever written, and watching Schue try and be all enticing while singing it was a mind-fuck and a haaaalf. I was a little scared I’d dropped some Nair for Men in my Chronic Lady or some shit (multi-tasking), but no, it was actual-factual, televised insanity.


Sue’s Fortress of Solitude is flooded with feelings-having, despite herself; Schue’s rock hard BUNZ are no match for her dignified hatred. She’s seduced alright, even though Schue’s big tease leaves out his secret weapon: going topless.

Then a commercial for Drop Dead Diva came on with Paula Abdul as a guest star and I got so excited my apartment exploded and everyone died and now I’m a ghost.

Puck and Finn get a job at Sheets and Things, a Bed Bath & Beyond type store where Terri is the manager and Sandy the Perv is a nightmare customer. Terri is anti-Semitic to Puck (“I thought Jews were supposed to be smart”), but sopping wet for Finn, who reminds her of a teenage Schue, minus the Guster tapes and pink feathery pens from Clueless. The store is a sad place to werk, so Puck and Finn sing “Loser” by Beck, with Terri and Sandy on backup, which is an awesome choice and good job Glee.

Schue continues his seduction of Sue by asking her out on a date right before Nationals. He even throws in a hilarious line: “You know what Wednesday is, right? Hump Day.” H.O.T L.O.L. Terri begins her seduction of Finn, and he’s kind of into it, so far as an ape can be “into” things.

FINN: You’d be a total MILF it wasn’t for faking the whole mother thing…
TERRI: You can be my second chance.
ME: WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s time for Quinn to let her funk-flag fly, so she and “The Unwed Mothership Connection” (a group of anonymous extras with prosthetic pregnancy bellies), sing “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown, but not before Quinn gives an impassioned speech about being oppressed by the man, which makes everyone squirm like woah. The number is pretty fucking gr8—Quinn rulez, and her voice, reaching for some soulful-ass screams in the chorus, is adorable. She pulls it off—look, she’s not James Brown. She’s not even James Taylor or Taylor Dayne or Taylor Lautner for that matter. But, I felt it, and apparently so did the rest of the Gleetards, who group-hugged her pregnant ass for being soooooooooo funky.


LOVE LOVE LOVE those Lamaze-breath backup rhythmz. Yaaaay.

Sue shows up for her date with Schue wearing a tracksuit, pearls, and a touch of eyeliner, but Schue is no-show. Bitch stood her up!!! Sue is incensed, so she marches over to Schue’s douchepad to confront him; but, he’s still in funky-mode and tells her to fuck off—he’s just dishing out a dose of her own medicine. Werk.

Sue is devastated, and won’t get out of bed—Schue’s helmet’s plan worked. Nationals are just days away, and The Cheerios are FUCKED without their leader—they all fall into a crippling depression that manifests itself as Victorian insanity.

“Pucky Puck” and “Finny Finn” decide to funk everyone’s brains to death by performing their big number in rehearsal—“Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, with Mercedes singing the hook. Woof, you guys, it was not a cool number, even though Mercedes singing usually makes everything perfect and wonderful and memorable and perfect. But girl is powerless against the horribleness that is Glee-hop, proven time and time and time and time again. Ew, you guys, knock it the fuck off already.

Now, I’m no dummy, I know this number was “supposed” to be bad, but Glee never quite pulls that off for me. I h8’d the “bad songz” episode for this same reason.

Schue’s not feeling the good vibrations either (I guess his hacky-sack buttplug ran out of juice?), and reprimands the 3some for not being funky enough. Mercedes is humiliated, because she’s supposed to be suuuuuuuuper funky, and now her spot’s all blown up. She and Quinn have a sit-down talk-about which is full of wisdom, and they commiserate about feeling like outsiders in a world full of bitch-ass motherfuckers. Then, in a twist that I did not see coming, and was so touching that I snarfed some Pad Thai right across the room, Mercedes tells Quinn that she should move in with her and her family, so she doesn’t have to be a prisoner of Puck’s mom’s Jewishness anymore.

MERCEDES: Us sistas gotta stick together, right?
QUINN: That’s right my proud, African-American soul-sista! Fuck the Jewz! Fuck every single Jew to death.
MERCEDES: Oh, I don’t think I meant that
QUINN: Phat.

Seeing The Cheerios in disarray, with so many college scholarships on the line, makes Schue feel bad about being a mean asshole to Sue. So, he goes over to her house to make amends. Sue’s house is COVERED in the MOST TROPHIES ever, and whoever art directed this set is a fucking geeeenius. It’s hilarious.

Sue’s not depressed because she really loved Schue. In fact, she genuinely hates him. She’s just depressed because she fell so hard for the first guy who showed any interest in her, and deep down, she’s lonely as fuck, and Schue woulda made a great trophy to add to her collection (he’s already got the fake-metal hair and smoothed-down no-dick area). In the end, though, Sue’s not alone—she’s got her Cheerios slaves, and that’s enough for any psycho to be proud of, so she gets out of bed and marches on toward Nationals.

Jesse lures Rachel out to the parking lot during school, and she’s all excited because she thinks they’re gonna get back together; but, instead, Vocal Adrenaline is waiting for her there, and they pelt her with raw eggs. Then Jesse walks right up to Rachel and tells her he used to love her, then breaks an egg on her forehead, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 style. Meow.

Rachel is a vegan, so now she’s haunted by the mothers of all of the chicken fetuses who died when they were smeared across her Rugrats costume. The rest of the Gleetards are pissed and want BLOOD, but Schue has another idea tucked away in his daisy-print basket of poetry and plans. He calls up Vocal Adrenaline on their phone number? and tells them to come to the McKinley auditorium, to get SERVED.

The Cheerios win Nationals, thanks in large part to Kurt’s 14 minute long Celine Dion medley sung entirely in French, which they don’t even show us a clip of, which is A HATE CRIME. “The whispers, in the morning… Of lovers sleeEEEE-piiing tight…” Sue gets the hugest trophy ever, and makes her slaves carry it over to Schue’s apartment, where she blackmails him into almost Frenching her. But, right before the tongues come out, and then in, and then out again, and then swirl around and flick back and forth, and then come out, and then go in again, Sue brings it to a screeching halt—she’s not gonna French that douche because even his breath “stinks of mediocrity.” BURN. BURN NOTICE: YOU JUST GOT BURNT.

Then, it’s time for the big finale: the Gleetards “do” “Give Up the Funk” by Parliament, right in Vocal Adrenaline’s faces, as punishment for being superior. Punishing: that’s what this shit was. WOAH.

Except for Brittany the Perfect, as always, being SO GOOD AT DANCING, this number was some moldy American Cheese at the bottom of a sandy beach tote. Obvsnodoy, Schue LOOOOVED IT, and also, Vocal Adrenaline got totez psych’d out by it, because apparently they have a voodoo curse on them that prevents them from being terrible at screaming funk songs at the same time and borrowing Jamiroquai’s least favorite clothing. So, now they’re all “oh no!” about Regionalz, and New Directions are all “OMG YAAAAAAAAAAY” about their funkiness.

Next week is the season finale, which is intense. Everyone: dial 9-1 on your phone, and let your thumb hover above the 1 until next Tuesday, because if the Regionals episode is lame, I’m going to need A LOT of ambulances to carry my different body parts to the same hospital.