Controlled. Precise. Perfect.
So I’m really pumped after watching the LATEST glee episode: The Substitute, starring the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow. Therefore I have decided that after doing an intense amount of posts showing my Gleekness, I think it’s time to do, that’s right, you guessed it:
MY FIRST REVIEW OF GLEE!
Here it goes – spoiler alert, I will mention the plot of the episode, if you’re one of those people that screams when they hear spoilers look away, if you’re like me & believe spoilers enhance your viewing pleasure, enjoy!
Let’s start from the beginning,
Jane Lynch is back as the EVIL Sue Sylvester, personally I hate it when they try to humanize her character. The sister storyline is great but when that interrupts her utter disdain for Will, everything is just…awkward. So her conniving ways to get herself Principal of McKinley was pretty tricky, making Figgins sick, blackmailing officials so that she would become head honcho. Hopefully I hope the writers don’t make this permanent, I love Iqbal Theba’s part as the Principal and with Sue in that role, most of her foil will be gone – and where’s the fun in that?
The show started off strong with the impossibly cute kid versions of the entire glee club that Mr. Shue hallucinates. I was disappointed they didn’t use this to their full effect. I only burst out laughing at little Mike Chang’s statement of his only real role:
Baby Mike Chang: “I just want to dance.”
Of course, with Mr. Shue sick, Terri’s back. Yay?! I seriously hate her character, even from the first episode you knew she was a pain. Her storyline in this did nothing to justify why she returned. Oh great, her and Will slept together, he won’t take her back STILL and she gives him one last chance. Didn’t this all happen last season? The writers really need to step up if they want us to have any sympathy for Will. Sure he’s a great teacher, but he’s a total “manwhore” in the words of Sue and I find his escapades with women really do him no justice to deserve Ms. Emma Pilsbury.
But I digress, let’s go back to the episode. One of the duller storylines included Mercedes going crazy for some tater tots because she’s eating her feelings over feel abandoned by Kurt and his new “friend” Blaine. Really? I mean it’s not too much of a stretch when we’ve seen before how strongly Mercedes reacts to Kurt but I thought this was a really weakening storyline for her. I hate how the writers only focus on her ‘black’ and ‘fat’, I think Amber Riley has a lot more to bring to the table and this plot just didn’t fit it. And was anyone else disappointed with Darren Criss’ 2nd appearance? He didn’t do much and basically did not have to be there. Let’s hope they use him better next episode.
However what made this episode truly amazing was the guest star we’d all been waiting for: Gwyneth Paltrow.
I must admit, I was a little wary as to her comedic chops. I never really liked Paltrow to begin with and that only started to fade after watching the Iron Man movies. But from that first inner monologue with that monotone voice she was gold.
Holly Holiday: “It’s not easy being a substitute teacher, kids feel like they get a day off . They’ll goof off, egg your car, cut class, break into your car, throw spitballs, throw alligators in your car. And I don’t even have a nice car.”
Wouldn’t everyone want a teacher like Holly Holiday. She gives students answers, she’s fun, she gets Taco Bell for everyone, and she tells the annoying know-it-alls they suck. I think I’m in love 🙂
The realism of the Glee Club welcoming their new substitute was to DIE for as well. I love it when the writers just show the club having fun rather than being losers and hating life. And can someone please just give Artie some praise? His attempts at being black are hilarious especially when you least expect them.
Beiste is also such a great character. She may look strange but she’s funny.
Beiste: “This is not up for discussion fellas. You do NOT spray athlete’s foot medicine in your team mates eyes, COME ON!”
Now onto the songs: –
Paltrow’s rendition of ‘Forget You’ was fun, sure. Not amazing though. I loved the energy and the cuts back to Rachel’s hatred. And she’s a pretty good singer.
Schue’s Make ‘Em Laugh felt forced. The beginning was cute but a few seconds more into it and I felt awkward watching it. He likes Singin’ in the Rain, we get it. You don’t need to throw it down our throats.
Nowadays from Chicago was fun to watch. Yet awkward AGAIN. No one wants to see a teacher and student dance provocatively together. Although I have to give it bonus points cause I love me some Chicago.
Umbrella/Singin’ in the Rain was beautiful. Seriously if they performed this at Sectionals, they’d WIN! Although I have to minus marks for not letting the Glee club even sing, cause you know, it’s kinda they’re club
Overall a solid episode musically but storywise they still need to work on it. However, I really feel the season’s picking up finally. Going by the 3 Glees theory which I believe is absolutely correct, I’d say this was Ian Brennan’s doing, just because of the weird tots plot but otherwise, he’s improving 🙂
Oh and before I forget, award for best running joke in episode:
Random Glee member: “Sir I was wondering if we could do ‘insert modern song’?’
Mr. Schue: “No. But listen up guys, I’ve found a new Journey song we haven’t done yet. YAY!”
Hot Tub Time Machine. At first instance this may sound like an absolutely ridiculous film, and I wouldn’t question why. But that where I was wrong. Hot Tub Time Machine is a great comedy full of vulgarity and absurd situations leading to some great humor.
The film centers around 4 men whose lives have not gone in the direction they desired. Adam (John Cusack) a guy whose girlfriend has left him taking with her most of his possessions except for his nephew, Jacob ( Clark Duke) a video game addict who live in the basement. Lou (Rob Corddry), rightfully nicknamed the violator, is an alcoholic with no direction in life. Labelled as the“asshole” of the group, he certainly takes the liberty of being a dick to everyone he meets providing some vulgar but extremely hilarious humour. Nick (Craig Robinson) has wound up working in a dog parlour and to his dismay is married to an unfaithful and controlling wife.
When Lou almost dies after a night of a hard-drinking the group decide to head to the Kodiak Valley Ski Resort, a place in which some of their most memorable weekends were spent. Just like the boys, the resort too has seen hardship. During a crazy night of drinking in a hot tub the boys accidently spill a can of an illegal russian drink “Chernobly” and as a result wind up in 1986! At first they agree to play out the events exactly as they were for fear of having drastic consequences in the future. However they soon realise that this is the perfect opportunity for them to re write their destinies and have the future they always wanted!
There is definitely a huge 80s vibe in this film, which on its own provides great humor. The film shines in capturing the setting, from the music, to the dress and just the overall attitude of the people. When the boys bring in their 21st century lingo such as email and SMS things start to get a little confusing for others, mounting on the humor of the film. The film is full of references to 80s and I guarantee it almost impossible to spot them all in your first viewing.
The aspect of the film that disappointed me the most however was the story. Although it flowed and had a fast pace it was down right one of the silliest plot lines I’ve seen in a film. There were so many points in the movie where I found myself just thinking, ” who the hell came up with this!”. Even the time machine, a HOT TUB, how ridiculous can it be! The story itself too was also very clichéd and predictable. I felt like it could have used a few more twists to shake things up a little. Compensating for this though are the characters. It couldn’t be any better. The cast is extremely likeable and the chemistry between the characters is just brilliant. You have Lou the big asshole always getting into shit, the egocentric Adam, Nick lost and confused and Jacob stuck in the middle trying to keep things under control. They’re a blast! It’s because of these characters that we accept their outrageous circumstances and care for their issues. Comparing them to the cast from The Hangover, a film of similar pedigree, I would have to say that this quartet takes the gold.
Hot Tub Machine is a surprise hit. This is not by any shot a perfect comedy, but I would have to say its done a pretty good job when compared to some of its genre peers. It does have its flaws, but these are made up for by the extremely likeable cast that I believe saved the film from being something forgettable. If you’re a fan of the 80s, this is a must watch!