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Glee-cap: Britney/Brittany

September 29, 2010

“Students who ate the ravioli today and are not up to date on their tetanus shots should see the nurse immediately. Welcome to our Homecoming Pep Assembly…”

– Principal Figgins

Well, the long-anticipated Britney episode has come and gone, and I’m left feeling … well, bleh.

I knew things were about to get choppy when, prior jumping in to my Tivo’ed version of Glee at 10 pm (I always watch later so I can FF through all the commercials) I spotted some chatter on the Twitosphere insinuating that the episode was, well, crap.  How, I asked myself, can a Britney Spears-devoted episode of Glee, arguably the two most pleasingly corny staples of American culture, be “horrible,” as it had been deemed by some in the social media sphere?

Well, I just watched it, and although I’m not ready to say it was “horrible,” I will say it left me dissatisfied, sort of like Britney’s 2003 collaboration with Madonna on “Me Against the Music.” (You want the song to be good, you really do, but at its core it is downright forgettable.)  I attribute this post-Glee malaise to the following fundamental flaws in tonight’s show:

1) The gamble that the producers took in devoting the entire show to Britney songs, with an odd Christopher Cross reference thrown in, like an ill-conceived dash of paprika.

2) The fact that 3 out of the 5 Britney songs covered in this episode are, quite simply, very bad songs.*

Interestingly, my small but vocal Facebook focus group seemed to sum up the disharmony which Gleeks approached tonight’s episode.  In the end, my friend Marie summed it up in the best way: “The character Brittany does a great job tonight.”  So true, Marie, so true. There’s just something about watching a former Beyonce backup dancer kicking ass and taking names on a song like “Slave 4 U” that makes me want to pump my fist in the air and say something inadvertently embarrassing like “You GO, girl!” Oh, AND break out my high school dance team uniform. (Rest assured that I promptly killed that thought.)

So, kudos to Brittany S. Pierce – you rocked it.** It was good to see you come out of your shell of dumbness tonight and show us what you’ve got.  Hopefully, it won’t be the last time.

Until next time, Gleeks …

*Which got me thinking that, to be fair, MOST of Britney Spears’ songs are bad, but still …

**(For what it’s worth, I also thought Rachel’s little “Hit Me Baby One More Time” ditty was sort of cute, and emblematic of the longed-for, good old days of Squeaky-Clean-Britney.)

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