This is the episode that Madonna made, thus, this episode is largely about sex.
To be fairer, “The Power of Madonna” was more like the Church of Madonna, with the pop prowess of Madge shoved into every nook and cranny, interstitial and improbably plot device of “Glee.” And sex has been waiting to rear its bald head ever since the episode last year where the gang tackled “Push It.”
But all Madonna all the time? A show of high school outcasts, musical lovers, gays and fanatics made for outcasts, musical lovers, gays and fanatics, this show jumps the shark by design – consciously so – with branding crossovers like this as a continuance of shark jumpage. It does not surprise me, though, “The Power of Madonna” didn”t exactly delight me.
Onto the show! Seemingly from out of nowhere, all in one day, Sue Sylvester reveals her love of Madonna to her diary, and to everybody in the school, with magnum force, using her blackmail toward Principal Figgins to “pipe in” Material Girl songs all day to every room of the school. We”d ask for money, or a nicer office, but to each their own. Sue likes Madge”s “take-no-prisoners demeanor” which, natch, means she starts encouraging her Cheerios to, like Madonna, start dating younger men. It”s a long way to go to make the joke, but at least it gives us the opportunity to see Becky the Retarded Girl in the squad again.
Shoot over to Rachel, who is making girl talk with the other Gleeks, about “making out” and “doing the deed.” Without mentioning him by name – because they”re not supposed to be dating remember – she recalls Jesse St. James trying to encourage her to have sex after they were fooling around post-Wiggles concert. After she refused, he got crappy and left. Each girl went one by one to talk about their experience with sex: Mercedes “can”t wait for a guy to get mad at me for saying no”; Santana says “I never say no,” Tina recalls how Artie was dissing on her vampire look, the ilk. Mr. Schue overhears, concludes this is a problem with guys giving girls poor self-esteem about their bodies and control over their bodies, enter proselytizing.
Before we get there, we see Rachel trying to talk to guidance counselor Emma – sweet “panda-like” Emma who has never gotten busy herself – for some advice when it comes to knowing when one”s ready. This sets Emma off on an inner-tizzy (and leaves room for a good follow-up, wacky right-wing lady joke to last week”s Sarah Palin dig, this time Ann Coulter taking heat) but then again, what doesn”t?
Anyway, so Schue is trying to show the boys how awesome Madonna songs are, after seeing a stilt-enhanced Cheerios performance to “Ray of Light” and has informed the class their next theme is Madonna. The dudes are non-plussed, though conclude that Pantera is like the guy version of Madonna, which is somewhat astute. Something or other is said about the musical message of equality, the girls put on a show of “Express Yourself,” showing only flickerings of skin, thus dudes remain uninterested.
In an effort to date an “inferior man” (younger) and to mess with the Glee club/Rachel, Santana propositions Finn to “lose the big V,” a somewhat antiquated phrase I personally wouldn”t have written. “You”re as sexy as a Cabbage Patch Kid. It”s exhausting to look at you,” she tells him. Woman knows how to woo. He”s like, no thanks, but after some heart-racing, library-lovin”, hallway-dancin” action with Rachel on a “Borderline”/”Open Your Heart” mash-up (after she tells Finn that she”s secretly dating Jesse St. James), Finn is revved up and tells Santana he”s game.
Emma is told by Sue that she doesn”t deserve Madonna in her office (the wires were cut) for some ridiculous reason, which makes Emma throw herself at Schue (her words, not mine). They make a date to do the dirty that night, Schue is secretly excited because it turns out he”s a red-blooded male like all the other guys.
After an assault on Schue for stealing her idea of Madonna songs (“You can have Cher, Barbra, Christina…” but please note, kiddos, Madonna is NOT public domain, as Schue retorts) Schue makes a dig back at Sue, at her hair. This hits her like a ton of pom-poms. Kurt and Mercedes notice this, and approach Sue. Sure reveals that she”s had damaged hair since a Madonna-induced incident in her younger years, and that she”s just always been jealous of Schue”s wavy locks.
“Mercedes is black, I”m gay. We make culture.” Kurt astounds me with his wisdom. They decide to rope Sue into their little A/V project, a remake of “Vogue,” which we have posted for you here. If we were Kurt, and owned that white scarf, we”d wear it to bed. We”d wear it to the shower, to the gym. That is all.
Anyway, Jesse St. James (oh, that name) tries to make it up to Rachel, says he”s willing to wait, while Rachel spits out that she thinks she”s ready. As they hug, JSJ all but has horns growing from his head.
Split to three scenes: Finn about to get busy with Santana, Rachel with Jesse, Ms. Pillsbury with Mr. Schuester. Poor sweet Rachel “prepares” by wearing one of those nightgowns like she”s in “West Side Frikkin” Story” and Finn/Santana have a hotel room that resembles a bordello. They all sing “Like a Virgin” all razzle-dazzlin”, but it ends up a mystery – for a bit – who actually ends up having sex. It is a fine opportunity for hair tossing.
All is revealed next, as Rachel and Finn catch up Monday on each other”s dates. Rachel lies and says it was “no big deal”: but she and Jesse didn”t “go there” because she feels like she”d be sleeping with the enemy. She also uses the phrase “give myself to you” which gives me the heebies. Finn says that he”s decided to wait: this is a lie. Cut to a scene of him and Santana sitting upright in bed, clothed (?) both of them feeling nothing. Santana says one shouldn”t expect to feel anything after the first “20 or 30 times.” It”s actually really sad, the way she says this.
And Emma and Schue, it ends up, didn”t have sex. Schue feels bad for letting her throw herself at him, they decide not to date until the divorce is final (but, hey, he filed that day!), he gives her the number to a psychologist to work out her self-esteem issues and sex and stuff. Also pretty bright.
All”s not right with Glee, though, because Jesse Saint James has transferred to McKinley. Schue”s down, because it gives them the leg up in competition for regionals, Rachel”s down so that she may feel more comfortable giving leg up on Jesse, Jesse says something about true love and how he”d rather be with Rachel than win another national title (remember: horns). The rest of the cast is unhappy because they think he”s a spy (true), he”ll take all the solos (also true) and he”s kind of a douche that nobody else seems to like (sure, he”s hunky, but true).
Fast forward to a pep rally, the marching band marches, cheerleaders cheer, and Mercedes and Kurt are singing – “4 Minutes” the lyrics to which I will now change to “We”ve only got 44 minutes to hear Kurt sing.” Schue is hurt, but the two students say they wanted more opportunity to shine, so they”re going to do both. Sue is satisfied. She also uses the term “brassy hag,” which is very loveable.
Ah, a spoken word-sound intro for the boys into the soothing sounds of “What It Feels Like
For a Girl.” I instantly forget it. After an over-the-top feminazi screed from Tina, Artie gets the whole “respect women” thing down, which soothes his gal. “I was really rude to you, and you”re awesome.” Then he jokes/propositions that “if you wanna get up on it, just let me know.” Haha.
Jesse St. James notices Finn talking to Rachel after school, gets all puffy-chested (a sing off! In the parking lot! 5pm!), Finn refuses, gets all sweet and let”s Jesse and Rachel have all the room they want. Which makes Rachel dreamy-eyed. They head off to “practice” which features the most overblown, ridiculously cheesy number the Gleeks have done yet: “Like a Prayer.” I for one don”t believe groups can take a 40-person gospel choir to regionals, but let”s just suspend that reality, shall we? There”s candles and stuff, break dancing dude makes another show. Kurt sings in falsetto and Rachel sighs. End scene.
Highlights this week include a pamphlet in Emma”s office entitled “Help! I”m in love with my Step-Dad” and the hallway of Madonna look-alikes from different eras, as Rachel and Finn sing past. Not a lot of action, not a lot of hot-and-heavy action, but there”s always next week”s not-Madonna ep.