I've prepared separate intro blurbs, depending on who you are. Find the one that is most appropriate for you!
I Don't Watch Glee: I know, I know. Welcome to this week's Sports On TV, featuring the first show I've ever watched specifically for the benefit of the column, FOX's 'Glee'. If you've never seen it, it's a show your niece probably watched two or three years ago about a glee club at a Lima, Ohio, high school who interpret their feelings via reality-warping musical numbers. If you've never seen it and know what it is, yeah, it's not great. However, if you're a regular reader of the column, you'll hopefully have a little faith in my writing/ability to write aggressively about stuff that sucks, so take a look through this one anyway. You'll find a lot of funny jokes, a few pictures of hot girls and at least one video of zombie football players. That's something, right?
I Watch Glee, And I Love It: Welcome to this week's Sports On TV column, wherein I rag on that show you like because it's not aimed at my intelligence level or demographic. Please read through the moments I've selected, tear apart any inaccuracies in my analysis, and show it to all of your friends so they can do the same. Make it really virally popular so nobody who likes 'Glee' will ever come here again!
I Watch Glee (Or Have Watched Glee) And Do Not Like It: You're probably going to love this.
So please click through and enjoy the 20 greatest sports moments of 'Glee'. *unnecessary bell ringing sound*
More Sports On TV: Saved By The Bell | Full House | King Of The Hill | The Wire | The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air | Parks And Recreation | Married... With Children | 30 Rock | The Brady Bunch | The Three Stooges | The Simpsons
Episode: "Preggers" (season 1, episode 4)
What Happens: Kurt Hummel is a homosexual kid trying to be himself and grow up in rural Ohio, and, because he is a well-constructed, realistic role model for a nation of teens struggling with acceptance in their communities, he can only kick an accurate field goal in a football game if he's dancing to Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)'. He joins McKinley High's failing football team to impress his dad (Mike O'Malley of Nickelodeon GUTS fame) and teaches the gruff, 30-something bullies on the football team how to use their own 'Single Ladies' play to confuse their opponents and win their first football game in years.
Key line: "Hi, I'm Kurt Hummel and I'll be auditioning for the role of kicker."
Four episodes in, 'Glee' stops being a musical about Ohio high school students and becomes a pretty blatant exercise in how a 45-year old screenwriter who'd spent the previous six years writing gruesome plastic surgery sex drama thinks high school students act. The one black girl at the school says things like "hell to the niz-aw," the two Asian kids at the school can't stop talking about how they're Asian and the gay kid is at all times both savior and pariah without earning either.
I'll breeze past the ridiculousness of "Single Ladies dance = freedom = YOU CAN DO ANYTHING" in favor of showing you the Big Play. What happens: Kurt and McKinley High triumph, because they did the Single Ladies dance, and that gave them freedom, and with freedom you can live your dreams and do anything.
What should have happened: delay of game? Jesus, I don't know. If we're playing high school football in a fictional world where Kurt can do a choreographed routine without getting a penalty or having his field goal blocked, I'm guessing the other team could've just picked up the ball and ran it downfield for the win. If anybody gave them shit about it, they could say winning the game against McKinley is "their dreams".
And by the way, if you are a white adult male who writes the line "AW HELL TO THE NIZ-AW" for a young black actress to say on television, you're doing it wrong.
Episode: "The Rhodes Not Taken" (season 1, episode 5)
What Happens: Teen singing sensation Rachel Berry is torn between being in a glee club that doesn't appreciate her and a miserable high school production of 'Cabaret'. Quarterback-cum-Steve-Perry Finn Hudson takes her bowling to help her blow off steam, which makes perfect sense, because she has never bowled. Finn tells Rachel he appreciates her, which gives Rachel THE POWER OF LOVE and lets her bowl a strike. They kiss, and a few scenes later Rachel finds out Finn got his girlfriend pregnant by jizzing in a hot tub. Yeah. Also in this episode, Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison do a version of Heart's 'Alone' that makes me want to Quantum Leap into Nancy Wilson and kick somebody's ass.
Key line: "You're the most talented person I know. Even more than that guy at the mall who can juggle chainsaws."
TV shows rarely portray the real-life bowling experience. Peg Bundy bowls a 300, Carlton Banks wants to drop out of college to become a pro bowler, and even here, Rachel (who literally figures out she's supposed to put her fingers in the ball holes at the beginning of the game) stands as far back as possible, has someone holding her from behind and just kinda throws the ball at the ground, but TELEVISION MAGIC and she throws a strike. I want Finn to go to the bowling alley, bowl a 64, then spend the rest of the episode at the alley arcade playing Revolution X.
In the non-sports parts of this episode, Inspirational Teacher Will Schuester doesn't figure out that replacing his teen glee club starlet with a 40-year old drug addict alcoholic he remembers from high school is a bad idea until she shows up drunk to an assembly. Way to be on the ball, Mr. Shoe.
Episode: "Vitamin D" (season 1, episode 6)
What Happens: In a shocking turn of events, it turns out to be a bad idea when McKinley High School makes an assistant manager from ersatz Linens N' Things the school nurse because she's married to someone who works at the school when she gets a bunch of kids hooked on pseudoephedrine. Whoops! When Rachel finds out Finn used performance enhancing drugs to give his Bon Jovi/Usher number "zazz" in the Boys Versus Girls Glee Club Mash-Up Competition, she accuses him of being exactly like New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Key line: "As a matter of fact, I'm going to start calling you F-Rod." "Hey, back off. I'm nothing like A-Rod. I would never take steroids. They make your junk fall off."
The first season of 'Glee' is the most 2009 thing ever. All the kids have Myspace pages, Linens N' Things still exists and kids make "Alex Rodriguez does steroids" jokes.
The best part of the F-Rod joke here is when Finn quickly explains the joke for the audience, because I guess Ryan Murphy didn't think a bunch of kids watching a teen musical drama would understand baseball. "I'm going to start calling you F-Rod!" "HEY NOW RACHEL I AM NOTHING LIKE BASEBALL PLAYER ALEX RODRIGUEZ, THIRD BASEMAN FOR THE NEW YORK YANKEES, WHO RECENTLY ADMITTED TO TAKING PEDS OVER A 3-YEAR PERIOD AND TWICE TESTED POSITIVE FOR ANABOLIC STEROIDS IN 2003. Also, steroids makes PENNIS ASPLODE, according to things I've heard!"
Another fun thing about the Glee universe: nothing will get you thrown in jail. Will's wife gets put into a nursing job with no training or qualifications and gets a bunch of high school students hooked on drugs, and the only consequence is that she's asked to resign. Nobody cares after that. Parents have meetings with the principal about who gets what part in the school play, but not about their teen tweaking if they don't get a Sudafed fix? Also, does taking a f**king Claritin-D make you freak out like you're on speed?
Episode: "Throwdown" (season 1, episode 7)
What Happens: Pregnant head cheerleader Quinn Fabray is pulled in every direction by the realities that 1) her boyfriend is about to leave her for the hateful protagonist girl who can sing, and 2) her cheerleading coach will kick her to the curb when she finds out Quinn's pregnant. Because people on 'Glee' sing what they're feeling, Quinn launches into a football-and-cheerleading-themed cover of 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' by The Supremes. Later, to show their support to Quinn, the glee club sings her an Avril Lavigne song, which is basically the worst way to show somebody support.
Key line: "I can't stand the sight of kids getting emotional, unless it's from physical exhaustion."
As I mentioned in the intro, 'Glee' is the first show I watched exclusively for the benefit of the Sports On TV column. I enjoy the experience of watching it and sorta feeling ashamed of myself, and it has its high points (Lord Tubbington, Heather Morris dancing like MC Hammer, etc.), but seven episodes in I was about to give up. You know what saved me? Great writing. Just kidding, it was Brittany and Santana booty dancing in football pants. Sorry.
Here's the Supremes cover, which works because it's interestingly choreographed and understated, as opposed to the normal "spin the camera around Rachel and let her scream and cry her way through a song" thing they normally do.
Episode: "Wheels" (season 1, episode 9) and "Comeback" (season 2, episode 13)
What Happens: Kurt's awesome dream dad Burt (because "names") goes to bat for him with the school principal after Kurt is denied a chance to audition for a 'Defying Gravity' solo because the song is traditionally sung by a female. As an example of someone fighting the system and winning, 'Glee' reveals that a girl has recently joined the McKinley High boys wrestling team, and in the two second clip of her winning we find out she's the fattest, ugliest person they could find. Because of course she is.
Key line: “Didn't that girl from your high school just join the boys' wrestling team?” "Yes, but her parents had to sue the school."
The girl wrestler turns out to be Lauren Zizes, a character who shows up in season 2 as an impossibly confident, tell-it-like-it-is type who strings along school bad boy Noah Puckerman. She even gets a follow-up wrestling scene in that season, in which she uses pro wrestling moves (like a splash and a short-arm clothesline) to win.
That's all well and good, but Glee's got this terrible thing they do where they make fun of something for 50 minutes, then spend the last 10 talking about how sad it is when you make fun of that thing. Lauren Zizes teaches us that we should love ourselves for who we are because we are beautiful and never judge a book by its cover, but only after a season of jokes about how she's a fat novelty joke wrestler, an "old maid" who will never have a boyfriend (seriously) or the head of an Edward Cullen fan club. At least they eventually get around to the empowering parts, I guess?
Episode: "Mash-Up" (season 1, episode 8)
What Happens: Previously mega-popular quarterback Finn and head cheerleader Quinn get "slushied" by SCHOOL BULLIES because they've joined the glee club, which has ruined their reputations. Finn says nuts to that and gives up glee for football, but Will coerces him back into the fold by showing up at football practice, playing a game of catch and executing the most amazing series of life-affirming platitudes ever heard on television. Seriously, Barney the Dinosaur watched this scene and said, "Jesus Christ, dude". Finn is given the strength to confront his football coach about the value of both football AND glee club, and the football coach agrees, because otherwise the episode has to keep going.
Key line: "Your commitment to football is about as long as your pants."
I included that quip as the "key line" because I couldn't transcribe Will's speech to Finn. Here's the paraphrased version:
"Finn, life is a serious of choices. Choices you've got to MAKE, and you can't let anybody else decide them for you. If you let other people decide your decisions for you, you stop following your DREAMS. Finn, these are the MOMENTS, Finn. Finn, these are the moments of your life, moments you have to LIVE, moments you have to live in your life. If you don't live your life in the moments, Finn, you can't follow your dreams, and dreams are what life is made of. Believe in yourself, Finn. Reach for the stars. Follow the rainbow. BELIEVE IN DREAMS. Check, mate."
I know that's not script-accurate, but my brain checks out the 15th time he says "moments".
Also, about the "slushies". I wasn't cool or skinny or handsome in high school and at one point a girl I know got her face shoved into a set of lockers until it broke her nose, but at no point in my life have I seen someone get a "slushie" thrown in their face because they aren't popular. Does that happen in real life? Did Ryan Murphy walk past one dude with a slurpee one time in high school and get some thrown on him, so he thinks it's a thing people have to suffer through? Couldn't McKinley curb the bullying problem if they stopped giving out multiple, free 62 oz. Big Gulp Icees to everybody in school 24 hours a day?
Episode: "Ballad" (season 1, episode 10)
What Happens: Finn Hudson has the decision-making skills of that homeless guy you've seen who just stands in one spot and screams at the street, so he breaks the news of Quinn's pregnancy to her parents by singing Paul Anka's '(You're) Having My Baby' to Quinn in front of them in the middle of dinner. Quinn's father disowns her, and explains his unfathomable disappointment in her in the most accurate way a person can: by sharing a story about the Cleveland Indians.
Key line: "When you were about five years old, I took you and your sister down to an Indians game. All the other dads brought their sons, but my two girls were enough for me. Your sister made it through the whole game, but you fell asleep in my lap. I kept hoping nothing exciting would happen, ‘cause I didn’t want the crowd to get too loud, wake you up. Didn’t matter. You stayed asleep in my arms till the game ended."
As a diehard Cleveland Indians fan, this is my favorite moment on the list. Like a lot of Indians fans, Mr. Fabray goes to Tribe games hoping nothing exciting will happen. Also, LOL at Ryan Murphy's interpretation of a Major League Baseball crowd being nothing but fathers and sons. Poor Mr. Fabray! 21,000 fathers attending the game with 21,000 sons, and here's this uppity dude showing up with his two daughters. HOW BRAVE OF HIM TO GO TO THE GAME WITH THEM.
If I'm doing the math correctly, Quinn would've been 5 years old in 1998, the year after Cleveland lost that heartbreaker World Series to the Florida Marlins in an 11-inning game 7. In '98 the Tribe made it to the ALCS and lost to the Yankees, and if the Fabrays are Indians fans, we know for sure that they only showed up to the park to support the team during the playoffs. You missed your chance to see Dwight Gooden lose a 4-0 game, Quinny! Paul O'Neill hit a home run!
Who knows, maybe she went to that game Chad Ogea lost. Or maybe Ryan Murphy googled "cleveland baseball" 10 minutes before this script was due and found out Ohio has a baseball team. Can't wait for that season 4 episode where Tina quips about how Asians in Ohio are supposed to root for the Reds.
Episode: "Hell-O" (season 1, episode 14)
What Happens: Football season ends, so everyone on the football team puts on basketball jerseys and becomes The Basketball Team. Finn is the captain of the basketball team because he was the quarterback of the football team, a position he proves he's earned by dribbling slowly up the court, monologuing in his head about his relationships with people he sees in the audience and letting the other team steal the ball from him and alley-oop it in his face. Moments later, he goes for a Brandon Stroud-style lay-up without leaving the ground and gets blocked, because I guess other high schools in the area admit more than two black people per school year.
Key line: "Sometimes I wish I could be more like Coach Tanaka. He pulled a Jessica Simpson. You know, lost his fiancee, gained 40 pounds and stopped showering. And everyone acts like it's totally normal."
Don't get me wrong, there are black students at McKinley High School. They show up in the background of football team group shots. They're there, it's just that "black person" has already been cast, much in the way that Santana is the only visible Hispanic person from the confrontational Mexican village of Lima Heights Adjacent. I think that's where the Skyline Chili is.
Finn's pretty bad at basketball, but don't worry -- he gets his groove back later in the episode when he sings The Doors' 'Hello, I Love You' and scores a straight-up WNBA lay-up against a team with the worst defense ever and starts ARSENIO HALL FIST-PUMPING.
The best actual basketball references comes during the National Show Choir Championships, when one of the rival teams is called 'The Portland Scale Blazers'.
Episode: "Home" (season 1, episode 16)
What Happens: Sue Sylvester reserves the school auditorium for Cheerios practice, leaving Will and the glee club with nowhere to rehearse. Enter the returning Kristin Chenoweth, who is now using her drunken busty dwarf powers to bed a "wealthy tycoon". She's been put in charge of a rollerskating rink and offers it to the glee club, leading to a duet of Bruce Springsteen's 'Fire' that is so offensive I can't explain it without a bunch of rotating skull GIFs. At one point Will illustrates "fire" by making downward jazz hands. Oh my God.
Key line: "On assembly days, I arrange for the rest of the school to be fumigated, so the gym is the only place with clean air."
The best part of this episode is the four seconds of actual glee club rollerskating we get. I wanted a solid 20 minutes of Brittany skating around in a circle. The worst part of the episode (besides Bruce Springsteen, who should send his ghost to Los Angeles to strangle everyone involved in this) (yes, I know he's not dead, Bruce Springsteen has the power to send his ghost places to accomplish things) (I'm assuming) is how DARK everything is. 'Glee' has severe lighting issues, like they're lighting the bridge in a Star Trek movie, where every non-school place (and most school places) are f**king DIM. Maybe they keep it that dark so you have trouble noticing that the teenagers are all 27.
Fun fact: My parents met (and probably conceived me) at a skating rink. My dad's a DJ and got his start DJ'ing at a place called "Skatetown U.S.A." as "SUPER STEVE". He met my black-haired, sorta-Native-American-looking mom at the rink, she dropped out of high school and they had a baby. That story is infinitely more Bruce Springsteen than anything that happens on 'Glee'.
Episode: "Funk" (season 1, episode 21)
What Happens: Because everybody on 'Glee' is a terrible person, Inspirational Teacher Will purposefully seduces rival/monster cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester with a combination of air-humping and Rufus And Chaka Khan just to stand her up for a date and humiliate her. Crushed, Sue withdraws the Cheerios from an upcoming national competition and spends all day in bed. Realizing what a colossal f**kface he's been, Will apologizes. Sue reenters the competition and wins her sixth-consecutive national cheerleading championship, this one featuring a fourteen and a half minute Celine Dion medley by Kurt Hummel, entirely in French.
Key line: "Vive la différence!"
Jane Lynch is a big fish in a small pond. That doesn't really do it justice. Jane Lynch is a blue whale and the pond is a toilet seat urine sprinkle. She is obviously the best and most consistent part of the show, and in a better world 'Glee' would just revolve around Sue Sylvester, have a supporting cast of Kurt's Dad and Brittany's cat and feature like 35 minutes of Heather Morris wearing costumes and dancing.
This episode is when 'Glee' really starts to come off of the moral and logical rails (assuming you don't pay much attention to the 16-year old who legitimately thinks he got his girlfriend pregnant by prematurely ejaculating in warm water), but a quarter-hour Celine Dion medley in French is exactly where the show should've gone, and I'm waiting for at least one of the DVD releases to include it as a special feature.
Here's Kurt auditioning for the Cheerios, by the way. Also sports. Technically.
Episode: "Britney/Brittany" (season 2, episode 2)
What Happens: A local dentist (Uncle Jesse from 'Full House') plays Britney Spears songs in his office, so when he gasses the glee club kids for dental procedures they have lucid dreams about Britney Spears. Two of them involve Brittany absolutely wrecking Britney's legacy by out-dancing her, one is about Rachel evoking the dopey child-face but none of the inappropriate sexuality of 'Hit Me Baby (One More Time)', and another deals with wheelchair-bound Artie joining the football team. In real life, wheelchair-bound Artie joins the football team, because
Key line: "My teammates can push my chair like a battering ram." "Yep, there's no rules against it, we checked." "And I have Britney Spears to thank."
I love that Finn line. "OH YEAH WE CHECKED IT OUT IN TOTAL THERE ARE NO RULES ABOUT IT, ALSO A FIELD GOAL-KICKING MULE HAS JOINED THE TEAM AND A CHIMP IS PLAYING HOCKEY BECAUSE THERE ARE ALSO NO RULES ABOUT THOSE THINGS." Cover your bases, guys.
One of the oddest things about 'Glee' (which I'll cover more when we get to the zombie football players) is how there are only really two adolescent characters -- Kurt, who serves as an avatar for Ryan Murphy, and everyone else. The others have personalities ... one's dumb, one's a primadonna, one's in a wheelchair ... but even those overlap, multiple characters fill one character's tropes and everybody just does everything. Everyone on the football team joins the glee club. Everyone in glee club joins the football team. The cheerleaders join glee club, the gay kid and the overweight black girl join the cheerleaders. People Will knows in his personal life show up and join the glee club. The rival show choir coach shows up as a teacher at their school too, and is also in their glee club. Sue hates the glee club, but she joins it, then coaches the rival team, then runs for public office. Then KURT'S DAD runs for office. If one person does something, everybody eventually does it. Hell, they even have an episode where everybody's in wheelchairs.
Anyway, here's a much, much more important screengrab from this episode:
Episode: "Grilled Cheesus" (season 2, episode 3)
What Happens: Remember that thing I said about 'Glee' going completely off the logic rails? In this episode, Finn for-real thinks he sees the face of Jesus Christ in an burned grilled cheese sandwich and prays to it for things he wants. His prayers: for McKinley to win a football game, to touch Rachel Berry's boobs and for his friend Sam to get hurt so he can be the quarterback again. This really happens. Also in this episode, Kurt's dad has a heart attack and Kurt gets indignant about the existence of God, but who gives a shit, Finn is PRAYING TO A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH HE MADE.
Key line: "Cheesus, I don't need to tell you how much you rule."
I hope the focus group for this episode was one 12-year old girl with a crush on Cory Monteith, and that her only comment was, "LOL".
So yeah, this episode happened. Finn doesn't just think he sees Jesus, either, he doesn't call it "Jesus," he calls it GRILLED CHEESUS, as if Jesus would be totally cool showing this kid a miracle and being called a punny pseudonym. After NEARLY A MONTH of praying to a sandwich in a baggie with no irony whatsoever, Finn sings R.E.M.'s 'Losing My Religion' to it and eats it. He worships a sandwich for three weeks, then eats a three-week old sandwich. This guy is the most popular person at his high school, is the captain of every sport and has nailed the school's star singer and head cheerleader. Two head cheerleaders if you count him cumming in a jacuzzi.
Episode: "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" (season 2, episode 11)
What Happens: If you're aware of one 'Glee' episode, this is probably it. It aired immediately after Super Bowl XLV and featured two major sports moments -- a Katy Perry and Extreme Sports-themed opening where the Cheerios wear blue wigs and jump BMX bikes over fire (seriously) and a championship football game halftime show featuring the glee club and the McKinley High football team dressed as zombies, doing a mash-up of Michael Jackson and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. See, the football team and the glee club don't get along, so the football coach made them join the glee club, and when they walked out before The Big Game, the glee club had to be the football team, and ... I don't know. 27 million people watched it.
Key line: "Rachel have you ever seen a tackle football game? When they tackle, it hurts." "And not in a good, Mellencamp kind of way."
The most important message in any adult-to-adult 'Glee' conversation, assuming they aren't making fun of the way the other looks/behaves, is that you have to walk a mile in another man's shoes before you can understand him. That leads to a lot of "mash-up" situations, none greater than when the entire football team (who, if you'll remember, had not started winning games until the gay kid showed up with a dance number) walking out on a CHAMPIONSHIP GAME instead of learning an extremely basic lesson about tolerance. And of course, nothing on 'Glee' really has consequences, so everyone joins in anyway, and the football team finds peace with the glee club, at least until the next time someone needs to be bullied.
Here's the performance, which is one of 'Glee's' better efforts. I've got to say, though, nothing against the handicapable, but it sure does take away from the scariness of a zombie when he's wearing a football uniform and getting rolled toward you in a wheelchair.
Zombie Brittany is great. It ranks behind Slave 4 U Brittany, MC Hammer Brittany, Funk-era Brittany and Ke$ha Brittany as my favorite Brittany cosplay moment.
Episode: "Acafellas" (season 1, episode 3)
What Happens: Ryan Murphy needed a list of inspirational performers for some 'Glee' dialogue, so he googled 'inspirational performers sports music,' briefly read about former MLB pitcher Jim Abbott, didn't think about it for a few days, then tried to remember what he'd read without having to go back and read it again. He also forgot the third person he was going to use, so he just inserted Jennifer Lopez, assuming that people thought the size of her ass would keep her from becoming famous.
Key line: "Jim Abbott. He was a one-armed pitcher for the Yankees. Pitched a no-hitter."
As you can see from the picture of Jim Abbott at the top of this, Jim Abbot has two arms. Not having a hand and not having an arm are two very different things. They should've just gone all the way with it. "Jim Abbott. He was a pitcher for the Yankees. No arms, no legs. Had a barf bag strapped over his face. Pitched a perfect game against the Red Sox in the World Series while Metallica played in the outfield. LIVE YOUR DREAMS."
A better Jim Abbott scene:
Episode: "Blame It On The Alcohol" (season 2, episode 14)
What Happens: The glee club is asked to perform at an alcohol awareness assembly, but get drunk the night before and end up vomiting grey TV-spew everywhere. To deal with the stress and teach the kids about the dangers of alcohol, Inspirational Teacher Will goes out to a honky tonk with the football coach, gets drunk, rides a mechanical bull and drunk dials the woman he loves but has never been able to be with because of his crippling mental disorder. Sorry, "her" mental disorder. She wipes off her grapes before she eats them, that means she needs help. She's not the guy who raps edited raps in front of his students. That guy is TOTALLY FINE.
Key line: "Hay ... I was just in some hay earlier tonight and hey, I rode a bull. I was thinking of you."
If you look closely, that doesn't look like Matthew Morrison on that bull. It looks like the Scream killer.
Coach Beiste is one of the better characters on the show, because aside from the occasionally pity-toss they give her ("thank you for kissing me, Will Schuester, now I can BELIEVE IN DREAMS!" etc.), Dot Jones is awesome and is a better actor than most of the people she has to act with. She deserves a lot more than the bit roles as bikers, prisoners and gym teachers she gets. She should also never be asked to sing a George Thorogood song again, but that's something nobody should be asked, especially George Thorogood.
Episode: "Sexy" (season 2, episode 15)
What Happens: Gwyneth Paltrow plays Holly Holliday, an alliterative Manic Pixie Substitute Teacher who shows up early in season 2 to pretend like 'Forget You' is the actual name of that Cee Lo song, then returns to teach sex ed and make everybody feel extremely weird about themselves. She also teaches a Jazzercise class, randomly, which Will attends to ask her if she'll come educate the New Directions through song. Her response: sing Joan Jett, rub herself in front of a classroom of children and out every character she can find.
Key line: "I'm not following." "It's Jazzercise, Will, it's really not that hard."
As far as I know, Jazzercise followed the rest of the world into the new Millennium and became a thing you do from x-time to y-time at your gym wearing normal gym clothes. It's like Zumba, or kickboxing, or anything else your gym calls "try to figure out what the lady at the front is doing and mimic it before she moves on to something else". In the 'Glee' version, Jazzercise is still in the 1980s, and to do it you must dress like you're in the Olivia Newton-John 'Physical' video.
Another situation on 'Glee' where you have to dress like you're in the Olivia Newton-John 'Physical' video: when Olivia Newton-John shows up and puts you in a remake of her 'Physical' video, because that happens to people in rural Ohio.
Episode: "Born This Way" (season 2, episode 18)
One-off joke old maid Twilight hag Inspirational Person-Be-er Lauren Zizes reveals while staring at the Prom Queen's crown that she was once Miss Tiara Toddler Allen Count, famous for doing "baby pull-ups". She says she'd like to wear the crown again, so Puck comes up with a plan to get her elected over "size-two teenage dream" Quinn. The, uh, woman Puck had a baby with. Anyway, it doesn't matter because Kurt gets elected Prom Queen, because the guy who writes the show is Kurt in real life and f**k you, throwaway inspirational character.
Key line: " I was on my way to becoming Miss Ohio. That is, until the shoddy Zizes thyroid kicked in as well as a love of chips, and suddenly I was denied entry into the pageant circuit."
The plan is to out Quinn as 'Lucy Caboosey,' the nickname she was called at her old school because she was chubby and had zits. She was bullied so badly that she got a nose job and changed schools, but on 'Glee' it's okay to bully somebody if they're popular/deserve it, no matter what they've been through to get there. You just skip the whole compassion thing until it's all over and all consequences have been avoided. Then you can just be like, "sorry!" and sing a song and be friends.
As an ugly duckling myself, I feel a lot of sympathy for the Quinn Fabray character. She did what she had to do to pull herself out of a whole and make her life happy, but she did it at too young of an age, so everyone around her is still mired in that shit and takes it out on her. They get her pregnant, then call her fat. They hold her hand when she visits the doctor, then tell her to grow up when she's dealing with heavier issues than "does Finn like me". She says and does mean things, but it seems like she's doing a lot of it because she's supposed to ... that's her role. And maybe that's because the actress who plays her isn't Meryl Streep, but it also might be because everyone around her is stupid and actively making her life worse.
What I'm saying is go f**k yourself and your baby pull-ups, Lauren Zizes.
Episode: "Yes/No" (season 3, episode 10)
What Happens: Because he is out of his goddamn mind, Will Schuester decides that the best way to propose to someone is to get the glee club to sing a Rihanna song that may or may not be about Chris Brown while doing a synchronized swimming routine, dress up in a while tuxedo and jump in a pool. She says yes, but she also once said yes to a greasy gym teacher in short-shorts who she didn't want to kiss or live with and a said yes a second time to a dentist she'd known for like two weeks because he liked Rocky Horror, so maybe that's not the greatest accomplishment.
Key line: "Coach Roz was an Olympian." "That's right. I won this Bronze damn Olympic Medal in Beijing, China for individual synchronized swimming. I bet you didn't even know there was such a thing as individual synchronized swimming."
In another example of everybody being everything, returning Glee-clubber Sam transfers back to McKinley in the middle of the semester, so all the sports teams are filled up except one: synchronized swimming. Why a school struggling with enough budget to fund a glee club can afford an Olympic swimming pool and a team of professionally-trained synchronized swimmers coached by a cast member from the Real Housewives Of Somewhere is beyond me, but stay with me. Sam gets made fun of for being on the swim team, so eventually everyone in glee is ALSO on the swim team, including the football players and cheerleaders. And they all went out and bought 1950s bathing suits for the occasion!
Episode: "Mash Off" (season 3, episode 6)
What Happens: Finn and Santana's war of words escalates until a DODGEBALL-OFF is arranged. It's the New Directions in red against the Troubletones (aka "the heel glee club") in black, and it's all fun and games and Pat Benatar mash-ups until transfer student Rory Flanagan gets bloodied with a post-game ball assault. Kurt comes to his aid, and eventually uses his campaign for student body president to call for the BANNING OF DODGEBALL because playing dodgeball is bullying. This is the actual plot of an episode of 'Glee'.
Key line: "Excuse me, I've never heard of this game of dodging balls before, what's the rules?" "Don't die."
First of all, Brittany For President:
Tornadoes are nature's most destructive force. These violent storms have ravaged America, crippling communities all across our land. Isn't it time we take a stand? If you honor me with being your next class president, I will make tornadoes illegal at McKinley, keeping you and your families at our school safe from their murderous rampages. Also, on Tuesdays, uh, I pledge to go topless.
Second of all, nobody playing dodgeball here knows how dodgeball is supposed to be played. They just throw dodgeballs at each other and jump around like they're in the House Of Flying Daggers, continuing to play whether they're eliminated or not. Then, suddenly, it's down to two people. Then, a kid who'd convinced a dumb girl that he was a leprechaun in an attempt to sleep with her gets hit with some dodgeballs and HE'S BLEEDING and THIS BULLYING MUST STOP.
Third of all, Kurt once sexually stalked a guy, made lemonade out of lemons when he was condescendingly voted as prom queen and once had to transfer schools because of a death threat, but DODGEBALL, oh no, dodgeball is where he takes a stand. Good job, Kurt. No H8. Outlaw the kindergarten parachute while you're at it, because teachers don't let you play with it after kindergarten and that is also bullying.
Episode: "The Spanish Teacher" (season 3, episode 12)
What Happens: In this episode, Will is weirdly racist about Hispanic people and Ricky Martin (yes, 'Livin' La Vida Loca' Ricky Martin) shows up as the new Spanish teacher. As for the sports moment, the episode DOES feature a bull fighting number, but ... yeah, I'm going to copy and paste in a paragraph from the Glee Wiki. I swear to God I did not change a word of this for comedic effect.
At lunch time, Will meets Beiste and Emma at their table and Beiste says that thanks to Emma, the guys now have hygiene about their privates and that Cooter made the Ohio State football team also aware of the importance of it. She also states that she has never seen any teacher with such passion as Emma's. Beiste asks Will if he is proud of Emma and he answers that he is indeed.
Key line: "You're being really mean." "You got a pamphlet for that?!"
In case you had questions,
1. The first sentence in the "key line" section was said by Emma. The second was said by CHILDISH DICKHEAD.
2. 'Glee' had to name a football recruiter, so they named him 'Cooter,' because it rhymed with 'recruiter'. Because it had to rhyme.
3. Before season 3, episode 12 of 'Glee,' nobody at Ohio State could figure out how to properly wash their own balls.
4. Cooter not only convinces all of Ohio's schools buy the genital sanitation pamphlets, he convinces the Big Ten to purchase them as well. So before season 3, episode 12 of 'Glee,' nobody in the Big Ten Conference could figure out how to properly wash their own balls.
5. That includes Penn State, which ... yeah.
I'm not sure how to wrap up a Sports On TV about 'Glee,' but I think a show creating a universe wherein college students are too stupid to run soap over their crotches is a pretty solid way to do it. I should be saying something about believing in yourself and following your dreams. I don't know. The best advice I can give you is BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, and also to flip back through this list to rewatch the Brittany stuff, because that is pretty great.
I want more like this!
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