Our panel weighs in on this week's episode, which was a tribute to Fleetwood Mac
After tributes to Britney Spears, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, Glee took a detour last night from paying homage to pop princesses and instead devoted the entire episode to songs from Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album. The episode also marked the return of Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes, and, after sitting out last week's supersized outing, Sue—who came back as ruthless as ever.
To help make sense of the episode, we have a panel of musical theater and pop culture buffs—Meghan Brown and Kevin Fallon—to provide their takes on how realistic the show feels, how well the romances develop, and of course, how good the musical numbers are.
Here's what they had to say:
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Kevin Fallon (writer and producer for The Atlantic's Entertainment channel): Kristin Chenoweth's April Rhodes had barely just returned to Ohio from her disastrous Broadway run in an all-white production of The Wiz, yet she could already diagnose New Directions' problems. Love triangles, sexual confusion, betrayal: The club's "got a touch of the Mac," the Fleetwood Mac! All it takes is the loosest connection to spur an episode of Glee, because—lookee there!—Mr. Schuester just happened to be the last suburban male in America to own a record player. And his Rumours LP isn't buried in a box in the attic. It's right there in the living room! Well call the Fleetwood Mac royalty lawyers, and cue up a "Dreams" duet with Chenoweth, because we've got ourselves an episode theme. (The duet, as is the Cheno way, was superb.)
Of course, the word "subtle" doesn't exist in the world of Glee. Because it's not just Rumours that gets a lot of play this week, it's also lowercase "r," no "u" rumors—gossip and secrets. You see, Sue revamped the school's newspaper with a Blind Items column: "We're no longer concerned with facts, fact checking, integrity, or facts," she tells a never-funnier Terri. "If I heard it, it's probably true—or something." Well, wouldn't you know it, all that gossiping and "rumors startin'" (Lindsay Lohan, anyone?) is tearing the glee club apart! And the only cure is for everyone to sing out their feelings to the tune of Nicks and Buckingham.
The parade of minstrels led by Artie, strumming and singing "Never Going Back Again" was a somber highlight. Lea Michele's "Go Your Own Way" was a belty highlight. And Kristin Chenoweth's every sly smirk, eyebrow tick, and note sung—well, that was my week's highlight. Glee's themed episodes haven't been able to reach the initial amazing-ness of that first Madonna tribute. But an episode devoted to Mac songs? It certainly was a refreshing change of pace.
Meghan Brown (co-founder of the Giraffe Hunt Theater in Los Angeles): I want Will to go to Broadway.
Not because I'm particularly invested in Will's success, mind you. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Will is my least favorite character on the show.
I want Will to go to Broadway so that someone, anyone, will go away.
Now before the Internet destroys me, hear me out: Glee is overcrowded. There are too many characters, too many scenes, and too many plot elements that are going nowhere. "Rumours" brought back one of the show's fundamental problems: That instead of investing in emotional stakes (with the exception, arguably, of Santana and Brittany) Glee expects us to accept a contrived set of circumstantial ones. Think of the hours of plot devoted to questions we already know the answer to. Will Finn leave the glee club? Will Rachel leave the glee club? Will Quinn leave the glee club? And now, the kicker: Will Will leave the glee club?