Gwyneth Paltrow made her highly anticipated—especially by The Atlantic's Culture Channel—guest appearance on Glee last night as a Cee-lo Green-singing, tap-dancing-in-the-rain substitute teacher.
To help make sense of the episode, we have a panel of musical theater and pop culture buffs—Meghan Brown, Patrick Burns, 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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Meghan Brown (co-founder of the Giraffe Hunt Theater in Los Angeles): First off: how awesome was Gywneth Paltrow? Her performance as Hollie Holliday was vibrant, exciting, and, above all else, fun. Paltrow seemed to be having the time of her life, and brought a massive spark to what could have been a one-note role.
This felt like a Season One episode in the best possible way. The jokes were funny and packed some of the snark that's been missing this season. The songs (particularly the hilariously censored, G-rated blast that was "Forget You") were fun and high-energy. The story made sense, the less realistic story elements were used sparingly (and well), and the world of the show felt simultaneously fresh and contained. Even the voiceovers were back! Great episode, Glee. Thanks for reminding me why I loved you in the first place.
Patrick Burns (writer, composer, and star of the original one-man-musical, From Foster Care to Fabulous): Gwyneth Paltrow was a refreshing, fun, and endearing guest star on this week's Glee. She's funny, looks great, and sounds awesome. She was the perfect breath of fresh air to give to the glee club while Schuster was sweating out his fever all over his ex-wife. I want to go get margaritas with Holly Holliday. We'll sing songs from Schoolhouse Rock and she'll tell me where she got that incredible Mrs. Lincoln costume!