Thursday, 10 February 2011

'GLEE' 2.12 – "Silly Love Songs"

Thursday, 10 February 2011

We get an early Valentine present from Glee with "Silly Love Songs" (because the eleventh episode aired after the Super Bowl?), but this would surely have been best scheduled next week. Regardless, it was one of those episodes with a satisfying emphasis on the students (zero screentime for Sue Sylvester), and treated a few of them like real people for a change. However, we still had to swallow the absurd idea that bad boy Puck (Mark Salling) has romantic feelings for stout Lauren (Ashley Fink), which wasn't foreshadowed or even believable based on what we know of those characters.

To briefly recap: Mr Schue (Matthew Morrison) set the glee club predictable "love song" homework with Valentine's Day looming, with the members encouraged to sing a romantic song to their sweetheart. Puck became infatuated with Lauren, who was curiously hesitant and often dismissive of his advances (not helped when he decided to serenade her with Queen's "Fat-Bottomed Girls"); Finn (Corey Monteith) capitalized on his celebrity status, following the football championship victory, by setting up a kissing both with the ulterior motive of seducing Quinn (Diana Agron) away from her boyfriend Sam (Chord Overstreet); Rachel (Lea Michele) had a similar plan to recapture Finn's heart by kissing him at the booth; Santana (Naya Rivera) sought revenge after her seditious behaviour was commented on, by intentionally contracting the so-called "kissing disease" mono (aka glandular fever) and passing it onto Finn and Quinn to cause turmoil; and Kurt (Chris Colfer) was dismayed when he realized he's been misreading Blaine's (Darren Criss) feelings for him, as Blaine actually has his heart set on dating Gap store assistant manager Jeremiah (Alexander Nifong).

It was a smart idea to have so many of this week's episodes involve kissing, which naturally suited the romantic theme. As I mentioned, the whole Puck/Lauren storyline was frankly ridiculous, and another example of Glee trying so hard to look PC that it bends realism out of shape. I'm not saying a handsome guy can't find a larger lady attractive, but I'm saying that Puck wouldn't, based on everything we've seen of him and the women he's been interested in (Quinn, Rachel). There are only a finite number of characters on Glee, so it seems that they'll all have dated each other by season 3, even if that doesn't make sense. Finn/Quinn? Sure. Finn/Brittany? No. Puck/Quinn? Okay. Puck/Lauren? No way. Perhaps it wouldn't be quite so bad if you had faith Puck and Lauren will last as an odd couple, but I give it three episodes before the writers get bored and pair Puck with Santana, who's a much better personality fit.

It was another disappointing week for songs, too. Music's very subjective, but it feels like season 2 has had far less toe-tappers than last year, and even the more famous songs don't seem to leap off the screen as they used to. In fact, I'll admit to fast-forwarding through Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T" and "My Funny Valentine", while even Lea Michele couldn't spin magic from Katy Perry's horribly screechy "Firework". And while I was glad writer Ryan Murphy referenced the OTT nature of Blaine singing Robin Thicke's "When I Get You Alone" to Jeremiah (who looked understandably mortified the Dalton Warblers were singing en masse in his workplace), that didn't make it any less cringeworthy to watch.

Overall, "Silly Love Songs" was better than the Super Bowl episode because it kept things focused on the relationships of the characters, without the sometimes distracting gag-machine of Sue, but it was ultimately a collection of trivial storylines interspersed with weak songs. For a show that can elicit a tangible sense of happiness in viewers, I'm puzzled that Glee couldn't deliver a heartwarming Valentine.


  • This episode was directed by actor Tate Donovan, perhaps best known as Tom Shayes in Damages. He also recently directed an episode of Weeds.
written by Ryan Murphy / directed by Tate Donovan / 8 February 2011 / Fox