Last night, “Glee” returned from its short break (okay, one week, but it felt like a long time) not just with a new episode, but with the show’s highly anticipated take on cult horror classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Last night’s episode has a lot of hype and expectations to live up to and only partly succeeded. After the sweet and simple “Duets” episode, this special tribute definitely shook things up, but was it a little overkill?

Let’s discuss…

The Players:

  • Director: Adam Shankman
  • Written by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan
  • Cast: Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Jayma Mays, Chris Colfer, Dianna Agron, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz. Plus, special guest stars John Stamos, Barry Bostwick, and Meatloaf.

The Plot:

Mr. Schue encourages the glee club to perform “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for the school’s fall musical, in yet another attempt to win back Ms. Pillsbury, who is a fan of the racy film. Smelling a scandal, a cable news outlet taps Sue to report on the production, as “Rocky Horror” is not exactly a Disney film.

The Good:

  • Boy’s night: The men of “Glee” really shined in this episode. Mr. Schue and Finn both experienced serious self-doubt and insecurity, and it was interesting to watch how they both dealt with and eventually figured out how to overcome their respective issues. Conversely, Sam and Dr. Carl’s wicked self-confidence was engaging, sexy, and so fun to watch. It would be a crime not to point out the “ab-ulous” shirtless-ness happening last night, too.
  • Character development: Ms. Pillsbury, as Mr. Schue points out, is actually getting better! Though Emma has had moments of candor in episodes past, this episode was the best illustration yet of how far she’s come from the buttoned-up, meek prude she was.
  • Realistic subject matter: So much about this show can border on questionable in terms of realism, but this week was different. For one thing Sue actually had a legitimate point – “Rocky Horror” is kind of scandalous for a high school musical. Second, using the school musical as a device via which the kids could perform songs from “Rocky Horror” was a lot more realistic that the hallucinogenic dreams used to introduce Britney Spears songs. Also, everything about the body-image subplot felt genuine, from Finn not feeling sexy or even remotely comfortable with how he looks sans clothes, to Rachel instinctively comparing herself to Santana and Brittany, to Sam’s rigid workout and eating plan to ensures his body look a certain way.

The Bad:

  • Plot relevance? Okay, it was a special tribute episode- but does that mean no plot development at all? The Mr. Schue-Ms. Pillsbury storyline does not count- that has been dragging on forever and always ends up having the same result, tonight was no exception. It felt like there were so many story lines from weeks past still hanging in the air, and no new developments whatsoever.

The Music:

  • Damnit Janet”- Rachel and Finn call dibs on the Janet and Brad roles, which was a smart as evidenced by their adorable performance of this duet in the rehearsal room. Oddly, Finn/Cory Monteith’s portrayal of the nerdy Brad was much more impressive than Rachel/Lea Michele’s moony Janet.
  • “Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?”- Who would’ve guessed that a dentist (even a hot one) could be such an entertainer? His audition for Eddie was energetic, and had the whole glee club dancing, Mr. Schue fuming with jealousy, and Ms. Pillsbury beaming with pride. Stamos’ voice is quite good, too.
  • “Sweet Transvestite”- Mercedes claims the lead (and typically male) Dr. Frank-n-Furter role after Mike has to pull out of the production. Amber Riley hits all those high notes, and her intense voice continues to impress, but there was something slightly off about the rendition as a whole. It lacked the soulful swagger that Mercedes usually brings to a performance.
  • “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me”- Emma finally lets loose in the best way during this sexy number, amping up the already wicked hot sexual tension that exists between her and Will. The best part of this song, though, were Santana and Brittany singing back-up while gleefully watching Mr. Schue and Ms. Pillsbury sex each other up.
  • “Time Warp”-  Every week I watch this show thinking of how much fun it must be making it- this performance was the perfect illustration of that. The whole cast just looked like they were having a ball. Plus, Kurt showed off his range by taking it down a few octaves, and Quinn totally rocked her solo.

The next episode of “Glee” airs on November 9th at 8 p.m on Fox.


There were some good things about this episode, namely the gratuitous eye-candy and snarky Sue-isms, it felt like nothing really happened story-wise. Luckily, it looks like the next episode will provide some answers to a few of the lingering questions from the past few episodes, primarily “When is Puck coming back?!”

Rating: 6.5/10

The next episode of “Glee” airs on November 9th at 8 p.m on Fox.

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