The “Glee Super Bowl” episode — It just sounds wrong, doesn’t it? Of all the shows in its repertoire, FOX made the bold, ironic choice to air “Glee” after the biggest, testosterone-fueled sporting event of the year. And THANK GOD, because I was just bored enough by time “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle” came on to think it was any good… at first.

The Players:

  • Director: Brad Falchuk
  • Written by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck, 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

The Plot:

Mr. Schue and Coach Beiste try to keep the conflict between the glee club and the football team from escalating by making each group watch the other practice. Sue is busy choreographing the Cheerios to Regionals greatness with an epic dance routine set to “California Gurls” that features fire-spitting bustiers, flaming hula hoops… and a cannonball.

The Good:

  • Football!:  If the NFL tackled a football game like Glee did, maybe I’d know what a linebacker did. This week we finally got to know the other members of the football team; Dave Karofsky, Kurt’s former tormentor, has become one of the most interesting characters on the show. It was great to see Finn, Puck, Sam, and Mike actually PLAY football instead of just seeing them in the locker room. Also noteworthy was the introduction of the McKinley High ice hockey team, a potential new enemy for the glee club, led by a cute Ryan Gosling look-a-like.
  • Change of venue: “Glee” should make it a habit to get off campus more. The two best scenes of the episode took place outside out McKinley High. Over at Dalton Academy, The Warblers reminded us all how badly the world needs a Destiny’s Child reunion. Over at a local coffee shop, Kurt, Blaine, Mercedes, and Rachel met up for a catch-up session that provided more plot movement and more laughs in one scene than the entire episode achieved.
  • The Katie Couric special: The best part of the episode, hands-down, was Katie Couric’s cameo. Like most of the celebrity guest stars who have come before her, Ms. Couric raised the bar and the interview scene was one of the few truly hilarious moments of the episode.

The Bad:

  • Epic fail: Remember the banks that Wall Street deemed “too big to fail?” This weeks episode was so overly hyped and promoted that to meet expectations, “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle” would’ve had to stage a live, flash-mob type performance featuring a mash-up of the greatest pop hits of the last century DURING the actual Super Bowl. What Gleeks got instead was…
  • The “Thriller” mash-up: Why did they have to go and mess with Michael Jackson? The man isn’t even here to defend himself. This number was such a mess that its difficult to know where to start; the zombie theme was too obvious, and the auto-tune use was blatant. The biggest insult, though? Mashing up the 80′s classic with “Heads Will Roll” to make it more modern, or something… as Sue Sylvester would say: “Pretentious.”
  • Acting Auto-Pilot: Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG award-winner Chris Colfer was barely in this episode. Piling onto that, this was not Jane Lynch’s best week on “Glee”. Considering Colfer and Lynch’s performances are the high points of this show, that should give you a general idea of how poor the acting was this week.  Matthew Morrison’s saccharine earnestness and Cory Monteith’s absolute awkwardness (especially in the final scene) were notable examples, but it felt like every one was coasting through this one like 3rd period Health class.

Overall:

Moral of the story? Don’t try and out-do the Super Bowl. Memo to FOX- next year, just follow up the big game with “American Idol.” It puts so much less pressure on the situation, and the network will save millions.

Rating: 5/10

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 PM on FOX.