So I blame myself. I should know better than to fall for hype and little has been hyped more than the Britney Spears episode of Glee. Still, I actually counted down the minutes till the show started and waited to be blown away. Instead, I was mildly entertained and greatly irritated.
The entertaining part was Brittany as Britney. She's always been one of my favorite characters for her utter cluelessness and memorable quotes ("dolphins are just gay sharks"). So it was refreshing seeing her front and center this episode, singing her namesake's song (kudos to the genius behind Brittany S. Pierce = Britney Spears). Her recreation of Britney's more infamous music video moments was inspired. And her duet with her partner in crime Santana was a highlight -- both these girls deserve better than being buried under Rachel's imposing shadow.
Speaking of Rachel, this was not her shining moment. The most awkward, unimpressive cover of the night went to Lea (should the show be renamed GLea?) Michelle in her school girl outfit, trying to match the video to "Hit Me Baby One More Time." She was just -- off. She didn't exude either side of Britney's video character, neither innocence nor burgeoning sexuality. Rachel may be the star of the glee club and Lea the star of the show, but she paled in her attempt to channel her inner Britney. She should stick with Streisand.
But what irritated me the most was how it was all just one big stunt. They sacrificed the show -- the characters, their stories -- for one really long series of music videos. In the past, the songs have informed the show or punctuated certain moments for the characters. This was just one big commercial for the immediately available Glee/Britney Spears compilation CD. It's bad enough that TV shows now incorporate their sponsors into everything (you'll be cooking on you GE Monogram range), but when the show is just one big commercial, you have to draw the line.
Speaking of the GE Monogram range, BravoTV announced the line up for the first Top Chef All Stars, which will start on December 1. The cast really is an all star group with some of the best cooks, and some of the more interesting personalities, in the show's seven-year run. There will be Tiffani from Season One along with Richard and Dale from Season Three, each of whom coulda woulda shoulda won in their year. Add to that the hotness that is Angelo from last season, the charm of Spike, Fabio and his adorable accent and Mike Isabella who is the resident love-to-hate chef
and I'm allowing myself to build up unreasonably high expectations for Season 8. Did Glee not teach me anything?