May I suggest that if you don’t want to miss one of the best hours of TV you’re likely to see all year you be sure to watch Glee tonight? “The Power of Madonna” is like having the finest Broadway jukebox musical ever made in your living room, except that Glee has better jokes and more involving plotlines.

The premise is simple: Sue Sylvester worships Madonna, “the most powerful woman ever to walk the face of the earth,” says Sue vehemently, and who’s going to argue with her?

Not Will, who brazenly steals Sue’s idea: Both teachers assign their glee club and cheerleader charges Madonna-based routines to win their respective competitions. This leads to a lot of wittily arranged and powerfully performed covers of Madonna hits, from “Vogue” to “Express Yourself.”

Glee excels at dealing with themes that drag down more ordinary shows, issues of gender and power, hairstyles and hormones. The episode is crammed not only with music but nonstop one-liners that sting with the sharpness of a Madonna hit-single hook. Among other highlights tonight:

• Sue lets down her guard, and we learn much more about her childhood and why she became the ferocious competitor she is.

• No fewer than three couples confront their like-a-virgin issues.

• Kurt states a cultural truism when offering artistic advice: “Mercedes is black, I’m gay: We make culture.”

Directed by creator Ryan Murphy, “The Power of Madonna” pays its title subject the highest compliment possible: It doesn’t merely express admiration, it demonstrates a potent understanding of why Madonna matters.

As Kurt says, “It’s gonna be Madge-ical.”

My grade:


Will you be watching Glee tonight?

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Episode Recaps

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