Will tries to reconnect with Emma by pushing New Directions into covering a racy musical -- complete with gratuitous ab-baring

By Tim Stack
October 27, 2010 at 03:53 AM EDT
Adam Rose/Fox
S2 E5
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Be prepared Gleeks: From now on, I’m going to be using the Sam-coined term “ab-ulous” quite often. I’m actually jealous that I didn’t say it first. Let’s use it in a sentence: In the words of Sam, The Rocky Horror Glee Show was “ab-ulous.” In fact, instead of The Rocky Horror Glee Show, it should/could have been called The Ripped Torso Glee Show. Clearly, the gentlemen of the cast have been working out with their shake weights or some other kind of muscle-making device. (Side note: Any guesses as to which episode of Glee will yield the most online screengrabs?)

Now if I’m being honest, Glee has had a mixed track record in terms of theme episodes. I loooved the Madonna tribute but had more lukewarm feelings about September’s Britney Spears hour. Still, if there was ever a musical ripe for the Ryan Murphy treatment, it’s definitely The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (It helps too that Hairspray director Adam Shankman called the shots on this ep.) And it definitely did not disappoint, particularly in the man-candy department. Plus, it was an oddly timely episode given the uproar over the cast’s racy GQ photos that some have called sexist. The entire hour was pretty much about the objectification of men, something that’s rarely ever an issue. It was kinda refreshing…and obvs also fun to look at.

But it also sorta speaks to Glee and my annoyance with the whole GQ controversy: This show is already edgy. It’s not really for young children. It’s a show about teens and it’s best watched by that age group and older. The folks at the Parents Television Council clearly have never seen the show if they think that it’s supposed to be High School Musical. Glee is a subversive, clever, snarky satire. It may be on at 8 p.m., but it’s not on the Disney Channel folks. Anyway…

It was similarly enjoyable to have an episode based more around the adults, like Will and Emma. I thought Matthew Morrison was adorable in the lunchroom scene when he tried to convince Emma it was a complete coincidence that the glee club was doing Rocky Horror for the school play. I’m still not completely convinced any school would allow teens to tackle such a sexually charged production, but McKinley is not your average educational setting.

It’s been so long since we’ve seen John Stamos, and it was great to actually get a sense of why Emma and Carl get along so well. He clearly unlocks her wilder side without pushing too far. And the dude has great hair. Carl seems like a genuinely nice fella; I love that he was outraged that Will would break a promise and go after Emma. He seemed more upset about Will going against his word than the flirty, shirtless song-and-dance-number his rival performed with his girlfriend.

Um, I also love that Sue is also an ace pumpkin carver. Her “Sue Sees It” was genius, but went by in a flash. I do remember some kind of choice quote about a “rat casserole garnished by their own scabs.” Ridic. Meat Loaf and Barry Bostwick cameo alert! I’m still a little confused as to their roles—they wanted Sue to do a TV expose about a local high school theater production…for ratings? Would that really do well? Either way, it was fun to see them and have a little tie-in to the original film.

NEXT: Letter grades for each musical performance — plus, the episode’s best lines.

On a completely unrelated note, I don’t even know what “wanky” means, but I laughed out loud when Santana used it as an inappropriate response to Carl’s comments. She is so friggin’ funny this season.

Awww…Finn wears a swim shirt at the pool. I don’t think I’ve seen a teen show tackle male body-image before. And who’d have thought Finn would be the poster boy for this issue? I mean, he’s the quarterback of the football team, and he’s hardly a schlub. But then again, I cannot imagine being onstage in tighty whities. I was afraid to join my school swim team due to the Speedo requirement. I feel ya, Finn. Anyone else notice how much time we’re spending in the football locker room and showers lately? No complaints, just an observation.

Speaking of the football team, where in the hell is Coach Beiste? I guess she’ll be in the next new episode, but it does feel like she’s been MIA for too long, no?

Overall, I think it was a really fun episode and it’s great to have them tackle a musical. Plus, Mr. Schue was right: Rocky Horror is the perfect production for New Directions (and Glee) to cover. It’s an experience that’s all about outcasts and wanting somewhere to belong. That’s the message of Glee, too.

THE SONGS

“Science Fiction Double Feature”

I believe this was Quinn/Dianna Agron crooning this number, and most likely her lips. Great way to set the mood for the episode. Loved the title credits too. B+

“There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)”

We only got a few moments of this song, which was slightly disappointing. But it was still a blast to see the entire cast in those costumes. B

“Damn It, Janet”

Cory Monteith was fantastic in this scene. And I loved the background work by Mercedes, Kurt, and Quinn.  A-

“Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?”

Awesome. Finally we get to hear John Stamos sing! And this was way better than anything Uncle Jesse crooned on Full House. A

“Sweet Transvestite”

It was def surprising for Mercedes/Amber Riley to tackle this song, which is usually sung by a dude, but she completely pulled it off. Indeed, she had the perfect swagger for Frank N Furter. A-

Touch A Touch A Touch A Touch Me”

Holy hotness. Um this just a straight A for Matt Morrison’s chest alone. A

“Time Warp”

My favorite moment of the night. Just so full of energy, and you can tell the entire cast was having a blast. And Quinn was a surprisingly good Magenta! A+

THE BEST LINES

“Halloween is fast approaching: The day when parents encourage little boys to dress like little girls and little girls to dress like whores.” –Sue

“I’m going as a peanut allergy.” –Brittany on her Halloween costume

“Give me some chocolate or I will cut you.” –Becky to Will

“Go scream at some fatties.” –Sue to Becky

“Ain’t no carpool lane to sexy.” –Sam

“I have no idea what’s going on in this script and it’s not in a cool, Inception-kind-of-way.” –Finn on the plot of Rocky Horror

What did you think of The Rocky Horror Glee Show? How would you rate the musical performances? Sound off below!

LOVE TO TALK ABOUT TELEVISION? Then don’t miss this week’s TV Insiders podcast! Annie Barrett, Dalton Ross, Michael Ausiello, Michael Slezak, Missy Schwartz, and our resident TV critic Ken Tucker weigh in on the best show on television right now, and dish the latest happenings on Project Runway, Survivor, and Dancing With the Stars. Click here to download the TV Insiders podcast to your MP3 player, or listen to an embedded version below!

Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.
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