'Glee' Recap: This is a New Year for 'Naked' Men of McKinley

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'Glee' Recap: This is a New Year for 'Naked' Men of McKinley

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(Chord Overstreet)

Despite a disappointing fourth season of "Glee," this week's episode, "Naked" was refreshingly sweet and funny. Here's a look at why we loved this week's episode of "Glee."

Funny News Segment With Rod & Andrea

In a refreshing throwback to season 1, the show opened with a fun news segment with Rod Remington (Bill A. Jones) and Andrea (Earlene Davis). Rod reported the story of the Warblers getting disqualified at sectionals.

Andrea had a meltdown and resigned because she felt that she was wasting her serious journalism on fluff news pieces. Rod looked forward to getting a newer hotter co-anchor, then proceeded to talk about squirrel/nurses.

Another fun moment occurred when the reporters commented that Hunter Clarington (Nolan Gerard Funk) looked too old to be in high school. Finally the shows acknowledges the fact that most of these so-called high school students are actors in their late 20s.

Hot Shirtless Men of McKinley

In order to raise money for regionals, Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) decided to create a Men of McKinley calendar. We were treated to an overdose of hot shirtless "Glee" men working out, posing, and doing "broga." I could have watched the episode on mute and been perfectly content.

Male Body Image Awareness

The media is so saturated with PSAs about eating disorders and poor body image in women. But "Glee" is the only show that actually talks about body image issues in men.

Sam (Chord Overstreet) earned poor SAT scores, causing him to wonder if he was just a flake with a hot body. His friends had to remind him that there was more to him that just his appearance. For the first time this season, the show actually acknowledged (albeit briefly) the fact that Sam and Mercedes (Amber Riley) actually happened.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Artie (Kevin McHale) felt self-conscious about his body because of his disability. The guys reached a compromise by having posing for the calendar, fully clothed and leaving more to the imagination. During his pep talk with Finn (Cory Monteith), I had to wonder why Finn didn't talk about his own past struggles with body image. But then again, this show has never been known for continuity.

Fondue For Two

In addition to the hot shirtless eye candy, we were treated to a fun episode of Fondue for Two. In an interesting turn of the tables, "Glee" treated the male body image story lines with levity, but made light of Marley's (Melissa Benoist) eating disorder. Brittany asked Marley how long she waited in line to see "The Hunger Games," then proceeded to ask if she waited because she herself was hungry.

While I don't normally make light of eating disorders, Marley's body image story line was so contrived and over-the-top to begin with that it deserved one of Brittany's funny one-liners.

Becky Jackson Sums Up Our Sentiments About Jake & Marley

Viewers are not particularly invested in the newest New Directions members, and Becky Jackson (Lauren Potter) summed it up perfectly.

This week, Marley and Jake (Jacob Artist) struggled with finding the courage to say "I love you." When it finally happened, Becky remarked, "gross! Get a room!" I'm not particularly interested in "Saved By The Bell: The New Class." Let them find love, but away from my television. We want more Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer).

The New/Nude Rachel

Over in New York, Rachel signed up to participate in a student film, before realizing that it would involve a topless scene. In an epic sing-off, the Old Rachel battled the New Rachel over whether or not to go nude.

Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Santana (Naya Rivera) paid a visit in order stop her from making a decision she could potentially regret. Quinn told her about the 2-2-2 rule. How would she feel in two weeks? Two months? Two years?

At the last minute, Rachel backed out of the nude scene, arguing that although she had no problem with actresses going topless, she herself was not ready.

In the end, the Old Rachel and the New Rachel were not mutually exclusive. She could embrace her new-found sex appeal without having to do something she wasn't ready for.

Rachel Vs. Kurt

I'm not liking the way Rachel is treating Kurt these days. Last week, she asked Brody (Dean Geyer) to move in without even consulting her roommate. This week, she's been letting Brody walk all over Kurt. If Brody wants to walk around nude, that's his business, but he should be more considerate about Kurt's furniture.

And Rachel has been pretty judgmental of Kurt lately. Last week, she discouraged him from joining the show choir and committing "social suicide." (Just last semester, she herself was at the bottom of NYADA's social pecking order.) This week, when he expressed reservations about her decision to go nude, she told him to "grow up."

Still, I know Rachel and Kurt will work it out eventually. Sometimes these friendships go through rough patches. I'm sure these two will last longer than Rachel and Brody.

This Is a New Year

The glee club's final number, "This is a New Year" was one of their best musical numbers in awhile. This performance rivals "Don't Stop Believing" and "Some Nights" as one of the show's classics.

If this episode is any indication, then hopefully the show is finally off to a strong start this new year.

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