This week's episode of "Glee" looked promising in the previews, but in the end, it all felt disjointed. Between the New York City story lines, the post-breakup angst, the new students, performances from "Grease," and several PSAs, the show tried to accomplish too much in one hour.
The most ridiculous story line was Marley's (Melissa Benoist) struggle with body image. The show tried to send a PSA against the dangers of negative body image and bulimia, but the premise was too unbelievable.
Kitty (Becca Tobin) decided to play head games with Marley by altering her Sandy costume in order to make her think that she was gaining weight. Then she continually reminded her that her genes worked against her because her mother was obese. She later invited the "Glee" girls (including Unique) for a slumber party where she encouraged Marley to throw up in order to control her weight.
First of all, why would Marley be naive enough to take advice from someone who clearly doesn't have her back?
And why would she be so quick to believe that she was gaining weight? Wouldn't she have noticed that only the Sandy costume wasn't fitting? She was still fitting into her regular clothes! And if she was that worried, wouldn't have she have at least weighed herself?
Meanwhile, the show really seems to be sending mixed messages about weight and body image. When Marley "struggles" with her weight, it becomes a PSA. Meanwhile, Sue (Jane Lynch) continues to make cruel jokes about Finn's (Cody Monteith) body without consequence.
The only redeeming aspect of Marley's body image story line was the cute scene between her and Ryder (Blake Jenner). He told a disturbingly funny story about how his wrestler cousin struggled to lose weight by taking laxatives, only to poop during a wrestling match in front of the entire school.
Other observations from this week's "Grease" episode
--I loved the small but angst-filled moments between Finn, Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer), and Blaine (Darren Criss). However, these characters belong in a New York City-based spin-off. (I still don't buy the premise of Blaine being a year younger than Kurt).
--Are we supposed to care about Cassandra (Kate Hudson) and Brody (Dean Geyer) hooking up when there's already so much going on in this episode? We're already pretty overextended with so many new characters.
--The other graduates either need their own spin-off, or they need to be written off entirely. It's painful to see characters like Mercedes (Amber Riley), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), and Artie (Kevin McHale) reduced to de facto guest roles.
--What happened to this year being Tina's year to shine? After Wade/Unique's parents pulled him from the musical, they had to bring in Santana (Naya Rivera) as a ringer to play Rizzo. (Another chance to not give Tina a song). This year is no different from last. Before, she was taking a backseat to Rachel. Now she's taking a backseat to Marley.
--The new cast is essentially a recast of the original glee club. Marley is Rachel. Ryder is Finn. Jake (Jacob Artist) is Puck. Kitty is Quinn/Santana. Unique is Kurt/Mercedes.
--The Kitty/Marley story line is essentially Quinn Vs. Rachel 2.0.
--Finn running the glee club? Sue says what we've all been thinking. "This is just another of your ill-conceived, bizarrely sentimental schemes that displays absolutely no forethought and appears immediately ridiculous to everyone in America except for you."
--This show really seems to be divided along color lines, hair color, that is. Why are all the mean girls blonde? Sue, Quinn (Dianna Agron), Kitty, even Cassandra.
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