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View Poll Results: What did you think of "Swan Song?"
Loved it 3 21.43%
Liked it 8 57.14%
Meh 3 21.43%
Disliked it 0 0%
Hated it 0 0%
I didn't watch it, but I want to vote anyway 0 0%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:49 PM
Loopus Loopus is offline
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Glee 12/6: "Swan Song" (Spoilers)

Season four is really turning things around, in my opinion. I thought this episode was great. One of Glee's greatest strengths has always been its absolute fearlessness, and I think that's on full display in the producers' decision to end the competition season before it even starts. That's what sold prior seasons, but season four is in definite need of something new. So what do they do without competitions to work towards?

Well, competitions aren't really the point of singing, which is where this episode's strong theme comes in. Rachel may win a competition, but the only reason she does it is that singing is in her soul. That's what matters to Carmen Tibideaux, who is a much harsher judge than the buffoons we've typically seen show up at show choir competitions.

And Sam and Brittany may make the cutest couple ever.

What did y'all think?
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:21 AM
jali jali is offline
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Brittany following the Froot Loops was charming and oh, so Brittany.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 04:02 PM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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IIRC In the 1st season they lost at regionals, in the second they placed ~12th in nationals, in the 3rd they won nationals. In this season, unless they wanted to do international competition, they couldn't go higher. Winning nationals again would be hard (though possible) to make interesting.

I like the decision to make them not even win sectionals. Now what do they do? I don't know and that is a good thing.

Poor Marley - wasn't really her fault, even though she should have been suspicious when the her weight on the scale didn't go up and her regular clothes still fit but not her stage costumes. I kinda like Marley (except for her dumb as rocks issues) (though maybe it is true for poeple with eating disorders to ignore signs that they are losing weight and think they are too fat no matter what)

Brian
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:29 PM
Loopus Loopus is offline
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Originally Posted by N9IWP View Post
Poor Marley - wasn't really her fault, even though she should have been suspicious when the her weight on the scale didn't go up and her regular clothes still fit but not her stage costumes. I kinda like Marley (except for her dumb as rocks issues) (though maybe it is true for poeple with eating disorders to ignore signs that they are losing weight and think they are too fat no matter what)
My main complaint with "Swan Song" was that they didn't actually follow up on Marley. While I hope she gets the plotline she deserves in the next episode or two, Glee has a prior record of unceremoniously dropping plot threads. Big offenders last season where Santana being kicked out of the glee club in "The Purple Piano Project" (she rejoined with minimal explanation a few episodes later) and Mercedes's feud with Rachel over the starring role in West Side Story (never resolved).

I like Marley too; I think that she is the most interesting out of the newbies, though considering how dull most of them began as that's not saying a lot. It says a lot about her that she was the only person in this episode willing to stick with the glee club despite having only six minutes of practice time late at night.

I think that a major part of Kitty's plan to fuck with Marley was convincing her that she was "fated" to become obese like her mother, which I think is helping to convince Marley that she still needs to lose weight despite all evidence to the contrary.

Is she being kinda stupid? Yeah, but she's an insecure high school kid. That's liable to happen.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:12 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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I was both surprised and relieved that this episode was a good one. This has been a rough week for me personally, and if this had been one of Glee's bad episodes I think I would have just turned it off. Instead I think this may have been the best episode of the season.

I had predicted that the New Directions would lose Sectionals this year, and I'm glad they did, both because this was about the only interesting thing that could possibly happen with a Sectionals episode and because the new characters are boring. I do wish the Mennonite choir had won instead of the Warblers, though. I honestly think a bunch of middle aged judges would be more impressed by a bunch of wholesome young people singing holiday songs than by some prep schoolers singing about getting a blow job.

After Rachel's "All That Jazz"-off with Kate Hudson I was afraid we were going to have to pretend that Rachel was now a fantastic dancer, and was pleasantly surprised when instead she acknowledged that while she had improved she still wasn't that impressive and that her true talent will always be singing. I did think it was weird that a Jewish girl's favorite holiday song was "O Holy Night", although the writers apparently forgot she was Jewish last Christmas too.

It was also nice to get to hear Chris Colfer sing in his lower range for a change and not as high as he can, which is what they usually have Kurt do. But thinking of going too high with Kurt, his hair seems to get taller with each season. It just looked silly in this episode.

As for the eating disorder storyline, my big problem was that there was no hint of a comeuppance for Kitty. Santana realized what was going on, but everyone else seemed to put the blame on Marley alone. There was no sign that anyone was angry at Kitty, and while I think she made a sad face at some point she didn't actually apologize or admit what she'd done.

ETA: It was also awesome to have the piano player finally say aloud what we all assumed he'd been thinking.

Last edited by Lamia; 12-07-2012 at 07:14 PM..
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:44 AM
Loopus Loopus is offline
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Originally Posted by Lamia View Post
As for the eating disorder storyline, my big problem was that there was no hint of a comeuppance for Kitty. Santana realized what was going on, but everyone else seemed to put the blame on Marley alone. There was no sign that anyone was angry at Kitty, and while I think she made a sad face at some point she didn't actually apologize or admit what she'd done.
Considering how confrontational Santana is by nature, it's hard to believe that she wouldn't have called Kitty out in public more strenuously, especially at the moment when Kitty looked the most vulnerable.

Quote:
ETA: It was also awesome to have the piano player finally say aloud what we all assumed he'd been thinking.
Yeah, that was really funny. Glee's comedy has been above average recently, between this and "Dynamic Duets."
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:41 AM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by Loopus View Post
Yeah, that was really funny. Glee's comedy has been above average recently, between this and "Dynamic Duets."
I did notice that at the NYADA concert Rachel took a moment to speak to the bandleader before her unplanned encore, and Kurt did the same before his surprise performance. Maybe they heard about their old high school pianist's outburst!

I also liked Becky's one-liner about the movie Prometheus. I felt the same way.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:51 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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I was the best of the season so far, but that isn't saying much.

As I said in a recent thread, I really like the NYC stories better as they don't have to pretend they are amateurs. Yeah, they are still in "school", but now they can really do first class singing and dancing and not make you wonder exactly when they had the 12 hours to rehearse that number.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:43 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by DMark View Post
I was the best of the season so far, but that isn't saying much.
True, but it's looking like this season may actually shape up to be better than (the really pretty lousy) season three, so that's something.

Every week I wish they had just given Rachel and Kurt a spin-off, though. There's really not a lot that can be done with them in just a few minutes per episode (and they're not even in every episode), and NYC seems weirdly claustrophobic when they're limited to basically three sets and four other recurring characters. While the last thing Glee needs is more recurring characters, it's strange to have Rachel and Kurt in a major metropolis that seems to be inhabited almost entirely by mute background dancers and extras.

As little as the new students at McKinley interest me, if the show had a little more time to devote to the Ohio storylines then maybe I'd stop seeing them as a waste of time. It's odd how the newbies have had virtually no interaction with the seniors. I mean, it's realistic that the seniors wouldn't suddenly become BFFs with freshmen/sophomores, but I think we've actually seen the newbies spend far more time talking to the characters who've already graduated than with the ones they're in the choir room with every day. In the Thanksgiving episode there was much talk about which of the newbie guys would be lead dancer with Brittany for "Gangnam Style", but we never saw them rehearse together and the actual number was edited in such a way that they're only seen together for a few seconds onstage. Blaine and Marley were supposed to have a duet at Sectionals, but again we never saw them rehearse or discuss song selection and the performance didn't happen due to Marley's collapse. This seemed particularly unfortunate to me as IMHO Blaine has been on a downward spiral of whininess and self-absorption since early season three, and seeing him show some interest in or concern for any of the newbies would do a lot to make him more likable. Instead he's been hostile towards Unique and basically just ignored the others.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:29 PM
Loopus Loopus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamia
It's odd how the newbies have had virtually no interaction with the seniors. I mean, it's realistic that the seniors wouldn't suddenly become BFFs with freshmen/sophomores, but I think we've actually seen the newbies spend far more time talking to the characters who've already graduated than with the ones they're in the choir room with every day.
A casualty of the narrative split, unfortunately. It's easier to lend quick characterization to the newbies (who need it) if they're interacting with each other rather than characters who have already been established. The format of the show really is guiding the writing too much.

At the same time, "Swan Song" was split between Ohio and NYC and was very good, so it can be pulled off effectively. It's important that they maintain some kind of thematic and narrative link between the halves and that, somehow, they keep the halves from feeling curtailed. Each of those things is hard by itself. Hell, they've only accomplished all three one time this season so far, as far as I'm concerned.

I agree with you, I'd have loved to see a spin-off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark
As I said in a recent thread, I really like the NYC stories better as they don't have to pretend they are amateurs. Yeah, they are still in "school", but now they can really do first class singing and dancing and not make you wonder exactly when they had the 12 hours to rehearse that number.
Eh, I see the flawless impromptu performances as one of the things you have to accept in order to enjoy the show. Glee even lampshades it from time to time, as in season one's "Theatricality" when Rachel suddenly called Brad the piano guy out from nowhere and just noted that he's "always around," and in this episode when Brad complained about always being expected to know what they hell they're going to sing.

It's like faster-than-light travel in Star Trek. It's so deeply embedded in the premise that you have to be on-board with it in order to be on-board with the show.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:48 AM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is online now
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Personally I hated the NYC storylines - it was mega eyerolling. So Rachel, of course, becomes the first freshman in 7 years to get invited to the Winter thingy and then, of course, becomes the first freshman to ever win it. But on top of that, Kurt gets tagged to sing at there as an "audition" and of course gets accepted to NYADA - what was this the "it's all a dream" storyline.

I liked the Ohio stuff much better. Lets focus more on that.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:01 PM
Noelq Noelq is offline
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I'd much prefer if they left out the graduated cast members alltogether, and just focused on the new storylines. Quit dragging them back - there's no reason for it.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:38 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
Personally I hated the NYC storylines - it was mega eyerolling. So Rachel, of course, becomes the first freshman in 7 years to get invited to the Winter thingy and then, of course, becomes the first freshman to ever win it. But on top of that, Kurt gets tagged to sing at there as an "audition" and of course gets accepted to NYADA - what was this the "it's all a dream" storyline.

I liked the Ohio stuff much better. Lets focus more on that.
The only way that's going to happen is if they suddenly announce that one of the schools that won its Sectional was disqualified or had to withdraw, and that New Directions was the first alternate (don't ask how) to take its spot at Regionals. (They could even have a "sing-off" to determine who gets the spot.) Otherwise, the Ohio segments turn into yet another series about high school students, only they just happen to break out into musical numbers.

The most popular high school character is turning out to be "unnamed Cheerio who is always wearing a neck brace" (played by some anonymous actress who, despite being in pretty much every episode where there's a scene in Lima, never gets credited as she never has any lines).
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:07 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
The only way that's going to happen is if they suddenly announce that one of the schools that won its Sectional was disqualified or had to withdraw, and that New Directions was the first alternate (don't ask how) to take its spot at Regionals. (They could even have a "sing-off" to determine who gets the spot.) Otherwise, the Ohio segments turn into yet another series about high school students, only they just happen to break out into musical numbers.
Right now I feel fine with the idea of a Glee without competition episodes, but I suspect the writers will find a way to get New Directions competing again. In the recent movie Pitch Perfect, which wasn't fantastic but made a better Glee movie than the actual Glee movie, the protagonist's choir:
SPOILER:
is beaten at their Regionals-equivelant, but gets to go on to Nationals after the winning choir is disqualified -- it's discovered that their soloist wasn't actually eligible to compete.
On the Glee review podcast Gleeful*, one of the hosts suggested that maybe New Directions would turn out to be automatically eligible to compete at Nationals since they won last year.

*I'd recommend this podcast to SDMB Glee viewers. It's hosted by adults (a 30-something married couple and their 20-something friend) who are big fans of the show but aren't shy about saying when they think it's awful.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:50 PM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is online now
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I feel fine about the idea of glee without competition episodes as well. Maybe they'll actually focus on character storylines.
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