A quick thought on last night’s Glee, which seemed to be a return to the bad habits of season two. It felt like they started with the song they wanted to do, and then bent the plotline to get there. That song, of course, being the one that titled the episode: Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl.”
I am not clear on what the thought process was behind choosing this song to celebrate Santana coming out as a lesbian. It strikes me a bit like Reagan using “Born In The USA” for his 1984 campaign. The assumption by hearing the title that the song will fit the situation, but no one stopped to listen to the lyrics, or think about them. The song, being about drunk girls teasing boys by kissing each other, is highly inappropriate to the situation at hand.
If the idea was to somehow “reclaim” the song away from that interpretation, it failed. The girls sang it straight. if there had been some attempt to rearrange the song into something other than its original bubblegum fluff, there might have been an argument for that. The problem is there’s nothing in the lyrics that would support reinterpretation, even if the writers had decided to rearrange the song.
The “title track” of this week’s episode ended up being one of the two weakest performances of the evening. (The other was Puck’s rendition of Melissa Etheridge to Ms. Corcoran, a story line of which we say less about, the better.) Instead, one of the highlights of the evening turned out to be Finn’s oddly melancholy take on Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Now here we have a bubblegum pop song whose lyrics support a serious reinterpretation. Why that was not given to Santana to celebrate coming out (and being rejected by loved ones for it) is beyond me.
Santana was given one good song this week, “Constant Craving,” which closed the show.
The other surprisingly good number was Coach Bieste’s “Jolene.” Dot Jones is doing fantastic things with her hackneyed story line, and the call back to her love of country music was a nice touch.
So far this season, the only song I’ve downloaded was last week’s Adele mash-up. Not a good track record Glee. We know you have it in you to do better.