Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Glee: "Heart"

First Aired February 14, 2012

"Let's hear it for luuuvve!  Your assignment Valentine's week is to find and perform the world's greatest love songs."
-Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison)

Valentine's Day is approaching and love is in the air in the hallways of McKinley High!

Sugar Motta (Vanessa Lengies) announces she's throwing a huge Valentine's Day party. Every member of the New Directions glee club is invited, but they must bring a date. Both Artie (Kevin McHale) and Rory (Damian McGinty) want Sugar to be their Valentine date. Each boy sings a love song to Sugar and they try to win her affection with gifts.

Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Montieth) announce their engagement to the rest of the glee club. Some are in favor of the wedding, some think it's a terrible idea that will destroy their dreams.

Rachel's dads Hiram (Jeff Goldblum) and Leroy (Brian Stokes Mitchell) , have given their blessing to Rachel and Finn to marry. But this is actually part of a plan to postpone the wedding through reverse psychology.
Finn & Rachel announce their engagement to New Directions.
Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) stops Santana (Naya Rivera) and Brittany (Heather Morris) from kissing each other in the hallway. 

He has received complaints about their displays of affection. Santana says Figgins is a hypocrite, since heterosexual couples kiss in the hallways all the time.Kurt (Chris Colfer) keeps getting Valentine cards and presents from a "secret admirer". He believes the gifts are actually from his boyfriend Blaine (Darren Criss), but he may be in for a huge surprise.

Mercedes (Amber Riley) breaks up with her boyfriend Shane because she is still "in love" with Sam (Chord Overstreet). But she tells Sam they can't date because she feels guilty about breaking Shane's heart and it would be bad to start a relationship under those circumstances.

The God Squad (a club for Christian Students) is trying to raise money through singing telegrams for Valentine's Day.

Santanna wants to pay them to sing for Brittany, but the God Squad must first have a debate about singing for gay couples.

All that, plus lots of song-and-dance numbers!

J.A. Morris says:

As you can tell from the summary, there's a LOT going on in this episode. There's actually too much going on and most of it involves characters I don't care about. Rory and Sugar don't bring much to the table.  There's also a big plot-hole here regarding Sugar's party.  She says only people with dates may attend and that single people aren't invited because they're "sad" and "don't exist" in her world.  Then Artie shows up...without a date with no explanation.  I don't think the Mercedes/Sam (A.K.A. "Samcedes") relationship was handled well either.

The most important thing about this episode is the introduction of Rachel's dads. Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell are a lot of fun in "Heart", and they're the best part of the episode too.

Rachel's dads make a surprise appearance in the school auditorium.
The dads could have been played for easy laughs, but Goldblum and Stokes Mitchell are funny and make this episode twice as entertaining whenever they're onscreen.  I was also amused by Hiram's story about meeting Leroy when they both performed with Up With People.

The big "show-stopper" song features Amber Riley performing "I Will Always Love You". It should be noted that Riley's performance was recorded several days before the death of Whitney Houston, and this episode is dedicated to Houston.

Mike and Tina don't get a plot in this episode, but I thought they had the best performance.  They perform a duet of the standard "L-O-V-E.".

There's also an ensemble performance of the B-52's "Love Shack", featuring a decent Fred Schneideresque vocal from Chris Colfer.

This isn't a great episode, but the two performances mentioned above and the scenes that feature Hiram and Leroy make it worth watching at least once.  But I don't see this becoming a perennial Valentine's Day favorite.

J.A. Morris' rating:

Two and a half Valentine Hearts

RigbyMel says:

Season 3 of Glee was where the series really started to go downhill in my estimation and this episode kind of demonstrates why.   As J.A. Morris says, there is way too much going on here and not much of it pays off in anything resembling an intelligent fashion.  

We start with an "assignment" for the club members to show off some of their favorite love songs and are not treated to very much that fits into the "great love song" category.   The assignment also seems to be pretty much forgotten after the first 5 minutes.

Artie's attempt to woo Sugar with the song "Let Me Love You" comes off as gross and creepy.

Mike and Tina are adorable.  The inter-cutting during their song and dance number?  Not so much. 
Mike and Tina's rendition of "L-O-V-E", while very cute,  is inter-cut with the stupid Artie/Rory competition over Sugar, which is not at all cute.  This might be ok if it was intended ironically, but seems to be meant to be taken at face value.

Rory is trying too hard
One also wonders why anyone (highschool horndog or not) would be interested in someone as vapid and superficial as Sugar  -- so the Artie/Rory fight over her lacks any sort of resonance.    Speaking of resonance, the ever-present auto-tuning of voices on this show always gets my goat.

Brittany's Valentine playlist for Santana is pretty amusing, actually
The "God Squad" plot thread feels tacked on just to clumsily make a foregone conclusion point about being accepting of attractive young people sharing PDA regardless of sexual orientation.

Kurt receives a "Gorilla-Gram" from his secret admirer
The reveal  of Kurt's secret admirer is only surprising if you've never watched tv or seen a movie involving a secret admirer.

The best things about this episode are Rachel's dads (despite the silly reverse psychology plot they have to carry),  the cute "L-O-V-E" number (marred by the aforementioned inter-cutting) and Chris Colfer's channeling of Fred Schneider during "Love Shack", but this is not enough for me to give this episode a ringing endorsement.

RigbyMel's rating:

1 and a half Valentine hearts

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