Thursday, November 10, 2011

Glee Season 3: The First Time Episode Review

The First Time
Season 3, Episode 5
This was, without a doubt, one of the better episodes of Glee. EVER. And possibly the best of the season so far in terms of overall production, tone and quality. Sure, there were a couple of off kilter things and the episode definitely skewed towards the drama more than it's usual comedic tone, but this was incredibly well done. The writing was good, the acting was top notch, the musical performances were flawless and I thought the direction was genius.


- I admit, the portrayal of teen (or any) sex was a tad unrealistic, but that description would cover most of what has ever been shown on television or in movies. So, I seriously appreciated how differently they handled the topic. I liked how it was all about showing how special one's first time should be and how great it can be when done for the right reasons. If I wanted real life drama, I'll probably watch a documentary or some autobiographical show. Just saying.

- Kudos to Bradley Buecker, the director. How he handled this episode - and of course, the topic - was just unbelievably outstanding. Everything was so tasteful, so sweet and so heartwarming. And yes, I NEVER mentioned about the directing since this episode and that means a lot. So, I take my metaphorical hat off to you Mr. Buecker.

- The new evil Warbler, Sebastian was just so devilish. Haha. I enjoyed his introduction and he seemed to be a promiscuous character that I thought Blaine would be his "conquest". Looking forward to the conflicts he would bring to the Kurt-Blaine relationship. Oh, and how he pulled Blaine to join their performance of Uptown Girl reminded me so much of how Blaine pulled Kurt last season when they performed Teenage Dream.

- Can I just say how impressed I was with the whole cast? Their acting in this was just divine. Everyone from Santana, to Mike Chang and even Tina. But of course, Rachel, Kurt, Blaine and Finn (which I have a separate bullet for him) carried this episode effortlessly.

- Coach Bieste. Her storyline would've also been easily termed as thoroughly unrealistic, but I find her character likeable and sympathetic that I wanted to think that it could be possible. To my surprise, it felt authentic and the acting from her and Cooper was top notch. Bieste was trying her best to push him away and while it was once again a rushed resolution, we got a satisfying explanation that Cooper doesn't need a top model. Sigh. Such a fairy tale.

- I was very impressed with the interspersing of the songs from West Side Story with some of the dialogues throughout the episode. It was poignant, lyrical and there was a delicate touch to it. Tina had not much to do in this episode, but her speech was REALLY good.

- I don't even particularly like Finn as a character, but he was freakin' awesome in this episode - and I thought he would have to move mountains for me to actually appreciate his character again. His acting reached a whole new level and that scene with Rachel where he was ranting about not getting into Ohio State was heartbreaking. Sorry Finn, I underestimated you.

- That last scene was SO beautifully done that I consider it as one of the best scenes on Glee history. Not kidding.


- Artie's storyline felt a little disconnected. Yes, it kept the story moving, but he somehow irritated me. Why was he butting into everyone's business? That whole Bieste conversation was VERY weird. Even his little speech about being in a wheelchair, finding his passion and feeling like a grown up didn't do anything for me. Sorry.

- I think I'm in the minority on this but, Mike Chang's conflict with his dad was a little corny. The way he talked to his dad was a little out of character and that exchange of lines were WAY too dramatic. I don't know.


TONIGHT was understated and it opened the episode quite nicely. The sparse accompaniment was great and it's nice to hear both Rachel and Blaine together. Their vocal techniques and background were so different that everything somehow worked incredibly well.

UPTOWN GIRL. Initially, I didn't like this just because it's weird not to hear Blaine as the lead singer of the Warblers. But other than the cringe worthy auto-tuned almost robotic voice of the leads, this was as usual a fun number. A little out of place in this particular episode, but whatever.

A BOY LIKE THAT blew me away. The singing was incredibly strong, but how it was edited between Blaine-Sebastian flirting and Rachel's meeting with the girls was kind of genius. Plus, that song with Tina's heartwarming speech made it more special.

AMERICA was shockingly amazing and possibly my second favorite performance of Season 3 so far! The accent was hilarious - Puck sounded like a Russian Puerto Rican. Haha. - and everything from their voices to the dancing were impressive. Yes, the dancing could've been a little tighter, but given the level of dancing the cast is accustomed to, it worked out REALLY well. Oh, and Santana, please marry me! That is all.

ONE HAND, ONE HEART. Well, this was my favorite musical number of Season 3. You know why? Not only because Rachel and Blaine sounded spectacular on this - that's already a given - but because of how everything about this performance were handled. The camera angles, the close-ups and the inter-cutting between the two couples and the actual performance was outstanding as it helped convey the tenderness of the scenes. It was a pure special moment that didn't really need to physically be shown as they were using the words and meaning of the song to demonstrate. Plus, I was ridiculously impressed at the equality this scene presented between the heterosexual and homosexual relationship. 


marilyns_mole said...

I totally agree with everything you have written. Beautiful review...fantastic episode!

I was also worried about how this whole subject was going to be tackled. Tough considering how many children are watching this show. I did watch the scene in the car with my breath held...hoping that wasn't Kurt's first time. The sweetest thing about the episode was the number of reasons they came up with for and against having your first experience.

So tastefully done on all counts.

Anonymous said...

It was a solid episode.

I have a slightly different view on Mike Chans story line, I get that the "being an artist never leads to anything" story line has been done millions of times before, but i'm still liking it.

America was brilliant. Uptown girl was pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

what a fantastic review!

Phoebe said...

Do you ever suck at writing reviews? Hehe.

AL said...

Spot on review! I also loved the way they wove WSS into the episode. It was done so beautifully and tactfully. But Artie was being hella awkward and unfortunately Mike's subplot didn't have enough room to breathe. I swear, what kind of dad shows up at your school in the middle of the day to disown you for being in the school musical? That scene would have been 10x better if they did it at Mike's house. But other than that it was a really good episode.

Danmark said...

This girl can SANG! I believe she has the best voice out there right now! AMAZING cd and Kudos to Kelly...I would love to hear another My December type album too but anything she does is 10 times better than a Katy Perry or Pink cd. Just saying..

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