Glee Does Britney, Take 2

I probably could’ve come up with something witty for a title, but then it would’ve been way too obvious and cheesy (then again, I am writing about Glee sooo…)

To be completely honest, Glee is a show that has been incredibly inconsistent throughout its three (now on its 4th) season run. The show prided itself on doing stories and having characters that were rooted in reality; things you would see at a high school these days. Anyone who watches the show will tell you that they may use these real stories and characters as a base, but will often steer the plot or writing to some ridiculous place. The music used to serve the purpose of aiding the storyline or used as a way to give life to what a character was feeling. They still do that…sometimes. But more often than not, you’ll most likely find the cast sing some random song that has no relevance to what’s going on. At times, that’s perfectly acceptable (having a little fun in the choir room or on stage), however when the random song in question is a current Top 40 hit, it’s a little groan inducing. It’s like they could’ve picked ANY song, but they HAD to choose the song that is completely and utterly overplayed by mainstream radio? Really?!

Britney Spears. Pop royalty. Love her or hate her, you gotta admit (at her best) she is one hell of an entertainer. I am and always have been Team Britney. I don’t love everything she’s done but I’m a fan through and through. I remember watching her music videos religiously to learn the choreography.

Back in season 2 of Glee, they did a Britney tribute episode and it was one of those cases where storyline didn’t matter in the slightest. They made up some ridiculous storyline where some of the members of New Directions went under anesthesia while at the dentist, and consequently dreamed that they were in a Britney Spears music video. See? Sounds incredibly stupid, but the end product was pretty fun to watch, even if only one song wasn’t a carbon copy of the original.

Flash forward to now and we have witnessed a second episode of Glee dedicated to Britney songs, that leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, the storyline wasn’t something completely ridiculous and they played around with the music a little bit, giving us 2 different mash-ups and 2 songs that were completely re-done from the original. On the other hand, they still gave us 4 songs that were pretty much carbon copies of the originals and didn’t do anything spectacularly different. Also, they brought up the dark years of Britney Spears (head shaving, attacking paparazzo, the ‘Gimme More’ VMA performance). We all know it happened but am I the only one that was a little uncomfortable at them bringing it up like they did? (Admittedly, the random student shouting “Leave Brittany alone!” was kinda funny.) I, for one, would rather not be reminded of those rough years in Britney’s life/career. I can’t imagine Britney’s camp were aware of what they were doing over at Glee either, or else they probably would’ve stopped it from happening. I understand the purpose of it all was to make way for Brittany/Britney’s comeback, but they couldn’t have gotten to that in some either way? Yeah, I’m not a writer or anything, so what do I know?

Quick Thoughts on the Songs

  • Hold It Against Me: Brittany leads the Cheerios in this number. Choppy cuts/strong edits makes it hard to appreciate the dancing. Not to mention, they didn’t change much to the song, except maybe speed it up a little bit.
  • Boys/Boyfriend: Blaine and Artie bring on the boy band cheesiness on the mash-up. I think they should’ve used NSYNC’s “Girlfriend” instead of Beiber’s “Boyfriend”, if only because…they sound the same. Wasted opportunity.
  • Womanizer: Didn’t really do much for me.
  • 3: Definitely one of the worst Britney songs, lyrically – but the original had an infectious dance beat. Glee strips it down here and still keeps the infectiousness intact. Bonus: Tina sounds amazing here. Nice to hear her vocals more this season.
  • You Drive Me Crazy/Crazy: Newbies Marley and Jake succeed in taking on this inspired and stripped down mash-up of one of Britney’s early hits with one of Aerosmith’s classic.
  • Oops!…I Did It Again: Love what they did with this song, changing it from just a pop song to a sexy R&B track. The performance itself was pretty good (thanks for showing up, former SYTYCDers Marko, Melanie, and Kent!), but similar to HIAM, too many quick cutaways and the smoke/fog/whatever was kind of unnecessary, which took away a little from the performance.
  • Gimme More: It was like the VMA performance – uncomfortable. I couldn’t even see it as funny like when they did ‘Toxic’ or even ‘Push It’ back in first season.
  • Everytime: Marley did a decent take on one of Britney’s few ballads. It worked well as an ending song, is probably the best thing I can say about the inclusion of this song.