Paging John Stamos! I need a morally questionable dentist to administer a healthy dose of pop star-conjuring narcotics to my system so that I can watch the cast of “Glee” re-enact Britney Spears’ music videos and find the experience truly euphoric. Otherwise, I’ll have to admit that I just didn’t love an episode that I have been looking forward to since last April, when the Madonna episode of “Glee” rocked my world and Spears’ manager pitched a similar, Britney-themed tribute via Twitter.
Unfortunately, after six months of hype, expectations for Britney/Brittany were high. Catchy Britney Spears songs and catchy one-liners from Brittany, the show’s hilarious, daffy blonde cheerleader sounded like a killer combo. Spears herself had filmed a cameo and the previews were totally hot. I was ready to absolutely LOVE this episode and yet… at the end of an entertaining hour, I found myself a little disappointed and underwhelmed. But hey, it's Britney (B*tch)! She’s entertaining despite her mediocrity. She’s more flash than substance. She's catchy hooks and fun costumes. Whether it’s Britney or Brittany, it’s more fun to just take all that at face value and enjoy it for what it is. So, let’s put the ridiculous "plot" of this week’s episode aside, take a little of that fantasy-inducing anesthesia, and recap the hits.
I’m A Slave For You – Brittany S.Pierce took on Britney Spears full blast with a re-creation of signature looks and dance moves for this All Brit showcase. Wearing the diamond bodysuit from the "Toxic" music video, the red pleather “Oops…I Did It Again” costume, and the "Slave for You" bikini with a particularly mobile yellow python, Heather Morris showed off the sick dance moves that got her onto the “Glee” set in the first place. (PS: "So You Think You Can Dance" Fans --- did you catch All-Star Mark in the background??)
Me Against The Music – Brittany and Santana channeled Brittany and Madonna in a stylish and fun shot for shot re-creation of their post-MTV kiss “Me Against the Music” music video collaboration. The only deviation from the original video came at the end when real Britney showed up instead of Santana to tell Brittany the whole cat and mouse thing they were doing was just a fantasy. Whatever. An episode that features Brittany had to feature Santana as well, and this was a good duet for two of the most awesome characters on the show. Even in this uneven episode, their one-liners and priceless reaction shots were high points.
Baby… One More Time – In this performance of Spears’ breakout hit, Rachel channels her inner Britney and Lea Michele shows how skinny she has gotten over the summer. Like the others, this music video homage turns out to be a hallucination, courtesy of John Stamos’ character Carl, the dentist. Unlike the others, Rachel briefly adopts Spears’ schoolgirl costume from the video as her everyday wardrobe.
Stronger – Artie leads the boys in a performance on the football field that is the most plot-driven musical number in the show. Still part of the Dentist Chair ride to Fantasyland motif, this dream sequence jives with Artie’s previously expressed desire to play football. The real Britney gets another cameo at the top of this song and seems to be taking Artie’s side over Mike “Other Asian” Chang in the Tina Cohen-Chang love triangle.
Toxic – New Directions performs this 2004 hit on-stage in front of the entire school with Mr Schue putting his Britney Spears hating on hold and taking the lead. Mike Chang gets some spotlight time here and wins points for looking awesome and killing every single dance move. The best Spears cover and performance of the night, which would have been even better if we didn't have to endure quite so many cutaways to Lauren from AV club and Jacob Ben Israel screaming like they’re about to climax in the middle of the gymnasium.
Rachel capped off the night with the Paramore song, "The Only Exception" which felt out of place and weird at the end of an all-Britney night. As for making sense of what actually happened on this episode, it seems like the only major takeaways are that Finn and Artie are on the football team, Rachel and Finn are making it work, Emma and Dentist Carl are together and Will and Emma are not. Also, Terri Schuester’s hair is longer and blonder but she’s still awful, and Britney Spears couldn’t quite match up to Madonna on “Glee” either.
What did everyone else think? Was Britney week everything you hoped it would be? Was Mr Schue (as inspired by comments made by the actor who plays him) right to resist a Britney-themed week ? How do you like John Stamos so far? When Rachel started her speech at the end of the show, did you think she was going to sing “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman?” Let us know!