Lots of shows – especially those set in hospitals – are guilty of romanticizing stories of illness and dying to the point that honest emotions are cast aside in favor of melodrama.
Fox’s ‘Glee‘ is not one of those shows.
Fabulous, church-worthy hats off to Ryan Murphy and crew for bringing us laughter and tears this week. Good gouda, the tears. I challenge anyone to keep a dry eye when Kurt first takes his dad’s hand and says, “Just squeeze back.”
I’ll be honest – I’m typically a Cheerios-caliber cheerleader for ‘Glee’ and everything it has to offer. “Grilled Cheesus” is an episode that makes me proud of my indiscretion. Nowhere else on television can provide witty commentary on spiritual ambivalence and a gut-wrenching, heartfelt twist on a Beatles pop tune.
Whether you fancy yourself a Brittany (praying makes you fall asleep) or a Puck (you see God every time you make out with a new chick), you’re likely to have related to the religious conversation in this week’s episode. It was uplifting without being preachy, challenging without being cynical. For that, Ryan Murphy is a bit of a genius.
More reasons to thank Cheesus:
• Best musical number: You know you could have mopped the floor with your own tears after Kurt’s “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Runner-up: Rachel flawlessly channeled Babs once again with “Papa, Can You Hear Me?”
• Best Sue-ism: We found out who Sue’s worst enemy is: “I think Mary Lou Retton’s like an orphan or something.” Runner-up: “At the BET Awards, not in a public school.”
• Best Brittany bit: Miss Pierce’s sincere offer to give Kurt’s docs her book report on heart attacks. “It got knocked down an entire letter grade because it was written in crayon.” Runner-up: “Is God an evil dwarf?”
• Most surprisingly funny facial expressions: Rachel’s continued gaping at Finn when he proclaimed his love of all things holy.
But enough with the gushing – let’s dish. How hot was Emma (Jayma Mays) when she stood up to Sue?! Their sparring was one of the best scenes. While the students were equally earnest and snarky with their spiritual quandaries (witness Kurt’s tirade about the magic teapot on the dark side of the moon), the adults were downright fierce. “Asking someone to believe in a fantasy… isn’t moral; it’s cruel,” declared Sue.
Not only was her pairing with Emma fantastic, but the brief scene with Sue and her sister was perfection by both actresses. I pray that “Grilled Cheesus” will grant Jane Lynch a second Emmy.
Speaking of the buttery delicious deity, I approve of the pairing of Finn and God for a storyline as opposed to Finn and Rachel. We saw more dimension from Finn (Cory Monteith) when he sang “Losing My Religion” than ever before. I’m not sure why he wasn’t more involved in the Burt storyline, but it was his absolute serious belief in the grilled Cheesus that scored major humor points.
Don’t worry, I’m not forgetting to further hail Chris Colfer (Kurt). What a darling! He stole my heart with his grace and sincerity throughout the episode. What a golden, gooey blessing that he was given such thoughtful material to work with. “Amazingly, needles pierce the skin better than psalms.” Your delivery pierces my heart, Chris!
And where did they find that kid to play Young Kurt in the flashbacks? Adorable, pinky finger and all!
“Cheesus” though also offered few reasons to lose your religion:
• Most forgettable number: Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Look to You.” Look, I’m not saying it was bad. It just didn’t bring the house down like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” did.
• Most underused character: We saw more of Dianna Agron’s Quinn this week, but I’m starting to forget what her voice sounds like. And that makes no sense, given that she’s the only one who has spouted religious speak prior to this episode!
• Most missed prayer: Seriously, if Finn was so upset to find out about Burt’s heart attack, why did he pray about football instead?
What did you think of this week’s ‘Glee’? Did “Grilled Cheesus” offer a perfectly digestible presentation of religion and faith? Or was it a bit cheesy?