Tuesday, January 25

Gleecap - "Grilled Cheesus"

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Ok, so let me start this off with a 'disclaimer'. I tried not to focus too much on religion, which was quite difficult considering it's what the entire episode was about. I tried to keep my personal beliefs/opinions about religion out of the gleecap, although of course with this being my personal recap filled with my opinions, it's not completely opinion-less. With that in my mind, if I cause anybody any offence during the course of this post I apologise in advance, it was not my intention.


Ryan Murphy previously commented that this was one of the more controversial episodes of the series, as it focuses on the issue of religion, particularly the different Glee members' own spirituality (or lack thereof). I think maybe this would've been quite a hot button topic in America, but I think here in the UK, although definitely thought provoking, it wasn't quite as shocking. What do you think? As you can imagine with a title like 'Grilled Cheesus', this was quite a funny episode - I felt it harked back to some of my favourite episodes from last season, it was equal amounts of funny and serious, and I thought it approached the topic of religion in quite a sensitive, interesting way.




(the rest of my recap, after the jump - contains spoilers)

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Right, 'Grilled Cheesus'. The episode opens with Finn discovering the face of God on his grilled cheese sandwich - although of course, when you're hungry for grilled cheese you're hungry for grilled cheese so he eats the unholy side and keeps the other for prayer purposes - and Finn being Finn asks Grilled Cheesus for three wishes; for the football team to win a game, for Rachel to let  him touch her boobs and to be reinstated as quaterback. You always hear about this sort of thing happening, people discovering Jesus in a bit of damp or a slice of pizza, and normally when I imagine the sort of people that this sort of thing would happen to, I always imagine them to be very like Finn 'intellectually',  let's say. Also was I the only one who giggled every time they said 'grilled cheesus'. When Finn's first prayer comes true he vows to Cheesus that he will sing about him in Glee Club. Understandably it causes a bit of stir with the Glee members; Quinn and Mercedes looked pleased, Puck is disappointed that Finn wasn't 'coming out' as discovering Jesus Christ is "way worse"and Kurt protests due to the fact that he is an atheist.
"If I wanted to sing Jesus I'd go to church. And the reason I don't go to church is because most churches don't think very much of gay people. Or women. Or science."
Puck tells the group that he doesn't like the way people 'use J-Money to cramp everyone else's style' and that spirituality is about living life to the fullest. To prove his point he sings a song by another noted Jew, performing 'Only The Good Die Young' by Billy Joel. Have I mentioned that I love Puck, especially when he sings. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this song, at all - It's the sort of upbeat, poppy and fun song that I always associate with Glee.


Meanwhile, Burt Hummel (Kurt's dad) has a heartattack, possibly a result of his unhealthy lifestyle. Kurt is told during his French class by Emma and Mr Schue. What I didn't quite understand about this was the fact that Emma went to tell Will first and then they both went to the Hospital with him. Did she need to go tell Will, just to have both of them go to the hospital with him? And surely one of them would call Finn's mum seeing as they all know that Finn's mum and Kurt's dad are together. 


Later, back at school Kurt's gleemates try to comfort him; Tina, Quinn and Mike offer him a comforting hand, Santana says something nice for a change and Brittany makes Kurt a book report on heart attacks, written in crayon (seriously how adorable was Brittany this episode, "heart attacks are just from loving too much"). Finn however is a little insensitive, when he storms in and shouts at Kurt for not telling him about Burt being in the hospital. Other's may disagree but this annoyed me; Kurt's lost his mother and is on the verge of losing his father, surely he's a little preoccupied (also don't they live together?). Mercedes offers her comfort in the form of song (of course). This also annoyed me a bit - she asked Mr Schue if he minded her singing a song about God, but didn't ask her non-religious friend whether he minds her singing a song to him which is essentially telling him to put his trust in God, a God which he doesn't believe in. I dunno, I found that quite insensitive. I completely understand Kurt's viewpoint. However, despite his situation with his father, I thought Kurt was also a little insensitive towards his friends who do believe; The good intention was there and he shot them down by insulting what they believe. Whether they believe in God, the Spaghetti Monster or a magic teapot, that is never ok.


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As she always does, Sue finds out that Will is letting the Glee kids sing religious songs which she finds inappropriate in a public school, due to the separation of church and state. Now, I'm still trying not to go too far into my personal beliefs, particularly as to how successful the USA (or even the UK) are at doing this, but it was also my first thought when the subject came up - would singing these sort of songs be allowed in a public school? I think it's such a prominent issue, and it's very rarely that I agree with Sue, but I do in fact agree with her. Yes, people should be allowed to share their beliefs, but you also have to consider where you draw the line, when do you cross it? Emma confronts Sue, asking why she is so dead set against the kids helping Kurt and Sue explains how she prayed for her sister (who has Down's Syndrome), but never felt anyone was listening.


"It's as ignorrant as telling someone how to believe in God, and if they don't accept it, no matter how open-hearted or honest their descent - they're going to hell - that doesn't sound very Christian, does it?"
This leads to Sue encouraging Kurt to file a complaint about the religious songs being sung. Do you think Sue is trying to manipulate Kurt, or was she doing it out of genuine consideration? I think with Sue we can expect it to be a bit of both. 


Rachel gets her obligatory weekly song, this week it's another Barbara Streisand classic "Pappa Can You Hear Me" from the musical 'Yentl'. This is an incredibly emotional song of a young girl whose father has died, which Rachel gets to sing because her father has ... oh, wait. Rachel gets to sing this song because  Lea Michele appears to have dibs on Barbara Streisand's back catalogue. Kurt discovers Rachel, Quinn and Mercedes around his father's bedside and sends them away. 


Later, back in the Glee room Kurt offers to share his thoughts; He tells a story about his dad holding his hand during his mother's funeral and proceeds to sing a pretty amazing version of The Beatles' classic "I Want To Hold Your Hand". Which leads to a personal opinion I have no qualms in sharing. I had the pleasure of seeing Kurt's performance before I watched this episode last night, so I knew what to expect. This of course meant the tears came flooding in before Kurt even started singing. I mentioned it previously on my Tumblr blog, when I saw it but let me explain. Before my Grandma died she slowly lost the ability to talk. I remember her crying and leaving the room because she was so upset that she couldn’t talk to me anymore. All I could do was hold her hug and kiss her, and hold her hand. As she eventually lost her ability to talk, we’d just spend hours holding hands - from the moment I got to her house from the moment I left. As such I loved this song, it hit very 'close to home' in the sweetest possible way. Many people have remarked that this song is out of place or doesn't really fit as it's about a a romantic relationship, but for me it hit exactly the right note. By the way, how much did Little Kurt look like Chris Colfer - it was uncanny!


Elsewhere, Finn goes to see Emma about his new found religion as he feels guilty about Sam getting injured when he prays to become quaterback again. Emma explains that it was probably nothing to do with God. As a result Finn begins to lose his religion, so he sings 'Losing My Religion' by REM. Ok, so I hate this song. I don't even like REM, so I won't say much. But how funny is it that Finn has a spiritual crisis, because he realises Grilled Cheesus isn't his own personal gateway to God? Mercedes however, who is still very confident in her faith, explains to Kurt that she feels he has been pushing his friends away from him and he accepts that maybe this is true. Mercedes invites Kurt to her Church as she wants to dedicate the service to his father. Whilst at this point let me just say that I feel like the writers are pushing a lot of stereotypes with Mercedes; she's a plus-size girl who has problems with eating and her self image. She's also a African-American female who has a bit of a diva attitude and is incredibly religious, any more stereotypes you want to push on Amber Riley, Glee? Anyhow, Mercedes and her choir (which included a cameo from Amber's mum) sing 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. I absolutely love this song and I loved this rendition, it definitely delivered the much needed Mercedes element this series has been missing. 


Finally, Kurt tells his dad that regardless of what he does or doesn't believe in, he believes in him and Burt's hand twitches. The Glee kids sum up the episode by singing  "One of Us" by Joan Osborne. I hate this song too, so again, I won't comment, but I loved the drama of Finn eating Cheesus during the song (perhaps it was to portray the risk of eating a week old cheese sandwich). 


And that was Grilled Cheesus. What did you think of the episode? I felt that it pushed the series back on to some sort of track, we at last have a story line! Hopefully they'll continue to build on this for the rest of the series. Did you have a favourite song this episode? Did you think it broached the subject of religion well? 


Next week it's "Duets" featuring, you guessed it, lots of duets.


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