Funeral

Quick warning: if you haven’t seen Funeral, this will spoil it for you. 

Like Prom Queen, I’m a bit conflicted about Funeral, although in a far less urgent kind of way. While a bit conflicted, I can honestly say there was little in the episode that made me actually care.

I strongly dislike cheap attempts at manipulating my feelings, and that funeral — Willy Wonka decorations and all — struck me as Hallmark cheap. Glee was looking for tears and determined to get them.

The Good Stuff:

Jane Lynch is actually a magnificent actor, and I’m delighted she was finally given a plot that wasn’t completely ridiculous. Her wedding to herself? Bullshit. Her torturing Artie? Stupid. This, now this is real and, for once, they respected one of their finest actors and gave her a story worthy of her talents.

The music. Some People, My Man, Pure Imagination, all wow. The stuff I didn’t name was good too. The music was great. More of this please.

Will Schuester’s closet of vests.

Finn dumping Quinn. About freaking time.

The Bad Stuff:

The memory reel of Sue and Jean in the style of The Wonder Years. I almost expected Fred Savage to begin narrating. It’s one thing to give Sue a special needs sister, and use this as a device to humanise a character that was in danger of becoming a caricature. It’s another thing to kill off the plot-device sister and then flog the audience with the message the show had already achieved with the sister being alive. I think they could have managed Jean’s death in a much classier way. I had no objection to anything that happened outside of the actual funeral. I pretty much object to the entire funeral scene.

Ok, so I guess, at the end of it all, I have only one real objection, but it’s a big one.

What did you guys think?

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5 thoughts on “Funeral

  1. I guess (know) I’m easily manipulated because they got my tears. Though I may be a little sensitive because I went to my grandmother’s funeral last month.

    I thought it was a great story line for Sue, but already I was cringing, knowing it can’t last. She’s the villain, and no matter how sweet and sappy a plot she briefly gets, it’ll be right back to 10,000-miles-beyond-ridiculous in the next episode.

    “Imagination” was one of the best songs this sh0w has ever done.

  2. How did you feel about Finn generally in this episode? His speech to the Glee club was, iirc, the third time Glee has unironically put the “we’re all outsiders, we’re all underdogs” sentiment in the mouth of a straight, white, cis, TAB male speaking to a group of people who are actually marginalized in various ways (the other times were Will’s “we’re all minorities because we’re in glee club (so stop complaining about being marginalized” speech during the episode where Sue is the co-director, and Will’s “we’re all misfits, and that’s what Rocky Horror is really about ” speech in RHGS).

    Finn has always seemed to embody privilege in a lot of ways–the expectations placed on him in the (father/provider, football hero, male lead, leader, etc.) always seemed to be based less on his actual qualifications, and more on the fact that as a straight, white, cis, TAB male he’s easy to project Hero on. It seemed deliberate to me during the first season, but this season they’ve mostly abandoned it in favor of making him actually live up to those expectations with little or no effort (his almost effortless popularity, for example, as opposed to Quinn’s scramblings for status; his role as male lead and co-captain of New Directions never being questioned while Rachel’s constantly is, despite the fact that Cory Monteith is the weakest male singer in the cast).

    I think with his role as the male lead of New Directions FINALLY being questioned, and his subsequent confusion and betrayal over no longer simply being handed things, but instead having to work for them and be judged on his merit, could be a really interesting plot for them to play with. Unfortunately, by putting that criticism in Jesse’s mouth they made it instantly suspect, and they also immediately turned away from the prospect of male competition in Glee club and instead focused on the competition (and subsequent cattiness) between the girls (and Kurt).

    Sorry for the wordiness, but it’s rare to find space on the net actually interested in, you know, Deconstructing Glee.

  3. I’ll come right out and admit I have no idea what TAB means in this context. And yeah, I think there’s a bit of that — although I will say he hasn’t the same popularity that Quinn has — what she strives for is a whole different level, where we do see Finn being taunted and teased on occasion.

    And yes, Cory Monteith (as much as I love him, and I do) is not the best singer of the Glee kids. It kind of squicks me out to wonder why the gay countertenor can’t be the male lead (you can change things up an octave rather easily to accommodate) or the kid in the wheelchair. Artie has a very impressive voice.

    The other thing they made instantly suspect by putting it in Jesse’s mouth was Rachel’s winning audition. I’m sorry, but she blew everyone else out of the freaking water. And yet, Schuester is willing to just “wait and see” which is crazy. But anyhoo.

    Tell me what TAB means?

  4. You know, it’s not even sweet/sappy plots that I want for Sue, it’s real plots.

    In the first season, she wasn’t all kinds of nuts. I mean, she wasn’t okay, but she was doing real things, like kicking the pregnant girl off the cheerleading team, and leaking setlists. Now she’s marrying herself and threatening to pull a kid’s teeth for “spiking” the punch in an interrogation room type scene.

    They’ve just gone too OTT with her.

  5. TAB – temporily able-bodied. A lot of disability activists prefer it to just able-bodied, since it recognizes that being able-bodied is for many people a temporary condition.

    There are obviously plot reasons why Finn is the male lead (so he and Rachel can have touching duet moments that serve the story). I just wish they’d find some way to justify it in the show, or else had the other guys being more competitive about it the way the girls are with Rachel. Rachel usually ends up getting the lead anyway, but at least everyone around her has realistic reactions to her always getting lead. Finn’s lead almost never being challenged has never made sense to me.

    I’m not sure they made Rachel’s winning audition suspect – it impressed Kurt enough that he overcame his competitive instinct and spontaneously applauded, and also she’s Rachel: her voice kind of speaks for itself. I don’t know that she necessarily blew everyone else out of the water, though–when she does Funny Girl she gets a little too Barbra for my taste, and Mercedes’ number was pretty great, too. I was pretty disappointed at how lackluster Santana’s song was, though. She couldn’t have put together something a little more impressive?

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