The New Normal: Episode 2 review

7 01 2014

Episode 2: “Sofa’s Choice”

Airdate: Sept. 11, 2012

Written by Ryan Murphy and Allison Adler

Plot summary:

Everyone waits on a blood test that will determine whether or not Goldie is pregnant.  In the meantime, Bryan bonds with Shania, who impersonates Little Edie from Grey Gardens.  He tries to get her to confess that she drew on the expensive couch in the house.  David questions whether he’s ready to have a kid in his life.  Bryan and David offer Goldie to live in their super nice guesthouse instead of the run-down (modest, really) place they’re living at now.  Upon Jane’s (Goldie’s grandmother) insistence, Clay, now Goldie’s ex, returns to get back together with her.

Eventually, Bryan figures out it was Jane who drew on the couch (to get Bryan and David angry at Shania).  David is ready to be a dad.  Goldie rejects Clay and asks for a divorce.  After moving in for a bit, she decides that she can’t accept Bryan and David’s offer to live in the guesthouse, saying it’s what they’ve earned, not her.  At the end of the episode, everyone learns that the blood test says Goldie is pregnant.  Group hug!


Well, I like this episode more than I did the pilot, oddly enough.  Yes, most, if not all, the characters are still stereotypes (Bryan getting upset that the expensive, brand-name couch got vandalized, Clay is a Neanderthal straight man), but there are some interesting developments.  We see how David and Bryan met years ago.  Bryan doesn’t seem to have changed (he was the same flamboyant guy), but David, dressed like a geek and fresh out of medical school, is shy, socially awkward and wants to impress his (straight) friends by buying Bryan a drink.  That’s the kind of gay guy I want to see on TV.  Then we jump back to the present, and David is now not dressed like a geek, is well-groomed and handsome.  He’s nice to look at, sure, but he’s not as compelling a character as he once was, it seems.  At least for me.

Shania not fitting in at school is a familiar thing that Ryan Murphy’s been mining on Glee.  It makes sense, though, considering Shania is an oddball.  On the other hand, the Jane as the antagonist is already beginning to feel forced.  Yeah, I get that she’s the personification for all the Republican, conservative beliefs out there, but she’s so evil with no characterization that she comes off as a caricature/cartoon villain.  We know her efforts are going to fail, but that she’ll be back next week to try and ruin things again.  Not sure if she’s actually going to do anything besides be a one-note character (it also doesn’t help that Ellen Barkin delivers her lines in the same tone over and over again).

Maybe this is just me, but I’m beginning to really see Murphy’s writing, to the point where it pulls me out of the scene.  For example, Jane tells Goldie, ““Your daughter has no business spending time with those candy-packers in that Sodom and Gomorrah fudge factory”.  This is meant to be funny, I know, but it’s crass and feels like something Sue Sylvester would say on Glee.  It made me aware of the writing because although it might look funny on the page and be something Jane would say, it’s such an unnatural phrase that it doesn’t work in the show.

Also, maybe I’m just getting used to the pacing, but this episode doesn’t feel as hurried as the pilot.  There are still some cuts that are abrupt, but it seems as if the show is settling down, finding its groove.  I hope so, anyway.

Darren Criss sex dream

22 03 2013

Before bed last night, I was googling pics of Darren Criss after watching the latest episode of Glee in which I thought his hair was exceptionally nice.  And then lo and behold, he appeared in my dream!  It was this big convoluted, confusing dream that involved a witch (I think) and wandering around in scary alleys, but I somehow found a naked Darren Criss (or was it Blaine Anderson?) and naturally, proceeded to touch his gorgeous body all over (and he let me).  He had nice nipples and I wanted to make him orgasm by playing with them so I began touching him some more while he talked to me about something unimportant.  Then I felt something spurting on my leg– yet, he still continued talking as if nothing was happening.  When I pointed out that he just came and he didn’t even react to it, I think he said it wasn’t important or that he didn’t want to disrupt our conversation or something.

Anyway, after that, I think I made him go down on me but it didn’t last long because I woke up shortly after and was extremely bummed to have to go to school.  Darn you UBC.  Always killing my dreams.

Hopelessly Devoted to You

17 11 2012

Damn you, Glee.

See you in our dreams

3 10 2012

Rachel and Artie from Glee were accompanying me on my quest.  I had been given clues to go to certain places, and once there, I would find an old shoe.  Inside, I would find more clues to the next location.  I didn’t understand it.

The three of us were in a dark forest.  The trees and the leaves on the ground were brown — burgundy, really.  There were two different tracks in front of us, like those little ramps in bowling alleys where the balls roll and return to the front of the bowling lane.  There were two separate ones in front of us, both metal.  I told Rachel and Artie, who were standing behind me, to wait until the balls were released, as it was implied (or else I “knew”) that the balls were there to kill us.  Two bangs went off from somewhere, and the cannonballs — or large metal balls — rolled out of the lanes,  We hopped across the tracks after they rolled past us and into the forest behind us, then sprinted until we got to smaller tracks that we were supposed to jump on and follow.  I jumped on it, and started weaving my way around, while Artie and Rachel seemed to stay on ground, pointing me as to where to go.  Finally, I got to the end of the tracks and was face to face with a worn out old boot.  I dumped the contents out: some coins, mostly.  The boot had the number 20 faded on it.  I knew that was significant, and I knew that the next boot or whatever it was was going to be the last one.

I examined the coins but couldn’t figure it out.  “What does this mean?” I asked someone standing nearby (it might have been Artie but I think it was someone different entirely).  Then I looked more closely at the coins and I realized what it was: they all had sea animals on it, and our next location was the aquarium.

“No.  No no no no.  I don’t want to go there ever again,” I said.  But everyone already left, and I knew I had to go there.


The aquarium wasn’t quite the aquarium that I remembered it to be.  It was more like a seafood market.  I wandered the halls, looking for something.  Eventually, I came across two big glass doors.  A little girl walked slowly up to the glass.  Floating behind her was what I first thought was a dead girl, but it turned out to be a jellyfish.  I opened the doors, and had to yell at her because all of a sudden, there were people around, talking.

I can’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember the jellyfish was trying to kill me.  Unfortunately for it, there was no water around, and it flopped and slid pathetically on the floor towards me while I shout-talked with the little girl.  She must’ve told me something important because the next thing I remember is I was on my way to the hospital.

I was on the phone with my mother.  I told her I figured everything out.  My ex, G., had been in an accident and was almost dead.  He was in the hospital, in a coma, and had been leaving my clues to try and communicate with me.  I didn’t know why though.  While talking with my mom, she told me she was in the hospital or that she was also headed to the hospital, and would check on him.  During our conversation, a  strange and distant but clear voice interrupted us and said something which I can’t even remember.  My mother didn’t hear it, but I heard it, and I knew it was G. sending me telepathic messages.  I told her I was on my way to the hospital to see him.

I got a ride from someone.  When I got there, the attendant at the hospital asked if we were there to see the swim races that day, and when I told him I needed to visit a patient in the hospital, he waved us in.  I went inside and wasn’t sure where he might be, but I figured he wasn’t on the first floor.  So I got in the elevator and pushed the 4 button.  I saw my mother through the glass windows/walls of the elevator, waving at me.  She somehow told me (maybe this was after, or maybe it was voice-over or something) that G. was located on the second floor.  She also said he was awake and had even walked over to the Visitor’s Area, waiting for me.

For some reason, I told her I would stay on the fourth floor for a bit.  I think I rationalized that since I was going to the fourth floor, I might as well “spend time” there before going down to the appropriate floor.  Unfortunately for me, I believe I forgot my original mission, and spent a stupid amount of time on the fourth floor.  In the end, I didn’t even see him in the hospital.

I suddenly remembered why I was there, and as I headed downstairs, I woke up.

Teenage Dream

22 05 2012

I really don’t like Katy Perry’s music, as I find it lacking any sort of substance, but man, this version makes it sound like an actual song.  Thanks, Glee and the Warblers!

“Faithfully” — Journey

17 04 2012

For whatever reason, I found myself watching an old clip from Glee, and suddenly, I dug “Faithfully” a lot.  Then I searched up the original by Journey, and it’s so good!  I know there is a lot of hate for Glee, but I honestly wouldn’t have listened to Journey without Glee‘s help, and I think that’s one of the positive effects about the show.  It exposes younger audiences to music and artists they may not have even heard of.

As someone on youtube posted, “Lol I think it’s stupid to compare, Glee and Journey are different, Glee introduced me singers I didn’t even know. They are not trying to be better. That is just my opinion.”  I agree with this.

Re-inspired by Glee

21 02 2012

Every once in a while, I’ll see or hear something that makes me step back from reality, something that reminds me of my purpose in this world.  It happened again tonight while watching the newest episode of Glee.  Surprised?  Rolling your eyes at me?

Perhaps I should clarify that it really was only one short part in the episode that made me re-think things (ie. not when Rachel is singing at Regionals.  Meh).  *Spoilers!*  Blaine sings a cover of “Cough Syrup” by Young the Giant to Kurt on stage.  While he’s doing so, Dave Karofsky, now outed to his school and online, contemplates, then prepares to kill himself in his bedroom.  Of course, this made me tear up and cry a little, as I’m sure it did for a lot of people.  But moreover, it reminded me that I have a responsibility in this world to ensure that gay teens, even if in this case it is a fictional character, don’t have to do what Karofsky did.  It reminded me of my documentary project idea about gay teen suicides across North America.  It reminded me that maybe doing this project is more important than school or work or watching TV shows; this is about getting an important message out there– one that I have the potential to tell and show everyone.

It’s difficult because it’s not like I can just go out and make this documentary.  If I was only working and not in school, things would be so much easier.  Or if I had help, since it takes more than one person to make a documentary…  and it takes a lot of planning.  In some ways, I feel like I’m too late to cover this topic.  The big news stories about the string of suicides happened almost a year and a half ago.  I should’ve gotten footage of things going on then.  Who’s to say there aren’t filmmakers doing it right now?  But I want to do this, I really do.  It’s got me thinking, it’s got me thinking.

And I have Glee to thank for that.

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 15: A song that describes you

24 04 2011

It would’ve been so easy to just post any song I had written but I’ve already done that so that was a no-go.  And for a while recently, one of the original songs from Glee, “Get It Right” was totally I song that felt like I could’ve written, about trying to do the right thing and constantly getting it wrong.  “What do you do when your good isn’t good enough?/And all that you touch tumbles down/My best intentions keep making a mess of things/Just want to fix it somehow”, the lyrics from the chorus of the song, are words that made me tear up when I first heard and saw it on the show when it premiered.  This also would’ve been an easy choice to to post.

But somehow, it didn’t feel… complete enough.  Although I think the song is hopeful in the end and that it describes a lot of who I was and am now, it’s missing… something.  Upong listening yet again to “Last Man”, composed by Clint Mansell (who also wrote the score for Black Swan, among other films), the tears I had from my eyes after listening to “Get It Right” finally came down.  I guess I figured out that though “Get It Right” is easy to interpret since the lyrics are right there, it takes a little more effort and thought to come up with the meaning of “Last Man” because it’s strictly instrumental.  I feel like because it has no words to the piece, instead of telling you how you should feel, it leaves it up to the listener to try and make sense of it.  Everyone hears something different in it, and “Last Man” is a piece that I can interpret to mean more than just sadness, which, admitedly, is a lot of it for me.

Here’s a link to “Get It Right” as well:

The value of gay friendships — Glee

15 03 2011

Gay relationships: it’s been done.  There is even the now-cliche in films and stories of the gay guy who has the biggest crush on his friend and if only his friend knew… but then his friend does know and they get together and they live happily ever after!  The end.

And sometimes even when you have a gay friend, there’s this implication that the two of you might get together just because you’re both gay, which seems bizarre but I’ve felt that in the past when meeting new gay people.  I came across an article many years ago about the importance of gay friendships and at the time, I didn’t think much of it.

Until Glee came along.

So for those who don’t watch this wonderful show, Kurt is the token gay character in the show.  He’s out in high school but a homophobic bully (who also happens to be closeted) makes him leave.  Kurt then transfers to an all-boys school where homophobia and any forms of hate are non-existent.  If only all high school across America and in the world, for that matter, were like Dalton Academy.

At Dalton, Kurt meets Blaine, a member of the school’s glee club who also happens to be gay.  Kurt is smitten with him and back in February, in time for Valentine’s Day, Kurt confesses his like for Blaine.  Perhaps surprising for many viewers, Blaine doesn’t feel the same for his friend, and says, “He doesn’t want to screw this up.”

How refreshing, I thought to myself, to see two gay characters on TV who didn’t hookup just because they both happened to be gay.  In fact, all this time, I had been wishing Klaine, as folks call the couple, would stay two separate words.

Here’s why: Blaine is confident of himself and his talents.  Sure, he had a slight questioning episode with that kiss with Rachel, but when we first met him, he appeared to be miles out of the closet whereas Kurt, although out at McKinley, was still emotionally vulnerable to homophobia.  Blaine seemed, at least to me, the kind of person, Kurt needed to become a more confident, smarter, gay person in the future.  I didn’t see Blaine as someone who would or should be romantically involved with Kurt, at least not for the time being.  So when Blaine told Kurt he didn’t want to mess things up between the two of them, I thought for sure they’d stay good friends, which I was more than happy with.  After all, Blaine can still support Kurt and they can both still be friends.

And why should they be together?  Besides the fact that they both happen to be gay, why should they?  “They would look so cute together!” is also not a valid response.

I commended the writers for keeping Klaine as friends because I thought it was refreshing to have two young gay characters who weren’t together just for the sake of throwing couples together (*ahem, Degrassi, ahem).  And not just that, but I felt like it was saying something important about the value of gay friendships rather than relationships.

Anyway.  But as of tonight’s episode — that’s a spoiler alert, by the way — after Blaine found himself looking at Kurt in a different light and kissing him, it appears that the two are now an item, which I have to say I’m not surprised to see, though I am a little disappointed.  I guess we’ll see how things play out with the two of them.

In the meantime, I’ll cheer for Klaine, er, Blaine + Kurt.

Denying songs to Glee

6 02 2011

So Glee.

I don’t even have to tell you (or at least I shouldn’t have to) what the deal is with that show.  Lots of singing and dancing to songs.  And you may or may not have read how despite the large catalogue of music co-creator Ryan Murphy has had access to so far, he hasn’t gotten a “yes” from everyone.  A few months ago, he was upset that Coldplay and Bryan Adams had denied them access to their songs (both of whom, to my understanding, have changed their minds).

But just as everything seemed to be going smoothly again, I read another article last month about Murphy, who was once again pissed off — this time at Kings of Leon.  While it doesn’t seemed particularly hurtful that the band would deny Murphy the use of their songs, he seemed to take it personally, saying something along the lines of how kids and teens not only across the country but the entire world, really, would watch Glee and be inspired by Kings of Leon’s music, that perhaps it would make them pick up the guitar or start singing or to join a musical program at school.  He also called them some not-so-nice name which was censored on the article page, though the possibilities aren’t that many.

Murphy has repeatedly stressed the importance of arts education, something I strongly believe in.  It’s hard and disheartening to read about cut after cut of arts and music funding, particularly for high schools, where the opportunities for young people to become interested in so many things should be available.

In response to Murphy’s  comments, the band said he shouldn’t take it personally, that they reguarly deny TV shows and movies use of their songs, that it’s just a thing they do.  Meh.

The comments at the bottom of the page which mainly spoke about how Murphy should really calm down and learn that “you can’t always get what you want”.

And now we’ve finally reached the point of this blog entry!

While I do think Mr. Murphy may have crossed the professional line at calling them names, I completely agree with everything else he’s said.  I think he finds it hard that anyone would turn such a great and special opportunity down — an opportunity for the following:

1) Get your song covered and performed on an extremely popular show.  What’s wrong with publicity?
2) This would then lead to [really large number I can’t even estimate] of people downloading the song, buying it, finding it on youtube, watching it, etc.  More publicity!
3)  Reading up on the band, and gaining more fans.
4)  They pay you to use your song!!!!

What’s wrong with that?  It’s a win-win situation, as far as I’m concerned, and probably for Murphy as well.  And then there’s the most important part: arts education.  Think about the impact the show in general has on kids and teens.  How frickin’ cool is music?  The magic of Glee is that so many different people watch it, despite the fact that it is set in an American high school.  It has a much broader appeal than, say, High School Musical; it’s more mature (mostly), and it addresses, at times, some serious topics.  The show has the potential to really change people, to inspire people.

By letting Murphy and the other creators of the show use their songs, I see it as giving back to the world.  I think about how all these musicians first learned how to play their instruments, to sing — wouldn’t you want youth around the world to also be inspired?  To express themselves through music?  Sure, it’s not giving back in the traditional sense (ie.  giving a crap load of money to a high school/charity) but it’s the least musicians can do.

That’s why denying songs to Glee is like a punch in the face for Murphy.  He probably translates the refusal as, “No, we don’t want to inspire kids” rather than “No, we don’t want to license our song for you to use.”  And in that sense, it is personal.

Of course, I’m only speculating about the show’s real impact on influencing kids on arts education.  I haven’t done any research to find out what, if any, changes have been made to high school music programs or if more kids have been signing up for music lessons.  I certainly appreciate Murphy’s passionate message through his show.

Now if only musicians saw it the same way.