Last night on Glee's much-hyped "Britney/Brittany" episode, we learned that listening to Britney Spears while doing nitrous oxide will make all your dreams come true! Join us as we break down all the performances and Britney's cameos.
The episode opens with Kurt informing Mr. Schue that there's a five-person Facebook group campaigning for New Directions to sing Britney Spears songs at the homecoming assembly. But Schue shoots down this movement (even these kids have already performed "Push It" in front of the whole school, for the purposes of our story, Brit Brit is too trashy or something). Therefore, most of the Britney numbers take place in the kids' heads — specifically, when they get a lungful of nitrous from the dentist (guest star John Stamos).
In the first dream sequence, Brittany performs "I'm A Slave For You," with dancers dressed like they're in a live-action version of Thundercats.
Note: She's in a classroom full of young hoodlums. Curious.
The next dentist-enabled hallucination/performance is "Me Against The Music." It's very similar to the video, but they look like they're having way more fun than Madonna and Britney (who makes her first cameo at the end).
The rest of the cast also appears in the video, though they're easy to miss.
They're banished to the booths in the back because sophisticated choreography has never been Glee's strong suit.
As for Lea Michele, her singing talent actually works against her in this episode. Her "Baby One More Time" hallucination is a shot-for-shot remake of the video, except, unlike Ms. Spears, she's actually trying to show off her vocal abilities. The result is totally boring — we already know how this video goes, after all — plus, the song itself isn't exactly suited to actual singing. Even Britney herself manages to be lackluster here.
Later, we find Brit in a Cheerios costume telling Tina she shouldn't have dumped Artie, which leads to Artie's own hallucinated performance of "Stronger."
Fun, but this song, like the others, is another step downhill from "Me Against The Music," which was the standout performance. One could insert some snarky comparison to the real Britney's career here, but Glee is already on it. Emma delivers this speech to Will:
You ever notice that Britney Spears only makes great music when she's not chasing down paparazzi? She can't just swallow a grenade and let her talent explode all over the wall, she's got to rein it in just like you do.
Uh, no we did not notice that. Nothing about this statement makes sense, but it's good to know the school guidance counselor understands that you can't unleash your talent by blowing yourself up.
Will attempts to win back his simple-minded lady love's affections by wearing a goofy hat.
And, just to be extra-endearing, he performs "Toxic" with his students during an assembly.
The slowed-down version is interesting, but putting the kids in black vests and white suspenders is a missed opportunity. They've managed to scrounge up KISS outfits and Lady Gaga costumes in the past, yet couldn't afford an ensemble that referenced Britney in some way? All you need is black underwear and and ill-fitting wig, and you've got an homage to "Gimme More."
Despite their lackluster attire (and dancing, though the camera keeps cutting away so it's hard to tell), this ignites a "Britney Spears sex riot." Nothing turns high school kids on like seeing their Spanish teacher gyrating with their classmates!
In what seems to be a new trend, Lea Michele performs a final song that has nothing to do with the rest of the rest of the episode. Paramore's "The Only Exception" is lovely, but why is it in the all-Britney episode? If Rachel needs to sing a soulful ballad to express her inner turmoil, look no further than the Britney classic "E-mail My Heart."
Earlier: Glee: The Lady Gaga Episode