Monday, November 30, 2009

Glee: Season 1, Episode 11 – Hairography (2009) - Review

Hairography is a mixed episode. It treads again on the same message as the last few episodes, that of being comfortable with yourself and excepting others. Here, however, the episode deals more with not believing in self or others or both and also trying to find the true nature of someone or self (capped off by the musical performance to end the episode). Glee continues to walk a fine line between heartfelt and cheesy, generally staying on the side of heartfelt as the cheesiness is dispelled through humor and self-referential nods, and genuine emotion and the audience caring about the characters. But parts of this episode do not succeed in not being cheesy, especially in the first half. This is something the writers need to pay attention to; otherwise the show may fall back into the weak episodes that populated the early portion of this season. Plus, there is the continued trend of falling back on voiceover narration as a means of telling the story, when visual mediums would do much better. All the musical performances in the episode were straight performances with some forwarding on the story and arc of the episode and characters, but none of them lived in the story. The musical numbers that take place in the world of Glee, rather than as an activity of Glee, resonate and are more powerful. All that being said, the second half of the episode gets a lot of stuff right: there is humor, character development and heartfelt emotion. The others strong aspect of this episode and the show is the ability to play off stereotypes, both using them as a source of humor and knocking them down so characters can rise above them. As the season progresses, one of the most interesting stories is that of Quinn and the transformation of her character – she wants to hold on to who she was, but is also growing up. One of the highlights of this episode involves her performance of Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna. Overall, Hairography is good, but not as strong as the last few episodes of the show. 8/10

Glee can be seen Wednesday nights on Fox or on

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