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I may just have watched the most emotionally satisfying episode of Glee since the season 1 finale.

At the beginning of this season, it felt like the Glee writers had regained their focus. No more songs slotted in just to move iTunes sales, no more tribute episodes or stunt casting, no more Jukebox Blaine. But all too soon that promise withered, and we were back to nonsensical storylines, after-school specials, and characters who served the plot, rather than the other way around.

But tonight, in a tribute episode to Whitney Houston of all people, the show attained some measure of real feeling. I fully admit that Kurt and Blaine are the main reason I’m still watching the show (due to Chris Colfer’s enormous talent and my ridiculous crush on Darren Criss) so the fact that the most emotionally involving thread centred around their relationship certainly biases me. But for once, we actually got to see them talking – acting as though they were in a real relationship. The “drama” cooked up to get them there was silly, of course, but the writers finally addressed the separation syndrome that all high school couples – even those where both parties are graduating – go through.

Making Blaine a junior was a patently obvious move on the creators’ part to keep Criss, their cash cow, in the choir room for another year. Leaving aside the monumental personality change required to go from last season’s confident gay mentor to this year’s worshipful puppy dog, it seemed as though the writers didn’t think through the fact that Kurt encouraging Blaine to switch schools was a real dick move on his part, considering he’d be graduating and Blaine would be stuck in horrible McKinley for a year without him. And finally, the show addressed that problem. The result was a moving scene where Kurt and Blaine actually talked rather than singing at each other, and acted as though they might actually be in a real relationship. (Never mind that when Glee actually tackles these plot holes it starts to resemble fan fiction. This is one of the rare shows where the fanficcers are often better writers than the showrunners.)

The show has addressed the “where do we go from here” with Mercedes and Finn-and-Rachel, so it’s to be hoped we’ll get similar storylines for Santana and Brittany and especially Mike and Tina. (Jenna Ushkowitz has been sooooo underused on this show it’s not even funny; Tina has the potential to be such a badass and they just give her nothing.)

Random observations:

  • Puck gives all the guys empty shot glasses? Whatever. Also, it’d be nice to know what happened with Shelby and Beth; Puck may have demonstrated the most emotional growth of any character this season and then it just got dropped.
  • I continue to not care about Will and Emma.
  • Where are Sugar and Rory? I know Irishface only had so many episodes in his contract, but I didn’t realize that applied to Sugar as well. They really should have hired the girl who played Harmony; she was by far the best of the Glee Project people they’ve had on.
  • Why is Quinn getting into a relationship now, when she’s about to leave? Honestly, she’d be so much better off learning how to be on her own. I also miss her hanging out with Artie, as that’s a pairing we never saw much, and Autotuned-Dianna-Agron sounded good with Slightly-Less-Autotuned-Kevin-McHale.
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Blog post for RL work on the Best Picture nominees here.

Will try to be tweeting a bit during the broadcast, but there’s wine and food and most importantly The Girls, so I’ll be focused on that rather than on my phone.

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The trailer makes this look disturbingly Juno-esque, i.e., chock full of jokes and too clever by half. The difference being, Chris Colfer was 20 when he wrote this, while Diablo Cody was in her 30s.

….Yeah, I’m still probably going to see it.

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May you forever avoid Sybil Fawlty.

 

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The weirdest thing about The Social Network is the fact that Aaron Sorkin wrote it. This is the man who famously wrote his disdain for Television Without Pity – and by extension, all internet message boards – into a season three episode of The West Wing. The film has been getting raves left and right, and I certainly plan to see it this weekend – but I keep getting left with the impression of a bunch of 19-year-olds who’ll profess their love of Gilbert and Sullivan before the first act is over.

The clip shown on The Colbert Report tonight didn’t do much to allay those fears. True, no one used the phrase “I am never, ever sick at sea,” or “I’m in the tall grass; I’m in the weeds,” and no one was pedeconferencing, but there was an awful lot of the patented Sorkin lather-rinse-repeat dialogue that sounds smart when you encounter it for the first time, and comes off as incredibly lazy when you realize every single thing he’s ever written sounds like this.

I give Colbert a lot of credit for the questions he asked. Aaron Sorkin has a sharp mind, but his verbal fencing skills don’t match those of his characters, and sometimes it felt like Colbert was just talking over him, which tends to be more Jon Stewart’s style. (Not that Stephen won’t run roughshod over guests sometimes, but they usually give way to him; this felt very much like a Stewart interview [except for the fact that Stephen was obviously more prepared than Jon usually is for his guests.])

But Stephen got to a couple of pertinent points, including the treatment of women in the film, which is often a weak point in Sorkin’s work, and he honed in on his guest’s dislike and distrust of the film’s subject. Sorkin actually said that internet relationships are to face-to-face relationships what reality television is to reality, which earned him a somewhat startled, even shocked, silence from the audience. Whether or not The Social Network‘s box office reflects its pre-release buzz remains to be seen, but I’m not sure the studio’s going to want Sorkin doing much more publicity for them.

Finally, c’mon, Aaron, you couldn’t have joined Stephen in his little Sondheim rendition? Way to be a stick-in-the-mud, dude.

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I have to give credit to a poster on the AV Club for the title, but I can’t think of anything more appropriate or pithy to describe him. Not quite on a par with his White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech from 2006, but still, watch as Colbert delivers five minutes of stand-up to a room determined not to laugh, and then jumps out of character to prove why he is one of the kindest celebrities working today:

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The lucky, lucky bastards at Radio City Music Hall got to see this:

Reasons for moving to New York just keep piling on by the day.

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