It’s a mystery to me… I like Jane Lynch, I like musicals, and I have a big crush on Lea Michele… so why do I find Glee so utterly unwatchable? I don’t know… I can’t really pin it down… there’s just something about the glibness of the humour that irritates me. Still, the show has somehow managed to become a huge success without my endorsement, and has grown so ravenous that it’s even started to consume other theatrical/movie musicals whole! Last night “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” aired here in the UK, and as a big fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I forced myself to sit through it, out of morbid curiosity.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit to having watched the Britney special a couple of weeks ago… and then watching it again when it was repeated, so I could ogle over Heather Morris’s dancing, and giggle over her deadpan surrealism. I also have to say, she looked damn fine dressed up as ‘Columbia’ for this episode… while gal-pal Naya Rivera looked ridiculously hot as ‘Magenta’ (gotta love those lips!)… and I laughed out loud at their contribution to the ‘Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me’ scene, so top marks to them on the being-very-funny-and-beautiful front. Meanwhile, I thought Michele made the perfect ‘Janet’, but I also really liked Jayma Mays’s take on the aforementioned song, so I’d hate to have to pick between them if I was actually casting a production! As for the rest of the cast… meh. To be fair, I must have heard the movie’s soundtrack album a million times, so it’s ingrained pretty deep in my brain, and the original cast had such distinctive voices, that it would be impossible for anyone to ever replace them in my ears… especially Little Nell, who was a true one-off.
As for whether the showrunners should have even attempted such a thing in the first place, well… that is the question. I first saw the movie when I was in my early teens, and it left a huge dent in my psyche (in a good way, I mean) It’s unlikely that this episode will have the same watershed effect on many young viewers, but if it leads them to rent/borrow/buy the original, then it will have served a useful purpose as a gateway, I guess. Is it ironic that they cut the word “Transsexual” from ‘Sweet Transvestite’, and then got into so much trouble for using the term “Tranny” in the script? I can understand why they had to change some of the lyrics, especially within the context of the story, but I find it dispiriting that such watered down, wishy-washy versions of the songs should also prove to be the most successful financially! Does O’Brien get a cut of that wedge? If so, then I’m all for it, because dude deserves to get paid… and hopefully it will salve the pain of the whipping they’ve inflicted on his creation!