Gleecap: Amber Riley Delivers Emotional Whitney Houston Tribute

by | February 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Glee, Recap

Amber Riley on Glee (FOX)

Honesty. Respect. Dance.

With the revelation of these parenting foundations, the fathers Berry solidified my opinion of them: not since the Osbournes have I taken such an instant liking to a television family.

That’s not to say I loved every second of screen time with Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell on Tuesday’s “Glee.” For instance, just after Goldblum’s Hiram stated those three fundamental words, the pair were saddled with some clunky expositional dialogue outlining and justifying their plan to delay Finn and Rachel’s marriage.

We didn’t need to be spoon-fed this information. The clink of their champagne glasses at the sound of a Finchel fight was a clear indication of the fathers’ true feelings.

It seemed the Berrys had conspired with the Hudson-Hummels to allow Rachel and Finn to spend their nights in each other’s arms so they might realize that living in such close quarters takes some getting used to.

Especially that whole acknowledging-your-lover-poops thing.

Catch Up On “Glee”:

Anyway, the plan backfired and instead caused Finn and Rachel to move up their wedding date to May. Assuming Tony Danza and Nate Berkus back the hell off, we’ll likely see more of these dads with their heads together trying to break off their daughter’s engagement.

And hopefully when that happens, they’ll get to sing a whole song. Hey, a theatre nerd can wish.

Meanwhile, the most lackluster storyline this week was the uncomfortable love triangle between Artie, Rory, and Sugar Motta. Both boys set their romantic sights on Sugar, whose dad was paying for her outrageous Valentine’s Day bash. Vanessa Lengies scored laughs as usual, but why should we be invested in either potential relationship when we’ve seen no prior evidence of chemistry between any of them? It felt like filler.

What I assumed would also be filler was the introduction of Joe (aka Teen Jesus), played by “Glee Project” co-champ Samuel Larsen. I’ve seriously toned my ocular muscles with all the eye rolling I’ve done this season every time co-champ Damian McGinty has appeared. It seems the writers have little faith in his ability to deliver lines convincingly, based on their tendency to not give him any. His stint has added nothing substantial to the show in my opinion, and I was expecting Samuel to follow in his footsteps.

I have issues with how Samuel won his role by suddenly taking on the cool Christian kid persona after Cameron left. And I remember him making pretty much the same facial expression every time he sang, In short, he lacked sincerity and depth. But Murphy picked him anyway, and now he’ll be with us for 7 weeks.

Thankfully, he didn’t grate on me the way Damian does. My confidence in his acting is still minimal, but I liked the musical numbers he was involved in. His inevitable jump from God Squad to New Directions may not be horrible. That’s my ringing endorsement so far, but it’s more of a chance than I expected to give Samuel.

Ah yes, the God Squad. With Teen Jesus came a debate over whether Christians could be accepting of gay folks, which came up because Santana wanted to buy one of their singing telegrams for Brittany. .

Anyway, the Squad ultimately deemed the teen lesbians worthy of public canoodling.

Sadly, while the Cheerios got to make out, members of the God Squad remained celibate due to Mercedes’ crisis of conscience. She confessed to her big, giant bf that she’d cheated with Sam, resulting in big, giant tears rolling down his big, giant cheeks.

But while Sam assumed that meant they could freely date at last, Mercedes felt confused by her behavior and needed some time alone to figure out who she really was. Cut to an eerily timely performance of Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You.”

Amber Riley has the pipes to pull off the song, no doubt. But what really made the number stand out was how much emotion was behind it. The story totally fit the song, giving it a power that random superhits often lack on the show.

Another heartbreaking tidbit happened near the end of the episode when Kurt was confronted by his secret admirer. He thought it was Blaine, but nope! Dave Karofsky. Kurt let him down as gently as possible, but there were obviously more big, giant tears in the works. Then this punk from Dave’s new school called them out for hanging on V Day, which did not bode well in my book.

Here were some more warm and fuzzy things:

Best Musical Number: I love that the music directors have Dianna Agron sing mostly oldies or classic Madonna (see: I Say a Little Prayer, Never Can Say Goodbye, Papa Don’t Preach), so of course “Cherish/Cherish” was this week’s winner.

Best Sugar Motta line: “Jesus, holla!”

Best personality qualifier: If Carole wasn’t likable after three chardonnays, I’d be a little concerned for Burt.

Good Fred Schneider: Chris Colfer’s voice is close enough in pitch to make the B-52’s sound work.

And what left me out in the cold:

Worst musical number: I’m sorry to keep picking on Damian. I’m sure he’s a sweetheart. But “Home” was a snoozefest.

Worst Fred Schneider: Blaine, back from the Al Hirschfeld Theatre his sickbed, did not have the right tone for “Love Shack” at all. Glad he handed the mic to his bf.