Glee: Transvestites, Gold Lamé and Camp. It’s Rocky Horror, Glee Style!

As someone who LOVES The Rocky Horror Picture Show and grew up a big fan of the movie, the stage production, and the midnight showings, I went into this episode of Glee very skeptical. It didn’t help that I heard the songs a week early due to the two week delay in the episode. After hearing the songs, I was a bit underwhelmed and was very annoyed that Mercedes was singing “Sweet Transvestite“. Needless to say, my expectations were low going into this themed episode of Glee.

It took me two viewings of this episode to get a final consensus on how I really felt about it. After watching it late last night, I was very extremely annoyed with the lackluster writing of the plot that got the characters of the show to actually perform Rocky Horror. Another big problem I had was that the episode ultimately, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ROCKY HORROR. Sure the actors are great singers (some debatable), but the storyline was very weak in my opinion. The episode just became a kids-bop-ified, jukebox rendering of the Rocky Horror classics.

After seeing the episode and understanding why Mercedes ended up playing FrankNFurter, I give it some slack. But I still thought that it just didn’t work. Amber has a PHENOMENAL powerhouse voice, but that song just fell flat with her singing it. The essence of that song is the fulfillment of the  gender role by having a guy dressed up in drag with a powerhouse female voice performing the song. Also, I feel that the Glee writers made a total cop-out move to get to the point of Mercedes being Frank. I think in reality, they just didnt have a vocalist close enough to perform that song. I found it interesting that Kurt was adamant about not playing FrankNFurter, stating how he would not dress up as a transvestite. Kinda shows that even though that Gay kids get picked on all the time, that people forget that the Transgendered community receives a lot of harassment and judgement still today, even within its own LGBT community.

After my first late night viewing of the episode, I ended feeling dissapointed and let down and frustrated with the lack of plot and writing. It felt like the Britney episode again: great homage to the music, but terrible plot. However, upon my second viewing this morning, I do feel it had some high points.

“Touch a Touch Me” was hilarious and fantastic. It was very inappropriate but hillariously done and well staged. Why hasn’t Mr. Shue been fired already? JEEZ. Many people who haven’t seen Rocky Horror probably don’t understand why Brittany and Santana were creepily looking through the window. The whole scene actually was kind of a homage to the scene in the Rocky Horror movie. Brittany and Santana watching and singing along through the window, mirrors the same scene  in the movie version.

Also, the closeups of all the Rocky Horror characters singing “Creature of the Night” is a direct send-up from the movie as well. The scene was very well done and directed and it was played well for the Rocky Horror fans out there. Nonetheless, seeing Matthew Morrison without his shirt on was an added bonus.

I also thought John Stamos (Dr. Carl) did a GREAT version of “Hot Patootie“. Although I have always been partial to John Stamos since I was a kid and my Full House/Uncle Jesse love. I thought he sang the song very well and the classroom dance along was fun as well.

Mike Chan’s use of the word “tranny” kinda bothered me a little.  This is just an example of more transgendered community judgement if you ask me.

LOVED that Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf made a cameo in the episode as right-wing conservative network executives. The irony of that is very cute. And since we’re on the subject of conservative, I’m not sure that I like them turning Sue Sylvester into this right-wing conservative character and try to paint her opinions by the end of the episode as rational. But maybe thats the ultra-liberal in me talking. But I don’t see anything wrong with Rocky Horror being performed in a high school. The whole ‘think of the children’ excuse is a scapegoat for the religious/moral right. Also, the line change in “Sweet Transvestite”? HELL NO. I forgot that this show is still on Fox on Network television after all.

Kurt looked amazing as Riff Raff and performed the character to a tee. Once again, Kurt was underused in the show. I feel like Chris Colfer is the best actor of the group of kids on this show, and if Glee were to ever lose him, they would be in deep trouble. I hope Kurt finally gets that boyfriend that the show has been promising. We need a positive gay couple on network television these days.

And so we come to the end of the episode, and the show is not put on because Mr. Shue has learned his lesson that he did this for selfish reasons and that doing the show could cost the Glee club everything, blah blah blah. I think next time that Glee wants to do an homage to a cult classic, they need to just do it and not hide it behind mediocre sub plot. So ultimately, after two viewings I rate the episode a C-.

Favorite Quotes of the Night:

“Gimme some chocolate or I will cut you.”

“I’m dressing up as a peanut allergy for Halloween”

“Halloween…when we encourage little boys to dress like girls, and little girls to dress like whores…”

Mr. Shue: “Finn’s line, Janet! Finns line, Dr. Scott!”

Sue: “This play has awful pacing problems…”

“They couldn’t stand the sight of a disabled person so much that they threw toast at us.”

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest blogger Tos Sasitorn. He is a Rocky Horry Picture Show buff, and I am not. I didn’t want to pretend I knew what I was talking about when reviewing this episode. Reply here to let him know if you’d like to see more postings here from him! – Faith

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