Leave Britney Spears alone! Even the Glee kids can't match the pop princess
There's nothing else on TV like Glee. At its best it's an intriguing and endlessly entertaining mix of high school drama, subversive snark and jaw-dropping musical performances.
So I was beyond bummed when Tuesday night's Britney Spears episode dropped all these qualities the way Brit-Brit used to bobble her babies, instead turning it into a half-hour tour through her collected video works.
Don't get me wrong, I love the revelation that cheerleader Brittany — full name Brittany S. Pierce — lives in the shadow of the other Britney's talent. That is until a nitrous oxide-induced fantasy transports Brittany into Britney's "I'm a Slave 4 U" video, faux-nude body glitter, red latex body suit and yellow python included. It was awesome — Heather Morris, who could easily double for Ms. Spears, is an amazing dancer with a perfectly breathy voice for singing Britney.
The next dream adds Santana into the mix as Madonna next to Brittany's "Me Against the Music." More great dancing. More shot-for-shot video reproductions. I'm still loving this.
But by the time Rachel gets her turn in the dentist's chair, recreating the iconic "... Baby One More Time" video with pitch-perfect accuracy and Lea Michele's far superior vocals, you can't help but notice something's missing.
To quote the show, it's Britney, bitch. The recreations of Britney videos are spot-on, but it takes more than singing and dancing to be Britney Spears. It takes that perfect amount of "not a girl, not yet a woman" stares into the camera that read as the perfect mix of innocence, neediness, confidence and sex. It takes a work ethic that comes from the desire to get the hell out of Kentwood, La. It takes a star.
And while everyone on Glee has talent and charisma, it can't be harnessed by trying to imitate the work of someone else. If I want to watch Britney Spears videos, I will. But I would also like to watch Glee be Glee.
The best performance of the episode was the pep rally group dance to a sexy, stripped down version "Toxic." Between the black and white costumes, the overtly risque moves and some very naughty things done with bowler hats, the performance caused what Sue Sylvester termed a "Britney Spears sex riot."
This is what I love about Glee. Taking great music and making it different, newer, better.
What do you think, CultureGleeks? Which performance drives you crazy? And were you as bummed as I was that Glee didn't take on "Lucky"?
"Me Against The Music":