When the kind folks at Smart Pop asked me to blog on a Glee episode for this season, I specifically asked for the Rocky Horror episode. You see, Rocky Horror is the musical of my people.
My people—as defined here—are the science fiction fan community. Not a dance at a science fiction convention goes by without someone playing “Time Warp.” And we all do it. Again. We sing as we jump to the left. And laugh as we jump to the right. And no one cares who can sing in tune and who can’t.
So I knew that I would have something to say about this episode, no matter how it turned out. And there was a lot of buzz in the sf community that Glee would “ruin” Rocky Horror.
I thought it a good fit—but, like Will Schuester, I had forgotten (gotten used to?) the adult themes of the show. I didn’t worry about that aspect until Emma brought it up in the episode itself.
Oh, my. I’ve become accustomed to Rocky Horror’s face. (Wait—sorry. Quoted the wrong musical there. My Fair Lady does not belong in a Rocky Horror discussion.)
Full disclosure time: I’m not a huge Rocky Horror fan, although I love, love, love the music. I’m somewhat indifferent to the show itself. My husband, on the other hand, loves both the show and the music. When he heard that Glee was doing a Rocky Horror episode, he insisted on watching.
He’s never watched a full episode of Glee in his life.
I warned him ahead of time: Glee is either brilliant or unbearable—sometimes in the same episode. There is no in-between.
I figured I’d like the episode, and he’d hate it. In fact, I figured we’d shut it off halfway through, watch something else, and I’d finish on my own.
Instead, he watched with rapt attention—pausing only to mention (more than once) how much Cory Monteith looks like Barry Bostwick looked in the movie. Barry Bostwick, for those of you who don’t know, showed up in a cameo with Meatloaf as the TV execs who lured Sue to try for her local Emmy. I was disappointed that neither of them got to reprise their roles from Rocky Horror or at least sing. But it was a minor disappointment.
The episode worked, the most brilliant scene being Emma and Will’s as she helps him “rehearse.” (My husband sat through that part with a blanket over his face. His comment? “I had no idea how uncomfortable parts of Rocky Horror could be when translated to the real world.” Um, yeah.)
I found myself wondering how they’d get the best songs into the episode. My husband worried that they’d subvert the message of Rocky Horror. As Will backed off his plan to perform the musical, my husband muttered, “Hasn’t he read the show? Hasn’t he listened to the music? He can’t do that.”
I grinned. I knew we were about to have a reversal—a Glee reversal, the kind that benefits the outcast, lauds the geek. And we did, ending with the “Time Warp.”
And if there had been room in front of the TV, I would have gotten up to dance.