Friday, May 25, 2012

REVIEW: Glee - "Props" and "Almost Normal" (film)

I'd like to start my first real body switch review with something recent.

In the new episode "Props" on Glee, Tina experiences some minor head trauma and has a "Freaky Friday" dream. Everyone she knows turns out to be switched in personality and body, but things are only different to her. Among the switched according to her feverish imagination: Will and Sue, Brittany and Mercedes, Rachel and Tina, Santana and Artie, Sam and Rory, Joe and Mike Chang, and of course the hot swaps: Kurt and Finn and Puck and Blaine. Watch this clip of Finn affectionately placing his head on Puck's shoulders and Kurt watching proudly (and getting turned on as Finn) by Tina/Rachel...

What I liked about this episode were the little moments, especially with Finn and Kurt where they did a really good job of emulating each others characters. Finn spouts the phrase "This is so Days of Our Lives" in a quiet manner, and manages to walk like Kurt. Chris Colfer takes up attention in an aside to Tina-as-Rachel where he comments oh so romantically how her boobs looked bigger and he'd have to take advantage of that later. He even chews sits like Finn.

While all these plot elements were great, they didn't stretch them out for very long and before you know it we're back in regular Glee Land. Still, the idea that the writers had was a novel one. A body switch story that was purely mental. I think that is quite a challenge for the audience to accept. One could easily see it as almost a Fringe episode. If it had been that universe, it wouldn't be that unbelievable to see a gay Finn and a straight Kurt, a gay Puck and a straight Blaine (wearing a mohawk!). Actually that last bit I wouldn't mind seeing again because it was pretty hot to see Darren go punk, even if for just a dream sequence. The minor touches each actor put in were noticeable, and not over the top. I liked this aspect quite a lot and it showed off the diversity of acting talent that they all have in spades.

The dream element gives way to greater story possibilities. What if a character's memories were corrupted somehow so that everyone they knew was actually the opposite of the personality they thought, due to a head injury or alternate reality? How would they adapt to these changes? The fact that the straight and gay roles were reversed, however briefly, was pretty exciting. It's not something I've seen before, with one exception. It's something someone addressed in the movie "Almost Normal" where a man goes back in time Peggy Sue style, only to discover the world is mostly gay and he gets the jock of his dreams but in his dream he was cursed to be straight and go through roughly the same experience, albeit with an adult perspective. In "Almost Normal", the protagonist falls in love with his opposite sex best friend, much to the bewilderment of the gay world around him. But goodness prevails and his "coming out" provokes a response of support in the majority gay universe as couple defiantly dance with opposite sex characters at the prom. And then much like Dorothy the character comes back and we are left wondering "what good did that dream accomplish?"

Well for one, body switch dreams give us perspective. What if life were different? Our minds often wonder this, even on a subconscious level. Being another person or being in their body would beg the ultimate question of what constitutes being you. Does your body change who you are? Do chemicals affect us and how we behave or is there something more with our souls always retaining a certain something? Is being gay or straight purely affected by body? Since body switches aren't a reality yet we can't answer these questions fully, but exploring them in erotic fiction is definitely a fun activity...

I give this Glee episode a score of 7.5 stars out of 10.

For those of you interested, Almost Normal is also worth checking out, even though I would place the entire movie as a whole as a 5.5, there are plenty of hot kiss scenes between the protagonist and his hot newly gay jock boyfriend. Check out the trailer if you haven't already:

1 comment:

  1. Love your review of this episode of Glee. I can't wait to watch it. And yea, the Puck/Blaine switch... whoa!