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Glee: Season 1 - The Power of Madonna (Episode review)


Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

What’s the story? The songs of Madonna show their power to glee club after Will (Matthew Morrison) catches the boys bullying the girls and wants to show them how to be more respectful. Elsewhere, Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) undergo the hardest make over yet when they teach Sue (Jane Lynch) how to “Vogue.”

Our verdict: As event episodes go, the Madonna-themed Glee has to rate as one of the best.

True, the biggest beneficiary of placing the emphasis of the episode on one single artist was, of course, Madonna… but the way in which her songs were used was completely inspired and a continuing part of Glee‘s charm.

What’s more, it allowed a rare opportunity for Jane Lynch’s marvellous Sue Sylvester to properly take centre-stage, the highlight of which was a performance of Vogue in which she got to strut about in various Madonna outfits (admittedly not all of which were complimentary!).

The episode was far from lazy, either… whether in the meticulous attention to Madonna detail that was displayed throughout (sometimes just from background characters), or the zingy script, which provided plenty of laugh-out loud asides.

Hence, the highlights flew thick and fast. Sue’s free-flowing vitriol at the expense of Will’s hair was brilliant, as were smaller moments such as Finn (Cory Monteith)‘s eyebrow preparation as he agreed to have sex for the first time with one of the cheerios, and Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba)‘s assessment of Sue’s Madonna-style bra cones.

Set piece sequences involving Madonna songs Like A Virgin, Four Minutes and Express Yourself (involving stilt-walking cheerleaders) were also adrenaline-rush moments to savour… as was the final song and dance routine set to Like A Prayer.

Yes, the episode felt highly gimmicky and yes there wasn’t too much room for expanded character development. But the story moved along nicely and the enjoyment level was so high, and the Madonna theme so perfectly executed, that you couldn’t help but go with the ride.

Hence, the first “event” episode in Glee history emerged as a resounding success. And with series creator Ryan Murphy hinting at more artists he’d like to devote episodes to, expect there to be some repetitions. Bring them on, we say!

Glee airs on E4 on Monday nights from 9pm and on Channel 4 on Friday nights from 8pm. This review relates to the episode of Monday, April 26, 2010.

  1. Get real Jack! This was a gimmick and, as you admit, Madonna was the only winner. Glee has compromised its values!

    Simone    Apr 28    #