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Glee: Season 2 - The Rocky Horror Glee Show (Review)

Rocky Horror Glee Show

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What’s the story? The Glee kids perform songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show as Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) attempts to woo back Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays) from charismatic dentist Carl (John Stamos).

Our verdict: Even the most ardent Glee fan may be forced to admit that Season 2, thus far, seems to have been pushing its limits a littler bit, what with episodes already devoted to Britney Spears, religion and duets.

While some of these have been more successful than others, this latest offering – The Rocky Horror Glee Show – could rate as its most ambitious undertaking yet. And they just about pulled it off.

The early risk factor lay in the writer’s decision to base an entire episode around a cult – but admittedly groundbreaking – musical. Having never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show myself this could have flown way over my head.

That it didn’t owed itself more to the plot devices than any particular magical performance.

Yes, the songs were delivered with typical gusto, complete with a showstopping finale featuring the RHPS signature tune, The Time Warp…. but this was more about seeing Will Schuester manipulate the Glee club for his own romantic ends, and Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) looking to cash in.

Hence, the ongoing love triangle between Morrison, Mays and Stamos provided several moments to savour – not least Stamos’ brilliant rendition of Sweet Transvestite, or Mays’ vampish take on Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me.

The latter, in particular, allowed Mays to cut loose from her normally frigid persona and deliver a tune that not only had Scheuster hot under the collar!

Stamos, meanwhile, continues to prove an effortlessly charismatic addition to the series and one hopes that this particularl love triangle isn’t quickly resolved. He keeps Will on his toes in more ways than one.

All this meant that Lynch was – for once – outshone, even though she did her level best to steal away the limelight as ever. Her “this is how Sue C’s it” presentations were typically warped and filled with inspired vitriol (her views on Halloween’s true reason for being were priceless), while her looks of dismay were as brilliant as ever.

Her section even allowed for two more fun cameos featuring Meat Loaf and original Rocky Horror star Barry Bostwick.

There were, however, some disappointments. For a show that was all about the risque and risk-taking, Cory Monteith’s big ‘tighty wighty’ reveal moment was a bit of a letdown (Bostwick donned Y-fronts in his day, not boxers), while Amber Riley’s rendition of Hot Patootie-Bless My Soul felt like a bit of a stretch (despite being typically well sung).

Coming so soon after other specialist episodes, it also raised the suspicion that Glee is in danger of forgetting about the simple things it did so well to establish itself as a phenomenon in the first place: character building.

With so much focus on pushing the boundaries or paying homage, there hasn’t thus far been room for much character progression.

Hence, while The Rocky Horror Glee Show still managed to leave you smiling and contained some priceless moments, a little less showboating in future episodes (ie, getting back to the basics) wouldn’t go amiss.

What did you think?

Read our review of the Britney Spears episode