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“A bad reputation is better than no reputation at all.”: Bad Reputation (1×17) Gleecap

May 5, 2010

Rachel checking out the infamous Glist, which starts the gleeks on their bad rep quests

In an age of Paris Hilton’s sex tapes, Lindsay Lohan’s drug addictions, and Britney Spears’ inability to exit a car without showing off her goods, it’s no wonder that the glee clubbers often struggle with being nobodies. As Quinn puts it rather bluntly this week, “A bad reputation is better than no reputation at all.” And while not all of the characters will agree with Quinn’s assessment (namely Will, who finally suffers the consequences of his naughty actions, and Sue, who can’t handle the humiliation of being mocked), Glee dealt with the idea of reputations, both good and bad, while in top-notch form with this episode.

As with all recent episodes of Glee, “Bad Reputation” had a very clear theme expressed through both plot and music, but thankfully the words “bad reputation” weren’t uttered as many times as “home” was in the episode prior. This theme really worked well for me, and the idea of rehabilitating bad songs was a very clever way to tie the music to the story (although I will defend “Total Eclipse of the Heart” as an amazing song to any of you haters). All of the musical numbers were hilarious, although top honours has to go to the amazingly trippy and over-the-top “Run, Joey, Run” film by Rachel. From the screen transition effects, to former glee club instructor Sandy Ryerson playing her dad, to Santana and Brittany as angels, to the three glee guys all playing the role of Rachel’s boyfriend, she totally went all-out in the way that only the overly dramatic Rachel Berry can.

Turn around, bright eyes...

But while Rachel claims these are all just artistic choices for the video, she clearly made it for all the wrong reasons. Finn, somewhat surprisingly, says it best: “Is your stupid reputation more important than your relationships?” This episode spent a lot of time showing Kurt, Artie, Tina, Mercedes, and Brittany’s quest for a bad rep, and while those scenes were incredibly funny (especially when they got their glee on in stacks with MC Hammer-style genie pants and all!), it was Rachel’s attempt to sully her good name that held the most weight. It may not be her reputation, specifically, that our diva cares most about, but rather her stardom, as she explains to Jesse near the end of the episode. Rachel is so dead-set on celebrity status that she will literally do whatever it takes to get herself there, romantic relationships and friendships be damned. She’s a girl with goals, and while she clearly does love Jesse, she’s never been good with compromising her own wants. I, like Rachel, thought it would be Jesse to break her heart, but the more I think about it, the more I’m not surprised that Rachel’s top-dog attitude would be her romantic downfall. (But dammit, their break-up still made me super sad!)

On the flip side of the reputation scale, this week we saw the show’s authority figures flail under the weight of a bad rep. Without a doubt, Will has made some bad decisions lately (even if he didn’t actually do anything other than sleep in the same bed as April), and it’s about time that he suffered the consequences of it. He is constantly portrayed as a glowing role model to his students, despite the many negative actions he’s done in the past. And thank goodness Emma got a chance to give him hell for it. (Side note: I would’ve loved to see a quick scene of Emma trying to prepare herself for what she was going to say to Will. That would’ve been adorable!) Emma was fantastic in the lunch room scene, as well as in her office at the end of the episode. Stick to your guns, lady, stick to your guns – even if it seems like a weird thing to do when your guidance is coming from Sue. But just like in “Throwdown” when Sue tried to give the glee club’s minorities a chance to shine, Sue’s advice was spot-on necessary for Emma. Sure, Sue also wanted to see Will get humiliated, but when you put aside her malicious intent, you see that there is definitely some logic in that Sylvester brain.

Sue being mocked by Brenda Castle (Molly Shannon)

Like Will, Sue also suffered from a bad rep this week with the leak of her “Physical” video, and the scenes of her dealing with that humiliation were fantastic. The return of her sister Jean fit in perfectly with this idea, as it worked to bring out that human side of Sue again. This pain seemed to hit Sue harder than it has in the past, and I hope that we’ll get to see her deal with her emotions even further in the episodes to come. Seeing her being intimidated by new teacher Brenda Castle was fabulous (and good on Molly Shannon for being a guest star that didn’t steal the show!), and the weaker side of Sue is just so fascinating. Similarly, the brief look we got at Quinn’s weaker side was also incredibly interesting this week, and while I didn’t expect her to be the glist maker, having her as the culprit was ingenious. Quinn is definitely in a desperate place right now, and I love Mr. Schue’s attempt to bring her out of it. Keep on fighting, Quinn – you’re so much better than that cheerleader queen bee crap anyway.

Favourite quote(s): “I try to be a good guy. I go to school and I say, ‘Be cool, Puck. Be nice.’ But by second period I have a fire extinguisher in my hands and I’m spraying some dweeb with it and I don’t know how I got there.” – Puck
“Do me a favour: If we end up next to each other on the barre at ballet club this week, just do your arabesques and piques in silence. Don’t talk to me.” – Jesse

Favourite moment(s): The beyond amazing “Run, Joey, Run” movie as explained above, and also the ballet scenes during “Total Eclipse of the Heart” because I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry!

Next week: Rachel loses her voice, Puck loses his mohawk, and Kurt loses his mind (by making out with Brittany). HUH?!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie permalink
    May 5, 2010 2:08 pm

    Great review. I couldn’t help but notice in your screencap the Louisville FOX station. Are you based in Louisville? I only ask because I’m right down the road in Frankfort! So it’s nice to see a fellow Kentuckian GLEEk! 😉

  2. Suzie Gardner permalink*
    May 5, 2010 2:16 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Stephanie! The screencap is not mine, unfortunately, so I’m not from Louisville! I’m actually in Toronto, Ontario. Sorry!


  1. “No one else has shown me as much as you what it means to be a man.”: Furt (2×8) Gleecap « Gleeks United

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