It’s Britney on Glee, bitch. Britney Spears performed—well, acted, at least—alongside McKinley High School’s New Directions members as she guest-starred in the Emmy award-winning show’s highly anticipated “Britney/Brittany” episode. How do you think Ms. Spears’ performance stacks up against her prior television appearances—not including Chaotic, obviously?
The night kicked off with Mr. Schuster trying to teach the about the importance of Christopher Cross and Michael Bolton (as the writers pull a “psych!” on us), before the cast dived into their renditions of some of the most iconic tunes from pop princess’ song book.
Britney’s appearance followed almost three excruciatingly long weeks of anticipation and gossip, during which Brit Brit and the cast itself teased and hyped us with Brit-vid inspired costume recreations Heather Morris dolled up in “Oops…I Did It Again”, “Baby One More Time”, “Slave 4 U” and “Toxic” attire. We had a taste of Santana and Brittany’s Inception-style mutual anesthesia hallucination recreation of the “Me Against The Music” music video. But we prepared ourselves that this Spears-experiment could turn out to more fun for the Glee kids to make than it is to watch—really, what’s inspiring about a shot for shot remake?
As we sampled the cast’s “karaoke” versions of Brit’s hits we wondered if we were being built up for a major let down. Still, the preview of “Toxic” gave us hope that Ryan Murphy had a few spectacular tricks up his sleeve.
The major letdown is that Britney herself didn’t sing one syllable during her guest stint. (This is where we’d probably insert a joke about the Glee episode, then, being just like an actual Britney Spears concert. But we’re above such cheap shots. Oh, wait…)
And so, in judging Brit’s various too-short cameo appearances alone, we’d have to say the one just before Artie’s (Kevin McHale) take on “Stronger”—truly one of the most underrated jams in the Spears catalog—displayed the singer at her most playful.
And what of Glee‘s own Britney—er, Brittany. Heather Mills has always been under-utilized on the hour-long musical dramedy, and last night was her time to shine. Well, at least in theory it should have been. With all the hype, the semi-flimsy plot involving Brittany’s inferiority complex because of the sort-of similarity between her name and that of the pop icon’s was far too weak to deliver.
It’s as if the stunt casting of Spears herself seemed to overshadow what should have been Mills’ big showcase. That said, she rocked the “I’m A Slave 4 U” and “Me Against The Music” dance numbers (the latter of which found Santana taking up the Madonna role). Dare we say it, Heather might teach Britney a step or two in the future.
Worst sequence of the night: Lea Michele’s take on “…Baby One More Time.” Great voice, but it’s not one for pop. Love you, girl—but stick to the show tunes.
At least she redeemed herself with her (totally random, given the context of this being a Britney Spears episode) rendition of of Paramore’s “The Only Exception.”
Overall, the episode had its high points, but there were some low ones as well. Our hope is that Ryan Murphy & Co. will ease up on the big name guest stars for awhile, and concentrate on good story lines now that the show has more than arrived.